great ideas

Well, Why Didn’t We Think Of That? A Lifehacker Thinks Google Should Buy Detroit

Sergey Brin for city council president!
Mayor Page. (Wikipedia)

Mayor Page. (Wikipedia)

The solution to Detroit’s bankruptcy is smacking us right in the eyeballs: Have Google buy it.

The idea comes from one Brandon Tomlin, a self-proclaimed lifelogger/lifehacker who cobbled together some neat urban-studies fan fiction re: rescuing the Michigan city. He figured since Detroit’s debt and liabilities total a measly $20 billion and Google has a market cap of $300 billion, it would be a steal for the search giant to rebuild the city.

So what does Mr. Tomlin envision for Googletroit?

For starters, why not turn the driverless car program into Google Cars and plunk it into the city? He writes that, thanks to the power of negotiation, the company could develop its automobiles at a premium and soon we’d all be zipping around Motown like a modern-day Henry Ford. Don’t you feel like an idiot for not thinking of that?

Also, Detroit citizens would obviously have to abide by Google’s rules, meaning that Larry Page and company could use the city as a “real life testing ground for all of their technologies without having to comply to city laws and regulations.” We’re picturing a lawless society where Google Glass are freely allowed inside bathrooms everywhere.

Then, once this ideal of a rainbow-colored anarchic society devoid of rules materializes flawlessly, other cities can take note on how to developed a technology-focused city. “It also may radically [change] our perspectives on education, transportation, green energy, and public policy,” he writes.

There’s really no downside to this, he concludes:

Having a city such as this would draw in leading minds from all around the world, including scientist, engineers, coder, IT experts, and green architects. These individuals could present groundbreaking ideas and test their new technologies on a laboratory scale that has been historically unprecedented.  Taking Detroit from the automotive center of the United States and transforming it into an innovative technological hub could challenge the authority of Silicon Valley as the most technologically inventive city in the world.

Sounds like hell.

Follow Jordan Valinsky on Twitter or via RSS. jvalinsky@observer.com