online: 21 july 2006
modified: 20, 21 july 2006

19 july 2006 we are self/other

20:50 wooded valley seat
this evening, in air warmer and more humid than it's been here for a year (perhaps nearly 100 years, the forecasters say it might be warmer than the hot july of 1911)... the grass is tall and pale brown and in seed ...the trees seem overgrown with leaves... i feel that the summer is past its peak and that all natural things are already beginning to adjust to autumn..., still avoiding the heat, i've been adjusting to whatever of the new may develop out of (and beyond) what i used to call design methods and which i'm still trying to extend (as 'xdm'): a newer and more integrated process capable of solving the 'insoluble' global problems... to me as i write is an abandoned luggage trolley belonging to Network Rail... someone has pushed it into the undergrowth. ...

'if found outside the station please call (their phone number)'.
.. i'll phone them tomorrow...

next day
...i phoned the rail network and heard a recorded voice promising to return my call... i like to participate in what i regard as everyone's railway, or other public service, despite the paternal way in which these are presently operated by 'them' for us 'the public' - as if the people who operate or profit from a service were a different species from the people who use it... a destructive dualism, a door closed to what i call creative democracy...

...the rail network did not return my call but i'm still hoping that they will... and as i consider their unresponsiveness i remember what happened on my way back from the heath last evening:

...a dog was chasing swans in the middle of pond 2 (among the algae or duckweed) and would not return to its owners who called and called to it... so two men jumped in and swam to the rescue of the dog and the swans - though it's a dangerous pond of very deep water...

...remembering a notice which warned of blue-green algae in this pond being dangerous to animals and people, i told this to the dog owners and the friends of the men in the water... it took three people to lift the first swimmer up onto the dam and he told me he was 61... several people gathered and gave him clean water to wash his mouth, eyes and head... and then i walked away encouraged by the sight of people (who did not know each other) taking risks to rescue people and animals in difficulty... is this what Edwin Schlossberg meant when he wrote:

we are self/other or we are nothing'...

...i am in two minds about the abandoned luggage trolley:

...firstly i am discouraged by what looks like thoughtless and selfish misuse of a public service, some people being willing to remove or dump part of the service for their own immediate benefit...

...but on second thoughts i see that the trolleys could have been designed so that everyone could take their luggage home on them if they lacked the money for a taxi or if public transport won't take a trolley... such extended-purpose trolleys could be designed to carry one's luggage door to door if all the cars, taxis, buses, trains, aircraft etc were adapted to accommodate them - and if unwanted trolleys could travel automatically back into the system when their users reached their destinations... (that is the principle of traffic automation - to me the correct solution for most traffic problems)... given that, the anti-social behaviour of a few becomes the prototype of 'comprehensive design' (as Buckminster Fuller called it) by and for everyone!

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