03 December 2016
02 December 2016
Data from 130 million commuters reveal US ‘megaregions’...
"Previously megaregions have been typically identified by an interpretative method that links large metropolitan regions through similar environmental and infrastructure systems, economic links and cultural similarities. These approaches are often based on a ‘best guess’ kind of approach, and do not rely on the analysis of large datasets. Now Dr Alasdair Rae and his co-author Dr Garrett Nelson have developed an empirical approach to identify megaregions using a dataset of more than 4 million ‘commuter flows’ involving the travel to work patterns of 130 million Americans."
26 November 2016
Interesting to compare economic weight vs US voting pattern...
"The 2016 election was a virtual tie, with Hillary Clinton narrowly winning the popular vote, while Donald Trump won just enough states for a majority in the Electoral College. But if elections were based on economic output instead of population, the 2016 election would have been a blowout for Clinton. That’s the takeaway from this graphic produced by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Brookings researchers looked at county-level election returns and compared it with data on economic output for those same counties. It found that the counties Clinton won accounted for 64 percent of the nation’s economic output, while Trump’s counties produced only 36 percent. The reason is simple: Clinton won almost every significant urban county in the US."
21 November 2016
18 November 2016
Alas, RIP, Jay W Forrester. Through his panache, presence, and personal feedback (to me!) and through his inventing core memory & CNC machines, the Whirlwind real-time digital computer, Sage air defense network, Lincoln Labs, building up the MIT Sloan School, teaching Professors Ed Roberts, John Sterman, Donella Meadows, Jurgen Randers, etc, et al, founding the System Dynamics discipline, and providing essential inspiration to dozens of MIT alumcos -- i.e. his students were founders of Digital Equipment Corp (DEC), MITRE, 3Com, Pugh-Roberts, Patni Computer Systems (birth of Indian offshoring), Ventana, and many, many more -- plus inspirational role in creating SimCity, pioneering management flight simulators, e.g. creating the Beer Game, writing Industrial Dynamics, Urban Dynamics, World Dynamics and provoking LImits to Growth, C-ROADS simulators, etc, etc, Jay Forrester remains an awesome and iconoclastic inventor, a personal inspiration to me and thousands more, and one of MIT's most epic and innovative heroes. I'm so sad at losing him but so happy to have had him too...
15 November 2016
11 November 2016
09 November 2016
05 November 2016
The Economist's Daily Chart spotlights how Gender inequality goes right to the top...
"Around the world, women rarely get the top job. The World Economic Forum, a think-tank, has tallied data on women in power in 144 countries for the past 50 years. During that time period, just under two-fifths of the countries surveyed had a female head of state or government at some point for at least a year (excluding monarchs). In half of those countries, the total time served by female leaders falls short of five years, a common length of a single full term in office."
22 October 2016
09 October 2016
Our entrepreneurial MIT alumna (and former co-lead of MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition) Haya Al Ghanim has just formally launched her Oola Sportswear venture on Indiegogo!
"Elegant, functional and loose-fitting activewear making outdoor sports accessible to more women. Oola is a modesty-inspired line of clothing that will give a segment of women a chance to experience outdoor sports without the burden of layering bulky, non-matching, non-technical clothes. Stylish, loose-fitting, made of sports tech fabrics apparel that can be worn by ladies who prefer more coverage for outdoor activities."
08 October 2016
earth ~ a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions!
"A visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours. Ocean surface current estimates updated every five days. Ocean surface temperatures and anomaly from daily average (1981-2011) updated daily. Ocean waves updated every three hours."
Lovely new Ventusky mapping of wind, rain, and temperature!
"Developed for you at our company, InMeteo [...] a Czech meteorological company based in Pilsen. At our company, we focus on weather prediction and meteorological data visualisation. [...] The name itself, Ventusky, is a combination of two words. The first is the Latin word, Ventus, means wind, and the second is the English word, Sky. The Ventusky application is freely accessible to anyone around the world, aimed at improving awareness about meteorological events in our atmosphere. Images from the application can be redistributed and thus help us achieve our goal."
21 September 2016
Fantastic to see friend and MIT Media Lab alumna Jenny Broutin and team Kickstarting their SproutsIO smart microgarden!
"A [...] system that makes growing Personal Produce™ a pleasure. Grow indoors, year-round, soil-free. [...] SproutsIO was designed to help change our relationship to food by connecting people to the source of their produce and allowing them to experience the joy of growing their own. [...] Start growing in under 5 minutes. Plug in your SproutsIO, and download and launch the SproutsIOGrow mobile app to connect your SproutsIO to WiFi. Place the sIO seed refill in the basin, the camera will recognize the plants you are growing and confirm recommended settings. Just add water and now you are growing."Excellent advance from when Jenny first brought personalized modern food/ag to the Lab back in 2011! Check out the Kickin' video and rich extra materials on the site...
03 September 2016
I'm co-teaching a very cool folio of MIT class offerings this Fall 2016 and hope you'll either consider joining us or spreading the word about particularly relevant offerings to great students and colleagues who you think might appreciate them! These cluster into three big categories: Transformational Ventures, Creative Places, and Emergent Futures. Details below & online...
- Development Ventures ~ Thu 10a-12n E14-633 ~ 15.375/EC.731/MAS.665 ~ http://developmentventures.org ~ Towards the entrepreneurial deployment of emerging market innovations solving problems faced by at least a Billion people worldwide in developing countries and underserved communities. First class: Thu 9/8
- Revolutionary Ventures ~ Thu 2-4p E15-341 ~ 9.455/15.128/20.454/MAS.883 ~ http://revolutionaryventures.org ~ Exploring personal entrepreneurial strategies and envisioning and building transformative ideas and organizations to initiate and/or accelerate bold engineering revolutions. Email email@example.com ASAP if interested. First class: Thu 9/8
- Future Commerce (H1) ~ Tue 1-2:30p E14-633 ~ MAS.s71/15.s73 ~ http://mitfuturecommerce.org ~ New Media meets Markets & Finance. First class: Tue 9/13 (Half Semester offering)
- Future Health (H2) ~ Tue 1-2:30p E14-633 ~ MAS.s72/15.s74 ~ http://mitfuturehealth.org ~ New Media meets Medicine & Wellness. First class: Tue 11/1 (Second Half of semester)
- Understanding MIT ~ Tue 4-6p 9-450A ~ 11.s941 ~ http://understandingmit.org ~ Special seminar on the challenges of designing and building research universities and crafting conditions for a supportive, vibrant, and entrepreneurial learning community. First class: Tue 9/13
- Model Cities ~ Wed 2-5p E15-359 ~ MAS.552/4.557 ~ http://mitmodelcities.org ~ Simulating & Visualizing Entrepreneurial, Innovative, & Creative Urban Hotspots. First class: Wed 9/7
- SciFab 2050 ~ Tue 7-9p E15-359 ~ MAS.s60 ~ http://scifab2050.org/ ~ An informal seminar using Science Fiction, extrapolation, simulation, and imagination to envision what our world might be like in 2050. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. First session: Tue 9/13
25 August 2016
The BBC's Rebecca Morelle spotlights Surface water shifting around the Earth as discovered by the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands...
"They found that 115,000 sq km (44,000 sq miles) of land is now covered in water and 173,000 sq km (67,000 sq miles) of water has now become land. The largest increase in water has been on the Tibetan Plateau, while the Aral Sea has been the biggest conversion of water to land. The team said many coastal areas have also changed significantly. [...] The researchers said Dubai's coast had been significantly extended, with the creation of new islands to house luxury resorts."
24 August 2016
22 August 2016
20 August 2016
18 August 2016
15 August 2016
Jeff Lieberman is at it again, this time Kickstarting Slow Dance...
"A picture frame that makes real objects appear to move in slow motion. By taking advantage of the limits of human visual perception, this optical illusion sculpture appears to be doing the impossible -- right before your eyes. Slow Dance combines technology, science, and art, in order to remind us of the natural mystery, beauty, and wonder that surround us every day."
14 August 2016
08 August 2016
31 July 2016
The Economist spotlights The muzzle grows tighter on the scourge of anti-liberty cultural, religious, and legal muzzling of free speech. Vile governments, religious wingnuts of all flavors, authoritarian or conservative movements -- all evil and spreading...
23 July 2016
OpenMind shares 1816, the Year Without a Summer when...
"It snowed and froze in parts of Europe and North America. Crops were ruined, triggering the worst famine of the nineteenth century [and] became known as “the year without a summer,” a climatic anomaly that affected the northern hemisphere"We now know this is at least partly due to the massive Tambora volcanic eruption.
"Evidence of the long range of the emissions from Tambora has been found in the high sulphur content in samples of polar ice from the time, says paleoclimatologist Robert Mulvaney of the British Antarctic Survey [...] “Very large eruptions (such as Tambora) can lift material very high in the atmosphere, and into the stratosphere,” explains Mulvaney. “Once in the stratosphere, the sulfur dioxide can oxidise into sulphuric acid, which is taken up by tiny water droplets to form a haze in the stratosphere that can reflect incident sunlight back away from the Earth, causing less light to penetrate through the atmosphere, and the Earth to cool.” This sulphuric acid circulating in the stratosphere is then detected in ice cores. In this way, scientists can estimate the volume of emissions from an eruption."Here's the evidence showing it's happened at huge scale at least a couple times per century, so inquiring minds want to know "when's next"?
WaPo's Adam Taylor shares dataset about political coups since the 1950s compiled by political scientists Jonathan Powell and Clayton Thyne. By "coup" they mean illegal and overt attempts by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive...
"Why did they have the first one? Coups also generally occur in disproportionately poor countries that suffer from other forms of political instability (such as protests and/or civil war). In recent years, there seems to be an increasing proportion of coups in new democracies, especially those that seem to already be backsliding toward authoritarianism. Ultimately, the legitimacy of the government is a crucial indicator."
15 July 2016
04 July 2016
Thanks to FEE's David D'Amato for reminding us that July 4th...
"Independence Day, presents an opportunity to reflect upon the principles immortalized in the Declaration -- principles that, if taken seriously, hold the seeds of sweeping political transformation. The declaration is not only radically libertarian, but radically decentralist."
25 June 2016
21 June 2016
Very interesting map of population density shown within sub-national territories (e.g. the 50 United States, the Lander in Germany, Provinces in South Africa, etc)...
14 June 2016
WOVNS is Kickstarting now to allow you to turn digital designs into custom short-run Jacquard-woven fabric!
"WOVNS is a platform that empowers everyone to create their own woven textiles. Unlike digital printing, weaving integrates a design into the very construction of the fabric, yielding a textile rich in both color and texture. WOVNS fabric is perfect for medium-weight apparel such as shorts, dresses, bags, and wraps, as well as home decor including upholstery, pillows, and throws. Or think of your own creative uses."
09 June 2016
21 May 2016
14 May 2016
12 May 2016
11 May 2016
04 May 2016
27 April 2016
24 April 2016
Very cool to see young Gabi Shull dance again, overcoming knee cancer with novel ankle-as-knee transplant and custom dancing prosthetic! Thanks to John Farrier from Neatorama for spotting this!
23 April 2016
Mark Wagenbuur finishes up his series of videos on finalist candidates for Cycling City of the Netherlands with this piece on my favorite Dutch city, Utrecht!
17 April 2016
16 April 2016
Concept-trailer for RISE created by David Karlak...
"In the near future, sentient robots are targeted for elimination after they develop emotional symmetry to humans and a revolutionary war for their survival begins."
in the WSJournal writes of The Librarian Who Saved Timbuktu’s Cultural Treasures From al Qaeda...
"Mr. Haidara knew that many of the works in the city’s repositories were ancient examples of the reasoned discourse and intellectual inquiry that the jihadists, with their intolerance and rigid views of Islam, wanted to destroy. The manuscripts, he thought, would inevitably become a target. [...] Mr. Haidara recruited his nephew, and they reached out to archivists, secretaries, Timbuktu tour guides and a half-dozen of Mr. Haidara’s relatives. The result was a heist worthy of “Ocean’s Eleven.” They bought metal and wooden trunks at a rate of between 50 and 80 a day, made more containers out of oil barrels and located safe houses around the city and beyond. They organized a small army of packers who worked silently in the dark and arranged for the trunks to be carried by donkey to their hiding places. [...] By the time French troops invaded the north in January 2013, the radicals had managed to destroy only 4,000 of Timbuktu’s nearly 400,000 ancient manuscripts. “If we hadn’t acted,” Mr. Haidara told me later, “I’m almost 100% certain that many, many others would have been burned.”
NYTimes piece by Parag Khanna on A New Map for America spotlights how the lower 48 could be realigned into seven megaregions...
"America is increasingly divided not between red states and blue states, but between connected hubs and disconnected backwaters. [...] Federal policy should refocus on helping these nascent archipelagos prosper, and helping others emerge, in places like Minneapolis and Memphis, collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America. Similar shifts can be found around the world. Despite millenniums of cultivated cultural and linguistic provinces, China is transcending its traditional internal boundaries to become an empire of 26 megacity clusters with populations of up to 100 million each, centered around hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing-Chengdu. Over time these clusters, whose borders fluctuate based on population and economic growth..."
Anyone paying attention would have seen my Maximizing Progress posting gone AWOL. That's both busyness and over-reliance on the FB walled-garden. It's so easy to fork good links off to one of my dozen or so specialty FB groups (e.g. Vital Cities, Thinkertools, Libertaria, Sci Fab, Vision 2050, plus the classes). Blogging is more work, for now, and so it's gotten pushed down the stack of priorities. But I'm pissed about FB being closed zone and I want a more open alternative. This here isn't perfect -- and still subject to the whims of the big Goo -- but it too needs feeding. So, I'm back.
30 January 2016
Our MIT Media Ventures ~ Media Lab Entrepreneurship & Digital Innovations class surveys a broad landscape of emerging media technologies interwoven with live- and historic-cases of inter- and entrepreneurship-based on new media ideas, culminating in a term project. The core goal of this Action Lab offering is for students to gain increased understanding of how emergent media and digital innovations translate into commercial reality and transform society.
I'm co-teaching Creative Places class this Spring 2016 together with MIT Media Lab colleague Kent Larson and team, starting Wednesday, 3 February at 2pm, as part of our MIT Cities Initiative. We're particularly keen on understanding and enabling innovation, entrepreneurship, and creative vitality in cities. We seek better indices (or rankings or scores) and analyses especially of important but often intangible aspects of the city. Ultimately we aspire to deep understanding of how urban attractiveness can be best achieved through design, zoning, development, and more. Join us at first class Wed afternoon 2pm February 4th, 2016 in Media Lab E14-633.