But there are many parts of this country where manufacturing is very much alive, albeit in a different form. The monolithic industry model — steel, oil, lumber, cars — has evolved into something more nimble and diversified…
As Mark Dwight, who started SFMade in 2010, explains, “For decades we have developed a culture of disposability — from consumer goods to medical instruments and machine tools. To fuel economic growth, marketers replaced longevity with planned obsolescence — and our mastery of technology has given birth to ever-accelerating unplanned obsolescence. I think there is increasing awareness that this is no longer sustainable on the scale we have developed.”
Things made in places like San Francisco or New York command a desire-by-association (though I’m also sure creative individuals in less name-brand locals could adopt many of the business synergies and sustainable efforts discussed here). To be sure, there may be a higher cost of doing business in major metropolitan centers like these, but at the same time what gets made is largely driven by design and by consumer demand. ..
… is one of the most stimulating books I’ve read in the past six months. Scott writes about a region called “Zomia,” which encompasses “virtually all the lands at altitudes above roughly three hundred meters all the way from the Central Highlands of Vietnam to northeastern India and traversing five Southeast Asian nations (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Burma) and four provinces of China (Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and parts of Sichuan). It is an expanse of 2.5 million square kilometers containing about one hundred million minority peoples of truly bewildering ethnic and linguistic variety.”
Scott explores how certain agricultural practices go hand-in-hand with “state-making projects”—and, conversely, how different forms of food cultivation, land management, and foraging offer what Scott calls “escape value.” That is, they allow for “state evasion”: spatial and agricultural techniques for “steering clear of being politically captured” by an empire or nation-state. “Far from being ‘left behind’ by the progress of civilization in the valleys,” Scott writes, “[the people of Zomia] have, over long periods of time, chosen to place themselves out of the reach of the state… There, they practiced what I will call escape agriculture: forms of cultivation designed to thwart state appropriation. Even their social structure could fairly be called escape social structure inasmuch as it was designed to aid dispersal and autonomy and to ward off political subordination.”
Fronte á proclama dos poderes desta cidade de que “lo que quieren los ciudadanos es ir a los centros comerciales”,
Establecer como hipótese que unha zona da cidade pode ser simultaneamente lugar de permanencia e tranquilidade para moitas, de paso para algunhas e de intercambio e asombro para todas, e que a súa estrutura física e mental é feita pola colectividade, agás se esta chegou a ser parasitada por organismos autoritarios que só pretenden obter dela producións e obediencias e temen por enriba de todo calquera desorde, insumisión, invención na rúa, xurdimento de ritmos internos, de fluencias, de xeitos de estar sen medo nin tensións, confianzas, capacidades de traballo colectivo, de apoio mutuo, educación non autoritaria, curación e arte sen manipulación, autoorganización sen ánimo de mando nin lucro …
Como poden establecerse un urbanismo e unha arquitectura que axuden ás persoas a organizarse para rehabilitar, recuperar, adaptar directamente os espazos que precisan para xogo, encontro, experimentación e vivenda?
Que lexitimidade poden pretender xs intérpretes da lei que lle dan mecanicamente ou seu contido máis reaccionario e supersticiosamente mercantil? Que valor moral pode ter unha lei que non respecta nin os seus presupostos “democráticos” e “sociais” e simplesmente organiza a máis rápida e efectiva desposesión das posibilidades de vida autónoma dos seres vivos, intelixentes e sensibles?
Que desexos existen na sociedade de falar sinceramente das necesidades de vivenda adaptada aos ritmos de rapacxs, adultxs e vellxs? Como se combinan o urbanismo e a arquitectura popular con estruturas abertas que faciliten a vida cotiá, as mediacións e axudas que unha colectividade complexa precisa? O urbanismo do curro en común, das rehabilitacións urxentes, da resistencia á extorsión e os desafiuzamentos, da axuda e coidados respectuosos aos grupos e persoas que o precisen, sempre coa condición da súa liberdade, participación e autonomía …
Como deixa de cumprir unha cidade as súas funcións na sociedade mercantil para ser zona de encontros, aprendizaxes, emocións, reintegrada no medio ambiente, capaz de reorganizar ecolóxicamente a produción e circulación de cousas e ideas?
We are witnessing quick changes in the ways people communicate and consume information. We have moved from a context where information was in the hands of a few to a context with increasingly decentralized information networks. Citizens with access to an Internet connection can now empower themselves through technology to share their stories in first person and build upon their own narratives without a need for intermediaries, as we have seen during the recent mobilizations in the Middle East and North Africa region.
During this conference we will focus on the relationship between Internet Social Media and their impact on the ground, focusing on the specific context of the Middle East and North Africa region. Are Social Media like Facebook, Youtube or Twitter bringing more power to citizens in order to have an impact on their own context? Do citizens´ aspirations conflict with these companies interests? How is technology reconfiguring voices, authorities and power systems?
The timing of the November 2010 inaugural meeting of the Bad Ragaz Group could not have been more propitious. As signs of economic recovery clashed with the realities of the Irish bailout and renewed concerns about additional financial contagion in the eurozone, the meeting’s theme—”What’s Next for Europe?”—was already on the minds of the senior business executives, economists, policymakers and thought leaders who gathered at Switzerland’s Bad Ragaz resort for two days of discussions.
Forty European executives—current and next-generation leaders representing multiple industries and sectors from 12 countries—gathered at the Swiss alpine resort of Bad Ragaz in November 2010 to ponder Europe’s future challenges and opportunities. Discussions by these members of the Bad Ragaz Group (BRG) centered on the risks and opportunities associated with integration and globalization during these challenging geopolitical and economic times.1Specifically, members discussed the outlook for the European economy, the impact of social media, Europe’s uncertain energy prospects, and the future of the euro. This paper summarizes the discussions.
Sobre las burbujas inmobiliarias que forman las universidades en sus campus. Aunque esto sucede en EEUU y sus universidades tienen unas características muy diferentes a las españolas, ¿no es posible que en España esté sucediendo algo similar cuando buena parte de los proyectos de “excelencia”, “internacionalización” … son en realidad proyectos arquitectónicos?
… university presidents are enamored with flashy construction projects which are much easier to justify to boards than equitably-paid faculty or low tuition for students (indeed, both of these are at odds with the sort of mentality that Ho observes on Wall Street: employees are always disposable and any university that keeps tuition down must be failing to charge apporpriately for its services).* After a few years at a university, the building-enamored president moves on to bigger and better digs, leaving faculty to struggle to get grants to fill buildings that shouldn’t have been built in the first place.
As a byproduct, universities issue bonds and, so long as endownments keep flowing in, can service them. It’s a giant ponzi scheme with little of value for students and, as Harper’s described in a notorious graphic about the consequeneces of overbuilding in Brandeis (Brandeis has threatened a lawsuit and has accused Harper’s of slander and libel over this piece), can collapse precipitously during times of economic crisis. But while bonds were hot, Wall Street couldn’t have enough of them, so universities eagerly complied.
Financial collapses—whether of the junk bond market, the Internet bubble, or the highly leveraged housing market—are often explained as the inevitable result of market cycles: What goes up must come down. In Liquidated, Karen Ho punctures the aura of the abstract, all-powerful market to show how financial markets, and particularly booms and busts, are constructed. Through an in-depth investigation into the everyday experiences and ideologies of Wall Street investment bankers, Ho describes how a financially dominant but highly unstable market system is understood, justified, and produced through the restructuring of corporations and the larger economy.
Ho, who worked at an investment bank herself, argues that bankers’ approaches to financial markets and corporate America are inseparable from the structures and strategies of their workplaces. Her ethnographic analysis of those workplaces is filled with the voices of stressed first-year associates, overworked and alienated analysts, undergraduates eager to be hired, and seasoned managing directors. Recruited from elite universities as “the best and the brightest,” investment bankers are socialized into a world of high risk and high reward. They are paid handsomely, with the understanding that they may be let go at any time. Their workplace culture and networks of privilege create the perception that job insecurity builds character, and employee liquidity results in smart, efficient business. Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U.S. corporations, Liquidated reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.
The book “How Developing Countries Can Manage Intellectual Property Rights to Maximize Access to Knowledge” is edited by Carlos M. Correa and Xuan Li and can be download here.
… the analysis, conclusions and recommendations presented in this book will contribute to a better understanding of the challenges to access to knowledge and of how to frame development-oriented policies to address them. The book is intended to reach a broad set of readers: it provides guidelines for developing countries’ governments in participating in multilateral and bilateral negotiations as well as to design national IP regimes consistent with those countries’ development objectives…
… some of the innovations brought to market by the Khan Academy. Among others:
free access over the internet
lecture attendance at home, homework at school
the psychological and emotional safety created by learning in private
helping students achieve true mastery, as opposed to minimum tolerable levels of understanding
liberating “slow” students from the tyrranny of being put on the low achievement track
a more human classroom experience
… Because they [satellite positioning systems] rely on signals from satellites transmitting from an altitude of around 20,000 kilometres (12,400 miles), the signals are very weak, making them vulnerable to accidental or deliberate interference. This can take the form of natural interference, as a result of solar activity, for example; accidental man-made interference due to signal reflection or faulty transmitter equipment; and deliberate jamming of the satellite signal by transmitters that drown it out by broadcasting their own signal on the same frequency.
British police began finding jamming equipment in the possession of criminals about three years ago. This was not surprising, because evidence from satnavs and vehicle-tracking devices had already been used in several successful prosecutions. In July 2010 two men were jailed for a total of 16 years after they admitted being members of a gang that stole 40 lorries and their loads with a total value of £6m ($9.6m). They had used GPS jammers to prevent the vehicles being tracked after the thefts. In Germany, meanwhile, some lorry drivers have used jammers to evade the country’s GPS-based road-tolling system.
“If you do an internet search on GPS jammers, you get over 300,000 hits, with many of these linking to sites offering them for sale,” says Jim Hammond of the intelligent transport systems working group at Britain’s Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO). “I’d suggest you don’t get that level of hits for products that nobody buys.” ACPO and Britain’s communications regulator, Ofcom, are urging the government to make it easier to prosecute people who use and sell jammers, and to make their possession a criminal act.
Media Piracy in Emerging Economies is the first independent, large-scale study of music, film and software piracy in emerging economies, with a focus on Brazil, India, Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Bolivia.
Based on three years of work by some thirty-five researchers, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies tells two overarching stories: one tracing the explosive growth of piracy as digital technologies became cheap and ubiquitous around the world, and another following the growth of industry lobbies that have reshaped laws and law enforcement around copyright protection. The report argues that these efforts have largely failed, and that the problem of piracy is better conceived as a failure of affordable access to media in legal markets.
“The choice,” said Joe Karaganis, director of the project, “isn’t between high piracy and low piracy in most media markets. The choice, rather, is between high-piracy, high-price markets and high-piracy, low price markets. Our work shows that media businesses can survive in both environments, and that developing countries have a strong interest in promoting the latter. This problem has little to do with enforcement and a lot to do with fostering competition.”
Prices are too high. High prices for media goods, low incomes, and cheap digital technologies are the main ingredients of global media piracy. Relative to local incomes in Brazil, Russia, or South Africa, the retail price of a CD, DVD, or copy of MS Office is five to ten times higher than in the US or Europe. Legal media markets are correspondingly tiny and underdeveloped.
Competition is good. The chief predictor of low prices in legal media markets is the presence of strong domestic companies that compete for local audiences and consumers. In the developing world, where global film, music, and software companies dominate the market, such conditions are largely absent.
Antipiracy education has failed.The authors find no significant stigma attached to piracy in any of the countries examined. Rather, piracy is part of the daily media practices of large and growing portions of the population.
Changing the law is easy. Changing the practice is hard. Industry lobbies have been very successful at changing laws to criminalize these practices, but largely unsuccessful at getting governments to apply them. There is, the authors argue, no realistic way to reconcile mass enforcement and due process, especially in countries with severely overburdened legal systems.
Criminals can’t compete with free. The study finds no systematic links between media piracy and organized crime or terrorism in any of the countries examined. Today, commercial pirates and transnational smugglers face the same dilemma as the legal industry: how to compete with free.
Enforcement hasn’t worked. After a decade of ramped up enforcement, the authors can find no impact on the overall supply of pirated goods.
Informal network of ‘blogs [or sites] of streets, neighbourhoods, villages or cities’ promoted by citizens or groups of citizens that whish to think collectively about the future of the places they live and/or work
“I haven’t published too much formal research (yet) though given the choice between understanding the lives of interesting people in different parts of the world in and trying shoe-horn ‘life’ into lifeless journal submission formats do you blame me? Doubtless this will change, or maybe the publishing formats will change? Let’s see…”—Jan Chipchase - About
… la publicación de A Cidade dos Barrios. El libro sirve de registro de las acciones desarrolladas en ocho barrios de la ciudad y reflexiona sobre las posibilidades de intervención y las percepciones de los ciudadanos de A Coruña. Paralelamente toda la documentación utilizada en esta investigación será accesible desde la web. Además de las encuestas a nivel urbano y de barrio, será posible descargar los datos en bruto y la mayoría de los mapas. Por otro lado, muchos de los gráficos serán visibles también a través de Google Earth e Ikimap. A la publicación se accederá a través de Issuu distinguiendo cada uno de los apartados del libro. Una vez más queremos agradecer a las más de 90 personas que durante este año participaron directamente en esta Plataforma y a todos aquellos ciudadanos que contribuyeron al desarrollo de la iniciativa expresando sus deseos para mejorar la ciudad.