Linkworld: A Brutal World


baghdad photo

Photo by DVIDSHUB Linkworld: A Brutal World

[Ci1] Keep Brutalism alive!

[Ci2] A lot of what we do is driven by a desire to avoid poor people.

[Ci3] Michael Goebel explains the importance (or profoundness) of urbanization in human history.

[Ci4] World cities mashup.

[Ci5] This is such an incredibly New York City story.

[Ci6] According to Michael Hobbes, our housing woes have spread from San Francisco to Boise. But if housing isn’t affordable, what is even the point of having a Kansas City?

[Ci7] Baghdad is apparently becoming a happening place.


minneapolis photo

Photo by kodiax2 Linkworld: A Brutal World

[Jo1] Technically on strike, bus drivers in Japan would still run their routes but just not collect fares. {Fixed}

[Jo2] A different kind of cheerleader.

[Jo3] Is being agreeable helpful or hurtful to your career prospects? Well, depends on whether we’re talking about the US or Japan.

[Jo4] It makes sense for Silicon Valley and Seattle to be the major leagues with some of these towns as the minors.

[Jo5] When blue collars flee a city, white collars may not be far behind.

[Jo6] I thought Minneapolis should have been a front-runner for Amazon, but apparently they were really worried about employee recruitment.


[Vi1] Communists vs revolutionaries in France.

[Vi2] An interesting discovery about a bloody, bloody massacre in Sweden.

[Vi3] Feral pigs in Australia can drink us all under the table.

[Vi4] Kristina Killgrove explains how climate change affected the outcome of ancient wars.

[Vi5] Fascinating: The US’s first air force goes back to the Civil War.


[Im1] This story goes from bad to worse.

[Im2] ICE has difficulty telling kids from adults and are relyuing on some dubious methodology.

[Im3] Teachers in Arizona are upset that school districts are bringing in immigrants to work for wages they don’t want to work for.

[Im4] The drop in student visas is real.

[Im5] NPR looks at Hungary’s xenophobia problem.

[Im6] I consider most immigration issues to be more complicated than both sides often make them out to be, but not birthright citizenship.


India photo

Photo by Nick Kenrick.. Linkworld: A Brutal World

[Mo1] Alex Massie writes of the search of meaning for the Commonwealth of Nations.

[Mo2] The importance of colonialism in Africa is, according to one study, receding.

[Mo3] Nikresh Shukla explains that no colonialism was not good.

[Mo4] Is Israel making inroads with South America?

[Mo5] Themyscira born!

[Mo6] Neat: An Etymological map of Mexico.

[Mo7] Iceland loves its elves. I choose to find it charming, and as with Tamara Winter it speaks to the importance of national mythology.

[Mo8] Some lawyers in Quebec are attempting to invalidate its laws. All of them.

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Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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20 thoughts on “Linkworld: A Brutal World

  1. [Mo3] “The student is not alone in his ignorance. As a country, we are woefully uneducated about the realities of the British Empire. . . . I find it troubling that the British Empire is credited with ending the transatlantic slave trade, something it started.”

    The British Empire did not start the transatlantic slave trade, that would be the Portuguese, and the British Empire is not credited merely with ending that, but being most responsible for the end of de jure slavery in both the Old and New World as well.

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    • The transatlantic slave trade existed for over a hundred years before the United Kingdom managed to get a foothold on the New World, let alone import slaves to it.

      Whether the world would be a better place or not without the era of imperialism is a very difficult question to answer. It would certainly be a very different place. I think you can make a good faith argument that without colonialism, most humans would be living in very traditional and hierarchical societies. The anti-colonialists never seem to explain how liberal and modern technology would spread without free trade, and many of them are trade skeptics to. The Indian subcontinent could easily be split into several Hindu and Muslim kingdoms rather than three republics.

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        • Colonialism was clearly not a good thing. Many atrocities were committed under its name like King Leopold II’s regime of thievery and murder in the Congo. At the same time, the best I can say for a world without colonialism is that it would be different but not necessarily better. I can see it being worse in many ways from a small or big l liberal point of view. Many anti-colonialist argue that without colonialism, indigenous societies would modernize on their own terms like Meiji Japan. Others really seem to argue that but for colonialism, leftist utopianism.

          I’m not seeing this. Lots of non-European countries and empires attempted Meiji style modernization and failed because of internal and external forces. Ethiopia managed to avoid being conquered but the Ethiopian elite decided not to go the entire way to modernization because it suited them. The Meiji state wasn’t exactly a beacon of liberal values but it was more based on Prussia’s bureaucratic government. I’m guessing that Ethiopia is going to be more common than Meiji Japan. Meiji Japan will be more common than liberal democracy.

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  2. [Jo1] the bus drivers were still picking people up – they just weren’t accepting their money. Free rides for everyone. A brilliant move, really. The transit authority was the one done out of fare revenues; they could have ordered the drivers to stop but then they’d really be the villains.

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  3. [Ci6] & [Ci7] Waiting for the stories about how the San Francisco housing crisis has reached Baghdad.

    [Im1] This is exactly the sort of story that drives antipathy towards immigration enforcement, and support for sanctuary cities and similar policies.

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    • There was something similar happening in Kabul at the height of the US presence (circa 2010). Between expatriates re-entering the country, rural residents migrating to the city, and money flowing into the capital (and into people’s pockets) from all the contract services, numerous new exclusive developments were built around the city center while the poor people accumulated in ad-hoc shanty towns around the periphery.

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  4. Ci2: And in America, poor people comes with a heavily racial component. This makes matters more complicated. The automobile-centric, strictly zoned suburb that emphasizes single-family homes on generous lots is a real effective way to exclude poor people.

    Ci6: I’m not surprised. Out-ring suburbs in the Bay Area are also fighting new housing. The housing crisis is a political crisis. It probably won’t be solved until enough boomers die to prevent construction at the lower level or when a solution can be imposed from above.

    Im2: ICE is an entirely dubious political identity that exists to inflict pain and suffering. Its not surprising that their methodology used to distinguish between children and adults is equally dubious.

    Im3: Its rich that xenophobic Arizona is using immigrants to bust citizen labor.

    Im5: The entire debate is on the relationship between culture and nationality. Many countries like Japan, the Koreas, Israel, Iran, Hungary, and France like to emphasize that they have a particular culture and want the citizens of the nation to embrace this. The wariness about immigrants in general, and Muslim immigrants in particular, is that they will not embrace the national culture and might even hate it and speak against it.

    Im6: This is horribly unjust.

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  5. Ci1-

    Preservation is a matter of ecology as much as aesthetics. “There’s this phrase that’s bandied about a lot: the greenest structure is the one that’s already there,” Grimley said. “The amount of energy, whether it’s labor of the people that made it, the actual material energy of the building itself, or the embodied energy it takes to remove it—it’s wasteful on so many fronts.”

    Michael Siegel’s great piece on path dependence notwithstanding, this is the worst argument for maintaining brutalism I’ve ever seen. Built in an era of cheap energy (which people thought was going to get even cheaper) they are for the most part, the Anti-LEED

    Ci4 – in Bang York one *does* get their kicks below the waistline.

    Jo4 – To consider Portland OR a minor league tech hub on par with Wilmington and Columbus is an odd categorization. Portland ME maybe.

    Mo6 – some of their explanations are not merely disputed, they are also not the most likely explanation for the origin

    Mo8 – I am surprised Canadian law is structured like this. I thought official bilingualism was only at the federal level and in the province of New Brunswick. .

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  6. [Ci2] : (From Link) …Studies have shown that integrated learning environments are beneficial for children of disadvantaged households and do no harm to children whose families have higher incomes.

    This seems doubtful (and I’ve never heard it). Are they’re defining “do no harm” to mean something very different than “reach their full potential”?

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    • [Im3]: But critics argue the teachers are being taken advantage of in a practice that helps keep wages low and perpetuates yearslong austerity policies.

      It’s not “austerity” if the gov is spending more money. Part of what is preventing Teachers from being paid more is the gov’s resources are being squeezed by unfunded pensions and other entitlements.

      In a way it’s clever. If we’re going to insist on both high gov services and low taxes, then the gov needs to be creative on how it does things.

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  7. Tamara Winter’s observation on the importance of national mythology relates to Im5. The immigration skeptic argument is that they oppose immigrants because immigrants are unlikely to fully buy into national mythology. A non-European or even a European immigrant to Iceland is unlikely to take up belief in elves. I think that this is a dumb reason to limit immigration. It also shows that national mythology can serve as a big double edged sword. It can divide and exclude as easily as it can unite. This is true even when dealing with citizens. Leftists have been generally treated with disdain for not fully buying American mythology.

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