Night cities from the air - Journal of Omnifarious
Jan. 31st, 2004
11:05 pm - Night cities from the air
Clots of light. Scattered glittering jewels. Webs, with fat spiders in their centers. Veins and arteries. Seas and rivers of light, an arcane system of tributaries. The ley lines of technology. A denial of the dark.
What did cities look like from the air before the electric light and cars become common?
If we were to design a system that stored light from the sun during the day, and sent it back out again at night, what would it look like? All energy we harvest (except nuclear, geothermal, and tidal) ultimately come from the sun. So, without that question, the system looks like our current electric power grid. If we asked that question, and followed a design centered around it, would we get the same things?
Evolution goes down certain paths. Systems arise that barely function, and slowly they are knocked into shape, the less efficient variants weeded out. Is it even possible to start over? Can something so large be designed as a single entity, or must it ultimately derive from a process of improvement, the ultimate goal unknown, the process itself largely invisible?