The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

July 17, 2011 at 2:30 am | In links | Comments Off on The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)
  • Self-explanatory title. Vivek Wadhwa’s point about the importance of people is something that could apply to where I live, too:
    QUOTE
    The prerequisite for a regional innovation system is knowledgeable people who have the motivation and ability to start ventures. To succeed, these people need to be connected to one another by information-sharing networks. (…) …the key drivers of innovation in Norway are the communication channels that local entrepreneurs maintain to the outside world and their open-mindedness toward foreign cultures, change and new ideas. Companies that are “regionally minded” — that maintain ties only with players within the same cluster — are four times less likely to innovate than the globally connected. The study found that regional and national clusters are “irrelevant for innovation.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: vivek_wadhwa innovation clustering washington_post ecosystems

  • Dave Douglas nails it.
    QUOTE
    Why I Don’t Like the Law
    (…)
    1 It treats Americans like dirt. In my experience supporters of the law have had two views on consumers: 1) they’re being stupid for not understanding the long term cost benefits, or 2) they have reasons to want to still use the old ones, but GHG reduction is more important. I believe US consumers are smarter than people believe, and are making rational decisions based on their own situation. As a result, I find both of these views disrespectful and outside of the founding ideals of this country.

    2 Other industries will try the same thing. If you think the success of this ploy by GE and Philips hasn’t been noticed in other parts of those companies and in other industries, then you’re quaintly naive.

    3 It’s setting a really bad precedent. The federal government now believes it has a new tool in its efficiency toolkit: outlawing inefficient products, irrespective of whether they are popular or there exists a true replacement in the market. Many have said “relax, its only lightbulbs”. Beyond the fact that sometimes lightbulbs matter to people (see #1 above), lets see what products the government tries to apply to tool to next.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: environment cfl lightbulbs dave_douglas law epa

  • Fascinating post on how the “needs” of Motordom (as per Gordon Price) screw over residents/ people and nature.
    QUOTE
    I have written previously about parking spots replacing parks and playgrounds in cities like Bangalore and Chennai. Now we learn that even houses will be demolished and river beds covered up to make parking lots. It is time we asked our government – in this case the Chennai Corporation – why parking should be given such high priority. How much more should we give up for parking?
    UNQUOTE

    tags: parking motordom cars liveability india cities urbanplanning

  • Right on. Excellent critique.
    QUOTE
    While Campanella says that we need a muscular government to accomplish such great things, he for the most part blames a citizenry that no longer shares values about the public realm that are necessary to support a bold course of government action. He attributes this to a sense of self-interest that he finds rooted in the various “cultural revolutions” that started with the civil rights movement.

    It seems bizarre, at least to this reader, to blame America’s failure to maintain and modernize its transportation systems, its schools, and every other aspect of the public realm (with the exception of sports stadiums!) on the social and cultural gains of minorities, women, gays, etc., when a much more obvious explanation is the fact that for 40 years America’s economy and fiscal decisions have largely been in the hands of the intellectual, economic, political, and actual descendents of those who fought tooth and nail the New Deal that Campanella appropriately admires.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: frank_gruber huffington_post jjacobs urbanplanning cities planning

  • Must re-read this later. Good info.

    tags: google google+ socialmedia mike_elgan

  • Uh-oh, Canada?
    QUOTE
    As the Globe wrote this morning based on a leaked copy of the report (sigh), “Canada ranked worse or stagnated in 18 of 24 benchmarks tracked by the council since its 2008 report.”
    UNQUOTE

    tags: maclean’s canada economy knowledge_economy

  • QUOTE
    The cleantech industry is one of the fastest growing industries in British Columbia, with the province being home to one of the largest industry clusters in Canada and North America.
    UNQUOTE
    See also Vancouver Sun article: Clean technology emerges as driver of B.C. economy

     http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Cle…

    tags: kpmg cleantech jobs economic_development british_columbia environment

  • QUOTE
    We find ourselves at a point in the world where the main tool to measure economic success and progress — Gross Domestic Product, or GDP – is outdated. Do we need a new set of rules for our economy to effectively begin to measure real, productive growth? Umair Haque, author of “The New Capitalist Manifesto” and director of the Havas Media Lab, believes it’s critical to the future of our country and our global economy.
    UNQUOTE
    Includes audio/ interview.

    tags: audiocasts interview umair_haque capitalism economy socialcritique dylan_ratigan

  • QUOTE
    If you accept my notion that it’s time to update productivity to encompass not merely how much toxic mass produced junk we churn out, faster–but to reflect whether or not said junk actually makes a difference to how meaningfully well our lives are lived–then perhaps a next-generation BLS’s job isn’t merely computing labor productivity, but socio-productivity as well–and making the figures public every month, quarter, and year. If it were to do that, I’d bet our economy would spin on it’s very axis: the numbers we use to track its health, gauge its performance, and that Wall St uses to (mis)allocate our hard-won capital would all be dramatically altered–the informational structure of incentives would shift, and the great gears of prosperity might find a newer, more, well, productive, rhythm–because we’d optimizing not just for the greatest amount of industrial age junk to line the bleak exurban shelves, but for groundbreaking, socially useful breakthroughs.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: prosperity productivity economy umair_haque capitalism

  • Downloadable PDF of a Land Lines Article, “Cities and Infrastructure; A Rough Road Ahead,” by Gregory K. Ingram and Anthony Flint. Published July 2011.
    QUOTE
    American cities have promising long-term prospects as hubs of innovation and growth, with expansion in technology and health sciences beginning to offset the decades-long erosion of manufacturing. Cities also remain places of vitality, offering urban design, density, and transport options that attract residents of all ages and backgrounds. In fact, nine of the ten most populous U.S. cities gained population over the last decade, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

    Yet the short-term prospects for cities are fraught with challenges. The recent sharp decline in tax revenues, caused by the 2008 housing market collapse and related financial crisis and economic slowdown, has made it extraordinarily difficult for state and local governments to maintain basic services, let alone plan for investments in infrastructure. Federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) helped local governments offset revenue declines in the past three years, but ARRA funds are no longer available for the coming fiscal year (a transition now termed “the cliff”), leaving local officials to confront the full force of revenue shortfalls.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: lincoln_institute anthony_flint gregory__k_ingram pdf cities infrastructure

  • Geoffrey West on biology, networks, metabolisms, …and cities and more. Fifty-two minute video.
    QUOTE
    The great thing about cities, the thing that is amazing about cities is as they grow, so to speak, their dimensionality increases. That is, the space of opportunity, the space of functions, the space of jobs just continually increases. And the data shows that. If you look at job categories, it continually increases. I’ll use the word “dimensionality.” It opens up. And in fact, one of the great things about cities is that it supports crazy people. You walk down Fifth Avenue, you see crazy people. There are always crazy people. Well, that’s good. Cities are tolerant of extraordinary diversity.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: geoffrey_west cities video edge economy complexity

  • The following observation (by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, director of the Gender and Policy program at Columbia) is, sadly, very very true. There is a male unwillingness to mentor and/or sponsor women. I only have to look at my own academic experience and my PhD advisor…
    QUOTE
    “Sandberg, to her great credit, had Larry Summers. She has had sponsors in her life who were very powerful, who went to bat for her. That’s very rare for a woman.”
    UNQUOTE

    tags: sheryl_sandberg feminism women leadership newyorker ken_auletta facebook

  • Dopamine isn’t what it’s cracked up (ha) to be…
    QUOTE
    It’s all about seeking — The latest research, though is changing this view. Instead of dopamine causing us to experience pleasure, the latest research shows that dopamine causes seeking behavior. Dopamine causes us to want, desire, seek out, and search. It increases our general level of arousal and our goal-directed behavior. (From an evolutionary stand-point this is critical. The dopamine seeking system keeps us motivated to move through our world, learn, and survive). It’s not just about physical needs such as food, or sex, but also about abstract concepts. Dopamine makes us curious about ideas and fuels our searching for information. The latest research shows that it is the opoid system (separate from dopamine) that makes us feel pleasure.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: neuroscience business_insider susan_weinschenk brain psychology

  • Fascinating account by Simon Lewis of his “descent” into non-consciousness and his subsequent return to it. Along the way (in an 18minute talk), Lewis discusses neuroplasticity, mental health, IQ, disability, and more.

    tags: simon_lewis ted_conference neuroscience plasticity consciousness

  • QUOTE
    San Francisco led the list, followed by Vancouver, New York City, Seattle and Denver. The cities with the lowest rankings were mostly in the old rust belt. The bottom five were Pittsburgh, Phoenix, Cleveland, St. Louis and (in dead last) Detroit.
    UNQUOTE

    tags: cities atlantic_monthly alexis_madrigal green_strategies

  • Great 20-minute video interview with Umair Haque. Double-entry bookkeeping as a legacy institution – time to update/ reboot.

    tags: umair_haque video thinkers thinkers50

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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