Monday, March 2, 2009

geo-what? pseudonym explained

My pseudonym, GeoEntelechy, has its roots in Greek metaphysics.

Aristotle's "entelechy" is a wonderfully concise term meaning that the purpose lies within. It neatly wraps up his concept of the ultimate goal as a pulling force inherent inside a person, thing, society, ... On an individual level, it resonates with self-actualization (Maslow's hierarchy of needs), finding yourself, and living up to your potential.

I prefix entelechy with "geo" to focus on the purpose of place. Built (and natural) environments constrain how place may be used. Categorizing places into an urban ontology relies as much on function as form. For example, an office building and an apartment building primarily differ in their use. A highway is not fully a highway except when in use.

GeoEntelechy reminds me:
1) Where constrains the domains of who, what, when, why, and how.
2) Place changes over time, and there is value in guiding these changes.


jniles said...

You: "A highway is not fully a highway except when in use."

Good. And better, a highway with a dense vehicle flow moving at the optimum speed for maximizing throughput (around 45 mph for expressways, less than the legal limit), with a nice mix of buses, vanpools, carpools, trucks to optimize the movement of people and things.

More and more electronic warning signs and computerized vehicle control (automated brakes, lane keeping) will in the future avert many accidents that disrupt the optimum flow.

Valerie Yakich said...

You have a great perspective. The vision is there. Now, we need an incentive structure that encourages that vision.

Safety alone justifies the vehicle controls you mention.

Warning signs may be as good as possible for existing vehicles, but as technology infiltrates the vehicle, two-way connectivity and vehicle network communication may allow more personalized and even statistically varied/optimized messages per vehicle.