OK, fair enough:
Crawford, a research fellow in culture at the University of Virginia – and a man who is currently “restoring and radically modifying” a 1975 VW Beetle using his principle of “folk engineering” – would beg to differ. He makes the case that “technocrats and optimisers seek to make everything idiot-proof, and pursue this by treating us like idiots. It is a presumption that tends to be self-fulfilling; we really do feel ourselves becoming dumber. Against such a backdrop, to drive is to exercise one’s skill at being free, and I suspect that is why we love to drive.”
This is not only a petrolhead’s complaint against rule-making officialdom (though Crawford reserves a special place in hell for the bureaucratic scalpers who install traffic cameras); it is also a vivid and heartfelt manifesto against the drift of our world, against the loss of individual agency and the human pleasure of acquired skill and calculated risk. It asks its readers to beware tech billionaires bearing algorithms.
That does rather fuck over the case for public transport, doesn’t it?