adactio / tags / infrastructure

Tagged with “infrastructure” (6)

  1. In Praise of Maintenance - Freakonomics

    Is adequate maintenance more important for a growing society than exciting innovation? (Photo: Marc A. Hermann/MTA New York City Transit)

    Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “In Praise of Maintenance”

    Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

    http://freakonomics.com/podcast/in-praise-of-maintenance/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. James Fallows: Civilization’s Infrastructure - The Long Now

    Infrastructure investment tricks

    All societies under-invest in their infrastructure—in the systems that allow them to thrive.

    There is hardware infrastructure: clean water, paved roads, sewer systems, airports, broadband; and, Fallows suggested, software infrastructure: organizational and cultural practices such as education, safe driving, good accounting, a widening circle of trust.

    China, for example, is having an orgy of hard infrastructure construction.

    It recently built a hundred airports while America built zero.

    But it is lagging in soft infrastructure such as safe driving and political transition.

    Infrastructure always looks unattractive to investors because the benefits: 1) are uncertain; 2) are delayed; and 3) go to others—the public, in the future.

    And the act of building infrastructure can be highly disruptive in the present.

    America for the last forty years has starved its infrastructure, but in our history some highly controversial remarkable infrastructure decisions got through, each apparently by a miracle—the Louisiana Purchase, the Erie Canal, the Gadsden Purchase, the Alaska Purchase, National Parks, Land Grant colleges, the GI Bill that created our middle class after World War II, and the Interstate highway system.

    In Fallows’ view, the miracle that enabled the right decision each time was either an emergency (such as World War II or the Depression), stealth (such as all the works that quietly go forward within the military budget or the medical-industrial complex), or a story (such as Manifest Destiny and the Space Race).

    Lately, Fallows notes, there is a little noticed infrastructure renaissance going in some mid-sized American cities, where the political process is nonpoisonous and pragmatic compared to the current national-level dysfunction.

    By neglecting the long view, Fallows concluded, we overimagine problems with infrastructure projects and underimagine the benefits.

    But with the long view, with the new wealth and optimism of our tech successes, and expanding on the innovations in many of our cities, there is compelling story to be told.

    It might build on the unfolding emergency with climate change or on the new excitement about space exploration.

    Responding to need or to opportunity, we can tell a tale that inspires us to reinvent and build anew the systems that make our society flourish.

    —Stewart Brand

    http://longnow.org/seminars/02015/oct/06/civilizations-infrastructure/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. dConstruct 2015: Ingrid Burrington

    Jeremy and Ingrid geek out together on the physical infrastructure of the internet, time travel narratives, and William Gibson’s The Peripheral (contains a spoiler warning, but no actual spoilers).

    http://2015.dconstruct.org/

    Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes on a small island off the coast of America. She’s a member of Deep Lab, the author of Networks of New York: An Internet Infrastructure Field Guide, and currently an artist in residence at the Data and Society Research Institute.

    http://2015.dconstruct.org/speaker/ingrid-burrington

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. 99% Invisible - 129: Thomassons

    Cities, like living things, evolve slowly over time. Buildings and structures get added and renovated and removed, and in this process, bits and pieces that get left behind. Vestiges. Just as humans have tailbones and whales have pelvic bones, cities have doors that open into a limb-breaking drop, segments of fences that anyone can walk around, and pipes that carry nothing at all.

    Most of the time, these architectural leftovers rust or crumble or get taken down. But other times, these vestiges aren’t removed. They remain in the urban organism. And sometimes—even though they no longer serve any discernible purpose—they’re actually maintained. They get cleaned and polished and re-painted just because they’re there.

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. A Journey to the Center of the Internet

    Journalist Andrew Blum explains what and where the Internet is physically. His book Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet tells the story of the Internet’s physical infrastructure and chronicles the its development, explains how it works, and takes an in-depth look inside its hidden monuments.

    —Huffduffed by adactio