Hiccup

November 24, 2008 at 10:33 pm | In links | 1 Comment

Sadly, my Sunday Diigo Links post didn’t appear yesterday, which means interested readers will have to visit my Diigo page and look up what I bookmarked last week.

One favourite, worth highlighting, is this:

Introduction: By Paul Hawken – SustainLane

Great defense of cities by Paul Hawken.
QUOTE
Urban migration represents a kind of collective wisdom, and how we configure our cities will be critical to our survival. Regardless of the myths about living close to the land, cities are where human beings have the lowest ecological footprint. It takes less energy, wood, material, and food to provide a good life for a person in a city than in the country. Rather than perceive the city as an ecological sink sucking up the resources of the countryside, which cities can do, cities can also be a kind of ecological ark, places where humanity gathers while we peak in population and develop ecological intelligence for a new civilization. There is wisdom in this that is rather extraordinary. It was not predicted that cities might be the best strategy for our long-term survival and well-being. Yet that is exactly what is happening.
UNQUOTE

Tags: sustainlane, paul_hawken, sustainability, cities, urbanization, environment, ecology

That’s a site I wish to refer to often, whenever the NIMBYs start beating the anti-urban drum.

Go cities, go!

…Even in this current, depressing period of global economic meltdown…

Speaking of which, the most interesting article on the financial crisis was one by Michael Lewis – but before I even had time to read it, I glommed on to it, twittering and facebooking it right away, because of Ji Lee’s arresting photo illustration of a slain (or sleeping) bull, crashed on Wall Street’s cobbles:

The End of Wall Street’s Boom, by Michael Lewis – Portfolio.com

Must-read expose/ explanation by Michael Lewis (author of Liar’s Poker) of Wall Street’s “doomsday machine,” as Steve Eisman calls it. Not sure I understand completely all the ins and outs of “selling short” and “shorting,” but Lewis articulates it well enough. The first passage I highlighted really captures the “sorcerer’s apprentice gone mad” quality: There really weren’t enough unqualified mortgage borrowers to satisfy investors’ appetite for collateralized debt obligation (CDOs) packages, so “shorts” step in to create a kind of magic alternate — like the splinters of wood when the apprentice tries to chop the enchanted broom into bits, and thereby just creates more brooms…. So in the end, you have more losses than loans.

Tags: michael_lewis, wallstreet, portfolio.com, financial_crisis

On a completely different note – because I’m a sucker for interesting pictures – I also bookmarked this:

LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

Google has put the LIFE photo archive online: “Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google.”

Tags: photo_gallery, google, history, archive_photos, reference, resources

That’s going to be a great resource – I hope to have time to explore it fully at some point.

Yeah, and finally – because it speaks to the current financial turmoil (ironically, almost), and to the deathlike sterility of anti-city suburbs (remember, I’m pro-city), and is simply a great photo/ illustration, here’s a photo posted to Facebook by Kazys Varnelis:

Yes, it’s the 21st century equivalent of “let them eat cake,” isn’t it?

1 Comment

  1. I like Paul’s thinking on city. I’m somewhat in the dilemma between escaping the city or staying there to help make things right. This affirms that the battlefront may just be the city and escaping is no answer to the problem confronting city dwellers now surpassing half the world’s population. Thanks for posting this.

    Comment by Bowo — December 1, 2008 #

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