03 June 2020

Videos of the day -- behind the façade


A walk around a residential building illustrates the nature of construction standards in China.


The same two guys travel around a rural area.  You can skip the first three minutes, but the rest is revealing.

11 Comments:

Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Whoa
That's surreal! And they keep building even when those buildings that are barely four years old are falling apart?
And the elevator story was kinda terrifying. Seven years in the dark and still will not change that light bulb? Yikes.
Apart from that, urban spelunking is super cool.

XOXO

03 June, 2020 05:29  
Blogger JACKIESUE said...

well, there goes my summer home..

03 June, 2020 06:56  
Blogger jono said...

As someone in the building business all I can express is my sadness.

03 June, 2020 08:12  
Blogger Mike said...

This explains the ghost cities. No wonder no one lives there.

03 June, 2020 09:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think a lot of this comes down to the incompatible imperatives as an object is viewed as both vehicle/token for investment, and useful physical object. A house, originally, and to my mind primarily, is a tool for living. It is a residence, a place of safety and security for rest, recreation, and raising a family.

Unfortunately it is also, clearly in China as shown, but also in a lot of the US, a token for investment. As a token its physical manifestation, and utility, is secondary. Per convention, we call it a house, so its form is that of a house. Four walls and roof. But that doesn't matter for investment.

A similar situation of confusion happens with gold. It is a metal with the valuable properties of relative permanence and freedom from corrosion. A connection made with gold coated contacts will tend to be electronically stable and reliable.

It is also a vehicle for investment and wealth preservation.

The two differing purposes are often at cross purposes. If gold prices skyrocket because of speculation it becomes less economical to use this preferred metal for what it is most suited for. As gold prices drop its use becomes economic but its attractiveness as a token drops. Which ironically leads to people doing exactly the wrong thing economically; buying high and selling low.

Tokens for investment should have minimal physicality.

03 June, 2020 12:57  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Sixpence: It's very odd. I wonder if their military production and procedures are of any better quality.

Jackie: You wouldn't like China anyway, I'm sure.

Jono: It's a miserable spectacle, to be sure.

Mike: I certainly wouldn't live in those places. The building might fall down if somebody sneezed.

Anon: You're certainly right that the practice of looking upon housing as an investment does a lot of harm (in the US, mainly in the form of overpriced housing). But I don't see how that explains the bad construction standards. Americans also tend to look upon housing as an investment and our construction is nothing ike that bad. If anything, you'd think it would create an additional incentive to do proper upkeep.

03 June, 2020 15:43  
Blogger W. Hackwhacker said...

Infidel -- we never got into the ghost cities 5 years ago when we visited China. It was all taken in from a distance, and from a distance it looked very impressive. On closer inspection, though...

Obviously there's massive corruption/ kickbacks involving party officials at every level who in league with the developers and are getting rich(er) at the expense of people who want a decent place to live.

04 June, 2020 08:16  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

I imagine the regime doesn't exactly encourage people to visit them.

Authoritarianism leads to corruption, and corruption leads to shoddiness and waste. It seems especially bad in China, though.

05 June, 2020 04:27  
Blogger Mary said...

I wonder if this could be the US's future?
Fascinating videos.

05 June, 2020 07:21  
Blogger Mary Kirkland said...

Well that's a real eye opener isn't it?

06 June, 2020 12:19  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mary: A lot of things here are not moving in the right direction, that's for sure.

Mary K: China is quite different from what we're often led to believe.

09 June, 2020 05:51  

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