The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on May 17, 2009

Below is the Sunday Links post, but before we get to that, here are two blog posts where I left comments recently.

One was Catherine Novak‘s post about the Shoal Point Moka House tweetup two days ago. I mentioned that Starbucks, for example, has policies around filming/ photographing on their premises that make what happened at Friday’s tweetup look benign. We twitterers (admittedly, I didn’t attend this one) can’t assume that we can have tweet-ups any old time any which place, but it sounds like the TV crew didn’t do its homework, either – and given the (in)famous Starbucks policies, it’s by no means a safe assumption that “third places” (coffee shops, for example) should be treated like public places.

The other comment was on Maria Benet’s post at week’s end on her small change blog. She pointed to a terrific article by Daphne Merkin about depression, A Journey Through Darkness (in the New York Times Magazine). Lots to say about that topic; I’ve been on a bender of sadness and self-revulsion lately, although I was starting to feel better. Then again, something happened today to make me …well, not exactly clinically depressed again, but certainly dead up against a wall on which I am so fucking tired of banging my head.

Anyway, two very different topics (tweetups, depression), but both blog entries well worth reading and thinking about in terms of the issues they raise. And now, on to the Sunday Diigo Links Post…

  • Discussion of Freiburg suburb, Vauban, and its “car-free” environment:
    Street parking, driveways and home garages are generally forbidden in this experimental new district on the outskirts of Freiburg, near the French and Swiss borders. Vauban’s streets are completely “car-free” — except the main thoroughfare, where the tram to downtown Freiburg runs, and a few streets on one edge of the community.

    tags: suburbia, cars, green_strategies, vauban, germany

  • Terrific article by Neil Henry, professor and dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley, about the J-School’s initiatives around local news reporting. Focusing on Linjun Fan’s success with Albany Today (, Henry explains how the students cover local news and use cutting edge multimedia tools.
    For nearly every story over the next two years, Linjun was first on the scene, using the most highly advanced digital tools to file her work to her site from all over town.

    Most of the time she was the only reporter at any of the events she covered, a stark reality shared by most of her classmates in their own coverage of places as varied as El Cerrito, Emeryville, and West Oakland.
    Today, as they learn multimedia and community-based journalism, so do all of our students practice it, providing fresh content throughout the year to our other thriving digital news sites, Oakland North ( and Mission Loc@l (, which won a national award for Internet excellence recently for its coverage of San Francisco’s Mission District.

    And we continue to grow. In August we will launch a new digital news site devoted to the people of Richmond.
    We want to partner with other local sites run by people similarly committed to covering Bay Area communities. We envision legions of small businesses and other potential advertisers in the Bay Area finding tremendous new audiences through these ties. We are filled with excitement and purpose, fueled by the idealism and dedication of young students who increasingly are showing the way.

    tags: local_news, uc_berkeley, journalism

  • Inaugural issue of the Journal of Information Architecture.

    tags: information_architecture, journal

  • Interesting article about the “dark figure” of crime:
    The problem was first described in the 1830s by Adolphe Quetelet, a Belgian mathematician and sociologist and the founder of modern scientific statistics. The real crime rate, which he called the “dark figure of crime,” could not be revealed by official statistics, he argued: “Our observations can only refer to a certain number of known and tried offenders out of the unknown sum total of crimes committed. Since this sum total of crimes committed will probably ever continue unknown, all the reasoning of which it is the basis will be more or less defective.” The problem has plagued criminology for nearly two centuries.
    The implication is that reports of falling (or rising, for that matter) crime rates aren’t “objective,” since they’re based on “dark figures” which are unknown.

    Interesting conclusion to the article, too:
    The situation in Britain, then, resembles that of 1980s New York, whose crime problems were routinely called insoluble. What the British government fails to understand is that the majority of serious crimes are committed by a small cadre of criminals, who are also, disproportionately, the authors of minor crimes. If you lock these criminals up—reliably, and for a long time—crime will drop precipitously. The reason Broken Windows policing works is not that it is inherently important to jail every petty thug who breaks a window; it is that the window-breakers tend to be muggers, rapists, burglars, and murderers as well. If you get them off the streets, the rate of serious crime will fall.

    tags: crime, britain, city_journal, claire_berlinski, dark_figure

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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