G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Roads as Chasms and Crosswalks as Rickety Planks

Today September 22 2016 is World Car Free Day.

Vidyadhar Date wrote on his FB wall on December 29 2015:
"Apart from terrorists, the traffic police may be seen as a serious security threat to Churchgate railway station in Mumbai. They have put up barricades with the words traffic police inscribed on them on the footpath on the eastern side. This means a situation can worsen in case of a terrorist attack or some other calamity. Hundreds and thousands of people come out of the station constantly. Basic norms demand that for such a huge outflow there should be maximum points of exit. But with such tactics the authorities seem bent on funneling the people through the narrow underpass, treating them like cattle, causing them the maximum inconvenience.
The police, it seems, are posing this serious threat merely for the convenience of a few motorists passing along Maharshi Karve Roa road. The idea is that people do not come out of the footpath onto the road. Suppose there is security threat in the rush hour the situation will be particularly grave because then even the lucky ones coming out on the road will not be able to cross the road as the traffic light is usually switched off here . This switching off enables a constant flow of vehicular traffic while blocking pedestrians, posing a grave threat to their lives..." 


Artist: Karl Jilg for Swedish Road Administration

As Vox notes, "By depicting roads as chasms and crosswalks as rickety planks spanning them, [Jilg] shows just how lopsided the the proportions of a normal urban street corner really are." (more on it here http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/one-cartoon-that-highlights-how-much-public-space-we-sacrifice-for-cars--ZyVySum_sx)

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