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The fifth dimension

Original post made by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Apr 24, 2009

"You're traveling through another dimension -- a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind." --Rod Serling

THIS WEEK I read one of the most amazing and wondrous sentences I have ever laid eyes upon.

It was spoken by city manager Kevin Duggan, and written down by ==I Voice== reporter Daniel DeBolt, and regards the [Web Link proposed Shoreline hotel], which Duggan endorses.

As part of his endorsement, Duggan stated the following, which at first I believed may be evidence of an [Web Link alternate universe]:

"We would not do it if revenue from doing it would not generate more revenue than not doing it."

I spent a long time mulling over this remarkable sentence. Like a [Web Link Moebius strip], it seems to point to new ways of seeing things, to open up new doors of perception.

But as always, a little mathematical rigor can sweep away those cobwebs. Consider the following: We have the revenue from doing it (A), and the revenue from not doing it (B), and this says that if B is larger than A then we would not do it.

Now let's turn the sentence inside-out mathematically, to see if the inverse is true (or is it the [Web Link converse]? I always mix those up):

"We would do it if revenue from not doing it would generate less revenue than doing it."

In this case, if B is smaller than A, then we would do it. So the inverse holds true, and we are grounded mathematically. Duggan's statement makes sense.

It remains to be seen whether I'm very well-grounded satirically. But Duggan is a good sport, and knows this whole silly exercise was all in fun.

Comments (4)

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Posted by reader
a resident of Monta Loma
on Apr 24, 2009 at 2:38 pm

1. At what point does limiting traffic become more important than raising revenue?

2. Why aren't Voice reporters asking our officials question 1?

We can't grow forever and we've been bumping up against real limits for the past decade. Where are the officials who want to plan for sustainability and conservation of the precious little open space which remains?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by mv geek
a resident of Shoreline West
on Apr 26, 2009 at 7:20 pm

At some point the congestion penalty outweighs the amount of revenue generated from new developments. While I agree wholeheartedly that it is a vital mission of local media to ask politicians and officials where that point is, in contrast to one of the comments I've seen in these forums, I do not believe that newspaper ad revenue is immune from losses due to community congestion, because they directly involve property values and the crime rate.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Light-rail Extension?
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2009 at 10:25 pm

The City should start planning for a light rail extension down Evelyn and up Shoreline Boulevard. Connecting Caltrain/Downtown with the North Bayshore via transit, especially if this hotel is built and Google expands, should be a long-term priority for easing congestion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by eric
a resident of another community
on Apr 27, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Yes, we all like watching those shiny, EMPTY light rail cars whizzing about


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