Sunday links: robots, cities, and the future
Warren Ellis: How To
See The Future.
The most basic mobile phone
is in fact a communications devices that shames
all of science fiction, all the wrist radios and
handheld communicators. Captain Kirk had to tune his
fucking communicator and it couldn’t text or take
a photo that he could stick a nice Polaroid filter
on. Science fiction didn’t see the mobile phone
coming. It certainly didn’t see the glowing glass
windows many of us carry now, where we make amazing
things happen by pointing at it with our fingers like
David H. Freedman: The
Rise of the Robotic Workforce.
it is a humanoid robot that has the potential to be
everything Brooks was shooting for: a breeze to use,
capable of handling any number of basic assembly-line
jobs, and ridiculously cheap.
John Naughton: Google's
self-guided car could drive the next wave of
[Google] engineers have
demonstrated that with smart software and an
array of sensors, a machine can perform a task of
sophistication and complexity most of us assumed would
always require the capabilities of humans. And that
means our assumptions about what machines can and
cannot do are urgently in need of updating.
Venkatesh Rao: Cloud
Mouse, Metro Mouse (via attention
Metro mice view cloud-mice
as philistines, incapable of appreciating the
finer things in life, represented by megacity
cultures. Cloud mice view the metro mice as
self-absorbed, urban supremacists with embarrassingly
Rosin: are men an endangered species?
was no longer about the depths men had sunk to; that
dynamic had been playing out for several decades and
was more or less played out. The new story was that
women, for the first time in history, had in many
ways surpassed them.
Timothy B. Lee: Restrictive
Zoning Is Crippling Silicon Valley’s Transit
People like me who would like there
to be more dense, walkable neighborhoods in America
face a kind of chicken-and-egg problem. Achieving
the necessary density requires a significant
fraction of people to give up their cars. Living
without a car is only practical in areas that are
well-served by transit. But a good transit system is
only economically viable in metropolitan areas that
already have significant density.
Washington's Blog: Cowardice
Is Destroying America.
The courage of the men
at Valley Forge was also a turning point in the war.
Slogging on through the dead of winter without shoes
inspired a nation. On the other hand, cowardice
makes people stupid and docile.