For the past few years, I have been making a concerted effort to not have a google footprint for my given name. Yes, there was a deliberate plan. There always is. Never, ever think that this is just an act. Everything happens for a reason. Now, this may seem odd to some. What, am I scared of identity theft? Stalkers? Mad tall, posh chicks in excellent frocks and elongated as[0]?

Public transport is not the answer. We need less buses on the road, not more. Why can’t anyone see this? It goes like this:

There have been rumblings, round and about me, about old, odd and obscure personal information pertaining to those round and about me, being found on the intertubes. What happens if $employer (or $prospective_employer) finds this, and we get turned down at interview stage because we are a raving nutter? (Presumably before the prospective employer turns into an actual employer, and finds out very quickly.) Unlucky, people. My name won’t appear in that way.

Get rid of bus lanes. Or not get rid per se, rather, allow all traffic to use them. Have you ever sat in a jam at traffic lights, (I can give numerous spots in Cambridge-Town that won’t mean anything to non-Cambridge-Town-Platonists unless they google-mapped for them, and that seems a bit excessive) with nothing in the bus lane to your left? And nothing appears within the next ten minutes? How good use is that of our road systems? Falling under the weight of use of cars? Only because you have constricted the flow.

My friends can find me. They know how. I don’t actually hide my real name here, I am bound to have used it many times on my weblog over the years. But I don’t use it. And now you will find hardly anything on me via google, and that which you do, is old. Does this matter? Not really, but it does mean I can say what I want here without having to justify it to anyone, employer or otherwise. I don’t (and really never have done) mention where I work, although I may rework stories and conversations herein. Sure, there are mentions of places past, but never of present.

Consider one of the complaints about buses. They don’t come often enough, the stops are not handy, yadayadayada. Well, the Citi7 goes from the bottom of our lane, and stops opposite the offices of NewNewWork. And it runs every ten minutes. Consider that. Every. Ten. Minutes. Circling from (at least) Pampisford (every other one goes out as far as Saffron Walden) to Cottenham. That is a big route, with some number of buses (hey). All belching out diesel fumes, from 7am until 11pm.

I don’t mention work for fear of recriminations, as I will say what I want here. No, it is more, well, sensible, really, isn’t it? Of course I believe in freedom of speech. But spouting off on something without taking it up with the parties involved is just, well, dumb, isn’t it? If something irked me in work, I would tell them. I may write about my experiences of what happened in the abstract here, but given my, erm, for wont of a better word, prose, only those directly involved might get it.

Back-of-envelope calculation: Buses doing 15 miles (they will do way more, but stick with that.) Bus every ten minutes, round trip takes about an hour and a half. So let us say nine journeys per bus per day. 135 miles then. At six buses an hour, each doing those nine journeys, gives us 810 miles a day. Or let me call is 1300km, as that is a bigger number, and likely to get bigger, not smaller. Buses spew out 80g of carbon dioxide per kilometre. Which gives just over a tenth of a tonne of CO2 per day. On one route. Around a small fenland market town.

But now I am at the point where most people know me by my original pseudonym, or its current derived format. Of course, what happens them is people I know tangentially don’t get this, so when I friend them on facebook (oh, the horror!), they wonder who the red-haired-Ray-Bann-ed dude is.

I mean, wouldn’t it be great if you have access to transport that is cheaper than the public methods, went from your house to you destination, used less fuel than the buses and polluted less (for all you green mentalists)? Some device that you could own yourself and use whenever you needed to? Getting more people on to two wheels would help, if help is what is needed. Less footprint on the road, so saves bills on repairs. Less congestion, too. But I amn’t advocating that. Mostly I am advocating the lowering of the number of buses on the road.

Does it really matter? That no one can search for my name and find anything about me? Sure it does. It matters lots. Lots and lots.

Why less buses? Why do you need them so frequently? Would it hurt you to plan your day so that an hourly bus isn’t out of the question? And given the bus lanes would just be lanes, there wouldn’t be any hold up. People are always in a rush to get places. If they are, then they should go by taxi or car. Not expect public transport to be at their beck and call. There should be transport available for the public to use, I just don’t see why it has to be so frequent, or indeed why it has to have its own road network.

Catch me if you can. The next stage of my plan starts now.

[0]It seems I don’t elongate them, thusly marking me out as a furriner in this here flatland.

    • sigh *

    The process of removing the marks of my personality from public view has already begun.

    Once is unlucky, twice is stupid.

    Tue 28 Aug, 7:42PM

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