Techmology ain’t your friend. We need more vigilance over what our lovely new tech toys are doing to us.
There must be better ways to design the tools we need and use. Perhaps the Center for Humane Technology has some ideas.
Silicon Valley is reckoning with having had a bad philosophical operating system. People in tech will say, “You told me, when I asked you what you wanted, that you wanted to go to the gym. That’s what you said. But then I handed you a box of doughnuts and you went for the doughnuts, so that must be what you really wanted.” The Facebook folks, that’s literally what they think. We offer people this other stuff, but then they always go for the outrage, or the autoplaying video, and that must be people’s most true preference.
I think the [traffic] metrics have created this whole illusion that what people are doing is what people want, when it’s really just what works in the moment, in that situation.
Richard Florida has been leading a new understanding of what makes urban places great and how we can harness the innovation and economic success that comes from our cities.
His thoughts on the 2016 election lead him to see a looming decentralization of political power. It sounds good to the staff here, but we wonder how it plays out in situations such as when red country pollution seeps into blue cities.
Steps to mitigate misinformation campaigns. The Russians aren’t the only ones doing it.
the internet companies that sold ads to Russians over the past few years can voluntarily adopt the Honest Ads Act’s provisions. They’ve taken some steps in that direction, but there is certainly more they could do.
More housing is needed in most communities experience rapid increases in housing costs. To some extent displacement is a problematic consequence of denser redevelopment. Right to Remain provisions could incentivize developers to keep displaced renters in the neighborhood while replacement housing is built. This would go a long way to reducing the effects of displacement.
Right to Remain could fit into state or local law in a number of ways — but it would be most effective to pair it with upzoning (zone changes that allow for denser housing to be built). Rent is rising in Los Angeles because we build far too little housing to accommodate our children and the job-seekers who move here. That resulting housing shortage gives landlords all the negotiating power. Upzoning allows more housing to be built, giving renters more options — and therefore more leverage with landlords. In combination with the Right to Remain, upzoning can provide enough housing to bring rents down while making sure that no one is displaced along the way.