The Sunday Diigo Links Post (weekly)

by Yule Heibel on October 16, 2011

  • Well, the old CBD – Central Business District – (as a monoculture of urban downtowns) sure seems to be taking a back seat…
    All of this is leading to something of a convergence across America’s best neighborhoods, a morphing of what we used to think of as suburban versus city life. More and more of our most desirable suburban communities look more like cities, with bustling town centers alive with pedestrian life, while our best city neighborhoods have taken on many of the characteristics we used to see as the province of suburbs: good schools, green spaces, safe streets, and family life.

    tags: richard_florida cities suburbs walkability atlantic_cities

  • Cool. Exercises for improving presbyopia (by “re-wiring” perception in the brain) soon available as an app. A $95.00 app, alas. But still…
    The app helps people compensate for deterioration in their eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects by training the brain to process the resulting blurred images. “We’re using the brain as glasses,” says Tel Aviv University’s Uri Polat, cofounder of Ucansi, which designed the software.

    The software trains users to detect patters called Gabor patches (pictured above) – blurry lines created by varying a gray background.

    tags: glasses_off presbyopia eye_exercises vision apps neuroscience

  • Hm, really? While I’m generally favorably curious about evolutionary psychology and its implications for architecture, I find the following a bit too prescriptive and overly detailed. Also disagree with the assessment of modernism and critique of its alleged “violation” of the hierarchy of scale…
    Evolutionary psychology provides an obvious reason for why people find traditional urban fabric attractive: during the period of evolutionary adaptation, if people were attracted to the temporary settlements with larger groups of people and more genetic diversity, they had a better chance of finding mates and producing healthy children. Thus, evolution hard-wired us genetically to like settlements that have individual variation and general consistency.

    This sort of urban fabric remained common during most of human history, from the earliest vernacular and traditional cities and villages until the earliest twentieth century. Here, too, buildings are similar in overall massing but different in detail.
    This is necessarily the way that traditional vernacular urbanism was built. There were only a few available materials and there was a local tradition of how to build, but each family built its own house, so there was individual variation within general consistency of design.

    tags: evolutionary_psychology architecture preservation_institute charles_siegel

  • The establishment’s reaction reminds me a bit of how people who believe in highways and cars don’t want to fund bike infrastructure. They usually argue that *they* already pay a gas tax, while the cyclists pay nothing, and thereby conveniently forget that we’re all – drivers or not – paying for highways, and that they’re driving their cars on a subsidized highway system.
    The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.

    tags: occupy_wall_street ows nyt paul_krugman politics plutocracy

  • Allan Grayson explains Occupy Wall Street. Must-see.

    tags: allan_grayson occupy_wall_street ows usa financial_crisis politics video youtube bill_maher

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

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