Playing God can be intoxicating. Alas, men playing God is like women playing at being men. The parts that God/men are appreciated for, are not what God/men need to actually do. Women create a nanny state that gives them lots of loot with no need to respect or trust a man. Similarly, men envisage a world in which they are celebrated for altering reality on a whim. If we only had the power of God then we wouldn’t need to be the servants of the unsexy Dirt People who actually work the dirt! Those damned end users! Those employees with their incessant whining about working conditions! In the city of MY dreams, there shall be no such things!
City planning is a good case study for this behavior. Good city planning predicts the needs of its members and works to provide them… sometimes inconveniencing those members with service interruptions and zoning ordinances but ultimately, the purpose of city planning is to create a place where the members want to live. Even if the resulting city is… perhaps… not to the tastes of city planners themselves.
Bad city planning is centralized city planning. When an overpowered mediocrity decides he knows what’s best, makes a perfect system for his imagined future peasants, er, migrants, that is, the Beautiful People that should populate his city instead of the malcontents that currently do, and then hates the world for inevitably failing him. For example, when the city tore up a major street near my home, they helpfully narrowed it to put in double bicycle lanes down the median with ugly brutalist guard rails and slowed the traffic light cycles by adding additional time segments for bicyclists and buses. Because fossil fuels hurt Gaia! and exercise is good for you! and you can’t be too careful when playing in traffic!
Nobody uses it, especially bicyclists like me who use the same old parallel alley to bypass a dozen traffic lights.
This is somehow my fault.
On that note, our feature presentation.
Billionaire wants to build woke ‘equitable’ utopia in the American desert
By Phil Shivers, 8 September 2021
Billionaire Marc Lore unveiled plans last week to build a woke utopian city from scratch somewhere in the American desert.
The former Walmart executive and e-commerce tycoon told Bloomberg the new city — called Telosa, after the ancient Greek word, telos, meaning “highest purpose” — will aim to solve the growing wealth gap in America, which he says is the country’s biggest challenge.
“Most civilizations in history at some point fall, right?” he asked. “This is going to bring down America.”
That’s right, folks. A four-billionaire Chinamart executive and NYC bankster just bragged to you that America’s growing wealth gap will doom it. He’s talking about himself and his ambitions, of course, because the greatest thrill is getting away with committing evil in broad daylight.
But before it does, Lore is determined to try out his version of a solution: a 150,000-acre modern metropolis with eco-friendly architecture, sustainable energy production, and a drought-resistant water system.
This new project might have something to do with New Zealand no longer allowing foreigners into the country. Not even to visit the underground bunkers that Elites such as Lore have been building there for years. It might also be a simple scam; with this crowd, you can’t ever rule that out; it will probably end up a scam regardless. But let’s take this at face value and enjoy the spectacle of how NOT TO DO CITY PLANNING. How not to play God.
Jew-face with a strong chin. As lovely as his concept art of paradise. And just to be clear about that, transparent skyscrapers shaped like wine glasses is not a good look. Does he love little kids as much as the Talmud? *checks* YES, in fact, before his time at Walmart Lore was cofounder of Diapers.com… sold to Amazon in 2011 for $545 million.
“The mission of Telosa is to create a more equitable, sustainable future. That’s our North Star,” Lore said in a promotional video, according to CNN, describing his proposal as “the most open, the most fair, and the most inclusive city in the world.”
This is exactly how NOT to do city planning. “I will make this city into a monument to my personal beliefs!” build build build “Now come here and like it, you peasants! Everything is set up just the way *I* like it!”
Thank you, God, for having more compassion upon Your creation than that.
Planners are reportedly considering areas in Nevada…
Too cheap. You need some costs in order to drive the price up, otherwise the scam ain’t worth the effort.
Most likely, now that Lore and his cronies have turned the Sawtooth Mountains into Davos West.
Too pro-Israel, probably, but it also has lots of Chinamart warehouses and a plentiful, exploitable source of “Nuevo Americanos”. We can’t have white people in an inclusive society, now can we?
A good choice for building a military base disguised as an arcology. I hear China already has an airfield there so resupply will be no trouble.
…and the Appalachian region as potential sites for the city.
That last was thrown in because he hates the idea of bitter military veterans forming their own community, but in the fetid depths of his heart, he knows not to put a 230-square-mile target on their doorstep for the easy venting of all their frustrations.
According to Lore, the proposal is based on ideas espoused by American economist and social theorist Henry George. In his 1879 book, “Progress and Poverty,” George essentially argues that private land ownership is to blame for rising inequality.
That’s a curious choice of inspiration for a plutocrat building a private city.
One day in 1871 George went for a horseback ride and stopped to rest while overlooking San Francisco Bay. He later wrote of the revelation that he had:
“I asked a passing teamster, for want of something better to say, what land was worth there. He pointed to some cows grazing so far off that they looked like mice, and said, “I don’t know exactly, but there is a man over there who will sell some land for a thousand dollars an acre.” Like a flash it came over me that there was the reason of advancing poverty with advancing wealth. With the growth of population, land grows in value, and the men who work it must pay more for the privilege.“
What an interesting idea in the context of a kerjillionaire wanting to build a private city in Nowhere Land.
Furthermore, on a visit to New York City, he was struck by the apparent paradox that the poor in that long-established city were much worse off than the poor in less developed California. These observations supplied the theme and title for his 1879 book Progress and Poverty, which was a great success, selling over three million copies. In it George made the argument that a sizeable portion of the wealth created by social and technological advances in a free market economy is possessed by land owners and monopolists via economic rents, and that this concentration of unearned wealth is the main cause of poverty. George considered it a great injustice that private profit was being earned from restricting access to natural resources while productive activity was burdened with heavy taxes, and indicated that such a system was equivalent to slavery—a concept somewhat similar to wage slavery. This is also the work in which he made the case for a land value tax in which governments would tax the value of the land itself, thus preventing private interests from profiting upon its mere possession, but allowing the value of all improvements made to that land to remain with investors.
Bloody Hell! Lore was inspired to BECOME THE VILLAIN of Henry George’s writings! He proposes this city in order to profit in exactly the way George complained about!
Again, the greatest thrill is doing evil in broad daylight.
Along those lines, Lore claims that the current system of capitalism has “significant flaws,” many of them due to “the land ownership model that America was built on.”
“While the current economic system is a growth engine, it has led to increasing inequality,” the project’s website explains. Instead, it touts a new economic vision called “equitism” as a way to build “inclusive growth.”
“If you went into the desert where the land was worth nothing, or very little, and you created a foundation that owned the land, and people moved there and tax dollars built infrastructure and we built one of the greatest cities in the world, the foundation could be worth a trillion dollars,” Lore told Bloomberg.
Socialize the risk, privatize the profit. The oldest con in New York City. “Don’t worry, old George, I’m using YOUR money instead of mine! Just like you demanded!”
“And if the foundation’s mission was to take the appreciation of the land and give it back to the citizens in the form of medicine, education, affordable housing, social services: Wow, that’s it!” he added.
What, no culture? When you think about it, even livestock get medicine, education, affordable housing and social services. But meanwhile, they’re kept in pens, drugged and controlled until they become worth more dead than alive.
That’s no way to treat a human. That’s also my objection to STEM thinking. Art, music and architecture may not pay many bills but they’re essential to being human.
And circling back to city planning, this is the Concrete Jungle problem. You supply all the people’s material needs but neglect their spiritual needs because the value of a park can’t be quantified on a spreadsheet. A bankster who made a fortune off reducing retail to the international lowest common denominator does not know much about being human.
Bloomberg reported that the initial phase of the project would be built to accommodate 50,000 residents across roughly 1,500 acres by 2030 at a cost of $25 billion. But over 40 years, the city would eventually grow to house 5 million people across 150,000 acres at a cost of $400 billion.
An initial cost of five million dollars per person? To be housed in tenement-style projects on land chosen for its literal worthlessness? And what jobs would these people be working, in this middle of nowhere, to provide any kind of return on investment?
It’s very rare for a city to be created out of nothing. Las Vegas is the only such success that comes to mind and that was gambling and money laundering. It still wouldn’t be a place without that dam. If Lore really wanted to build a new city in the middle of nowhere then he’d create a power plant and water supply and let the inevitable happen.
Lore, who is reportedly worth $4 billion, hired Copenhagen-based architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group to design the city.
Because there’s not one American architectural firm that could do the job? Or because Lore is rootless jet-set and giving a friend the business?
He’s worth $4b… his dream’s initial cost is $25b… it was always gonna be his dream at somebody else’s expense.
Renderings of Telosa displayed on the proposal’s website show pedestrians leisurely strolling in a futuristic city surrounded by greenery, with air taxi systems for transportation.
That is the least likely of all possible futures. Why would you have an air taxi system when the city can be preplanned for cheap, reliable, ground-based logistics? And you cannot sustainably create greenery in a desert. That’s why it’s a desert. They did it in places such as Scottsdale, Arizona, such beautiful golf courses, and guess what, spiking water usage created drought conditions. New water sources can be created but not always at a pace that meets demand and rarely in ways that an environmentalist would describe as “sustainable”.
In its writeup, Bloomberg notes that Lore is not the first ambitious entrepreneur to envision building a city from scratch, and he likely won’t be the last.
Sarah Moser, an associate professor of geography at Montreal’s McGill University who studies planned cities, told the outlet that she has identified at least 150 city-building projects backed by either governments or private groups. None of them have hit their population targets, she said.
None of them were intended to, not really. Detroit is a success by the reckoning of its government. Sodom Francisco is beautiful in the eyes of its creators. The people disagreed and were made unwelcome in their own homes, and so left to find new homes where city planners allow for their comfort and belonging instead of sky drones policing warehouses of human labor or choirs singing the praises of child molestation.
REAL cities have people. FAKE cities have ambitions.
Lore’s dream city is stillborn… strangled by the very wickedness that made its designer into a demigod.