John Snow's cholera map

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The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson

call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor

See also Board of Health Generator, waste-fueled, 217 Genetic studies, application of, 249 Genetic tolerance for alcohol, 103–4 Genomic revolution, 249–50 GeoSentinel, 219 Germ theory of disease, 99, 211, 266n Ghost class, London, 2 Global challenges, 256 Global energy network, 93–94 Global Report on Human Settlements (UN), 232 Global warming, 237–39 Globe (London), and cholera outbreak, 160–61 Golden Square (Soho), 16, 25, 27, 159 cholera outbreak, 51, 53, 81, 83, 161–62 deaths, 57–58, 112 map, 141 Snow and, 75–77, 109 water, 30–31 See also Broad Street (Soho); Soho (London district) Google, 219–20 Gossip, and cholera outbreak, 83 Gould, John, 31 Gould, Stephen Jay, 36 Government and mapping technology, 222 and public health, 113, 120–21 and sanitation, 218 urban, and information, 224 Graham, Thomas, 145 Grand Junction Water Works, 142 Great Exhibition (1851), 12, 41–42, 267n Great Plague (1665), 15–16 “Great Stink” (Thames pollution), 205–6, 207 “Green” cities, 238 Green’s Court, 52, 81–82 Gunpowder, manufacture of, 9 Hall, Benjamin, 29, 112, 134, 145, 147, 163–66, 167, 168, 172, 179, 201 and miasma theory, 183–84, 186–87 and Snow, 204 and waterborne theory, 183 Hamburg, cholera outbreak, 215 Hard Times (Dickens), 29 Harington, John, 11 Harnold, John, 70–71 Harrison (Berwick Street surgeon), 53–54 Hassall, Arthur, 99 Health, cities and, 232 Hemenway, Toby, 233 H5N1 (avian flu virus), 243–48 Hippocrates, and cholera, 33 On Air, Water, and Places, 126–27 History epidemic disease and, 32 turning points, 162–63 London sewers as, 207 urbanization and, 232 Hogarth, William, 18 Homelessness, 3, 218 Hooke, Robert, 281n Horsleydown, cholera outbreak, 70–73 Hospitals, in urban centers, 232–33 Huggins, Edward and John, 142–43, 161 Human consciousness, 44 Human culture, and excrement eating, 40–42 Human excrement, collection of, 8–13 Human genetic change, 42 Human organization, patterns of, 93–94 Hunter-gatherer societies, 92, 103–4, 130 Hunterian School of Medicine (London), 60 Hydrogen sulfide, 129–30, 133 Hysteria, in Victorian era, 87 Iberall, Arthur, 93–94 Ideas cross-disciplinary flow of, in cities, 225–26 incorrect, 126 Immune system, 133 Index case (Broad Street), 177, 178–79, 199–200 India, cholera outbreaks, 215 Industrial Age, 18 and cholera, 33 See also Industrial Revolution Industrial Revolution, 92–93, 94–95, 271n Infant mortality rates, 232, 233 Infectious diseases, Web mapping of, 219 Influence of Snow’s map, 198–201 Information technology, 218–19, 224–25 Inner-city air, as disease source, 69–70, 74 Inner-city life, in Victorian era, 171 Insulin, 223 Intellectual progress, 135, 149 Internal-constitution theory of cholera spread, 132–33 Internet, 218–19, 236–37 John Snow sites, 259, 261 Istanbul, Sultaneyli village, 216 Jacobs, Jane, 18, 221–22 Death and Life of the Great American City, 235 James, John, 34 Jennings, George, 12 John Snow (pub), 228 Kamen, Dean, 217 Kay-Shuttleworth, James, 265n Kemp House, 227 Killingworth Colliery, 59 Knossos, composting pits, 5 Knowledge, Internet and, 218–19 Koch, Robert, 213 Koch, Tom, 196, 275n Lactose tolerance, 103–4 Lambeth water company, 105–8 Lancet, The, 46 and contagion theory, 69 editors of, 15, 168 obituary of Snow, 206 Snow and, 61, 64, 205, 213, 269n Largest cities, 215–16 Latta, Thomas, 45, 155 Lea River, 210–11 Leather-tanning process, 4, 263–64n Lewis, Sarah, 21–22, 178–79, 181, 187–88 Lewis, Thomas, 21, 31, 187 Lewis infant, 21–22, 35, 54, 178–79 Whitehead and, 199 Life expectancy, in cities, 84, 232–33, 236 Lion Brewery, 28–29, 31, 81, 142–43, 146, 153 Liszt, Franz, 18 Little Dorrit (Dickens), 29 Local knowledge, 147 Internet and, 218–19 in urban environments, 225 Locock, Dr.

page 54 All but one would perish Whitehead 1854, p. 5. page 58 But one Soho resident The details of John Snow’s investigation of the Broad Street outbreak are drawn primarily from his account of the outbreak and its aftermath, in his report published in the Cholera Inquiry Committee report of 1855, and in his revised monograph, On the Mode and Communication of Cholera. page 59 He would largely avoid meat Details on Snow’s life up to his cholera investigations are drawn from four primary sources: Richardson’s hagiographic “Life of John Snow,” published shortly after Snow’s death; David Shephard’s biography John Snow: Anaesthetist to a Queen and Epidemiologist to a Nation; the superb Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine; and Ralph Frerichs’ invaluable John Snow Web archive hosted by UCLA’s School of Public Health. page 60 A university degree opened “With a consulting practice and beds in one of the London teaching hospitals for his patients, a man of the right character and background could achieve fame of a sort treating high society.

Though it doesn’t deal directly with cholera, Carl Zimmer’s Parasite Rex is also a fascinating exploration of our microscopic fellow-travelers. For a unnerving look at the failure of modern public-health infrastructure, see Laurie Garrett’s Betrayal of Trust. The story of the Broad Street outbreak itself has been sketched in numerous books, usually with significant distortions. Many accounts assume that Snow created the map during the outbreak, or that he developed the waterborne theory from his investigations at Broad Street. Henry Whitehead is often ignored altogether. And so the best sources for understanding the outbreak are still John Snow and Henry Whitehead themselves. Their various published accounts of the events are available online at the UCLA site, and at a special John Snow archive hosted by Michigan State University.


The Atlas of Disease by Sandra Hempel

clean water, coronavirus, global pandemic, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, trade route, wikimedia commons

Then, in 1854, while Britain was in the throes of its third epidemic, a reclusive London physician made a massive breakthrough. He not only solved the mystery of cholera but also founded the science of epidemiology and pioneered the use of disease mapping, which is now a vital tool in investigating how diseases are spread. It was to be some years, however, before his thinking was accepted. Physician Dr John Snow, 1856. Infected drinking water Dr John Snow’s revolutionary theory posited that cholera’s main route of transmission was through infected sewage finding its way into the water supply. He had noted that a seemingly random outbreak of cholera was always preceded by the arrival of someone from an infected district, and he suggested that transmission through drinking water would explain cholera’s terrifying habit of striking large numbers of people at the same time.

Since the mid-nineteenth century, maps have played a vital role in helping us to unravel the mysteries of how diseases spread. The experts have used them to work out how best to prevent, or at least to contain, future outbreaks. One of the first and best-known examples of disease mapping was the work of the physician Dr John Snow during a virulent outbreak of cholera in London’s Soho in 1854. Around 600 people died, 200 of them during the course of one night. At that time no one understood how cholera was transmitted, which meant that doctors could not begin to fathom how to stop it. No other disease behaved like cholera, and the medical profession had been baffled for centuries by the way that it struck apparently at random and killed hundreds or even thousands of people within days. Cholera is the human species’ fastest killer disease and in the 1800s millions died in a series of cholera pandemics that swept the globe.

., 1896, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 77 ‘St Pancras Smallpox Hospital, London: housed in a tented camp at Finchley’, watercolour by Frank Collins, 1881, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 81 ‘A health visitor holding a small child, promoting a campaign against tuberculosis and infant mortality’, colour process print by Jules Marie Auguste Leroux, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 82 Hulton Archive/Stringer/Getty Images; 89 ‘Liverpool’s x-ray campaign against tuberculosis’, lithograph, c. 1960, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 93 ‘John Bull defending Britain against the invasion of cholera; satirizing resistance to the Reform Bill’, coloured lithograph, c. 1832, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 94 ‘A cholera patient experimenting with remedies’, coloured etching by Robert Cruikshank, c. 1832, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 95 ‘Actual & supposed routes of Cholera from Hindoostan to Europe’, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 97 ‘John Snow, 1856’, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 98 ‘A map taken from a report by Dr. John Snow’, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 103 ‘Soldier suffering from dysentery’, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 106 Universal History Archive/Getty Images; 109 ‘Man suffering from typhoid’, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 110 Shutterstock; 111 ‘The angel of death (a winged skeletal creature) drops some deadly substances into a river near a town; representing typhoid’, watercolour, 1912, by Richard Tennant Cooper, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 112 Science & Society Picture Library/Getty Images; 113 Mary Evans Picture Library; 117 ‘Anti-typhoid vaccination in World War I’, photograph, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 121 ‘Lady suffering from malaria’, Abb 7, page 82, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 122 ‘Illustrations of parasites that cause malaria, 1901’, by Giovanni Battista Grassi, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 124 ‘Map of the world, showing positions of malaria’, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 125 ‘The malaria mosquito forming the eye-sockets of a skull, rep’, by Abram Games, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 126 ‘World Health Organisation Interim Committee on malaria’, photograph, 1947, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 133 ‘A physician wearing a seventeenth-century plague preventive costume’, watercolour, Wellcome Collection, CC BY; 134 ‘The dance of death’, lithograph after A.


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The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George

American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Anton Chekhov, Bob Geldof, Celtic Tiger, clean water, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, informal economy, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, land reform, low cost airline, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, Potemkin village, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Steven Pinker, urban planning

Good sanitation is also economically sensible. A government that provides adequate sanitation saves money on hospital visits avoided, and does not lose labor days to dysentery or workers to cholera. Where good sanitation exists, people are wealthier, healthier, and cleaner. When sanitarians talk about history, their time line usually begins on a Friday morning in 1854, when Dr. John Snow, a doctor in London’s Soho, removed the handle from a water pump in Broad Street because he was the first to understand that cholera was traveling in excrement that got into the water supply and the awful consequences of this fact (in 1849, cholera killed over 50,000 people nationwide). Sewers followed; flush toilets flourished. By now, modern living provides nearly everyone with one or several magic disposal units that make excrement disappear and that act as a barrier between humans and their potentially toxic waste.

Jenkins and Steven Sugden, “Rethinking Sanitation: Lessons and Innovation for Sustainability and Success in the New Millennium,” Human Development Report Office Occasional Paper No. 27 (New York: United Nations Development Programme, 2006), p. 25. U.S. patent 6,242,489 Available at http://www.uspto.gov/patft/. Or as a taggant The Sunshine Project, Backgrounder Series #8, July 2001, http://www.sunshine-project.org/publications/bk/bk8en.html. John Snow never patented Peter Vinten-Johansen, Cholera, Chloroform and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 113. If toilets were like mobile phones Marion W. Jenkins and Steven Sugden, “Rethinking Sanitation—Lessons and Innovation for Sustainability and Success in the New Millennium,” Human Development Report Sanitation Thematic Paper 2006, p. 10. A toilet shop was a great idea Steadman and Associates, “Social Marketing for Urban Sanitation Pilot Survey in Keko Mwanga B,” (Dar-es-Salaam: Steadman & Associates (T) Ltd., 2003).

Ogden is bemused by this, but he made the first few pumps. He won’t need to do them again, because the point of the Gulper is that it can be copied. I see this attitude often in sanitarians. Dr. Pathak of Sulabh; Joe Madiath of Gram Vikas; the two Steves. None has applied for patents. None wants to remove his useful ideas into expensive inaccessibility. This generosity has a fine historical precedent: Dr. John Snow, the great Victorian doctor who identified the source of cholera, never patented any of his medical advances despite being a good enough ether practitioner to be requested by Queen Victoria when she gave birth. Patenting is daft, according to the two Steves. It defeats the purpose. “The idea,” says Sugden, “is to develop something a small-scale sector can afford and adopt. If you patent it, it’s expensive and they can’t adopt it.


pages: 243 words: 65,374

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

A. Roger Ekirch, Ada Lovelace, big-box store, British Empire, butterfly effect, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jacquard loom, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Live Aid, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, planetary scale, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, walkable city, women in the workforce

In 2014, the publication ran a somewhat belated “correction” to the obit, detailing the London doctor’s seminal contributions to public health. John Snow’s cholera map of Soho The modern synthesis that would come to replace the miasma hypothesis—that diseases such as cholera and typhoid are caused not by smells but by invisible organisms that thrive in contaminated water—was ultimately dependent, once again, on an innovation in glass. The German lens crafters Zeiss Optical Works began producing new microscopes in the early 1870s—devices that for the first time had been constructed around mathematical formulas that described the behavior of light. These new lenses enabled the microbiological work of scientists such as Robert Koch, one of the first scientists to identify the cholera bacterium. (After receiving the Nobel Prize for his work in 1905, Koch wrote to Carl Zeiss, “A large part of my success I owe to your excellent microscopes.”)

Advances of public infrastructure meant that people were much more likely to have running water in their homes to fill their bathtubs; that the water was cleaner than it had been a few decades earlier; and, most important, that the germ theory of disease had gone from fringe idea to scientific consensus. This new paradigm had been achieved through two parallel investigations. First, there was the epidemiological detective work of John Snow in London, who first proved that cholera was caused by contaminated water and not miasmatic smells, by mapping the deaths of a Soho epidemic. Snow never managed to see the bacteria that caused cholera directly; the technology of microscopy at the time made it almost impossible to see organisms (Snow called them “animalcules”) that were so small. But he was able to detect the organisms indirectly, in the patterns of death on the streets of London. Snow’s waterborne theory of disease would ultimately deliver the first decisive blow to the miasma paradigm, though Snow himself didn’t live to see his theory triumph.

Nineteenth-century Chicago, of course, had both human and animal waste to deal with, the horses in the streets, the pigs and cattle awaiting slaughter in the stockyards. (“The river is positively red with blood under the Rush Street Bridge and past down our factory,” one industrialist wrote. “What pestilence may result from it I don’t know.”) The effects of all this filth were not just offensive to the senses; they were deadly. Epidemics of cholera and dysentery erupted regularly in the 1850s. Sixty people died a day during the outbreak of cholera in the summer of 1854. The authorities at the time didn’t fully understand the connection between waste and disease. Many of them subscribed to the then-prevailing “miasma” theory, contending that epidemic disease arose from poisonous vapors, sometimes called “death fogs,” that people inhaled in dense cities. The true transmission route—invisible bacteria carried in fecal matter polluting the water supply—would not become conventional wisdom for another decade.


The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect by Judea Pearl, Dana Mackenzie

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, Bayesian statistics, computer age, computer vision, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Edmond Halley, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Isaac Newton, iterative process, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, loose coupling, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, personalized medicine, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, strong AI, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, Turing test

SNOW In 1853 and 1854, England was in the grips of a cholera epidemic. In that era, cholera was as terrifying as Ebola is today; a healthy person who drinks cholera-tainted water can die within twenty-four hours. We know today that cholera is caused by a bacterium that attacks the intestines. It spreads through the “rice water” diarrhea of its victims, who excrete this diarrhea in copious amounts before dying. But in 1853, disease-causing germs had never yet been seen under a microscope for any illness, let alone cholera. The prevailing wisdom held that a “miasma” of unhealthy air caused cholera, a theory seemingly supported by the fact that the epidemic hit harder in the poorer sections of London, where sanitation was worse. Dr. John Snow, a physician who had taken care of cholera victims for more than twenty years, was always skeptical of the miasma theory.

It wasn’t the first time that physicians confronted perplexing causal questions: some of the greatest milestones in medical history dealt with identifying causative agents. In the mid-1700s, James Lind had discovered that citrus fruits could prevent scurvy, and in the mid-1800s, John Snow had figured out that water contaminated with fecal matter caused cholera. (Later research identified a more specific causative agent in each case: vitamin C deficiency for scurvy, the cholera bacillus for cholera.) These brilliant pieces of detective work had in common a fortunate one-to-one relation between cause and effect. The cholera bacillus is the only cause of cholera; or as we would say today, it is both necessary and sufficient. If you aren’t exposed to it, you won’t get the disease. Likewise, a vitamin C deficiency is necessary to produce scurvy, and given enough time, it is also sufficient.

John Snow, a physician who had taken care of cholera victims for more than twenty years, was always skeptical of the miasma theory. He argued, sensibly, that since the symptoms manifested themselves in the intestinal tract, the body must first come into contact with the pathogen there. But because he couldn’t see the culprit, he had no way to prove this—until the epidemic of 1854. The John Snow story has two chapters, one much more famous than the other. In what we could call the “Hollywood” version, he painstakingly goes from house to house, recording where victims of cholera died, and notices a cluster of dozens of victims near a pump in Broad Street. Talking with people who live in the area, he discovers that almost all the victims had drawn their water from that particular pump. He even learns of a fatal case that occurred far away, in Hampstead, to a woman who liked the taste of the water from the Broad Street pump.


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10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness by Alanna Collen

Asperger Syndrome, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, biofilm, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, David Strachan, discovery of penicillin, Drosophila, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, John Snow's cholera map, Kickstarter, Louis Pasteur, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, placebo effect, the scientific method

Although the threat of infectious disease has all but gone, our immune systems are still under fire. But why? Let’s turn to the technique pioneered by Dr John Snow during Soho’s cholera outbreak of 1854: epidemiology. Since Snow first applied logic and evidence to unravelling the mystery of the source of cholera, epidemiology has become a mainstay of medical sleuthing. It couldn’t be simpler: we ask three questions: (1) Where are these diseases occurring? (2) Who are they affecting? and (3) When did they become a problem? The answers provide us with clues that can help us to answer the overall question: Why are twenty-first-century illnesses happening? The map of cholera cases that John Snow produced in answer to Where? gave away cholera’s likely epicentre – the Broad Street pump. Without much detective work, it’s clear to see that obesity, autism, allergies and autoimmunity all began in the Western world.

Each person could produce up to 20 litres per day, all of which was dumped in the cesspits beneath Soho’s cramped houses. The disease was cholera, and it killed people in their hundreds. Dr John Snow, a British doctor, was sceptical of the miasma theory, and had spent some years looking for an alternative explanation. From previous epidemics, he had begun to suspect that cholera was water-borne. The latest outbreak in Soho gave him the opportunity to test his theory. He interviewed Soho residents and mapped cholera cases and deaths, looking for a common source. Snow realised that the victims had all drunk from the same water pump on Broad Street (now Broadwick Street) at the heart of the outbreak. Even deaths further afield could be traced back to the Broad Street pump, as cholera was carried and passed on by those infected there. There was one anomaly: a group of monks in a Soho monastery who got their water from the same pump were completely unaffected.

It seems that without their calming influence, the handbrake is off and the immune system goes full speed ahead, attacking even the most innocuous of substances. Let me now tell you about cholera – the disease behind the litres of watery white diarrhoea that contaminated the water supply of Soho back in 1854, and which continues to cause outbreaks of misery in developing countries today. It’s caused by a nasty little bacterium called Vibrio cholerae which colonises the small intestine. But it never intends to stay for long. Where most infectious bacteria attempt to sneak past the immune system until they have fortified their ranks enough to resist attack and cause a persistent infection, V. cholerae flaunts its presence from the moment it arrives. In the first phase of its mission, V. cholerae attaches itself to the intestinal wall and reproduces as fast as it can. But rather than hang around and cause a permanent infection, this bacterium has other ideas.


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Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, cleantech, complexity theory, conceptual framework, cosmic microwave background, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, digital Maoism, digital map, discovery of DNA, Dmitri Mendeleev, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Ernest Rutherford, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, greed is good, Hans Lippershey, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, hypertext link, invention of air conditioning, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, Mason jar, mass immigration, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, online collectivism, packet switching, PageRank, patent troll, pattern recognition, price mechanism, profit motive, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, silicon-based life, six sigma, Solar eclipse in 1919, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, urban planning

For more on Ronald Burt’s analysis of social networks and organizational innovation, see his “Social Contagion and Innovation” and Social Origins of Good Ideas. Richard Ogle gives a riveting account of the exaptative creativity of Watson and Crick in Smart World. For more on Apple’s design and development processes, see Lev Grossman’s “How Apple Does It.” Howard Gruber describes his “networks of enterprise” in his essay “The Evolving Systems Approach to Creative Work.” For more on John Snow’s diverse intellectual interests, see Peter Vinten-Johansen’s Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine and my Ghost Map. CHAPTER 7: PLATFORMS Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian theory is outlined in his Principles of Geology. For more on Lyell’s reaction to Darwin’s idea, see the correspondence included in Darwin’s Autobiography. For more on the concept of a keystone species, see R. T. Paine’s “Conversation on Refining the Concept of Keystone Species,” published in Conservation Biology.

None of these passions were central to the argument that would eventually be published as On the Origin of Species, but each contributed useful links of association and expertise to the problem of evolution. The same eclectic pattern appears in countless other biographies. Joseph Priestley bounced between chemistry, physics, theology, and political theory. Even in the years before he became a political statesman, Benjamin Franklin conducted electricity experiments, theorized the existence of the Gulf Stream, designed stoves, and of course made a small fortune as a printer. While John Snow was solving the mystery of cholera in the streets of London in the 1850s, he was also inventing state-of-the-art technology for the administration of ether, publishing research on lead poisoning and the resuscitation of stillborn children, yet all the while tending to his patients as a general practitioner. Legendary innovators like Franklin, Snow, and Darwin all possess some common intellectual qualities—a certain quickness of mind, unbounded curiosity—but they also share one other defining attribute.

Urbina, Ian. “Growing Pains for a Deep-Sea Home Built of Subway Cars.” New York Times, April 8, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/08/us/08reef.html. Valenstein, Elliot S. The War of the Soups and the Sparks: The Discovery of Neurotransmitters and the Dispute over How Nerves Communicate. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. Vinten-Johansen, Peter, et al. Cholera, Chloroform, and the Science of Medicine: A Life of John Snow. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. Wagner, Ullrich, Steffen Gais, Hilde Haider, Rolf Verleger, and Jan Born. “Sleep Inspires Insight.” Nature 427, no. 6972 (2004): 352-55. Waldrop, Mitchell M. Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992. Weinbaum, Stanley Grauman. A Martian Odyssey, and Others. Reading, Pa.: Fantasy Press, 1949.


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Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts About Alternative Medicine by Edzard Ernst, Simon Singh

animal electricity, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, correlation does not imply causation, false memory syndrome, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, germ theory of disease, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, profit motive, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method

On the other hand, a nearby workhouse with its own well had no cases, and employees at the brewery on Broad Street had been unaffected because they drank their own produce. A key piece of evidence was the case of a woman who died of cholera, even though she lived far from Soho. Snow learned, however, that she had previously lived in Soho and had such a fondness for the sweet pump water that she had specially asked for some Broad Street water to be brought to her house. Based on all these observations, Snow persuaded town officials to take the handle off the pump, which halted the supply of contaminated water and brought an end to the cholera outbreak. Snow, arguably the world’s first epidemiologist, had demonstrated the power of the new scientific approach to medicine, and in 1866 Britain suffered its last cholera outbreak. Figure 4 John Snow’s map of cholera deaths in Soho, 1854. Each black oblong represents one death, and the Broad Street pump can be seen at the centre of the epidemic.

One of the most important medical breakthroughs took place during the previously mentioned 1854 London cholera epidemic. The disease had first hit Britain in 1831, when 23,000 people died; this was followed by the 1849 epidemic, which killed 53,000. During the 1849 epidemic the obstetrician Dr John Snow questioned the established theory that cholera was spread through the air by unknown poisonous vapours. He had been a pioneer of anaesthesia and had administered chloroform to Queen Victoria during the birth of Prince Leopold, so he knew exactly how gaseous poisons affected groups of people; if cholera was caused by a gas, then entire populations should be affected, but instead the disease seemed to be selective about its victims. Therefore, he posited the radical theory that cholera was caused by contact with contaminated water and sewage.

Picture Credits James Lind © Wellcome Library, London Florence Nightingale’s polar chart © Wellcome Library, London Model showing acupuncture needle entry points © Wellcome Library, London Patient receiving acupuncture © Tek Image/Science Photo Library Archie Cochrane © Cardiff University Library, Cochrane Archive, Llandough Hospital Samuel Hahnemann © Science Photo Library Oliver Wendell Holmes © Wellcome Library, London John Snow’s map of cholera deaths in Soho, 1854 © Royal Society of Medicine Cervical spine © Sheila Terry/Science Photo Library Daniel David Palmer © Science Photo Library Field thistle © Wellcome Library, London St John’s wort © June Hill Redigo/Custom medical stock photo/ Science Photo Library


pages: 372 words: 94,153

More From Less: The Surprising Story of How We Learned to Prosper Using Fewer Resources – and What Happens Next by Andrew McAfee

back-to-the-land, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, humanitarian revolution, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Landlord’s Game, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, market fundamentalism, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil shale / tar sands, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog, World Values Survey

Disamenities and Death in 19th Century British Towns,” Explorations in Economic History 19, no. 3 (July 1982): 221–45, https://doi:10.1016/0014-4983(82)90039-0. home in the Ganges River delta: “Cholera,” World Health Organization Fact Sheets, updated January 17, 2019, https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cholera. two major outbreaks killed more than fifteen thousand: Jacqueline Banerjee, “Cholera,” Victorian Web: Literature, History, & Culture in the Age of Victoria, last modified January 19, 2017, http://www.victorianweb.org/science/health/cholera/cholera.html. plotted all London cholera cases on a map: Simon Rogers, “John Snow’s Data Journalism: The Cholera Map That Changed the World,” Guardian Datablog, March 15, 2013, https://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/mar/15/john-snow-cholera-map. something like an Engels Pause: C.W., “Did Living Standards Improve during the Industrial Revolution?

My favorite illustration of this is London’s fight against cholera, a terrible bacterial disease that spreads when the diarrhea of its victims contaminates drinking water. After this illness reached London in 1832 from its home in the Ganges River delta two major outbreaks killed more than fifteen thousand people. “King Cholera” caused great fear in part because its roots were unknown. The idea that many diseases were caused by microorganisms was not yet widely accepted; most scientists, like the public, believed that illnesses were spread instead by miasmas, or “bad airs,” from rotting vegetables and corpses. A third cholera outbreak, in 1854, killed more than five hundred people in the Soho neighborhood within two weeks and threatened to sow panic throughout the city. It was stopped only when the physician John Snow plotted all London cholera cases on a map; they were tightly clustered around the public water pump on Broad Street, the water of which had become contaminated.

It was stopped only when the physician John Snow plotted all London cholera cases on a map; they were tightly clustered around the public water pump on Broad Street, the water of which had become contaminated. Snow persuaded the authorities to close this pump, stopping the outbreak. Citywide plumbing that brought clean water and took away sewage, combined with Louis Pasteur’s convincing demonstrations that germs caused diseases such as cholera, ensured that this was London’s last brush with King Cholera. Cholera outbreaks hint at an important fact: something like an Engels Pause occurred in aspects of health at the start of the Industrial Era. Improvements were not immediate. Urban infant mortality, for example, increased for several decades after 1800 before beginning to fall late in the nineteenth century.VI As we’ll see in the next chapter, this was due in part to pollution.


pages: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

All historical global population numbers are drawn from this table. http://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/longrange2/WorldPop2300final.pdf 28 Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined (New York: Penguin, 2011). 29  Alfred Crosby, Germs, Seeds and Animals: Studies in Ecological History (New York: Routledge, 1994). 30 Pamela K. Gilbert, “On Cholera in Nineteenth Century England,” BRANCH: Britain, Representation and Nineteenth-Century History (2013). http://www.branchcollective.org/?ps_articles=pamel-k-gilbert-on-cholera -in-nineteenth-century-england 31 Sharon Gouynup, “Cholera: Tracking the First Truly Global Disease,” National Geographic News, 14 June 2004. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/06/0614_040614_tvcholera.html 32 Judith Summers, Soho: A History of London’s Most Colourful Neighborhood (London: Bloomsbury, 1989), 113–17. http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/broadstreetpump.html 33 David Vachon, “Doctor John Snow Blames Water Pollution for Cholera Epidemic,” Father of Modern Epidemiology (Los Angeles: ucla Department of Epidemiology, 2005). http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/fatherofepidemiology.html 34 “Population of the British Isles,” Tacitus.NU. http://www.tacitus.nu/historical-atlas/population/british.htm 35 Max Roser and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina, “World Population Growth,” Our World in Data, 2013/2017. http://ourworldindata.org/data/population-growth -vital-statistics/world-population-growth 36 Michael J.

There were two hundred thousand private cesspools in the city at the time of the outbreak; waste and refuse filled the ditches and lined the alleys.31 But the revolution was also transforming the sciences, especially medicine, with received wisdom forced to give way to empirical inquiry. Cholera was believed to be inhaled through miasma, or tainted air. Doctors treated the stricken with opiates and leaches. Combating infection by draining blood from the victim was still a popular remedy, despite centuries of evidence that the treatment was useless or harmful. At least the opiates eased the agony. One obscure physician, John Snow, was personally convinced that cholera was waterborne rather than airborne. An outbreak of the disease that began on August 31, 1854, in the London district of Soho, gave Snow a chance to prove his theory. Within ten days, five hundred were dead, with the survivors fleeing the area.

The outbreak ended instantly.32 Though it took years to overcome conservative resistance, the stubborn truth of Snow’s observation prompted planners to begin work on the first modern urban sewage system. Opened in 1870, the tunnels of the London sewers were so well built that they remain in good working order to this day. Though still largely unheralded, John Snow’s contribution to human well-being was extraordinary: within the field, he is known as “the father of epidemiology.”33 He advanced human understanding of disease generally and advanced as well the importance of public health as a government priority. While cholera continued to ravage the rest of Europe, it disappeared from London, which the rest of Europe noticed. Before long, protecting the water supply became crucial to urban planners and politicians in every advanced nation. Medicine, too, was leaping ahead, especially in the areas of anesthetics and disinfectants.


pages: 416 words: 108,370

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction by Derek Thompson

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, always be closing, augmented reality, Clayton Christensen, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, full employment, game design, Gordon Gekko, hindsight bias, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, information trail, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kodak vs Instagram, linear programming, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nate Silver, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, out of africa, randomized controlled trial, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, subscription business, telemarketer, the medium is the message, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Vilfredo Pareto, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, women in the workforce

The city government still assumed that the disease was carried through smells and inhaled by residents. The scientist John Snow disagreed. A doctor with the instincts of a journalist, Snow interviewed hundreds of sick and healthy families from the neighborhood. He plotted their cases on a map, where dark bars signified households with cholera. Snow’s investigation uncovered several critical clues: The infected houses clustered within a few blocks. Outside of that cluster, there were practically no incidents of cholera. In the heart of the cluster was a brewery whose workers were remarkably healthy. Imagine yourself as a detective with these clues and this map. Given the pattern of the disease, you might rule out the miasma theory. But you’d still wonder if this disease was spreading between houses—like a virus—or spreading from one source to many houses.

., “The Structure of Online Diffusion Networks.” “driven by the size of the largest broadcast”: Goel et al., “The Structural Virality of Online Diffusion.” a massive stinking cesspool of disease: Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic—and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (New York: Riverhead, 2006). killing 127 people in three days: Kathleen Tuthill, “John Snow and the Broad Street Pump,” Cricket 31, no. 3 (November 2003), reprinted by UCLA Department of Epidemiology, www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/snowcricketarticle.html. “There were only ten deaths in houses”: John Snow, Medical Times and Gazette 9, September 23, 1854: 321–22, reprinted by UCLA Department of Epidemiology, www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/choleraneargoldensquare.html. Note: Other accounts of Snow’s methodology, such as David Freedman’s paper “Statistical Models and Shoe Leather,” give more weight to Snow’s investigation of the water supply companies.

But you’d still wonder if this disease was spreading between houses—like a virus—or spreading from one source to many houses. And why would beer offer immunity to workers in the midst of an urban epidemic? Snow added more details to the map—restaurants, parks, water pumps—and he noticed something. On blocks where the Broad Street water pump was the nearest source of water, cholera cases were numerous. On blocks where the residents were more likely to retrieve water from another pump, cholera was rare. The families with cholera had one thing in common: They were drawing water from the same source. “There were only ten deaths in houses situated decidedly nearer to another street-pump,” Snow wrote in a letter to the editor of the Medical Times and Gazette. “In five of these cases the families of the deceased persons informed me that they always sent to the pump in Broad Street, as they preferred the water to that of the pumps which were nearer.


pages: 374 words: 114,660

The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, clean water, colonial exploitation, Columbian Exchange, creative destruction, declining real wages, Downton Abbey, end world poverty, financial innovation, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of agriculture, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge economy, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, new economy, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, structural adjustment programs, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trade route, very high income, War on Poverty

But the theory led to too much emphasis on sanitation and not enough on water supplies, so that, at one point, the health authorities in London were emptying the stinking cesspools in basements into the Thames, thus recycling cholera into the water supply. A few years later, in London’s cholera epidemic of 1854, one of the two water companies supplying the city with drinking water from the Thames had its inlets downstream of the sewage discharges, recycling cholera bacteria from one generation of victims to the next. Indeed, the fact that the other major company had recently moved its inlet to purer water upriver enabled John Snow, then a physician in London, to map the cholera deaths and match them to the offending water company, and thus to demonstrate that cholera was spread through contaminated drinking water.28 This was one of the first “natural experiments” in public health, and it gets my vote as one of the most important of all time.

A look at the modern history of mortality,” European Review of Economic History 3: 257–94. 25. Livi-Bacci, Population and nutrition. 26. Samuel J. Preston, 1996, “American longevity: Past, present, and future,” Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, Paper 36, http://surface.syr.edu/cpr/36. 27. George Rosen, 1991, A history of public health, Johns Hopkins University Press. 28. John Snow, 1855, On the mode of transmission of cholera, London, John Churchill. See also Steven Johnson, 2007, The ghost map: The story of London’s most terrifying epidemic and how it changed science, cities, and the modern world, Riverhead. 29. David A. Freedman, 1991, “Statistical analysis and shoe leather,” Sociological Methodology 21: 291–313. 30. Nancy Tomes, 1999, The gospel of germs: Men, women and the microbe in American life, Harvard University Press. 31.

Yet Snow recognized that the experiment was hardly decisive—for example, it might have been that one water company might have served only well-to-do patrons, who were protected for other reasons—and went to great pains to rule out other potential explanations for his results.29 Snow’s findings, together with the later work of Robert Koch in Germany and Louis Pasteur in France, helped establish the germ theory of disease, albeit with much resistance from holdout believers in miasma theory. One sticking point was why some people exposed to the disease did not become sick—a serious challenge to causality and understanding.30 Indeed, Koch, who had isolated Vibrio cholerae in 1883, proposed four “postulates,” all of which had to be satisfied if a microbe were to be safely identified as the cause of a disease. One was that, if the microorganism were introduced into a healthy person, the disease should follow. This gap in the theory was spectacularly demonstrated in 1892 when a prominent disbeliever and miasmatist, Max von Pettenkofer, then aged 74, publicly drank a flask of cholera bacteria, specially sent by Koch from Egypt, and suffered only mild negative after-effects. Exactly why he should have escaped is unclear—it was not stomach acidity, which he had neutralized—but many disease agents work only under suitable conditions, and von Pettenkofer had a theory of this kind, that the microorganism must first be converted to a miasma by putrefying in soil.


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Heart: A History by Sandeep Jauhar

blue-collar work, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, Honoré de Balzac, John Snow's cholera map, mass immigration, medical residency, placebo effect, publish or perish, Rubik’s Cube, selection bias, stem cell, the scientific method

Epidemiology is about the ecology of disease: where and when it is found, or not. In 1854, John Snow, physician to Queen Victoria, performed the world’s first epidemiological study when he investigated a major cholera outbreak in London’s Soho. Snow was born in the town of York, at the intersection of two rivers contaminated by dung and sewage. His childhood likely sensitized him to a community’s need for clean water. Based on studies nearly ten years before the Soho epidemic, Snow had concluded that cholera was transmitted by “morbid matter,” not foul air, as his colleagues at the London Medical Society believed. He based his theory in part on the fact that workers in slaughterhouses, thought to be a font of cholera, were afflicted no more than the general population. So, when cholera broke out in London in 1854, Snow set his sights on a well.

So, when cholera broke out in London in 1854, Snow set his sights on a well. He went to the General Registry Office and mapped the addresses of all the cholera deaths in Soho, discovering that most deaths had occurred near a water pump on Broad Street. True to his meticulous nature, Snow also studied Soho residents who did not contract the disease—for example, inmates at a nearby prison that did not use the Broad Street pump, as well as brewery workers whose supervisor, a Mr. Huggins, told Snow that his men drank only water from the brewery’s own well (when they weren’t consuming the malt liquor they produced). Though Snow knew nothing of germs, he was nevertheless able to contain the epidemic, which caused 616 deaths, by persuading the board of governors of the local parish to remove the handle on the well’s pump, making it impossible to draw water. Only later, by studying water samples, did London authorities show that the pump was contaminated with sewage from a nearby cesspool, setting off what Snow called “the most terrible outbreak of cholera which ever occurred in this kingdom.”

Only later, by studying water samples, did London authorities show that the pump was contaminated with sewage from a nearby cesspool, setting off what Snow called “the most terrible outbreak of cholera which ever occurred in this kingdom.” Snow’s investigation saved many lives. Just as important, it showed that an epidemic could be controlled without a precise understanding of its cause.* After Snow’s study and the subsequent development of epidemiological techniques, public health authorities in the United States focused their attention on acute infectious diseases like cholera, tuberculosis, and leprosy. Chronic noninfectious ailments—the long-term hard hitters like heart disease—received little attention. But after Roosevelt’s death, Assistant Surgeon General Joseph Mountin, a founder of the Office of Malaria Control in War Areas (later known as the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC), was eager to correct this disparity. As was the case with cholera in the mid-nineteenth century, very little was known about the determinants of heart disease.


pages: 257 words: 68,383

Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water by Peter H. Gleick

Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, John Snow's cholera map, Nelson Mandela, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley

In 1848 the Lambeth Water Company, one of several private water companies supplying London, moved its water intake upstream on the Thames, above the worst of the sewage discharges, reducing illness in its service area. In a now legendary 1854 experiment, Dr. John Snow, a London physician, conducted a simple yet brilliant test that helped to settle the debate about the transmission of cholera. Snow drew a map of a virulent cholera outbreak in one of the poorest neighborhoods of London—an area served by central wells and no sewage collection. He plotted the homes and numbers of people affected and added the location of the wells that provided water for the hardest-hit neighborhoods. The maps he generated and the interviews he conducted with the families of victims convinced him that the source of contamination was the water from one particular well in Broad Street. He received permission from local authorities to remove the pump handle, which forced residents to go to other, uncontaminated wells for water.

You lose two wagon wheels and little Billy died of cholera.”). In California and the Pacific Northwest the contagion merged with more cholera brought down by fur traders from Russia through Alaska. President James Polk is reported to have contracted cholera while in New Orleans in 1849, and died of the disease just a few months after leaving office.11 In 1853 and 1854, another massive wave of cholera swept back through Europe and America. Russia was reportedly devastated by a million cholera deaths, and once again thousands died in London. Yet leading doctors and scientists couldn’t agree on how people were getting ill or how best to prevent the transmission of most diseases. The sciences of bacteriology, epidemiology, and immunology were still rudimentary. The prevalent theory of the time was that cholera was transmitted through the air as a contagious mist or miasma.

Between 1831 and 1833 a massive wave of Asiatic cholera swept over Britain from Scotland to London, claiming over 50,000 lives.10 In 1832, cholera reached New York and killed more than 3,500 people in a city with a population of only 250,000—as if over 100,000 died today. In the 1840s, the disease again surged back and forth across the continents, killing thousands at a time. In 1846, 15,000 people died in and around Mecca from the disease. Cholera reached Moscow in 1847 and then exploded again throughout Europe. In 1849, tens of thousands more died in London, Paris, and other European cities. Ships carried the disease across the Atlantic to the New World via the ports of New York and New Orleans. Five thousand more died in New York as did several thousand in New Orleans. Cholera then traveled up the Mississippi River valley, spreading by boat to villages and towns.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

Plague vanished from Europe (though not from Asia) in the early eighteenth century, but yellow fever invaded, and cholera began devastating Western cities by 1830. While earlier public health actions against disease were mostly limited to quarantine, increasingly sophisticated urbanites like John Snow were acquiring the knowledge needed to battle the spread of pestilence. Snow was a coal worker’s son from York who was apprenticed at the age of fourteen to the doctor of railroad pioneer George Stephenson. Nine years later, Snow walked two hundred miles alone to London to get the skills he needed to become a surgeon. Two years later, he received his license and became a successful doctor and medical researcher, one who learned much from the city around him. His greatest success came from observing the pattern of cholera deaths in the outbreak of 1854. London was Snow’s laboratory, and with the help of a local clergyman, he interviewed residents and produced a remarkable map of the cholera outbreak.

., “Hellenic Holocaust.” 97 Plague came to Constantinople: Russell, “That Earlier Plague.” 97 three centuries after 1350: McNeill, Plagues and Peoples, 160-72. 97 death rates were much higher in urban areas: Wrigley and Schofield, Population History, 472. 98 Plague vanished from Europe: McNeill, Plagues and Peoples, 171-72. 98 yellow fever invaded, and cholera: Ibid., 271-75, 280. 98 Nine years later, Snow walked: Steven Johnson, Ghost Map, 60. 98 map of the cholera outbreak: Ibid., 172-73. 98 a particular water pump: Ibid., 193. 98 “the above-mentioned pump well”: Brody et al., “Map-Making,” 65. 99 Philadelphia ... went the public route: Warner, Private City, 103. 99 New York followed a private path: Reubens, “Burr, Hamilton,” 592. 99 cautioned against the “burthensome” taxes: Reubens, “Burr, Hamilton.” 99 The charter’s key provisions: Ibid., 599. 99 “monied transactions not inconsistent”: Ibid., 600. 100 lose more than a half percent: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Summary of Vital Statistics 2008, Jan. 2010, cover. 100 Croton Aqueduct ... had an impact: Jervis, Description of the Croton Aqueduct. 100 remarkable sixty-year decline: In 1832, New York City had 50 deaths per 1,000, a rate of 5 percent.

London was Snow’s laboratory, and with the help of a local clergyman, he interviewed residents and produced a remarkable map of the cholera outbreak. Street by street, case by case, the map showed the geography of the disease. By examining the layout of the affliction, Snow saw that a particular water pump lay at the epicenter of the outbreak. His interviews led him to conclude “there has been no particular outbreak or prevalence of cholera in this part of London except among the persons who were in the habit of drinking the water of the above-mentioned pump well.” Nearby ale imbibers remained healthy; alcohol’s ability to kill waterborne bacteria had long helped city dwellers avoid illness. The well appears to have been polluted by a nearby cesspit that contained infected feces. When Snow got the pump’s handle removed, the outbreak subsided.


pages: 227 words: 62,177

Numbers Rule Your World: The Hidden Influence of Probability and Statistics on Everything You Do by Kaiser Fung

American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrew Wiles, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, business cycle, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, edge city, Emanuel Derman, facts on the ground, fixed income, Gary Taubes, John Snow's cholera map, moral hazard, p-value, pattern recognition, profit motive, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, statistical model, the scientific method, traveling salesman

The consequence of miscalculation was grave, the stakes high and getting higher. ~###~ A century and a half ago, a young English doctor found himself in a worse predicament when a string of cholera outbreaks killed tens of thousands between 1830 and 1850. In 1854, around London’s Broad Street (now Broadwick Street), 127 people succumbed to the disease in three days, and 500 died in the first ten days. At the time, the cause of cholera was popularly believed to be “miasma,” also known as foul air. In a series of inspired studies, Dr. John Snow demonstrated that cholera is spread by foul water, not foul air. By mapping sites of water pumps and homes of the deceased, he guessed correctly that the Broad Street pump was infected. Folklore had it that the outbreak halted as soon as the handle was taken off the pump.

More significantly, to measure the real impact of the recall would require knowing what would have happened had the recall not been instituted. That alternative world of no recall, unfortunately, could only exist in our imagination. So it was impossible, in practice, to prove DeWaal’s claim of many lives saved. The same kind of conundrum was recognized over a century ago by John Snow, who considered the possibility that “the [cholera] attacks had so far diminished before the use of the water was stopped that it was impossible to decide whether the well still contained the cholera poison in an active state or whether, from some cause, the water had become free from it.” Such inability to gauge the effect of public policy served to raise the stakes further, especially when it has costly side effects. If few lives could have been saved, then the final toll for this outbreak amounted to three deaths and about a hundred hospitalizations.

He conceived and sold the program as a form of “civil defense” against the threat of biological weapons during the Cold War. EIS officers have played leading roles in preventing and controlling diseases, including polio, lead poisoning, Legionnaires’ disease, and toxic shock syndrome. They proudly wear lapel pins of a shoe with a hole, symbolizing the sweat and toil involved in their surveillance activities. In Langmuir’s office hung the portraits of his three heroes: John Snow (of course), Sir Edwin Chadwick, and Charles Chapin. Chadwick, like Snow, was instrumental in jump-starting sanitation reform in England in the nineteenth century; he advocated the then-novel concept of using pipes to carry water into residences. Chapin, who served as the health officer of Providence, Rhode Island, for forty-eight years, earning the nickname “the dean of city health officers,” ignited the public-health movement in the United States in the 1880s, and he also championed the use of scientific principles.


pages: 683 words: 203,624

The Victorian City: Everyday Life in Dickens' London by Judith Flanders

anti-work, centre right, Corn Laws, John Snow's cholera map, Ralph Waldo Emerson, traveling salesman, urban sprawl, working poor

As late as the second epidemic a decade later, the Warrior, theoretically a hospital ship, had no regular supply of clean linen; the majority of prisoners were verminous and on average were given a change of clothes only every five weeks; no one could say when the bedding had last been washed; there were no towels or combs, and not enough sheets; the privies were ‘imperfect and neglected’, and the smell ‘almost insupportable’. Of the 638 convicts on board, 400 were stricken with cholera. Little more care was accorded the convicts after death. Their chaplain refused to conduct a funeral service until the dead numbered at least half a dozen, and even then he declined to accompany the bodies on their last journey, reading the burial service to himself on board and signalling to the burial party onshore when he reached ‘dust to dust’ by dropping his handkerchief. The 1854–5 outbreak was the one in which John Snow, a Soho doctor, famously disabled the Broad Street pump and in so doing stopped the spread of cholera in that district. (Broad Street has become Broadwick Street, and a pub, the John Snow, marks the location of the pump.) This was not a sudden insight. During the previous epidemic, in 1849, Snow had already indicated the disease might be water-borne.

As these roads were renamed, a wholesale renumbering of the buildings also took place. London was, to many, a great map that mapped out the impossibility of mapping. There had been many maps of the city, but it was only at this time of renaming that the first official map of London was produced. That was precipitated not by the Metropolitan Board of Works’ desire for regimentation, but by a cholera epidemic. In 1848, the need to improve the sanitation of London was no longer a matter for debate (for more on sanitation, see pp. 194–6; on cholera, pp. 216–8), but the most basic element, the knowledge of the locations of the sewers, was entirely lacking, and so the army was called in to map out all the city streets for planning purposes. Today the ‘ordnance’ in the Ordnance Survey maps has become detached from its meaning, but it was the army’s ordnance division, the sappers and miners of the engineering corps, who covered Westminster Abbey with scaffolding, from which they surveyed London in a radius of twelve miles around St Paul’s, at twelve inches to the mile.

These were cases of general fevers, but in 1831 a new terror had appeared: cholera. The medical community had been warning of its coming for more than a decade, after an outbreak of ‘Asiatic cholera’ in Lower Bengal in 1817. But it was another six years before it reached Europe, when 144 deaths were recorded in Astrakhan. In 1829, in Russia, 1,000 died before the disease again resurfaced in Astrakhan, and this time 25,000 may have died. By 1831, the disease had spread to the Baltic ports, and then it was only months before it reached Britain via the shipping routes: in October, the first British death from cholera was recorded in Sunderland. A medical officer who had worked in India recognized the symptoms and warned the authorities, but the local doctors refused to accept the fact, recording the death as ‘English cholera’.72 Another 201 deaths did little to change their minds or to prepare the rest of the country.


Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health by Laurie Garrett

accounting loophole / creative accounting, airport security, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, biofilm, clean water, collective bargaining, desegregation, discovery of DNA, discovery of penicillin, Drosophila, employer provided health coverage, Fall of the Berlin Wall, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Induced demand, John Snow's cholera map, Jones Act, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mouse model, Nelson Mandela, new economy, nuclear winter, phenotype, profit motive, Project Plowshare, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, stem cell, the scientific method, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

Spurring its creation was word of an enormous, terribly virulent cholera epidemic in Paris. Having spotted cholera from Europe aboard a ship in New York City’s harbor, the new board—ardent sanitarians all—ordered immediate cleaning of every street and sewer in Manhattan and Brooklyn, among other measures. Crucially, board member Dr. Elisha Harris made the bold contagionist assertion that cholera infected people as a result of contact with water that was contaminated with fecal matter from other cholera victims. He knew, of course, of John Snow’s Broad Street pump experiment in London, but Harris went a critical step further, mixing the Snow observation with Semmelweis’s handwashing insights. Harris told New Yorkers to wash their darned hands with soap and clean water. By summer’s end, though cholera had ravaged Paris and London and would wreak havoc throughout the United States, New York came away with few deaths.46 Despite such successes, Tammany-controlled judges and attorneys plagued the Board of Health for decades with lawsuits and injunctions, blocking as many quarantines and other actions as possible.

This legislation compelled every city and town in the United Kingdom to construct water systems, sewers and proper drainage, and pave primary thoroughfares: a feat accomplished in just over twenty years. American health leaders also failed to take note of Dr. John Snow’s 1853 insight that by removing the pump handle (and thus the source of contaminated water) from the well in a London neighborhood with an especially high cholera rate, that neighborhood’s cholera epidemic promptly slowed. Though Snow had no concept of the bacterial cause of cholera, he realized that filthy water carried the disease. Despite the early sanitarians’ best efforts, and perhaps in part because of antigovernment sentiment throughout America in the 1850s, truly awful epidemics continued and were just beginning to ignite action.

Just as yellow fever had pushed the first public health measures in America, the terror of cholera was enormous, and it became the impetus for both change and inappropriate panic in the mid-nineteenth century. When rumors spread of cholera’s arrival to a region, cities sought, and usually obtained, authority to forcibly detain the disease’s victims in hospitals or pesthouses—facilities that functioned as little more than holding cells for ailing individuals, generally those from the poorest classes. Though such measures surely violated all concepts of personal liberty and usually proved lethal to the sufferers, quarantine enjoyed a fair amount of popular support, primarily because cholera was such a horrifying disease. The sanitarians missed the message of John Snow’s Broad Street pump. Rather than accept the possibility that a contagious agent might lurk in unclean water, the sanitarians continued to insist that filth, in and of itself, was the cause of disease.


Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World by Laura Spinney

Albert Einstein, British Empire, colonial rule, dark matter, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, experimental subject, Francisco Pizarro, global pandemic, Hernando de Soto, invisible hand, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, placebo effect, trade route, urban renewal

When two waves of cholera swept London in the mid-nineteenth century, its residents blamed miasma rising from the filthy River Thames. After a brilliant piece of detective work that involved marking fatal cases of the disease on a map, a doctor called John Snow traced the source of one outbreak to a particular water pump in the city, and deduced–correctly–that water rather than air spread cholera. He published his conclusion in 1854, but it was only after the ‘Great Stink’ of 1858–when a spell of hot weather rendered the smell of untreated sewage on the banks of the Thames overpowering–that the authorities finally commissioned an engineer, Joseph Bazalgette, to design a proper system of sewers for the city. Their reasoning? By eliminating the miasma, they would eliminate cholera too. Germ theory also had profound implications for notions of personal responsibility when it came to disease.

By then, the British were feeding several thousand people a day, out of a courtyard at the consulate compound, though some have argued that the British relief effort was paltry by comparison with the stocks they had requisitioned.23 Grey himself reported that during Ramadan, a well-known Mashedi preacher publicly criticised the British and threatened them with divine retribution. Typhus or typhoid or perhaps both were now raging in Mashed (there was diagnostic confusion over all the diseases present in the city at that time), and towards the end of June, cholera was reported further north, in the Russian city of Ashkhabad. Grey laid in supplies of serum from India and lamented the city’s dismal sanitary situation: ‘Nothing to be done regarding protection of the water supply.’ In July it became clear that the next harvest would not fail, and the famine relief effort was eased back, but the British were still sufficiently concerned about cholera that they tried to discourage large numbers of people from making the traditional pilgrimage from what is now Pakistan to Mashed after the end of Ramadan.24 They were still worrying about waterborne diseases when an airborne plague arrived in town–the Spanish flu.

When Darwin had talked about natural selection, he had not meant his ideas to be applied to human societies, but his contemporaries did just that, giving birth to the ‘science’ of eugenics. Eugenicists believed that humanity comprised different ‘races’ that competed for survival. The fittest thrived, by definition, while the ‘degenerate’ races ended up living in poverty and squalor because they lacked drive and self-discipline. This line of thinking now dovetailed insidiously with germ theory: if the poor and the working classes also suffered disproportionately from typhus, cholera and other killer diseases, then that too was their fault, since Pasteur had taught that such diseases were preventable. Eugenics informed immigration and public health policies across the world in the late nineteenth century. German anthropologists were busy classifying human ‘types’ in their colonies in Africa, while in some American states, people judged mentally ill were forcibly sterilised.


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Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future by Johan Norberg

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, availability heuristic, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, clean water, continuation of politics by other means, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, demographic transition, desegregation, Donald Trump, Flynn Effect, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Island, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, moveable type in China, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, open economy, place-making, Rosa Parks, sexual politics, special economic zone, Steven Pinker, telerobotics, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transatlantic slave trade, very high income, working poor, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, zero-sum game

London’s early sewage systems ended the practice of keeping cesspools in basements, but they did so by dumping raw sewage into the River Thames, also the source of the city’s drinking water. In this way, cholera was recycled into the water supply. Two outbreaks of cholera in London between 1848 and 1854 killed 25,000 people. This tragedy made one of the world’s great medical experiments possible, ‘one of the most important of all time’, according to Angus Deaton.9 John Snow, a physician in London, thought that cholera was borne by water rather than foul air. He mapped the deaths in detail and found a revealing link. All the cholera cases seemed to originate from the water company that had its inlet downstream of the sewage discharge, whereas no deaths were found among those who got their water from the other company, which had recently moved its inlet to purer water upriver.

As far back as the Ancient Greeks, people realized that wounds treated with wine were less likely to become infected than those treated with water. Typhoid was spread by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the faeces of an infected person, and this illness alone killed about a quarter of all patients. It may have been the disease that killed every third Athenian in 430 bce and ended its golden period. More recently, typhoid killed Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, at the age of forty-two. Cholera spread from the Indian subcontinent and water contaminated with the bacterium has killed tens of millions since the early nineteenth century. Safe water is essential not just for drinking, but also for daily personal and domestic hygiene and food preparation. Most of the illness in the world is still caused by waterborne diseases, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at any given time almost half the population in low- and middle-income countries are suffering from diseases related to inadequate provision of safe water and sanitation services.

In classical civilizations such as Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, life expectancy has been estimated at around eighteen to twenty-five years. In medieval Britain, estimates range from seventeen to thirty-five years.7 The early era of globalization resulted in terrible epidemics, since populations which had earlier been separated now exchanged contagious germs. Europeans introduced smallpox to the Americas, and got syphilis in return. Plague came with the Mongol conquests and cholera spread on merchant routes from India, killing tens of millions from the early nineteenth century. Before the late nineteenth century, even those in the most advanced nations did not experience mortality much lower than was typical during most of our species’ history. In the 1830s, life expectancy in western Europe was thirty-three years and it improved only slowly. Before the year 1800, not a single country in the world had a life expectancy higher than forty years.


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Critical: Science and Stories From the Brink of Human Life by Matt Morgan

agricultural Revolution, Atul Gawande, biofilm, Black Swan, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive dissonance, crew resource management, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Strachan, discovery of penicillin, en.wikipedia.org, hygiene hypothesis, job satisfaction, John Snow's cholera map, meta analysis, meta-analysis, personalized medicine, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs

‘Nearly 15 per cent of these substances are tobacco-related, compared with 9 per cent from alcohol and 5 per cent from illicit drugs.’ Jolivot, P.-A. et al. An observational study of adult admissions to a medical ICU due to adverse drug events. Ann Intensive Care 6, 9 (2016). ‘. . . the map that the English physician, John Snow, drew 160 years ago when examining the cause of this deadly cholera outbreak contained something far more telling.’ Hajna, S., Buckeridge, D. L. & Hanley, J. A. Substantiating the impact of John Snow’s contributions using data deleted during the 1936 reprinting of his original essay On the Mode of Communication of Cholera. Int. J. Epidemiol. 44, 1794–1799 (2015). ‘In COPD, this type of lung support can prevent the need for a life-support machine and improve a patient’s chances of survival.’ Quinnell, T. G., Pilsworth, S., Shneerson, J.

Through applied epidemiology and public health measures, the lives of millions can be dramatically improved. This reach is far greater than any doctor treating individual patients even in a life devoted to clinical medicine. The poster child of epidemiology is the London cholera outbreak of 1854, which centred around Broadwick Street in Soho. Today, you will find organic coffee shops and high-end fashion brands on this street, but the map that the English physician, John Snow, drew 160 years ago when examining the cause of this deadly cholera outbreak contained something far more telling. The clustering of cases around the water pump on Broadwick Street prompted him to examine a sample of the well’s water under a microscope, finding that it contained ‘white, flocculent particles’. Pre-empting acceptance of the germ theory of infection, Snow was convinced these flecks were the source of disease.

Pre-empting acceptance of the germ theory of infection, Snow was convinced these flecks were the source of disease. After taking his findings to the parish leaders, they reluctantly agreed to remove the pump’s handle as an experiment. Within weeks, the outbreak that claimed 616 lives was finally over. Incidentally, John Snow’s remarkable achievements did not stop there. He later went on to safely use chloroform to assist in the birth of Queen Victoria’s son Leopold in 1854, a turning point in the public acceptance of anaesthesia. The British Doctors’ Study published in 1956 was landmark research pioneering a new epidemiological technique and gave conclusive evidence that smoking caused lung cancer. It was a new type of prospective (rather than retrospective) study, following 40,000 British doctors over fifty years from 1951 to 2001 in order to determine which environmental factors led to lung cancer and heart disease.


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

Seventy deaths occurred in twenty-four hours, most within five square blocks, while hundreds more—entire families, often—were infected by the mysterious disease. Known as cholera, the illness had been feared in Britain since devastating outbreaks in the 1830s and 1840s, one of which killed almost seventy-five hundred Londoners within two years. But no one knew how cholera was transmitted. Most experts suspected it was airborne, passing from one person to another by coughing or breathing. John Snow, a private doctor, had a novel theory: he believed that cholera was transmitted by contaminated drinking water. He studied water samples under a microscope and plotted the patterns of cholera death on a map. His “Ghost Map” showed the disease radiating from an epicenter at the Broad Street pump, which drew from a well beneath Golden Square. Authorities shut down the pump, and within days the cholera epidemic disappeared. In pinpointing the locus of the outbreak, Snow had pioneered the science of epidemiology.

Shortly after Snow created his Ghost Map, an Italian researcher named Filippo Pacini identified the cholera bacteria itself, Vibrio cholerae, which circulates from one person’s feces to another person’s stomach, and back again. Although he published his findings, Pacini’s work was ignored until 1884. From that point on, the elimination of human and animal waste from water supplies was one of the central goals of water treatment around the world, and one of the most important efforts in the history of public health. Yet today, much of our freshwater is mixed with treated sewage; some of it is used for irrigation, and some of it we drink. THE WATER FACTORY A deeply embedded human trait is to be revolted by the idea of drinking sewage, and there are sound reasons for this. As John Snow discovered nearly two centuries ago, wastewater contains many contaminants that can lead to serious illness.

As cities rose, engineers became obsessed with building efficient waterworks to supply them. Chicago, for example, was established on the shore of Lake Michigan and grew rapidly, but contaminated water collected beneath its streets, while the city’s effluent was dumped into the lake, which was also its drinking supply. Typhoid fever and dysentery broke out, and in 1854 a cholera epidemic wiped out 6 percent of the city’s population. (Cholera is a bacterial disease caused by feces in water.) The crisis forced a major overhaul. Municipal leaders installed water pumps, built a new sewer system, and reversed the flow of the Chicago River to carry waste out of Lake Michigan, and the city was much healthier for it. By 1920, most American cities had efficient water systems, and by 1940 outbreaks of naturally occurring waterborne diseases had sharply fallen.


pages: 375 words: 109,675

Railways & the Raj: How the Age of Steam Transformed India by Christian Wolmar

Beeching cuts, British Empire, collective bargaining, colonial rule, James Dyson, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, Ponzi scheme, railway mania, strikebreaker, trade route, women in the workforce

The death rate from disease on the ghats project was greater than on subsequent projects because of the primitive conditions, the hostile environment of the jungle and the absence of any concern from the British about the fate of the Indian workers. Cholera was particularly rife because of the shortage of safe water due to the lack of any form of sanitation in the vast workcamps which sprang up alongside the railway (cholera is water-borne, as the British surgeon John Snow established in 1849). The insanitary conditions, with people living in cramped conditions, led to the rapid transmission of other fatal diseases such as ‘jungle fever’, which was usually malaria; as Kerr puts it, ‘when it did not kill people, it disabled them’, leading to shortages in the workforce.10 One outbreak of cholera alone in 1860 is reckoned to have killed 25 per cent of the workforce, perhaps some 7,000 people, while 25,000 deaths, the best estimate of the overall toll for the eight-year project, would, if accurate, make it the deadliest railway project ever undertaken anywhere in the world.

This response to fears about the spread of disease resulted in travellers being treated as potential carriers who were submitted to a range of indignities. The railways acted as a kind of medical police force, imposing inhumane rules on those seeking to travel in areas affected by disease. The authorities had become convinced that it was not a coincidence that the increase in the extent and severity of epidemics of cholera and plague in the second half of the nineteenth century happened simultaneously with the growth of the railways. There were lengthy debates about the precise mechanism by which the railways increased contagion of diseases. The numerous cholera epidemics across the subcontinent in the second half of the nineteenth century had led to epidemiologists analysing the source of these outbreaks. There were strong advocates on both sides – ‘contagionists’, who believed the railways were responsible, and ‘non-contagionists’, who pointed out that many areas reached easily by the railways did not have outbreaks of the disease and, commensurately, epidemics occurred in places with a sparse or little-used rail network.

There were strong advocates on both sides – ‘contagionists’, who believed the railways were responsible, and ‘non-contagionists’, who pointed out that many areas reached easily by the railways did not have outbreaks of the disease and, commensurately, epidemics occurred in places with a sparse or little-used rail network. One of those most vehemently opposed to the idea that the railways spread cholera was the government’s sanitary commissioner, J. M. Cunningham, who concluded in his 1875 report that ‘over great parts of the country in which cholera was most severe, there are no railways and the roads are often indifferent’.20 There was naked politics at play here. Cunningham’s assertion was rather at odds with contemporary medical thinking and he was accused of pandering to the needs of the railway companies, which would have been hard hit by quarantine measures and, at a higher level, the needs of Britain’s free-trade policies, as foreign governments would be reluctant to take goods from India.


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The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It by Ian Goldin, Mike Mariathasan

"Robert Solow", air freight, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, butterfly effect, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, connected car, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, John Snow's cholera map, Kenneth Rogoff, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, moral hazard, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open economy, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reshoring, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment

These were enacted at major ports, often imposing significant costs and slowing trade. However, it soon became obvious from the continuing proliferation of cholera that these isolated quarantines were having little effect; lack of coordination meant that they could not achieve their goals, and the restrictions on commercial travel imposed a substantial and ineffective burden on the U.S. economy. Following the failure of national governments to deal with the cholera pandemic, in 1834 the French issued a call for international coordination. Though laudable, this appeal was largely unanswered and cholera continued to spread, culminating in further pandemics in 1848 and 1849. As the effects of these new cholera outbreaks rippled through the world, governments started to realize the essential value of international cooperation in fighting the disease.

GLOBAL COOPERATION AND DISEASE CONTROL Arhin-Tenkorang and Conceição claim that “health concerns have triggered systematic international cooperation for more than 150 years” and that international cooperation on health issues is older and runs deeper than military cooperation or collaboration in areas such as trade and finance.68 This suggests that there are lessons to be learned from this chapter in terms of how global governance can develop over time to address other systemic risks associated with globalization. A Brief History Arhin-Tenkorang and Conceição discuss the case of a cholera pandemic in the early nineteenth century.69 They document how, after its nascence in India in 1826, cholera took just one year to spread to Russia. From there, within five years the pathogen had reached Germany, Hungary, and Austria. Within the next year, it hit Paris, London, and eventually New York. Just seven years after its initial outbreak, in a world where trans-Atlantic transportation was limited to ships if it occurred at all, cholera had enveloped the U.S. Pacific coast and Mexico. In an effort to stem the spread of the disease, public policy in the United States began to favor strict quarantines of foreign arrivals.

This follows a long-established pattern of a revolving door between Wall Street and the leadership of the U.S. Treasury, with Treasury secretaries often recruited following a period at the helm of one of the major U.S. banks and returning afterward to a chairmanship or other lucrative advisory position in the financial services industry. Treasury secretaries since 2001 with links to finance and industry include Paul O’Neill (Alcoa, Rand Corporation), John Snow (CSX Corporation, Cerberus Capital Management Group), and Henry Paulson (Goldman Sachs). In addition, U.S. authorities had substantially deregulated loan products by means of the Depository Institutions and Monetary Control Act of 1980 and the Alternative Mortgage Transaction Parity Act of 1982. 37. Shaun French, Andrew Leyshon, and Nigel Thrift, 2009, “A Very Geographical Crisis: The Making and Breaking of the 2007–2008 Financial Crisis,” Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy, and Society 2 (2): 287–302. 38.


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Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

affirmative action, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Cass Sunstein, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Silver, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, working poor

There were 6.5 times more searches in the category suicide. 6.5*6.6/12 » 3.5. 268 12 murders of Muslims reported as hate crimes: Bridge Initiative Team, “When Islamophobia Turns Violent: The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election,” May 2, 2016, available at http://bridge.georgetown.edu/when-islamophobia-turns-violent-the-2016-u-s-presidential-elections/. CONCLUSION 272 What motivated Popper’s crusade?: Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963). 275 mapped every cholera case in the city: Simon Rogers, “John Snow’s Data Journalism: The Cholera Map That Changed the World,” Guardian, March 15, 2013. 276 Benjamin F. Jones: I interviewed Benjamin Jones by phone on June 1, 2015. This work is also discussed in Aaron Chatterji and Benjamin Jones, “Harnessing Technology to Improve K–12 Education,” Hamilton Project Discussion Paper, 2012. 283 people tend not to finish treatises by economists: Jordan Ellenberg, “The Summer’s Most Unread Book Is . . . ,” Wall Street Journal, July 3, 2014.

For every idea I have talked about in this book, there are a hundred ideas just as important ready to be tackled. The research discussed here is the tip of the tip of the iceberg, a scratch on the scratch of the surface. So what else is coming? For one, a radical expansion of the methodology that was used in one of the most successful public health studies of all time. In the mid-nineteenth century, John Snow, a British physician, was interested in what was causing a cholera outbreak in London. His ingenious idea: he mapped every cholera case in the city. When he did this, he found the disease was largely clustered around one particular water pump. This suggested the disease spread through germ-infested water, disproving the then-conventional idea that it spread through bad air. Big Data—and the zooming in that it allows—makes this type of study easy. For any disease, we can explore Google search data or other digital health data.

Keith, 235 Chetty, Raj, 172–73, 174–75, 176, 177, 178–80, 185, 273 children abuse of, 145–47, 149–50, 161 and benefits of digital truth serum, 161 and child pornography, 121 decisions about having, 111–12 height and weight data about, 204–5 of immigrants, 184–85 and income distribution, 176 and influence of childhood experiences, 165–71, 165–66n, 206 intelligence of, 135 and origins of notable Americans, 184–85 parent prejudices against, 134–36, 135n physical appearance of, 135–36 See also parents/parenting; teenagers cholera, Snow study about, 275 Christians, and truth about hate and prejudice, 129 Churchill, Winston, 169 cigarette economy, Philippines, 102 cities and danger of empowered government, 267, 268–69 predicting behavior of, 268–69 zooming in on, 172–90, 239–40 Civil War, 79 Clemens, Jeffrey, 230 Clinton, Bill, searches for, 60–62 Clinton, Hillary. See elections, 2016 A Clockwork Orange (movie), 190–91 cnn.com, 143, 145 Cohen, Leonard, 82n college and causality, 237–39 and examples of Big Data searches, 22 college towns, and origins of notable Americans, 182–83, 184, 186 Colors (movie), 191 Columbia University, Microsoft pancreatic cancer study and, 28–29, 30 comparison shopping, 265 conclusions benefits of great, 281–84 to books, 271–72, 279, 280–84 characteristics of best, 272, 274–79 importance of, 283 as pointing way to more things to come, 274–79 purpose of, 279–80 Stephens-Davidowitz’s writing of, 271–72, 281–84 condoms, 5, 122 Congressional Record, and Gentzkow-Shapiro research, 93 conservatives and origins of political preferences, 169–71 and parents prejudice against children, 136 and truth about the internet, 140, 141–44, 145 and words as data, 75–76, 93, 95–96 consumers.


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Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures by Roma Agrawal

3D printing, British Empire, clean water, David Attenborough, Dmitri Mendeleev, Guggenheim Bilbao, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the scientific method

All waste – human and other – ended up in the Thames, which was still used by people for washing, cooking, and drinking. The vile mixture of waste and water in London led to severe and devastating cholera epidemics. They usually struck in late summer or autumn, and half of the people who contracted the disease died. The outbreak in 1831–2 killed more than 6,000 people; it was followed by two more major outbreaks in 1848–9 (just over 14,000 dead) and 1853–4 (another 10,000 fatalities). The common belief at the time was that cholera was airborne and that you contracted it by inhaling a poisonous ‘miasma’. But during the 1854 outbreak Doctor John Snow (1813–1858) monitored the health of people drawing water from a contaminated pump in Soho, and collected evidence that this was not the case: cholera was, in fact, spread by contaminated drinking water. Thomas McLean’s etching ‘Monster Soup commonly called Thames Water’ of 1828 was a grotesque satire on the city’s water supply.

It became so unpleasant that people soaked their curtains in a lime chloride mixture to try and hide the stench. The smells were so noxious that ministers working in the House of Commons, and the lawyers at Lincoln’s Inn, were unable to work, and they made plans to abandon the city. The only upside of all this was that, having been affected by the awful conditions first-hand, the government finally became determined to get rid of the stench and the cholera that came with it. In 1859, after years of rejecting plans from engineers to solve the sewage problem in London, officials finally approved the works proposed by Joseph Bazalgette. Bazalgette was described as having an indifferent temperament but a pleasant and genial smile. He was considerably below average height but his long nose, keen grey eyes and black eyebrows gave him the impression of being a powerful man.

It must have been an incredibly invasive and complex piece of work, digging down to the right level, constructing egg-shaped brick sewers and the connections to the culverts, then filling the hole and redoing the roads. But it was worth it, because life in the capital slowly began to get better. The quality of water in central London improved dramatically. Bazalgette’s sewers (2,100 kilometers of them, made up of more than 300 million bricks) were finally completed in 1875. By that time, the ravages of cholera in London were a thing of the past, in large part due to Bazalgette’s practical, efficient and imaginative piece of engineering. * Bazalgette took the sewage from central London and deposited it outside the city into the River Thames, which ultimately took it out to sea. The waste was not treated, so the system basically moved the disease-causing elements from a populous area to a deserted one.


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Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, conceptual framework, coronavirus, dark matter, digital map, double helix, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, South China Sea, urban sprawl

Health officials and ordinary citizens, imagining themselves among the seventy-nine preventable fatalities, could appreciate the force of Bernoulli’s numerical argument. Bernoulli’s work, applying mathematics to understand disease, pioneered an approach but didn’t create an immediate trend. Time passed. Almost a century later, the physician John Snow used statistical charts as well as maps to demonstrate which water sources (notably, the infamous Broad Street pump) were infecting the most people during London’s cholera outbreak of 1854. Snow, like Bernoulli, lacked the advantage of knowing what sort of substance or creature (in this case it was Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium) caused the disease he was trying to comprehend and control. His results were remarkable anyway. Then, in 1906, after Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch and Joseph Lister and others had persuasively established the involvement of microbes in infectious disease, an English doctor named W.

I averted my eyes and walked on, acutely aware that I had no skills, no knowledge, no training, no medicines that could be helpful to this woman and her child, more’s the worse for me. Through further corridors, other doors, more saluting guards, I found my way to the next interview. The Cholera Hospital was founded in 1962, as a clinical adjunct to an earlier Cholera Research Laboratory, both of which were eventually bundled into the ICDDR,B. The hospital provides free treatment to more than a hundred thousand patients each year, not only for cholera but also for blood dysentery and other diarrheal diseases. Most of its patients are children under the age of six. Eighty percent of those children arrive at the hospital malnourished. I can’t tell you how many survive. I can’t even tell you how many cholera cases occur annually when the flood season in Bangladesh brings infected waters up into villages and slums, because most cases go unreported and there is no systematic national tally.

.), 427–28 chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), 42, 120 AIDS in, 466, 469 bushmeat from, 53, 57, 435–37, 451 central (P. t. troglodytes), 423, 425, 428 eastern (P. t. schweinfurthii), 424 ebolaviruses in, 53, 54, 79–80 as HIV reservoirs, 313, 403–5, 423 malaria in, 138–39 P. t. vellerosus, 425 SFV in, 288 SIV in, see simian immunovirus (SIV), in chimpanzees Chimpanzees of Gombe, The (Goodall), 468 China, 514–15 A. leucosphyrus in, 163 blood plasma donors in, 486 Era of Wild Flavor in, 187–88, 191, 197–98, 433 polio in, 22 SARS in, 44, 168–74, 207, 374 China Airlines flight 112, 168, 169 China Syndrome (Greenfeld), 187 Chinese bamboo rats, 203–5, 206 chipmunks, deer ticks and, 252 chlamydia, 183, 186 Chlamydophila psittaci, 216, 237, 238 Chlorocebus (African green monkeys), 396–97, 398–99 Chmura, Aleksei, 196–205, 206, 208, 333, 514 cholera, 131, 237, 265, 325, 380, 381 Cholera Hospital, Dhaka, see ICDDR,B Chua, Paul, 317–18, 319, 324, 334 Cipro, 362 Ciuca, Mihai, 149–50, 151, 157, 480 civet cat (Paguma larvata; masked palm civet), 187, 189–91, 192–93, 195, 198, 206, 343 classical swine fever (hog cholera), 316 “Coevolution of Hosts and Parasites” (Anderson and May), 304–5 Colorado State University, 345–46 Columbia University, 514 common cold, 35, 270 common tern (Sterna hirundo), 505, 507 Congo, Democratic Republic of the (DRC; Zaire), 139–40, 414, 417, 478 Ebola in, 69–75, 76–77, 118, 370–73 emergence of AIDS pandemic in, 389, 407, 428–29, 430–31, 462, 463, 477–78 Haitians in, 484–85 Congo, Republic of the (ROC), 53, 55, 426, 432, 438, 439, 450, 466 Ebola in, 63, 115, 118, 120 emergent AIDS cases in, 429–30 logging in, 439 Congo basin, 431, 434, 515 Congolese Red Cross, 481 Congo River, 139, 423, 428, 429–31, 460–61, 477 Connecticut Department of Health, 212 Consortium for Conservation Medicine, 194, 196, 333 consumptive coagulopathy, 95–96, 108 “Contribution to the Mathematical Theory of Epidemics, A” (Kermack and McKendrick), 141–44 Cook, James, 37 coronaviruses, 185, 193, 194, 270, 512 Côte d’Ivoire, 60, 79, 82, 359, 406 Cox, Herald, 220–21, 243 Coxiella burnetii, 220, 221–34, 238 as intracellular bacterium, 230 windborne transmission of, 228–29, 259 Cox-Singh, Janet, 153–54, 156, 158–64, 514 crested mona monkey, 112 Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, 94 critical community size (CCS), 129–30, 349 Cuba, yellow fever eliminated from, 263, 266 Cunneen, Ben, 33 Curtis, Tom, 415, 416 Cut Hunter, 442–45, 478 cut-hunter hypothesis, 413, 428, 440, 442–48, 453–62, 466, 478 cytosine, 156, 270, 306, 309 Danish Pest Infestation Laboratory, 74 Daszak, Peter, 514–15 date-palm sap, 329, 331–32 Davis, Gordon, 220–21, 243 DDT, 145, 147 dead-end hosts, 83, 164, 294, 343, 373, 480 de Bruin, Arnout, 227–30 deer (blacklegged) tick (Ixodes scapularis), 212–13, 241–42, 243, 244–47, 257 diverse hosts of, 249 life history of, 242, 248–50, 252, 255 as Lyme disease vector, 212–13, 241–42, 255 questing by, 250, 252 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), 513–14 deforestation, 40, 67, 161–62, 163, 276, 433–35, 515 Delhi, India, 276 Delta Regional Primate Research Center, 400–401 Den Bosch, Netherlands, 224 dengue, 21, 24, 43, 270, 292, 307, 314, 346 Derrick, Edward H., 219, 220 Desmond, Jim, 334, 339–40 Desowitz, Robert S., 151 Dhaka, Bangladesh, 325, 328, 334, 375, 379 diarrhea, 291, 380–81 bacterial, 325, 330 diphtheria, 237, 414 disease, see infectious disease Dispensaire Antivénérien, 481–83 disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), 95–96, 108 DNA: attributes of, 154, 156, 270 filter-paper collection technique for, 158–59, 514 in retroviruses, 391, 443 DNA polymerase, 270, 309 Dongmen Market, 188, 189, 191 Dongmo, Zacharie, 435–36 Dover, Mass., 246–47 Dowhan, Joe, 241–42 DPI, see Queensland Department of Primary Industries Drama Series (horse), 14–16, 19, 27, 43, 45 DRC60, 409–13, 417, 419, 420–21, 431, 482, 488 Drori, Ofir, 432–33, 435 Duerr, Shannon, 254–55 Dugas, Gaëtan (Patient Zero), 387–89, 407, 443, 489 duikers, 89, 120, 432, 451 Dutchess County, N.Y.: biogeography of, 257 Lyme disease in, 253–54 Duvalier, François “Papa Doc,” 484, 486 Duvalier, Jean-Claude “Baby Doc,” 486 Duvenhage, 313 Dwyer, Greg, 499–503, 518–19 Dyer, Rolla, 221 Eating Apes (Peterson), 434 Ebola River, 69 Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus), 24, 39, 40, 76, 182, 285, 307, 343, 352, 359, 362, 365, 403, 489, 511, 512 in apes, 62–63, 120, 121 bats as possible reservoirs of, 115–16, 122, 313–14, 351, 370, 371–72 Booué outbreak of, 61–62, 73, 81, 117 DIC and, 95–96, 108 ecology of, 115–17 evolutionary history of, 115, 116 exaggerated descriptions of, 92–94, 95, 502 genetic differences in, 119–20 genome of, 110 geographical dissemination of, 117–22, 431 in gorillas, 59, 68, 91–92, 120, 122, 124, 304 Ivindo goldmining camp outbreak of, 61, 87, 117 Kikwit outbreak of, 72–75, 80, 91–92, 93, 113, 117 laboratory accidents involving, 97–110 lethality rate of, 54, 62, 63, 73, 76, 82, 110–11 Luebo outbreak of, 370–73 Mayibout 2 outbreak of, 53–54, 56–57, 60, 61, 72, 73, 80–81, 112–13, 114, 117, 443 Mbomo outbreak of, 89–91, 92, 118, 122–24 mutation rate of, 119 and ostracism of victims’ relatives, 123 pathology of, 94–96 RNA of, 108 search for reservoir hosts of, 68, 69, 70–72, 74, 75, 76, 112, 114, 115–16, 118–19, 121–22, 293, 313–14, 351, 370, 371–72 secondary cases of, 53–54 as sorcery, 87–91 symptoms of, 94 Tandala outbreak of, 76–77, 117 total fatalities from, 91–92 transmission mechanics of, 62, 292–93 virions of, 268–69 Yambuku outbreak of, 69–72, 73, 76, 97, 117, 119–22 Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus), spillover mechanism of, 111, 115, 116–17 “particle” hypothesis for, 118, 120–22 “wave” hypothesis for, 118–20 ebolaviruses, 53–124 Bundibugyo, 84–87 in chimpanzees, 53, 54, 79–80 forests linked to, 75 genomes of, 84–85 geographical dissemination of, 68, 76, 86–87, 117 hiding ability of, 74–75, 111 humans as dead-end hosts for, 83, 164, 285, 343, 373 immune system suppression by, 94–95, 114–15 lethality of, 54, 62, 63, 73, 76, 81–82, 90, 370 paucity of scientific understanding of, 87, 96 reservoir hosts of, 75, 82, 85, 86, 370 Reston, 77–78, 81, 86–87 species of, 176 sporadic outbreaks of, 72, 75 Sudan, see Sudan ebolavirus Taï Forest, 79–80, 82, 87 transmission chain of, 82–83 as zoonoses, 21 EcoHealth Alliance, 64, 196, 333, 514 ecosystems: diversity of, 23 human-caused disruption of, 23, 40, 41, 62, 67, 161–62, 163–64, 237, 258, 343, 344–45, 369, 433–35, 439, 515–16 infectious diseases as, 247, 251 Edinburgh, University of, 44, 45 Edward, Lake, 360 Egypt, H5N1 in, 510 Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus), 352–53, 355–56, 358, 372 Eigen, Manfred, 309 Eigen’s paradox, 309 electron microscopy, 318 emergence, definition of, 42–43 Emerging Infectious Diseases, 42 encephalitis, 28 endangered species, human consumption of, 188 Engel, Gregory, 277–80, 284–85, 288–89 England, Ebola accident in, 97–99 enteroviruses, 292 epidemics: cyclical pattern of, 132–35 depletion of susceptibles in, 134 fatality rate in, 142–44 immunity in, 142 infection rate in, 142–44 likelihood of, 374 mass action principle of, 132 in nonhuman populations, 512–13 recovery rate in, 142–44 SIR model of, 143–44, 303, 367, 368 threshold density in, 36, 144, 480 see also infectious disease; pandemics epidemiologists, 129 Epomops franqueti (Franquet’s epauletted fruit bat), 371 Epstein, Jon, 333–38, 339–45, 356, 375, 514–15 Equatorial Guinea, 406 equine infectious anemia virus, 297 Era of Wild Flavor, 187–88, 191, 197–98, 433 erythema migrans, 240, 241 Escalante, Ananias A., 139, 148–49 Essex, Myron “Max,” 394–98, 416 Ethiopia, 483 Etouck, Sophiano, 56–57, 112–13 Europe, AIDS in, 406 European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, 513 European Community, 225 evolution, 23, 136–39, 164, 301, 360, 398, 507, 517 of bats, 349–50 of Ebola, 115, 116 evolution (continued) of HIV, 418, 420–22, 463, 477 of pathogens, 235–37, 302–10, 344–45, 366–69, 499, 515–17 of viruses, 24, 36–37, 82, 206, 264, 287, 292, 297, 299, 302–10, 322, 343, 344–45 of zoonoses, 344–45, 515–17 Evolution and Emergence of RNA Viruses, The (Holmes), 307 ezanga (evil spirits), 87–88, 89–90 Faridpur District, Bangladesh, 328, 334, 375–79 Faroe Islands, measles epidemic on, 264 Fay, Mike, 54–56, 59–60, 63, 111–13, 431 fecal sampling, 424–25, 426, 471–72 Feeroz, Mohammed Mustafa, 280–81, 283, 285 feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), 297 feline leukemia virus (FeLV), 392, 394 femmes libres (free women), 430, 481–82, 484 Fenner, Frank, 300–302, 305, 346 Field, Hume, 26, 45, 194, 348 in search for Hendra virus reservoirs, 26–32, 319 in search for Nipah reservoir, 319, 320, 322, 367 filoviruses (Filoviridae), 70, 77, 116, 120, 268, 270 First Fleet, 37 flying foxes (Pteropus), 27, 31, 366–67 black (P. alecto), 31, 367 grey-headed, 31–32, 367 as Hendra reservoirs, 27, 30–32, 37, 43, 45, 48, 115, 331, 351, 366–67, 499 Indian (P. giganteus), 331, 336, 338 large (P. vampyrus), 324 little red, 366–69 as Nipah reservoirs, 322, 323–25, 327, 331–32, 334, 351, 367, 514–15 spectacled, 367 variable (P. hypomelanus), 324 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), 35–36, 230, 266 Formenty, Pierre, 352, 353–54 Foshan, China, 170 Franceville, Gabon, 54, 114, 117, 370, 403 Frankfurt, Germany, SARS in, 181 Franquet’s epauletted fruit bat (Epomops franqueti), 371 free women (femmes libres), 430, 481–82, 484 French Equatorial Africa (FEA), 479–80 Friedman-Kien, Alvin E., 386, 389, 390 Froesch, Paul, 266 fruit bats, 350 as possible Ebola reservoirs, 115–16, 122, 293 Fujian province, China, 183 Fujita, Norman K., 362, 363 fungi, 23, 40 Gabon, 478 AIDS in, 406 Ebola in, 53–55, 56–57, 60, 61–63, 72, 73, 80–81, 90, 111–13, 115, 117–18, 120 gachis (date-palm tappers), 332–33 Gallo, Robert, 391–93, 394 gametocytes, 136, 138 Gao, Feng, 423, 424 gemo (evil spirits), 88–89, 90 Germany, psittacosis in, 214 germ theory of disease, 130, 265, 517 Ghana, 406 Gibraltar, 408 Gilbert, Tom, 487–88 Gimble (chimpanzee), 468, 470, 471, 472 Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI), 514 goats: as measles reservoir, 313 Q fever and, 223–34 Gofur (bat catcher), 334, 339, 341 Gombe National Park, Tanzania, 424, 466–77 Gombe Stream Research Center, 468, 473 gonorrhea, 481–82 Goodall, Jane, 424, 466, 467, 468–71 Google, 514 Gorgas, William C., 263, 266 gorillas: bushmeat from, 67, 89, 436, 437, 451 die-offs of, 59–60, 63, 65, 91, 120, 121, 122, 124 Ebola virus in, 59, 68, 91–92, 120, 122, 124, 304 human diseases in, 67–68 see also mountain gorillas; western gorillas Gorinstein, Joseph B., 486 Gottlieb, Michael, 385–86, 389, 390, 407, 489 great apes, 438–39 as bushmeat, 53, 57, 67, 89, 435–37, 438–39, 451 Ebola in, 62–63, 120, 121 see also chimpanzees; gorillas greater spot-nosed monkeys, 464, 465 GreeneChip diagnostic system, 514 Greenfeld, Karl Taro, 187 Guangdong province, China, 169–73, 182–83, 192, 194, 195, 374 “wet markets” in, 188–89, 191, 197–98 Guangzhou, China, 170, 171, 172, 173, 188, 196–97, 208 Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Diseases, 170, 183 guanine, 156, 306 Guan Yi, 186–87, 189, 190–91, 192, 194, 207 Guholaxmipur, Bangladesh, 375–76 Guilin, China, 197–201, 208 Guinea-Bissau, 397, 402, 406 Gulu, Uganda, 81, 85, 88–89, 92, 93 Gupta, Das, 149 Gurley, Emily, 375–78, 379 gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), 496, 499, 500–501, 520–21 H1N1 virus, 504 H5N1 virus (bird flu), 21, 182–83, 184, 374–75, 504, 508–11 transmissibility in, 507–8, 510 H5N3 virus, 507 H7N7 virus, 507 habitat alteration, 367, 369 see also ecosystems Hahn, Beatrice, 140–41, 465 and Gombe SIV research, 466–77 in search for origins of HIV-1, 140, 422–25, 427–29, 431, 463, 480, 488 in search for origins of P. falciparum, 140–41 Haiti, blood plasma trade in, 485–86 Haitians, AIDS in, 386–87, 389, 484–88 Hamer, W.


pages: 1,293 words: 357,735

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, biofilm, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, discovery of penicillin, double helix, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, global village, indoor plumbing, invention of air conditioning, John Snow's cholera map, land reform, Live Aid, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, phenotype, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, South China Sea, the scientific method, trade route, transfer pricing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Zimmermann PGP

The fact that, without exception, cholera and other epidemic diseases—including tuberculosis—took their greatest toll among the most impoverished residents of the world’s metropolises seemed only to reinforce the belief by those in power from Moscow to Madrid that lower-class “immorality” was the root of disease. During London’s devastating 1849 cholera epidemic, physician John Snow demonstrated that cholera was transmitted via water by removing the handle of the Broad Street pump, the sole water source for an impoverished and cholera-ridden community. The local epidemic, of course, came to a halt. Authorities were unconvinced, however, so during London’s 1854 epidemic Snow mapped cholera cases and traced their water supplies. He showed that those neighborhoods with little cholera were receiving water drawn from the upper Thames, while cholera-plagued areas drew their water from the lower Thames, which included human waste from upstream. Snow failed to convince authorities directly of the need to clean up water supplies, but the epidemics of cholera and other devastating diseases spurred improvements in basic urban hygiene all over the industrializing world.

In March the leading hospital in Dhaka was treating 600 Bengal cholera cases a day—three times their normal daily cholera rate. In rural parts of Bangladesh cholera victims were reportedly falling ill at rates up to ten times those seen with the previous year’s classic cholera outbreak. Prior to the Bengal cholera outbreak there were two types of cholera in the world: classic and El Tor. Classic cholera, which was endemic in parts of India and Bangladesh, was extremely virulent and easily passed from one person to another via contact with microscopic amounts of feces. The El Tor type, in contrast, was less virulent but could survive in the open environment far longer. A hallmark of the El Tor strain was its ability to move in the open oceans, as a silent passenger inside algae. The Bengal cholera appeared to represent a combination of characteristics found in both the El Tor and the classic vibrio.

Once chlorine was vigorously introduced into Peruvian water supplies, the 01 strain proved fairly resistant to the chemical.43 Though it was obvious to scientists all over the Americas by 1992 that the El Tor epidemic had succeeded in becoming endemic cholera in much of Latin America largely because the microbe was carried in algae, the real challenge to rigid old analyses of the spread of the vibrio came in December 1992 when an entirely new strain of cholera emerged in Madras, India. Dubbed Bengal cholera, or V. cholerae 0139, the newly emergent microbe competed with El Tor for control of the Bay of Bengal ecology. By June 1993 Bengal cholera had claimed over 2,000 lives and caused severe illness in an estimated 200,000 people. It had spread across much of the coastal region of the Bay of Bengal, encompassing the Indian metropolises of Calcutta, Madras, Vellore, and Madurai, as well as most of southern Bangladesh.44 This new Bengal cholera appeared to be spreading far faster than the Seventh Pandemic. It took three years for that cholera strain to spread from India to Thailand, but the Bengal cholera had already turned up in Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, by mid-1993, and threatened to spread nationwide, according to researchers from Mahidol University in Bangkok.


pages: 1,088 words: 297,362

The London Compendium by Ed Glinert

1960s counterculture, anti-communist, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, British Empire, Brixton riot, Corn Laws, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Exxon Valdez, hiring and firing, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Nick Leeson, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, price stability, Ronald Reagan, Sloane Ranger, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, union organizing, V2 rocket

But Spot’s standing was never as high as Hill’s, especially after a bullion raid at London Airport he organized went awry, and in 1956 he was badly beaten up outside his flat by Hill’s gang, which included a young Frankie Fraser, who was sentenced to seven years for the offence. In the 1960s the Kray twins ran a number of local clubs and in recent decades Soho’s main criminal gangs have been the Chinese Triads. John Snow and the 1854 cholera epidemic When cholera, which had killed some 10,000 people in various parts of London in 1853, hit Soho the following year John Snow, a local surgeon, announced that the disease was spread through dirty water but had his findings rubbished, particularly by local water companies who claimed it was caused by a ‘miasma in the atmosphere’. When 127 local people died of cholera early in September 1854 Snow began more research and after interviewing the families of those who had died found out that all the victims had drunk from a well on Broad Street (Broadwick Street). He took samples of the water, discovered that it contained infectious particles, and went to the guardians of the local parish, urging them to remove the pump handle.

Favourite London restaurant of wealthy socialists. Groucho Club, 45 Dean Street. Soho’s most celebrated media club, patronized by Julie Burchill, Ben Elton, Damien Hirst and Salman Rushdie. Intrepid Fox, 99 Wardour Street. A haunt of bikers and heavy metal fans and named after the great eighteenth-century Whig politician Charles James Fox. The John Snow, 39 Broadwick Street. A pub built on the site of the surgery where John Snow discovered the source of Soho’s 1854 cholera epidemic. Kettner’s, 29 Romilly Street. A former French restaurant frequented by Oscar Wilde and Edward VII, now owned by Pizza Express. King of Corsica, 90 Berwick Street. A pub named in honour of the Frenchman Theodore Neuhoff, who was invited to become King of the island of Corsica and died in Soho in 1756. Leoni’s Quo Vadis,26–29 Dean Street.

When Winston Churchill at the outset of the Second World War ordered that Soho’s Italians be rounded up for internment or deportation, a group of local women marched along Broadwick Street heading for the Italian shops of Old Compton Street, ready to carry out the prime minister’s injunction themselves, but were thwarted by a Rose Blau, who pleaded with them to reconsider, explaining that Soho’s Italians were mostly English-born and did not support Mussolini. The march broke up. The John Snow, No. 39, south side The 1870s pub, originally the Newcastle-upon-Tyne, was built on the site of the surgery run by John Snow, one of the first surgeons to use anaesthetics, who gave Queen Victoria chloroform for the birth of Prince Leopold in 1853 and made startling discoveries concerning the 1850s cholera epidemic. Carnaby Street The centre of British fashion in the 1960s but now selling mainly tourist tat, Carnaby Street was built in the 1680s and named after the local seventeenth-century mansion, Karnaby House. In the late eighteenth century Carnaby Street was home to an abbatoir run by female butchers, as the artist William Blake depicted in the plates he produced for Jerusalem, which shows three women removing the entrails of a fallen man.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

.* The French physician Pierre Louis examined the efficacy of bloodletting on different populations of patients, thus introducing the practice of medicine to the discipline of statistics. The Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli even analyzed smallpox mortality to estimate the risks and benefits of inoculation (the fatality rate among those inoculated exceeded the benefit in population survival). And John Snow famously established the route of transmission for London’s nineteenth-century cholera epidemics, tracing them to a source of contaminated water. But plotting the disease pathways, and even recording the traffic along them, did nothing to identify the travelers themselves: the causes of disease. More than a century after the Dutch draper and lens grinder Anton van Leeuwenhoek first described the tiny organisms visible in his rudimentary microscope as “animalcules” and the Danish scientist Otto Friedrich Muller used the binomial categories of Carolus Linnaeus to name them, no one had yet made the connection between the tiny creatures and disease.

His assistant, Julius Richard Petri, designed and built the eponymous dishes on which agar compounds would host microbial colonies. In 1882, Koch discovered the bacterium that caused tuberculosis, an achievement that his colleague Friedrich Löffler called a “world-shaking event” that transformed Koch “overnight into the most successful researcher of all times.”* In 1885 he discovered and identified the bacterium responsible for cholera. Nor did he limit himself to experimental work in his Berlin lab; Koch formulated criteria for managing cholera epidemics, and created, with Löffler, what became known as the “four postulates” of pathology, a diagnostic tool that would link a single pathogen to a single disease. The postulates themselves were plausible and useful. The first states that a pathogen must be found in all organisms that are a disease’s victims, but not in any healthy organisms.

James’s, commanded by the emperor to produce biographies of the hundred greatest men in the world, announced that the three Englishmen to make the cut were William Shakespeare, William Harvey, and Lister himself. In retrospect, this seems modest enough. The germ theory of disease that had been developed and tested by Pasteur, Koch, and Lister himself produced an astonishing number of discoveries about the causes of disease; not merely anthrax, tuberculosis, and cholera—respectively the bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Vibrio cholerae—but gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae, discovered 1879), diphtheria (Corynebacterium diphtheriae, discovered 1883), bacterial pneumonia (Streptococcus pneumoniae, discovered 1886), gas gangrene (Clostridium perfringens, discovered 1892), bubonic plague (Yersinia pestis, discovered 1894), dysentery (Shigella dysenteriae, discovered 1898), syphilis (Treponema pallidum, discovered 1903), and whooping cough (Bordatella pertussis, discovered 1906).


pages: 395 words: 94,764

I Never Knew That About London by Christopher Winn

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Clapham omnibus, Desert Island Discs, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, God and Mammon, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Nick Leeson, old-boy network, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble

WILLIAM BLAKE, who wrote the words to ‘Jerusalem’, was born in 1758 in Broadwick Street, where his parents ran a hosiery shop. The Blake House tower block now stands on the site. The JOHN SNOW pub in Broadwick Street commemorates the surgeon who, in 1854, uncovered the link between the victims of a cholera epidemic in Soho and those who had drunk from a well in Broadwick Street. Having taken samples from the well and discovered that the water contained infected particles, he persuaded the local council to close the well. Subsequently the spread of the disease diminished, thus proving that cholera entered the body through the mouth rather than being airborne, which had been the accepted theory. John Snow (1813–58) also pioneered the use of anaesthetics by administering chloroform to Queen Victoria at the delivery of her son, Prince Leopold, in April 1853 and daughter Beatrice in April 1857.

Abramovich, Roman 95 Adelaide House, EC3 4, 5 Adelphi, Strand 75, 108 Admiralty Arch 103 Albany, Piccadilly 91 Albemarle Street, Mayfair 99, 100 Albert Memorial 96 Aldwych 78 Alsatia 52 Altab Ali park, Whitechapel 169 Amen Court, St Paul’s 48 Apsley House, Hyde Park Corner 94, 95 Baltic Exchange 21 Bank of England 26, 27, 28, 29, 34 Bank, Child’s 56 Bank, EC2 26, 27 Bank, Hoare’s 56 Bankside 232 Banqueting House, Whitehall 115, 116 Barnard Inn, EC1 66 Baron’s Court 201 Battersea 212, 213 Battersea Dogs and Cats Home 217 Battersea Park 213, 214 Battersea Power Station 136, 214, 215, 233 BBC TV Centre, White City 200, 201 Belgravia 134 Berkeley Square 100 Bermondsey 238, 239, 241 Bermondsey Market 238 BFI South Bank 227 Big Ben 129 Billingsgate, Canary Wharf 160 Billingsgate, EC3 8, 9 Birdcage Walk, St James’s 105 Bishopsgate, EC2 30, 31, 36, 37 Blackfriars 46 Blackheath 251, 254 Blackwall 23, 159, 160, 161 Blackwall Tunnel 159 Bond Street 112 Borough High Street 237, 238 Borough Market 242 Bow Street, Covent Garden 86 Brick Lane, Spitalfields 170 Bridge, Albert 176, 177, 213 Bridge, Battersea 176, 213 Bridge, Blackfriars 47, 51, 241 Bridge, Chelsea 133, 182 Bridge, Grosvenor 136 Bridge, Hammersmith 196, 197 Bridge, Hungerford 77 Bridge, Lambeth 119, 132, 221 Bridge, London 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 61, 235, 237, 242 Bridge, Millennium 233 Bridge, Putney 203, 204, 207 Bridge, Southwark 226, 240 Bridge, Tower 141, 142, 145, 147, 239, 242 Bridge, Vauxhall 133, 219 Bridge, Waterloo 74, 227 Bridge, Westminster 119, 120, 130, 224, 225 Brixton 230 Brompton Cemetery 180 Brook Green 199 Brook Street, Mayfair 98, 99 Brunswick House, Vauxhall 218, 219 Burlington Arcade, Piccadilly 101 Burlington House, Piccadilly 91, 92 Bush House, Aldwych 78 Cabinet War Rooms 120 Cable Street, Wapping 145 Canary Wharf 155, 157, 226 Capel, St Peter ad Vincula 141 Carlton House Terrace 106, 107 Cathedral, Southwark 10, 232, 235, 236, 237 Cathedral, St George’s 240 Cathedral, St Paul’s 4, 17, 38, 39, 40, 129, 163 Cathedral, Westminster 13, 131, 136, 191 Cenotaph, The 118 Central Hall, Westminster 119, 120 Change Alley, EC3 21 Chapel, Queen’s, Greenwich 248 Chapel, Queen’s, St James’s 108 Chapel, Royal 109 Chapel, Savoy 74 Chapel, St Stephen’s Westminster 128 Charing Cross 76 Charlton House 244, 252 Charterhouse 64 Cheapside EC2 33, 34, 35 Chelsea 12, 173–183 Chelsea Harbour 204 Chelsea, FC 195 Cherry Pier 142, 239 Cheyne Row, Chelsea 177, 178 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea 173, 176, 177, 179 Church House, Westminster 131 Church, All Hallows-by-the-Tower 9, 12 Church, All Saints Fulham 195 Church, Brompton Oratory 191 Church, Chelsea Old 173, 177, 178 Church, Christ Church Spitalfields 162, 165 Church, Christ Church, (Kennington) 231 Church, Holy Sepulchre 59 Church, St Alfege (Greenwich) 250 Church, St Andrew Undershaft 15, 16 Church, St Andrew’s (Holborn) 24 Church, St Anne’s (Limehouse) 154 Church, St Bartholomew-the-Great 62 Church, St Benet, (Paul’s Wharf) 46 Church, St Botolph, (Aldgate) 13, 14 Church, St Bride (Fleet Street) 54, 55 Church, St Clement Danes 72 Church, St Dunstan-in-the-East 12 Church, St Dunstan-in-the-West 53, 54 Church, St Dunstan’s (Stepney) 169 Church, St Ethelburga-the-Virgin 29, 30 Church, St Etheldreda’s 64 Church, St Giles (Cripplegate) 31, 32 Church, St Helen’s (Bishopsgate) 14, 15 Church, St James’s (Piccadilly) 91 Church, St John (Smith Square) 136 Church, St Katharine Cree 16, 17 Church, St Lawrence Jewry 33 Church, St Luke’s (Charlton) 252 Church, St Luke’s (Chelsea) 182 Church, St Magnus the Martyr 4, 7 Church, St Margaret Pattens 12 Church, St Margaret’s (Westminster) 119 Church, St Martin-in-the-Fields 81 Church, St Martin-within-Ludgate 48 Church, St Mary Abbots 192 Church, St Mary Aldermanbury 33 Church, St Mary Aldermary 44 Church, St Mary-at-Lambeth 222 Church, St Mary-le-Bow 42, 43 Church, St Mary-le-Strand 72 Church, St Mary’s (Battersea) 212, 213 Church, St Mary’s (Putney) 207, 208 Church, St Mary’s (Rotherhithe) 239 Church, St Matthias, (Poplar) 156 Church, St Nicholas (Deptford) 245, 246 Church, St Olave (Hart Street) 10, 11 Church, St Paul’s (Covent Garden) 84, 85, 87 Church, St Paul’s Presbyterian 158 Church, St Paul’s (Shadwell) 149, 150 Church, St Peter-upon-Cornhill 21 Church, St Stephen Walbrook 44, 45 Church, Temple 50, 51 City Hall, Southwark 242 Clapham 215, 229 Clapham Common 229 Clarence House 104 Cleopatra’s Needle 76, 77 Clerkenwell 62, 63 Clerkenwell Green 63 Cloth Fair, Smithfield 61 Club, Albemarle 99 Club, Annabel’s 100 Club, Army & Navy 108 Club, Boodles 111 Club, Brooks’s 110, 111 Club, Carlton 111 Club, Clermont 100 Club, National Liberal 116 Club, Naval and Military 92, 112 Club, Portland 92 Club, Pratts 111 Club, Reform 107 Club, Royal Automobile (RAC) 107, 108 Club, Travellers’ 107 Club, Whites 112 College of Arms 46 Cornhill EC3 19, 20, 21, 27 County Hall 225, 226 Courtauld Institute of Art 73 Covent Garden 74, 84, 85 Craven Cottage, Fulham 195, 196 Cremorne Gardens, Chelsea 179, 180 Crosby Hall, Chelsea 15, 178, 179 Custom House 9 Cutty Sark 250 Dean’s Yard, Westminster 131 Dennis Sever’s House, Spitalfields 166 Deptford 244, 245, 246, 253, 254 Dirty Dick’s, Bishopsgate 36 Dolphin Square, Pimlico 136 Downing Street, No. 10 104, 116, 117, 121 Downing Street, Westminster 116, 117 Duke Street, St James’s 114 Dulwich College 36 Dunbar Wharf, Limehouse 152 Earl’s Court 191 Eaton Place, Belgravia 134 Eaton Square, Belgravia 134 El Vino, Fleet Street 57 Elder Street, Spitalfields 166 Electra House, Savoy Hill 76 Elephant and Castle 240 Ely Place, Holborn 64, 65 Embankment 77, 116, 120 Empress State Building, Fulham 203 Execution Dock, Wapping 148, 239 Faraday Building, Queen Victoria St 46 Festival Hall, South Bank 225, 227 Flamsteed House, Greenwich 249, 250 Fleet Street 23, 50–57 Fortnum & Mason, Piccadilly 91 Fournier Street, Spitalfields 165 Fulham FC 195, 203 George and Vulture, EC3 21 Gherkin, The, 24 Gravesend 9 Green Park 108 Greenwich 159, 244, 246, 254 Greenwich Observatory 129 Greenwich Park 246, 250, 254 Gresham College 66 Grosvenor Square, Mayfair 98 Grove Road, Mile End 169 Guildhall, EC2 32, 33 Hall, Caxton, Victoria 135 Hall, Congregational Memorial 56 Hall, Drapers’ 35 Hall, Fishmongers’ 12, 45 Hall, Goldsmiths’ 33 Hall, Leathersellers’ 15 Hall, Mercers’ 27 Hall, Merchant Taylors’ 28 Hall, Saddlers’ 35 Hall, Vintners’ 45 Hall, Westminster 125, 126, 127 Hamley’s, Regent Street 88 Hammersmith 196–204 Hammersmith Odeon 201 Hammersmith Palais 201 Hampstead 133 Hampstead Heath 51 Hampton Court 114, 180, 185 Harrods, Knightsbridge 186, 187 Hatchard’s, Piccadilly 92, 93 Hatton Garden, Holborn 65, 67 Haymarket 119 Hayward Gallery, South Bank 227, 228 Highgate Hill 43 HMS Belfast 242 Holborn 65 Holborn Bars 65 Holborn Circus 58, 64 Holborn Viaduct 59 Holland Park 188, 189 Horse Guards Parade 116, 117 Horse Guards, Whitehall 116 Hospital, Bethlehem Royal 31 Hospital, Guy’s 243 Hospital, Royal Free 58 Hospital, Royal London 163, 164, 170 Hospital, Royal Naval Greenwich 248, 254 Hospital, St Bartholomew’s 61, 62 Hospital, St Thomas’s 231, 236, 242, 243 Hotel, Brown’s 99 Hotel, Claridge’s 98 Hotel, Great Eastern 31 Hotel, Grosvenor House 101 Hotel, Inter Continental 102 Hotel, Ritz 93 Hotel, Savoy 74, 93, 98 Houses of Parliament 119, 121, 125–130 Howland Great Wet Dock 241 Hurlingham 193, 194 Hyde Park 95, 96, 133, 186, 200 Hyde Park Corner 26, 67, 93, 94, 102 Inn, Tabard, (Southwark) 237 Inn, White Hart, (Southwark) 237 Institute of Contemporary Art 104 Island Gardens, Isle of Dogs 158, 159 Isle of Dogs 8, 151, 155, 156 Jamarch’s Animal Emporium 144 Jermyn Street, Westminster 114, 115 Jerusalem Passage, Clerkenwell 63 John Scott Russell’s Yard, Millwall 158, 161 Kelmscott House, Hammersmith 198, 199 Kennington 220, 221 Kensington Gardens 97, 186 Kensington High Street 184, 185 Kensington Palace Gardens 184, 185 King Edward Memorial Park, Shadwell 150 King Street, St James’s 112 King’s Arms Tavern, EC3 21 King’s Reach 75, 76 King’s Road, Chelsea 180, 181, 183 Knightsbridge 186 Ladbroke Square Gardens 189 Lambeth 221, 222, 223, 229 Lambeth Palace 218, 221, 222, 223 Lambeth Walk 231 Lancaster House 104 Leadenhall Market 25 Leicester Square 82 Library, British 83 Library, London 112 Library, Marx Memorial 63 Lime Grove, Shepherd’s Bush 203 Limehouse 142, 150, 151, 152 Limehouse Basin 151 Limehouse Cut 151 Limehouse Reach 151 Limekiln Wharf, Limehouse 152 Lincoln’s Inn 86, 87 Lincoln’s Inn Fields 98 Linley Samborne’s House, Kensington 184 Little Ben, Victoria 134 Liverpool Street 31, 36, 37 Lloyds Building EC3 18, 19 Lombard Street EC3 21, 24 London Docks 143, 144, 147 London Eye 226 Lord Leighton’s House, Holland Park 189 Lord North Street, Westminster 132 Lots Road Power Station 180 Lower Mall, Hammersmith 197, 198 Ludgate Hill 38, 55 Madame Tussauds 78 Mall, The 103 Mansion House, EC4 13, 26, 48 Marble Arch 97, 104, 133 Marlborough House 108 Maryon Park, Charlton 252 Melbury Road, Holland Park 189 Middlesex Guildhall 120 Mile End 167, 168 Mile End Road 167 Millbank Tower, Westminster 132 Millbank, Westminster 132, 133 Millennium Dome 250, 251 Millwall 157, 158 Milton Street, EC2 36 Monument, EC3 3 Moorfields 31 Moorgate 36 Morden College, Blackheath 251, 252 Mosque, Jamme Masjiid 170 Mudchute, Isle of Dogs 159 Museum, Bank of England 27 Museum, British 9, 177 Museum, Clink Prison 235 Museum, Design, (Southwark) 238 Museum, Garden History 222 Museum, Handel House 99 Museum, Imperial War 31 Museum, London 36 Museum, National Maritime 248 Museum, Natural History 187 Museum, Victoria and Albert 187 Narrow Street, Limehouse 151, 152 New Scotland Yard 118, 136 Nine Elms, Vauxhall 217 Notting Hill 189–192 Old Bailey, EC4 42 Old Curiosity Shop, Lincoln’s Inn 89 Old Oak Common 203 Old Operating Theatre, Borough 242 Olympia, Kensington 203 Oxford Circus 88 Oxford Street 83, 84 Oxo Tower, South Bank 232 Painted Hall, Greenwich 248 Palace, Buckingham 93, 97, 98, 103, 104, 104, 105, 133, 224 Palace, Fulham 193, 194, 195 Palace, Greenwich 156, 246, 247 Palace, Kensington 95, 184, 185, 186, 248 Palace, St James’s 103, 109 Palace, Westminster 119, 125–130, 180, 221 Palace, Whitehall 109, 115, 125 Palace, Winchester 10, 235 Pall Mall, St James’s 56, 103, 105, 106, 107, 111, 114 Paragon, The (Blackheath) 251 Park Lane 102 Parliament Square, Westminster 119 Paternoster Row, St Paul’s 41, 48 Paternoster Square, St Paul’s 41, 42, 48 Peninsula Heights, Vauxhall 219, 220 Physic Garden, Chelsea 175, 176 Piccadilly 91, 92, 133 Piccadilly Circus 90, 108 Pickering Place, St James’s 110 Pimlico 133, 134, 142 Pinnacle, The 36 Plumstead 254 Poplar 155, 156 Portcullis House, Westminster 120 Portobello Road, Notting Hill 189, 190, 192 Postman’s Park, EC1 60 President, HMS 49 Prince Henry’s Room, Fleet Street 52 Prison, Clerkenwell 60 Prison, Clink (South Bank) 235 Prison, Fleet 55, 56 Prison, Newgate 59, 60 Pub, Anchor (Bankside) 234, 235 Pub, Angel (Bermondsey) 239 Pub, Chequers 114 Pub, Coach and Horses (Soho) 88 Pub, George Inn 237 Pub, Henry Addington (Canary Wharf) 160 Pub, John Snow (Soho) 83 Pub, Mayflower (Rotherhithe) 239 Pub, Queen’s Head 237 Pub, The Grapes (Limehouse) 151 Pub, Town of Ramsgate (Wapping) 147 Pub, Waterman’s Arms (Millwall) 159 Pub, Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 53 Pub, Ye Olde Mitre (EC1) 64 Puddle Dock, EC4 47 Purcell Room, South Bank 227 Putney 207, 208, 209, 217 Putney Heath 209, 216 Putney Vale 209, 210 Pye Corner, EC1 61 Queen Anne’s Gate, Westminster 135 Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank 227 Queen Victoria Street, EC4 45, 47 Queen’s House, Greenwich 248, 249 Queens Park Rangers FC 201 Ranelagh Gardens, Chelsea 134, 175 Ratcliffe, East End 144, 150 Regent’s Park 133 Rillington Place 10 190, 216 River Lea 151 River Tyburn 133 River Westbourne 133 River, Fleet 55 River, Thames 4–9, 12, 47, 49, 75, 76, 119, 122, 125, 130, 132, 136, 139, 141–148, 150–152, 154, 156–161, 173–176, 180, 182, 193–199, 204, 207, 212–216, 218, 219, 222, 224–227, 232–235, 238–242, 244–247, 250, 251, 253, 254 Riverside Studios, Hammersmith 196 Rotherhithe 239, 241 Rotherhithe Tunnel 150 Royal Albert Hall, Kensington 59, 85, 96 Royal Artillery Barracks, Woolwich 255 Royal Avenue, Chelsea 181, 182 Royal Courts of Justice, Strand 71 Royal Exchange, EC3 13, 14, 19, 23, 26 Royal Hospital, Chelsea 174, 175 Royal Observatory, Greenwich 249, 250 Royal Opera Arcade, Haymarket 114 Royal Opera House 85, 86, 87 Royal Ordnance Factory, Woolwich 253 Sadler’s Wells, Clerkenwell 66 Savile Row 100, 101 Savile Row, Mayfair 98 Savoy 73 Savoy Hill 78 Savoy Place 74 Sayes Court, Deptford 245 Schomberg House, St James’s 75, 108 School, Blewcoat 134 School, St Paul’s 40, 199 School, St Paul’s Girls 199 School, Westminster 131 Scotland Yard 118 Serpentine, The 102, 186 Shad Thames, Southwark 238 Shadwell 148, 149, 150 Shard of Glass, 240 Shell Centre 227 Shell Mex House 78 Shepherd’s Bush 199, 200 Shepherd’s Bush Empire 201, 202 Simpsons-in-the-Starnd 78 Smithfield 61 Soho 82, 83 Somerset House 72, 73 Sotheby’s, Bond Street 101 South Bank 227, 228 South Kensington 187, 188 Spitalfields 164, 165, 170 St George’s Square, Pimlico 136 St Helen’s Place 15, 29 St James’s Park 105 St James’s Square 112, 113 St James’s Street 107, 108, 109, 110, 114 St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell 62, 63 St Katharine’s Dock 133, 142, 145, 146 St Mary Woolnoth 22, 23 St Mary’s RC Cemetery, Kensal Grn 203 St Paul’s Churchyard 40, 41 St Peter’s Square, Hammersmith 202 Staple Inn, EC1 58, 65, 66, 67 Station, Cannon Street 48 Station, Fenchurch Street 12 Station, Liverpool Street 31, 134 Station, London Bridge 237 Station, Victoria 134 Station, Waterloo 228 Stepney 164, 168, 169, 170 Stepney Green 168 Stockwell 229, 230 Strand, The 71 Streatham 229 Strutton Ground, Victoria 136 Sun Wharf, Limehouse 154 Swan Walk, Chelsea 175 Synagogue, Portuguese and Spanish 24 Tate Modern, South Bank 133 Tate Gallery, Millbank 133 Tate Modern 233 Temple Bar 41 Temple of Mithras 47 Temple, EC4 50 Thames Barrier 253, 254 Thames House, Westminster 132 Thames Tunnel 239, 240 Theatre Royal, Drury Lane 12, 28, 88 Theatre, Adelphi 75 Theatre, Apollo 94 Theatre, Globe 36, 233, 234, 236 Theatre, Her Majesty’s 86, 114 Theatre, Lyceum 78 Theatre, Mermaid 47 Theatre, National 228 Theatre, Old Vic 228 Theatre, Rose 234 Theatre, Royal Court 183 Theatre, Savoy 74 Theatre, St James’s 112 Theatre, Victoria Palace 134, 231 Threadneedle Street, EC2 28, 29 Tite Street, Chelsea 182, 183 Tobacco Dock 144 Tower 42 (NatWest Tower) 27, 30 Tower Green 141, 248 Tower Hill 9, 140, 141, 145, 224 Tower House, Melbury Road 189 Tower House, Whitechapel 163 Tower of London 139–141, 145, 176 Tower Subway 145 Toynbee Hall, Spitalfields 165 Trafalgar Square 63, 80, 81, 82, 88, 96, 103, 114 Trinity Almshouses, Mile End 167 Trinity Buoy Wharf, Blackwall 160 Upper Mall, Hammersmith 198 Vanbrugh’s Castle, Greenwich 248 Vauxhall 218, 219, 230 Vauxhall Cross 219 Vauxhall Gardens 220 Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens 175, 220, 225 Victoria 131–138 Victoria Embankment 75, 76, 77 Victoria Tower, Westminster 128, 129 Virginia Quay 159 Walworth 241 Wandsworth 211, 216 Wandsworth Prison 211, 212 Wapping 146, 147, 148, 153, 154, 240 Wapping High Street 146, 147, 148 Wapping Old Stairs 147 Wapping Pier Head 146 Waterloo 224, 231 Waterloo Place, St James’s 105, 106 Wellington Arch 102 West India Dock, Canary Wharf 160 Westminster Abbey 109, 122–125, 127, 129, 130, 131, 140, 163, 198 White City 200, 201 Whitechapel 162, 163, 164, 169 Whitechapel Bell Foundry 162, 163 Whitechapel Road 162, 164 Whitehall 82, 115–121, 175 Whitehall Court 116 Wickham’s Department Store 168 Wilkes Street, Spitalfields 165, 166 Wilton’s Music Hall, Whitechapel 142, 143 Wine Office Court, EC4 53 Woolwich 253, 254, 255 Wormwood Scrubs 199, 200 York House, Battersea 217 Acknowledgements My thanks as always to Hugh Montgomery Massingberd, my inspiration and the finest dining companion I know.

The ODEON LEICESTER SQUARE, which stands on the site of the old Alhambra Theatre, is THE LARGEST CINEMA IN BRITAIN. THE FIRST DIGITAL PROJECTOR IN EUROPE was installed here in 1999. The EMPIRE LEICESTER SQUARE was the venue of THE FIRST REGULAR PUBLIC FILM SHOW IN BRITAIN, in 1896. MAURICE MICKLEWHITE was making a telephone call from a call box in Leicester Square when he spotted a poster for The Caine Mutiny and decided to change his name to MICHAEL CAINE. Soho Cholera, Marxism and TV SOHO TAKES ITS name from a hunting cry as used by the Duke of Monmouth, who had a house near where Soho Square is now. Monmouth also used Soho as his battle cry at the Battle of Sedgemoor in 1685. The celebrated American MARLBORO cigarette, THE WORLD’S BEST-SELLING CIGARETTE BRAND, is named after Soho’s Great Marlborough Street, once the location of the Philip Morris factory where they were first manufactured.


pages: 655 words: 151,111

London: The Autobiography by Jon E. Lewis

affirmative action, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Brixton riot, John Snow's cholera map, side project, strikebreaker, Winter of Discontent

Furious contests have taken place about the burials, it having been recommended that bodies should be burned directly after death, and the most violent prejudice opposing itself to this recommendation; in short, there is no end to the scenes of uproar, violence, and brutal ignorance that have gone on, and this on the part of the lower orders, for whose especial benefit all the precautions are taken, and for whose relief large sums have been raised and all the resources of charity called into activity in every part of the town. It was not understood at the time that the cholera outbreak was caused by polluted water. This vital scientific breakthrough was made in 1854 by Dr John Snow, who noticed that those who drank from the pump in Broad Street died, while those who worked in the nearby brewery, and drank beer instead of water, did not. By then cholera had taken the lives of 30,000 Londoners. The Opening of the London to Deptford Railway, 14 December 1837 John O’London London’s first railway was mounted on a twin-track viaduct. THE DIRECTORS HAVING arrived at the London terminus were shown to their seats by ushers in waiting, and the band of music having taken up its positions on the roof of the carriage, the official bugler blew the signal for the start, and the train steamed off amidst the firing of cannon, the ringing of church bells, and the cheers of an excited crowd.

At the time of William’s passing, the population of London was about 1.5 million, making it the largest city on the planet. Tenements in slum districts known, in the vernacular of the time, as ‘rookeries’ teemed with people. Disease ran rife. Diphtheria, measles, smallpox and typhus were constant killers. Another contagion arrived in 1831 – another bacillus that ensured that the life expectancy of poor Londoners did not linger beyond 27 years. King Cholera, 1832 Charles Greville 17 FEBRUARY 1832 THE CHOLERA HAS produced more alertness than alarm here; in fact, at present it is a mere trifle – in three days twenty-eight persons. Nothing like the disorders which rage unheeded every year and every day among the lower orders. It is its name, its suddenness, and its frightful symptoms that terrify. The investigations, however, into the condition of the different parishes have brought to light dreadful cases of poverty and misery.

A copy of the British Library Cataloguing in Publication data is available from the British Library UK ISBN: 978-1-84529-942-2 eISBN: 978-1-78033-750-0 1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2 First published in the United States in 2009 by Running Press Book Publishers All rights reserved under the Pan-American and International Copyright Conventions No part of this work may be produced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Digit on the right indicates the number of this printing US Library of Congress Control Number: 2009920964 US ISBN: 978-0-7624-3734-4 Running Press Book Publishers 2300 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA 19103-4371 www.runningpress.com Printed and bound in the EU For Penny, a London girl Contents List of Illustrations Foreword Boudicca Sacks Londinium, AD 60 TACITUS The Romans in London: Graffiti VARIOUS Londoners Reject Christianity, 616 THE VENERABLE BEDE Viking Raids, 842–1009 THE ANGLO-SAXON CHRONICLE London Bridge is Pulled Down by King Olaf, c. 1014 SNORRI STURLUSON Edward the Confessor Builds Westminster Abbey, 1060–5 A MONK OF ST BERTIN’S ABBEY The Coronation of William the Conqueror, Christmas Day, 1066 ORDERIC VITALIS The Charter of Henry I in Favour of the Citizens of London, Michaelmas 1130–August 1133 HENRY I A Description of the City of London, c. 1173 WILLIAM FITZ STEPHEN Building Regulations, 1189 THE LONDON ASSIZES Tax Riot, 1194 ROGER OF WENDOVER The Thames Floods, 1241 MATTHEW PARIS Misadventures in Childhood, 1301–37 CALENDAR OF THE CORONERS’ ROLLS Street Life, 1301–80 VARIOUS Trick of the Trade: A Fraudulent Baker, 1327 THE CITY OF LONDON LETTER-BOOK The Ordinances of the Spurriers, 1346 ANONYMOUS City of the Dead: The Black Death, 1348 ROBERT OF AVESBURY Flagellants, Michaelmas 1349 ROBERT OF AVESBURY Expulsion of a Leper, 1372 THE CITY OF LONDON LETTER-BOOK An Inventory of the Goods in a Fishmonger’s City House, 1373 CALENDAR OF PLEA AND MEMORANDA ROLLS The Peasants’ Revolt Comes to London, 1381 SIR JOHN FROISSART Richard II Quarrels with the City of London, 1392 THE MONK OF WESTMINSTER London Lickpenny, c. 1410 ANONYMOUS Henry V’s Victory March After Agincourt, 23 November 1415 ANONYMOUS Richard Whittington is Elected Mayor for the Third Time, 13 October 1419 THE CITY OF LONDON LETTER-BOOK Public Nuisances, 1422 THE GENERAL COURT OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF LONDON Wars of the Roses: The Beginning of Strife, 1454 JOHN STODELY The Dignity of the Mayor of London, 1464 ANONYMOUS The Joust Between Lord Scales and the Bastard of Burgoyne, 1467 EDWARD HALL The Sweating Sickness, 1485 EDWARD HALL Tudor London: A Portrait, 1497 ANDREAS FRANCISCUS Evil May Day, 1 May 1517 THE CHRONICLE OF THE GREY FRIARS The Beheading of Sir Thomas More, 1535 WILLIAM ROPER Protestant Revolution: Edward VI Suppresses Popery in London, 1547 THE CHRONICLE OF THE GREY FRIARS Queen Mary Seizes the Crown, 1553 HENRY MACHYN Mary Persecutes the Protestants: The Burning of Bradford and Leaf at Smithfield, 1555 JOHN FOXE Elizabethan London: City Life, 1564–99 VARIOUS Elizabethan London: The Oath of Every Freeman, 1580 ANONYMOUS Riots, Puritans and Shakespeare: Theatre-going, 1584–1613 WILLIAM FLEETWOOD, THE LORD MAYOR AND ALDERMEN, AND THOMAS PLATTER Queen Elizabeth at Greenwich, c. 1596 PAUL HENTZNER The Torturing of a Jesuit Priest in the Tower of London, April 1597 FATHER JOHN GERARD The Diary of a Tourist, 5 July 1598 BARON WALDSTEIN The Gunpowder Plot, 5 November 1605 SIR EDWARD HOBY The Attempted Arrest of the Five Members, 4 January 1642 JOHN RUSHWORTH The Battle of Newbury: Sergeant Henry Foster in Action, 20 September 1643 SERGEANT HENRY FOSTER, RED REGIMENT OF THE TRAINED BANDS OF THE CITY OF LONDON The Execution of Charles I, 30 January 1649 PHILIP HENRY Ranters, 1651 JOHN TAYLOR A Whale in the Thames, 3 June 1658 JOHN EVELYN The Restoration: The Arrival of Charles II in London, 29 May 1660 ANONYMOUS Notices for a Lost Dog, 21–8 June 1660 CHARLES II Journal of the Plague Year, 1665 SAMUEL PEPYS The Great Fire, 2–7 September 1666 JOHN EVELYN The Dutch in the Thames, June 1667 JOHN EVELYN A Visit to a Gaming House, 1 January 1668 SAMUEL PEPYS Highway Robbery, 11 May 1674 JOHN VERNEY London Arisen from the Ashes: Wren Rebuilds St Paul’s Cathedral, 1675–1710 DANIEL DEFOE The Great Frost, 1683–4 JOHN EVELYN Cockfighting, 18 June 1710 ZACHARIAS VON UFFENBACH Making Hay in Chelsea, 19 May 1711 JONATHAN SWIFT The Mohock Club, March 1712 LADY STRAFFORD Handel’s Water Music, 17 July 1717 DAILY COURANT Coffee-houses, c. 1722–5 JOHN MACKY AND CÉSAR DE SAUSSURE John Wesley Stoned, 12 September 1742 JOHN WESLEY A Hanging at Tyburn, c. 1745 SAMUEL RICHARDSON Earthquake, 11 March 1750 HORACE WALPOLE Gin Lane, 1751 WILLIAM HOGARTH Man About Town: A Rake’s Progress, 25 November 1762–4 June 1763 JAMES BOSWELL Wilkes and the Mob, 1768 HORACE WALPOLE The Lord Mayor’s Banquet, 1768 WILLIAM HICKEY The Gordon Riots, 6 June 1780 IGNATIUS SANCHO Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens, 12 June 1782 KARL PHILIPP MORITZ London Hospitals, 1788 JOHN HOWARD ‘The Rage for Building’: The Growth of London, 8 June 1791 HORACE WALPOLE London: A Georgian Poet’s View, 1794 WILLIAM BLAKE Mr Whitbread’s Brewery, c. 1800 JOHANNA SCHOPENHAUER Shooting Under London Bridge in a Boat, 12 July 1810 LOUIS SIMOND The Season: Jane Austen’s Party, April 1811 JANE AUSTEN Death of a Climbing Boy, 29 March 1813 THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON CLIMBING BOYS Mrs Fry at Newgate, March 1822 MARIA EDGEWORTH ‘Peelers’: The Formation of the Metropolitan Police, October 1829 SIR ROBERT PEEL William IV Rambles the Streets, 19 July 1830 CHARLE S GREVILLE King Cholera, 1832 CHARLES GREVILLE The Opening of the London to Deptford Railway, 14 December 1837 JOHN O’LONDON Queen Victoria at Her Coronation, 28 June 1838 QUEEN VICTORIA The Condition of the Working Class in London, c. 1844 FRIEDRICH ENGELS Chartist Demonstration, 10 April 1848 LORD JOHN RUSSELL Victorian London: Street Life, c. 1850 HENRY MAYHEW A Visit to the Great Exhibition, 7 June 1851 CHARLOTTE BRONTE High Society: A Fancy-dress Ball at Buckingham Palace, 1851 ANNE THACKERAY RITCHIE Karl Marx at Home, 1852 KARL MARX Some London Wonders: Gaslights, Penny Gaffs and Omnibuses, 1853 MAX SCHLESINGER Fog, 1853 CHARLES DICKENS The Great Stink, Summer 1858 CHARLES DICKENS AND GEORGE GODWIN Nine a.m.: Clerks on Their Way to Work, 1858 GEORGE AUGUSTUS SALA White Slavery: Maids and Match Girls, 1860–83 HANNAH CULLWICK AND JAMES GREENWOOD A Day at the Races: The Derby, Epsom, 28 May 1861 HIPPOLYTE TAINE Tothill Fields, 1861 HENRY MAYHEW AND JOHN BINNY Prostitutes on the Haymarket, 1862 FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY Into Hades: The Metropolitan Underground Railway Commences Service, 9 January 1863 THE TIMES Murder on the North London Railway, July 1864 ILLUSTRATED LONDON NEWS The Founding of the International Working Men’s Association, Covent Garden, 28 September 1865 KARL MARX William Morris at Home, 10 March 1869 HENRY JAMES A Socialist March Through the West End, Autumn 1886 H.M.


pages: 342 words: 88,736

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis by Ruth Defries

agricultural Revolution, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, double helix, European colonialism, food miles, Francisco Pizarro, Haber-Bosch Process, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, out of africa, planetary scale, premature optimization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, social intelligence, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

One can only imagine the filth, stench, and squalor of Charles Dickens’s legendary London. The streets, as he described them in his novel Oliver Twist, were “very narrow and muddy, and the air . . . impregnated with filthy odors.” Despite the city’s stinking, horrid state, politicians gave little priority to the reeking cesspools of London. In 1854, cholera hit the city in the third major outbreak of the nineteenth century. About 1,000 people died every week during the outbreak, some 14,000 in all. At first people thought the foul air was behind the outbreaks. But the visionary London physician Dr. John Snow famously pinpointed the true source of these outbreaks when he traced one of them to a single public water pump on Broad Street. Yet even after he nailed the idea that the disease was coming from water contaminated with human waste, not the fetid air, the local government still dilly-dallied on cleaning up the stinking mess.

The highly developed agriculture still could not save the ancient Chinese from the scourges of disease, drought, and famine. One province or another suffered from famine nearly every year. Untold millions died of starvation. Human excrement that fertilized the fields carried diseases, such as schistosomiasis, known as snail fever for the parasitic worms that hatched in snails, crawled under the skin of a barefoot farmer, laid eggs, and infected the unfortunate victim. Cholera epidemics from water contaminated with human and animal waste swept through the population. With dense populations and land and nutrients too scarce to spend on raising animals for slaughter, meat was a rarity in the Chinese diet. As a result, Chinese society circumvented the energy conundrum that compounds when people use animals for meat. With so many calories lost in the transfer up the food chain, the energy cost of meat in the diet is immense, though the gain in protein might be worth the cost.

When the project to construct London’s underground sewers was finally finished in 1865, London joined the great Indus Valley civilization and the Greeks and Romans in taking care of this noxious health hazard—all of them had devised water and sewage disposal systems many centuries earlier. London’s system discharged waste into the Thames, where the river’s flow and the tides could wash it out to sea. Sewer systems such as London’s have saved millions, if not billions, of people from cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and other diseases caused by water contaminated with human and animal waste. Lack of sanitation tragically still deprives too many throughout the developing world of a chance at a healthy life. No one would argue that humanity should go back to the days of cesspits and night-soil. But flush toilets and sewers brought their downsides. They shunt away human waste, removing it from the otherwise closed loops of the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

When the river had been clean this was not a problem, but after 1848, when new laws required buildings to be connected to the sewers, there was a cholera outbreak which claimed 14,789 lives. At this time, it was widely believed that diseases such as cholera were spread by ‘miasmas’, or foul odours. In American cities at the end of the eighteenth century, men, women and children walked around with cigars in their mouths in the belief that the smoke helped ward off infection. However, the London physician John Snow was convinced that cholera was water-borne. In the early 1850s, he was able to show that one in a hundred customers supplied by the Southwark and Vauxhall Water Company (which took water from the Thames at Battersea) died of cholera, whereas not a single person died among the 14,632 people supplied by the Lambeth Water Company, which used a new waterworks at Long Ditton.

First recorded in ancient Egypt, smallpox thrives in slum conditions, and regular waves of the disease swept through cities killing a third of victims and scarring or blinding others for life. ‘Father Thames Introducing His Offspring to the Fair City of London’, by John Leech, published in Punch on 3 July 1858, during what became known as the Great Stink. Among the ‘offspring’ of Father Thames are Diphtheria, Scrofula and Cholera. The experience of these epidemics must have been terrifying for city dwellers. In the sixth century ad, a terrible plague struck Constantinople. In the course of a year a quarter of the population was wiped out. At its height, ten thousand people a day were dying, more than the city’s inhabitants could bury. It was the first epidemic of bubonic plague in Europe, spreading for the next two hundred years before mysteriously disappearing.

Renaissance Europe was also devastated by plagues and the great trading cities of Italy – Milan, Venice and Florence – suffered very badly. In three centuries their populations fell by a half. Cities may have been dangerous places to live but they also had some of the first hospitals, such as Filarete’s Ospedale Maggiore in Milan. The introduction of piped, clean drinking water and sewage systems in the late nineteenth century helped free industrialised cities from the scourge of water-borne diseases such as cholera. As well as improvements to urban infrastructure, twentieth-century advances in medical treatments helped eradicate some urban diseases (smallpox) and reduced the threat from others (TB, measles). However, new viruses – such as SARS or the H5N1 influenza virus – continue to pose a real threat to the densely populated megacities of the twenty-first century. The Berlin Wall, photographed in 1986 by French artist Thierry Noir at Bethaniendamm in Berlin-Kreuzberg.


pages: 426 words: 117,027

Mind in Motion: How Action Shapes Thought by Barbara Tversky

Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, clean water, continuous integration, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, fundamental attribution error, Hans Rosling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Snow's cholera map, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, natural language processing, neurotypical, patient HM, Richard Feynman, Steven Pinker, the new new thing, theory of mind, urban planning

Maps can explain wars, as the newspapers did during World War II, showing the size and movements and alliances of troops in Europe day by day. They can track spread of disease, the first step in finding causality, as the dogged physician John Snow famously did in the cholera epidemic in London in 1854. No one knew then what caused cholera. Snow asked that each case be recorded on a map of central London, as shown in Figure 8.5. He observed that many cholera cases clustered around the Broad Street pump and ordered the pump handle removed. That virtually ended the epidemic and, at the same time, initiated the science of epidemiology, still strongly based on maps. Maps can foster sleuthing and inferencing and discovery and prediction, whether it’s spread of disease or tracking terrorists or paths of hurricanes. They can allow making sense of voting patterns, famine and flood, and demographic data like population shifts and economic disparities.

If your passenger-navigator says, “Turn right,” you know to turn at the next intersection, not right now. The London Tube map also adds words and symbols. Most good maps and diagrams are multimodal, like natural conversation, which uses far more than words, such as intonation, gesture, and stuff in the world. Maps can be designed for multiple purposes or different maps for different purposes. Maps can allow way finding and exploring an environment and planning excursions and rerouting traffic and locating bike lanes and so much more. Maps can form a foundation for explaining history, as the Aztecs did in their codices, colorfully showing the migrations of their ancestors over space and time. FIGURE 8.5. Snow’s 1854 map of central London, with cholera cases represented by dots. Maps can explain wars, as the newspapers did during World War II, showing the size and movements and alliances of troops in Europe day by day.

, Sopena, M. C., Martínez-Bea, M., & Domingo, R. (2009). A paleolithic map from 13,660 calBP: Engraved stone blocks from the Late Magdalenian in Abauntz Cave (Navarra, Spain). Journal of Human Evolution, 57(2), 99–111. Figure 8.3. Source: British Museum, Department of British and Mediaeval Antiquities and Ethnography, Handbook to the Ethnographical Collections (Oxford, England: Trustees, British Museum, 1910), 170. https://www.flickr.com/photos/internetarchivebookimages/14783361945/ Figure 8.4. Source: “Map” in Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed., Vol. XVII, p. 638). Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:EB_1911_Map_Fig_10.png Figure 8.5. Source: Snow, J. (1855). On the mode of communication of cholera (2nd ed.). London, England: John Churchill. Retrieved from http://matrix.msu.edu/~johnsnow/images/online_companion/chapter_images/fig12-5.jpg Figure 8.6.


pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

It is a map that accrues over a lifetime, the spatial equivalent of our temporal, chronological knowledge and our simultaneous ability to place major events in historical perspective. But our mental maps are not historic, they are current, and they guide and inform our actions and decisions whether a simple excursion for pleasure or a military campaign in a distant land. How clear were they when the Iraq invasion was planned? How clear are they in this century of environmental change, China's rise, and terrorism's threat? USES AND MISUSES OF MAPS When geographers are asked to provide an example of the practical utility of maps in solving real-world problems, we like to go back to the story of Dr. John Snow, a London physician-geographer who lived through several of the dreadful cholera pandemics that ravaged much of the world during the nineteenth century. No one knew for sure how cholera spread, making the disease especially frightening, and many victims died within a week of infection.

This accounted for the clustering of the dots around the pump, and the link between contaminated water and cholera was confirmed by the map. That was not the end of the story. Dr. Snow asked city officials to remove the handle from the pump, but they first demurred, saying that this would risk a riot in Soho where people were already angry about the casualty toll from cholera. So Dr. Snow and his students did it themselves, pouring lye down the hole for good measure. Soon he had his proof: the number of deaths around the intersection plummeted, new cases dropped even more sharply, and what the map had confirmed was proven beyond a doubt. Now the authorities could advise people to boil their water and to stop worrying about touching each other or inhaling "bad air," two of the suspected causes. Today, things are not that simple, but maps still help modern epidemiolo- 44 WHY GEOGRAPHY MATTERS gists trace pandemics and predict future routes of diffusion.

Unfortunately, surveys show that many Americans are unable to make full use of such traditional maps, even simple ones in commercial road atlases. They have trouble dealing with the standard properties of ordinary maps, such as scale, orientation (direction), and symbols. They find it difficult to relate the legends of maps to the contents of the maps themselves. It is also easy to be confused by the effects of certain map projections, for example the Mercator map, which has the READING MAPS AND FACING THREATS 25 asset of directional utility, but at the cost of shape and size. On a Merca-tor map, Greenland looks bigger than South America when, in fact, South America is eight times as large as Greenland. Don't plan your overseas trip with a Mercator map! MAP SCALE There is no escaping it: a map, if it encompasses a section (or all) of the Earth's surface, must represent a rounded surface on a flat piece of paper.


The Data Journalism Handbook by Jonathan Gray, Lucy Chambers, Liliana Bounegru

Amazon Web Services, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, business intelligence, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, David Heinemeier Hansson, eurozone crisis, Firefox, Florence Nightingale: pie chart, game design, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, information asymmetry, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Julian Assange, linked data, moral hazard, MVC pattern, New Journalism, openstreetmap, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Silicon Valley, social graph, SPARQL, text mining, web application, WikiLeaks

The need for these new forms of charts and graphs came out of commerce, but as time passed, others appeared and were used to save lives. In 1854 John Snow created his now famous “Cholera Map of London” by adding a small black bar over each address where an incident was reported. Over time, an obvious density of the outbreak could be seen and action taken to curb the problem. As time passed, practitioners of these new chart and graphs got bolder and experimented further, pushing the medium toward what we know today. André-Michel Guerry was the first to publish the idea of a map where individual regions were different colors based on some variable. In 1829 he created the first choropleth by taking regions in France and shading them to represent crime levels. Today we see such maps used to show political polling regions, who voted for whom, wealth distribution, and many other geographically linked variables.

Today we see such maps used to show political polling regions, who voted for whom, wealth distribution, and many other geographically linked variables. It seems like such a simple idea, but even today, it is difficult to master and understand if not used wisely. Figure 6-11. An early bar chart (William Playfair) Figure 6-12. Cholera map of London (John Snow) Figure 6-13. Choropleth map of France showing crime levels (André-Michel Guerry) There are many tools a good journalist needs to understand and have in their toolbox for constructing visualizations. Rather than jump right in at the deep end, an excellent grounding in charts and graphs is important. Everything you create needs to originate from a series of atomic charts and graphs. If you can master the basics, then you can move onto constructing more complex visualizations which are made up from these basic units. Two of the most basic chart types are bar charts and line charts.

Implications The Electoral Hack platform had a big impact in the media, with television, radio, print and online coverage. Maps from the project were used by several media platforms during the elections and in subsequent days. As the days went by, the maps and visualizations were updated, increasing traffic even more. On Election Day, the site created that very day received about 20 thousand unique visitors and its maps were reproduced on the cover page of the newspaper Página/12 for two consecutive days, as well as in articles in La Nación. Some maps appeared in the print edition of the newspaper Clarín. It was the first time that an interactive display of real-time maps had been used in the history of Argentine journalism. In the central maps one could clearly see the overwhelming victory of Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner by 54 percent of the vote, broken up by color saturation.


pages: 396 words: 117,149

The Master Algorithm: How the Quest for the Ultimate Learning Machine Will Remake Our World by Pedro Domingos

Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Arthur Eddington, basic income, Bayesian statistics, Benoit Mandelbrot, bioinformatics, Black Swan, Brownian motion, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer vision, constrained optimization, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Erik Brynjolfsson, experimental subject, Filter Bubble, future of work, global village, Google Glasses, Gödel, Escher, Bach, information retrieval, job automation, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, lone genius, mandelbrot fractal, Mark Zuckerberg, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, NP-complete, off grid, P = NP, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, planetary scale, pre–internet, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Feynman, scientific worldview, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, superintelligent machines, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, transaction costs, Turing machine, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, zero-sum game

Instead, he saw an analogy between that crisis and the outbreak of World War I, and that analogy guided him to the right decisions. Nearest-neighbor can save lives, as Steven Johnson recounted in The Ghost Map. In 1854, London was struck by a cholera outbreak, which killed as many as one in eight people in parts of the city. The then-prevailing theory that cholera was caused by “bad air” did nothing to prevent its spread. But John Snow, a physician who was skeptical of the theory, had a better idea. He marked on a map of London the locations of all the known cases of cholera and divided the map into the regions closest to each public water pump. Eureka: nearly all deaths were in the “metro area” of one particular pump, located on Broad Street in the Soho district. Inferring that the water in that well was contaminated, Snow convinced the locals to disable the pump, and the epidemic died out.

., 138–139 Baldwin effect, 139, 140, 304 Bandit problems, 129–130 Barto, Andy, 221 Bayes, Thomas, 144–145 Bayesian learning, 166–170, 174–175 Bayesian methods, cell model and, 114 Bayesian model averaging, 166–167 Bayesian models, tweaking probabilities, 170–173 Bayesian networks, 24, 156–161, 305–306 Alchemy and, 250 gene regulation and, 159 inference problem and, 161–166 Master Algorithm and, 240, 245 relational learning and, 231 Bayesians, 51, 52–53, 54, 143–175 Alchemy and, 253 further reading, 304–305 hidden Markov model, 154–155 If . . . then . . . rules and, 155–156 inference problem, 161–166 learning and, 166–170 logic and probability and, 173–175 Markov chain, 153–155 Markov networks, 170–173 Master Algorithm and, 240–241, 242 medical diagnosis and, 149–150 models and, 149–153 nature and, 141 probabilistic inference and, 52, 53 See also Bayesian networks Bayes’ theorem, 31–32, 52–53, 143–149, 253 Beam search, 135 “Beer and diapers” rule, 69–70 Belief, probability and, 149 Belief propagation, 161–164, 242, 253 Bell Labs, 190 Bellman, Richard, 188, 220 Bellman’s equation, 220 Berkeley, George, 58 Berlin, Isaiah, 41 Bias, 78–79 Bias-free learning, futility of, 64 Bias-variance decomposition, 301 The Bible Code (Drosnin), 72 Big data, 21 A/B testing and, 227 algorithms and, 7 clustering and, 206–207 relational learning and, 232–233 science, machine learning, and, 14–16 scientific truth and, 40 Big-data systems, 258 Bing, 12 Biology, learning algorithms and, 15 Black swans, 38–39, 158, 232 The Black Swan (Taleb), 38 Blessing of nonuniformity, 189 Board games, reinforcement learning and, 219 Bohr, Niels, 178, 199 Boltzmann distribution, 103–104 Boltzmann machines, 103–104, 117, 250 Boole, George, 104, 175 Boolean circuits, 123, 136 Boolean variable, 149 Boosting, 238 Borges, Jorge Luis, 71 Box, George, 151 Brahe, Tycho, 14, 131 Brahe phase of science, 39–40 Brain learning algorithms and, 26–28 mapping, 118 number of connections in, 94–95 reverse engineering the, 52, 302 S curves and, 105 simulating with computer, 95 spin glasses and, 102–103 BRAIN initiative, 118 Breiman, Leo, 238 Brin, Sergey, 55, 227, 274 Bryson, Arthur, 113 Bucket brigade algorithm, 127 Building blocks, 128–129, 134 Buntine, Wray, 80 Burglar alarms, Bayesian networks and, 157–158 Burks, Arthur, 123 Burns, Bob, 206 Business, machine learning and, 10–13 C. elegans, 118 Cajal, Santiago Ramón y, 93–94 Caltech, 170 CancerCommons.org, 261 Cancer cure algorithm for, 53–54 Bayesian learning and, 174 inverse deduction and, 83–85 Markov logic network and, 249 program for (CanceRx), 259–261, 310 Cancer diagnosis, 141 Cancer drugs predicting efficacy of, 83–84 relational learning and models for, 233 selection of, 41–42 CanceRx, 259–261, 310 Capital One, 272 Carbonell, Jaime, 69 Carnap, Rudolf, 175 Cars driverless, 113, 166, 172, 306 learning to drive, 113 Case-based reasoning, 198, 307 Catch Me If You Can (film), 177 Cause and effect, Bayes’ theorem and, 145–149 Cell model of, 114–115 relational learning and workings of, 233 Cell assembly, 94 Cell phone, hidden Markov models and, 155 Centaurs, 277 Central Dogma, 83 Cerebellum, 27, 118 Chance, Bayes and, 145 Chaos, study of, 30 Checkers-playing program, 219 Cholera outbreak, London’s, 182–183 Chomsky, Noam, 36–38 Chrome, 266 Chunking, 223–227, 254, 309 Circuit design, genetic programming and, 135–136 Classes, 86–87, 209, 257 Classifiers, 86–87, 127 Master Algorithm and, 240 Naïve Bayes, 151–153 nearest-neighbor algorithm and, 183 Clinton, Bill, 18 Clustering, 205–210, 254, 257 hierarchical, 210 Cluster prototypes, 207–208 Clusters, 205–210 “Cocktail party” problem, 215 Cognition, theory of, 226 Coin toss, 63, 130, 167–168 Collaborative filtering systems, 183–184, 306–307 Columbus test, 113 Combinatorial explosion, 73–74 Commoner, Barry, 158 Commonsense reasoning, 35, 118–119, 145, 276–277, 300 Complexity monster, 5–6, 7, 43, 246 Compositionality, 119 Computational biologists, use of hidden Markov models, 155 Computers decision making and, 282–286 evolution of, 286–289 human interaction with, 264–267 as learners, 45 logic and, 2 S curves and, 105 as sign of Master Algorithm, 34 simulating brain using, 95 as unifier, 236 writing own programs, 6 Computer science, Master Algorithm and, 32–34 Computer vision, Markov networks and, 172 Concepts, 67 conjunctive, 66–68 set of rules and, 68–69 sets of, 86–87 Conceptual model, 44, 152 Conditional independence, 157–158 Conditional probabilities, 245 Conditional random fields, 172, 306 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS), 170, 172 Conjunctive concepts, 65–68, 74 Connectionists/connectionism, 51, 52, 54, 93–119 Alchemy and, 252 autoencoder and, 116–118 backpropagation and, 52, 107–111 Boltzmann machine and, 103–104 cell model, 114–115 connectomics, 118–119 deep learning and, 115 further reading, 302–303 Master Algorithm and, 240–241 nature and, 137–142 neural networks and, 112–114 perceptron, 96–101, 107–108 S curves and, 104–107 spin glasses and, 102–103 symbolist learning vs., 91, 94–95 Connectomics, 118–119 Consciousness, 96 Consilience (Wilson), 31 Constrained optimization, 193–195, 241, 242 Constraints, support vector machines and, 193–195 Convolutional neural networks, 117–119, 303 Cope, David, 199, 307 Cornell University, Creative Machines Lab, 121–122 Cortex, 118, 138 unity of, 26–28, 299–300 Counterexamples, 67 Cover, Tom, 185 Crawlers, 8–9 Creative Machines Lab, 121–122 Credit-assignment problem, 102, 104, 107, 127 Crick, Francis, 122, 236 Crossover, 124–125, 134–136, 241, 243 Curse of dimensionality, 186–190, 196, 201, 307 Cyber Command, 19 Cyberwar, 19–21, 279–282, 299, 310 Cyc project, 35, 300 DARPA, 21, 37, 113, 121, 255 Darwin, Charles, 28, 30, 131, 235 algorithm, 122–128 analogy and, 178 Hume and, 58 on lack of mathematical ability, 127 on selective breeding, 123–124 variation and, 124 Data accuracy of held-out, 75–76 Bayes’ theorem and, 31–32 control of, 45 first principal component of the, 214 human intuition and, 39 learning from finite, 24–25 Master Algorithm and, 25–26 patterns in, 70–75 sciences and complex, 14 as strategic asset for business, 13 theory and, 46 See also Big data; Overfitting; Personal data Database engine, 49–50 Databases, 8, 9 Data mining, 8, 73, 232–233, 298, 306.

Inspired by the human genome project, the new field of connectomics seeks to map every synapse in the brain. The European Union is investing a billion euros to build a soup-to-nuts model of it. America’s BRAIN initiative, with $100 million in funding in 2014 alone, has similar aims. Nevertheless, symbolists are very skeptical of this path to the Master Algorithm. Even if we can image the whole brain at the level of individual synapses, we (ironically) need better machine-learning algorithms to turn those images into wiring diagrams; doing it by hand is out of the question. Worse than that, even if we had a complete map of the brain, we would still be at a loss to figure out what it does. The nervous system of the C. elegans worm consists of only 302 neurons and was completely mapped in 1986, but we still have only a fragmentary understanding of what it does.


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Frommer's Memorable Walks in London by Richard Jones

Alistair Cooke, British Empire, Isaac Newton, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, John Snow's cholera map, Maui Hawaii, medical malpractice, moral panic

The studio’s grand piano was auctioned in 1989 for £30,000. Soho • 133 From St. Anne’s Court, bear left across Wardour Street (home of many of London’s most important film companies) and walk straight onto Broadwick Street. Just ahead, at the corner of Poland Street, is the: 23. Broadwick Street Pump, a water pump that was identified by Dr. John Snow (1813–58) as the source of the 1854 Soho cholera epidemic. Snow, a noted anesthetist who had studied cholera during a previous epidemic, theorized that polluted drinking water caused the disease. He plotted on a map the addresses of more than 500 people who died in September 1854, and discovered that the Broad Street Public Water Pump (as it was then called) was at the geographic center of the epidemic. Snow’s theory initially met with disbelief, but when the doctor had the handle of the pump removed, preventing it from being used, the outbreak soon ended.

Hold on to your ticket throughout your ride; you must present it when you reach your destination. Also be sure to pick up a handy Tube map, available free at station ticket windows. (There’s an Underground map on the inside back cover of this book as well.) Essentials & Recommended Reading • 167 By Bus On the majority of City Centre buses, you either pay the driver as you enter the bus, or you press your Oyster Card (see above) against the reader as you board. On the long bendy buses, you can board via any door if you have an Oyster Card—simply touch it to the reader as you board. Many bus stops now have ticket machines from which you can purchase your tickets. Many visitors hesitate to ride the buses because their routes can be quite confusing. Get a free bus map from the tourist office, or just ask any conductor about the route and enjoy a top-deck sightseeing adventure.

Stefanciosa Photo Editor: Richard Fox Cartographer: Anton Crane Production by Wiley Indianapolis Composition Services For information on our other products and services or to obtain technical support, please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at 800/762-2974, outside the U.S. at 317/572-3993 or fax 317/572-4002. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic formats. Manufactured in the United States of America 5 4 3 2 1 Contents List of Maps iv Introducing the City by the Thames 1 The Walking Tours 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 The City Dickens’s London A Historic Pub Walk Westminster & Whitehall St. James’s The East End Clerkenwell Bloomsbury Soho Chelsea Hampstead 10 27 43 55 71 87 99 110 122 136 152 Essentials & Recommended Reading 165 Index 177 LIST OF MAPS The Tours at a Glance 2 The Walking Tours The City Dickens’s London A Historic Pub Walk Westminster & Whitehall St. James’s The East End Clerkenwell Bloomsbury Soho Chelsea Hampstead 12 29 45 57 73 91 101 111 124 138 153 About the Author Londoner Richard Jones has been devising walking tours of his city since 1982.


pages: 437 words: 115,594

The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

The roots of the recent gains in health in developing countries stretch back more than two centuries to the improvements in health in Western Europe that began with the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution.5 The combination of increased incomes, improved nutrition, better living conditions, education, and public health interventions for clean water and improved sanitation led to rapid gains in mortality and morbidity. One of the most important breakthroughs was the discovery in 1855 by the London physician John Snow, known now as the father of modern epidemiology, that deadly cholera was being spread by contaminated drinking water.6 Snow’s work, alongside that of several others, led to the development of modern germ theory. This knowledge and the public health interventions it spurred were central to the reductions in child death and improvements in health in Western Europe. The development of vaccines, antibiotics, and other medicines further accelerated progress.

ua=1; Diarrhoea: Why Children Are Still Dying and What Can Be Done (New York: United Nations Children’s Fund [UNICEF]; and Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization [WHO], 2009), http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2009/9789241598415_eng.pdf; “Diarrhoeal Disease: Fact Sheet 330,” World Health Organization, last modified April 2013, www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs330/en. 4. At the request of the family, we have changed the names in this section. 5. For an excellent in-depth analysis of these changes, see Angus Deaton, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013). 6. For a terrific account of Snow’s dogged determination and sleuthing skills in tracing the origins of cholera, see Steven Johnson, The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World (New York: Riverhead Books, 2007). 7. “Chapter 4: Mortality, 2010-Based NPP Reference Volume,” Office for National Statistics (United Kingdom), March 29, 2012, fig. 4.6, www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_253938.pdf. 8. “Life Expectancy at Exact Age x (ex), for Both Sexes Combined, by Major Area, Region and Country, 1950–2010,” in World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division, New York, June 2013, http://esa.un.org/wpp/excel-data/mortality.htm. 9.

Finally, an additional emerging health challenge facing developing countries is the increased prevalence of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Health expert Thomas Bollyky of the Council on Foreign Relations has shown that with the decline in child death and infectious diseases, NCDs have become the largest cause of death in developing countries. To some extent, this development is a normal part of the epidemiological transition: at very low incomes, infectious diseases such as cholera, diarrhea, malaria, and other parasites and viruses are the biggest killers. As incomes rise and societies are better able to fight those diseases, people live longer and are more likely to be affected by NCDs. This shift seems to be happening rapidly and is disproportionately affecting younger people in developing countries. In part, the increased prevalence of NCDs is due to continued weaknesses in health systems, and in part to rapid urbanization combined with less nutritious diets, greater tobacco use, and exposure to air pollution.


pages: 182 words: 56,961

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Airbus A320, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, index card, John Snow's cholera map, megacity, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

I asked people around WHO for examples of public health interventions we could learn from. They came up with instances like the smallpox vaccination campaign that eradicated the scourge from the world in 1979 and the work of Dr. John Snow famously tracing a deadly 1854 London cholera outbreak to water in a public well. When the disease struck a London neighborhood that summer, two hundred people died in the first three days. Three-quarters of the area’s residents fled in panic. Nonetheless, by the next week, some five hundred more died. The dominant belief was that diseases like cholera were caused by “miasmas”—putrefied air. But Snow, skeptical of the bad-air theory, made a map of where the deceased had lived and found them clustered around a single water source, a well in Soho’s Broad Street. He interviewed the bereaved families about their habits.

We may admit that errors and oversights occur—even devastating ones. But we believe our jobs are too complicated to reduce to a checklist. Sick people, for instance, are phenomenally more various than airplanes. A study of forty-one thousand trauma patients in the state of Pennsylvania—just trauma patients—found that they had 1,224 different injury-related diagnoses in 32,261 unique combinations. That’s like having 32,261 kinds of airplane to land. Mapping out the proper steps for every case is not possible, and physicians have been skeptical that a piece of paper with a bunch of little boxes would improve matters. But we have had glimmers that it might, at least in some corners. What, for instance, are the vital signs that every hospital records if not a kind of checklist? Comprised of four physiological data points—body temperature, pulse, blood pressure, and respiratory rate—they give health professionals a basic picture of how sick a person is.

Nonetheless, in medicine that’s exactly what we have done. We have a thirty-billion-dollar-a-year National Institutes of Health, which has been a remarkable power house of medical discoveries. But we have no National Institute of Health Systems Innovation alongside it studying how best to incorporate these discoveries into daily practice—no NTSB equivalent swooping in to study failures the way crash investigators do, no Boeing mapping out the checklists, no agency tracking the month-to-month results. The same can be said in numerous other fields. We don’t study routine failures in teaching, in law, in government programs, in the financial industry, or elsewhere. We don’t look for the patterns of our recurrent mistakes or devise and refine potential solutions for them. But we could, and that is the ultimate point. We are all plagued by failures—by missed subtleties, overlooked knowledge, and outright errors.


pages: 428 words: 126,013

Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions by Johann Hari

basic income, Berlin Wall, call centre, correlation does not imply causation, Donald Trump, gig economy, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, open borders, placebo effect, precariat, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, Rat Park, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the scientific method, The Spirit Level, twin studies, universal basic income, urban planning, zero-sum game

Sam, the doctor who helped transform this clinic, told me he suspects that a century from now we will look back on the discovery that you need to meet people’s emotional needs if you want them to recover from depression and anxiety as a key moment in medical history. Until the 1850s, nobody knew what caused cholera,6 and it killed enormous numbers of people. Then a physician named John Snow discovered (just a few miles from Sam’s clinic, coincidentally) that the disease is carried in water—and we started to build proper sewage systems. As a result, cholera outbreaks in the West stopped. An antidepressant, they have learned, isn’t just a pill. It’s anything that lifts your despair. The evidence that chemical antidepressants don’t work for most people shouldn’t make us give up on the idea of an antidepressant. But it should make us look for better antidepressants—and they may not look anything like we’ve been trained to think of them by Big Pharma.

Yet nobody knew what people with “reactive” depression were meant to be reacting to, or where the line between these two different kinds of depression was—or even if it was a distinction that made any sense. To find the real story, George concluded, you had to do something that nobody had ever done before on a significant scale. You had to conduct a proper scientific investigation6 into depressed or highly anxious people, using techniques a little like those you’d use to (say) figure out why cholera spreads, or how pneumonia is contracted. So he began to draw up plans. In the South London district of Camberwell, as George walked through its streets, the thrum of the city seemed a world away. It was only two miles from central London, but the only thing that could convince you of that was the spire of St. Paul’s Cathedral in the distance. He would stroll past some beautiful, large Victorian houses, and then through old slum streets that were being abandoned one by one as they were demolished by the government.

There’s also a treasure trove of interesting research on this in the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture, which you can access at http://www.ahta.org/the-journal-of-therapeutic-horticulture-ql, as accessed September 10, 2016. See also William Davies, The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being (New York: Verso, 2016), 246. This suggests, at the very least, that it is a good place to start Paul Moloney, The Therapy Industry: The Irresistible Rise of the Talking Cure, and Why It Doesn’t Work (London: Pluto Press, 2013), 61. Until the 1850s, nobody knew what caused cholera http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bazalgette_joseph.shtml, as accessed December 10, 2016. Chapter 18: Reconnection Three: To Meaningful Work It felt like a karaoke life I think I first heard this metaphor from the British writer Dennis Potter, in an interview where he was talking about his TV series Lipstick on Your Collar. On Sunday nights, she’d feel her heart pounding in her chest Paul Verhaeghe, What About Me?


pages: 524 words: 155,947

More: The 10,000-Year Rise of the World Economy by Philip Coggan

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Ada Lovelace, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bob Noyce, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, central bank independence, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Columbine, Corn Laws, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency peg, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, financial innovation, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, germ theory of disease, German hyperinflation, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global value chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haber-Bosch Process, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, hydraulic fracturing, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Arrow, Kula ring, labour market flexibility, land reform, land tenure, Lao Tzu, large denomination, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Blériot, low cost airline, low skilled workers, lump of labour, M-Pesa, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, McJob, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mittelstand, moral hazard, Murano, Venice glass, Myron Scholes, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, popular capitalism, popular electronics, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special drawing rights, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steven Pinker, TaskRabbit, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Great Moderation, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, universal basic income, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, Veblen good, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

In 1847, Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian obstetrician, correctly identified that puerperal fever was spread by doctors, and insisted that his colleagues wash their hands. But although the death rate of new mothers fell dramatically, his theory was not widely acknowledged. Semmelweis had a nervous breakdown and was beaten to death by guards in an insane asylum, never knowing that his ideas would become widely approved.100 In 1854, John Snow, a doctor who had written about cholera transmission, successfully traced an outbreak of the disease to a water pump in London: when the pump was taken out of service, cholera cases declined.101 Between 1859 and 1870, a team led by Joseph Bazalgette created a network of sewers under London that stretched for 550 miles (885km) and connected to a network that was 13,000 miles (21,000km) in all. The scheme was rejected five times by Parliament and was only approved after the Great Stink of 1858, in which the curtains of the House of Commons were coated in lime to reduce the smell.102 Sewerage systems began to be built in US cities in the late 1850s, and in Germany and France in the 1860s.

In Capitalism & Slavery, Eric Williams said that profits from slavery were recycled into the textile industry; the British cities of Bristol and Liverpool owed much to the slave trade.14 In Asia, Shashi Tharoor states, “Britain’s Industrial Revolution was built on the destruction of India’s thriving manufacturing industries”, in particular the wholesale transfer of textile production.15 There can be no doubt that the arrival of Europeans in the Americas had a catastrophic impact on the indigenous population. In Mexico, the population fell by an estimated 90% and in Peru by 40%. Some of this was the result of military action or brutal treatment in places like Potosí. But most damage was caused by disease. The American population had never experienced the viruses that cause smallpox, influenza or measles, or bacteria that lead to tuberculosis and cholera.16 This was the stark downside of the Columbian exchange. It is important not to romanticise the pre-European societies of Latin America. Several civilisations had come and gone, with ecological decline probably playing a part in the collapse of the “classic” era in the first millennium CE. In 1500, both the Aztec and Inca societies were relatively recent developments and were technologically unsophisticated.

The boats that transported Chinese workers were known as “coffin ships”, because of the number of those who died during the voyage – the mortality rate on ships carrying indentured workers was much higher than for other passengers travelling on the same routes.34 When the workers arrived, conditions were poor; Indian labourers in Trinidad, for example, were confined to crowded barracks in insanitary surroundings. Many suffered from dysentery and cholera, as well as from malaria.35 Half of imported workers in Cuba did not survive their term of indenture.36 These workers built the railways, shifted cargo in the docks, and worked in the mines. Like the slaves, they did the dirty and dangerous work that locals were reluctant to do. They also suffered some of the same punishments as slaves. Those who tried to run away before the end of their contracts, or were simply disrespectful towards their overseers, were beaten or placed in shackles.37 It is true that the workers were paid a wage and that eventually (after eight or ten years) their contracts came to an end.


pages: 807 words: 154,435

Radical Uncertainty: Decision-Making for an Unknowable Future by Mervyn King, John Kay

"Robert Solow", Airbus A320, Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, algorithmic trading, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, autonomous vehicles, availability heuristic, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, battle of ideas, Benoit Mandelbrot, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, business cycle, business process, capital asset pricing model, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, discounted cash flows, disruptive innovation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, easy for humans, difficult for computers, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Edward Thorp, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, experimental subject, fear of failure, feminist movement, financial deregulation, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, Hans Rosling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income per capita, incomplete markets, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Nash equilibrium, Nate Silver, new economy, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, popular electronics, price mechanism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, railway mania, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, Thales and the olive presses, Thales of Miletus, The Chicago School, the map is not the territory, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Malthus, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, urban planning, value at risk, World Values Survey, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Semmelweis did not really know why this was so – he reasoned, partly correctly, that the transfer of ‘cadaverous particles’ was responsible. 11 All of these findings and advice were strongly resisted by the medical profession, for reasons that are easy to understand if not to sympathise with. Doctors resisted, indeed resented, the idea that they themselves caused the illnesses they were unable to treat. Angered ultimately to the point of derangement, Semmelweis died in a lunatic asylum. But his analysis was vindicated and today it is safer to give birth in a hospital than at home. In 1854, Dr John Snow dramatically reduced the spread of cholera in London by removing the handle of the Broad Street pump in London’s Soho district, forcing local residents to obtain water elsewhere. At the time, the prevailing narrative was that infectious diseases were spread by ‘miasma’ – noxious particles in the air. Given the vile smell which prevailed across London and other metropolitan areas at the time, this explanation was easy to believe.

Natural phenomena are more likely than social ones to be the result of stationary processes – the structure of the physical world changes less than do global business, finance and politics. But the impact of a pandemic is determined as much or more by the state of medical knowledge as by the pathogens of disease. The Black Death will not recur – plague is easily cured by antibiotics (although the effectiveness of antibiotics is under threat) – and a significant outbreak of cholera in a developed country is highly unlikely. But we must expect to be hit by an epidemic of an infectious disease resulting from a virus which does not yet exist. To describe catastrophic pandemics, or environmental disasters, or nuclear annihilation, or our subjection to robots, in terms of probabilities is to mislead ourselves and others. We can talk only in terms of stories. And when our world ends, it will likely be the result not of some ‘long tail’ event arising from a low-probability outcome from a known frequency distribution, nor even of one of the contingencies hypothesised by Martin Rees and colleagues, but as a result of some contingency we have failed even to imagine.

Given the vile smell which prevailed across London and other metropolitan areas at the time, this explanation was easy to believe. Like Semmelweis, Snow did not understand why his high-handed intervention was effective – he had simply observed the correlation between the incidence of the disease and the use of the Broad Street facility. After the epidemic subsided, the pump handle was replaced at the demand of users, who resumed their use of water. It was still contaminated by faecal bacteria, but the cholera epidemic was over. Even in science, we rely on narratives; a good story can be more compelling than publication of detailed research results. And this is still true in the twenty-first century. For many years, it was conventional wisdom among doctors that stomach ulcers were caused by stress and bad lifestyle leading to a build-up of acid in the stomach. Dr Robin Warren, an Australian pathologist, tried for many years to argue that ulcers were in fact the result of a bacterial infection.


pages: 322 words: 107,576

Bad Science by Ben Goldacre

Asperger Syndrome, correlation does not imply causation, experimental subject, hygiene hypothesis, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, p-value, placebo effect, publication bias, Richard Feynman, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the scientific method, urban planning

Smoking, to everybody’s genuine surprise—one single risk factor—turned out to cause almost all lung cancer. And asbestos, through some genuinely brave and subversive investigative work, was shown to cause mesothelioma. The epidemiologists of the 1980s were On a roll, and they believed that they were going to find lifestyle causes for all the major diseases of humankind. A discipline that had got cracking when John Snow took the handle off the Broad Street pump in 1854, terminating that pocket of the Soho cholera epidemic by cutting off the supply of contaminated water (it was a bit more complicated than that, but we don’t have the time here) was going to come into its own. They were going to identify more and more of these one-to-one correlations between exposures and disease, and, in their fervent imaginations, with simple interventions and cautionary advice they were going to save whole nations of people.

Let’s take our most concrete example so far: are the sugar pills of homeopathy exploitative, if they work only as a placebo? A pragmatic clinician could only consider the value of a treatment by considering it in context. Here is a clear example of the benefits of placebo. During the nineteenth-century cholera epidemic, deaths were occurring in the London Homeopathic Hospital at just one third of the rate as in the Middlesex Hospital, but a placebo effect is unlikely to be all that beneficial in this condition. The reason for homeo-pathy’s success in this case is more interesting: at the time, nobody could treat cholera. So while hideous medical practices such as blood-letting were actively harmful, the homeopaths’ treatments at least did nothing either way. Today, similarly, there are often situations where people want treatment, but medicine has little to offer—lots of back pain, stress at work, medically unexplained fatigue and most common colds, to give just a few examples.

This is not for a lack of interest. We are obsessed with health—half of all science stories in the media are medical—and are repeatedly bombarded with sciencey-sounding claims and stories. But as you will see, we get our information from the very people who have repeatedly demonstrated themselves to be incapable of reading, interpreting and bearing reliable witness to the scientific evidence. Before we get started, let me map out the territory. Firsdy, we will look at what it means to do an experiment, to see the results with your own eyes, and judge whether they fit with a given theory, or whether an alternative is more compelling. You may find these early steps childish and patronising—the examples are certainly refreshingly absurd—but they have all been promoted credulously and with great authority in the mainstream media.


Mining of Massive Datasets by Jure Leskovec, Anand Rajaraman, Jeffrey David Ullman

cloud computing, crowdsourcing, en.wikipedia.org, first-price auction, G4S, information retrieval, John Snow's cholera map, Netflix Prize, NP-complete, PageRank, pattern recognition, random walk, recommendation engine, second-price auction, sentiment analysis, social graph, statistical model, web application

EXAMPLE 1.2A famous instance of clustering to solve a problem took place long ago in London, and it was done entirely without computers.2 The physician John Snow, dealing with a cholera outbreak plotted the cases on a map of the city. A small illustration suggesting the process is shown in Fig. 1.1. Figure 1.1 Plotting cholera cases on a map of London The cases clustered around some of the intersections of roads. These intersections were the locations of wells that had become contaminated; people who lived nearest these wells got sick, while people who lived nearer to wells that had not been contaminated did not. Without the ability to cluster the data, Snow would not have discovered the cause of cholera.□ 1.1.5Feature Extraction The typical feature-based model looks for the most extreme examples of a phenomenon and represents the data by these examples.

Merton, “The Matthew effect in science,” Science 159:3810, pp. 56–63, Jan. 5, 1968. [7]P.-N. Tan, M. Steinbach, and V. Kumar, Introduction to Data Mining, Addison-Wesley, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2005. 1 This startup attempted to use machine learning to mine large-scale data, and hired many of the top machine-learning people to do so. Unfortunately, it was not able to survive. 2 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1854_Broad_Street_cholera_outbreak. 3 That is, assume our hypothesis that terrorists will surely buy a set of 10 items in common at some time during the year. We don’t want to address the matter of whether or not terrorists would necessarily do so. 2 MapReduce and the New Software Stack Modern data-mining applications, often called “big-data” analysis, require us to manage immense amounts of data quickly. In many of these applications, the data is extremely regular, and there is ample opportunity to exploit parallelism.

., 67 Bucket, 9, 129, 143, 147, 207, 257 Budget, 277, 284 Budiu, M., 67 Burges, C.J.C., 458 Burrows, M., 67 Candidate itemset, 204, 217 Candidate pair, 83, 208, 210 Carey, M., 66 Categorical feature, 416, 455 Centroid, 230, 233, 238, 241, 245 Chabbert, M., 324 Chandra, T., 67 Chang, F., 67 Characteristic matrix, 76 Charikar, M.S., 122 Chaudhuri, S., 122 Checkpoint, 43 Chen, M.-S., 226 Child, 333 Cholera, 3 Chronicle data model, 152 Chunk, 22, 217, 244 CineMatch, 321 Classifier, 303, 415 Click stream, 125 Click-through rate, 271, 277 Clique, 338 Cloud computing, 15 CloudStore, 22 Cluster computing, 19, 20 Cluster tree, 252, 253 Clustera, 38, 66 Clustering, 3, 16, 228, 310, 325, 330, 415 Clustroid, 232, 239 Collaboration network, 328 Collaborative filtering, 4, 16, 70, 267, 292, 306, 328 Column-orthonormal matrix, 397 Combiner, 25, 168, 170 Communication cost, 20, 44, 365 Community, 16, 325, 336, 338, 361 Community-affiliation graph, 352 Commutativity, 25 Competitive ratio, 16, 272, 275, 279 Complete graph, 339, 340 Compressed set, 245 Compute node, 19, 20 Computer game, 299 Computing cloud, see Cloud computing Concept, 399 Concept space, 404 Confidence, 195, 196 Content-based recommendation, 292, 296 Convergence, 426 Cooper, B.F., 67 Coordinates, 228 Cortes, C., 458 Cosine distance, 89, 99, 298, 302, 404 Counting ones, 142, 257 Covering an output, 56 Craig’s List, 267 Craswell, N., 290 Credit, 334 Cristianini, N., 458 Cross-Validation, 420 Crowdsourcing, 422 CUR-decomposition, 384, 406 CURE Algorithm, 249, 252 Currey, J., 67 Curse of dimensionality, 230, 254, 452, 455 Cut, 343, 344 Cyclic permutation, 81 Cylinder, 11 Czajkowski, G., 67 DAG, see Directed acyclic graph Darts, 132 Das Sarma, A., 66 Dasgupta, A., 382 Data mining, 1 Data stream, 15, 220, 256, 270, 434 Data-stream-management system, 123 Database, 15 Datar, M., 122, 153, 265 Datar–Gionis–Indyk–Motwani Algorithm, 143 Dead end, 158, 161, 162, 184 Dean, J., 67 Decaying window, 148, 222 Decision tree, 17, 303, 419, 420, 456 Deerwester, S., 414 Degree, 341, 362 Degree matrix, 345 Dehnert, J.C., 67 del.icio.us, 299, 329 Deletion, 90 Dense matrix, 28, 406 Density, 238, 240 Depth-first search, 374 Determinant, 386 DeWitt, D.J., 67 DFS, see Distributed file system Diagonal matrix, 397 Diameter, 237, 240, 368 Diapers and beer, 194 Difference, 31, 34, 38 Dimension table, 50 Dimensionality reduction, 16, 312, 384, 453 Directed acyclic graph, 333 Directed graph, 367 Discard set, 244 Disk, 11, 199, 230, 252 Disk block, see Block Display ad, 267, 269 Distance measure, 87, 228, 331 Distinct elements, 133, 137 Distributed file system, 19, 21, 192, 198 DMOZ, see Open directory Document, 69, 72, 194, 229, 286, 297, 299, 418 Document frequency, see Inverse document frequency Domain, 181 Dot product, 89 Drineas, P., 414 Dryad, 66 DryadLINQ, 66 Dual construction, 330 Dubitzky, W., 414 Dumais, S.T., 414 Dup-elim task, 40 e, 12 Edit distance, 90, 92 Eigenpair, 385 Eigenvalue, 158, 346, 384, 395 Eigenvector, 158, 346, 384, 389, 394 Email, 328 Energy, 402 Ensemble, 303, 456 Entity resolution, 104 Equijoin, 31 Erlingsson, I., 67 Ernst, M., 67 Ethernet, 19, 20 Euclidean distance, 87, 101, 452 Euclidean space, 87, 91, 228, 230, 233, 249 Exponentially decaying window, see Decaying window Extrapoliation, 450 Facebook, 16, 176, 326 Fact table, 50 Failure, 20, 26, 39, 40, 42 Faloutsos, C., 383, 414 False negative, 83, 93, 216 False positive, 83, 93, 132, 216 Family of functions, 94 Fang, M., 226 Fayyad, U.M., 265 Feature, 252, 297, 298 Feature selection, 421 Feature vector, 416, 455 Fetterly, D., 67 Fikes, A., 67 File, 21, 198, 215 Filtering, 130 Fingerprint, 107 First-price auction, 279 Fixedpoint, 96, 182 Flajolet, P., 153 Flajolet–Martin Algorithm, 134, 376 Flow graph, 39 Fortunato, S., 382 Fotakis, D., 382 French, J.C., 265 Frequent bucket, 208, 209 Frequent itemset, 4, 192, 201, 204, 340, 415 Frequent pairs, 202 Frequent-items table, 203 Freund, Y., 458 Friends, 326 Friends relation, 49 Frieze, A.M., 122 Frobenius norm, 388, 402 Furnas, G.W., 414 Gaber, M.M., 18 Ganti, V., 122, 265 Garcia-Molina, H., 18, 190, 226, 265, 382 Garofalakis, M., 153 Gaussian elimination, 159 Gehrke, J., 153, 265 Generalization, 421 Generated subgraph, 339 Genre, 297, 309, 321 GFS, see Google file system Ghemawat, S., 67 Gibbons, P.B., 153, 383 Gionis, A., 122, 153 Girvan, M., 382 Girvan–Newman Algorithm, 333 Global minimum, 314 GN Algorithm, see Girvan–Newman Algorithm Gobioff, H., 67 Golub, G.H., 414 Google, 155, 166, 276 Google file system, 22 Google+, 326 Gradient descent, 17, 320, 355, 442 Granzow, M., 414 Graph, 42, 54, 325, 326, 361, 368 Greedy algorithm, 270, 271, 274, 278 GRGPF Algorithm, 252 Grouping, 24, 31, 35 Grouping attribute, 31 Groupon, 329 Gruber, R.E., 67 Guha, S., 266 Gunda, P.K., 67 Gyongi, Z., 190 Hadoop, 22, 67 Hadoop distributed file system, 22 Hamming distance, 63, 91, 98 Harris, M., 321 Harshman, R., 414 Hash function, 8, 74, 78, 83, 129, 131, 134 Hash key, 9, 285 Hash table, 8, 10, 11, 200, 207, 209, 211, 285, 287, 362 Haveliwala, T.H., 190 HDFS, see Hadoop distributed file system Head, 372 Heavy hitter, 362 Henzinger, M., 122 Hierarchical clustering, 230, 232, 249, 310, 331 Hinge loss, 441 HITS, 182 Hive, 66, 67 Hopcroft, J.E., 374 Horn, H., 67 Howe, B., 67 Hsieh, W.C., 67 Hub, 182, 183 Hyperlink-induced topic search, see HITS Hyperplane, 436 Hyracks, 38 Identical documents, 111 Identity matrix, 386 IDF, see Inverse document frequency Image, 125, 297, 298 IMDB, see Internet Movie Database Imielinski, T., 226 Immediate subset, 218 Immorlica, N., 122 Important page, 155 Impression, 268 In-component, 159 Inaccessible page, 178 Independent rows or columns, 397 Index, 10, 362 Indyk, P., 122, 153 Initialize clusters, 242 Input, 54 Insertion, 90 Instance-based learning, 419 Interest, 196 Internet Movie Database, 297, 321 Interpolation, 450 Intersection, 31, 33, 38, 71 Into Thin Air, 295 Inverse document frequency, see also TF.IDF, 8 Inverted index, 155, 268 Ioannidis, Y.E., 382 IP packet, 125 Isard, M., 67 Isolated component, 160 Item, 191, 193, 194, 293, 308, 310 Item profile, 297, 299 Itemset, 191, 199, 201 Jaccard distance, 87, 88, 95, 298, 453 Jaccard similarity, 69, 77, 87, 177 Jacobsen, H.


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Arguing With Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future by Paul Krugman

affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, blockchain, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital asset pricing model, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, employer provided health coverage, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, frictionless, frictionless market, fudge factor, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, job automation, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, large denomination, liquidity trap, London Whale, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, quantitative easing, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the map is not the territory, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, universal basic income, very high income, working-age population

Yet for those who followed it, it was a deeply frightening event, not just for its immediate consequences—trillions of dollars were lost, tens of millions of people saw their lives disrupted—but as an omen. Circa 1996, the great majority of economists, myself included, believed that while the world was full of risks, one particular kind of risk, that of a 1930s-type depression, had been eliminated by the progress of economic knowledge. Such things have, after all, happened to other social ills. Back in 1854 Dr. John Snow realized that a cholera outbreak in London was tied to just one public pump; once epidemiologists realized that tainted water spread the disease, cholera epidemics became a thing of the past. Similarly, in 1936 John Maynard Keynes realized that inadequate spending and cascading bank failures were the cause of mass unemployment, and once policymakers came to understand that diagnosis, Great Depression–style slumps also became a thing of the past. Recessions, even nasty ones, didn’t stop happening; the U.S. unemployment rate hit almost 11 percent in 1982.

., 276, 381 and election (2000), 387 on health care, 47 as movement conservative, 299, 301 and national security, 306 and taxes, 215–16, 229, 299 Bush, Jeb, 60, 381 Bush (W.) administration: authoritarianism of, 301 bait-and-switch tactics of, 378–79, 387 compared to that of Trump, 9, 13 corruption of, 343 disdain for rule of law, 301 dishonesty of, 9, 25, 26–27, 93, 343, 377–78, 389 functions outsourced by, 299–300 general incompetence of, 300 and income distribution, 271 and Iraq war, 13, 26, 27, 299, 343, 381 reliance on elite consensus, 14 on Social Security privatization, 14–15, 22–24, 25–27, 28–29, 32, 302, 306, 361, 377, 378 tax cuts by, 16–17, 20, 26, 50 torture authorized by, 300 voting rights curtailed by, 300 business decisions, 227–28 California: health care in, 77 housing bubble in, 84 taxes in, 216, 229 Canada: health care in, 36, 45, 47, 48–49 imports from, 253, 255 unions in, 290 Cantor, Eric, 302–4, 386 cap-and-trade system, 339 Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), 135–36 capital gains: on houses, 87, 274 and income inequality, 273–74 inflation component of, 273 capitalism, voter confusion about, 320 capital market, 228 Capitol Hill Baby-Sitting Co-op, 137–38 carbon emissions, tax on, 339 Carter, Jimmy, 276 Cato Institute, 22, 23, 317, 320 caution, risk of, 104, 106, 107, 116–17 Cavuto, Neil, 44 Census data, 262–65, 263 capital gains omitted from, 264 Current Population Survey, 263, 264 and income distribution, 265–66, 266 top-coding, 264, 265 Center for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), 193 central banks, 103–4, 124, 128, 133, 181, 182, 409–10 centrists, 308 belief in symmetry between left and right, 28, 29, 309 double standards of, 208–9 influence of, 28 and public opinion, 298, 306 Century Foundation, 22 CEOs, compensation for, 259, 262, 265 Chandler, Raymond, The Simple Art of Murder, 327 Charity Watch, 388 Chávez, Hugo, 324 Cheney, Dick, 300, 381 Chicago School, 131, 143–44 child care, proposals on, 210, 211, 212 Chile, retirement system in, 22, 23 China: economy of, 324 U.S. trade with, 252, 254, 255 cholera, 81 Civil Rights Act (1964), 53 civil rights movement, 346 classless society, myth of, 285 climate change, 327–28 and alternative energies, 340 and corruption, 337 deniers of, 329–31, 332–34, 335–37, 365 and fossil fuels, 333, 336 global temperatures in, 330 greenhouse gases as a cause of, 330, 335, 339–40 and Green New Deal, 328, 338–40 “hockey stick” graph on, 328, 336 politicization of, 4 positive incentives in, 340 transition industries in, 340 and tropical storms, 330 Climategate, 336 Clinton, Bill: Gingrich’s attacks on, 362 and health care (1993), 35, 37, 50, 378 and income inequality, 271 smear tactics against, 380 and taxes, 7, 215 Clinton, Hillary: and election (2016), 376, 388–89 and health care, 50, 51–52 and income inequality, 291 smear tactics against, 380 Trump vs., 336, 343 Clinton Foundation, 388 “Closing the Skills Gap” (Dimon and Seltzer), 166–68 Coal and Steel Community (1952), 175 coal-fired power plants, 331 coal mining, 289, 340 Cochrane, John H., 131, 138, 143 cockroach ideas, 329 Cohen, Michael, 359 Cohn, Jonathan, 300 coins: gold and silver, 411, 412 college graduates, earnings of, 282, 283 Collins, Susan, 360 Comey, James, 336, 343 Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010 (Murray), 285–86 Commission on Economic Security (1934), 26 Common Market (1959), 175 Commonwealth Fund, 48 competition: imperfect, 400 perfect, 402 “confidence fairy,” belief in, 158, 160, 161 Congressional Budget Office (CBO), 19, 29, 54, 59, 195–96 budget and economic outlook of, 115–16 Green Book of, 265 and income inequality, 265–66, 266, 272–74, 285 and Ryan plan, 201, 202 Conscience of a Conservative, The (Goldwater), 300 conservatism: ambition of practitioners, 151 bad faith of, 7, 8, 10, 75, 149–51, 332–33 and bipartisanship, 198 compassionate conservatism, 378 confusion about socialism in, 323 democracy rejected by, 369 disinterest in good government, 300 and income inequality, 261–62, 266, 271–75 and Keynesian economics, 124 moral and intellectual decline of, 262 movement conservatism, 8, 297–98, 299–301, 302–4, 307, 343, 368 Orwellian instincts in, 281 permanent rule by, 13 Republican, see Republican Party taking credit for growth, 275–76 uses and abuses of statistics by, 262 wing-nut welfare as safety net for, 303 conservative professional economists, 149–51 conspiracy theories, 150, 337, 343, 345–46, 365 Constitution, U.S., 301 containerization, 289 Cornyn, John, 346 corporate profits, 228, 232–33 corporate taxes: avoidance vs. evasion of, 349 cuts in, 201, 202, 218, 221, 222, 227, 229, 230, 231–33, 232, 351 and stock buybacks, 227, 230 corporations: “bringing money home,” 230 cooking their books, 228, 230–31, 231 global, 231–32 profits to foreign nationals, 232–33 and trade war, 371 unrestricted power for, 318 corruption: and Bush administration, 343 and climate change, 337 in Europe, 358 in financial services, 92, 93 in highly unequal societies, 283, 324, 349–50, 358 and Republican Party, 335–37, 338, 343, 358 in trade policy, 246, 247, 254, 255 of Trump administration, 70, 246, 331, 338, 343, 349, 350 “Cost of Bad Ideas, The” (Krugman), 123–25 Council of Economic Advisers, and CEA calculation, 271–72 Cox, Christopher, 93 credit, 89, 90, 104 “Cruelty Caucus, The” (Krugman), 65–66 Cruz, Ted, 57, 225 Cruz amendment, 69 cryptocurrencies, 411–14 Crystal, Graef, 265 In Search of Excess, 262 Cuccinelli, Ken, 336 currency, 412–14 fiat, 412, 414 optimum currency areas, 177 Customs and Border Protection, 371 debt: and austerity policies, 97–99, 163–65, 203–4, 207–8 fear of, 107, 116 and G.D.P., 154, 204–5, 205 interest rates on, 204, 211 magic threshold of, 158, 385 overrated as issue, 194, 206, 208 problematic, 153 and sustainable growth rate, 153–54, 204 and taxes, 154, 222–23, 224–26 tipping point of, 165 and total wealth, 154 Trump’s SOTU on, 207–9 winter of, 203–6 “debt scolds,” 204, 205, 206 “deficit scolds,” 194, 207, 209 deficit spending, 153, 218 deleveraging, 97 DeLong, Brad, 131, 143–44, 270, 316, 407 democracy: threats in Europe to, 188, 189, 344, 346, 358, 359 threats in U.S. to, 366, 367–69 Democratic Party: basic values of, 366 center-left position of, 28, 306, 310 and civil rights, 310 future plans for, 338 and Green New Deal, 338–40 and health care, 36, 55, 77, 78 House majority of, 338 impact in state governments, 77, 78 as loose coalition of interest groups, 297, 368 and midterm elections, 76, 194, 338, 344, 367 policy analysis by, 73 social democratic aspect of, 313–14, 321 and Social Security, 29, 30 subpoena power of, 338 De-Moralization of Society (Himmelfarb), 285–86 Denmark, economy of, 184, 239, 313, 317, 319–21, 323 deregulation, 370, 371, 409 derivatives, 135 “Developing a Positive Agenda” (Krugman), 35–37 Dew-Becker, Ian, 283 Diamond, Peter, 234–35, 236 diminishing marginal utility, 235 Dimon, Jamie, 166 dishonesty, power of, 324 “Dismal Science, The” (Krugman), 393–94 Dixit, Avinash K., 396–98, 405 dollar, international value of, 228 Donors Trust, 333 “Don’t Blame Robots for Low Wages” (Krugman), 260, 288–90 dot-com bubble, 90 double talk, political, 222, 225–26 Dow 36,000 (Gleason and Hassett), 84, 86 Draghi, Mario, 181–83 dumping, and tariffs, 252 Duncan, Greg, 277 economic analysis, importance of, 383–84, 386, 400 economic freedom, 317–18, 317 economic geography, 398–99, 400, 403 economic growth: (1982–1984), 215 long-term, 275–76 post–World War II, 219, 234 so-so, 315 taking credit for, 275–76 and taxes, 236–37, 236 economic models: Arrow-Debreu model, 402 CAPM, 135–36 Heckscher-Ohlin, 400–401, 403 importance of, 400 as metaphors, 400, 402 minimalist, 403 monopolistic competition models, 396–98 and neoclassical theory, 140 purposes of, 112 economic policy, failure of, 407 economics: behavioral, 146 easy questions in, 6 golden era of, 130–31 Keynesian, see Keynesian economics mathematics in, 131 monetary, 176 “neoclassical,” 132, 133, 139–40, 147 and politics, 149–51 “positive” vs.

It’s a deeply reasonable approach—but it’s also intellectually unstable. For it requires some strategic inconsistency in how you think about the economy. When you’re doing micro, you assume rational individuals and rapidly clearing markets; when you’re doing macro, frictions and ad hoc behavioral assumptions are essential. So what? Inconsistency in the pursuit of useful guidance is no vice. The map is not the territory, and it’s O.K. to use different kinds of maps depending on what you’re trying to accomplish: if you’re driving, a road map suffices, if you’re going hiking, you really need a topo. But economists were bound to push at the dividing line between micro and macro—which in practice has meant trying to make macro more like micro, basing more and more of it on optimization and market-clearing. And if the attempts to provide “microfoundations” fell short?


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Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, Linda Lear, Edward O. Wilson

John Snow's cholera map, Robert Metcalfe

Despite the prominence that "magic bullets" and "wonder drugs" hold in the layman's mind, most of the really decisive battles in the war against infectious disease consisted of measures to eliminate disease organisms from the environment. An example from history concerns the great outbreak of cholera in London more than one hundred years ago. A London physician, John Snow, mapped the occurrence of cases and found they originated in one area, all of whose inhabitants drew their water from one pump located on Broad Street. In a swift and decisive practice of preventive medicine, Dr. Snow removed the handle from the pump. The epidemic was thereby brought under control—not by a magic pill that killed the (then unknown) organism of cholera, but by eliminating the organism from the environment. Even therapeutic measures have the important result not only of curing the patient but of reducing the foci of infection.

Until a large-scale conversion to these methods has been made, we shall have little relief from a situation that, by any common-sense standards, is intolerable. As matters stand now, we are in little better position than the guests of the Borgias. 12. The Human Price AS THE TIDE of chemicals born of the Industrial Age has arisen to engulf our environment, a drastic change has come about in the nature of the most serious public health problems. Only yesterday mankind lived in fear of the scourges of smallpox, cholera, and plague that once swept nations before them. Now our major concern is no longer with the disease organisms that once were omnipresent; sanitation, better living conditions, and new drugs have given us a high degree of control over infectious disease. Today we are concerned with a different kind of hazard that lurks in our environment—a hazard we ourselves have introduced into our world as our modern way of life has evolved.


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Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life by Eric Klinenberg

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, assortative mating, basic income, big-box store, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, East Village, Filter Bubble, ghettoisation, helicopter parent, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, late fees, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, universal basic income, urban planning, young professional

“Most of this work was descriptive and offered theories,” writes the University of Pennsylvania criminologist John MacDonald, “but did not attempt to provide guidance on how to curb crime.” He compares this tradition, unfavorably, with the work of British health scholars, most notably John Snow, whose research on cholera “noted the importance of the spatial environment in shaping human health and suggested the separation of sewers and drinking water wells to prevent water-borne diseases.” Reducing crime is more difficult than preventing cholera, but MacDonald, who’s done pioneering experimental research on how places influence crime rates, is one of many contemporary environmental criminologists with something new and significant to offer. Social scientists have long played a major role in shaping crime policies.

I came back to Chicago whenever I could and eventually moved there to conduct fieldwork, turning my family’s basement into an operations center and making the heat wave the subject of my dissertation. Like the CDC, I conducted my own comparison of “matched pairs,” only I was looking at how the heat wave affected entire neighborhoods, not just individuals. To get oriented, I found a map of heat deaths and laid it over various maps of poverty, violence, segregation, and aging in Chicago neighborhoods. I identified adjacent communities that had similar demographic profiles yet sharply different rates of heat wave mortality. I ran the numbers, analyzing all the neighborhood data that social scientists ordinarily use, but none of the standard variables could explain the divergent outcomes. So I turned off my computer and hit the streets.

presence of gangs and guns: The USDA classifies food deserts as urban areas in which at least five hundred people or one-third of the population lives more than half a mile from a supermarket, supercenter, or large grocery store. In rural areas, the distance must be greater than ten miles. Delaram Takyar, an NYU graduate student and research assistant for this book, calculated the percentage of low-income census tracts by using data from the USDA Food Access Research Atlas. fortunate enough to live near them: See the interactive map at the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project, http://cuamp.org/​#/searchGardens?q=-1&q=-2&community=-1&ward=-1&boardDistrict=-1&municipality=-1. overheated urban environments: American Public Health Association, Improving Health and Wellness Through Access to Nature, November 5, 2013, https://www.apha.org/​policies-and-advocacy/​public-health-policy-statements/​policy-database/​2014/​07/​08/​09/​18/​improving-health-and-wellness-through-access-to-nature.


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Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Heeks calls this model “para-poor”: outsiders work alongside members of poor communities in “participative, user-engaged design processes.”43 As the movement evolves, and technologies like the mobile phone trickle down, Heeks envisions a second shift to “per-poor” innovation, done entirely by and for the poor. While Map Kibera is clearly a para-poor project, with Westerners bringing in new technology and design ideas, it has created a framework on which per-poor innovation can happen. Mapping has tremendous power to improve the slums of the developing world. John Snow’s map of cholera deaths in 1850s London recast the public understanding of slum conditions, and spurred reforms that eventually rid the city of the disease for good. In India, slum mapping is helping change the practice of city planning, which long considered those communities “chaotic masses rather than coherent urban areas,” according to Shelter Associates.44 But in both cases, governments responded achingly slowly. Map Kibera offers the hope that by using maps to power community-based initiatives, rather than simply lobby government, progress will be faster.

Sealed in their plastic tomb, disease-carrying microbes have a much harder time spreading. Cholera, dispersed through London’s contaminated water supply, killed more than ten thousand people in 1853–54 alone.36 Kibera has its share of water-borne disease but nothing on that scale. Home to an estimated 250,000 residents, Kibera is one of Africa’s largest slums.37 But if you looked it up on Google Maps in 2008 and toggled between the satellite view and street-map view, you could make it disappear. One second it was there, a zoomable patina of corrugated tin shacks amid a rich tapestry of alleys and roads, unable to hide from a camera floating in space. Then it was gone, replaced by a blank spot drawn from a government map that still identified the area as the forest that previously stood there. Kibera’s omission spoke volumes about how officials and the public saw it.

Once upon a time, pedestrians in American and European cities lived in fear of airborne feces: before modern sanitation was introduced, the cry of “Gardez l’eau” (literally “Look out for the water!”) would herald the evacuation of one’s chamber pot into the street.34 As cities like London boomed during the nineteenth century, every available body of water, from creeks to rivers to ponds, became an open cesspool. Only repeated cholera epidemics, and the “Great Stink” of 1858 (which forced Parliament to soak the curtains of the House of Commons in lime to mask the foul odor of the Thames River) would spur government action.35 Today, this ugly practice has reemerged for a whole new generation of city dwellers in the developing world, an ad hoc adaptation to unplanned urban growth and a lack of investment in sanitation. In the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, in place of chamber pots the residents of the massive Kibera slum have put the ubiquitous plastic bag to work.


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The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor by William Easterly

"Robert Solow", air freight, Andrei Shleifer, battle of ideas, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, Carmen Reinhart, clean water, colonial rule, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, Francisco Pizarro, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, greed is good, Gunnar Myrdal, income per capita, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, M-Pesa, microcredit, Monroe Doctrine, oil shock, place-making, Ponzi scheme, risk/return, road to serfdom, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, young professional

Princeton Professor Angus Deaton shows in his 2013 book, The Great Escape, that understanding (which led to correcting) this problem had the largest single effect on child mortality in rich countries over this period. We will see in a future chapter how free societies are the best option for scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs. Here we just note in passing that the germ theory of disease needed to arrive in New York. It did so later in the nineteenth century, mainly through research from England. The physician John Snow’s famous identification of a particular water pump in London as the source of the contaminated water that spread cholera in 1854 London was a key turning point.27 Virtually all the scientific discoveries that also enable progress today on child mortality in poor countries were made in free societies. The next problem after understanding the science was indeed the lack of proper water and sanitation in New York. It took a while for the germ theory to get translated into government action on these services.

In 1842, the government finished the Croton Aqueduct to bring drinking water to the city. Between 1849 and 1865, the new Croton Aqueduct department also laid down a network of sewer pipes.29 (Prior to that effort, the word sewer just referred to an open ditch down the middle of residential streets.) 30 An 1851 map showed the sewer line had reached the Greene Street block, although that was as far north as it went on Greene. Coverage for the city was still minimal. In 1856, New York had about 10,000 “water closets” featuring piped-in water and piped-out sewage for a population of 630,000.31 Political reform movements demanded more. Epidemics of cholera (1849, 1854, 1866) and typhus (1851, 1864) helped them make their case.32 As we have seen with the death of Benjamin Seixas’s brother Myer from typhus, contagious diseases were a problem for all classes of society. With contagion, the health of the neighborhood of the rich was also affected by conditions in the neighborhood of the poor.

But he and his family would also suffer from the failure of New York’s and America’s development on health as of 1850. Benjamin and his wife Mary had the tragedy of seeing three of their ten children die as infants (and a fourth would die later at age eighteen). First, their daughter Sara died at three months of age in 1842. In 1849, at eight months of age, their son Daniel died of convulsions (possibly reflecting acute dehydration from a diarrheal disease like cholera). In 1852, their son Washington died at eight months.23 Benjamin’s relatives, even his wealthy stockbroker cousins Mendes Nathan and Benjamin Nathan, did not escape health tragedies. Benjamin Nathan’s daughter Luisa died of scarlet fever at age five on Bleecker Street in 1852. The next year his son Lucien died at the age of seven months.24 Mendes Nathan, down Greene Street from Benjamin Seixas at 22 Greene, saw his daughter Constance die from dysentery at the age of nineteen months in 1849.


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I Think You'll Find It's a Bit More Complicated Than That by Ben Goldacre

call centre, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, Desert Island Discs, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Firefox, Flynn Effect, jimmy wales, John Snow's cholera map, Loebner Prize, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, placebo effect, publication bias, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Simon Singh, statistical model, stem cell, the scientific method, Turing test, WikiLeaks

Perhaps the average distance from a mast in any urban area is less than the average distance for the whole country, because masts tend to be clustered in urban areas, where the people are (like postboxes, or corner shops). Maybe densely populated poor areas with less political influence have more masts foisted upon them by planning committees, and maybe these poor areas also have more suicides. Or maybe Dr Coghill is on to something? Clusters on maps have been the beginning of several interesting stories in epidemiology, including John Snow’s discovering, in 1854, that the Broad Street pump was responsible for the Soho cholera outbreak. I asked Dr Coghill which ‘averages’ he meant. But he would not tell me. Who is Dr Coghill? He says he doesn’t have a doctorate, and that the Express made a mistake. Does he ‘sit on a government advisory committee on mobile radiation’? Sort of. Mr Coghill participates in something called SAGE, a ‘stakeholder’ group which discusses power cables (not mobile phones) and is run at the request of the Department of Health by RK Partnerships Ltd, a company that specialises in mediation, facilitation and conflict resolution.

(Goldacre report for UK education minister) 202–18 Bundesbank 56 Burstow, Paul 174–6 Bush, George W. 13, 185, 298, 316 Cabinet Office White Paper on using randomised controlled trials to improve government policy, 2011 202n Cambridge Film Festival 281, 283 Cambridge University 102, 226, 352, 355 Cameron, David 173 Campbell, Denis 343, 344, 346, 347–55 cancer: bladder cancer and fluoride 24–5; bladder cancer and swimming in chlorinated water 342; bowel cancer rates, UK 101–4; brain cancer and mobile phones 116–18; breast cancer and abortion 200–1; breast cancer and diet 338–40; breast cancer and red wine 269; breast cancer screening 114–15; care.data and 78, 83; cervical cancer jab 331–4; using Facebook and 221; herbal medicine and 265, 267; lung cancer and alcohol 107–9; prostate cancer 144; smoking and 3, 22, 319; trials published, only one in four 146; UK survival rates 169–71, 173; urinary tract 265; vaccination and 267, 331–4 Cancer Research UK 339 capital punishment, murder rates and 311–12 Cardiff University 29–31, 40 CardioSEAL 248 care.data 77–86 Cataldo, Janine 20–1 Caterson, Professor 30, 31 Catholic Church, condoms and xx, 183–5, 186 caveats in newspaper articles 338–40 Cellarnot 123 censorship, Brain Gym and 10–12 Central TV 269, 270 Cervarix 332, 333 cervical cancer 332–4 chance, certainty of 56–8 Channel 4 News 118, 121, 197, 251 Charlton, Bruce 140–1, 145 chatnannies.com 393, 395 cherry-picking scientific literature xvii, 5–8, 12, 174, 176–7, 192, 193, 252, 336, 349, 355 Chief Medical Officer for Wales 12 child abuse xix, 157–9, 391–5 children, critiques of adult pseudoscience by 10–12 Chimoio, Archbishop Francisco 183–4 China: girls’ love of pink and 44–5 Chinese traditional medicine xix, 265–7, 388 chlorthalidone 119–20 cholera, Soho outbreak, 1854 365 Christian Medical Fellowship 197 Church, Dr Timothy 336–7 CIA 357 cigarette packaging xxi, 318–21 Cirak, Sebahattin 121 Circulation 248 ‘citation classics’ 9–10, 102–3, 173 Citation, network of 26–7 ClimateSock 96 Clinical Trials Units 217 clustered water 388–9 clusters on maps 364–6 coalition government, UK, 2010–14: drugs addicts and sentencing policy 177–9; NHS reform 73, 169–77; ‘Programme for Government’ 177 Cochrane, Archie 209–10, 211, 218, 252, 297–300 Cochrane Group 298 Cochrane Library 298, 300, 336 cod liver oil 29–31 Coe, Robert 189 coffee, hallucinatory effects of 64–6 Coghill, Dr Roger 363–7 College of Natural Nutrition 268, 270 Colquhoun, Professor David 252, 266 Coma Science Group, Belgium 326 comas, communication in xxi, 324–6 Commonwealth Games, 2022 156 Complementary and Alternative Therapy magazine 278 Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council, the (CNHC) 266 computer games, dementia and 3–5 condoms, Catholic Church and xx, 183–5, 186 conference papers 193 conflict-of-interest stories 402 conformity, studies on 15–17 confounding variables xviii, 107–9, 111 Congolese Bishops’ Conference 183 Conservative Party 150, 180, 201 Copp, Professor Andrew 120–2 copy number variants (CNV) 40 copyright 33, 76 cosmetics companies xxii, 254–7, 388–9 Cosmos 250 council overspending xix, 152–4 creationism 13, 281, 284 crime: outrage is lower when a criminal has more victims xxi, 306–9; prevention numbers and DNA database xix, 162–5; sentencing policy 177–9 Crohns Disease 12 Daily Express: council wastage story 152–3; ‘Mum Beats Odds of 50 Million-to-One to Have 3 Babies on Same Date’ story 49; ‘Danger from just 7 cups of coffee a day’ story 64–6; ‘Record numbers of people are being handed antidepressants’ story 105; ‘stilettos tone up your legs’ story 341 Daily Mail 25; breast enhancement cream story 255; cod liver oil ‘nature’s superdrug’ story 29; ‘Council incompetence ‘“costs every household £452 a year’’’ story 152; ‘Up to 10bn a year is wasted by clueless councils’ story 152; ‘Economic woes fuel dramatic rise in use of antidepressants’ story 104–5; ‘How Using Facebook Could Raise your Risk of Cancer’ story 221; increase in number of Down’s syndrome babies story 61, 63; music piracy stories 159–60; prehistoric monuments on a grid of isosceles triangles stories 66, 67; psychological nature of libido problems story 37; sending babies to daycare causes damage to future health story 5–6; ‘Strict diet two days a week “cuts risk of breast cancer by 40 per cent’’’ story 338–9; ‘Swimming too Often in Chlorinated Water “Could Increase Risk of Developing Bladder Cancer’’, Say Scientists’ story 342 Daily Mirror: Down’s syndrome births increase story and 61, 63; reporter has compressed molecule hair treatment 389 Daily Telegraph: British forces seizure of Afghan heroin story 221; ‘Doctors say no to abortion in their surgeries’ story 89–91; ‘economic woes fuel dramatic rise in use of anti-depressants’ story 104–7; ‘IVF children have bigger vocabulary than unplanned children’ story 107; Krügel missing person locator story 275–6; ‘Man Cut Off Own Head with Chainsaw’ story 362; nutritionists, coverage of 268, 269; pornography for sperm donors story 179–82; public sector pay stories 149, 150, 151; Reform: ‘The Value of Mathematics’, coverage of 194; Sarah’s Law prevention of abuse figures story, coverage of 159; ‘why stilettos are the secret to shapely legs’ story 341; ‘wind farms blamed for stranding of whales’ story 340–1; ‘women who dress provocatively more likely to be raped, claim scientists’ story 329 Dangerous Drugs Act, 1920 229 Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire 358–9 datamining, terrorism and 51–3 Davies, Nick 227 Davies, Philip 318 Dawkins, Richard 13 daycare, development of child brain and 5–8 Deer, Brian 354, 357–8 Deleuze, Gilles 297, 298 dementia, computer games and 3–5 Deming, Dr W.

view=long &pmid=10195966 a significant decrease: http://www.springerlink.com/content/98rw3lycjnkgg9a3/ Roger Coghill and the Aids Test Roger Coghill: http://www.badscience.net/2008/06/roger-coghill-fails-the-aids-test/ linked to phone masts: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/49330/Suicides-linked-to-phone-masts- evidence of a possible link: http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/healthy living/cancercontroversies/howdoweknow/ Broad Street pump: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Snow_(physician) a ‘stakeholder’ group: http://www.rkpartnership.co.uk/sage/ specialises in mediation: http://www.rkpartnership.co.uk/whatwedo.php their last document: http://www.rkpartnership.co.uk/sage/Public/SAGE first interim assessment.pdf angel investment: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/business-in-wales/business-news/2008/02/02/business-angel-supplements-for-launch-91466-20426842/ ‘Asphalia’: http://www.asphalia.co.uk/ visited his website: http://www.galonja.co.uk/ protection equipment: http://www.galonja.co.uk/galonja_shop/product.asp?


pages: 1,034 words: 241,773

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Arthur Eddington, artificial general intelligence, availability heuristic, Ayatollah Khomeini, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwork universe, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Doomsday Clock, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, endogenous growth, energy transition, European colonialism, experimental subject, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, first-past-the-post, Flynn Effect, food miles, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, frictionless market, germ theory of disease, Gini coefficient, Hans Rosling, hedonic treadmill, helicopter parent, Hobbesian trap, humanitarian revolution, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, income inequality, income per capita, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of writing, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, l'esprit de l'escalier, Laplace demon, life extension, long peace, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Nelson Mandela, New Journalism, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, open economy, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, precision agriculture, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Richard Feynman, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Saturday Night Live, science of happiness, Scientific racism, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Simon Kuznets, Skype, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, union organizing, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y2K

Handwashing, midwifery, mosquito control, and especially the protection of drinking water by public sewerage and chlorinated tap water would come to save billions of lives. Before the 20th century, cities were piled high in excrement, their rivers and lakes viscous with waste, and their residents drinking and washing their clothes in putrid brown liquid.3 Epidemics were blamed on miasmas—foul-smelling air—until John Snow (1813–1858), the first epidemiologist, determined that cholera-stricken Londoners got their water from an intake pipe that was downstream from an outflow of sewage. Doctors themselves used to be a major health hazard as they went from autopsy to examining room in black coats encrusted with dried blood and pus, probed their patients’ wounds with unwashed hands, and sewed them up with sutures they kept in their buttonholes, until Ignaz Semmelweis (1818–1865) and Joseph Lister (1827–1912) got them to sterilize their hands and equipment.

[A mother was found dead] with her body sprawled across the bed . . . black vomit like coffee grounds spattered all over . . . the children rolling on the floor, groaning.”2 The rich were not spared: in 1836, the wealthiest man in the world, Nathan Meyer Rothschild, died of an infected abscess. Nor the powerful: various British monarchs were cut down by dysentery, smallpox, pneumonia, typhoid, tuberculosis, and malaria. American presidents, too, were vulnerable: William Henry Harrison fell ill shortly after his inauguration in 1841 and died of septic shock thirty-one days later, and James Polk succumbed to cholera three months after leaving office in 1849. As recently as 1924, the sixteen-year-old son of a sitting president, Calvin Coolidge Jr., died of an infected blister he got while playing tennis. Ever-creative Homo sapiens had long fought back against disease with quackery such as prayer, sacrifice, bloodletting, cupping, toxic metals, homeopathy, and squeezing a hen to death against an infected body part.

But David Deutsch points out that those civilizations could have thwarted the fatal blows had they had better agricultural, medical, or military technology: Before our ancestors learned how to make fire artificially (and many times since then too), people must have died of exposure literally on top of the means of making the fires that would have saved their lives, because they did not know how. In a parochial sense, the weather killed them; but the deeper explanation is lack of knowledge. Many of the hundreds of millions of victims of cholera throughout history must have died within sight of the hearths that could have boiled their drinking water and saved their lives; but, again, they did not know that. Quite generally, the distinction between a “natural” disaster and one brought about by ignorance is parochial. Prior to every natural disaster that people once used to think of as “just happening,” or being ordained by gods, we now see many options that the people affected failed to take—or, rather, to create.


pages: 366 words: 76,476

Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking) by Christian Rudder

4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bitcoin, cloud computing, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, Howard Zinn, Jaron Lanier, John Markoff, John Snow's cholera map, lifelogging, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, p-value, pre–internet, race to the bottom, selection bias, Snapchat, social graph, Solar eclipse in 1919, Steve Jobs, the scientific method

Charles Minard’s plot of Napoleon’s Russian undoing. An unnamed abolitionist’s Description of a Slave Ship, showing the human cargo packed in inhuman closeness, an image that is still the iconic shorthand for the horrors of the Middle Passage. Dr. John Snow’s plot of a cholera outbreak in 1854 pinpointed the source of the disease for the first time. Tufte pulls lessons from these and makes them useful in a modern context, asking the data designer to maximize the data-to-ink ratio. Give every chart a clear story to tell. Use color to call out data’s red heart. Use white as dimension, not dead space. I’ve tried my best. Among the many maps and charts and tables in Tufte’s books, there’s a two-page examination of the Vietnam Memorial, not as stonework or as history, but as an artifact of data design. I wish I could reprint the full discussion here, but the kernel is this: From a distance the entire collection of names of 58,000 dead soldiers arrayed on the black granite yields a visual measure of what 58,000 means, as the letters of each name blur into a gray shape, cumulating to the final toll.

Here you see a plot This map, like all the full US maps in this chapter, and the Reddit plot, was made by James Dowdell. This one was made using a standard Voronoi partition of the United States, which each Craigslist market serving as the “capital” of a “state” (called “seeds” and “cells”). Though the plot looks complex, it’s actually very elegant: the segments are all the points equidistant to the two nearest seeds. I’ve seen various other versions of this same plot. My version was inspired by one made by IDV Solutions and posted by “john.nelson” on their UX blog: uxblog.idvsolutions.com/2011/07/chalkboard-maps-united-states-of.html. venue of longing is Walmart This is the same Voronoi plot, but combined with the by-state data from Dorothy Gambrell’s “Missed Connections” map, published in Psychology Today.

Matthew Zook, a geographer Professor Zook and his team maintain a fantastic geography blog called Floating Sheep, and that blog was my primary source for his work: floatingsheep.org. The earthquake discussion and the map are drawn from “Mapping the Eastern Kentucky Earthquake” posted on the Floating Sheep blog by Taylor Shelton. My image is a reproduction of the original, simplified for print: floatingsheep.org/2012/11/mapping-eastern-kentucky-earthquake.html. The DOLLY team is Matthew Zook, Mark Graham, Taylor Shelton, Monica Stephens, and Ate Poorthuis. Poorthuis narrates the Sint Maarten walkthrough, which can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=pD9HWAaQGUA. My discussion of the student riot is drawn from the paper “Beyond the Geotag: Situating ‘Big Data’ and Leveraging the Potential of the Geoweb,” by Jeremy W. Crampton et al., Cartography and Geographic Information Science 40, no. 2 (2013): 130–39.


Lonely Planet London by Lonely Planet

Boris Johnson, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, congestion charging, discovery of the americas, East Village, Etonian, financial independence, haute couture, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, low cost airline, Mahatma Gandhi, market design, place-making, post-work, Skype, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent

There are frequent club nights in the downstairs area, including the popular Industri on Wednesday (Click here) and Comedy Camp Offline map Google map (Click here) on Tuesdays. John Snow Pub Offline map Google map (39 Broadwick St W1; Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus) This used to be one of Soho’s most popular pubs, but after throwing out a gay couple for kissing in April 2011, its popularity nose-dived. It’s a shame because it is otherwise a classic pub, with no music, just plenty of chat and cheap ale, lager, bitter and stout from British brewery Sam Smith’s. Endurance Pub Offline map Google map (90 Berwick St W1; Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus) A Soho favourite, the Endurance has a retro jukebox that’s full of indie hits, there’s good wine and draught ales to be savoured, and there’s decent food too; Sundays tend to be very quiet. Often the crowd spills outside in the evening, and daytime drinks afford good views of Berwick Street Market (Click here) buzz.

Museums with special nocturnal events or late-night opening hours include the following: Sir John Soane’s Museum Offline map Google map (Click here) Evenings of the first Tuesday of each month are illuminated by candlelight, so the atmosphere is even more magical (very popular, so there are always long queues). National Portrait Gallery Offline map Google map (Click here) Open till 9pm Thursday and Friday. Tate Modern Offline map Google map (Click here) Open till 10pm Friday and Saturday. Tate Britain Offline map Google map (Click here) Open till 10pm on first Friday of the month. British Museum Offline map Google map (Click here) Open till 8.30pm on Friday. Science Museum Offline map Google map (Click here) Open till 7pm during school holidays. Natural History Museum Offline map Google map (Click here) Organises night safaris and sleepovers (Click here).

Here are just a few: Dulwich Picture Gallery (Click here) Art classes for adults and children at all levels, holiday workshops, creative workshops, architecture education classes and three-day summer courses. National Gallery Offline map Google map (Click here) Hosts a variety of art-themed talks, lectures and free drawing sessions, plus school holiday activities; some free. National Portrait Gallery Offline map Google map (Click here) Range of art-centred activities, workshops, drop-in drawing sessions and talks; some free. Tate Modern Offline map Google map (Click here) A whole range of fascinating workshops, classes and talks, plus online art courses; some free. British Museum Offline map Google map (Click here) Range of activities, study days, workshops and short courses. Tate Britain Offline map Google map (Click here) Art courses (including introduction to drawing), workshops, talks and discussions. Victoria & Albert Museum Offline map Google map (Click here) Workshops, classes, lectures and more.


pages: 316 words: 90,165

You Are Here: From the Compass to GPS, the History and Future of How We Find Ourselves by Hiawatha Bray

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, British Empire, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, crowdsourcing, Dava Sobel, digital map, don't be evil, Edmond Halley, Edward Snowden, Firefox, game design, Google Earth, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, Isaac Newton, job automation, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, license plate recognition, lone genius, openstreetmap, polynesian navigation, popular electronics, RAND corporation, RFID, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Thales of Miletus, trade route, turn-by-turn navigation, uranium enrichment, urban planning, Zipcar

As their databases became deeper and more geographically precise, cartographers painted layers of valuable georeferenced information onto more and more maps. German mapmaker August Crome created an economic map of Europe in the late eighteenth century showing where key industrial commodities were produced. In 1798 a New York physician named Valentine Seaman created possibly the first map to depict the incidence and spread of a disease—in this case yellow fever, at the time rampant in Lower Manhattan. In 1801 the first major map of the geology of England and Wales was published, and in 1854 British physician John Snow gained national renown for his map of a cholera outbreak in London. By mapping the homes of the victims and the nearby sources of drinking water, Snow proved that the disease had been spread by the water from a particular public well, which had been contaminated with human waste.1 No one questioned the value of thematic maps, only their cost.

With the Google Maps API, a website can easily include an embedded map that points visitors to the corporate headquarters, the nearest branch office, or the church where the wedding takes place in two weeks. Website developers were enthralled by the Google service. In 2012 the company estimated that 800,000 websites make use of the Google Maps API.3 And although most people don’t know an API from a chimpanzee, they certainly noticed the excellent maps that appeared on so many of their favorite sites, each prominently displaying the Google brand. It was advertising at its most effective. Generally, you saw a MapQuest map only when you visited the MapQuest website. Google’s maps were everywhere. Little by little, Google Maps gained market share from MapQuest. As of April 2012 Google Maps was America’s leading travel website, with 79 million visitors that month.

With tools like Ushahidi, it becomes relatively simple to overlay human needs and concerns onto our maps of the world, especially since the maps themselves exist primarily as easily modified digital files. Yet despite appearances, these maps are ultimately controlled by the powerful agencies that create them—governments and large corporations like Google that have spent millions building their vast geographic databases. Then again, the same inexpensive digital tools that enabled the creation of Ushahidi have made it possible for determined amateurs to map entire nations almost from scratch and create new maps that belong to everyone. In 2004 a British software entrepreneur named Steve Coast wanted to include customized maps on his website. To his surprise he learned that the mapping data would come at a ruinous price. If Coast had wanted to make a map of the United States, he could have freely downloaded information from the TIGER database and modified it to fit his needs.


pages: 367 words: 99,765

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks by Ken Jennings

Asperger Syndrome, augmented reality, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, British Empire, clean water, David Brooks, digital map, don't be evil, dumpster diving, Eratosthenes, game design, Google Earth, helicopter parent, hive mind, index card, John Harrison: Longitude, John Snow's cholera map, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Journalism, openstreetmap, place-making, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Skype, Stewart Brand, Tacoma Narrows Bridge, traveling salesman, urban planning

I feel a little twinge of vertigo—not just that I’m holding in my hands a map personally drawn by The Father of His Country, Mr. First President, Ol’ Ivory Teeth himself, but also that this priceless artifact is sitting seemingly unnoticed in a nondescript drawer (“Virginia 3884.A”), lost among dozens of similar maps. The number of mind-blowing items like this one in the library’s collection is powerful testimony to the omnipresent Zelig-like role that maps have played, always just behind the scenes, in the history of the world. I already described how Columbus’s fateful voyage was inspired by his study of a map by Paolo Toscanelli. But there was also the 1854 cholera outbreak in London, which killed hundreds of people until a physician, John Snow, drew a map demonstrating that a single contaminated water pump was the source of the illness, thereby founding the science of epidemiology.

As a species, the loss of our spatial abilities might be a tragedy, but to a map nerd, an even sadder casualty of the digital map revolution might be paper maps themselves. As I wander into downtown Seattle’s biggest map store, I notice immediately that its new location, near the tourist-packed Pike Place Market, displays fewer travel maps than the previous store did. The cabinet of USGS topographical maps on the back wall is usually left alone; hikers get the trail maps they need on their cell phones. “The map business has slowed down a lot,” the store’s co-owner tells me. She gestures vaguely to a rack of folded pocket maps. “When a new map like that came out, we used to have to order twenty, twenty-five of them, or we’d sell out. Now we’re lucky to sell one or two. We hope we can stay alive by diversifying.” Indeed, this nominal “map store” now fills most of its space with travel items (backpacks and guidebooks) and vaguely geographical gifts (national flags, dodecahedral Earth globes, and novelty wall maps that use some design gimmick—$3,500 in rare hardwoods, for example, or cleverly placed notes on a series of musical staffs—to delineate the continents).

For other kids, it was the globe in Dad’s study, or the atlas stretched out on the shag carpeting of the living room, or a free gas station map during a family vacation to Yosemite. (Many cases of twentieth-century American map geekdom, it seems, began the same way that many twentieth-century Americans began: conceived in the backseats of Buicks.) But whatever the map, all it takes is one. Cartophilia, the love of maps, is a love at first sight. It must be predestined, written somewhere in the chromosomes. It’s been this way for centuries. That wooden map puzzle that took my map virginity when I was three? Those date back to the 1760s, when they were called “dissected maps” and were wildly popular toys, the ancestors of all modern jigsaw puzzles. For Victorian children, the most common first map was a page in a family or school Bible, since a map of the Holy Land was often the only color plate in a vast sea of “begat“s and “behold“s.


Lonely Planet London City Guide by Tom Masters, Steve Fallon, Vesna Maric

Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, Clapham omnibus, congestion charging, dark matter, discovery of the americas, double helix, East Village, financial independence, first-past-the-post, ghettoisation, haute cuisine, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, market design, Nelson Mandela, place-making, South of Market, San Francisco, Stephen Hawking, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal, Winter of Discontent, young professional

The Endurance has a retro jukebox that’s full of indie hits, there’s good wine and draught ales to be savoured, and there’s decent food too; Sundays are quiet and good for a long, newspaper-reading lunch. Often the crowds spill outside in the evenings, and daytime drinks afford good views of Berwick Street market buzz. FRENCH HOUSE Map Bar 7437 2799; 49 Dean St W1; Leicester Sq French House is Soho’s legendary boho boozer (with a good restaurant downstairs) with a history to match: this was the meeting place of the Free French Forces during WWII, and De Gaulle is said to have drunk here often, while Dylan Thomas, Peter O’Toole and Francis Bacon all frequently ended up on the wooden floors. Come here to sip on Ricard, French wine or Kronenbourg and check out the quirky locals. JOHN SNOW Map Pub 7437 1344; 39 Broadwick St W1; Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus This is one of Soho’s most popular pubs, as attested by the crowds inside, in winter, and outside, in spring and summer, on almost any day of the week.

For a more complete list check under ‘Embassies & Consulates’ in the central London Yellow Pages (www.yell.co.uk). Australia (Map; 7379 4334; www.australia.org.uk; Australia House, The Strand WC2; Holborn or Temple) Belgium (Map; 7470 3700; www.diplomatie.be/london; 17 Grosvenor Cres SW1; Victoria) Canada Embassy (Map; 7258 6476; www.canada.org.uk; Canada House, Trafalgar Sq SW1; Charing Cross); Consulate (Map; 7258 6600; 1 Grosvenor Square, W1; Bond St) France (Map; 7073 1000; www.ambafrance-uk.org; 58 Knightsbridge SW1; Knightsbridge) Germany (Map; 7824 1300; www.london.diplo.de; 23 Belgrave Sq SW1; Hyde Park Corner) Ireland (Map; 7235 2171; www.embassyofireland.co.uk; 17 Grosvenor Pl SW1; Hyde Park Corner) Netherlands (Map; 7590 3200; www.netherlands-embassy.org.uk; 38 Hyde Park Gate SW7; Gloucester Rd) New Zealand (Map; 7930 8422; www.nzembassy.com; New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket SW1; Piccadilly Circus) South Africa (Map; 7451 7299; www.southafricahouse.com; South Africa House, Trafalgar Sq WC2; Charing Cross) Spain (Map; 7235 5555; www.conspalon.org; 39 Chesham Pl SW1; Hyde Park Corner); Consulate (Map; 7589 8989; 20 Draycott Pl, SW3; Sloane Sq) USA (Map; 7499 9000; www.usembassy.org.uk; 5 Upper Grosvenor St W1; Bond St) Return to beginning of chapter EMERGENCY Dial 999 to call the police, fire brigade or ambulance in an emergency.

Dental Services For emergency dental care, call into UCL Eastman Dental Hospital (Map; 7915 1000; www.eastman.ucl.ac.uk; 256 Gray’s Inn Rd WC1; King’s Cross). Hospitals The following hospitals have 24-hour accident and emergency departments. However, in an emergency just call 999 and an ambulance will normally be dispatched from the hospital nearest to you. Charing Cross Hospital (Map; 8846 1234; Fulham Palace Rd W6; Hammersmith) Chelsea & Westminster Hospital (Map; 8746 8000; 369 Fulham Rd SW10; South Kensington, then 14 or 211) Guy’s Hospital (Map; 7188 7188; St Thomas St SE1; London Bridge) Homerton Hospital (Map; 8510 5555; Homerton Row E9; Homerton) Royal Free Hospital (Map; 7794 0500; Pond St NW3; Belsize Park) Royal London Hospital (Map; 7377 7000; Whitechapel Rd E1; Whitechapel) University College Hospital (Map; 0845 1555 000; 253 Euston Rd NW1; Euston Sq) Pharmacies There’s always one neighbourhood chemist that’s open 24 hours; check the Yellow Pages for one near you.


pages: 480 words: 138,041

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry by Gary Greenberg

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, back-to-the-land, David Brooks, impulse control, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kickstarter, late capitalism, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, McMansion, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, selection bias, statistical model, theory of mind, Winter of Discontent

They underwent countless therapies: For an account of the treatment of homosexuals, see LeVay, Queer Science, chapter 4. 13. 11 percent of the U.S. adult population: Centers for Disease Control, “NCHS Data Brief, October 19, 2011,” http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db76.htm. 14. you got tired of feeling numb: For side effects of antidepressants, see Glenmullen, Prozac Backlash. 15. placebo effect: Kirsch, The Emperor’s New Drugs. 16. this chemical imbalance does not, as far as doctors know: Greenberg, Manufacturing Depression. 17. more than seventy combinations of symptoms: See DSM-IV-TR, 356. There are nine symptoms of depression, but patients need have only five in any combination to earn the diagnosis. 18. “another [of] the ten thousand”: Cartwright, “Diseases and Peculiarities,” Part 1, 336. 19. “Love is a madness”: Plato, Phaedrus, 265e. 20. Before John Snow: The best account of this famous story is probably Steven Johnson’s The Ghost Map. 21. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch: Ullmann, “Pasteur–Koch.” 22. “blessed rage to order”: Stevens, “The Idea of Order at Key West,” The Palm at the End of the Mind. 23. Adam and Eve: Genesis 2:19–21. 24. “loose, baggy monster”: Henry James, The Tragic Muse, 4. 25. “insomnia, flushing, drowsiness”: Beard, American Nervousness, 7–8. 26. “As long as I live”: Gay, Freud, 491. 27.

Even Hippocrates and his disciples seemed to know this, as they traded mostly in empiricism—the painstaking observation of the way symptoms appeared to the doctor’s senses, the courses they took, the outcomes they reached, and the interventions that affected them. In the nineteenth century, most doctors still believed that humoral imbalances caused disease. Before John Snow20 could persuade the local government to close the infected well that caused the 1854 cholera outbreak in London, he had to overcome the common idea that the disease was carried by a miasma, bad air that could upset humoral balance. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch21 had to work hard to convince their colleagues that germs caused diseases like rabies and anthrax, and that they (the germs, not the colleagues) could be targeted and killed. As the microscope and the chemical assay provided incontrovertible evidence of germs and their destruction, doctors were won over to the germ theory, and soon it seemed that they had begun to fulfill Socrates’ dictum to find the natural joints that separated our ills from one another.

But if she was weighing the implications of suggesting that doctors ignore the new criteria the APA had just spent $25 million to fashion, if she was reconsidering what her comments meant for her profession’s scientific credibility or for the reputation of the man sitting right next to her, if she was even aware that she had just admitted that the whole enterprise was a confidence game, a way to give doctors plausible scientific cover even as they continued to diagnose and medicate their patients based on their gut feelings, their whims and fancies and judgments, it wasn’t evident when she resumed her answer. “So politically it’s gotten a little messy,” she said, “but scientifically and clinically I think we remain committed to the idea that the purpose of the DSM is to provide clinicians with a road map. We’re not driving the car.” And the map doesn’t really matter, because even if clinicians load the DSM into their GPS units, they’re going to take the routes their gut tells them are best. And if a doctor decides to head for uncharted territory, to lead his colleagues into the land where irritable children suffer Bipolar Disorder, or where attraction to thirteen-year-olds is Hebephilia, or a slave’s thirst for freedom is a symptom of drapetomania, if he thinks his MD plates entitle him to take his patients off-road or the wrong way down a one-way street or, for that matter, over a cliff, well, that’s not the APA’s fault


pages: 1,199 words: 332,563

Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor

bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, publication bias, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra

In its simplest form, epidemiology involved little more than comparing two groups to see whether people who, say, drank from a particular well were more or less likely to get cholera, or whether sailors who drank citrus on a ship were more or less likely to get scurvy. Early epidemiology involved a kind of detective work: John Snow in London in 1854, for example, plotted cholera deaths on a map and discovered that deaths clustered around a water pump on Broad Street. Recognizing fouled drinking water as the cause of the disease, he famously convinced the Board of Governors of St. James Parish to remove the handle from this pump and helped put an end to the epidemic. (Steven Johnson’s Ghost Map is the best book on this.) Early tobacco epidemiologists couldn’t use maps—smoking is a mobile, multipoint-source pollutant—but they could look at whether people with lung cancer tended to share certain attributes or behaviors.

Elizabeth Borgwardt, Associate Professor of History, Washington University “Proctor draws masterfully from a vast archive of documents wrested from the industry, including many never before discussed, and mounts an unforgettable case about what the tobacco industry has done and what we must do about it. This is the book to help us understand what we must do to save lives.” Peter Galison, author of Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps “Robert Proctor draws an unvarnished conclusion: that the tobacco industry, and the men who led it, were evil, plain and simple. They knowingly sold a product that, when used as intended, killed people. And then they conspired to suppress the evidence. Not everyone will agree with Proctor, but anyone interested in the intertwined issues of science and health, and culture and commerce, needs to read this book.”

To reduce the 500 million deaths tobacco industry products are projected to cause amongst those presently alive, public health advocates must study the life patterns of the tobacco industry as earnestly as they would any other disease vector. The investigative tools, however, are different. Rather than a tiny insect, this vector has economic resources rivalling those of many of the world’s largest governments. . . . With more than a billion smokers worldwide, tobacco is mankind’s most widespread serious infection, and among its most contagious. The pathway has recently become known: Its spread is mapped out in mahogany-lined boardrooms; it breeds its resistance to countermeasures in political backrooms; and it seizes its victims in adolescent bedrooms.1 LeGresley goes on to point out that one difference between tobacco and, say, a mosquito transmitting malaria is that the cigarette men know they are being studied. That is why “third party” agents are so often used—to disguise the nature of the process of contagion.


pages: 388 words: 211,074

Pauline Frommer's London: Spend Less, See More by Jason Cochran

Bonfire of the Vanities, Boris Johnson, British Empire, congestion charging, David Attenborough, Etonian, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kickstarter, low cost airline, Nelson Mandela, Skype, urban planning

Retrace your steps out of Kingly Court, cross Carnaby Street, and head straight down Broadwick Street. You’ll stop around 7 Berwick Street A hundred and sixty years ago, this block was a foul slum. French, Greek, and Italian immigrants fled hard times and revolutions by cramming into these tight streets, and by the 1850s, cholera was storming through the overstuffed city. An 1854 outbreak killed 500 people in barely 10 days. Common wisdom at the time held that the disease was spread through the air—a reasonable conclusion, given how terrible the sewage-smeared city smelled—but Just after you cross Ganton Street, a local anesthetist, John Snow, suswhere Broadwick Street hits Carnaby pected polluted water was the cause. Street, duck into the passageway on He got permission to inspect the public the right: pump at Broad Street, now Broadwick Street (it’s on the sidewalk in the block 6 Kingly Court Clever entrepreneurs are reviving before Berwick Street) and he found Carnaby Street’s mod appeal with this that it was being contaminated with sewage leaking from Number 40 12_308691-ch08.qxp 258 12/23/08 Chapter 8 9:18 PM Page 258 Walkabouts nearby, proving his theory.

Before you sit down to sort through the options that these flat-rental and homestay companies throw at you, I strongly suggest that you visit the London Underground’s website (www.tfl.gov.uk/tube/maps) and download the free “Tubes, Trams, and Trains” map. On it, all the stations and zones in both networks will appear on the same page, making it easy to know where your prospective flat will be and, if your agency hasn’t already told you, which zone it’s in. The site also has some terrific simplified bus maps that show you only the routes from the neighborhood you’ll be in (www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/maps/buses). The website www.streetmap.co.uk will further help you pinpoint addresses. When you see how close to town some of those discounted flats really are, you’ll be much more likely to pounce on one.

It’s still possible to stroll along and, within a block, sense a sudden shift in energy and character. In many ways, London is still a complex system of hundreds of hamlets. It’s one of the many delights that makes it so surprising. It also means it can take a lifetime to scratch its surface. Your first purchase, which can be made at any newsstand or bookstore, should be a map. Don’t bother with the simplified map your hotel might offer—the inferior maps leave off side streets. The most cherished variety is the London A-Z (www.a-zmaps.co.uk), first compiled by the indefatigable Phyllis Pearsall, who walked every mile of the city for the 1936 debut edition and commanded the resulting cartography empire until her death 60 years later. The A-Z includes every street, hospital, post office, and train station, no matter how obscure, and although it comes in many sizes, your prime concern should be that your hotel’s street is somewhere in it.


pages: 936 words: 252,313

Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease by Gary Taubes

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, collaborative editing, Drosophila, Everything should be made as simple as possible, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, invention of agriculture, John Snow's cholera map, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, selection bias, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies, unbiased observer, Upton Sinclair

In discussions of dietary fat and heart disease, it is often forgotten that the epidemiologic tools used to link heart disease to diet were relatively new and had never been successfully put to use previously in this kind of challenge. The science of epidemiology evolved to make sense of infectious diseases, not common chronic diseases like heart disease. Though the tools of epidemiology—comparisons of populations with and without the disease—had proved effective in establishing that a disease such as cholera is caused by the presence of micro-organisms in contaminated water, as the British physician John Snow demonstrated in 1854, it is a much more complicated endeavor to employ those same tools to elucidate the subtler causes of chronic disease. They can certainly contribute to the case against the most conspicuous determinants of noninfectious diseases—that cigarettes cause lung cancer, for example. But lung cancer was an extremely rare disease before cigarettes became widespread, and smokers are thirty times as likely to get it as nonsmokers.

“Robust Conditioned Flavor Preference Produced by Intragastric Starch Infusions in Rats.” American Journal of Physiology. Oct.; 255(4, pt. 2):R672–75. Scott, E. M., and I. V. Griffith. 1957. “Diabetes Mellitus in Eskimos.” Metabolism. July; 6(4):320–25. Scrimshaw, N. S., and W. Dietz. 1995. “Potential Advantages and Disadvantages of Human Obesity.” In de Garine and Pollock, eds., 1995, 147–62. Sears, B., and B. Lawren. 1995. The Zone: A Dietary Road Map. New York: HarperCollins. Seftel, H. C., K. J. Keeley, A. R. Walker, J. J. Theron, and D. Delange. 1965. “Coronary Heart Disease in Aged South African Bantu.” Geriatrics. March; 20:194–205. Segal, K. R., and F. X. Pi-Sunyer. 1989. “Exercise and Obesity.” Medical Clinics of North America. Jan.; 73(1):217–36. Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs of the United States Senate. 1977a. Dietary Goals for the United States.