Wednesday, July 20th, 2022
The virtues involved in being a good driver —the mix of independence and cooperation, knowledge and responsibility — really are virtues well suited to citizenship in a sprawling and diverse republic.
Sunday, July 3rd, 2022
While working on things that aren’t prestigious doesn’t guarantee you’re on the right track, it at least guarantees you’re not on the most common type of wrong one.
Paul Graham, What I Worked On
Thursday, May 26th, 2022
Saturday, April 30th, 2022
The great Reacher TV series led me to try a Kindle sample, which read well. Feeling in safe hands, I searched the local public library for whichever they had in stock. They had three, and I picked Blue Moon. I began with enjoyment, reflecting on the fictional dream created as we move from little setpiece to little setpiece (a Greyhound bus, a bar, a rundown suburban home). I so enjoy that imaginative experience of fun fiction and love inducing it in others. But after a while this story becones preposterous. The waitress he meets turns out to be a superwoman, and her friends become Reacher’s special forces army as the book climaxes with attacks on the gangsters’ lairs, the body count like that of a one-person shooter. It ends up being… daft, so I think that’s it for me.
Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
eVTOL Innovation YouTube channel extols the Lilium as the most promising of the upcoming ways we will fly.
Thursday, December 23rd, 2021
Pleased to see that Petach Tikva intends to effectively expand Hayarkon Park eastwards.
The plan includes 1,250 dunams (312.5 acres) for parklands, 1,066 dunam (266.5 acres) extension of the national park, 107 dunams (26.75 acres for sport, 642 dunams (135.5 acres) for agriculture, and 639 dunams (159.75 acres) for housing and employment. The plan will be sent for approval by the Central Israel Planning & Building Committee.
Friday, November 12th, 2021
In this fun review of the Succession episode “Lion in the Meadow” (though surely a better title would have been “King Kong Comes to Dance”), Andrew Gruttadaro quotes the episode’s closing line “a timely fucking Evian”. Having watched that scene a few times over last night, I thought, no, there is no adjective between “timely” and “Evian”. But rewatching the scene, I’m wrong — I didn’t even hear the fucking word, that’s how much we’ve debased it.
A timely Evian; like everything else in this episode, what a great line! And this review transcribes much of the juiciness. The author also has a short Twitter thread on one of its great set-pieces, Adrien Brody’s Josh Aaronson’s layers.
Thursday, October 7th, 2021
Geoff Boeing at Department of Urban Planning and Spatial Analysis, USC, on the griddiness of cities — what an awesome topic for a rigorous paper!
All 16 cities with the lowest entropies are in the US and Canada. Outside of the US/Canada, Mogadishu, Kyoto, and Melbourne have the lowest orientation entropies. Surprisingly, the city with the highest entropy, Charlotte, is also in the US. São Paulo and Rome immediately follow it as the next highest cities. Chicago, the most ordered city, has a φ of 0.90, while Charlotte, the most disordered, has a φ of 0.002.
Venice, Mogadishu, Helsinki, Jerusalem, and Casablanca have the shortest median street segment lengths (indicating fine-grained networks) while Kiev, Moscow, Pyongyang, Beijing, and Shanghai have the longest (indicating coarse-grained networks).
Monday, October 4th, 2021
Londonist visits the two new Tube stations, Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms.
Saturday, June 26th, 2021
If you do business in LatAm, you’ve got a Miami office. Prodigal son Antonio García Martínez returns to Miami, now on a Substack-fueled writing mission.
I was raised in the Miami of the wild 80s and 90s, and more or less abandoned the city for 20 years before going back due to a family illness circa 2014. Much to my everlasting shock, all the twee fineries of overpaid SF tech life were there: pretentious craft beer poured by bearded lumbersexuals inside stylized industrial loft spaces; whimsically-named, garishly-painted food-trucks clustered in parking lots-turned-parks serving Korean/Mexican fusion tacos; pompous ‘Third Wave’ coffee places (in a city where espresso was already ubiquitous) featuring pierced baristas conjuring a pourover with all the seriousness of a priest performing the eucharistic miracle; glass-clad, high-rise condo buildings, indistinguishable from the same douche-cubes in SF’s SoMa (“GRANITE COUNTERTOPS, STAINLESS STEEL APPLIANCES”) growing like mushrooms in a dewy field throughout the formerly sleepy downtown.
Sunday, April 11th, 2021
Monday, March 8th, 2021
Cool — 10 upcoming skyscrapers. Interestingly, most of them seem to be in Toronto. I love the Zaha Hadid one, if that ever gets built.
Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Wow, after 5 years Yehuda Halevi St. is reopening, complete with underground light rail station. Will I still love you? Even more?
Thursday, November 12th, 2020
A series of great photos around London’s Tube from a book by Luke Abgaimoni in Londonist.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2020
“There is no linguistic justice without racial justice,” as quoted in The Linguistic Society of America’s open letter to call to remove Steven Pinker.
What a fakakta — China must be licking its chops as we stand around pissing on each other’s piss.
Friday, April 3rd, 2020
Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life
Nusseibeh’s central thesis (well, secondary thesis, the primary implicit one being that the Palestinian people should all along have appointed both his Dad and then him their oh-so-reluctant leaders) I too have felt almost in my bones: that Israelis and Palestinians are natural allies. Or, more accurately, that there’s a natural affinity which will enable us to be powerful allies if and when we ever get over our admittedly fundamental conflict.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
Pictures of the glorious Soviet metro stations, a photography book by Christopher Herwig.
Tuesday, September 17th, 2019
This Gates Foundation presentation on global inequality is clear, straightforward, well-written, nicely illustrated with animated graphs, and surely worth the time of anyone who can access it.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
Sunday, May 20th, 2018
The Closing of the Hi-Gloss Colonel of American Letters Tom Wolfe’s Eyes. The New York Times obituary by Deirdre Carmody and William Grimes.
Tuesday, May 8th, 2018
Even as the USA is troubled at the national level, it is often flourishing locally, argues James Fallows, who has spent five years criss-crossing the country with his wife.
“America is becoming more like itself again,” he writes. “More Americans are trying to make it so, in more places, than most Americans are aware.”
This is good, it seems to me; better than if the reverse were true.
Friday, March 23rd, 2018
If you’re worried about Facebook, just take a look at WeWork.
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018
Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
New York Times photo essay: parking and staying overnight at the Wal-Mart car park.
Saturday, June 24th, 2017
He had me with his first-paragraph mention of Trattoria Da Enzo, my favorite. I’ve forwarded to visitors this panegyric to Rome by the incoming New York Times’ bureau chief. A lot of attractive restaurants mentioned and described. [via Juan Carlos Bronstein, who was unimpressed by the tone, as are many others in the comments]
Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Thank you, earthhandsandhouses.org. May the movement flourish…
Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017
Friday, November 18th, 2016
This article features a list by Dan McNichol of suggested public works projects throughout the USA. He is author of The Roads That Built America, a history of the Interstate highway system (of which I actually have a copy).
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
At last — birth control for rats! A Long Read in The Guardian.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars; it’s where the rich use public transportation.
Petro Gustavo, Mayor of Bogota
Thursday, August 11th, 2016
Friday, May 22nd, 2015
On decoupling homosexuality from gayness, and more interestingly, vice versa.
Sunday, May 12th, 2013
Cary Grant’s 1963 op-ed in This Week magazine on dressing well.
Friday, March 8th, 2013
Considering how central it is for Londoners, Why is the Tube so underrepresented in stories? The writer suggests that, like sex and prayer, and unlike on the street, any human significance down there is internal.
Surely the definitive article about internet wunderkind Aaron Swartz. Only eating white or yellow food seems a glaring sign that not everything there was quite right.
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
On Google Glass:
What happens in Vegas stays… at Google.
Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Low-density sprawl is ill-fitted to a creative, post-industrial economy.
Tuesday, February 9th, 2010
America’s housing bubble was the last gasp of suburbanism. In the information age, we need to get back to the cities.
Thursday, May 7th, 2009
Wednesday, August 6th, 2008
See Lileks back skillfully into his Solzhenitsyn eulogy then relate his daughter’s birthday outing, both in the same piece.
Saturday, March 22nd, 2003
Thursday, September 12th, 2002
It is now anachronistic to sport no anachronisms.