Contra Mozilla

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Maybe Gene Wolfe's "Traffic Jam" Stories Aren't So Farfetched

Gene Wolfe wrote a couple (at least) of short stories which have as their premise that at some point, there is a traffic jam so bad that those who were caught in it form their own society, and those who were not in it form theirs. The society of the Traffic Jam is similar to depictions of post-apocalyptic stories (poor, nomadic, uses whatever cast off technology and supplies they can get their hand on, etc). The rest of society is called the "Off-Roaders", and is about like society today. It's a funny concept (and works about right for two short stories), but I always thought it was a bit far-fetched.

Apparently, it may not be, though he got the country wrong. In China, there is now a 100 km traffic jam which has so far lasted 9 days and which is expected to last for weeks. Eh, it may not be the years in the short story, but that's pretty awful. This is why I hate cities, but I suppose none of our cities have traffic quite this bad.

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