Archive for September, 2007

toll logistics

Friday, September 7th, 2007


Due to the tube strike I learned a lot about London bus, tube and train ticket systems (e.g. like the above oyster card, a 10 pounds recharge card). I am happy that my sister has an insight into the matter because the system is fairly complicated (e.g. for taking a longer trip a day ticket is better). However it is not as crazy as the subway system in Tokyo, where on a longer trip it may happen that one needs to pass several toll points and buy new tickets each time. As I understood this is mainly due to the fact that the lines have seperate owners. The Tokyo subway ticketing system reminded me a bit of the toll policy in Germany in medieval times, where virtually every feudal sovereign put up a toll station (it reminded me actually also of the german current network). And likewise the ticket problem in my last post seems to be at least partially due to national borders.

Despite of new means of communication such as cell phones, videoconferencing etc. you will still have to meet with your potential collaborators/business partners etc. in person. This implies that traffic will increase with growing globalization. So if one wants to reduce carbon output in traffic one of the first things one should think about is how to improve the train system as an alternative to planes. A better website may be a start.

the two faces of manormerry

Wednesday, September 5th, 2007


As everybody may have noticed by now there has been a strike in the London Underground. The above news stand may indicate that Londoners were not so happy with it. The strike is adding to general complaints about the overall bad shape of the system and of the service provided by private companies. It reminds me of current thoughts to privatize the german railways called Die Bahn. And in fact in view that a train ticket to London costs about 500 Euros which is about five times the price of a plane ticket and the fact that you are not even able to find this price online (not to talk about online booking…), I rather do not want to think what happenes if the Bahn would have several new owners.

Due to the strike we were making trips into the vicinity, which were reachable by bus or just strolled around.


phone simphoney

Monday, September 3rd, 2007


This overcrowded shop window of a stationary caught my attention.


hear and see London data

Sunday, September 2nd, 2007

It seems to be a London week here at randform.
sensity is an audio-visual artwork that lets you hear and see data collected by wireless sensors around in London.

off to Hyde Park

Saturday, September 1st, 2007

Yesterday I felt like going to Hyde Park.