Saturday, January 25, 2020

the future of housing?

https://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-underground-bunk-beds-sleeping-pods-2020-1

The "sleeping pods" would be priced at $1,000 to $1,375 and stacked bunk bed-style, with curtains in lieu of doors for privacy. On the building's ground level and above, 161 studio units, measuring 200-square-feet and with individual bathrooms and kitchens, will be priced between $2,000 and $2,375.

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Expensive living in some places. I've seen photos of tiny apartments in Hong Kong somewhat like this.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hong Kong: "We might as well go down fighting"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2019/11/escalating-violence-hong-kong-protests/601804/

Aren’t you afraid? I asked, gingerly. “We are afraid,” they quickly admitted. They even giggled, but it got serious quickly. This is our last chance, they said very matter-of-factly. If we stand down, nothing will stand between us and mainland China, they said. They talked about Xinjiang, and what China had done to the Uighur minority. I’ve heard about the fate of the Uighurs from so many protesters over the months. China may have wanted to make an example out of the region, but the lesson Hong Kongers took was in the other direction—resist with all your might, because if you lose once, there will be a catastrophe for your people, and the world will ignore it.
The two women weren’t sure whether they would win. That’s also something I’ve heard often—these protesters aren’t the most optimistic group. No rose-colored glasses here. “But we cannot give up,” one insisted, “because if we do, there will be no future for us anyway. We might as well go down fighting.”

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This is amazing.  But I agree.  Better to go down fighting.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Looking back 30 years to see the future

 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/09/world/berlin-wall-photos-30-year-anniversary.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

“They were prepared for everything, except candles and prayers.”

This quote shows many things. First, that great change can happen suddenly and surprisingly, from unknown circumstance.  Second, that peaceful actions can bring down militaristic authoritarian regimes.  And finally, that when we want the demise of a despotic rule, we need to plan BEFORE that demise for what will come next.  Many times in history such things as the fall of the Berlin Wall were so hoped for and pushed for, but "what happens next?" was left for after that goal was reached.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

housing the homeless is cheaper than ignoring them

https://www.vox.com/2014/5/30/5764096/homeless-shelter-housing-help-solutions?fbclid=IwAR3018muOA1GVLRTi_9b8nqzap67vf8qkxDyhmRF4wTOktpmvUQpITA52xA

"Some early research on this produced truly mind-boggling results like a Central Florida Commission on Homelessness study indicating that the region was spending about triple on policing homeless people’s nonviolent rule-breaking as it would cost to get each homeless person a house and a caseworker. More recent, somewhat more careful studies, were a bit less enthusiastic about the cost-saving potential but still highly positive.
Earlier studies from Charlotte and Southeastern Colorado also show large cost savings from focusing on simply housing the homeless."

So it's a good idea to be nice to each other?? Amazing!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Finally a better concrete after thousands of years

https://newatlas.com/materials/rubbery-crack-resistant-cement/

"This substitution gives slabs of the concrete a somewhat rubber-like quality, allowing them to contract and spring back when subjected to impacts, instead of cracking. In fact, the material is reportedly six to nine times more crack-resistant than regular concrete. Additionally, it self-seals upon being poured, meaning that it could be well-suited to the construction of underground structures such as bunkers.
And as an added bonus, because the new concrete replaces cement with plentiful waste products, it should also be cheaper to use."

I would like to invest please.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Universal Basic Income doesn't work

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/06/universal-basic-income-public-realm-poverty-inequality

"Redistributing the personal tax allowance and developing the idea of universal basic services (UBS) could offer a more promising alternative. This calls for more and better quality public services that are free to those who need them, regardless of ability to pay. Healthcare and education are obvious examples, and it is argued that a similar approach should be applied to areas such as transport, housing, social care and information – everyday essentials that should be available to all."

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I'm not sure the results are all in yet, but this is a thoughtful view of the idea so far.