If we’re lucky in the Opinion section, we work through our beliefs completely and support them with great arguments. But sometimes, we don’t need a deeper reason to hold our convictions. Rapid Fire is for those tweet-length takes that can be explained in just a sentence or two — no more justification needed.
In this rapid fire, writers discuss which old technology we’d like to see brought back.
Harrison Raskin, Opinion Editor: Streetcars. The United States used to have one of the most sophisticated, advanced public transportation networks in the world with trams running all around major metropolitan areas and out to suburbs. Even though tram technology is better today, we’ve switched to cars which are far more costly, dangerous and slower.
Ryan Westervelt: Zeppelins should make a comeback. Also known as blimps, they have been found to have a significantly lower carbon footprint on average than planes and boats. They are also a lot faster than most people realize, with a good number of them greatly outspeeding modern ships. With modern technology and safety regulations, they could be brought back with riding one having no higher risk than flying on a plane.
Carson Swick, Weekly Columnist: The ingenious “park car” of the 1930s should make a comeback. This contraption included a spare tire in the trunk, which could be lowered and rotated to allow a car to effortlessly parallel park in the smallest of spaces. If it returned, more people would feel comfortable enough to drive themselves to downtown areas and enjoy all the amenities they have to offer!
Owen Silverman: Penny-farthing – you know, those bicycles with the huge front tires. Despite the endless list of hazards these bad boys will subject you to, the sheer hilarity of seeing people ride these down the street, or to their morning classes, would spark so much joy. Plus, their abhorrent two-to-one gear ratio makes for a great workout.
Riya Venkat: I say ‘80s touch-tone telephones deserve a spot in every teenager’s bedroom! We’ve lost the art of conversation to smartphones, and the ease with which we can communicate with someone from anywhere, at any time. The unmatched joy of knowing your friend took the time to intentionally sit down in one spot to dial your number (whether it’s memorized or written down) and talk to you, is what this acronym-plagued and instantly gratified generation needs!
Anika Veeraraghav, Associate Opinion Editor: I wish quills and ink pots could come back. I remember my high school journalism teacher gave us each these ballpoint quill pens and they were super fun to write with; the tip was very fine and the ink was of good quality, too. The real deal would be similar with an even better aesthetic.