“Kobayashi: Get your rest, Gentlemen. The boat will be ready for you on Friday. If I see you or any of your friends before then, Miss. Finneran will find herself the victim of a most gruesome violation before she dies. As will your father, Mr. Hockney. and your Uncle Randall in Arizona, Mr. Kint. I might only castrate Mr. McManus’s nephew, David. Do I make myself clear?”—
"In a world that is documented with ever more precision, granularity, and our very human desire to share there will increasingly be an online record that time-stamps the exact moment of birth. Shift your skeptical frame of reference from tweeting or streaming the birth live, skip one or two steps beyond Facebook to personal health monitoring systems++ synced up to your fluffy corner of the cloud, with elements of what is captured shared out to the wisps of the cloud used by your family and peers. That emotional graph of your spouse combined after checking into a hospital; the purchase trail of the child’s grandparents combined with communications chatter from your peer group? That’s the tell tale signature of a birth, y’know."
There are other tell tale signatures. Like silence.
“The struggles of the alliances in Utah are known to advocates around the country. In 1997, when Salt Lake City school officials discovered that they could not single out alliances for a ban, they took the extraordinary step of outlawing all extracurricular clubs in district schools.”—In St. George, Utah, New Clubs for Gay Students - NYTimes.com
“I regret that you have put us in this position, but there is no other course we can take,” Mr. Wachs wrote in the letter, which the foundation also sent to news organizations. “For the arts to flourish the arts must be free, and the decision to censor this important work is in stark opposition to our mission to defend freedom of expression wherever and whenever it is under attack.”—
Rafer sez: One of the few things that prevents me from being completely despondent about the US right now is that the Liberal coastal cities pay for the self-destructive teabagging of the middle class in the geographic middle. As with the Warhol Foundation, we’ll see what happens as that money flow stops.
When I joined Google as its first visual designer, the company was already seven years old. Seven years is a long time to run a company without a classically trained designer. Google had plenty of designers on staff then, but most of them had backgrounds in CS or HCI. And none of them were in high-up, respected leadership positions. Without a person at (or near) the helm who thoroughly understands the principles and elements of Design, a company eventually runs out of reasons for design decisions. With every new design decision, critics cry foul. Without conviction, doubt creeps in. Instincts fail. “Is this the right move?” When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data.
“Andreas G. Nerlich and colleagues in Munich tried out the prediction on 905 skeletons from two ancient Egyptian necropolises. With the help of X-rays and CT scans they diagnosed five cancers — right in line with Dr. Waldron’s expectations. And as his statistics predicted, 13 cancers were found among 2,547 remains buried in an ossuary in southern Germany between A.D. 1400 and 1800. For both groups, the authors wrote, malignant tumors “were not significantly fewer than expected” when compared with early-20th-century England. They concluded that “the current rise in tumor frequencies in present populations is much more related to the higher life expectancy than primary environmental or genetic factors.”—
We lost our good friend Al Yost about 10 days ago. The memorial was yesterday. His wife Debbie asked his friends and family to share stories about what made Alan the remarkable man that he was. This is what I was able to say:
“I miss my friend Alan. It is too soon for this, to be here, mourning…
Emerging from sleep and genuine downtime. I had to re-read these grafs a few times, and found new layers within them on each reading. Now on to the article.
In fact, West is so satisfied with his urban research that he’s already becoming a little restless. Recently, he and Bettencourt, led by this impatience, began exploring yet another subject: the corporation. At first glance, cities and companies look very similar. They’re both large agglomerations of people, interacting in a well-defined physical space. They contain infrastructure and human capital; the mayor is like a C.E.O.
But it turns out that cities and companies differ in a very fundamental regard: cities almost never die, while companies are extremely ephemeral. As West notes, Hurricane Katrina couldn’t wipe out New Orleans, and a nuclear bomb did not erase Hiroshima from the map. In contrast, where are Pan Am and Enron today? The modern corporation has an average life span of 40 to 50 years.
This raises the obvious question: Why are corporations so fleeting? After buying data on more than 23,000 publicly traded companies, Bettencourt and West discovered that corporate productivity, unlike urban productivity, was entirely sublinear. As the number of employees grows, the amount of profit per employee shrinks. West gets giddy when he shows me the linear regression charts. “Look at this bloody plot,” he says. “It’s ridiculous how well the points line up.” The graph reflects the bleak reality of corporate growth, in which efficiencies of scale are almost always outweighed by the burdens of bureaucracy. “When a company starts out, it’s all about the new idea,” West says. “And then, if the company gets lucky, the idea takes off. Everybody is happy and rich. But then management starts worrying about the bottom line, and so all these people are hired to keep track of the paper clips. This is the beginning of the end.”
The danger, West says, is that the inevitable decline in profit per employee makes large companies increasingly vulnerable to market volatility. Since the company now has to support an expensive staff — overhead costs increase with size — even a minor disturbance can lead to significant losses. As West puts it, “Companies are killed by their need to keep on getting bigger.”
For West, the impermanence of the corporation illuminates the real strength of the metropolis. Unlike companies, which are managed in a top-down fashion by a team of highly paid executives, cities are unruly places, largely immune to the desires of politicians and planners. “Think about how powerless a mayor is,” West says. “They can’t tell people where to live or what to do or who to talk to. Cities can’t be managed, and that’s what keeps them so vibrant. They’re just these insane masses of people, bumping into each other and maybe sharing an idea or two. It’s the freedom of the city that keeps it alive.”
"So go ahead, freak out about the banks crashing and buildings collapsing, and whatever else is supposed to happen in the end of days. I’ll just be here, chillin’ with my fellow hipsters, eating some homemade sprouted grain bread with fresh ricotta from the organic farm farm we set up where the Edge condos used to be."
“But they also said there was a strong anticlerical movement in Poland, one that was unique to this nation and not tied to the sex scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church elsewhere. It is more closely linked to an almost genetic predisposition to rebel against authority, many people here said, as much as the church’s often heavy-handed intervention in national politics and debates over social issues, particularly in vitro fertilization.”—Religious Poland Sees Rise in Secularism - NYTimes.com
“It’s a very sad day,” Leonardo said from his cellphone. “But at least I can still earn a living.”
During an 11-year run at an OTB parlor in Midtown Manhattan, Leonardo said, he cashed in nearly half a million dollars in winning tickets without placing a single bet. In racing parlance, he is a stooper, a person who picks up discarded betting slips and feeds them through a ticket scanner in the hope that someone else might have tossed out a winner. He said he brought home more than $45,000 a year for his wife and two teenagers, paying taxes all the while.
Let’s get the obvious out the way. The main train company websites were completely useless. So ill informed as to be totally redundant. This one just says the “live departure boards are currently unavailable”. And look at the horrible vague language “most Southern services are currently suspended due to adverse weather conditions”. And then they feel the need to tell you this is an important annoucement in words as well as a whopping great exclamation mark road sign thing. In, er, a yellow lozenge. As a side note just look at that as an example of a ‘digital strategy’ gone wrong. Bookmark the site on StumbleUpon - tick! Share with your friends on Facebook - tick! Compare this redundant, vague information with this deep, rich information from Twitter.
“I’ve lived just about the most perfect life,” Ms. [Elaine, of Elain’es] Kaufman said in 1998. “I’ve had the best time. If I wanted to do something, I did it. Designers designed my clothes and did my apartment. I had house seats for the theater. I was invited to screenings and book parties. I’ve had fun. What else can you ask in life?”—Elaine Kaufman, Owner of Elaine’s, Dies at 81 - NYTimes.com