We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

De-Industrializing the City

from World Changing. 
Burning petroleum to drive pistons and turn wheels to move a big chunk of metal around the city is what you do when you haven't yet figured out how to make the normal needs of daily life readily findable and accessible: it's conquering space through BTUs, rather than data and design.