Daily Diigo Public Link 12/21/2007

by Yule Heibel on December 20, 2007

At 71, Physics Professor Is a Web Star – New York Times Annotated

“Walter H. G. Lewin, 71, a physics professor, has long had a cult following at M.I.T. And he has now emerged as an international Internet guru, thanks to the global classroom the institute created to spread knowledge through cyberspace.”

The professor, who is from the Netherlands, said that teaching a required course in introductory physics to M.I.T. students made him realize “that what really counts is to make them love physics, to make them love science.”

Crosscut Seattle – Amazon joins a parade of high tech to the urban core Annotated

– article by Margaret Pugh O’Mara, which asks some pretty good questions about how the transfer of “new economy” businesses from the suburbs back to the center city has implications for urbanism, as well as for what type of new economy businesses move to the core.

Technology Review: What Your Phone Knows About You Annotated

Sandy Pentland, professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, talks about “reality mining.”
– this is page 2 of a 2-page article

Technology Review: What Your Phone Knows About You Annotated

Sandy Pentland, professor of media arts and sciences at MIT, talks about “reality mining.” Pay attention, interesting stuff!
– this is page 1 of a 2-page article

Based on phone calls and the devices’ physical proximity to other people’s phones (as measured by Bluetooth), Pentland and researcher Nathan Eagle developed social-network models that were more accurate and more nuanced than those constructed from the subjects’ self-reports.

Sifting through cell-phone data to get at the truth of people’s social interactions falls under the umbrella of an emerging field that Pentland has dubbed “reality mining.” And he thinks that social networks are just the beginning. The same techniques can be applied to other sets of cell-phone data to help people communicate more effectively, manage their time better, and even make their neighborhoods more livable. And it’s all thanks to the ubiquity of cell phones–the ultimate data-collection machines.

BLDGBLOG: Church of God, Elevator Annotated

– starts with a great story about Mark Twain, and asks a trenchant question about the adventurousness (or absence thereof) in architectural design today

How Should We Be Thinking About Urbanization? A Freakonomics Quorum – Freakonomics – Opinion – New York Times Blog Annotated

A “quorum of smart thinkers” discusses what problems and opportunities majority urbanism presents, “What effects has it had on our local and global culture? Economy? Health?”

Edward Glaeser, professor of economics at Harvard and director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Kennedy School of Government:

  • – his entire text is worth highlighting!

Humans are a social species, and our greatest achievements are all collaborative. Cities are machines for making collaboration easier. Thus, I am delighted that our planet has become increasingly urban.

Robert Bruegmann, professor of art history, architecture, and urban planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago

Dolores Hayden, professor of architecture, urbanism, and American studies at Yale and author of Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000:

Alan Berube, research director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

melanie December 21, 2007 at 4:37 am

I especially liked the last item. Nothing especially new, but why is it that we don’t discuss this in Sydney?

Yule December 21, 2007 at 10:56 am

You mean the Freakonomics Quorum, right? Yes, that’s a good one — I haven’t had time to read the long comments string on this one, but many people responded. (I did underline one of the first comments, which pointed out that Kunstler “is a nostalgic fear-monger.” K. really gets on my wick.

If you want to try Diigo, btw, let me know and I’ll send you an invite.

melanie December 29, 2007 at 12:48 am

Looks interesting. Do I need an invite? If so, please do.

Yule December 29, 2007 at 9:31 am


pocono resorts Steve September 6, 2008 at 7:44 am

Thats a beautiful pic you took! Wow.

Yule September 6, 2008 at 8:50 am

Thanks, but I didn’t take that picture — it’s from BLDGBLOG’s entry, and it’s captioned / credited thus:

[Image: Chartres Cathedral as rendered in Quake 3, via Quake 3 World, an image that has almost nothing to do with this post].

I’m afraid my Diigo-generated entry (the one you commented on here) was over the top insofar as I set my Diigo bookmarking parameters to blog not just the links and my comments on the link, but also all the underlined highlights. I subsequently changed those parameters, to show in my blog entries only the link and my thoughts/ comment on the item, vs. showing what I underlined/highlighted.

But yeah, it’s a great photo (which is why I highlighted it in BLDGBLOG’s entry, and which is why it subsequently showed up here).

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