This website lets you virtually build Trump’s Mexico-border wall
Only the wall is virtual. The cost is real.HT48HRS_Special Updated: Feb 15, 2017 17:22 IST
Step 1: Choose the location you want to start building the wall at – from Tijuana and Douglas, both in California, and El Paso and Brownsville in Texas.
Step 2: Choose the height of the wall. The upper limit is 70 ft, as per President Trump’s proposal. And it needs to be that tall to stop undocumented Mexican immigrants from entering the US. Of course, higher the wall, higher the infrastructural cost.
Step 3: To ensure the wall is sturdy, choose between cement, brick and stone as raw material for the wall. The cost of construction may vary according to the material, but, don’t worry: safety comes first. It’s a pity Ambuja cement isn’t an option – there’s your solution to an unbreakable wall.
Step 4: Obviously, a blank wall doesn’t look too appealing. So, you might want to add graffiti on it. Perhaps the national flag of the United States? Or even better, President Trump’s face plastered all over it. That should keep the Mexicans out.
Step 5: Your wall is now complete. The average cost of the project is over $150 billion. Note here that Trump has claimed it will cost anywhere between $8 to $12 billion.
Step 6: Now, let the enormity of that amount sink in. Then, question the legitimacy of the project and note that this proposal is now an actual executive order, as signed by Trump on January 25. (source: The Guardian)
Such is the purpose of buildthatwall.tech, a virtual reality website created by a UK-based VR development firm Happy Finish. The website enables viewers to get a 360 degree, on-ground view of what The Wall might look like.
The infrastructural costs claimed by the website are based on a research done at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2016. The paper appeared in the December 2016 issue of the institute’s monthly journal MIT Tech Review. The study provides an in-depth analysis of the financial downside of the project – a combination of raw material required, labour and additional security measures – and busts the myth around Trump’s claims of building it at a lower cost.
What’s remarkable is that the website provides alternate avenues where the money could be put to better use – in building over 800 new hospitals, 3,000 new schools, 10,000 affordable homes, and 500 new industrial outlets that will employ nearly 2million US citizens.
But really, who cares about healthcare, affordable education and accommodation? In Trumps words, “A nation without borders is not a nation. [The wall is] is so badly needed. You folks know how badly needed.” (source: The Guardian). It’s hard to argue with that logic.
First Published: Feb 13, 2017 00:00 IST