Sunday reading 16 July 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. The best thing I’ve read this week was a post on Reddit’s Los Angeles sub-forum that outlined how parking requirements make Los Angeles too expensive. Read the whole thing – it’s a fantastic exposition of the invisible costs of seemingly innocuous rules: EVERYTHING built in LA is defined by parking, whether we like it or not.…
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Sunday reading 9 July 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. This week I wanted to highlight a few important comments from Yonah Freemark (The Transit Politic). Yonah’s been having a look at the high cost to build infrastructure in the US, and the consequences that has for the quality of more or less everything in American cities.…
23 Comments

Sunday reading 2 July 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. If the weather forecast is accurate, we should be in for a classic Auckland winter day: overcast, a bit damp, and a bit windy (but not too cold). Good weather to justify doing just about anything, from going for a bush walk to sitting inside with a pot of tea.…
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Reviewing the OECD’s economic review

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the ‘rich countries club’, conducts an economic survey of its members. They just published their latest (2017) edition for New Zealand, which makes for some interesting reading. While the OECD’s reviews reflect its own views about what’s going right and wrong in its members’ economies, it sends staff to check out things on the ground.…
41 Comments

Sunday reading 25 June 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. It’s been a pretty interesting week in New Zealand politics, if you’ve been reading. But that’s not what this is about, so we’re not going to talk about it. Here’s a thought-provoking factoid about technological progress, from humanprogress.org: As the BBC recently pointed out, our prehistoric ancestors needed to gather and chop “wood 10 hours a day for six days… [in order to] produce 1,000 lumen hours of light… That is the equivalent of one modern light bulb shining for just 54 minutes, although what you would actually get is many more hours of dim, flickering light instead.” Even when better alternatives, such as candles, became available, it was still prohibitively expensive to light the house for the common person.…
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Sunday reading 4 June 2017

Welcome back to Sunday reading. It is a black week: The erratic man-child in charge of the US government has announced that the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which commits signatories to set and periodically review voluntary targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.…
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