This is making the rounds of the rightosphere. Commenting on academic stupidity is kinda my thing, so per union regulation 23.2.5(b), here goes: Once again we see that Leftism is, at bottom, one big category error:
Students will investigate spatial justice and injustice in the multi-ethnic city through the lens of three thematic technologies that have literally built and transformed LA into a global metropolis: cars and highways; networking technologies culminating in the Internet and World Wide Web; and film and broadcast media.
Pop quiz, hotshots: What are cars and highways for? What is their purpose?
Never having had them, the Left has no idea that the answer is: “jobs.” One has a car, and uses a freeway, to get to one’s job. Cars and freeways aren’t “symbols” that “encode” anything (the meaning behind the even uglier neologism “thematic technologies”); they’re tools. A car can also be a symbol of something, of course — cf. Midlife Crisis Guy in his new Corvette — but its fundamental purpose, the category to which it belongs, is “tool.” Cars — all transportation and transportation infrastructure — are a means to an end.
Lefties don’t know this, because they don’t read. If they did, they’d know that this kind of thing has already been covered, extensively, and that focusing on the symbolic aspects of infrastructure is a great way to make a city unliveable. There’s even a big fancy academic study about it: James C. Scott’s Seeing like a State. The subtitle says it all: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. It goes without saying that Scott is no kind of conservative, but he is an honest man, who saw the nose in front of his face. His descriptions of cities like Brasilia, Brasil, which were designed on the principles of Le Corbusier — houses are “machines for living” — are alone worth the price of a used copy. It’s actually a good read, and widely available. Check it out.