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robertogreco : private   23

Private Dreams and Public Ideals in San Francisco | The New Yorker
"If you were a kid in San Francisco during the nineties, there was much to get away with, and a flurry of ragged-edged mainstream commerce helped transmute these escapes into local fellow-feeling. Geeks with T-shirts past their elbows tried to open up the world in Linux consoles. Zines were made at Kinko’s. Music, in defiance of the polish of the eighties, met the airwaves with garage-band roughness: hard, bossy, confident, and yet—’Cause I want to be someone who believes—unweary and upbeat. In town, you could watch the dive bars becoming lunch spots that served portobello sandwiches with garlic fries; visit new museums and new stadiums; see empty industrial buildings turn into cafés where the smell of grinding dark roast chased you past the patrons with gauged ears and thick-rimmed glasses into the wide, light-gray drizzle outside. It was a civic project homemade by an energetic new tribe of like-minded locals, and undertaken through bold dreaming in the private sphere. It seemed to us a shared effort to turn the city bright.

People in power appeared to understand. In the mid-nineties, urban planners, architects, economists, transportation consultants, real-estate experts, and government wonks collaborated on a renovation strategy for the Ferry Building. The first floor, they decided, should mix commercial space and travel concourses. The top would remain offices. In between would be public space, a foyer looking out over the water. This vision was reiterated in the port’s immense Waterfront Land Use Plan, adopted in 1997, which aimed to create an “outdoor living room.” As part of the plan, the Ferry Building would have “activities available at different price levels” and no “conventional shopping center or tourist-oriented retail.”

By 1998, the concept had begun, quietly, to change. Four developers submitted plans focussed on making the bottom floor what one reporter called a “global marketplace.” The winning proposal included high-end food shops, restaurants, and more than a hundred and fifty thousand square feet of premium office space. Commercial imperatives took hold. “If you made artisan cheese, you didn’t want to share a space with a low-quality bread shop,” one of the building’s architects explained. As the value of the complex rose, its ownership travelled among private hands. Last year, its current owner, the multinational Blackstone Group, announced that it was trying to sell off the remaining five decades of the master lease for an estimated three hundred million dollars; so far, there has been no sale.

The nineties were not the first time that California’s public resources flowed into the private sector. But the decade marked a turn. Power, as never before, rested with people who had come of age after the atomization of American culture: the boomers, with their vapors of radical individualism, and the my-way-oriented Generation X. While the Ghirardelli Square model of public-private development had emerged from integrative pluralism, the Ferry Building, like the Sea Ranch, evolved to gratify a new and widespread tribal life-style ideal. It is impossible to go inside the building now without entering the shops and ogling premium grass-fed meats, artisanal coffee, or the very popular Humboldt Fog cheese, available for thirty dollars a pound. To partake of public life in San Francisco today is to be funnelled toward a particular kind of living."



"American opportunity is notoriously a path of unequal resistance. Test scores track with parental income; Zip Codes predict life expectancies. What these data do not capture is the fortuity and betrayal even in the smooth progress we seek. We say, We’re doing something for our children and our children’s children. We say, We want to give our kids the things we didn’t have. But every palace is someone’s prison; every era’s victory the future’s baseline for amendment. Our children and our children’s children: they will leave our dreams behind.

Long before the founding of Rome, the Etruscans measured time by something called the saeculum. A saeculum spanned from a given moment until the last people who lived through that moment had died. It was the extent of firsthand memory for human events—the way it felt to be there then—and it reminds us of the shallowness of American history. Alarmingly few saecula have passed since students of the Enlightenment took human slaves. We are approaching the end of the saeculum of people who remember what it feels like to be entered into total war. The concept is useful because it helps announce a certain kind of loss: the moment when the lessons that cannot be captured in the record disappear.

The saeculum that shaped the current Bay Area started soon after the Second World War and will end shortly. The lessons that it offers should be clear to anyone who lived across that span. To have grown up through San Francisco’s recent history is to be haunted by the visions of progressivism that did not end up where they were supposed to, that did not think far enough ahead and skidded past the better world they planned. It’s to be paranoid about second- and third-order social effects, to distrust endeavors that cheer on sensibility more than sense. It’s to have seen how swiftly righteous dreams turn into cloister gates; to notice how destructive it can be to shape a future on the premise of having found your people, rather than finding people who aren’t yours. The city, today, is the seat of an atomized new private order. The lessons of the saeculum have not stuck."
nathanheller  2018  sanfrancisco  change  public  private  marin  ronaldreagan  cities  urban  urbanism  generations 
august 2018 by robertogreco
The Device is the Message
["THE-DEVICE-IS-THE-MESSAGE_PART_I"
http://blog.newhive.com/the-device-is-the-message_part_i/v

"The Device is the Message by Liliana Farber

Storage Un.it is a small project space located in a storage unit @ arebyte Gallery in London. The space features a series of projects, which take place online and investigate the relationship between the URL & IRL. The space was initiated in Nov 2015 as part of ‘The Wrong’ online Biennale.

The second residency in storage-un.it is artist Liliana Farber and her work titled the-device-is-the-message_Part_I.

The work focuses on the idea of the smartphone as an active agent in the way we interact with the real world, the art world and the online world, but also with each other. Confrontations become digitized and repercussions between the machine and its user are staged virtually.

In relation to the way in which the smartphone has become integral to the modern world, Farber will interrogate how this reliance affects real interactions — but also how the specific language of the virtual is shaping our perceptions of time, space and place in the real. The symbiotic relationship between the user, the machine and the notion of privacy is of interest for the artist and will be explored further via recordings and research with relation to her personal data usage.

A precise intimacy is at play between the user and the screen; private experiences are created but can also become part of the public domain. This idea of the boundaries between public and private can be seen by the way in which Farber is conducting her research and documenting the project’s progress. All aspects are continually updated via NewHive, and viewers can watch the project update in real time through September 10th, 2016.

Once the online residency is completed, the research undertaken will be presented in an exhibition displayed through the smartphone screen – both reflecting on the temporal nature of imagery and our constant exposure to content, a comment on the sub-sequential reliance on the screen to divulge information."]
thedeviceisthemessage  lilianafarber  newhive  smartphones  mobile  art  2016  privacy  online  internet  phones  time  space  place  public  private  imagery  netart 
july 2016 by robertogreco
intimacy gradients - Text Patterns - The New Atlantis
"Pay attention to the links here: Tim Maly pointed me to this 2004 post by Christopher Allen that draws on the famous 1977 architectural treatise A Pattern Language to talk about online life.

Got all that?

The key concept is intimacy gradients. In a well-known passage from A Pattern Language the authors write,
The street cafe provides a unique setting, special to cities: a place where people can sit lazily, legitimately, be on view, and watch the world go by... Encourage local cafes to spring up in each neighborhood. Make them intimate places, with several rooms, open to a busy path, where people can sit with coffee or a drink and watch the world go by. Build the front of the cafe so that a set of tables stretch out of the cafe, right into the street.

That's the passage as quoted in the book's Wikipedia page. But if you actually look at that section of the book, you'll see that the authors place a great deal of emphasis on the need for the ideal street café to create intimacy as well as public openness. Few people want always to "be on view"; some people almost never do. Therefore,

In addition to the terrace which is open to the street, the cafe contains several other spaces: with games, fire, soft chairs, newspapers.... This allows a variety of people to start using it, according to slightly different social styles.

And "When these conditions are present" — all of these conditions, the full appropriate range of intimacy gradients — "and the cafe takes hold, it offers something unique to the lives of the people who use it: it offers a setting for discussions of great spirit — talks, two-bit lectures, half-public, half-private learning, exchange of thought."

Twitter actually has a pretty highly developed set of intimacy gradients: public and private accounts, replies that will be seen automatically only by the person you’re replying to and people who are connected to both of you, direct messages, and so on. Where it fails is in the provision of “intimate places”: smaller rooms where friends can talk without being interrupted. It gives you the absolute privacy of one-to-one conversations (DMs) and it gives you all that comes with “being on view” at a table that extends “right into the street,” where anyone who happens to go by can listen in or make comments; but, for public accounts anyway, not much in between.

And you know, if you’re using a public Twitter account, you can’t really complain about this. If you tweet something hoping that your friends will notice and respond, that’s fine; but you’re not in a small room with just your friends, you’re in a vast public space — you’re in the street. And when you stand in the street and make a statement through a megaphone, you can’t reasonably be offended if total strangers have something so say in reply. If you want to speak only to your friends, you need to invite them into a more intimate space.

And as far as I can tell, that’s what private Twitter accounts provide: a place to talk just with friends, where you can’t be overheard.

Now, private accounts tend to work against the grain of Twitter as self-promotion, Twitter as self-branding, Twitter as “being on view.” And if we had to choose, many of us might forego community for presentation. But we don’t have to choose: it’s possible to do both, to have a private and a public presence. For some that will be too much to manage; for others, perhaps for many others, that could be where Twitter is headed.

Okay, I’m done talking about Twitter. Coming up in the next week: book reports."
alanjacobs  2014  intimacygradients  apatternlanguage  christopheralexander  cities  twitter  society  sociology  internet  culture  architecture  space  public  private  privacy 
april 2016 by robertogreco
Center for a Stateless Society » A Modest Proposal
"Al Jazeera recently covered Chattanooga, Tennessee’s high-speed Internet service (“As Internet behemoths rise, Chattanooga highlights a different path,” June 6). [http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/5/29/chattanooga-net-neutrality.html ] The “Gig,” as it’s affectionately known, operates at one gigabyte per second — about fifty times the U.S. average — charging each customer about $70 a month. It uses a preexisting fiber-optic infrastructure originally built for the electrical power utility.

A couple of little-known facts regarding local Internet infrastructure: Telecommunications companies were given billions in subsidies and phone service rate hikes back in the ’90s based on their promise to build local fiber-optic infrastructure for high-speed Internet access — then they simply pocketed the money and never built that infrastructure. The original promise was something like the kind of ultra-high-speed, low-price Internet service available in most of Western Europe.

You can get a lot of the facts at the website Teletruth.org. Today, telecommunications infrastructure construction by these companies is down by about 60%, while revenues are way up. Instead of near-instant page loads for $40 a month, it’s typical to get gouged for more than $100 and suffer slow speeds and wireless connections that constantly fade out. Believe me, I know — I get my wireless service from AT&T U-verse, and they suck more than a galactic-size black hole. This is a classic example of the oligopoly style Paul Goodman described of the companies in an industry carefully spooning out improvements over many years, while colluding to mark up prices. The telecoms, far from building out their infrastructure to increase capacity, are strip-mining their existing infrastructure and using it as a cash cow while using oligopoly pricing to guarantee enormous profits on shoddy service.

Hundreds of cities around the United States have high-capacity municipal fiber-optic networks just like Chattanooga’s, originally built to support local government communication functions, but they’re forbidden by law in most states (passed in response to telecom lobbying) from using those to offer Internet service to the general public. Not only that, the telecommunications industry raises hell in the state legislatures even when local school districts propose using their own fiber-optic infrastructure to provide Internet service to the public schools instead of paying Verizon, Cox or AT&T for their sorry producst. These telecom companies — which received billions on subsidies for a service they failed to deliver — have the nerve to whine that it’s unfair for them to have to compete with a service subsidized by the taxpayers.

So here’s my proposal: In any community like Chattanooga, with an existing fiber-optic infrastructure capable of providing better quality Internet service to a significant part of town, this infrastructure should immediately be put to use for this purpose, with rates set at actual cost of provision. But instead of being administered by the city government, it should be spun off as a consumer cooperative owned and governed by the users.

In Cory Doctorow’s novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, dumpster-diving hardware hackers in Toronto attempt to construct a free wireless meshwork using open-source routers built from discarded electronics, persuading neighborhood businesses to host the routers at the cost of electricity. In the real world, schools, public libraries and municipal buildings could host such routers and provide free wireless access to those in the areas covered.

In fact, why not take it a step further? Forty years ago, in “Confiscation and the Homestead Principle,” Murray Rothbard argued that government property should be treated as unowned, that it should be claimed (via homesteading) as the property of those actually occupying and using it, and that government services should accordingly be reorganized as consumer or worker cooperatives. Further, he argued that the property of “private” corporations that get most of their profits from state intervention should get the same treatment.

The way I see it, the telecom companies that pocketed those subsidies and rate increases back in the ’90s owe customers about $200-odd billion, plus all the profits they’ve subsequently collected via price-gouging. So when local communities with municipal fiber-optic infrastructure organize those Internet service cooperatives like I describe above, they might as well go ahead and void out the telecom companies’ property claims to the “private” infrastructure as well and incorporate that infrastructure into the consumer cooperatives.

Those who follow the “net neutrality” debate are rightly outraged that Internet service providers are threatening to gouge customers based entirely on their ability to pay, simply because they can. But the proper expression of this outrage is not hacking at the branches through regulatory legislation. It’s striking at the root: The ability of the telecom companies, thanks to government subsidies and privilege, to get away with such behavior.

It’s time to expropriate the expropriators."
broadband  telecoms  infrastructure  internet  connectivity  2014  subsidies  law  legal  public  private  chattanooga  isp  teletruth  money  government  policy  internetaccess  digitaldivide  netneutrality  kevincarson 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Paul Dourish on Delineating the Public and Private - YouTube
"Paul Dourish of the University of California, Irvine discusses how does the design of physical spaces, virtual experiences, and legal codes form the experience of the public and the private. Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center moderates.

The Hyperpublic symposium brings together computer scientists, ethnographers, architects, historians, artists and legal scholars to discuss how design influences privacy and public space, how it shapes and is shaped by human behavior and experience, and how it can cultivate norms such as tolerance and diversity."
hyperpublic  tolerance  diversity  design  cities  urbanism  urban  architecture  private  public  jonathanzittrain  pauldourish  2011  berkmancenter 
february 2012 by robertogreco
Design and Reach - Innovating for Affordable Private Schools
"One of the most exciting movements I’ve seen recently in the social enterprise world is the development of Affordable Private Schools. Approximately 100 million children in the developing world are attending ultra low-cost private schools (generally less than $10/month in school fees). Their parents (typically low or working class, living at the base of the pyramid) choose to invest their limited income in their children's education and realize that the affordable private schools tend to offer a far superior education to the local public schools."
development  education  future  ideo  private  schools  privateschools  innovation 
august 2010 by robertogreco
National Journal Online -- Education Experts -- Should Private Money Fund Public Schools?
Diane Ratvich: "I would like to see public education improve, and I would like to see Catholic and other religious schools survive. So I have a simple principle to propose: Public money for public schools, private money for private schools. That way, entrepreneurs would stop picking the public's pocket for their enrichment, and philanthropists would be encouraged to support effective and worthy religious schools, especially those (like Catholic schools) that have helped poor and working-class families and children. The survival of inner-city Catholic education now hangs in the balance, and only private money can save it. And should."

[via: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2009/10/i-like-being-on-same-side-of-argument.html ]
education  schools  funding  private  privateschools  catholicschools  policy  publicschools  us  philanthropy  money  vouchers  dianeravitch  charitableindustrialcomplex  philanthropicindustrialcomplex  capitalism  power  control 
october 2009 by robertogreco
Tracking The Future
"The emerging infrastructure is different. Varnelis describes it as something multiple and shifting: “networked ecologies,” plural “infrastructures” that are “hypercomplex” and as likely to consist of legal mechanisms and barely visible cell-phone networks as the heavy stuff of tunnels and bridges. Inherently less apparent than the infrastructure that came before, they’re also as likely to be owned by corporations as by governments—meaning these networks can’t really be controlled, only “appropriated” according to their own logic. With traditional planning made impotent by capitalism and NIMBYism, rebuilding the city now requires a “new type of urbanist,” a designer Varnelis compares to a computer hacker who reimagines a new use for the underlying rules and codes. It’s a compelling vision, but it’s darkened by a Marxist conviction about the malevolence of the corporation. Infrastructure has always been a public initiative that complements private investment."
via:grahamje  urbanplanning  urban  urbanism  cities  kazysvarnelis  architecture  future  politics  infrastructure  networks  planning  subway  us  underground  barackobama  public  private 
february 2009 by robertogreco
eduwonkette: Wish #1: Taking Kids' Out of School Time Seriously
"Even if all kids attended schools of identical quality, we would still see inequality in educational outcomes by socioeconomic status because of the 87% conundrum. Home learning environments, it turns out, are much more unequal than school environments. Below, this figure in a terrific paper by Doug Downey and colleagues makes this very clear. To be sure, schools offer unequal learning opportunities, but there is even more inequality in learning opportunities between families."
schools  education  policy  learning  homeschool  parenting  privateschools  private  public  children  society  equity  us  opportunity 
january 2009 by robertogreco
Achievement First [via: http://www.tuttlesvc.org/2008/11/this-is-not-our-emergency.html see also: http://robertogreco.tumblr.com/post/50802877/branding-and-authenticity-and-schools]
"This debilitating pattern of the "doom loop" is felt acutely in urban schools. School districts replace superintendents with alarming frequency, hailing each as the savior leader. Curricula lurch from progressive to traditional and back again, and each year a new professional development guru rolls out the program du jour. Initiatives and teams are developed without enough planning and training, and no program or leader is given enough time to produce great results. By the time any traction is made, a new program, fad, or leader is in place. Nobody is truly accountable, and no momentum toward excellent results is built up. Teachers are frustrated, and students fail to learn."
schools  fads  trends  time  investment  management  public  private  leadership  administration  policy  curriculum  progressive  traditional  learning  longevity  teaching  children  fail  failure  doomloop  professionaldevelopment 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: Public vs. private schools
"I can't really cite economics here but if your public school is halfway decent that is the side I come down on. Readers?" and they weigh in...
children  education  kids  private  public  schools  homeschool  unschooling  economics  money 
june 2008 by robertogreco
The Nueva School - Home
"The Nueva School creates a dynamic educational model to enable gifted children to learn how to make choices that will benefit the world. Our school community inspires passion for lifelong learning, fosters social and emotional acuity, and develops the ch
schools  education  lcproject  reference  gifted  learning  private  classideas 
may 2008 by robertogreco
Drop in Applications Tests D.C. Area Private Schools
"shrinking pool of younger students, a souring economy and rising tuition...population of children ages 5 to 9 is declining...Tuition may have reached the "breaking point...Schools are going to have to think out of the box from now on"
education  trends  private  schools  nais  tuition  leadership  finance  recession  money  change  administration  management  demographics 
april 2008 by robertogreco
Marginal Revolution: The Power of Vouchers
"Thus, this paper shows two things. First, that the test scores of the students in the public schools improved when vouchers gave the schools better incentives to perform. Second, at least some of the improvement comes from changes in how students are tau
marginalrevolution  alextabarrok  vouchers  competition  reform  schools  education  learning  public  private  policy  politics  economics  children 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Learning From Tijuana: Hudson, N.Y., Considers Different Housing Model: Teddy Cruz - Architecture - New York Times
"great achievement here has less to do with aesthetic experimentation than with creating a bold antidote to the depressing model of ersatz small-town America embraced by so many suburban developers in recent years."
teddycruz  tijuana  sandiego  housing  hudsonny  hudson  design  architecture  class  community  identity  gentrification  urban  landscape  gardens  redevelopment  playgrounds  affordability  density  green  environment  public  private  urbanism  planning 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Archinect : News : “Do Cities Have Expiration Dates?”
"Mayne says people believe that L.A.’s residents are comfortable living in “fake old new world,” rather than “exploring what it means to be alive in the 21st century.” Ma & Mayne also debate public versus private space, difference between city
losangeles  architecture  radio  urban  cities  space  public  private  thommayne  qingyunma 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Segregation in British education | News crumb | EducationGuardian.co.uk
"A new book suggests none of the 'radical' education initiatives of the past 20 years have made any difference to the social segregation of schools."
education  class  inequality  uk  schools  policy  history  markets  private  public  via:grahamje 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Bennett: public schools should be abolished - Education News, Education - Independent.co.uk
"Alan Bennett, a former grammar school boy himself, has launched a scathing attack on segregation in the British education system, calling for public schools to be abolished and saying it was "wrong" that good schooling could be bought by the wealthy."
education  schools  uk  alanbennett  class  public  private  policy  government  wealth  society  via:cityofsound 
january 2008 by robertogreco
Hoover Institution - Education Next - What Americans Think about Their Schools
"new national survey of U.S. adults conducted under the auspices of Education Next and the Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) at Harvard University"
us  schools  education  policy  reform  politics  teaching  children  public  private  nclb  meritpay  homeschool  charterschools 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Thousands join exodus from state education - Times Online
"Nearly 40,000 more children are now being educated privately than when Tony Blair came to power, new figures reveal today."
demographics  education  schools  trends  uk  learning  private  privateschools  independentschools 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Private schools take off in Germany | csmonitor.com
"Since 1995, private school attendance has increased 61 percent among elementary school pupils."
schools  education  children  international  competition  private  world 
january 2006 by robertogreco

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