Monday, December 26, 2016

The Forgotten Man

The Forgotten Man painted, in 2010, by the Utah-based artist Jon McNaughton. With the White House in a crepuscular background, its flag at half-staff, all forty-four U.S. Presidents are gathered behind and to the sides of a hunky, hangdog young white guy, who sits on a park bench. He is, in the artist’s words, “distraught and hopeless as he contemplates his future.” The ground is littered with dollar bills, a reference to excessive government spending. Most of the former chief executives look on blandly, but some heroes among them, mainly Washington, Lincoln, and Reagan, react with evident concern for the young guy and with dismay toward Obama, while a few villains, notably F.D.R. and Bill Clinton, applaud.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Flirt with a CV

The essential concept of LinkedIn is that it is possible to flirt with a C.V. - Nathan Heller

"I’m personally branding myself according to what I want to do in the world," said Maya Zuckerman, a transmedia producer (that is, a producer who works across digital platforms) whose LinkedIn profile identifies her as a "Media Entrepreneur, Story Architect, Culture Hacker". "But to be honest I change the title on my LinkedIn every few months and try to see what hits." 

Monday, December 12, 2016

On Top

To my friends: My work is done. Why wait? - George Eastman

Nico Rosberg has stunned Formula One by announcing his retirement, just five days after the 31-year-old became the sport’s 2016 world champion. "Since 25 years in racing, it has been my dream, my one thing to become Formula One World Champion. Through the hard work, the pain, the sacrifices, this has been my target. And now I’ve made it. I have climbed my mountain, I am on the peak, so this feels right. I pushed like crazy in every area after the disappointments of the last two years; they fueled my motivation to levels I had never experienced before,” said Rosberg.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Trying To Paralyse Us With Bad Conscience

There can be no covenants between men and lions, 
wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, 
but hate each other out and out an through. 
Therefore there can be no understanding between you and me.
Achilles [Iliad]

In lengthy Facebook posts, Patrik Schumacher has railed against everything from state-funded art schools ("an indefensible anachronism") to the PC takeover of architecture ("trying to paralyse us with bad conscience"). Raging against the "social engineering" of housing design guides and the "intellectually bankrupt" idea of land use plans, he set out his Urban Policy Manifesto, which rambled from scrapping housing space standards to abolishing all forms of rent control and tenancy regulation. "City-center locations should be used to house "the most economically potent and most productive users who serve us most effectively. It’s about loosening the reins and rolling back the nanny state," he says. In his mind, only entrepreneurs can discover and invent the "co-locational synergies" of the city, while urban vitality cannot be determined by "faceless bureaucrats" in planning offices.

Schumacher also says: "I think governance as a business offering is an interesting idea to pursue." He cites the privately run Indian city of Gurgaon as a promising example – a place with citizens segregated in elite colonies and high-rise ghettos. Like a number of fellow rightwing libertarians, he was a former Marxist who had become disillusioned. He was finally jolted out of his "mainstream political slumber" by the 2008 financial crisis, when he discovered the writings of Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, the godfathers of neoliberalism, along with Murray Rothbard’s ideas of anarcho-capitalism.

Tsutomu Nihei