Walking System

I’ve been attempting to remove myself from a lot of systems lately; partially because I am very low on money, and partially with intention and a recent profound disgust for capitalism. (Blame Trump.) As a way of interacting with the city without buying/selling, I take really long walks in the city and look around and take pictures. I decided to do my homework on the traffic system I take part in as a pedestrian.

The visual attached is a very rough map of where I begin my walks (around Leob Hall). In different sections of the map, I point out the different systems I take part in as I walk. For the sake of clarity, I will write out my notes below that correspond with the numbers on my map.

  1. Pedestrian etiquette: keep to the right, pass on the left
  2. The city maintains/fixes traffic lights, roads, some sidewalks
  3. Crossing guards are hired by the city to direct pedestrians and cars near schools, construction sites, and difficult intersections
  4. The city builds special walkways, like the path by the East River, for pedestrians
  5. The path I walk always follows the grid of the city, I can only walk in public spaces
  6. Trucks will park on the sidewalk and I have to walk into the street
  7. Traffic lights and “walk signs” at each intersection
  8. n/a (I don’t think this one was a system, really?)
  9. Landlords and business owners clean sidewalks and shovel sidewalks

The next part of the assignment confused me, and I thought a lot about how to answer the question. Walking does not have a beginning or end, you know? It isn’t a transaction, nor does it occur in steps… I do not know how to rearrange the systems I encounter on a walk, because they are all happening at the same time. I don’t know if I misunderstand some part of the question. I would like to learn more clearly how to define a system, and how to define the part I am taking in a system.

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