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 […]
Electric bikes aren’t toys. And they aren’t a fad. In fact, more and more communities are starting to catch on that e-bikes are a lot more than an amusing gadget for the tech geek. Following a six-month study, Johnson County, Kansas, home to many Kansas City suburbs, became just the latest U.S. community to allow […]
Whether you’re living in a city that has already taken measures to reduce plastic bag use, the small silver lining of the pandemic has inspired you to make changes, or you’ve already started living a greener lifestyle, reusable produce bags are a great addition to your shopping routine. And if you’re going to invest in […]
Dealing with all the COVID-19 fallout is one of the new realities of our ever-changing world — and that isn’t likely going away anytime soon. It’s also prompted a rash of existential questions for parents. Questions like how do I protect my kids? Or how do I soothe their fears? And there’s also one of […]