The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on September 25, 2011

  • “By taking lists of potential side effects out of the hands of the drug makers, the startup is letting people know what their pills might be doing to them in a more open way than big pharmaceutical companies ever have. “

    tags: crowdsourcing pharmaceuticals drugs opendata fast_company

  • Slightly hagiographic, but appropriately so. What a …well, risk-taker…
    Aug. 3 (Bloomberg) — “Bloomberg Risk Takers” profiles Elon Musk, the entrepreneur who helped create PayPal, built America’s first viable fully electric car company, started the nation’s biggest solar energy supplier, and may make commercial space travel a reality in our lifetime. And he’s only 40. (Source: Bloomberg)

    tags: bloomberg elon_musk visionary

  • Some terrific ideas here:
    This summer the Institute for Urban Design asked New Yorkers to submit ideas for making the city’s public spaces “smarter, more beautiful and livable.” Some 500 responses later, the institute then asked designers from around the world to shape these raw ideas into concrete projects for the city. The results of this “collaborative re-imagining” of New York were revealed during Urban Design Week, which came to a close on Tuesday, with 10 entries declared collective “winners.”

    tags: urban_renewal urban_amenities urban_design cities nyc atlantic_cities design

  • Interesting: Needed? A crit of the web akin to Jane Jacobs’s 1961 book?
    What the internet badly needed in its first two decades of existence, and what it needs still, is a book akin to Jane Jacob’s [sic] 1961 The Death and Life of Great American Cities which attacked the practices and attitudes of 1950s US urban planners and proved hugely influential. The structure of online space requires a similar critique.

    The founding fathers of the internet had laudable instincts: the utopian vision of the internet as a shared space to maximise communal welfare is a good template to work from. But they got co-opted by big money, and became trapped in the self-empowerment discourse that was just an ideological ruse to conceal the interests of big companies and minimise government intervention.

    The current state of affairs is not irreversible. We still have some privacy left and internet companies can still be swayed by smart regulation. But we need to stop thinking of the internet as a marketplace first and a public forum second. What is long overdue is a fundamental reconsideration of the primacy of the internet’s civic and aesthetic dimensions. It’s time to decide whether we want the internet to look like a private mall or a public square.

    tags: prospect_magazine evgeny_morozov jjacobs internet socialcritique

  • Hear, hear:
    Carr’s chief problem, though, is a tendency to view every social problem he encounters as either caused by the internet or heavily influenced by it. He worries about the emergence of the post-literary mind; the fact that few people have time for novels like War and Peace; the lack of time and space for contemplative thought; and even a “slow erosion of our humanness and our humanity,” not to mention his constant fretting about the future of western civilisation held hostage by the ephemeral tweets of movie star Ashton Kutcher. There is cause for concern here, but most of these problems pre-date the internet. Similarly, Carr’s sections on the novel provide a conservative defence of linear narrative, stable truths, and highly-structured, rational discourse. Yet all of this came under severe assault from postmodernism long before Google’s founders entered high school.

    tags: prospect_magazine evgeny_morozov nicholas_carr internet socialcritique

  • The idea strikes me as bizarre, but also weirdly appealing…
    “Technology enables us to create an appealing green space in an underserved neighborhood,” says Ramsey. The key, he says, is the “remote skylight,” a system that channels sunlight along fiber-optic cables, filtering out harmful ultraviolet and infrared light but keeping the wavelengths used in photosynthesis. “We’re channeling sunlight the way they did in ancient Egyptian tombs, but in a supermodern way.” Ramsey envisions a stand of dozens of lamppostlike solar collectors on the Delancey Street median, feeding a system of fixtures down below.

    tags: nyc low_line parks greenspace urban_amenities nymag

  • Book review of Ego: The Fall of the Twin Towers and the Rise of an Enlightened Humanity by Peter Baumann and Michael W. Taft:
    The ability to deal kindly with people on an individual level and then demonize them when they are in a group has been a longstanding mystery. Group behavior, being social, obviously had benefits for early man; trying to live without a group was practically a death sentence even when an ‘individual’ victory in ways large and small was absolutely necessary for survival.

    tags: psychology evolutionary_psychology 9_11 ego book_review science_2.0

  • Some great trends/ technologies listed here:
    …how can cities—old or new—take green to a new level? Here’s a look at some of the ways
    – District Heating
    – Micro Wind Turbines
    -Pumped Hydro Storage/ Micro Power
    – Walking and Biking
    – Personal Rapid Transit
    – Pneumatic Garbage Collection
    – Waste to Resource
    – Green Roofs

    tags: cities ecological_urbanism michael_totty green_technologies

  • Couldn’t agree more:
    …the best way to save wilderness is through strong, compact, beautiful communities that are more, not less, urban and do not encroach on places of significant natural value.

    tags: wilderness atlantic atlantic_cities kaid_benfield urbanism cities

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

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