The stump speeches resounded with pledges to reach across the aisle; do the right thing, not the politically expedient thing; and save Main Street by saving Wall Street. And, in the end on Monday, September 29, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 228 to 205 to nix the bill that would have spotted $700 billion to shore up the credit market.
Continue reading "Is Congress Looking Out for Us?" »
The current economic crisis-inspired debate on the role of the government intervention in the free market draws an easy parallel to building industry approaches for creating sustainable neighborhoods. In the financial markets, financiers pray for tax payer-funded bailouts while traditional conservatives assert that no bank is too big to fail, and populst liberals grin at the idea of Wall Street barons selling their Hamptons vacation home to their housekeeper for an affordably depressed rate. In the sustainable building industry, architects and developers looking to create entire neighborhoods along sustainable lines either demand that an ambitious sustainability criteria or LEED rating be met, or leave it up to baseline municipal regulations. In both situations, the question is “How much should we let the free market under perform in order to hold onto the values of unfettered marketplace competition?”
Continue reading "The Invisible Hand of Sustainable Architecture? " »
As I start typing this, the bad-news volcano that Google News has become is quiet.
I have to scroll down a third of the way on the page before I find words like “bailout”, “billions”, “Fed”, “Wall St.”, “debt”, “recession”, “Great Depression”, and “fail” (now as a noun). Partisan shrieking from angry legislators down Pennsylvania Ave. has been dispersed into the provinces, as Congress stands up bravely to pledge their support for never letting this happen again, should they be graciously re-elected, and no major banking institutions have failed in what seems like weeks. Ah.
But it won’t last. The choking financial sector malaise we’re all trying to understand will find a new way to confound us and make us cynical (then angry) about regulators and financial markets we had never before heard of.
Continue reading "This American Life to the Rescue? " »
by Benjamin H. Bratton
SCI_Arc and UC San Diego
Weaponizing Architecture was the subject of the blog on August 22 with Henry Louis Miller satirizing whether the U.S. should build a Toxicwall along its southern border. The result was a torrent of commentary. That subsided, and then, this past week, came a blog entry from Benjamin H. Bratton that, although lengthy, is provoking. Enjoy.
Continue reading "Designing or Undesigning the Border Interface" »