About a decade ago, I thought that traffic in LA could only get so bad, and
people would realize that life is just too short to spend much of it crawling
slowing along ribbons of concrete with a few thousand of their closest
friends. After seeing traffic in Manila, I now think that commuters are not so
different from boiled frogs.
When some friends of mine had to go to a great deal of trouble to buy a manual
transmission car in Orange County a year or so ago, I should have been able to
draw the obvious conclusion. However, enlightenment eluded me until Jim's
The *same* artifact was capable of *different* interpretation by user
The interpretation of the car that I had rashly assumed was universal was that
it was an automobile, and the purpose for which it was optimized was to move
rapidly between two points.
The interpretation of the car that apparently holds in the megapolis is that
it is an autoplacide, and the purpose for which it is optimized is to provide
a platform for making or taking mobile phone calls. It succeeds by providing
this functionality whether one is actually stopped on, or merely moving slowly
along, a freeway. All other cases are non-generic.