362: The Spirit of Public Health

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C-Realm_362KMO welcomes Ben McLeish to the program to discuss the overlapping concerns of the C-Realm project and the Zeitgeist Movement. Ben discusses the differences between “market efficiency” and actual efficiency and invokes the historical example of Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM radio, to illustrate what happens to visionaries in a capitalist milieu who try to put actual efficiency before the maximization of profit. Later, Ben uses the example of John Snow and cholera outbreaks 19th Century England to illustrate the tensions between the societal priority of meeting basic human needs and the priority of facilitating economic transactions even when doing so will cause avoidable human death and suffering.

 

Music by Andrew Woods.

  • Bruce Woodside

    Had I wished to attend ZDay back in March here in Los Angeles, I could quite easily have walked or biked two blocks to the local express busway which would then have taken me to the Noho Red Line subway station which would have dropped me off at the Sunset and Vermont stop in Hollywood just a short walk ’round the block from Barnsdall Park where the event was being held. Los Angeles does have public transportation, if you know where to look for it.

    Also, contrary to “Roger Rabbit”, the Red Cars were not eliminated by freeways, or by a conspiracy of GM, Standard Oil, and Firestone Tires. Street cars began to be replaced by buses in the 1940s because they were deemed to be cheaper to operate, quieter, and their routes could be more easily adjusted (than taking up track.) Los Angeles is currently attempting to recreate much of the old Red Car network along the lines of the old routes with a mix of light rail, busways, subways, and bike paths.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084465964 Ben McLeish

      Thanks Bruce. I should have known to check up the facts before repeating. Good info, I’m going to hit the library on this one.

      Ben

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erik-Knutzen/100002417832447 Erik Knutzen

        Bruce is right. It’s a stereotype about Los Angeles that it doesn’t have public transit. And Ben, as Bruce says the story about GM buying up all the trains is a narrative that lets us all off the hook for our questionable choices–I include myself in this–while I’m living in LA without a car right now, I had one for many years. Perhaps a better way to argue this would be to say that the magical power of automobile advertising is a kind of conspiracy that gets us into cars. Thank you Kayemmo and Ben for another interesting show.