Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Gas Crisis: Solved!

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Soon it will be hard to even get gas, so it behooves us all to put on our thinking caps, and realize that the world's about to get a lot cozier.

To wit: everybody loves the time alone while driving, and that, probably more than anything else, drives the one person/one car mentality. Unfortunately, it is a luxury (yes I know it's a necessity) that will probably die, except for those in hyper-efficient vehicles. It does give you time to think and listen to music and call friends.

The scarcity and cost of gasoline will soon demand the development of an on-line, real-time cross between EBay and the sex offenders registry.

As cel phones are now pretty ubiquitous, and the computer technology can handle it, it's time for, TAh DAh, "HomeLand AutoBay People-to-People Yes," or "HAPPY" for short. Each driver and would-be hitchhiker needs to be entered into the database. The data could include a security rating for each, personal characteristics like "loner," "gregarious," "golf fanatic," "non-smoker," "right wing," etc. Insurance companies could get in on the act and offer special policies in the event anything untoward happens.

A potential hitchhiker would dial into the database and indicate where he wants to go. Most phones already know where he is. Drivers could see or hear a running commentary about the hikers they are approaching who want to go to approximately the same destination as the driver, or at least to a point along the driver's route. The hiker could offer an amount to get to a given location, which would be paid when the GPS's on both the car and the hitchhiker's phone reached the destination, from PayPal or equivalent. Or, the government might offer a tax break to both individuals participating, based on milage.

It is unlikely that anything untoward would happen, as long as both follow the prime directive: "Shut Up!"

Each person could still be coocooned in their own little world, if need be, via all of our electronic gadgetry. However, I think that it might lead to a new bubble in the melting pot we call culture.

This was posted for the first time ever at www.farstars.blogspot.com. It is sponsered by "The Rolling GradeBook," an outstanding Excel template designed to make teachers' lives easier. See it at www.swland.org

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