The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on May 29, 2011

    Awareness of climate change has filled Chicago city planners with deep concern for the trees.

    Not only are they beautiful, said Ms. Malec-McKenna, herself trained as a horticulturalist, but their shade also provides immediate relief to urban heat islands. Trees improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide, and their leaves can keep 20 percent of an average rain from hitting the pavement.

    Chicago spends over $10 million a year planting roughly 2,200 trees. From 1991 to 2008, the city added so many that officials estimate tree cover increased to 17.6 percent from 11 percent. The goal is to exceed 23 percent this decade.

    The problem is that for trees to reach their expected lifespan — up to 90 years — they have to be able to endure hotter conditions. Chicago has already changed from one growing zone to another in the last 30 years, and it expects to change several times again by 2070.

    tags: chicago climate_change resilience nyt

  • Great review. Where Perl writes “strumming,” I misread “streaming” 🙂 That works, too.
    The modern masterwork, according to Duncan, is a new kind of symposium, richer than the Platonic dialogues because it involves gathering together so many more elements.
    “Our partisan feelings and resolutions,” Duncan writes to Levertov in 1971, “act as censors of the imagination that must go deep into the well we would call ours—not into a redundancy of how we would like to think of ourselves, but into some imagination of what that depth would be if it weren’t ‘ours.’” Later in the same long letter he explains that “I am and remain a pluralist. Within the plurality of forces the Heraclitean opposites have the drama and pathos of a heightened figure upon a ground in which a multitude of figures appear.”
    Everything begins with the shuffling of a deck of cards or the strumming of some popular tune on an old guitar.

    tags: jed_perl robert_duncan art_reception arttheory arthistory arts tnr

  • This reminds me of Bill Bishop’s The Big Sort, which analyzed how America has “sorted” itself geographically into suburban enclaves, except now the sorting is done in our heads via algorithms. Interesting to think about…
    Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, once told colleagues that “a squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” At Facebook, “relevance” is virtually the sole criterion that determines what users see. Focusing on the most personally relevant news — the squirrel — is a great business strategy. But it leaves us staring at our front yard instead of reading about suffering, genocide and revolution.

    tags: internet nyt eli_pariser gatekeepers big_sort algorithm

  • Totally agree/ am intrigued by the last sentence in this paragraph (starts with “In effect…”):
    We made the city work for people for whom it had not worked in a long time. People without capital for whom low barriers to entry and not certainty of outcome were the defining issues. Those who were operating digital cottage industries and Etsy stores, artists and fashion designers, bedroom record labels and Flickr photographers. In effect we made the physical space behave as their virtual spaces did — easy to get into and out of, allowing of experimentation and failure and most importantly full of tools and structures and plugins designed to make it simple and cheap for them to do what they are passionate about.
    Listen to the video. Couldn’t we do something like this in Victoria?

    tags: cities grist hacking urbanism renew_newcastle urban_renewal

  • Great article by Wesley Yang. I think women (irrespective of ethnicity) can glean some insights here, too. Among the many stand-out paragraphs and statements, this sentence struck me (spoken by Tim Wu, lawyer):
    Someone told me not long after I moved to New York that in order to succeed, you have to understand which rules you’re supposed to break. If you break the wrong rules, you’re finished. And so the easiest thing to do is follow all the rules. But then you consign yourself to a lower status. The real trick is understanding what rules are not meant for you.

    tags: wesley_yang asians asian_american amy_chua paper_tigers newyorkmag

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