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A Waiheke Island Myth Part 1 On Waiheke Island, New Zealand, a myth has grown up among a handful of people in the Rocky Bay Village th...

Tuesday, 24 September 2019


What on earth were they 'thinking' at Auckland Transport; they don't know where it's AT. What on earth were they 'thinking' when they came up with the new codes for the revamped bus-routes on Waiheke Island, the ones that start on October 13 2019? Whatever it was it had nothing to do with logic or the real world.

In systems-design there is an old, wise acronym: KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid. To that, I like to add KID -- Keep It Direct. And one of my favourite quotations for all aspects of design comes from an American designer, Saul Bass, who said, 'Design is thinking made visible. '

Signs, particularly signs for roads, should convey information concisely and speedily, real information, not worthless garbage.

The new codes designated by AT for the island's revamped bus-routes have been advertised as 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504. There is no logical structure is that, no connection to the real world, and no thinking worthy of the name.

First, is that fiftyA, fifty2, etc., or five-hundred-and-A, five-hundred-and-two, etc.? And why 50 or 500 as prefixes? There are not 50 or 500 variations on the final destinations on the island and therefore not on the routes.

At the moment there are only two final destinations: Onetangi, which has long been Route 1 (very logical: One-tangi), and Rocky Bay, Route 2 (two words, again very logical). The new scheme adds one more final destination: Oneroa--for the new shuttles to and from the two ferries. Therefore, logic and reality and familiarity dictate Route 1 and Route 2, and adding Route 3 for the new shuttles. Route 3 is to have two variations, to Matiatia and Kennedy Point, and thus, logically, it should be 3M and 3K. Onetangi is to have two or three variations, going to The Strand or Waiheke Road and thus in simple logic becomes 1S, 1W, etc.

That is all firmly fixed to logic and the real world. It is eminently simple, it does not clutter bus-signs or timetables, it is easy to communicate to foreign visitors, even in hand-signs. And it keeps what is familiar; it does not throw it away to satisfy some bureaucratic whim.

Codes are not needed in an ideal system, but if they are used they should always be meaningful. Every character should give information, useful information. That 50A, 50B, 502, 503, 504 scheme fails that test. Remove the '50' and no information is lost. But remove any character from 1, 2, 3, 3M, 3K, and  useful information is lost.

And from a distance, with less than good eyesight, 50A and 504 look similar on the front of a bus, as do 50B and 503. All you want to know when you see a bus coming is is it the one I want. That '50-something' nonsensical trash tells you nothing.

1, 1S, 1W, 2, 3M, 3K pass the KISS KID test. AT's damnably silly setup fails it dismally. It is ridiculous, and deserves to be laughed at by everyone on the planet.

In the study of logic a term is used that is also used in mathematics: IFF. IFF is an abbreviation for 'If, if, and only if.' The fundamental dictum in logic is 'IFF the premise is true and the reasoning is true the conclusion must be true.' Or, as it can also be stated, in reverse, 'IFF the premise is false or the reasoning is false the conclusion will always be false, it cannot possibly be true.' All that can be put more simply: 'Unless you start with the truth and proceed by the way of truth you cannot possibly arrive at anything true.' AT has repeatedly proved by what it arrived at that it did not start with the truth or proceed by the way of truth. It ignored the fundamentals of good service. And it did it all on ratepayers' money. It is therefore chronically guilty of fundamentally bad service and public thievery.

Public servants are the salt of the earth. They care about people, they are thoughtful and prudent and behave as good stewards of public time and money. But bureaucrats are none of those things; they are the opposite. Scientific analysis of them, including a study back in the 1990s, shows plainly that they have the same psychological profile as individuals who commit crimes against the person--those who are guilty of the assault, rape, domestic violence, child-abuse and murder. They are thugs, but not with fists and physical weapons. Their assaults on people and the populace deploy their two favourite words: policy and process--either good policy invented by public servants, which the bureaucrats turn to evil, or evil policy that they themselves invented. They seek out positions of power in order to exercise their wicked thuggery. They vindicate themselves by covering their evil with cloaks of fine words, pretty logos and flash offices, etc., but the evil is always there.

In a word, they are insane. Not Section 8, barking-made insane, but psychologically dysfunctional with deep-seated sociopathic tendencies. The proofs of their sociopathy are plain, in the 'thinking' they manifest in their designs and bureaucratic rules, in the careless way they waste public money, and in the fact that they do not strive to do things in the ways that are the least-disruptive, carry the minimum of upset, have the lowest cost, and have the maximum careful attention to the people who will be on receiving end of their actions. A part of their madness is the self-delusion that they are not dysfunctional, a delusion inflated by their vanity.

Bureaucrats are thugs, they are evil, they are mad. AT has a plethora of them.