Letting the robots win. - Sharkey's Machine
Sharkey's MACHINE

Letting the robots win.
Or, "Why you should always challenge parking tickets."

Letting the robots win.
Or, "Why you should always challenge parking tickets."

Parking restrictions exist for many reasons; To keep the streets free flowing, to allow people to arrest their vehicle somewhere within 5-10 miles of their lodgings, to ensure access for the emergency services, etc. Also, though, it's a nice little earner for the council.

I have no problem with this. It's you lot what is doing it wrong.

You are, of course, morally obliged to challenge parking tickets regardless of circumstance. That is your role. I do feel we're letting the side down a bit in this regard. It's a question of getting your money's worth, because when they're pitching it as "Limited time offer! Buy now, no questions asked, get it at half price!" then you know you're in a retail transaction rather than one in which they are genuinely seeking financial compensation for the world-ending havoc you've caused by being in a resident-only bay.

If you pay up, the automatic payment gateway accepts both your guilt and your money. The robots win. Society falls.

If you challenge, they have to employ someone to read that challenge, thus creating local jobs and stimulating the economy. If you take the time to write the full max. 5,000 character narrative of your encounter, explaining the tragedy of the busy signal on the payment line, the incompatibility of the RingGo application with any modern communication device, the statistical improbability of having the correct change in a near cashless society and, finally, the unfathomable depth of your contrition that the preceding circumstances rendered you unable to service your financial obligations in relation to Bay 23... well, then they'll require more time and resource to fully address your challenge. Which is even more jobs, and perhaps the chance to make a genuine human connection.

If you remember to upload as many pictures as possible, at maximum resolution, whether they're related or not then they'll have to make further investment in IT infrastructure, storage, etc, further stimulating the national and global economy. A billion 3Mb close-ups of the rear left tyre (3 millimetres from the yellow painted line!) will soon rack up the drive space. Cat photos are also acceptable. Even the people in the parking department enjoy a good cat GIF.

And it goes on. The more of these challenges go to court, the more clerical and legal resources will be required, which is even more jobs, more investment. The meetings they'll have about the cost-effectiveness of the whole scheme - more resource. The "oh woes, the cash has all gone, send out more parking enforcement officers" - more resource. You get the idea.

So, are you the kind of monster who wants to see society fall? Nope. High unemployment? Nope. You've been given an opportunity. Worst case scenario, you get an extra couple of weeks to pay the cheap version of the fine. Best case scenario? You're fifty quid richer and you've saved the fucking world.

Posted Monday, February 5, 2018.


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Neil Sharkey is a professional nerd, unprofessional musician, lover of weird new music, card-carrying lefty, pizza addict, reformed runner, former vice-president of the Democratic People's Republic of Albion and part-time liar.

 

Neil Sharkey is a professional nerd, unprofessional musician, lover of weird new music, card-carrying lefty, pizza addict, reformed runner, former vice-president of the Democratic People's Republic of Albion and part-time liar.

 

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