gean moreno + ernesto oroza: tabloid for design miami 2010

gean moreno + ernesto oroza: tabloid for design miami 2010

Has Assange Turned Me Into An Anarchist?

We usually accept this just as we accept partisan gridlock and corporate lobbying: This is the way the system works. We take it for granted that very little can be done about it. Right up to the moment, that is, when someone plants himself, like the Tianamen Square tank man, squarely before the government juggernaut, and refuses to step aside. Then we’re treated to an amazing spectacle: This is what it looks like when power squirms.

- from a story by Oliver Broudy in MOTHER JONES.

Niche Job Board Finds Opportunity in Temporary Employment

Urban Interns 
MASHABLE! | 11 DECEMBER 2010
http://pulsene.ws/uome

The site caters to companies and job seekers in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, with more city releases planned for the immediate future. It’s meant to be both a low-cost solution for businesses and a convenient tool for part-timers to get discovered and find more short-term work.

Intern and part-time job seekers can search for open temporary positions or use the site a build an employer-searchable profile that includes their photo, bio and links to social networks. Employers pay $49.95 for each listing; the one-time fee also gets them access to the site’s job seeker database for 30 days.

Co-founder Cari Sommer says that its users skew younger and its businesses need to fill social posts, which means there’s lots of college students looking for internships and plenty of social media work to be had. In fact, 50% of listed posts are related to social media, she says. Temporary event, sales and business development work is also readily available.

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Niche Job Board Finds Opportunity in Temporary Employment

Urban Interns 
MASHABLE! | 11 DECEMBER 2010
http://pulsene.ws/uome

The site caters to companies and job seekers in large metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, Miami, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, with more city releases planned for the immediate future. It’s meant to be both a low-cost solution for businesses and a convenient tool for part-timers to get discovered and find more short-term work.

Intern and part-time job seekers can search for open temporary positions or use the site a build an employer-searchable profile that includes their photo, bio and links to social networks. Employers pay $49.95 for each listing; the one-time fee also gets them access to the site’s job seeker database for 30 days.

Co-founder Cari Sommer says that its users skew younger and its businesses need to fill social posts, which means there’s lots of college students looking for internships and plenty of social media work to be had. In fact, 50% of listed posts are related to social media, she says. Temporary event, sales and business development work is also readily available.

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Streetwalk by Charlie Davidson

Charlie Davidson’s original proposal was for a series of benches that had the appearance of walking. This idea was a direct response to the brief which asked designers to draw pedestrians into the east side of town and the newly furbished Sunniside gardens from Sunderland city centre.

- from CONTEMPORIST

Would an Infrastructure Bank Have the Power to Reform Transportation?

“Not every project of regional and national significance is going to generate a return that justifies a financially rational loan for the bank to make,” says Scott Thomasson, an expert in infrastructure finance from the Progressive Policy Institute. “There are projects that are worth doing as a nation where the benefits aren’t going to be repaid financially. They’re going to be enjoyed in other forms” like improving public health, easing traffic congestion, or reducing emissions.
Thomasson worries that a narrowly structured bank, following a traditional bank model, won’t address compelling projects that can’t capture user fees or other financing streams.

- from STREETSBLOG.

The High Line: Model for a City or Not?

Of course, the panel pondered that universal question, What would Jane Jacobs think? Would she celebrate walking through the city on the High Line? Gladwell reminded the audience of Jacobs’ mixed feelings for parks, but all three panelists guessed that she would appreciate the park as a success of adaptive reuse, a symbol of post-industrial transformation and a reminder of the inherent history of the area — even if it is a large, planned urban intervention.

Mollenkopf’s next question — about how people use the High Line and how it has affected the neighborhood — prompted Hammond instantly to rattle off some facts: 2 million visitors per year, 15,000 visitors on a busy Saturday, 50% of people who visit are New Yorkers, 25% are from Europe and Japan. He mentioned that some businesses in the neighborhood said that the recession ended when the High Line opened. But beyond its appeal to tourists, he stressed that he sees the High Line as a neighborhood park with programs planned for the local community. Gladwell added that he includes the High Line in the wave of recent efforts to reclaim the city from the automobile, along with Hudson River Park and the 9th Avenue bike lane. And Perine pointed out the unique perspective of the city one gets while standing on the High Line, unlike any you can get from your apartment window.

The conversation turned towards economics when Perine raised concerns about the building and maintenance cost of the park, emphasizing that the High Line can’t and shouldn’t be a model for other urban parks. Though supported in great part by private money, it has also received significant public funding, while other public spaces in the city don’t have enough backing even to expect regular trash collection. Economic spillover arguments are weak, she argued, maintaining that there are too many factors involved to attribute all positive effects to the High Line alone. Hammond, citing a comprehensive study that identified the statistics he mentioned, argued that parks like the High Line, which are based on public-private partnerships, actually free up city money. He also pointed out that the City’s budget for parks is one half of one percent, far too little to support the City’s parks no matter what. While Hammond and Perine debated, Gladwell proposed that, rather than rezone neighborhoods, we aim to curate them. For him, an engineered capacity of surprise is what a successful city of 21st century needs.

So, is it a model for a city or not? No consensus was reached, so Mollenkopf asked each panelist to name another project that inspires a certain standard of urban design. Perine referred to a number of parks in the US, including Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago, and then singled out the brilliance of German efforts at creating open spaces in postindustrial landscapes such as Emscher Park, a project she admires for its innovation and creativity at low cost. Hammond agreed and gave the example of City Nature Park in Berlin, a 30-acre park that cost about $1.5 million. Both Perine and Hammond admire the way Europeans appreciate and adapt their industrial past while Americans have been slow to reclaim such landscapes. Perine felt that the United States’ regulatory framework has not caught up with the changes happening in its socio-economic framework.

- from a panel discussion documented by URBAN OMNIBUS

Dividing the American West based on water supplies


Mark Twain is often credited with saying: “Whiskey is for drinking and water is for fighting over.”

- from ECOPOLITOLOGY

George Orwell: “Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible…”

In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is surrender to them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising you probably hunt about until you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meaning as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose — not simply accept — the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impressions one’s words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally

George Orwell: “When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer…”

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as “keeping out of politics.” All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer.

George Orwell: “Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness…”

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

Afghani kids learn to skate: Skateistan (nine minute doco)

Philosopher Jonathan Haidt: The New Science of Morality

Morality is nothing in the abstract nature of things, but is entirely relative to the sentiment or mental taste of each particular being, in the same manner as the distinctions of sweet and bitter, hot and cold arise from the particular feeling of each sense or organ. Moral perceptions, therefore, ought not to be classed with the operations of the understanding, but with the tastes or sentiments.

- from edge.org

Thimbl

However, this control comes at a cost. Centralized systems are
far less efficient at managing online communications than decentralized
systems. The corporate, web-based communication-platforms that emerged
under the “Web 2.0″ monicker are hungry for more than just
Capital, the huge datacenters required to run them also consume
massive natural resources and energy, and cause massive amounts
of pollution. And yet desipite all, these platforms still
commonly experience scaling issues and frequent outages, straining
under the profit-imposed need to centralize control. And this is so,
in a world where the majority of the global population does in
practical terms not have access to the internet. Of course,
environmental concerns are not the only issue with overly
centralized systems, perhaps even of greater concern are the
implications for privacy and freedom of speech and association
when control of our social technology is held by only a few
private corporations.

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The creative China plan six years on | Australian Policy Online

The third level in the Chinese creative innovation system is probably the most important – informal grassroots culture. It is typified by creative activity in non-commercial spheres. Much of the activity currently occurring in online communities is not aimed directly at profiteering, but rather functions as informal and amateur incubation. In other words it is both re-creation and recreation. The productiveness of this layer is not measured by economic success but by impact. China has more than 420 million netizens and over 600 million registered mobile phone users. The capacity to contribute spontaneously to online communities, whether in banal chat room conversations or in the viewing of satirical spoofs of Chinese celebrities highlights the potency of user-generated content.

Whereas levels one (official) and two (popular culture) require navigation of censors, the third level is conspicuous by its risk culture. One particularly interesting example of spoofing culture is a short video made by a team at CCTV headed up by Cui Yongyuan, the host of a serious mainstream current affairs talk show called Oriental Horizon. Obviously limited by the constraints of CCTV, in 2001 Cui and his colleagues released a video called Splitting Up in October, parodying the internal power struggles in CCTV. It soon went viral, with the effect of enhancing Cui’s reputation with the ‘masses’ as more than just an anchor man for the regime.

The three levels I have mentioned comprise an innovation system with limitations. The layers are enfolded. However, the tendency to date has been for commentators to see these as separate domains. The top level is concerned with creativity but doesn’t really understand it; it seeks out sounding boards and tests out its ideas cautiously. The book Creativity is Changing China by Li Wuwei is an example of how this level promotes its ideas. Conversely, the realm of commercial popular culture is struggling to understand the market in a restricted content environment; it has one eye on the regulators and one eye on social network markets. It is in the third level, the sphere of recreation, that we find the most innovative work and prospects for further social liberalisation.    

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Silva/Bradshaw


- from silvabradshaw.com

forentijn hofman: fat monkey made of flip flops

- from designboom

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts

Is it possible that a better understanding of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts can help distinguish between what is valuable and what is not in the literature about the cultural economies of cities?

Tamara Greenfield: We certainly hope so! Usually when the arts are discussed now as part of the economy of cities, they are framed either as a Cultural Attraction (large museum, aquarium, performing arts complex) or Cultural Production (high value art, high volume traditional handicrafts, music, film). There is little understanding of the value of diverse levels of creation and cultural activity to the cohesion and economy of a specific neighborhood, rather than to a larger creative ecology or regional economy. FAB’s members range in size from volunteer-run art collectives to nationally renowned theaters, and have long histories of community outreach, racial and ethnic diversity, low cost programs, and training for emerging artists and youth. Each year, FAB’s member arts groups serve more than 1,250 artists and attract an audience of more than 250,000 to our neighborhood. Some artists and productions are developed here and move into a more commercial realm; other dance and theater is experienced exclusively by neighborhood residents or drawn from a focused, regional network (Spanish-language theater, Gay & Lesbian performance art) that serves an important (though less visibly commercial) purpose to those communities.

Caron Atlas: I would say that NOCDs can be useful in helping to reframe the discussion of the creative economy in a manner that factors in equity and considers how creativity is defined and validated and how economic benefits are shared throughout communities. I think NOCDs are a great way to think about culture and creativity as part of grassroots resilience and sustainable development – rather than top down, and often unsustainable, development strategies.

- from URBAN OMNIBUS

Bob Ellis: The free market that never was

This is not free market capitalism. It was never free market capitalism, the sort of free market capitalism that punished failure and rewarded success; but it was what masqueraded under that name. It was, in Gore Vidal’s fine phrase, ‘Socialism for the deserving rich and free enterprise for the undeserving poor’. It was a restoration of the idea of Empire, and coolies, and black slaves, and cheap goods manufactured overseas that make some white rich men, and some young Wall Street coke-sniffers, very rich indeed. And it’s failed, as the British Empire failed, because of wage-slaves not wanting to pay that much to their masters in return for their enslavement. Of course it failed. It’s what empires always do.

- from http://www.bobellis.com.au/

People want high-speed rail, just as it becomes a political minefield in the US.

hsr-use

- from Infrastructurist

Deadbeat Client Bill Introduced in NY

The New York State Senate just introduced S8084, a bill that would at long last grant freelancers the same protections that traditional employees currently enjoy. This remarkable piece of legislation:

* Grants freelancers the same wage protection as traditional employees.
* Requires the Department of Labor to pursue freelancers’ unpaid wages.
* Holds deadbeat executives personally liable for up to $20,000 and jail time.

FREELANCERS UNION BLOG | 10 JUNE 2010
http://pulsene.ws/kAm6

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How Do Literary Journals Survive?

Excellent piece by Jeff Sparrow of Overland on the social nature of reading, suggests indie press tied to events and projects, key fans to survive.

Contrary to appearances, serious reading has always been communal. In Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill’s new book Radical Sydney, Bruce Scates describes the political bookshops of the late nineteenth century as “vibrant social centres … [places that] ended the isolation, loneliness and confusion that so often plagued the working-class reader. In the reading rooms, books and newspapers, light and warmth and companionship could all be had for a penny’s admission.”

- from newmatilda.com

NYCDOT – Urban Art Program

The Urban Art Program is an initiative to invigorate the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. As part of the World Class Streets initiative, art will help foster more vibrant and attractive streets and offer the public new ways to experience New York City’s streetscapes.

DOT will partner with community-based organizations to install temporary murals, sculpture, and other installations in plazas, and on medians, triangles, sidewalks, jersey barriers and construction fences. DOT will also work with organizations/artists on temporary art projections and lighting projects in plazas and on appropriate bridges (masonry on sides of bridges), viaducts, and archways, as well as performance art and musical and theatrical performances in plazas and DOT ferry terminals.

Organizations or organization-artist teams are invited to apply to one of the three Urban Art Program tracks:

pARTners
Site to Site
Arterventions

Multipurpose Wrapping Cloth Helps To Reduce Household Waste – PSFK

- from psfk.com