April 22, 2014
"Fortey believes that the natural progress of evolution is always towards greater richness, and that this is the way our planet is meant to be when Darwinian evolution is allowed to play out naturally. Mistaken ideas about Darwinism have contributed to a view of human life that diminishes rather than enhances richness, particularly in the Weltanschauung of market capitalism."

Régine Debatty at We Make Money Not ArtAge of Wonder: Mistaken ideas about Darwinism 

Notes and video from the keynote that science writer and paleontologist Richard Fortey gave at the Age of Wonder festival in Eindhoven a few weeks ago.

April 22, 2014
"Clean and affordable water is the basis of life. Skyrocketing water prices, unsafe supply, failing infrastructure — these problems fall disproportionately on the most vulnerable among us. This is why public institutions, not private corporations, must lead the development of water systems and delivery. The World Bank Group is uniquely positioned to increase access to clean water for the billions who need it. Instead of using its position to line the pockets of water companies, it should support what is most needed: affordable and clean — and public — water for all."

Anna Lappe at Al Jazeera. World Bank Wants Water Privatized, Despite Risks 

Efforts endanger access to and pricing of life’s most precious resource

April 22, 2014
"Will citizens become sensors or scientists? Participants or activists? This may also have a lot to do with whether Greenovation Hub wants to build a business model or a movement, and whether a powerful, visible figure like Jack Ma is willing to have Alibaba become the nexus of an emerging environmental movement. That might be more potent and less dangerous than having individual groups organize to address water quality issues on a small scale and face potential backlash from local authorities."

Ethan Zuckerman at My Heart’s in Accra. Water monitoring in China, and the changing role of citizenship

April 21, 2014
"The case against the drones, then, is a case that must deconstruct the discursive and imperial foundations of that simple headline ‘Suspected U.S. drone strike kills Militants’."

Manan Ahmed at Chapati Mystery. Drones and the Obama Administration

April 21, 2014
"Just imagine Tom Perkins with an army of cheap autonomous drones. Or Greg Gopman. We’re all worried about the day that the 1% no longer need the 99%–but what’s really scary is when they don’t fear the 99% either."

Noah Smith at Quartz. Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years

April 21, 2014
"But architecture has a proud anti-legal tradition. Architecture is a way to protect people when law chooses not to."

AJ Kohn writing at Chapati MysteryAn Architectural Defense From Drones

April 21, 2014
"Architects must be aware of the ethical dimensions of their projects to avoid what political theorist Hannah Arendt famously called ‘the banality of evil’ − the subtle trajectory from accepting a morally questionable project to becoming familiar enough with a problematic client that one stops questioning their programmes altogether."

Raphael Sperry at The Architectural Review. DISCIPLINE AND PUNISH: THE ARCHITECTURE OF HUMAN RIGHTS

April 20, 2014

Opel Kadett B Station Wagon 1965. My mother had one of these. It had a 1078 cc displacement engine in it. When my mom died my brother told a story, how my mother made living an adventure, when on a trip to New England with just her and him—he was a little boy—the car got buffeted about in high winds on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Mother did make life an adventure. I learned to drive on a slightly more powerful model, that was still under-powered for Pittsburgh hills.

DAF 33 A neighbor shared a carpool with us and this is the car she used. She had somewhat limited movement on her right, so the DAF Variomatic transmission sold them on the car.

1962 Oldsmobile—Stageway Conversion. One family arrived to school in a car like this. I thought of it as a limousine at the time, looks a little less opulent than I remembered.

April 19, 2014
"As Fredric Jameson has argued, capitalism is the most collective society that has ever existed on earth, in the sense that even the most banal object is the product of a massive web of interdependence. At the moment, this global network is stupid and venal; but rather than abandoning it in favour of some return to agrarianism that will only be possible on the basis of a catastrophe, we need to make the planetary network an intelligent system that can act in the interests of the majority, instead of the tiny minority that profit under the current system."

Mark Fisher in Strike! Magazine. Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher

Book

April 19, 2014
"That’s right. Somebody called the cops on Jesus."

John Burnett at NPR. Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community

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