Weekend Reading 3/8/13

Sex, neuroscience, and walkability? Procrastination, Hugo Chavez, coyotes, and more...
This post is 97 in the series: Weekend Reading

Alan

This is the best viral infographic of the year so far. It’s astonishing. Even if you think you know all about US wealth inequality and the 1% and the metastacizing financial sector and too big to fail and K Street and Winner-Takes-All Politics and so on and so forth, you need to watch this short video.

Some cutting and courageous election advice to British Columbians from climate hawk and Sightline friend Mark Jaccard. Shorter: Last time, he told everyone to vote Liberal to save the BC carbon tax; this time, he’s telling everyone to vote New Democrat, to stop the Pacific Gateway pipeline—which is just Keystone West.

Clark

This may be the most entertaining lecture on sustainable transportation I’ve ever seen: Nelson/Nygaard’s Jeff Tumlin discussing “Sex, Neuroscience, and Walkable Urbanism.” See especially the section starting at about 22:30, where he talks about the harm we cause ourselves by measuring transportation “success” so poorly.

In praise of procrastination. As it turns out, it often pays to wait until the last second to make a decision—especially if you use the extra time to gather and process information. But I think he takes things too far: sometimes procrastination is the worst thing you can possibly do (just ask a cancer patient who put off routine screening). So there’s wisdom in understanding what sorts of things can actually be put off without harm.

What will $30 million in transportation spending buy?  According to Bike Portland: just 1 mile of street widening, or…100 miles of sidewalks, 300 miles of buffered bike lanes, 2,000 pedestrian safety beacons, and on and on…

Eric

The long arc of human history has yielded such a diversity of cultures that it’s usually impossible to say that any one of them is truly “the most” or “the best” at anything.  Yet it’s clear to me that when Google Glass comes to market, Western civilization will be crowned the most annoying.

Matthew Yglesias delivers a well-deserved skewering to the defenders of his city’s parking mandates.

Inspired by an evening encounter with a coyote in his neighborhood, Chuck Wolfe meditates on the relationship between nature and cities.

Hugo Chavez got at least one thing right when he pointed out: “If the climate was a bank [the US] would already have saved it.”

Finally, it’s too bad I’m married because it means I missed my opportunity to deliver the greatest breakup line ever: “This may feel cold, but there’s nothing cold about well-reasoned analysis.”

Anna

Listen to Bernie Sanders talking about his new climate change bill on Living On Earth.

Climate change? Just another enemy for the US Navy’s top brass to combat. Mother Jones looks at how the military is leading on global warming and energy.

Elizabeth Warren asks: How much money does a bank have to launder before people go to jail?

And—uh oh—sleep deprivation has genetic consequences. (Can somebody tell my 3-year old this!?) H/T Nicole B.

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Comments

  1. Scott says:

    A number of the links above are not working, redirecting to a “mail.sightline.org…” address.

    • Phil says:

      Same here; and I SO want to see what the authors found so interesting!

    • Anna Fahey says:

      Technical glitch. We’re working on fixing links right now. Stay tuned!

  2. Jonathan says:

    Re: inequality:
    Is it all about capital?

    “3% of the population owns 95% of the privately held land in the USA.” Harpers, Jan 1979

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