The Addendum

Quotes: Restrooms, Technology, and the Need for People

1-IGpM1Ud7pfkEgxTM9wS52AGetting here via toilet.

One of my American Studies students, Chris Grant, complains of high-tech, self-cleaning toilets in San Francisco that do not work.

In the end they’ve become poorly maintained, run-of-the-mill public restrooms — requiring city employees to maintain, clean, and repair these outhouses. We need to layoff the Toilets of the Future and aim for something less San Franciscan. We need something that seems almost contrary to the major tech focus in San Francisco. Something that conflicts with business models like Uber and Airbnb, that technically don’t produce anything but rather arrange agreements with contractors or volunteers. We need standard public bathrooms with a paid staff to actively maintain it. We need people. I write this as a techie nerd living in the Bay Area. I write this as someone that loves self-checkout and electronic doodahs. Get some multi-stalled toilets in public spaces, and let’s spend the cash to give everyone a space to relieve themselves.

Christopher Grant. “Shitty San Francisco,” Medium. https://medium.com/the-secret-history-of-america/shitty-san-francisco-42e0aeae47d4

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