Planned cities are not a new idea (Palmanova, Italy, 1593). From Washington, D.C. (1791), to Canberra, Australia (1911), to Brasilia, Brazil (1957), planned cities have long been an urban dream (from space), perhaps most frequently applied to national capitals. But they don't always work out as planned. [more inside]
Ta-Nehisi Coates writes in The Atlantic:The Effects of Housing Segregation on Black Wealth. As the wealth gap widens between whites and blacks in America, and after reading this list and this list, he concludes The Ghetto Is Public Policy. [more inside]
Obama proposes Social Security cuts. Amid ongoing debt talks wherein the Democrats are seeking to raise the debt ceiling to prevent the default of Federal debt, "entitlement reform" has been a hot topic. This morning, Obama has taken the unusual step of proposing even larger spending cuts than Republicans have asked for, mystifying many. Has the Grand Bargain arrived?
"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
And I thought Florida only had this problem. The Chicago Tribune reports that nearly 8% of votes in Illinois' 1st Congressional District went uncounted in the 2000 presidential election. It also adds: voters in low-income, high-minority districts nationwide were more likely to have undercounted ballots than were those in affluent, predominantly white districts, the study showed. Is there a nation-wide epidemic of undercounting? Or is it a problem limited to few localized areas? Or is it an underhanded way to deny the underprivileged of their vote? From the looks of it, at least additional investigation needs to be done.
When you're an aiga member they send you e-mail, I usualy don't read them, because they're accouncements of conferences and such, but this one was about Chicago enlisting the help of AIGA to design new election ballots. 'Some possibilities for making Chicago ballots more user-friendly include enlarging candidates' names, changing the font size, altering the color of pages, making wider ballot booklets.' Since I couldn't find the article on-line, I'll just cut-n-paste the e-mail inside. :)
Chicago to enlist graphic designers for friendlier ballots. [free reg may be req'd] There's been a bunch of discussion about the usability problems with various voting systems, notably punch-card ballots. Chicago didn't have anything as dramatic as a "butterfly" prexy ballot or two pages' worth of candidates, but we still had close to 120,000 discards from 2.1 million votes -- and when compared with jurisdictions using other systems, there's little evidence to suggest that voters are skipping the presidential ballot. That's just how bad manual punch card technology is. Even if we can't get rid of them just yet, at least we can make sure they aren't confusing. Did I just post the twenty-sixth link on Metafilter today? GO AWAY. METAFILTER IS FULL. :)