Privilege Blog

Go Flickr! Go Smart!, Or, Saturday Mornings at 10:32am

I take few absolute moral stands. Issues get complicated three sentences into a conversation. There’s almost always a second valuable perspective to include.

Even a third.

But I do believe that we ought to watch our carbon footprints, and that women should be able to do whatever work they can manage. Hence the photo above.

  1. It’s a Smart car.
  2. It’s from Flickr.

SmartCars intrigue me. If they are safe – prime imperative – then how lovely to be able to scoot around taking up so little space, and adding so little CO2 to the atmosphere. They will soon be available in an electric drive, adding quiet to their glories.

The basic Mercedes model costs ~$12,000. The Scion version, faring better in the tech reviews, comes in at $16,000. Intriguing.

Flickr enthuses me. I don’t much like how Google takes over your Internet experience. I don’t like how they manage logins, and how they appear to know EVERYTHING. And besides, as a software product person, I find myself exclaiming over and over again how much I prefer the Yahoo email interface to Gmail. I figured out neither Gmail’s odd little list of contacts, nor the black cartoon talk icon in Chat.

While I have nothing against Facebook except its ugliness, I find their recent acquisition of Instagram depressing, and assume it will lead to another wave of 20-year olds who assume instant wealth is theirs for the taking. The resultant bad behavior gets in the way of actual work.

Besides, Marissa! Turn-arounds! Spunky companies refusing to go under in the face of a virtual monopoly! All the makings of a classic American story. Go Flickr!

Know what I mean?

These are very small choices I point to here, only cars and mobile phone photo apps with filters. But if you aren’t the sort for large moral crusades, haven’t dedicated yourself to a cause, and don’t follow religious tenets that lead to certainty of virtue, the small things matter all the more. Teeny tiny intentions.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Photo via Diorama Sky on Flickr

39 Responses

  1. The car looks adorable. I feel very virtuous having purchased one of the first Prius’s. Google plus completely baffles me, and I’ve never really figured out Google mail even though I have an account. It just sits there and does something.

    Instagram, I was already to work on it when…boom Facebook reared it head into it.

  2. These look enormously fun for the city, and practical. (Think where you can park!) I’m with you on Facebook and Instagram, primarily because I resent FB’s privacy stance, or lack thereof & fear they’ll destroy a solid product and experience. There seems to be a growing duplicity with Facebook that is more than troubling.

    May your weekend be much nicer than my Crankenstein comment!

  3. It’s always a thrill to see a Smart Car — makes me happy every time! Put me on the cranky bench, too. I totally don’t get Instagram (my friend was just talking about her daughter’s standard duck-lipped Instagram pose — a requirement for middle school girls. Ick.). It all seems so show-offy and narcissistic to me. And don’t even get me started on Google+. Confusing and invasive.

    Off to go cane shopping…

  4. I purposely haven’t familiarized myself with Flikr, Instagram, or Twitter. I was intrigued with Pinterest, but not interested in photos that don’t link to anything other than Tumblr, another thing I know nothing about. I feel like I already do too much internet stuff, as it is. I don’t care about the privacy issue of Facebook as I would never post anything that was private anyway, or photos that I didn’t feel anyone could see. I’m happy enough with Gmail. Don’t care about added features (although I do know how to use the chat) because on both FB and Gmail, I “hide” that I’m on so I don’t get any instant messages.
    For me it’s caring about certain boundaries and protecting those.
    I think the Smart Car is great – so adorable, but I don’t think I’d feel safe in one – have no idea about their safety rating, but the size would scare me.

  5. Before the Smart car was launched in the 1990’s, we had one of the test models to drive in Paris. It was an amazing car, both for busy city streets and for small country roads. But, I wouldn’t want to drive one now on a California freeway.
    While I would never say anything negative about Google…because they would find me…and punish me, I do think that their monopolistic know all position is only a teeny tiny step away from Big Brother watching our every move on the web.
    But then again, so does Netflix.

    1. As does Amazon – tired of getting emails recommending books for me based on their analysis of my other purchases. Creepy.

  6. I’ve also been looking at the Smart and iQ in the last few weeks in the interests of finding a fuel efficient vehicle. I rented a Chevy Spark a few weeks ago and it wasn’t bad for around and across town – got 32+ mpg, had five doors and a decent back seat. But this beats all for efficiency.

    I’m also getting much more selective about my internet use. It is just consuming too much time.

  7. I love Flickr and use it a lot, because I participate in photography courses and photo challenges and it’s the main forum for photographers. I very much prefer yahoo mail to gmail because I can use folders, I prefer Facebook to Google + and I would have a smart car if it had space for car seats. Those are my preferences, not my causes, but I do believe, as you do, that small decisions, small choices on who we support with our time/money do matter.

  8. I really liked the idea of a Smart Car until I found out that the gas mileage of the ones sold in the US were worse than my Prius. Only about a 38mpg on highway. That is pitiful. European models have about a 54-60 mpg. The ones sold in the USA do not. Very strange.

    1. I believe the European Smart cars are diesel. The diesel engine has come a long way, they are clean and get excellent mileage. It’s unfortunate that more of the teeny tiny turbo diesels are not available in the US.

  9. I don’t think the matter of a car is a “very small choice” and actually lost a friend when she bought a second SUV. There was not a confrontation but just a realization that her values and mine were increasingly incompatible.

  10. How sad you dumped a friend over her choice of cars. Obviously you have no room in your life for diversity, real diversity of thought. Friends and families trump politics dear and at the end of your life you’ll wish you had more friends. Yikes, you’re making me want to buy another SUV.

    1. The comment ratings just came along with a mandatory upgrade. I had already asked my brother in law to remove them.

  11. I use FB and gave up my pinterest account when I realized how many hours I was sitting! Love that smart car idea but don’t think I could ever give up my Volvo…it’s my 3rd wagon and they are reliable and safe and can tote just about anything saving the need for delivery charges.
    I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.
    It’s icy and cold here up north.

  12. Hi Lisa!

    The new green-socialist coalition in Vienna supports car-sharing. The major company provides: the smart. Also because sales-numbers are not as expected. Those blue-white-cars (great CI) moving in the streets thanks to car sharing are like moving advertisments. We see them all the time. My sister loves to hop on/off those cars for short distance.
    People use those shared cars because they would never buy a smart but love to drive it from time to time.
    I stay with public transportation and my bycicle for short distances within the city lets say up to 5 -7 km – that’s the distance where bicycles and public transportation have many advantages.

    What made you install the ratings for comments?
    Those ratings exist in many forums, but it is always the comments that can be rated, never the posting/article. This is strange, no?

    To me rating other people’s opinions is un-WASPy, it somehow lacks class in my opinion. Cheap entertainmant :-(

    Curious to read what you have to say.


    1. See above. I don’t like them at all. But let’s not say whether they are WASPy or whatever. Trust me, they weren’t my idea. Let’s all give eachother the benefit of the doubt, yes?

  13. Smart cars are a familiar sight in London,anywhere with hills they find it hard to climb…..out in the rural Shires 4×4 are the cars of choice.Ida

  14. I try to ride my scooter as much as possible and am quite adept in loading it up with all manner of shopping and errand items. Sadly, that all comes to a halt in the winter.

    My dream car is a Fiat 500 ~sigh~ I’m sure Google already knew that.

  15. The car is adorable, but like others, I would worry about safety. As for Flickr, I don’t know enough about it to comment, but I do hate the general invasion of privacy going on in the world of social networking.

  16. As many have pointed out before me, the Smart Car in the US doesn’t get good gas mileage at all and doesn’t do much to help reduce the carbon footprint. They are cute and extremely efficient for city parking.

    My husband just traded in his first gen Insight. Now that was a car that was fuel efficient — I could regularly get 60 mpgs and husband could get 70. I felt like I was in a death trap when I road or drove in it though. We’ve traded it in for a Prius, which I feel very safe in. It doesn’t do quite as good as the Insight, but much, more better than the Smart Car.

  17. I have been riding my bike 4-6 miles per day around town since Thanksgiving a year ago. When I want to travel further, I use public transportation or rent the most fuel efficient vehicle I can. I will own a car again eventually. I even bike in 25 degree weather.
    I just tell myself, people go skiing and ice skating, what is the difference? I dress appropriately for the weather, and after riding the bike for a few minutes, I feel really toasty! That doesn’t work for a scooter, though. Hehe!

    1. Mary G, I took up biking around the same time you did. I love it and I hope someday to move somewhere where I can give up my car. Alas, it’s not very realistic in Southern California. I’m not as intrepid as you with the 25 degree weather but I have ridden in as low as 33 degree weather.

  18. I’m still upset the Suzuki is pulling out of the US car market… I love my SX4 crossover. It’s cheap, has excellent safety features, and is a good size for my family of 3.

    A smart car wouldn’t work for me because I am the only driver in my household, and I need the backseat to put the kid in. It seems like a great city commuter car, though.

  19. I have had a Smart car for just over a year – drive it everywhere, city and highway. I get 40-24mpg consistently and have no problems at all going up hills or 65mph on the highway and have never felt unsafe. It’s basically a rollcage with windows and airbags. Lots of fun to drive also. I can fit two weeks worth of groceries in the back or all my supplies for a quilt retreat weekend. Love it.

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