Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So Inclined

A highway is simply a tool. It is a series of inclined plans designed to leverage the internal combustion engine of your car to avoid having to react to the vagaries of the land. Guardrails are signs of the creation of one of these inclined planes. Go to the top of a guardrail and walk down the hill and turn around so that your eyes are even with the pavement. Your body makes the vertical side of a right triangle from your feet and head to the beginning of the slope. The inclined plane leverages distance to alleviate the effort of driving straight up the hill.

In the middle of your thoughts about geometry and physics have you also thought about the fact that you are not supposed to be there? Highways are the exclusive purview of cars. The highway experience is not supposed to include examining the infrastructure, but here you are. Disconnected once again.

Note: In the diagram above, the bottom leg of the triangle is actually straight. It's reality that is bendable. 


  1. Guardrails are also indications that the creator of the tool (the highway) understands that there are risks inherent in the use of that particular tool.