Bad Design: The Redevelopment Zone Hotel Tube

The hotel tube tells would-be users that it is an exclusive place for hotel guests that bypasses the public space of the sidewalk Continue reading Bad Design: The Redevelopment Zone Hotel Tube

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Day in the Life – #dayofhighered

This morning, I woke up around 6:15am, and came across this article of a Day of Higher Ed on my LinkedIn reading list, suggesting that academics respond to a recent critique in a Washington Post editorial that academics are “underworked.”  It resonated, given my recent frustrations with managing my workload, and my feelings that my “work” as a research assistant and teaching assistant has compromised my experience as a doctoral student.  I think it’s always important to really document the “problem” so I figured I would track my day and add it to the conversation on Twitter with the #dayofhighered hash-tag.

So here goes… Continue reading “Day in the Life – #dayofhighered”

The debt ceiling debate that we don’t hear about

I am really torn about this debt ceiling debate. On one hand, I see a noisy Republican majority in the House who doesn’t care if the government shuts down, a reckless attitude that ignores the impact that this will have of millions of people’s lives. On the other hand, the Fed’s desire to continue raising the debt ceiling has been somewhat callous and ignorant. The sub-text here is that there are two separate debates: one political, one economic. The political debate has been a theater of incompetence; the Daily Show on Monday, July 25th, characterized it with a YouTube video of a skunk with its head stuck in a peanut butter jar. The economic debate has not been very visible at all — carried on in the pages of the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.

Continue reading “The debt ceiling debate that we don’t hear about”

"Public Works" on display

On a recent trip to Chicago, I caught the final day of the Public Works exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Photography. This was right up my alley, I love looking at the landscape and what humans do to it. In most cases, “progress” on the landscape involves a typical set of development behaviors; cut down the trees, grade the land, put in drainage, etc. These behaviors are so deeply ingrained into the default construction code that trying to do something different requires too much thought. When we see the cranes and bulldozers, we typically think “progress,” and so we don’t tend to ask too many questions.

Frank Breuer, Untitled, 2004 (1523 Plum Island, MA)

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NewsCorp: The actions of a few… or the Business Model?

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This clip from the Daily Show gives a little more background on the case (humorously).

Rupert Murdoch has his ass in hot water, Jim, and let me tell you, there isn’t one piece of me that’s rooting for him to come out the other end unscathed. Should the bureaucrats for whom he has shown so much contempt decide to grind him into hamburger, so be it. Bureaucrats are old, angry dogs that sleep in the sun all day, generally too tired to fight until they are poked with a sharp stick one too many times. And when they devour you with the full force of government power that they wield, no diatribes about freedom of the press or strong-handed government interfering with the workings of business will rally enough sensible people to stop the carnage. Didn’t your mother warn youabout poking old dogs with sharp sticks?

The Economic Space of a Children’s Hospital

We’ve been analyzing spaces as part of a class I’m taking (qualitative research methods), and we’ve been examining how a space fits into one of the three spheres described by Habermas. Habermas talked about the economic sphere, the public sphere, and the private sphere. For example, a Wal-Mart clearly lies in the economic sphere – it’s a place where you consume, and that message is clear from the minute you walk into the store, with prices displayed prominently and the resounding beeps that Wal-Mart registers make. Habermas contested that the economic sphere is gradually encroaching on spaces that were previously … Continue reading The Economic Space of a Children’s Hospital