28 2 / 2014
"Consider, for example, that people are consumers of space in ways that go beyond having houses, apartments, back-yard gardens, and a place for the RV. They have friends, family and obligations nearby. Location, especially residential location, is the node around which people manage life with routines, like having specific shopping habits close to home. Even when they can be financially “made whole” in an offer to retreat, residents may not want the deal. Hence there are “hold-outs” who resist even robust financial inducements. Private developers trying to assemble large parcels know this all too well: people often want to remain for reasons that money can’t overcome. Local politicians can also play a role in the “hold-out” dynamic. Political careers are built on jurisdictional arrangements, so altering landscapes can shift who lives where and re-order the make-up of constituencies. Office holders may perceive threats. Local activists may also be distressed by the prospect of changing demographic make-up."
27 2 / 2014
Sochi’s situation now is also particularly grim given that the public, and not private investors, wound up paying for nearly all of it – about 90 percent by the Times’ accounting.
The city’s biggest challenge now may prove to be that these Games were conceived as a singular event and not a civic investment, that they were constructed to the financial benefit of a few and not the long-term gain of the Caucasus."
By no means is this particular to this year’s Olympics, but man. 90% funded by the public. And now what? Turn the luge into a slip-n-slide?
21 2 / 2014
The Unitarian jokes on “The Simpsons” (there are a disproportionate amount; Matt Groening is rumored to be Unitarian Universalist) were always a high point for my family, because it meant that someone noticed us. UUs are everywhere—some of us literally founded the country!—but we tend to hide in plain sight.
Before I regale you with stories of our stealth abilities (Priuses: very quiet), let’s address that age-old question I constantly fielded growing up: are Unitarian Universalists Christians? Short answer: no. Longer answer: well, depends on which one you’re talking to."
"Unitarian Universalists: Hiding in Plain Sight" from The Toast
If you were in need of a crash course in UUism, I recommend this one.
13 2 / 2014
"Too many people are scared. But it is my job to go up every night and talk about this kind of shit. It is actually my job. I’m like a broadcaster for futurism, for dreamers, for people who believe in themselves. We’ve been taught since day one to stop believing in our own dreams. We’ve had the confidence beaten out of us since day one, and then sold back to us through branding and diamond rings and songs and melodies—through these lines that we have to walk inside of so as to not break the uniform or look silly or be laughed at. So I hope that there are people out there laughing. Laugh loud, please. Laugh until your lungs give out because I will have the last laugh."