if you build it, they will come

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pages: 86 words: 27,453

Why We Work by Barry Schwartz

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Atul Gawande, call centre, deskilling, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, if you build it, they will come, invisible hand, job satisfaction, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Toyota Production System

You build that path and then force people to walk on it, perhaps by roping off the grass. “If you build it, they will come.” This is the mantra that the main character in the movie Field of Dreams keeps hearing as he turns his farmland into a baseball park in the middle of nowhere. He builds it, and they do come. In this chapter, I will try to show that at least sometimes, when social scientists build theories, the people come. That is, the people are nudged into behaving in ways that support the theories. This chapter, then, is an attempt to resolve a battle between these metaphors. The “watch where they walk, then pave it” metaphor argues that the empirical data shape the theories people develop. The “if you build it, they will come” metaphor argues that theories shape data. I will attempt to defend the second metaphor.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, megacity, Mercator projection, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Peter Thiel, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

CHAPTER 8 INFRASTRUCTURE ALLIANCES Getting Grand Strategy Right Post-Ideological Alliances BOX: Piraeus: China’s European Gateway From Sanctions to Connections Beware Friendship Bridges Oil Is Thicker Than Blood CHAPTER 9 THE NEW IRON AGE Iron Silk Roads Across the Heartland BOX: “Mine-Golia”: Where (Almost) All Roads Lead to China Kublai Khan’s Revenge: The Return of Sino-Siberia Iran: The Silk Road Restored North Korea: An Iron Silk Road Through the Hermit Kingdom The Supply Chain Strikes Back CHAPTER 10 HOPSCOTCH ACROSS THE OCEANS An Empire of Enclaves “Mobile Sovereignty” Sovereigns of the Sea Escaping the “Malacca Trap” The Maritime Silk Road Atlantic Cities The Capital of the Arctic PART FOUR: FROM NATIONS TO NODES CHAPTER 11 IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME Dubai: Home to the World First Port of Call BOX: Lagos: Africa’s Global City CHAPTER 12 GETTING ON THE MAP Pop-Up Cities From Exclave to Enclave China’s Supersize SEZs Master Planning for Megacities City Building as State Building Leapfrogging to Hybrid Governance CHAPTER 13 SUPPLY CHAINS AS SALVATION Who Runs the Supply Chain? Beyond the Law? To Move or Not to Move?

*9 In 2015, however, Russia and China conducted their first joint naval exercises in the Arctic, with warships from both countries crossing the Bering Strait. *10 Soviet infrastructure had so crumbled in the Arctic region that food from Africa was sometimes delivered on nuclear submarines, with sacks of potatoes instead of missiles in the tubes. *11 The combination of Syria’s perennial droughts and civil war prompted the very first withdrawal of seeds from the vault in 2015. CHAPTER 11 IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME DUBAI: HOME TO THE WORLD The world’s most visited city, the most diverse city, the city that never sleeps…New York, of course. London, for sure. Paris, once upon a time. Soon, however—and for quite some time after—that city will be Dubai. Sitting at the crossroads of West and East, North and South, Dubai is brashly claiming the title of “center of the world.” By 2017, Dubai will welcome more visitors per year than London or Paris.

Inevitably, Dubai has also become a thriving black market for electronics, a money-laundering haven, and a bridgehead for Chinese and Indian gangsters and their criminal networks. From five-star hotels on Sheikh Zayed Road itself to seedy motels in Deira, the law of supply and demand clearly outweighs Islamic edicts against adultery or prostitution. There is no doubt that many Arabs go to Dubai to forget that they live in Muslim countries. — IF EVER A CITY embodied the phrase “If you build it, they will come,” it is Dubai, the fastest-growing city in the world. Its population tripled from 1968 to 1975, doubled from 1989 to 2009, and will double again to an estimated 4.5 million people by 2020. Americans who’ve run out of luck on Wall Street, Europeans seeking lower taxes, Africans fleeing poverty and tyranny, Indians, Russians, and Iranians with suitcases of money, Filipino hotel workers, and Chinese enterprise owners all coalesce in what has become the capital of the rest of the world.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

What made this interesting is that it was a nearly perfect example of what the economist Anthony Downs named the Law of Peak-Hour Expressway Congestion and which another economist, Gilles Duranton, called induced demand. Boiled down to the basics, induced demand is what happens when the supply of a good increases and more of that supply then gets consumed: when a host puts out more cheese and crackers, her guests eat more cheese and crackers. What this means in road (and bridge, and tunnel) building is not just obvious but as well documented as anything in transportation engineering: “If you build it, they will come.” If you build more lanes on the expressway, more cars and trucks will use it. If you’re lucky, congestion remains as bad as it was before you spent $50 million trying to relieve it; if you’re not, it gets worse. It’s like the Red Queen from the other side of the looking glass, who tells Alice, “Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

See under Cars Driving licenses, 72–73 Duke University, 95 Duranton, Gilles, 46 East Tremont Neighborhood Association, 34 Ebbets Field, 5, 15, 43, 231, 245 Economic hardship, and Millennials, 70–72 Edison, Thomas, 5 Eisenhower, Dwight David, 15, 19, 103 Elevators, versus stairs, 136 Elumbaugh, Rick, 120 Embarcadero Freeway Revolt, 34–37 Engineering News–Record, 3, 16 Engineers/engineering and construction costs, 39 cost-benefit equations of, faulty premise of, 59 and disappearing traffic phenomenon, 47 and estimated speed and safety, 39–42 and foot traffic study, 144–146 and GI Bill of Rights, 18 and “if you build it, they will come,” 46–48 and Interstate Highways System, 17–19 and multimodal transportation system, 61 and predicting future transportation needs, 60–61 railroad, 17–18 and road-building techniques, 18–19 and safety innovations, 18–19 and smart growth, 61 and wider versus narrower lanes, safety of, 58, 59–60, 60n England, 103, 158, 159 Environmental Defense Fund, 36–37 Environmental Impact Statement, 245–246, 247 Environmental Protection Agency, 37, 44, 51–52 Environmentalism, 36–37, 44, 62, 72, 226 Envision Utah, 192 Escalators, versus stairs, 136 Europe, streetcars in, 44, 103, 176 Exercise, 124 health benefits of, 93–97, 134 See also Cycling; Health; Walking Federal-Aid Highway acts, 15, 16, 17, 18, 36 Federal-Aid Road Act of 1916, 14–15 Federal Highway Administration, 20, 73, 194 Federal Housing Authority, 21 Federal Housing Authority (FHA), 158–159 Federal roads bill, 14–15 FHA.

Petersburg, 124 Taxi service, 75, 199, 200, 203 Taylor, Frederick Winslow, 142–143 TEA-21 (Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century), 213–214, 214n Texas A&M’s Transportation Institute study, 104 Todt, Fritz, 15 “Toll Roads and Free Roads,” 16 Tompkins, Tim, 139 TomTom, 210 Traffic and community, connection between, 100–101 congestion, 104, 105–109, 207 and disappearing traffic phenomenon, 47 flow, and walking, 144–146, 145n hours stuck in, 69 and “if you build it, they will come,” 46–48 and level-of service, 41–42 and most dangerous metropolitan areas in America, 124 and per capita traffic delay and per capita GDP, correlation between, 104–105 and refuge islands and raised medians, 124 and speed limits, 123–124 and walkability, 123–125 Traffic calming, 123–124 Transit strike of 1980 (New York City), 153–156 Transit Workers Union, 153 TransitAPP, 195 TransitCenter Who’s on Board report, 84 TransLink (Vancouver), 161–163 TransMilenio (Bogota, Colombia), 222 Transportation alternative forms of, 63 costs, 110–112, 111 (table) See also Transportation equity; Transportation infrastructure; Transportation networks; Transportation policy; Transportation systems Transportation Alternatives, 53 Transportation equity, 211–224, 241 in Atlanta, 218–219 in Bogota, 220–224 in Buffalo, 217–218 in Houston, 220 in New York City, 211–212 and Plessy v.


pages: 221 words: 68,880

Bikenomics: How Bicycling Can Save the Economy (Bicycle) by Elly Blue

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, car-free, hydraulic fracturing, if you build it, they will come, Jane Jacobs, job automation, Loma Prieta earthquake, medical residency, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, ride hailing / ride sharing, science of happiness, the built environment, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional

So we don’t know if the ten minutes saved by suburban commuters was counterbalanced by ten extra minutes spent in traffic within the city. What’s more, the same error appears in many official measures of traffic congestion—they forget to take into account that when people are able to drive faster, they choose to drive farther. New users flock to new roads, and everyone who already drove there now feels free to use it even more. In a nutshell: If you build it, they will come. The most responsible path in most cases is simply to not build new roads. But the forces advocating for that option are usually not as well-funded or connected as their adversaries. Nobody wants a road construction or widening project in their own back yard, so they tend to be built in the backyards of the people with the least political clout—low-income communities where rates of car ownership are lowest, and for whom a major road serves more as a dividing wall than a way to get anywhere.

“Bike Stations” or “Bike Hubs” at transit centers or in office districts charge bike commuters a small monthly fee for the use of showers, secure bike parking, and a bike shop and repair station. Whimsical bike racks designed by artists (David Byrne created a series for New York) are embraced by commercial districts for their distinctive style. Churches and schools are installing bike racks on an “if you build it, they will come” basis, and it’s working. Bicycle parking all over the country is stepping out from next to the dumpster behind the restaurant and taking its proud place right next to the front door. And the economy is reaping the benefits. Bicycle parking brings all of the same benefits as car parking and has others as well. By inducing more people to ride bicycles, it contributes to better health, less poverty, safer streets, more breathable air—and perhaps of most direct financial value, it reduces congestion and frees up car parking.


pages: 321 words: 85,267

Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck

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A Pattern Language, big-box store, car-free, Celebration, Florida, City Beautiful movement, desegregation, edge city, Frank Gehry, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, McMansion, New Urbanism, place-making, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, skinny streets, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration

THE PHYSICAL CREATION OF SOCIETY 1 “Parking Lot Pique,” A26. 2 Jonathan Franzen, “First City,” 91. 3 Jonathan Rose, “Violence, Materialism, and Ritual,” 145. 4 Le Corbusier, The City of Tomorrow and Its Planning, 129. 5 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 129. 5. THE AMERICAN TRANSPORTATION MESS 1 Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, 183. 2 Donald D.T. Chen, “If You Build It, They Will Come,” 4. 3 Ibid., 6. 4 Stanley Hart and Alvin Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom, 122. 5 Jane Holtz Kay, Asphalt Nation, 129. 6 Hart and Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom, 111; James Howard Kunstler, Home from Nowhere, 67, 99. 7 Hart and Spivak, The Elephant in the Bedroom, 166. 6. SPRAWL AND THE DEVELOPER 1 Data from the Survey of Surveys, a comprehensive study compiled by Brooke Warrick’s American Lives. 2 Christopher Kent, Market Performance, 3. 3 Charles Tu and Mark Eppli, Valuing the New Urbanism, 8. 7.

The Boston Globe, July 22, 1997: A14-A15. Chellman, Chester E. (Rick). City of Portsmouth, New Hampshire: Traffic/Trip Generation Study. Report by White Mountain Survey Company, December 1991. ————. Traditional Neighborhood Development Street Design Guidelines: A Recommended Practice of the Institute of Transportation Engineers. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Transportation Engineers, 1999. Chen, Donald D.T. “If You Build It, They Will Come … Why We Can’t Build Ourselves Out of Congestion.” Surface Transportation Policy Project Progress VII.2 (March 1998): 1, 4. Chira, Susan. “Is Smaller Better? Educators Now Say Yes for High School.” The New York Times, July 14, 1993: A1, B8. Collins, George, and Christiane Crasemann Collins. Camillo Sitte: The Birth of Modern City Planning. New York: Rizzoli, 1986. Congress for the New Urbanism.


pages: 342 words: 86,256

Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck

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A Pattern Language, active transport: walking or cycling, car-free, carbon footprint, congestion charging, David Brooks, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, food miles, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Florida, skinny streets, smart cities, Stewart Brand, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, transit-oriented development, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

Burden, Dan. “22 Benefits of Urban Street Trees.” ufei.org/files/pubs/22benefitsofurbanstreettrees.pdf, May 2006. Burden, Dan, and Peter Lagerwey. “Road Diets: Fixing the Big Roads.” Walkable Communities Inc., 1999. walkable.org/assets/downloads/roaddiets.pdf. Burke, Mia. “Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet.” planetizen.com, February 28, 2011. “Call for Narrower Streets Rejected by Fire Code Officials.” New Urban News. bettercities.net, December 1, 2009. Chen, Donald. “If You Build It, They Will Come … Why We Can’t Build Ourselves Out of Congestion.” Surface Transportation Policy Project Progress VII: 2 (March 1998): 1, 4. Children’s Safety Network. “Promoting Bicycle Safety for Children,” 2. childrenssafetynetwork.org, 2011. Clendaniel, Morgan. “Zipcar’s Impact on How People Use Cars Is Enormous.” fastcompany.com, July 19, 2011. Coder, Rim D. “Identified Benefits of Community Trees and Forests.”

●Norman Bel Geddes, in many ways the intellectual father of the interstate system, stated in 1939 that “motorways must not be allowed to infringe upon the city” (quoted in Duany, Plater-Zyberk, and Speck, Suburban Nation, 86–87). ●Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips (2011 Fortune 500). The largest corporation is, of course, Walmart, whose entire business model is based on cheap driving and trucking. ●Good news: upon further deliberation, the city skipped the study and added back the parking, without incident. ●“Does Widening Roads Cause Congestion?” Excerpted from Donald Chen, “If You Build It, They Will Come.” A 2010 study by Gilles Duranton and Matthew Turner at the University of Toronto concludes that “increased provision of interstate highways and major urban roads is unlikely to relieve congestion on these roads” (“The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” 2616). ■Nick Summers, “Where the Neon Lights Are Bright—and Drivers Are No Longer Welcome.” It is important to illuminate this quote with the larger discussion that induced demand applies principally to the creation and widening of highways and arterial roads, as opposed to the creation of more intricate street networks through the insertion of small local streets.


pages: 383 words: 81,118

Matchmakers: The New Economics of Multisided Platforms by David S. Evans, Richard Schmalensee

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Airbnb, big-box store, business process, cashless society, Deng Xiaoping, if you build it, they will come, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Jean Tirole, Lyft, M-Pesa, market friction, market microstructure, mobile money, multi-sided market, Network effects, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, two-sided market, Uber for X, Victor Gruen, winner-take-all economy

As a result, YouTube couldn’t be sure how much value it would provide by facilitating video sharing, since video sharing had been effectively impossible. It turned out that people really wanted to share videos when they could, and that YouTube eliminated a significant friction. As we’ve noted before, in our experience, the biggest mistake platform entrepreneurs make is to embrace the “if you build it, they will come” fallacy. No, they won’t, unless the platform solves a big problem for participants and unless the entrepreneur cracks the chicken-and-egg problem. Without a significant friction to address, no matter how great a platform’s technology, there is no case for investing. Does the platform design reduce this friction, balance the interests of participants on all sides, and do it better than other entrants?

See also pricing of matchmakers, 12–14 network effects and, 22–27 on pricing, 15 Economist, 203–204 ecosystems, 36, 100–119 assessment of potential for, 151, 154 control in, 104–105, 106 creating healthy, 102–104 definition of, 103 mobile phone, 110–119 number of platform sides and, 109–110 edge providers, 42, 45–46 Edison, Thomas, 204 eHarmony, 203 e-mail Alibaba, 60 employee recruitment, 124 EMV terminals, 160–161 expectations, shaping, 80–81 externalities balancing, 128–129 behavioral, 136–140 definition of, 22, 136 network effects and, 22–23 participation and, 136–137 stock exchanges and, 139–142 Facebook, 28 advertising, 48 governance of, 135–138, 140, 146–148 number of platform sides in, 109 fairs, Renaissance, 200 FarmersOnly.com, 125 Farmville, 109 feedback effects, 57–58 financial services, 164, 167–181 Financial Times, 32 First Data Corporation, 157 first-mover advantages, 23–24, 27–28 fleet cards, 85–89, 90–92, 98–99 Foshan Plastic Sheets, 55–56 foundation multisided platforms, 40 Fox Searchlight Pictures, 27 fragmentation, 115–116 fraud, 138, 145–148 frictions, 7–20, 36, 55–68 Alibaba and, 59–63 assessment of, 151, 152–153 in B2B exchanges, 65–67 mobile phone industry, 112–119 OpenTable and, 7–8, 9–14 in procurement, 67–68 in retail, 61–63 Friendster, 28, 145–148 front-running, 139 Gates, Bill, 9, 151 global matchmakers, 39–40 go broad/go shallow strategy, 159 Goldman Sachs, 65 Google, 8 advertising, 48 Android operating system, 47–48, 101–102, 110–119 Chrome, 42 ecosystem for, 110–113 governance of, 144–145 Maps, 116 market cap of, 40 Ngrams, 24 pricing at, 93 Search, 127 shopping and, 185–186 Video, 82 YouTube bought by, 76 governance systems, 37, 135–148 behavioral externalities and, 136–140 enforcement of, 143–145 grabbing all the eyeballs, 21–37 growth zone, 77–78 Hangzhou Telecom, 58 Hastings, Reed, 191 HD-DVD platform, 26–27 Hengii Bearing Factory, 59 Hoist magazine, 124–125 HourlyNerd, 105 HTML, 42 Hurley, Chad, 69–70. See also YouTube “if you build it, they will come” fallacy, 152 ignition, 35–37, 68, 69–83 Apple Pay and, 159–164 assessment for, 151, 153 coordination problem and, 70–73 driving traffic and, 73–76 economic model for, 76–78 failure in, 82–83 modification of strategies for, 151, 154–155 at M-PESA, 174–178 at OpenTable, 11–12 pricing and, 82 strategies for, 78–82, 151, 154–155, 159–160 warning signs of failure in, 155–156 implosion zone, 77 infrastructure, 55–56 innovation creative destruction and, 49–51 in money movement systems, 166–181 in retail, 186–188 inputs, 15–16 Instacart, 12, 30 instant messaging, 61, 201 interactions, facilitating, 126–127 International TrustPass, 60–61 Internet, 19–20, 41–42 the Cloud and, 44–45 Internet content providers, 42 Internet service providers (ISPs), 45–47 fixed, 45 mobile, 45–46 Intuit, 18 iPhone, 100 Apple Pay, 149–150, 156–164 ecosystem for, 110 quality control and, 139 iPod, 113 ISPs.


pages: 226 words: 52,069

Bacon: A Love Story: A Salty Survey of Everybody's Favorite Meat by Heather Lauer

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British Empire, haute cuisine, Hernando de Soto, if you build it, they will come, index card, Ronald Reagan

Bacon Just Like Granddad Used to Make Since 1965, Leslie and June Scott have been making country hams on a property where their home also sits, in a beautiful rural area of western Kentucky with rolling green hills and peaceful pastoral views. The Scotts always had hogs that they slaughtered to make hams and bacon for their family, but gradually a few people from town asked if they could buy hams from them. So eventually they cleaned up an outbuilding to use for producing their hams, and operated their business from the space for about ten years. Thus proving that if you build it, they will come. The Scotts’ ham business became increasingly popular and after a while some of their customers started asking for bacon. “We had built a building by then because the USDA won’t let you do it in a chicken coop, so to speak!” says June. (So picky, those USDA inspectors.) The Scotts looked at their building and thought it wouldn’t take much room to put twenty-five sides of bacon in there.


pages: 221 words: 61,146

The Crowded Universe: The Search for Living Planets by Alan Boss

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Albert Einstein, Dava Sobel, diversified portfolio, full employment, if you build it, they will come, Kuiper Belt, Mars Rover, Pluto: dwarf planet, Silicon Valley, wikimedia commons

Perhaps Fermi’s Paradox was discussed in class that summer, perhaps not, but Fermi and Wetherill were physicists who evolved into two of the world’s first astrobiologists—scientists who seek to understand the genesis, evolution, and prevalence of life in the universe. This book has not addressed the question of how microscopic life originates on habitable planets, much less the intelligent life of Fermi’s Paradox, but has instead taken the position that “if you build it, they will come.” That is, if habitable worlds are common, what is to prevent their hosting the evolution of some sort of primitive life forms over their billions of years of existence? Not every planet needs to witness the evolution of Homo sapiens for life to be considered a universal trait; methanogenic bacteria would do quite nicely, provided that they are capable of generating enough methane to serve as a biomarker for some future space telescope.


pages: 248 words: 72,174

The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau

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big-box store, clean water, follow your passion, if you build it, they will come, index card, informal economy, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, late fees, price anchoring, Ralph Waldo Emerson, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Tony Hsieh, web application

Publish the offer and get the word out. For an overview of hustling, see Chapter 9. 8. Cash in and head to the beach! (This step may require further effort.) *You can find a review of several different payment options in the online resources at 100startup.com. Alas, like any trend or business model, not every story of independent publishing is a success. Many aspiring publishers operate on an “if you build it, they will come” model. Later in the book, we’ll rename it the “if you build it, they might come” model—sometimes it works, but many times it doesn’t, and there’s no guarantee of instant riches. For every online course that becomes a Mondo Beyondo-size success, many others flounder on with five participants. For every $120,000 e-book like Brett’s, many others sell two copies (one to the writer’s grandmother and one to a friend of the family) before fizzling out.


pages: 304 words: 87,702

The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout

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Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra

Students have ranged in age from 12 to 72, divided equally among men and women, and have traveled from as far away as Scotland, Hawaii, and Japan to take a course. The majority have little or no construction experience. Just so you know, once you have the know-how doesn’t mean you’ll have a house right away…it takes anywere from two to five years to build your new residence, depending on the time and help you have. * * * IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME Critics—notably professional contractors—have scoffed that it’s impossible to teach a novice to build a house in two or three weeks. But Heartwood, and the other schools listed below, have proved them wrong. “America is based on pilgrims coming over here and knocking together log cabins,” says Patrice Hennin, founder of the Shelter Institute. “Everyone, deep down in his heart, knows he can build a house.


pages: 347 words: 88,114

The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less by Amy Korst

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airport security, business climate, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Parkinson's law

Zero-waster Rose Brown used a similar method to set up her lazy composting pile. She nailed four lengths of wooden picket fencing together to set up a square compost pile in her backyard. At one time, Chris made a compost pile similar to Rose’s, but today he has a much more commercial model. “We don’t turn it a lot,” he says. “We have worms [in the pile], but we didn’t introduce them. If you build it, they will come.” Once your pile is ready to go, you start filling it with food scraps. If you’re brand new to composting, I’d recommend you start off with vegetable and fruit scraps to see how it goes. Eventually you may decide to do as I do and compost all food scraps except for meat (we even compost dairy and egg shells). Expect to get the occasional nocturnal visitor to your compost pile—it’ll attract birds and small animals like raccoons.


pages: 314 words: 83,631

Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum

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air freight, cable laying ship, call centre, global village, Hibernia Atlantic: Project Express, if you build it, they will come, inflight wifi, invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Mercator projection, Network effects, New Urbanism, packet switching, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, urban planning, WikiLeaks

Like any veteran politician, he was used to nosy journalists—although more than a small town’s share had been through here recently. The Dalles had felt the brunt of the industrial collapse of the Pacific Northwest, and the Internet’s neglect added insult to injury. “We said, ‘That’s not quick enough for us! We’ll do it ourselves,’ ” Young recalled. It was an act of both faith and desperation—the ultimate “if you build it they will come” move. In 2002, the Quality Life Broadband Network, or “Q-Life,” was chartered as an independent utility, with local hospitals and schools as its first customers. Construction began on a seventeen-mile fiber loop around The Dalles, from city hall to a hub at the BPA’s Big Eddy substation, on the outskirts of town. Its total cost was $1.8 million, funded half with federal and state grants, and half with a loan.


pages: 207 words: 86,639

The New Economics: A Bigger Picture by David Boyle, Andrew Simms

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Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, delayed gratification, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, energy transition, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, garden city movement, happiness index / gross national happiness, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, land reform, loss aversion, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, neoliberal agenda, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, oil shock, peak oil, pensions crisis, profit motive, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, Simon Kuznets, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, working-age population

63 9 Tax Justice Network (2005) The Price of Offshore, London. 10 Edgar Cahn (2000) No More Throwaway People: The Co-production Imperative, Essential Books, Washington DC. 11 Robert Skidelsky (1992) John Maynard Keynes Vol 2: The Economist as Saviour, Picador, London. 12 David Boyle (2003) Beyond Yes and No: A Multi-currency Alternative to EMU, New Economics Foundation, London. 13 James Robertson (2002) ‘The euro will prompt further monetary reform’, European Business Review, Vol 14, No 1. 14 Jane Jacobs (1986) Cities and the Wealth of Nations, Random House, New York. 15 Bernard Lietaer (2000) The Future of Money, Random Century, London. 16 Richard Douthwaite (1999) The Ecology of Money, Schumacher Briefings Number 4, Green Books, Totnes. 17 Tom Greco (1985) New Money for Healthy Communities, Greco, Tucson. 18 See, for example, David Boyle (ed) (2002) The Money Changers: Currency Reform from Aristotle to e-cash, Earthscan, London. 19 New York Times (1921) 4 December. 20 Stamp Out Poverty (2005) Submission to the Intergovernmental Working Group, London. 21 Joseph Stiglitz (2002) Globalisation and its Discontents, Norton, New York. 5 Markets: Why has London Traffic Always Travelled at 12mph? If you build it, they will come. Catchphrase in the film Field of Dreams Commercialisation of blood and donor relationships represses the expression of altruism. Richard Titmuss, The Gift Relationship (1970) London in 1900, the centre of empire. The Central Line underground railway is being constructed with picks and shovels. The vast majority of London’s traffic is horse drawn, but it clutters the streets nonetheless, leaving a layer of manure that – so some believe – will eventually lie feet deep and overwhelm the capital.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

But grit forms the foundation; self-control allows an individual to harness the potential of creative collaboration. It is self-discipline that allows people to maintain relationships with acquaintances who don’t share their point of view. And so a community that weaves diverse neighbors together without self-control is more likely to disintegrate. This is not a situation where, as in Field of Dreams, “if you build it, [they] will come.”18 Figuring out a way to augment American grit will not magically reconstitute the middle-ring-rich communities of generations past. Nevertheless a grittier America would, at least, make it more likely that we’d each connect with a wider range of neighbors. We’d have greater wherewithal to maintain the dynamism of previous eras. And so we have to ask: What can be done to imbue future generations with the propensity to delay gratification?


pages: 430 words: 140,405

A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers by Lawrence G. Mcdonald, Patrick Robinson

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asset-backed security, bank run, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, diversification, fixed income, high net worth, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, moral hazard, mortgage debt, naked short selling, new economy, Ronald Reagan, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, value at risk

That’s a pile of $100 bills the height of fifty Washington Monuments—about five miles straight up. The image is useful, because one of the most irritating aspects of modern finance is that the numbers tend to be so enormous that they can’t really be grasped. Christine Daley was still smiling, for she had long ago sensed that the head honchos at Calpine operated their business along the guidelines laid down by Field of Dreams: if you build it, they will come. And while those guidelines might have been rock solid when it came to ghostly ballplayers in a cornfield, they did not apply to electricity consumption in the twenty-first century. Calpine was building it, but they weren’t coming. As summer drew to a close the Lehman trading floors remained inordinately busy. The late afternoon of September 14 was typical. People were packing up and heading home.


Yucatan: Cancun & Cozumel by Bruce Conord, June Conord

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British Empire, colonial rule, feminist movement, if you build it, they will come, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Yogi Berra

Valladolid n 307 Yucatán 308 n Valladolid POST OFFICE: The post office is on the square, Calle 40. TOURIST INFORMATION: Tourism information in this friendly town is next to the city hall on Calle 40 at the corner of 41. TOWN TOURS: A two-hour bus tour in an open trolley-style bus, La Guagua, departs every Sunday in front of the cathedral at 9 am and 4 pm (US $5). TRANSPORTATION: A whispered voice may have said “If you build it, they will come” to optimistic state government officials who spent big bucks in 2000 building a huge new Chichén Itzá International Airport near Káua (pronounced kawa), about half-way between Valladolid and the ruins. They hope that more tourism will result because charter and scheduled flights from Europe will want to land there instead of Cancún or Mérida. Not everyone agrees with the expensive project (US $13.5 million) and its threekilometer runway.


pages: 510 words: 120,048

Who Owns the Future? by Jaron Lanier

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3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, automated trading system, barriers to entry, bitcoin, book scanning, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, cloud computing, computer age, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Graeber, delayed gratification, digital Maoism, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, global supply chain, global village, Haight Ashbury, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, packet switching, Peter Thiel, place-making, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-oil, pre–internet, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart meter, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

It is almost impossible to believe that the real-world technological optimists of the 1960s, when Star Trek first aired, were able to pull off wonders like the moon missions without the computers or materials we have today. Humbling. There is an interaction between optimism and achievement that seems distinctly American to me, but that might only be because I am an American. Our pop culture is filled with the message that optimism is part of the magical brew of success. Manifest Destiny, motivational speakers, “If you build it, they will come,” the Wizard of Oz giving out his medals. Optimism plays a special role when the beholder is a technologist. It’s a strange business, the way rational technologists can sometimes embrace optimism as if it were a magical intellectual aphrodisiac. We’ve made a secular version of Pascal’s Wager. Pascal suggested that one ought to believe in God because if God exists, it will have been the correct choice, while if God turns out to not exist, little harm will have been done by holding a false metaphysical belief.


pages: 402 words: 129,876

Bad Pharma: How Medicine Is Broken, and How We Can Fix It by Ben Goldacre

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data acquisition, framing effect, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income per capita, meta analysis, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, Simon Singh, WikiLeaks

University of Minnesota Press; 2008. 7 Gorkin L, Schron EB, Handshaw K, Shea S, Kinney MR, Branyon M, et al. Clinical trial enrollers vs. nonenrollers: The Cardiac Arrhythmia Suppression Trial (CAST) Recruitment and Enrollment Assessment in Clinical Trials (REACT) project. Controlled Clinical Trials. 1996 Feb;17(1):46–59. 8 Sheppard VB, Cox LS, Kanamori MJ, Cañar J, Rodríguez Y, Goodman M, et al. BRIEF REPORT: If You Build It, They Will Come. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 May;20(5):444–7. 9 ACRO – CRO Market [Internet]. [cited 2012 Feb 11]. Available from: http://www.acrohealth.org/cro-market1.html. 10 MacDonald T, Hawkey C, Ford I. Time to treat as independent. BMJ. 2010 Nov 30;341(nov30 2):c6837–c6837. 11 Kassirer J. On the Take: How Medicine’s Complicity with Big Business Can Endanger Your Health. Ch 8. 1st ed. Oxford University Press, USA; 2004. 12 Pharmaceutical CSO – Pharmaceutical Commercialization – Quintiles [Internet.]


pages: 494 words: 132,975

Keynes Hayek: The Clash That Defined Modern Economics by Nicholas Wapshott

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airport security, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, complexity theory, cuban missile crisis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, if you build it, they will come, Isaac Newton, Joseph Schumpeter, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, means of production, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, New Journalism, Northern Rock, price mechanism, pushing on a string, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trickle-down economics, War on Poverty, Yom Kippur War

Kennedy. 24 John Kenneth Galbraith, “General Keynes,” New York Review of Books, November 22, 1983. 25 Harrod, Life of John Maynard Keynes, p. 451. 26 J. M. Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (Macmillan, 1936; facsimile reprinted by Harcourt, Orlando, Fla.), p. 34. 27 Ibid., p. 3. 28 Ibid., p. 16. 29 In the words of the philosophy that underpins the plot of the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.” 30 Keynes, General Theory (Macmillan, 1936; facsimile reprinted by Harcourt, Orlando, Fla.), p. 19. 31 Ibid., p. 21. 32 Ibid., p. 179. 33 Ibid., p. 211. 34 Ibid., p. 129. 35 Ibid., p. 130. 36 Ibid., p. 379. 37 J. M. Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, German edition (Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, 1936), preface. 38 Keynes, General Theory (Macmillan, 1936), p. 379. 39 Ibid., p. 380. 40 Interview of Robert Skidelsky, July 18, 2000, for Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy, PBS, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/int_robertskidelsky.html. 41 Keynes, General Theory, (Macmillan, 1936), p. 378. 42 Ibid., p. 60. 43 Ibid., p. 80. 44 Ibid., p. 214.


pages: 456 words: 123,534

The Dawn of Innovation: The First American Industrial Revolution by Charles R. Morris

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air freight, British Empire, business process, California gold rush, clean water, colonial exploitation, computer age, Dava Sobel, en.wikipedia.org, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, if you build it, they will come, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, lone genius, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, refrigerator car, Robert Gordon, spinning jenny, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman

The roads offered clear graded routes for stringing telegraph lines, and station managers conveniently doubled as telegraph operators; the benefit for the roads was that the telegraph, for the first time, allowed them to track and manage their far-flung freights and rolling stock. There were other, less obvious symbioses. The western railroads were typically built far ahead of traffic—“If You Build It, They Will Come.” The roads benefited from both state and federal land grants in wide swaths on both sides of their tracks. In order to create future freights, they frequently transferred their land to farmers on highly advantageous terms. Much of the early risk capital came from the British, who regarded American railroad bonds as the equivalent of today’s high-yield paper: defaults were to be expected, but the returns were still attractive.


pages: 797 words: 227,399

Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century by P. W. Singer

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agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bill Joy: nanobots, blue-collar work, borderless world, clean water, Craig Reynolds: boids flock, cuban missile crisis, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, Frank Gehry, friendly fire, game design, George Gilder, Google Earth, Grace Hopper, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Law of Accelerating Returns, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, New Urbanism, pattern recognition, private military company, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, strong AI, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Turing test, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Yogi Berra

The Blues’ firm, General Atomics, bought up the assets of the failed company, including Amber. Despite the fact that the drone had no buyers, the Blues and General Atomics believed in the technology. The company renamed the Amber drone and began production even though there was no set buyer. In a sense, General Atomics took the Field of Dreams approach to defense contracting that iRobot did with UGVs: “If you build it, they will come.” The CIA soon came shopping and the drones, now called by the more fearsome-sounding “Predator,” saw action in the Balkans. And the rest is robot history. The story of the Blues and General Atomics is a classic story of how an industry upstart can shake up the system. This small-company approach to contracting carries over to other parts of General Atomics. The company is headquartered in an office district just outside San Diego.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

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3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Kangaroo Route, knowledge worker, kremlinology, labour mobility, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Yogi Berra

His successor surprised everyone by allotting another $100 million for buying out farmers, despite staring down the barrel of an $11.5 billion budget deficit. In response, Berdyne built a coalition of farms piece by piece, grid square by square. “Ain’t none of them can sell. I’ve got ’em locked up.” He grinned wolfishly. As I stood to leave, he shot me a last piece of advice, one that seemed especially pertinent considering the airfield of dreams set to be paved through his yard: “ ‘If you build it, they will come.’ It works for baseball, but it doesn’t work for airports.” Illinois farmers knew from experience. Lying several hundred miles southwest of here is Peotone’s abandoned twin. MidAmerica St. Louis Airport opened east of the Mississippi River amid cornfields in 1997 to relieve pressure on the city’s hub—pressure that disappeared when TWA went bankrupt shortly thereafter. The self-styled “Gateway to the World” cost $313 million to build but has never seen steady passenger service.


May We Be Forgiven by A. M. Homes

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anti-communist, Burning Man, dumpster diving, friendly fire, if you build it, they will come, Mason jar, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea

“Where did you go to school?” “I went only to a missionary school for two years, but there are things I know. My family has been here for a very long time. I am all that remains.” “Noble,” I say. He shakes his head. “I am not so noble, I am practical. I don’t want my village to die. There was nothing left, no more reason for anyone to be here except that we have always been here. That is how Nate came to us. ‘If you build it they will come,’” he says, and laughs. “I am quoting from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, when Richard Dreyfuss builds a mountain of mashed potatoes.…” The way Sakhile says “potatoes,” pronouncing each syllable like it was a word itself, makes potatoes sound delicious. “I think that’s from Field of Dreams, the baseball movie with Kevin Costner. In Close Encounters, Dreyfuss says, ‘I guess you’ve noticed something a little strange with Dad.…’” I say the line without knowing how I even know it and make a mental note to watch the film again—clearly it had a big impact on me.