Friday, April 27, 2012

Journey to the Center of Los Angeles

Today,  I participated in democracy and actually showed up for jury duty. I want to maintain the USA's "inclusive institutions".    That said, I must admit that I was a pinch nervous when the jury pool was told that 25 names would be named at random to serve on a 16 day trial.  Jurors are paid $15 per day. At that wage (not including transportation costs --- I don't drive),  I would still prefer to teach my UCLA class and get some research done. If the LA Courts paid $17 a day,  I would be just indifferent.

After we were discharged early, I chose to have an adventure.  I live 12 miles West of the city courthouse.  As a leading thinker (self proclaimed) about urban public transit, I thought that it was time for me to take my first ride on a Los Angeles subway.  I paid $1.5 for my ticket knowing that the subway would end 7 miles from my Westwood home.

Here is a picture taken at 1230pm Friday on the westbound subway line.

Do you see many humans waiting for the train with me?  Once I was dropped off at the Wilshire and Western stop in Koreatown. I started to walk west.  I saw many beautiful 5,000 square foot homes just north of Wilshire in Hancock Park.  I then passed a middle school with a distinctive sign.

Is this what Sunstein and Thaler meant as a "nudge"?   My son will soon be a teenager an I wonder whether this information provision would change his behavior.    Less guns, less crime?

So,  I've served my county and I promise I won't leave Westwood until I'm called for jury duty again.