2018 recommendations

November 11, 2018: Seen and Unseen

I’m going to acknowledge up front that my theme this time may be a little bit tenuous. I’m talking broadly about awareness as much as literal sight, but a number of the things I’ve been thinking about do have to do directly with the visual realm. “On the Nose”, by Chris Ip, describes the work …

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2018 recommendations

March 31, 2018: Behind the Scenes

I’ve just finished teaching a new class about cities, and one of the things that the experience made me think about was how the built environment of urban spaces is the outcome of a long process (or series of processes) that is itself basically invisible. That is to say, you can see what the city …

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2017

June 18, 2017: The Ties That Bind

I’m developing a new course right now about cities and power, and as part of that, I’ve started to think of a city as, in part, a built response to its environment. Chicago, for instance, is where it because of water—specifically, the proximity of one river system to another, allowing people and goods to be …

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2017 recommendations

February 26, 2016: Putting It Together

Once, during the summer that I worked in the campus computer store, a chatty customer began talking to me about science fiction books. One he mentioned specifically was The Mote in God’s Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. This stuck in my mind only because he was impressed that I knew what the word …

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2016 recommendations

Recommendations for July 18, 2016

#agir Recommendations for July 18, 2016 It’s been a while, and I have quite a bit of stuff this time around. I’ll start with a few connected things, and finish up with some random bits. Unintentional Conversation: “Cities Will Have to Be Redesigned to Confuse Invading Robots”, by Geoff Manaugh, “Deep learning is Creating Computer …

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2016 recommendations

Recommendations for February 20, 2016

Playlist: “Dissecting” by CFCF “Urchin” by Arca “Now is Not the Time” by Babe Rainbow “4101” by Roly Porter “Battery” by Fatima Al Qadiri I didn’t post a lot of music here last year. That wasn’t a deliberate decision, just how things worked out; 2015, in fact, was not a big year in music for …

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2015 recommendations

Recommendations for Nov. 1, 2015

I’ve given up any pretense of doing these on anything like a weekly basis. One thing that means is that several of the articles here are a little older, but in general most of them aren’t particularly prone to expiration, and I think they’re all worth going back to. Article: “Uncharted” by Lisa M. Hamilton …

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2015 recommendations

Recommendations for July 19, 2015

Obviously, it’s been a while, so this one is a little long, and it goes back a little further than usual to some stuff I’ve had queued up for a while. Article: “To Build a Better Language” by Sam Dean A short history of the artificial and proposed “universal” language Esperanto, occasioned by the availability …

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2015 recommendations

Recommendations for May 4, 2015

Video: “Terminal” by Jörg Wagner I’ve written here before about my interest in shipping containers and standardization. I’m partly just fascinated by the idea that the whole world can agree on anything, but also by what such agreement makes possible— the astonishingly fast movement of colossal amounts of goods of all kinds across the world, …

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2015 recommendations

Recommendations for March 29, 2015

We were on vacation in California this week, so it’s a small selection this time around. Article: “The Wacky, Wiggly, Razor-Thin World of the Flexi Disc” by Oliver Wang I remember Flexi Discs almost entirely because of the McDonald’s promotion (mentioned in the article) in which you got a record with a group of people …

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