August 5, 2012 at 9:30 am | In links | Comments Off
Americans Want to Live in a Much More Equal Country (They Just Don’t Realize It) – Dan Ariely – The Atlantic
…from the total pie of wealth (100%) what percent do you think the bottom 40% (that is, the first two buckets together) of Americans possess? And what about the top 20%? If you guessed around 9% for the bottom and 59% for the top, you’re pretty much in line with the average response we got when we asked this question of thousands of Americans.
The reality is quite different. Based on Wolff (2010), the bottom 40% of the population combined has only 0.3% of wealth while the top 20% possesses 84% (see Figure 2). These differences between levels of wealth in society comprise what’s called the Gini coefficient, which is one way to quantify inequality.”
Evgeny Morozov: The Naked And The TED | The New Republic
Evgeny Morozov’s brilliant take-down of shoddy thinking and the never-ending push to be on an intellectual gravy-train for life…
AS IS TYPICAL of today’s anxiety-peddling futurology, the Khannas’ favorite word is “increasingly,” which is their way of saying that our unstable world is always changing and that only advanced thinkers such as themselves can guide us through this turbulence. In Hybrid Reality, everything is increasingly something else: gadgets are increasingly miraculous, technology is increasingly making its way into the human body, quiet moments are increasingly rare. This is a world in which pundits are increasingly using the word “increasingly” whenever they feel too lazy to look up the actual statistics, which, in the Khannas’ case, increasingly means all the time.
How Urban Parks Enhance Your Brain, Part 2 – Arts & Lifestyle – The Atlantic Cities
Why even pocket parks need to be as lush as possible:
…the findings provide urban planners with some nice food for thought. The most intriguing conclusion to be drawn here is that the size of an urban park isn’t nearly as important as the density of its vegetation. Even when a nature site borders an urban road or housing development, it can function as a restorative place so long as it offers easy access to a dense interior. In other words, the ultimate goal is not to see the city for the trees.
The Case for More Urban Trees – Neighborhoods – The Atlantic Cities
On the benefits of urban forests:
Several years ago, walkability guru Dan Burden wrote a detailed monograph titled 22 Benefits of Urban Street Trees. Among other things, he calculated that “for a planting cost of $250-600 (includes first 3 years of maintenance) a single street tree returns over $90,000 of direct benefits (not including aesthetic, social and natural) in the lifetime of the tree.” Burden cites data finding that street trees create slower and more appropriate urban traffic speeds, increase customer traffic to businesses, and obviate increments of costly drainage infrastructure. In at least one recent study (reported after Burden’s analysis), trees were even found to be associated with reduced crime.
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