Herd Animals

Often I say, “we are apes,” which I still think it is true to a large extent. However, in some ways, I can see us being herd animals in some ways. By herd animal, I mean something like a horse or a cow.

The main emotions that allows a herd animal to survive is fear. Herd animals are always on the move, and they always stick together.

Contrast this to predators who are usually territorial and try to keep others of their kind out so they can limit access to prey and other delights. Predators have a drive to explore and to experience new things while herd animals are usually fleeing away from something bad.

When you run things based on fear rather than curiosity, you are going be safe in the short run, but you are also going to make some colossal mistakes that might hurt you in the future.

Our current built environment less than one hundred years old, but it’s seen as better to stick to that rather than to continue the innovation that got us here in the first place.

For example, in Balboa Park, they are up in arms over the re-pedestrianization of a bridge. I say RE in front of pedestrianization because the El Prado bridge was built for people to walk across, originally. Now, the mayor wants to go back to that original design.

I think this is an excellent idea because Balboa is a city park, not an industrial nor office park. Yet, if you look at an aerial photo, you’d think you were looking at a mall with a few big box stores rather than a place where children can run without their parents constantly scanning, just like the herd animal on the horizon, for danger. Children of all ages will be free to explore in relative quiet and peace.

What about the venues in the park?

I say they should do two things: either figure out a way to convince some of the millions of tourists to come without their cars. This should not be hard because many visitors never rent cars. When I ride the bus, I always see older couples in Hawaiian shirts and large brimmed hats. They are often nice people, but don’t you prefer for them to on a bus rather than taking up another parking spot, making more freeway traffic, and circling around another cul-de-sac?

If they have to walk past a sea of parking, they might not come to the museum. Especially in this bad economy, it’s hard to go on vacation and pay for entertainment. Now they need to shell out for a car, too.

Pedestrianization of the park will actually create new parking spaces as the older ones are not filled, the notion of virtual parking spaces which is as close to getting something for free as I can imagine. I know at least two people who live nearby the park who will walk if they can, but if it’s too much of a hassle, aka now, to walk, they will drive. There’s two free spots right there, and I don’t even know too many people. Think of the thousands more free spots ripe for the picking if they have the vision and guts to see the pedestrian plan through?

The second solution is to move the venues to the valley where they can use the hundreds of spaces which are vacant most of the year due to the laws where they have to build spaces that are only used for a week before Christmas, but otherwise lie fallow yearly.

Heck, they could even make a drive in theatre and drive through art galleries so they don’t even need parking anymore.

Problem solved. Next.

Instead they act as if this is carmageddon which is only found, these days in LA:
http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/2011/06/405_freeway_closure_july_16_17_traffic_los_angeles_subway.php

Instead of innovating, like herd animals, many of us are finding fault on how the plan can fail. We are only looking for reasons to flee.

If we keep on mindlessly fleeing, we are going to find out that we have been herded by animals smarter and better thinking than us, predetors.

When we finally nitpick our way to the slaughterhouse, it’s going to suck even if it was designed by Temple Gradin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_Grandin) herself.

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