Vinay Gupta (previously) is a polymath engineer/inventor, whose Buckminster Fuller-inspired "hexayurts" can be found all over Burning Man (and my novel Walkaway).
In his Penny Stamps lecture at the University of Michigan ranges widely over the nature of displacement and refugee crises, how climate deepens and accelerates these crises (and makes them permanent), and how the traditional idea of a refugee camp -- never a particularly successful one -- is totally unsuited to the challenges of the climate/refugee crisis.
He goes on to propose a model for a flat-pack city future, where engineered buildings and infrastructure, designed to be shipped and assembled with ease, can replace "temporary" camps (some of which have now been in existence so long that two or three generations of people have lived and died in them) with real, permanent, sustainable, high-density cities.
I don't share all of Gupta's vision here -- I'm skeptical of his claim that we need capital (as opposed to material) to lift people out of poverty, and of the underlying economics of this notion -- but he's a riveting speaker and he's got fascinating ideas that always excite me.
Shardcore (previously) writes, "I took Godley & Creme's seminal 1985 video and sent it through a StyleGAN network."
Jon Cog writes, "For Christmas, mathematician Donald Knuth shared some great geeky fun. He revealed how for the last 57 years, he's been incorporating the digits of pi into the exercises of his computer programming books -- a whopping 1,700 times. And before long his annual 'Christmas Tree' lecture 'had turned into a kind of […]
Robbo sez, "As is my wont, I post on social media at this time of year John Lennon & Yoko Ono's Happy Xmas (War Is Over) official YouTube video. It is an anthem for peace and the end of war. This year it has been labelled as "inappropriate content" and requires viewers to sign in […]
It seems like AI is everywhere these days, from the voice recognition software in our personal assistants to the ads that pop up seemingly at just the right time. But believe it or not, the field is still in its infancy. That means there’s no better time to get in on the ground floor. The […]
Whether you own or rent your place, insurance on that home is a necessary hassle – but a new tech-driven company called Lemonade is starting to show that while it might indeed be a necessity, it doesn’t have to be a hassle. Here’s the way insurance typically works: You pay premiums and hope an accident […]