There is and always was ALSA
You mean OSS?
If only politics hadn't fragmented the Linux sound ecosystem, we probably wouldn't have to deal with such a clusterfsck. Then again, there's always BSD...
Q: Where on earth?
A: We did.
Define "easy". Last I checked, it requires a lot of public funding for road restructuring projects, whereas vehicles are sold on the open market to individuals.
Not exactly disagreeing with your point, though... there are many MANY examples of terrible traffic patterns in my town alone.