Monday, March 23, 2009

Social Engineering Failure

Today a small rant on the laziness that surrounds me.

My street, like many newer cul de sacs does not have individual mailboxes or mail slots on each house. Instead all the mail for my street and that street perpendicular to it are located in one of those little collected mailbox pavilions you see with townhouse developments. Let me note that these are very short streets. Certainly less than the length of a football field each. And yet, rather than walking to these very close mailboxes, people who live on the street drive up to the mailbox pavilion and then drive to their driveway, 50 feet away.

Now there are two purposes of these collected mailbox contraptions. One is to speed up the job of mailmen, and for this the pavillion is successful. (Except when people have packages which then are instead taken all the way up to your doorstep, but anway . . .) And the other is to foster, in some very small way, a sense of community. People on the street are theoretically supposed to walk up to the mailbox, get their mail and say hello to their neighbors. This is tough to do when you walk two feet away from your car and then two feet back to your car.

Now since our economy started tanking, a lot of pundits have been prophesizing when the recession will end and things will turn around in this country, and I have a little theory. It will start occuring when people stop being lazy and start walking to their own mailboxes.

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