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16 March 2010

Just Some Articles

Just got back from Europe, so there'll be some posts about that after school gets a little less crazy. In the mean time here's some articles:

The FCC is trying to make broadband (internet access) a right just like water or electricity... I have some stuff I could add to that but in general this is something I've thought about and supported for years. The internet gives an individual the ability to learn about absolutely anything they want, access to any news coverage they could possibly dream of, and even the ability to speak openly. If you look back through history these are some of the most common reasons that people go to war, stat new governments and countries, and in general suffer and strive for. The fact that we can now deliver that ability with a netbook and a broadband signal is nothing short of amazing. If any one thing saves democracy/the human race it might be the internet.

Ah camera gear is so fun and addicting. It always pains me to think of myself as against owning many things but then wanting gadgets. Given the opportunity I would totally have an entire room filled with camera equipment. This is a robotic tripod head that helps you create panoramic shots. Here's the newer version that'd work with say... a medium format film camera.

There's a new social media app that forms communities based on real life proximity. I've read about these before a while ago when they were purely conceptual and being made by sociologists, but I think now they have the potential to have some interesting unseen effects. It goes like this. You have an app on your phone that is essentially like Facebook except that instead of having your usual friends it includes anyone else with the app that is within 300 feet of you. I could see this being really useful for people who move to a new city of country and don't know anyone. It oddly reminds me of Chatroulette (here's the Wired article). What fascinates me most though is the fact that if this app were to become popular wouldn't it make physical places popular too? This app wold be interesting to use from where you live of course, but wouldn't certain popular spots start to draw crowds? Won't cafes become even more popular? What if people use it to hook-up, which they will, won't the 300' radius around a 4 AM bar (around that time too) become really popular? There's a lot to think about here but it all boils down to how much this actually catches on, which if it's like anything else promising from the internet, it most likely won't.

03 March 2010

Proof That Architects Don't Get Economics

Just super quick before I pull an all nighter and learn some BIM software... just got this is my school email:

So my tuition goes up another 6.4%. Okay... why?

"Well inflation..."

No, the CPI last year was -0.4. So in real terms my tuition is going up 6.8%. If a more common inflation rate is something like 3.5% (as in, not during these economic times) then an increase of this magnitude would yield a real increase of about 3%. Raising tuition at these levels should not be a given every year without some justification.

So what the hell?