The Geodesic Economy: "World Peace Through Free Trade"

Tim May tcmay at
Sun Dec 29 12:05:43 PST 2002

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On Sunday, December 29, 2002, at 10:33  AM, Trei, Peter wrote:
> What do I think? I think they're one hell of a lot better than the
> first batch, which came out last summer. They lowered the
> square footage mandated, and told the companies to be a lot
> more imaginative.

"Square footage mandated"?

"Told the companies"?

It sure would be great if things were just left this way:

"It is up to the owner of the property to decide what to do with the 
property. He can ask for opinions, hire consultants, of course, as he 
wishes. But the herd has no say on what he does, so long as uniform 
building standards and zoning regulations are met."

(Issues of zoning, safety, and traffic are easily dealt with, and have 
nothing to do with the various pronouncements about "more square 
footage must be provided" and "The Mayor prefers at least two towers.")

Regrettably, many levels of government and "the public" are involved.

I realize that things got very confusing when a quasi-government agency 
(Port Authority) bought and paid for the original towers--though it 
then leased the site and towers to another owner, a private individual. 
If they wanted to own their building, they should not have then leased 
it to another, then back to themselves, while diverting the monies in 
the usual government way.

So now we have what should be a private land development deal mixed up 
with government...again.

My hunch is that the new towers will never be filled and will turn out 
to be a business catastrophe (oops, I said "business," when in fact it 
is the Port Authority, a weird melange of jurisdictions which is 
probably constitutionally invalid). Many of the occupants have found 
other office spaces, and many of them have said they are perfectly 
happy uptown or midtown. Or out in Jersey or Long Island or the other 
burrows (ObMisspellingDeliberate).

Or decentralized out to where people are cheaper to hire. This is what 
networks are for. Centralizing people into antheap buildings...ugh.

I wasn't sorry to see those Bauhaus boxes go.

> One thing I liked in particular was that most of the designs
> weren't afraid to go high into the sky this time around. Building
> high is an expression of confidence.

Or, to many of us, of stupidity.

> The WTC was a landmark
> for a huge part of the city; you could see it easily from most
> of midtown and downtown.

Hideous boxes.

> I worry about designs which require a huge amount of maintenance
> (Libeskind's sky forests), which I can't see being maintained more
> than a decade or so, or which devote so much to memorial that
> 40 years from now they will seem over the top (Foster has a huge
> area which is supposed to be restricted to victim's family members).
> My own initiial idea was to rebuild the towers as they were, but in
> goldtone instead of silver. Now, I'd like to be a little more 
> respectful
> of the pre-WTC street grid (If you weren't actually going to the WTC,
> it was a huge obstacle to get around, either driving or on foot). But I
> still want towers which rise far above the skyline.

One hopes not a single fucking dime of taxpayer money will go into 
rebuilding anything on that site. (Oh, I won't scream if $25,000 is 
allocated to hire that Chinese architect to replicate her Vietcong wall 
with the names of the dead so that the weepy ones can do their tracings 
and all. But nothing more should be spent out of the taxpayer's pocket.)

(And to the extent the Port Authority is really a shakedown operation, 
a gatekeeper, extracting revenues from those who cross into its regime, 
the use of Port Authority money should be watched carefully. The 
insurance should cover the rebuilding. If it doesn't, scale back the 
plans accordingly.)

I like the new skyline better. (ObHettinga: Meet the new skyline, same 
as the old, old one.)

But all this yawp coming out of NYC about which of the plans will be 
selected, how the City wants the towers to be reconstructed, blah blah, 
is all just an indication of statism.

(Ayn Rand loved the Twin Towers, ironically, and typically, and 
disgustingly. But, then, she thought cigarette smoking was a symbolic 
affirmation of Man's control of fire and his striving to reify A or 
Not-A through purity of essence! But, then, she was aynal about a lot 
of things, such as her support for NASA even though it consumed 50,000 
slave-lives to put an American flag on a ball of worthless rock. 
Hilarious that she died of cancer.)

--Tim May
"That the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize 
Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of 
conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are 
peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms." --Samuel Adams

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