Tweemap of my 700 Twitter ‘followers’: Special tweetout to the surprising number in Brussels, Raleigh-Durham and Portland. My guess is that a map of my blog readers would look very similar.
Surowiecki’s Answer for Gasoline Conservation: Suro’s New Yorker column this week suggests that even without the incompetence/greed of the banks, the recession would have happened anyway because of last year’s gasoline price spike. And he suggests a terrific idea, that could help solve global warming: Fix the retail price of gasoline once each year, at an annual graduating amount, regardless of the wellhead price. When wellhead price was low, the difference would be collected as tax and reinvested in renewable energy. When wellhead price spiked, the tax would drop to compensate, so that consumers would know exactly what they’d be paying for the next year, and not radically change buying behaviour or spook the economy every time the price suddenly changed (which it will, more and more). By increasing the price each year, more and more conservation behaviour would be encouraged. Of course it won’t happen, because price controls are considered ‘socialism’ and are hence anathema. But we can hope.
Plotting to Impose Canadian Health Care: Nick Kristof explains why a Canadian-style health care system, for all its flaws, is the best answer for the US today. Except for the very rich.
How Language Shapes the Way We Think: How the words available to us in our language affect how and what we perceive and conceive. Thanks to Shawn for the link. In a related story, scientists have implanted the human ‘language’ gene in mice, and changed the way they communicate.
The 7 Myths of Relationship Marketing: A smart, sassy repudiation of marketers who try to use social media to hawk their wares, and pretend that having followers of their business’ Facebook page or corporate blog implies some kind of real social relationship. Thanks to Kathy S for the link.
Just Plant Trees: Planting millions of trees can help address climate change, poverty, soil degradation and a host of other social and environmental problems. Thanks to Craig for the link.
Temple Grandin, Shill for McDonalds?: Melissa Holbrook Pierson questions whether the uncritical celebration of the writing of the autistic Temple Grandin is warranted, especially if you are an animal welfare advocate.
WAGN: Wiki + Database + Content Management System. The next great social networking tool? What Ning should be?
The Orchard Harvest: Tree’s top links of the week (editorial comments below are mine, not hers):
Peter Block on Civic Engagement: A very useful and succinct summary of Block’s book Community.
Michael Moore’s Prescription for GM: Convert it to a high-speed public transit company and make the US the world leader in rapid rail transport.
Global Climate Change Impacts in the US: A region-by-region analysis of how climate change will affect Americans’ life, livelihood and ecology, from the US Government no less!
US Cities May Have to Be Bulldozed to Survive: Is this plan from Brookings a wise scheme to manage descent of overbuilt cities and remediate brownfield lands, or an unfeasible resettlement of the poor to rescue property values for the rich?
Colleen Stephenson’s Art of Hosting Graphics: A stunningly beautiful graphic representation of key learnings about the Art of Hosting
Jason Bradford’s 7 Points on Civilizational Collapse: What we have to realize, and do, for a managed descent:
A Primer on Co-Housing: What co-housing is becoming and why it is so suited to the social needs of the current century.
Just for Fun:
Thoughts for the Week:
ALL NATURE’S ART, by Felix Dennis (thanks to Michael Wiik for the link)
All Nature’s Art is purest accident,
Take grass of softest green— in beetles’ eyes
And so it is, my love, with you and me—
Though as for that, no truth was ever known
MOTHERLESS, by Dave Bonta
I am holding a small mammal against my chest. When it cries, I try my best to sway like a tree. When it speaks, the words come from a great distance & I can’t make them out. We are hiding in abandoned tunnels under the streets of a city that has engulfed the earth. Our skin has turned pale blue in the absence of sky & our minds are grim reapers: drift nets set to catch rare flashes of joy. A twitch travels from muscle to muscle before lodging permanently in my left eyelid. It’s a lucky thing I’ve still got sunglasses on. The motherless creature in my arms has imprinted on its own reflection & would wail if I ever took them off. With cars above & trains below, the ground never stops trembling, even in its sleep.