indoor plumbing

153 results back to index


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the sewing machine, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, mass immigration, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, undersea cable, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism, yield management

Many sources of the higher standard of living are not included in GDP at all, starting with the enormous advance in the quality of housing represented by the replacement of outhouses by indoor plumbing and the replacement of wood fires and potbelly stoves by central heating. The invention of the antibiotic penicillin might save thousands of lives, each of great value, but the GDP statistics would record only the expenses of the labor and equipment used in its discovery and production. Other similar examples include Pasteur’s germ theory of disease and the attendant emphasis on soap and cleanliness, the development of urban sanitation infrastructure that made indoor plumbing possible, and the realization in the late nineteenth century that some food being sold was tainted, adulterated, or diluted. A final dimension of improvement is the indirect effect of increased life expectancy in providing leisure and locational choice after retirement from work.

In addition, urban conditions differed substantially from the housing owned by the average American farm household. A continuing theme of this chapter is what the households of 1870 “did without”—that is, those major sources of improved living standards that were invented and developed over the subsequent seven decades, between 1870 and 1940. The share of homes that had electricity in 1870 was exactly zero. The share of central heating and indoor plumbing was very close to zero. For instance, the hot water radiator was invented only in the late 1850s, implying that there was little central heating in 1870.39 The lack of central heating meant that a fuel, whether wood or coal, had to be hauled into the dwelling unit and the ashes removed. Despite all the work that this hauling entailed, the dwellings of 1870 remained cold in the winter. “Rags stuffed into cracks provided the only insulation.

Unless home-grown, fruit was all but unavailable except during the summer months, and vegetables available in the winter were limited to a few root vegetables that could be stored. Clothing was crude and, for most women, home-made, and the labor needed to create clothing before the invention of the sewing machine created a further burden for the rural and urban housewife. Dwelling units in 1870 universally lacked indoor plumbing, running water, waste disposal, electricity, telephone, and central heating. Although middle-class and upper-class families built homes in cities and nearby suburbs that today constitute cities’ historic districts, farmers and members of the urban working class faced much more difficult living conditions. Although many farmers in 1870 had detached farmhouses of six or more rooms, this amount of space was rare for urban residents.


pages: 323 words: 90,868

The Wealth of Humans: Work, Power, and Status in the Twenty-First Century by Ryan Avent

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, Airbnb, American energy revolution, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, creative destruction, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, falling living standards, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, future of work, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Internet of things, inventory management, invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, mass immigration, means of production, new economy, performance metric, pets.com, post-work, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, savings glut, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, software is eating the world, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, very high income, working-age population

In the 2000s Robert Gordon began posing a thought experiment to his audiences: would they, he wondered, prefer a world with all the available technology up to 2000, or one with all available technology up to the present day except for indoor plumbing? His little test effectively made the point that what occurred in the second industrial revolution was powerfully transformative, in a way the advances of the internet age simply weren’t. Google is grand, but it’s not as transformative as running hot water. What I like about this thought experiment, however, is that it unintentionally also makes the contrary argument. When Gordon began posing this question in his papers, the answer was so clearly the option with indoor plumbing as to make the question something of a joke – which is what Gordon intended. But with each year that passes, the choice becomes less clear. For many people in developing economies, a smartphone is obviously more important than indoor plumbing: the latter is nice, but the former provides an invaluable economic and social link to the global economy.

Technological progress peaked during a period from the late nineteenth century to the mid twentieth century, they assert, an era sometimes called the ‘second industrial revolution’ (the first having been the initial factory boom in Britain, built on the taming of steam power). This second revolution wrought fundamental changes in the world: fantastic, one-off transformations that can’t be repeated. It was during this period that rich economies became electrified. This was the era in which modern sanitation and indoor plumbing were developed, and in which cities grew to truly modern size, in scale and population. It was the period that gave us what are still today the most advanced personal mobility technologies: the automobile and the airplane. It was this period that made the modern world what it is. It was also the era in which the modern job evolved: shaped by the rise of the factory economy, by unionization and the political mobilization of the working class, and by the construction of a social safety net.

But that is no protection; machines are much better at becoming smarter than people are. THE PARADOX OF POTENTIAL A dose of perspective is in order. It is important to remember that major technological revolutions usually generate enormous benefits alongside the disruption they cause. Higher productivity levels mean that firms can afford to pay higher incomes. Just as important, the march of technological progress has lengthened, improved and enriched our lives. Indoor plumbing helped to make cities tolerable, non-deadly places to live. Assembly-line techniques dramatically reduced the cost of goods such as cars and televisions, in the process turning them into basic consumer goods rather than the playthings of the very wealthy. Electrification upended all sorts of industrial processes, and also gave us electric light, telephone calls and rock music. The digital revolution is no exception to this pattern.


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

It lit homes, sidewalks, and streets; saved labor by powering vacuum cleaners, washing machines, dishwashers, and dryers; kept food fresh via refrigeration; allowed cities to grow vertically by powering skyscrapers’ elevators; and enabled countless other transformations. And internal combustion’s impact certainly didn’t stop at motorcycles. Engines that converted petroleum products into mechanical energy were quickly deployed in everything from cars to airplanes to ships to tractors to chain saws. Growing with the Flow: Indoor Plumbing To some, indoor plumbing might not seem a profound enough innovation to stand alongside electricity and internal combustion. A flush toilet and water on demand out of a tap are certainly convenient, but are they fundamentally important to the story of twentieth-century growth? They absolutely are. Health researchers David Cutler and Grant Miller estimate that the availability of clean water explains fully half of the total decline in the overall US mortality rate between 1900 and 1936, and 75 percent of the decline in infant mortality.

In the West, after climbing 120 points in the century preceding 1900 to reach a level of 170 points, Morris’s social development index then climbed another 736 points by 2000.VIII Western and Eastern Social Development, 2000 BCE–2000 CE These huge gains were achieved in large part by adding three more world-altering technologies to the mix: the internal combustion engine, electrical power, and indoor plumbing. The first two expanded on what steam gave us: the ability to generate and effectively wield massive amounts of power. The third expanded on London’s triumph over cholera and let us live longer and healthier lives, especially in the densely populated cities that became ever more common around the world. More Power to the People: Internal Combustion and Electricity Steamships bore the great weight of their engines and coal fuel by floating on water, and locomotives by traveling on railroads designed to support heavy loads.

Bringing enough water to run a household from a remote well each day was a staggering amount of work that often fell to women and children, since men typically worked outside the home all day. For example, in Texas’s Hill Country the typical well was located so far from the house that bringing water required more than five hundred hours of labor and 1,750 miles of walking each year.IX Electricity and indoor plumbing eliminated this constant toil. In the 1930s a Tennessee farmer summarized the immense value of the technologies of the second century of the Industrial Era: “The greatest thing on earth is to have the love of God in your heart, and the next greatest thing is to have electricity in your house.” The transformations experienced during the first century of the Industrial Era—from the 1770s to 1870s—turned the world inside out.


pages: 76 words: 20,238

The Great Stagnation by Tyler Cowen

Asian financial crisis, Bernie Madoff, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, financial innovation, Flynn Effect, income inequality, indoor plumbing, life extension, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Thiel, RAND corporation, school choice, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban renewal

Not only did the United States reap a huge bounty from this free land (often stolen from Native Americans, one should not forget), but abundant resources helped the United States attract many of the brightest and most ambitious workers from Europe. Taking in these workers, and letting them cultivate the land, was like plucking low-hanging fruit. 2. Technological breakthroughs The period from 1880 to 1940 brought numerous major technological advances into our lives. The long list of new developments includes electricity, electric lights, powerful motors, automobiles, airplanes, household appliances, the telephone, indoor plumbing, pharmaceuticals, mass production, the typewriter, the tape recorder, the phonograph, and radio, to name just a few, with television coming at the end of that period. The railroad and fast international ships were not completely new, but they expanded rapidly during this period, tying together the world economy. Within a somewhat longer time frame, agriculture saw the introduction of the harvester, the reaper, and the mowing machine, and the development of highly effective fertilizers.

Educating many of these students is possible, it is desirable, and we should do more of it, but it is not like grabbing low-hanging fruit. It’s a long, tough slog with difficult obstacles along the way and highly uncertain returns. A lot of the growth of the United States, up through the 1970s or so, has been based on these three forms of low-hanging fruit. Each of them is pretty much gone today. We still have electricity and indoor plumbing, but most people already use them and we take their advantages, economic and otherwise, for granted. The problem is not that we are likely to regress, but rather where the future growth in living standards will come from. It’s harder to bring additional gains than it used to be. You might be thinking that Americans have enjoyed more forms of low-hanging fruit than those I have listed. Some other nominations for low-hanging fruit would be cheap fossil fuels and the genius of our founding fathers, as embedded in our Constitution.


pages: 267 words: 78,857

Discardia: More Life, Less Stuff by Dinah Sanders

A. Roger Ekirch, Atul Gawande, big-box store, Boris Johnson, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, credit crunch, endowment effect, Firefox, game design, Inbox Zero, income per capita, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Kevin Kelly, late fees, Marshall McLuhan, McMansion, Merlin Mann, post-work, side project, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand

Let the rest of that dumb stuff go; aggravation is a bad investment of your time and energy anyhow. Don't sweat it. Get some perspective. A lot of things that may aggravate you only do so because you have the luxury of not wrestling with bigger issues. Today, be thankful for everything you have: being alive, your friends and family, your health, a roof over your head, something to eat, clean water to drink, indoor plumbing, heating, air conditioning, clothes, shoes, a job, and freedoms. Many, many people have it worse. Bad drivers in front of you or annoying coworkers or technical difficulties aren't that important in the grand scheme of things. Yeah, okay, they’re irritating, but are they important? No, not really. In those far less common situations when it really does matter, be kind and hold your ground.

After I visited the home of a woman named Miriam in an informal settlement in Soweto, and chatted with her as she cooked on a paraffin stove in her two-room, jury-rigged shack, the quantity of stuff in my apartment alarmed me. Miriam didn't have many things, but everything in her possession had a purpose. Her home was painfully simple—and I hope that she realized her dream of moving into a more solid home with indoor plumbing—but she had put her heart into it and made it clean and cheerful. She crafted her wallpaper from bright green wrappers from a household product and painted the exterior brightly. She swept the dirt floor scrupulously and a few plants were growing in her yard. After visiting Miriam's house, a girl's orphanage near Nairobi, and a Maasai village, it was very clear to me that it is not the number or newness of possessions that make a happy home.


pages: 242 words: 81,209

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown

indoor plumbing, Kuiper Belt, Pluto: dwarf planet

If Ceres was to be thought of as just the largest of the vast collection of asteroids and thus not a planet, why should Pluto not suffer the same fate? What, after all, was a planet? Chapter Three THE MOON IS MY NEMESIS When I first started looking for planets, I lived in a little cabin in the mountains above Pasadena. I have a feeling I was the only professor at Caltech at the time who lacked indoor plumbing and instead used an outhouse on a daily (and nightly) basis. I worked long hours, and it was almost always dark, often past midnight, when I made my way back into the mountains to go home for the night. To get to my cabin, I had to drive up the windy mountain road into the forest, past the national forest parking lot, and down to the end of a dirt road, and finally walk along a poorly maintained trail by the side of a seasonal creek.

But on days with no moon and no clouds and only the stars and planets to light the way, I would shuffle slowly down the trail knowing that over here—somewhere—was a rock that stuck out—there!—and over here I had to reach out to feel a branch—here! It was a good thing that my skin does not react strongly to the touch of poison oak. These days I live in a more normal suburban setting and drive my car right up to my house. I even have indoor plumbing. The moon has almost no direct effect on my day-to-day life, but still, I consciously track its phases and its location in the sky and try to show my daughter every month when it comes around full. All of this, though, is just because I like the moon and find its motions and shapes fascinating. If I get busy, I can go for weeks without really noticing where it is in the sky. Back when I lived in the cabin, though, the moon mattered, and I couldn’t help but feel its monthly absences and the dark skies and my own slow shuffling down the trail.


pages: 261 words: 78,884

$2.00 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin, H. Luke Shaefer

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, business cycle, clean water, ending welfare as we know it, future of work, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, impulse control, indoor plumbing, informal economy, low-wage service sector, mass incarceration, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, The Future of Employment, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

Already in 2001, 63 percent of very low income households were putting more than half their income toward housing, leaving too little for other necessities. As of 2011, that figure stood at nearly 70 percent. What has caused this ongoing rise in housing costs? Taking the long view, one of the factors driving this trend is the across-the-board improvement in the quality of housing in America. Sixty years ago, lower-end housing was likely to lack such basic amenities as indoor plumbing. Since that time, these features have become standard, even in the cheapest units. This has been a great advancement for our society, but it also means that low-cost housing has become less affordable as a result. Further, families like Jennifer’s are subject to different rules today than they once were. In Chicago, as well as in virtually every other jurisdiction in the country, child welfare officials deem it inappropriate for a brother and sister to sleep in the same bedroom once they reach a certain age.

Along 65th Street just past Clark Street, truck after truck belonging to full-time scrappers—including criminal scrappers who strip houses, even churches, of valuable metals—pulls into the large semicircular driveway of West Side Metals. Some of the trucks are shiny and new, others are beat-up and barely running, but they are all full of metal junk of all shapes and sizes. These vehicles wait to deposit their loads into one of several bays, where each item is weighed and its value assessed. This is probably where the lengths of copper piping from Rae McCormick’s basement ended up, leaving the tenants without indoor plumbing. West Side Metals isn’t a place for small-time operators, though, so folks like Paul usually continue south along 65th. On the east side of the street sits a strip mall, formerly anchored by the neighborhood’s Kmart, the very one where Rae worked for several years. Currently, there’s nothing in the massive big-box space, and its signage has been removed. Only a Payless shoe store, a Subway restaurant, and a few other low-rent businesses survive.


pages: 308 words: 84,713

The Glass Cage: Automation and Us by Nicholas Carr

Airbnb, Airbus A320, Andy Kessler, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, Bernard Ziegler, business process, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Charles Lindbergh, Checklist Manifesto, cloud computing, computerized trading, David Brooks, deliberate practice, deskilling, digital map, Douglas Engelbart, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, global supply chain, Google Glasses, Google Hangouts, High speed trading, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, natural language processing, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, software is eating the world, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, technoutopianism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, turn-by-turn navigation, US Airways Flight 1549, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, William Langewiesche

We risk, as Latour suggests, replacing our own intentions with those of others, without even realizing that the swap has occurred. The more we habituate ourselves to the technology, the greater the risk grows. It’s one thing for indoor plumbing to become invisible, to fade from our view as we adapt ourselves, happily, to its presence. Even if we’re incapable of fixing a leaky faucet or troubleshooting a balky toilet, we tend to have a pretty good sense of what the pipes in our homes do—and why. Most technologies that have become invisible to us through their ubiquity are like that. Their workings, and the assumptions and interests underlying their workings, are self-evident, or at least discernible. The technologies may have unintended effects—indoor plumbing changed the way people think about hygiene and privacy38—but they rarely have hidden agendas. It’s a very different thing for information technologies to become invisible.


pages: 538 words: 145,243

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World by Joshua B. Freeman

anti-communist, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate raider, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, en.wikipedia.org, factory automation, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, global supply chain, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, joint-stock company, knowledge worker, mass immigration, means of production, mittelstand, Naomi Klein, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Pearl River Delta, post-industrial society, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, strikebreaker, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Vanguard fund, women in the workforce, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

Many Bolsheviks, especially Lenin, defined culture in traditional European terms, as literacy, knowledge of science, appreciation of the arts. Civilization meant novels, chess, Beethoven, indoor plumbing, electricity. But some communists, and to some extent the party and state as a whole, at least through the early 1930s, believed that a distinctly communist culture and civilization should be created out of the revolution. The factory was an instrument to realize socialist modernity.50 The simple act of coming to a factory could launch the process of cultural change. This was especially the case for men and women from peasant villages, and even more so for migrants from nomadic regions of the country. Many newcomers had never seen a locomotive, indoor plumbing, electric lights, even a staircase. Walking into a factory for the first time could be terrifying, just as it had been in earlier years in England and the United States.

Under an arrangement with the governor of Maryland, the company directly ran the community, without any local democratic structures. Rufus Wood, the company executive who designed the town, was the son of a foreman at the Boott cotton mill in Lowell. He modeled Sparrows Point on the Massachusetts city, though with mostly family accommodations rather than boardinghouses. Dwellings ranged in size and quality from an eighteen-room, three-story colonial for Wood himself down to small wooden houses without running water or indoor plumbing for black workers. As in Lowell, elaborate rules governed behavior not only on the job but in the housing, too.46 The most ambitious mill town scheme came in 1895, when the Apollo Iron and Steel Company decided to build a new mill a mile and a half from its existing plant in western Pennsylvania. It contracted with the firm headed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the foremost landscape architect and town planner in the country, to design a new town, Vandergrift, named after the Standard Oil partner who was the largest investor in the company.


pages: 305 words: 89,103

Scarcity: The True Cost of Not Having Enough by Sendhil Mullainathan

American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Andrei Shleifer, Cass Sunstein, clean water, computer vision, delayed gratification, double entry bookkeeping, Exxon Valdez, fault tolerance, happiness index / gross national happiness, impulse control, indoor plumbing, inventory management, knowledge worker, late fees, linear programming, mental accounting, microcredit, p-value, payday loans, purchasing power parity, randomized controlled trial, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Richard Thaler, Saturday Night Live, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

A lack of discretion makes for a particularly extreme form of scarcity. This discussion clarifies what we mean by poverty. We mean cases of economic scarcity where changing what you want, or think you need, is simply not viable. Some of these hard-to-change needs are biological, such as hunger for the subsistence farmer, and some are socially constructed. What we feel we need depends on what others have and on what we’ve gotten used to. Indoor plumbing, for example, would hardly make anyone in the developed world feel terribly lucky these days, yet it was pretty much inconceivable until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, and it is still a dream in many places today. To the subsistence farmer, it is a luxury; to someone living in New Jersey, it is a necessity. Driving a car was a status symbol in the fifties and remains so in many parts of the world.

e-mail emergencies hospital empathy bridge employment scarcity work hours entrepreneurship errors pilot slack and everyday life, scarcity in excise taxes executive control exercise experimental psychology expertise Exxon Valdez E-ZPass failure organizational to plan poverty and Family Feud (TV show) farming behavior crop insurance crop yields harvests organic subsistence weeding fatigue fault tolerance Faye, Michael Ferraro, Paul fertilizer financial literacy education firefighting trap fluid intelligence fMRI focus focus dividend food dieting eating while driving fast impulsivity and junk kitchen pantry labels neglect packing prices restaurant scarcity snacks food stamps Ford, Henry 401(k) plan frugality future neglect of game shows gasoline genetics Gennetian, Lisa Germany Gersick, Connie GlowCaps glucocorticoids goal inhibition golf grandparents Great Britain Grondin, Simon guess scarcity Hall, Crystal Handey, Jack Harris, Sandra harvests Hastings, Max Head Start health insurance heart rate Heschel, Abraham Joshua hibachi high school graduates HIV hospitals housing messy Hunton, Brian hyperbolic discounting IFMR Trust impulse control impulse purchases incentives, ineffective India bargaining in poverty street vendors Indonesia indoor plumbing ineffective incentives inefficiency infrastructure inhibition goal Institute for Healthcare Improvement insurance car crop deductibles health unemployment intelligence, fluid interest rates internal disruptions iPhone iPod IQ tests Iron Chef (TV show) Jaikumar, Ramchandran Japan Jenkins, Richard jewel loans Jewish Sabbath Jiaying Zhao juggling junk food Kahneman, Daniel Karlan, Dean Keep the Change program Kenya Killeen, Peter Kimes, Sheryl kitchen pantry Koyambedu vendors Kurtz, Jaime Larson, Dr.


pages: 345 words: 92,849

Equal Is Unfair: America's Misguided Fight Against Income Inequality by Don Watkins, Yaron Brook

3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Apple II, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blue-collar work, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deskilling, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, financial deregulation, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, Jony Ive, laissez-faire capitalism, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Uber for X, urban renewal, War on Poverty, wealth creators, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Between 1835 and 1935, medicine advanced (anesthesia, antiseptics, insulin, penicillin, and pasteurization were all developed during this era, along with huge improvements in sanitation), transportation was revolutionized (the internal combustion engine spawned trucks, cars, tractors, and airplanes, while steam trains became far safer thanks to the development of the air brake), new means of communication connected the world (telegraph, telephone, radio), and entrepreneurs filled Americans’ homes with electricity, incandescent lighting, sewing machines, washing machines, running water, indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, and a whole lot more. Whatever hardships they continued to face, people were eating better, dressing better, living better. By no means were these improvements reserved for the very wealthy. In 1934, in the depths of the Depression, a survey of Pittsburgh found that . . . even in the poorest districts in the city, 98 percent of the dwellings had running water (only half had hot water), 91 percent had electricity or gas for lighting, 75 percent had indoor water closets, and 54 percent had a shower or bathtub.

Experts are in general agreement that the government’s official poverty measure overstates poverty, and that better assessments suggest that poverty has been cut in half over the last fifty years.53 What’s more, most of the people the government classifies as “poor” live relatively comfortable lives. Despite the genuine hardships they face, today’s poor typically enjoy an adequate diet, electricity, indoor plumbing, automobiles, and modern conveniences such as dishwashers, TVs, and DVD players. In fact, the average poor person in America lives in a home that is larger than what the average non-poor person in Europe lives in.54 But we can’t celebrate just yet. Johnson claimed that the goal of the War on Poverty was to give poor Americans “opportunity not doles.” The question is, have the welfare state’s scores of anti-poverty measures succeeded in making poor people independent, or have they simply made it less unpleasant to be poor?


How an Economy Grows and Why It Crashes by Peter D. Schiff, Andrew J. Schiff

Bretton Woods, business climate, currency peg, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, offshore financial centre, price stability, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, technology bubble

The best thing about private capitalism is that it forces those who may only be motivated by personal gain to raise the living standards of others. TAKE AWAY Wealth is always a relative term. In a primitive society where little is produced, even the richest can’t match the material well-being available to the poor of an industrialized economy. In the Middle Ages, even the mightiest kings lacked the basic amenities that nearly everyone in the United States now takes for granted… things like central heating, indoor plumbing, and fresh vegetables in the winter. And although Baker and Charlie would imagine that a two-fish-per-day diet was the height of luxury, from our perspective such a lifestyle hardly seems enviable. But the fact that there are degrees of wealth has always struck some as being inherently unfair. Central in this unease is the belief that the rich become that way because they take wealth from others, thereby creating the poor.


pages: 350 words: 107,834

Halting State by Charles Stross

augmented reality, Boris Johnson, call centre, forensic accounting, game design, Google Earth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, impulse control, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, lifelogging, Necker cube, Potemkin village, RFID, Schrödinger's Cat, Vernor Vinge, zero day

“So that’s everything settled,” you say. “So how about we go someplace where there’s some signal and place some calls?” JACK: Schrödinger’s Girl You emerge from the depths of Bannerman’s blinking like a hung-over bat, and glance up and down the canyonlike length of the Cowgate. Someplace where there’s some signal indeed: The stone tenements to either side are nine stories high, and they predate lifts and indoor plumbing. Michaels spots an on-coming taxi (subtype: one with a human driver) and flags it down without waiting for you, so you glance over your shoulder at Elaine, who is glaring at her mobile and fuming. “Come on, let’s take a walk,” you propose. “We’ve got work to be doing,” she points out. “Well, the hotel is about a mile and a half that way”—you point along the canyon towards the Grassmarket and beyond, in the direction of Tollcross or maybe the West End—“and we need to talk.

You can discount face recognition, despite all those cameras surreptitiously filing away your misdemeanours for later (like back when you were fifteen and stupid) because it’s CPU-intensive as hell, but your mobie is a tracking device par excellence, and you’ve got to assume that Team Red know who you both are, by now. “Let’s stay off-line until we get to the hotel.” By which point, Team Red won’t have a fucking clue where you are, which is exactly how you want things to be. “I hate being lost,” she mutters. “Really?” You’re taken aback. “It used to be normal.” “Lots of things used to be normal. No indoor plumbing and dying in child-birth used to be normal. Where are we?” “We’re on, um, the road that leads from the Grassmarket to Lothian Road, dammit. I can’t remember.” It’s an itch you can’t scratch, like not being able to check a watch or pull up the news headlines. “Just think, it used to be like this for everybody, just twenty years ago!” “I suppose.” “Imagine you were a time-traveller from the 1980s, say 1984, and you stepped out of your TARDIS right here, outside, uh, West Port Books.”


pages: 382 words: 107,150

We Are All Fast-Food Workers Now: The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages by Annelise Orleck

airport security, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, card file, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, Food sovereignty, gig economy, global supply chain, global value chain, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McJob, means of production, new economy, payday loans, precariat, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, Skype, special economic zone, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor

“They colonized our minds.”1 Shadows of the 1940s Japanese occupation also hover over the lives of twenty-first-century Pinoys. Barbed-wire enclosures dot the Cavite and Bataan Peninsulas, the jaws of land that enclose Manila harbor. Where Japanese prisoner of war camps stood, there are now barracks of a different sort. Worker dormitories line the alleyways of the Mariveles and Cavite Export Processing Zones—semi-hidden, overcrowded, without light, privacy, and, often, even indoor plumbing. The air in these zones is thick with fumes from factories owned by Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Philippine corporations. The Spanish fast-fashion giant Inditex has factories here too. But most of the clothing made here is for American companies, says garment union organizer Asuncion Binos. High-end fashion is produced in the same ways as fast fashion. Ann Taylor and Ralph Lauren, JC Penney and Gap are all here.

United Students Against Sweatshops activists pushed US colleges to have their logo-wear made at Alta Gracia. A sympathetic executive at Barnes & Noble, operator of college bookstores across the country, carried and promoted the product. By 2016, Alta Gracia was providing logo-wear for eight hundred US colleges and universities and moving into the black financially. For the first time, its workers had indoor plumbing, electricity, healthcare, and the chance to finish high school and attend college. Said one worker, “This has allowed us to dream.” Opening a unionized garment shop with a livable wage and decent conditions was unprecedented in the modern global apparel trade, says Scott Nova, founder and director of the Worker Rights Consortium. WRC, which investigates and certifies labor conditions worldwide, said that despite “a vast proliferation of ‘corporate social responsibility programs’ . . . no major apparel brand is doing what Knights Apparel is doing at the Alta Gracia factory.”19 Knights CEO Joe Bozich says personal tragedy moved him to create a new model for garment manufacturing.


pages: 709 words: 191,147

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

A. Roger Ekirch, back-to-the-land, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, Copley Medal, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, full employment, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, joint-stock company, land reform, land tenure, mass immigration, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, trade route, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration

The “Greenbelt towns” of Maryland (just outside Washington, DC), Milwaukee, and Cincinnati attracted an amazing twelve million visitors in 1936–37. Here, federal housing revolutionized methods of prefabrication, laying a strong foundation for the growth of suburbia in the aftermath of World War II. However, the federal government could not bridge the North-South divide when it came to standards of public rural housing; southern projects were administered by southerners who were loath to spend on amenities—such as indoor plumbing. Will Alexander, the Missourian who replaced Tugwell at the RA, and then took over at the FSA, remarked on the persistence of southern backwardness: “If we could house all our low-income farm families with the same standards Danes use for their hogs, we would be a long step ahead.” Southern politicians shortchanged rural Americans in another crucial way: they made sure that the New Deal’s signature Social Security program excluded farm laborers.43 Tugwell’s tenure at the RA was short—just one year—but his influence lingered.

Hazel and her family were part of the influx of poor whites into Little Rock after World War II. Her father was a disabled veteran, unable to work; her mother held a job at the Westinghouse plant. They had left the small rural town of Redfield in 1951, when Hazel was ten. Her mother had married at fourteen to a man twice her age. Neither of Hazel’s parents had earned a high school degree, her father having joined the circus. Their Redfield home had had no indoor plumbing and an outdoor privy; the Bryans’ move to the city granted basic amenities that they had not enjoyed before. The house they purchased in Little Rock was in an all-white, working-class neighborhood in the southeastern section of the state capital.43 Hazel Bryan is the ugly face of white trash in Will Counts’s famous photograph taken on September 4, 1957. Will Counts Collection, Indiana University Archives The day after the photograph appeared, Hazel Bryan made herself visible once more, telling newsmen positioned outside the school that “whites should have rights, too.”

Critics of evangelical hypocrisy vented their rage, and one outraged editorialist attacked President Reagan himself for bringing “white trash front and center” when he entertained Bakker and other televangelists at the White House and told Americans they could learn from them about “traditional American values.” The Bakkers appeared on television day and night, “dressed like pimps,” massacring the English language and defiling religion.40 The Bakkers were not even native to the South. Tammy Faye was born into a poor family of eight children in a small rural town in Minnesota, in a house without indoor plumbing. Her parents were Pentecostal preachers. Jim, the son of a machinist, came from Michigan. They relocated to North Carolina because it was where they knew a market existed for their Pentecostal religious message. Tammy Faye was the charismatic heart of the show, singing, crying, and thriving on her gaudy reputation, “à la Liberace,” as one religious scholar has concluded. Her physical appearance projected a class identity: frosted blonde hair, thick makeup, tanned skin, loud, colorful dresses, and trademark fake eyelashes.


pages: 277 words: 41,815

Lonely Planet Pocket Berlin by Lonely Planet, Andrea Schulte-Peevers

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, G4S, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Peter Eisenman, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

Tipping › Restaurant bills almost always include Bedienung (service charge) but most people add 5% or 10% unless service was truly abhorrent. › At hotels, porters get €1 or €2 per bag; it’s also nice to leave some cash for the room cleaners. › Tip bartenders about 5% and taxi drivers about 10%. Toilets Top Tip Guys can have a quaint pee in the octagonal Christmas-tree-green pissoirs that are vestiges from the 19th century when indoor plumbing was not yet commonplace. › Free-standing public pay toilets are scattered throughout central Berlin. › Toilets in malls, department stores, public venues, cafe and restaurant are often attended by cleaners who either request a small fee (usually €0.50) or expect a small tip. Dos & Don’ts › Do say ‘Guten Tag’ when entering a business. › Do state your last name at the start of a phone call. › Do bring a small gift or flowers when invited to a meal. › Do bag your own groceries in supermarkets.


pages: 152 words: 40,733

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield

desegregation, Ferguson, Missouri, indoor plumbing, new economy, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, strikebreaker, union organizing

At last, the streetcar reached the southern edge of the Black Belt, where well-kept lawns and modest gardens adorned streets lined with wooden frame homes, most of which had been divided into two or more comfortably sized apartments. The small businessmen, government workers, and artisans who lived here could not afford the mansions of the Refined, but most of their homes were equipped with indoor plumbing, electric lights, and gas for cooking. Jesse Binga Bank. Mixed throughout were the suppliers of goods, services, and fellowship for the diverse black community. Ferdinand Barnett and other black lawyers and doctors hung out their shingles. Opened in 1908, the black-owned three-story redbrick Jesse Binga Bank was always bustling with customers who appreciated the courteous manner of the clerks and the availability of loans that the downtown banks were unlikely to approve for blacks.


Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, Corn Laws, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy transition, failed state, Gary Taubes, global value chain, Google Earth, hydraulic fracturing, index fund, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, land tenure, Live Aid, LNG terminal, long peace, manufacturing employment, mass immigration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, renewable energy transition, Steven Pinker, supervolcano, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, union organizing, WikiLeaks, Y2K

“Strong and direct connections can be drawn between [Malthus’s] work,” historian Mayhew concludes, “and some of the most abhorrent moments in twentieth-century history.”56 In the early twentieth century, the Tennessee Valley region of the United States was a lot like the Congo today. Deforestation was rising. Agricultural yields were declining due to soil erosion. Malaria plagued the region. Few had adequate medical care. Fewer had indoor plumbing or electricity. World War I brought hope to the region. Congress authorized the construction of a dam on the Tennessee River to power a munitions factory. But the war ended before the dam could be finished. Henry Ford offered to buy the complex for $5 million, but taxpayers had already sunk more than $40 million into the project, leading George Norris, a progressive Republican senator, to oppose Ford’s offer.

In 1930, forty-two-year-old Rhodes scholar and Tennessee poet John Crowe Ransom wrote in the opening essay in a famous collection, I’ll Take My Stand, “the latter-day societies have been seized—none quite so violently as our American one—with the strange idea that the human destiny is not to secure an honorable peace with nature, but to wage an unrelenting war on nature.”58 Ransom and the other “Southern Agrarians” disparaged cities and industry for their impact on the environment and on people. They declared farm machinery, paved roads, and indoor plumbing as part of the “disease of modern industrial civilization.” Ransom’s perspective as a poet at Vanderbilt University was quite different from the one of the poor sharecroppers. The people of the Tennessee Valley region who suffered from malaria and hunger likely might have disagreed with the view that they had been living at peace with nature. Critics of Ransom and the Southern Agrarians called them “typewriter agrarians” in the same way people sometimes criticize upper-middle-class progressives as “latte liberals.”


pages: 162 words: 51,473

The Accidental Theorist: And Other Dispatches From the Dismal Science by Paul Krugman

"Robert Solow", Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, business cycle, clean water, collective bargaining, computerized trading, corporate raider, declining real wages, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, Kenneth Arrow, knowledge economy, life extension, new economy, Nick Leeson, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price stability, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, trade route, very high income, working poor, zero-sum game

Families at the twentieth percentile—that is, poorer than 80 percent of the population—may not be legally poor (only about 12 percent of families are officially below the poverty line), but they are likely to regard themselves as very disadvantaged and unsuccessful. So even using the old numbers, most families in 1950 had a material standard of living no better than that of today’s poor or near-poor. We can confirm this with more direct measures of the way people lived. In 1950 some 35 percent of dwellings lacked full indoor plumbing. Many families still did not have telephones or cars. And of course very few people had televisions. A modern American family at the twelfth percentile (that is, right at the poverty line) surely has a flushing toilet, a working shower, and a telephone with direct-dial long-distance service; probably has a color television; and may well even have a car. Take into account improvements in the quality of many other products, and it does not seem at all absurd to say that the material standard of living of that poverty-level family in 1996 is as good as or better than that of the median family in 1950.


pages: 149 words: 48,700

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Cape to Cairo, East Village, indoor plumbing, Nelson Mandela, out of africa

There was a runner from Limpopo, a rural region of South Africa on the borders of Botswana, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe, whose picture I had seen in the paper and could not look away from. Her name was Caster Semenya. She had grown up in a remote village of small brick houses and sun-baked mud-and-dung huts, running barefoot with a track team that could not afford sneakers. She came from a place where few people had cars or indoor plumbing or opportunities for greatness, and she had kept on running until she was powerful and unstoppable. Semenya had been recruited by the University of Pretoria and, at eighteen, she had just won the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, setting a new national record for her event. She seemed destined for the Olympics. But the other runners didn’t think it was fair. “For me, she is not a woman. She is a man,” said the Italian runner Elisa Cusma, who had come in sixth in Berlin.


pages: 209 words: 53,236

The Scandal of Money by George Gilder

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, bank run, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, borderless world, Bretton Woods, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, corporate governance, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, Donald Trump, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Home mortgage interest deduction, index fund, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, Internet of things, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Law of Accelerating Returns, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage tax deduction, obamacare, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ray Kurzweil, reserve currency, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, secular stagnation, seigniorage, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, special drawing rights, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, Turing machine, winner-take-all economy, yield curve, zero-sum game

Automatic telephone switches and industrial robots also entered before the 1970s. The critics of the dream rest their case on a detailed account of the overwhelming and singular transformative power of what they dub “the second industrial revolution” beginning about 1890 (following the first revolution of steam engines, coal, gas lighting, and metals a century earlier). From cars and planes and central heating and indoor plumbing to antibiotics and air conditioners and telegraphs, technological progress doubled life spans, accelerated transport from five miles an hour to five hundred miles an hour, and reduced communications delays from days to seconds. Overall measured productivity rose a hundredfold and growth rates surged. It makes sense to them that the ensuing productivity slowdown stemmed from a decline of technology from these vertiginous heights.


pages: 585 words: 151,239

Capitalism in America: A History by Adrian Wooldridge, Alan Greenspan

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, air freight, Airbnb, airline deregulation, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, corporate raider, creative destruction, credit crunch, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, equal pay for equal work, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fiat currency, financial deregulation, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, George Gilder, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, hiring and firing, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Mason jar, mass immigration, means of production, Menlo Park, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, popular capitalism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, refrigerator car, reserve currency, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, savings glut, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strikebreaker, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, War on Poverty, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, white flight, wikimedia commons, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, Yom Kippur War, young professional

In 1860, the infant mortality rate for slaves is estimated to have been as high as 350 infant deaths per 1,000 births, compared with 197 for the population as a whole.3 Today life has improved immeasurably in every one of these dimensions. Solitary? Most Americans live in cities and even those who live in the countryside are wired into urban civilization by everything from the internet to indoor plumbing. Poor? Americans have the highest standard of living of any large nation in the world. Nasty? Most of the indignities that have dogged humankind since the birth of civilization have been either removed or tamed. There are drugs to dull the pain of childbirth or tooth extraction; indoor plumbing to civilize bodily functions; air-conditioning to protect people from the sweltering heat. You can summon light at the flick of a switch, send messages at the click of a mouse, even get a robot to vacuum your floor. In 1790, America’s most famous man, George Washington, had a mouth full of false teeth, some of them made of ivory; today, only 3.8 percent of people don’t have their own teeth.


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

As the European economies gathered speed in the 1950s, they were able to make enormous productivity gains as they caught up with American technology and methods; West Germany averaged 6.4% per year in the decade, Italy 5.9%, and France 4.3%.13 So many resources had been devoted to defence spending that European consumers had not been able to buy the goods, such as cars, that a great many Americans enjoyed; indeed, in 1950, a large number of European homes lacked even indoor plumbing. So there was plenty of pent-up demand waiting to be satisfied. West Germans owned just 200,000 cars in 1948 but 9 million by 1965.14 The West German economy became an export machine, driven by the production of capital goods. An enduring aspect of the German system was that the big manufacturers had a strong relationship with a group of smaller suppliers, known as the Mittelstand. The French economy laid a greater emphasis on planning than did the German, and had particular success in car manufacturing, thanks to Citroën, Peugeot and Renault.

Cars may have many more gadgets and comforts than they did in the 1970s, but congestion means that people do not travel any faster; the average speed of traffic in central London in 2015 was 7.4mph, on a par with a horse-drawn carriage in the 18th century.20 Aeroplane travel is cheaper than it used to be, but less comfortable (legroom is restricted), and the experiment with supersonic flight was abandoned. And there have been no new household gadgets in the last 40 years to rival the fridge, the vacuum or the microwave for convenience, not to mention the boost to human comfort and hygiene brought by indoor plumbing. A more optimistic view, taken by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson of MIT, is that the full benefits of the internet and other technologies such as machine learning, have yet to come through.21 Such is the speed of modern communication that 90% of all digital data was created in the last 24 months. Technology is reducing coordination costs through search engines, cheap communication networks and free information.


Not Working by Blanchflower, David G.

active measures, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clapham omnibus, collective bargaining, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, George Akerlof, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, job satisfaction, John Bercow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market clearing, Martin Wolf, mass incarceration, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Northern Rock, obamacare, oil shock, open borders, Own Your Own Home, p-value, Panamax, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-materialism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, quantitative easing, rent control, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, selection bias, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, urban planning, working poor, working-age population, yield curve

Bruce notes that the number of cars per household with below median income ha s doubled since 1980 and the number of bedrooms per household has grown 10 percent despite decreases in household size. Plus, median square footage in these families’ homes has risen about 8 percent. In 1960, 35 percent of households below the 25th percentile of household income did not have indoor plumbing. By 1970 this measure of deprivation shrank to 12 percent, and by 2015 virtually all households at all income groupings had indoor plumbing. Bruce shows that using a different deflator such as the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) index yields modest growth in real wages and in median household incomes throughout the time period. PCE-adjusted wages according to his calculations grew 0.5 percent per year during 1975–2015 while other adjustments grew even more.


pages: 251 words: 63,630

The End of Cheap China: Economic and Cultural Trends That Will Disrupt the World by Shaun Rein

business climate, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, high net worth, illegal immigration, income per capita, indoor plumbing, job-hopping, Maui Hawaii, price stability, quantitative easing, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trade route, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional, zero-sum game

Fewer than 10 percent of Western brands selling into the Chinese market in the 1990s actually made money there, in part because no one could afford their products. Another reason was that Western brand positioning often did not fit the aspirations and needs of everyday Chinese people. It is hard to relate to Ralph Lauren, with its preppy lifestyle image of summering in the Hamptons, when you dream of indoor plumbing and eating meat for dinner. The lack of profits and price sensitivity on consumers’ part changed in less than a decade. In its 2010–2011 report, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that 79 percent of American companies now make money in China, and 87 percent reported revenue growth in 2010, up from 47 percent in 2009. A thriving middle class, with the desire and the money to sustain brands that focus on more than just price, is fueling these profits.


pages: 179 words: 59,704

Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living by Elizabeth Willard Thames

"side hustle", Airbnb, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, buy and hold, carbon footprint, delayed gratification, dumpster diving, East Village, financial independence, hedonic treadmill, IKEA effect, index fund, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, McMansion, mortgage debt, passive income, payday loans, risk tolerance, Stanford marshmallow experiment, universal basic income, working poor

We’d also seen quite a few attractive listings we’d seriously considered, but ultimately disqualified for various reasons: you could see the neighbors’ house (we wanted to be remote), there wasn’t enough acreage, there were no outbuildings, one home had a two-mile-long winding driveway leading to a house perched at the apex of a mountain (good for views but not for much of anything else), or, as happened in several instances, the surrounding town and school district weren’t vibrant. Given our year and a half of research, this newfound dream homestead seemed almost too good on paper, which made us fairly certain there’d be some hidden flaw. Probably it didn’t have indoor plumbing or was missing half its roof or was inhabited by a family of black bears. Nevertheless, we decided to drive north for one final pre-baby homestead hunting trip, which was as much babymoon vacation as legitimate house hunt because there’s no way you find your dream homestead when you’re eight months pregnant with your first child, right?! It was a chilly, clear late October day and the sky was a cloudless, brilliant, almost otherworldly blue.


pages: 580 words: 168,476

The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future by Joseph E. Stiglitz

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, business cycle, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Dava Sobel, declining real wages, deskilling, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Flash crash, framing effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, information asymmetry, invisible hand, jobless men, John Harrison: Longitude, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, London Interbank Offered Rate, lone genius, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, medical bankruptcy, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage tax deduction, negative equity, obamacare, offshore financial centre, paper trading, Pareto efficiency, patent troll, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, uranium enrichment, very high income, We are the 99%, wealth creators, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Economists have taken a hard look at differences in lifetime income—and, unfortunately, the wish of the Right doesn’t conform to today’s reality: lifetime inequality is very large, almost as great as income at each moment of time, and has increased enormously in recent years.102 The Right also sometimes claims that poverty in America is not real poverty. After all, most of those in poverty have amenities that are not available to the poor in other countries. They should be grateful for living in America. They have TVs, indoor plumbing, heating (most of the time), and access to free schools. But as a National Academy of Sciences panel found,103 one cannot ignore relative deprivation. Basic standards of sanitation in America’s cities lead naturally to indoor plumbing. Cheap Chinese TVs mean that even the poor can afford them—and indeed, even in poor Indian and Chinese villages, there is in general access to TV. In today’s world, this is not a mark of affluence. But the fact that people may be enjoying a small TV doesn’t really mean that they aren’t facing stark poverty—nor does it mean that they are participating in the American dream.104 The third response is to quibble about the statistics.


pages: 568 words: 162,366

The Oil and the Glory: The Pursuit of Empire and Fortune on the Caspian Sea by Steve Levine

Berlin Wall, California gold rush, computerized trading, corporate raider, cuban missile crisis, facts on the ground, failed state, fixed income, indoor plumbing, Khyber Pass, megastructure, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, oil rush, Potemkin village, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, telemarketer, trade route

Walt Marshall, a New York–born helicopter pilot who took a job flying for Chevron, recalled when “five cars at a traffic light was a traffic jam” and outhouses dotted the town because the water pressure wasn’t strong enough to activate indoor plumbing. Now the streets were filled with cars, and water was available most of the day, even hot water. Townspeople catering to the needs of foreigners found themselves flush with cash, and that set off a construction boom. Inevitably, corrupt local officials figured out how to skim dollars from some of the projects; they built some enormous brick houses along the riverfront. While the lucky ones were suddenly earning several hundred dollars a month, most Atyrau townspeople remained among the poorest in Kazakhstan, earning an average of less than thirty dollars a month. Yevgeny Karamashin, a twenty-seven-year-old ethnic Ukrainian, longed to find a new home with indoor plumbing for himself, his wife, and a dozen relatives. He survived by poaching catfish, which his wife sold at a nearby bazaar.


pages: 638 words: 156,653

Berlin by Andrea Schulte-Peevers

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Google Earth, indoor plumbing, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Skype, starchitect, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal

The early years of the German empire – a period called Gründerzeit (foundation years) – were marked by major economic growth, fuelled in part by a steady flow of French reparation payments. Hundreds of thousands of people poured into Berlin in search of work in the factories. Housing shortages were solved by building labyrinthine tenements (Mietskasernen, literally ‘rental barracks’), where entire families subsisted in tiny and poorly ventilated flats without indoor plumbing. New political parties gave a voice to the proletariat, foremost the Socialist Workers’ Party (SAP), the forerunner of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD; Social Democratic Party of Germany). Founded in 1875, the SAP captured 40% of the Berlin vote only two years later. Bismarck tried to make the party illegal but eventually, under pressure from the growing and increasingly antagonistic socialist movement, he enacted Germany’s first modern social reforms, though this was not his true nature.

* * * PRETTY PISSOIRS We don’t usually go around pointing out public toilets as tourist attractions, but the octagonal Christmas tree–green hut outside the Senefelder Platz U-Bahn station (Map) is worth a special mention. It’s one of about two dozen remaining public urinals that popped up all over Berlin in the late 19th century when the municipal sanitation system couldn’t keep up with the exploding population. Inspired by their distinctive shape, Berliners nicknamed these relief stations Café Achteck (Café Octagon). Most were torn down when indoor plumbing became commonplace, but the survivors are gradually being restored and modernised. The ‘Cadillac’ models – like the new one on Gendarmenmarkt (Map) – can even accommodate women. But you still can’t get coffee… * * * Return to beginning of chapter PRENZLAUER BERG Walking Tour 1 Senefelderplatz Trivia quiz: who’s the inventor of lithography? Why, Aloys Sene-felder (1771–1834), of course.


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

But every now and then, strange gaps open between us and them, not just the obvious gaps in technological sophistication, but more subtle, conceptual gaps. In today’s world, we think of hygiene in fundamentally different ways. The concept of bathing, for instance, was alien to most nineteenth-century Europeans and Americans. You might naturally assume that taking a bath was a foreign concept simply because people didn’t have access to running water and indoor plumbing and showers the way most of us in the developed world do today. But, in fact, the story is much more complicated than that. In Europe, starting in the Middle Ages and running almost all the way to the twentieth century, the prevailing wisdom on hygiene maintained that submerging the body in water was a distinctly unhealthy, even dangerous thing. Clogging one’s pores with dirt and oil allegedly protected you from disease.


pages: 239 words: 70,206

Data-Ism: The Revolution Transforming Decision Making, Consumer Behavior, and Almost Everything Else by Steve Lohr

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, bioinformatics, business cycle, business intelligence, call centre, cloud computing, computer age, conceptual framework, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Danny Hillis, data is the new oil, David Brooks, East Village, Edward Snowden, Emanuel Derman, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, impulse control, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, invention of writing, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John von Neumann, lifelogging, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, meta analysis, meta-analysis, money market fund, natural language processing, obamacare, pattern recognition, payday loans, personalized medicine, precision agriculture, pre–internet, Productivity paradox, RAND corporation, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, skunkworks, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, The Design of Experiments, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, Von Neumann architecture, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!

Linking modern communications to computing, he observes, brought the Internet uptick in productivity from 1996 to 2004, a relatively brief historical period. Since the early 2000s, Gordon sees technological innovation mainly in consumer electronics. Those inventions, he writes, are “smaller, smarter and more capable, but do not fundamentally change labor productivity or the standard of living” in the way that indoor plumbing, electric lighting, and the automobile did. Gordon’s paper brought an outcry from Silicon Valley and technology optimists in academia. In December 2012, Gordon responded to his detractors in the Wall Street Journal. In the article, Gordon observes that he has been accused of a failure of imagination. “But,” he writes, “I am not forecasting an end to innovation, just a decline in the usefulness of future inventions in comparison with the great inventions of the past.”


pages: 262 words: 66,800

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

Note: An improved water source is one that is protected from outside contamination; improved sanitation is a system that separates excreta from human contact. Sources: WHO 1995, 2015.3 Flush toilets have been used in many civilizations, including the Roman Empire, but the modern water closet was invented in 1596 for Queen Elizabeth I by her godson Sir John Harrington. In the absence of an extensive sewer system it wasn’t very useful. Indoor plumbing and widespread installation of water closets would take another 300 years. There are contemporaneous accounts of aristocrats soiling the corridors of Versailles and the Palais Royal. Indeed, the reason why Versailles’s hedges were so tall was so that they could function as toilet partitions. One eighteenth-century writer described Versailles as ‘the receptacle of all of humanity’s horrors – the passageways, corridors and courtyards are filled with urine and faecal matter’.4 Until modern times, taking a bath was rare, even controversial.


pages: 564 words: 178,408

Citizens of London: The Americans Who Stood With Britain in Its Darkest, Finest Hour by Lynne Olson

Alistair Cooke, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, European colonialism, financial independence, full employment, imperial preference, indoor plumbing, jobless men, old-boy network, South China Sea

Of Murrow, a British friend recalled: “He was concerned, very concerned, that his own country wasn’t aware of the facts of life. And that if Hitler & Co. were not stopped here, the next stop was Manhattan.” WHILE ED MURROW and Gil Winant were alike in many ways, their backgrounds were vastly different. Murrow’s father had been an impoverished dirt farmer in Polecat Creek, North Carolina, who moved his wife and four sons to Washington State when Ed was five, to find work in logging camps. The family did not have indoor plumbing until Murrow was fourteen and didn’t have a phone during the entire time he lived at home. Idealistic and at the same time intensely ambitious, Murrow was a critic of unearned privilege who strongly believed that journalists should be champions of the underdog. Yet he also yearned for admission to the clubs and salons of upper-class America and England. In London, he took to wearing Savile Row pinstripes, one of the methods he used to erase the vestiges of his hardscrabble origins.

“Gentlemen,” he told his staff shortly after arriving in London, “we have one chance and only one of winning this war, and that is in complete and unqualified partnership with the British…. I shall govern myself accordingly and expect you to do likewise.” Nonetheless, his introduction into the sniffy upper-class world in which his British counterparts operated was a rocky one. A country boy from Abilene, Kansas, Eisenhower had grown up in a house on the wrong side of the tracks, with no running water or indoor plumbing. “There is no question,” wrote one of his biographers, “that poverty steeled young Dwight’s ambition and his determination to excel [and to] succeed.” Yet, although he concealed it well, his humble roots also left him with a deep sense of insecurity, a fear of being perceived as a country bumpkin—a not uncommon unease felt by other Americans when mingling with upper-crust Britons. “He feared nothing so much as exposure,” said an associate.


pages: 306 words: 78,893

After the New Economy: The Binge . . . And the Hangover That Won't Go Away by Doug Henwood

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, business cycle, capital controls, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation, pets.com, post-work, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

This is a remarkably amnesiac claim. The development of the telegraph, for example, reduced the time needed for communication across oceans and continents from weeks to seconds; surely this was a change far more profound than the development of the first Mosaic web browser. Similarly with railroads, automobiles, radio, television, antibiotics, telephones, electricity, jet travel, plastics, indoor plumbing.... Indeed, someone born in 1870 and Hving the allotted threescore years and ten saw the world change far more than someone like me, say, born in 1952. And, while the number of new products may be larger than ever in absolute terms, the pace of innovation may actually be slower than in the past. JackTriplett (1999) proves this point by looking at the mundane grocery store. In 1948, there were 2,200 products on sale in the average grocery store.


pages: 381 words: 78,467

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family And by Sonia Arrison

23andMe, 8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Anne Wojcicki, artificial general intelligence, attribution theory, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, Clayton Christensen, dark matter, disruptive innovation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Frank Gehry, Googley, income per capita, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Kickstarter, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, placebo effect, post scarcity, Ray Kurzweil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Singularitarianism, smart grid, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Thomas Malthus, upwardly mobile, World Values Survey, X Prize

FIGURE 2.1 REDEFINING OLD AGE Before discussing how new technologies will allow us to live longer, it makes sense for readers to briefly examine how life expectancies have been extended thus far. Tragically, the majority of children used to die before reaching adulthood.4 This was mainly due to infectious diseases, poor nutrition, and sanitation problems. Discoveries such as antibiotics, vaccines, vitamins, and indoor plumbing led to humanity’s rapid gains in life expectancy. What this means is that for most of history gains in human life expectancy were made at the beginning, not the end, of life. It is true that older people have always been part of society, but they were less numerous and more weathered than today’s seniors. As life expectancy rose, so did the number of older people, and that was when chronic diseases associated with aging, such as heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, made their way into our common life and vocabulary.


pages: 265 words: 74,941

The Great Reset: How the Post-Crash Economy Will Change the Way We Live and Work by Richard Florida

banking crisis, big-box store, blue-collar work, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, collapse of Lehman Brothers, congestion charging, creative destruction, deskilling, edge city, Edward Glaeser, falling living standards, financial innovation, Ford paid five dollars a day, high net worth, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of the telephone, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, McMansion, Menlo Park, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pattern recognition, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, reserve currency, Richard Florida, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social intelligence, sovereign wealth fund, starchitect, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, total factor productivity, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional, Zipcar

Part I PAST AS PROLOGUE Chapter One The Great Reset I can’t help wondering what my parents would be thinking right now. Born in the 1920s, my mother and father lived through many of the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century, from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the roaring recovery of the decades that followed the Second World War. Both grew up in Newark, New Jersey’s Italian district, my father’s home absent a refrigerator or indoor plumbing. They recounted stories of the bread lines and tent cities and government-issued clothing that marked the urban misery of the Depression years. My dad left school at age thirteen and took up work in an eyeglasses factory, combining his wages with those of his father, mother, and six siblings to make a family wage. At Christmas, his parents, unable to afford new toys, wrapped the same toy steam shovel, year after year, and placed it for him under the tree.


pages: 206 words: 9,776

Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution by David Harvey

Bretton Woods, business cycle, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, creative destruction, David Graeber, deindustrialization, financial innovation, Guggenheim Bilbao, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Ponzi scheme, precariat, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, special economic zone, the built environment, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, urban planning, We are the 99%, William Langewiesche, Works Progress Administration

For it was Lefebvre's central conclusion that the city we had once known and imagined was fast disappearing and that it could not be reconstituted I would agree with this, but assert it even more emphatically, because Lefebvre takes very little care to depict the dismal conditions of life for the masses in some of his favored cities of the past (those of the Italian Renaissance in Tuscany). Nor does he dwell on the fact that in 1945 most Parisians lived without indoor plumbing in execrable housing conditions (where they froze in winter and baked in summer) in crumbling neighborhoods, and that something had to be, and-at least during the 1 960s-was being done to remedy that. The problem was that it was bureaucratically organized and implemented by a French dirigiste state without a whiff of democratic input or an ounce of playful imagination, and that it merely etched relations of class privilege and domination into the very physical landscape of the city.


pages: 242 words: 73,728

Give People Money by Annie Lowrey

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, airport security, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, ending welfare as we know it, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, full employment, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Earth, Home mortgage interest deduction, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Jaron Lanier, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, late capitalism, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, McMansion, Menlo Park, mobile money, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, post scarcity, post-work, Potemkin village, precariat, randomized controlled trial, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, theory of mind, total factor productivity, Turing test, two tier labour market, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, uranium enrichment, War on Poverty, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey, Y Combinator

Homesteads fan out into the hilly bramble, connected by cow paths. The village is poor, even by the standards of rural Kenya. (I agreed not to name it, in part to avoid directing robbers to it.) It is poor enough that it is considered rude to eat in public, as it is seen to be boasting that you have food. There is just one working water tap, requiring many of the village’s women to walk to a lake or a deep pit to gather water in jerry cans. There is no indoor plumbing and some families still practice open defecation, since they lack the resources to dig a latrine. There are few motorbikes and cars, imperiling anyone with a medical emergency. There is little irrigation and farm equipment—there aren’t even oxen strong enough to pull a plow—so most farming is done by hand. Everybody is working all the time, though only a handful are formally employed. People get by making charcoal by burning wood, raising small livestock, and doing odd jobs.


pages: 302 words: 74,350

I Hate the Internet: A Novel by Jarett Kobek

Anne Wojcicki, Burning Man, disruptive innovation, East Village, Edward Snowden, Golden Gate Park, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, liberation theology, Mark Zuckerberg, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, packet switching, PageRank, Peter Thiel, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, V2 rocket, Vernor Vinge, wage slave, Whole Earth Catalog

They stole his most valuable intellectual property, Watchmen Having committed this theft, the company cheapened Watchmen in the typical fashion: (1) Terrible merchandise. (2) A terrible film. (3) Terrible, creator-unauthorized prequels. This theft and cheapening was achieved through a series of complex contractual gymnastics which occurred in 1985 between a multinational corporation and someone who had grown up without indoor plumbing. Comic Relief was a comic book store that had been located on Haight Street. After the store closed, a great number of other establishments had occupied its former address. In that moment, as Jeremy and Adeline ambled through Buena Vista Park, the storefront was occupied by an establishment called BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. It sold sex toys and lingerie. “What I can’t get over these days,” said Jeremy, “is that the world seems obsessed with everything that I really cared about when I was fifteen years old.


pages: 338 words: 74,302

Only Americans Burn in Hell by Jarett Kobek

AltaVista, coherent worldview, corporate governance, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, East Village, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, haute couture, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, mandelbrot fractal, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pre–internet, sexual politics, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996

Smartphones, the Internet, and air travel were only refinements of a principle that had governed human behavior from its very beginnings. All the technology really did was create new ways for a person to be annoyed by the neighbors. Fern and Celia knew where the real change had been. They knew what the real difference was between Los Angeles in the Year of the Froward Worm and, say, the early medieval period or the Ancient Hellenic era. Fern and Celia knew that the real change had come with the development of indoor plumbing and, specifically, the management of sewage. Celia and Fern were more sensitive than usual to the problem of human waste and its effective management. After all, they’d both watched the Red-Rose Knight be assassinated by Orson’s shit. The effective management of human sewage had been developed about one hundred years prior to the Year of the Froward Worm. Homo sapiens had been on Earth for about two hundred thousand years, which means that it took the planet’s dominant species roughly one hundred and ninety-nine thousand nine hundred years before someone realized that people shouldn’t do a poo on the living-room floor.


Switzerland by Damien Simonis, Sarah Johnstone, Nicola Williams

Albert Einstein, bank run, car-free, clean water, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, the market place, trade route, young professional

The cableway is open 8.30am to 5pm daily (last ascent/descent 3.40/4.50pm), but closes for maintenance for two weeks in early November. BRUNNI Brunni, on the opposite side of the valley, offers a series of untaxing, relaxing hikes. The cable car (one way/return in summer Sfr14/22) goes up to Ristis at 1600m. Here, there’s a chairlift that takes you to the Brunni Hütte (%041 637 37 32; www.berghuette.ch; adult/child Sfr52/35, breakfast Sfr10), a recently refurbished mountain hut that now has indoor plumbing. From here you can watch a magnificent sunset before spending the night. OTHER HIKES In summer, it’s also possible to leave Engelberg on foot. The Surenenpass (2291m) is the scenic route to Attinghausen, from where a bus can take you to Altdorf and the southern end of Lake Uri. It takes around seven hours to get to Attinghausen; taking a cable car along the route can save two hours. From Jochpass a path goes to Meiringen via Engstlenalp and Tannalp.

Take care in studying accommodation lists, as dormitories may only take groups. Mattresses are often crammed side by side in massive bunks in these places; however, there are usually no curfews and the doors aren’t usually locked during the day. Some camp sites offer simple dorm beds too. Student dorms in university towns may also be offered during holidays. There’s been a move in recent years to upgrade the accommodation in Alpine huts – including indoor plumbing – although most remain quite basic. There are some 150 huts, all maintained by the Schweizer Alpenclub (Swiss Alpine Club; %031 370 1818; www. sac-cas.ch in German & French). They’re rarely full and you’ll probably be offered a place on the floor rather than being turned away. If there’s no warden, payment depends on an honesty system, and there will be a book for signing in. Prices are comparable to those of youth hostels.


pages: 716 words: 192,143

The Enlightened Capitalists by James O'Toole

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, desegregation, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, end world poverty, equal pay for equal work, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, garden city movement, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, God and Mammon, greed is good, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inventory management, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Lyft, means of production, Menlo Park, North Sea oil, passive investing, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Socratic dialogue, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, stocks for the long run, stocks for the long term, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, traveling salesman, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, union organizing, Vanguard fund, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional

In many ways a modern version of Owen’s New Lanark, Lever’s Port Sunlight was situated on the banks of the Mersey River, not far from Liverpool and adjacent to Lever Bros.’ new soap factory (capacity, sixteen thousand tons).8 But instead of being a grimy, disease-infested mill town like Bolton, Port Sunlight offered Lever employees up-to-date, spacious homes designed by a leading architect, all with indoor plumbing, their rent heavily subsidized by the company (employees were offered financing to enable them to purchase the homes). Lever’s intention was to create a close-knit community with company-sponsored schools, parks, shops, health care, sports fields, swimming pool, concert hall, gymnasium, library, and cultural clubs and events: “It is my hope, and my brother’s hope, to build houses in which our work people will be able to live and be comfortable—semi-detached houses, with gardens back and front, in which they will learn more about the science of life than they can in a . . . slum, and in which they will learn there is more enjoyment in life than the mere going and returning from work and looking forward to Saturday night to draw their wages.”9 Starting in 1890, Lever did just that at Port Sunlight—and more.

Drawing inspiration from Lever’s Port Sunlight and Burnham’s City Beautiful movement, Hershey hired engineers, architects, landscape gardeners, and others to design a model town, draw up a street grid, and begin to lay its infrastructure. Hershey wanted the latest, best, and most beautiful of everything from sewer lines to community buildings. His well-planned town would have green open spaces, a public park, a zoo, a library, a swimming pool, and a hospital. All its two-story homes would have indoor plumbing, electricity, and central heating. Thanks to generous financing by the Hershey Chocolate Company, the workers would own their homes. Not only would the town have a trolley to take people from their homes to the factory where they worked, Hershey would also build a railroad to connect this remote locale to Lancaster and the nation’s main railway lines. The town he created was as quaint, precious, and antiseptic as Disneyland’s faux Main Street.


pages: 302 words: 83,116

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Andrei Shleifer, Atul Gawande, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, Boris Johnson, call centre, clean water, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, deliberate practice, Did the Death of Australian Inheritance Taxes Affect Deaths, disintermediation, endowment effect, experimental economics, food miles, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Nash: game theory, Joseph Schumpeter, Joshua Gans and Andrew Leigh, longitudinal study, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, market design, microcredit, Milgram experiment, oil shale / tar sands, patent troll, presumed consent, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, selection bias, South China Sea, Stanford prison experiment, Stephen Hawking, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, urban planning, William Langewiesche, women in the workforce, young professional

Parker, two economists who analyzed the data from more than 100,000 Oportunidades clients, found that applicants routinely underreported certain items, including cars, trucks, video recorders, satellite TVs, and washing machines. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. People hoping to get welfare benefits have an incentive to make it sound like they are poorer than they truly are. But as Martinelli and Parker discovered, applicants overreported other items: indoor plumbing, running water, a gas stove, and a concrete floor. Why on earth would welfare applicants say they had these essentials when they didn’t? Martinelli and Parker attribute it to embarrassment. Even people who are poor enough to need welfare apparently don’t want to admit to a welfare clerk that they have a dirt floor or live without a toilet. Venkatesh, knowing that traditional survey methods don’t necessarily produce reliable results for a sensitive topic like prostitution, tried something different: real-time, on-the-spot data collection.


pages: 746 words: 221,583

The Children of the Sky by Vernor Vinge

combinatorial explosion, epigenetics, indoor plumbing, megacity, MITM: man-in-the-middle, random walk, risk tolerance, technological singularity, the scientific method, Vernor Vinge

Ravna didn’t know whether to laugh or cry about that. The half-timbered houses were large, each big enough for a married couple, a young child or children on the way, and one or two pack friends. Oobii was able to keep the buildings warm by shining a very low-power beam gun on the hot water towers that stood next to each house. So the town houses were comfortably warm all year round, with hot and cold running water and indoor plumbing. A large part of Oobii’s tech rent had gone into paying for the Children’s town houses. The second-generation kids thought they were heavenly. Their parents regarded the houses as a small step up from purgatory. “Ha. I felt another pulse,” said Scrupilo. Ravna called the ship. Still no joy. “We’re almost to Cliffside harbor, Scrupilo. I think that’s beyond where the thief could have come.”

Ravna was assigned one of the newest town houses on the Queen’s Road. Bili Yngva showed her around the place and helped her move in. Bili was apparently Nevil’s chief lieutenant. Bili was smiling and respectful. “Nevil wanted to show you this place, but I think he’s discovered just how much work admin can be,” he said, with a disarming grin. They were on the second floor of her new home. Like all the town houses, this had steam heating and indoor plumbing. These new ones had a second flush toilet on the upper floor. The upper floor had both a front stairs and a back stairs. There was a living room with wide glass windows. The southwest exposures gave a grand view across the Inner Channel. “This is the first house with the new optical-grade glass sheeting. It’s almost like having a real display, except that the view menu is a bit limited.” He waved at the swirls of frost that encrusted the margins of the glass.


pages: 297 words: 89,820

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness by Steven Levy

Apple II, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, en.wikipedia.org, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Sand Hill Road, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, social web, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, technology bubble, Thomas L Friedman

Instead, supposedly wide-eyed oracles like myself would be sitting on a panel, taking a deep breath before we pronounced that one day maybe a hundred million people would be on the Net, and, yes, one day every person in this audience might have an e-mail address! Invariably someone would smirk at such lunacy—a fad, they'd say, millennial pap! Remember CB radio? Obviously, the Internet did what CB radio could not and is no more a fad than were language, musical instruments, and indoor plumbing. But as the twenty-first century began, the Internet had not yet fulfilled the dream of CB radio: a people's form of broadcasting. Publishing of the written word, yes—it was easy to start a Web site, and the nascent blogging movement made it possible to distribute one's prose worldwide with a single mouse click. But when it came to empowering potential Edward R. Murrows or Howard Sterns, nothing was happening.


pages: 384 words: 89,250

Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade

Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, American ideology, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, business cycle, Cass Sunstein, Charles Lindbergh, creative destruction, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, white picket fence, women in the workforce

The fl ors in Alfred’s naval housing during the war and, later, his Cape Cods copied the heating system of his teacher’s Usonian prototype.Although this heating system was not Alfred’s innovation, the publicity that Levitt and Sons derived from the scale and success of the firs Levittown on Long Island virtually eliminated basements in all but luxury-class residential architecture in the decade after World War II. In every major metropolis, from Baltimore to San Antonio, large construction companies appeared which adopted Levitt and Son’s concrete-slab construction.31 If basements became obsolete simply as a matter of economy, the reasons for the appeal of porchless houses was slightly more complex. After World War II, many people came to associate porches with old-fashioned houses whose indoor plumbing, electrical wiring, and other amenities were substandard.32 But in the postwar years, porches suffered from another unpleasant association. They were one example of what the sociologist Sharon Zukin calls liminal spaces—public areas for meeting, mixing, and transit.33 For low-income inner-city tenants, these liminal spaces, including front stoops, hallways, parks, sidewalks, squares, bus stops, and train terminals, can be sites of uncomfortable interactions—elevator silences, excessive noise, physical aggression.


pages: 339 words: 88,732

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee

"Robert Solow", 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business cycle, business intelligence, business process, call centre, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, digital map, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, G4S, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, intangible asset, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, mass immigration, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, payday loans, post-work, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K

Unsurprisingly, it turns out that economic growth was, too. As Gordon shows, however, once this growth got started it stayed on a sharp upward trajectory for two hundred years. This was due not only to the original Industrial Revolution, but also to a second one, it too reliant on technological innovation. Three novelties were central here: electricity, the internal combustion engine, and indoor plumbing with running water, all of which came onto the scene between 1870 and 1900. The ‘great inventions’ of this second industrial revolution, in Gordon’s estimation, “were so important and far-reaching that they took a full 100 years to have their main effect.” But once that effect had been realized, a new problem emerged. Growth stalled out, and even began to decline. At the risk of being flippant, when the steam engine ran out of steam, the internal combustion engine was there to replace it.


pages: 369 words: 94,588

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism by David Harvey

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, call centre, capital controls, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, failed state, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, full employment, global reserve currency, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, Gunnar Myrdal, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Just-in-time delivery, land reform, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, means of production, megacity, microcredit, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, New Urbanism, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Ponzi scheme, precariat, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, special drawing rights, special economic zone, statistical arbitrage, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, women in the workforce

One of my favourite tales, told brilliantly in Greg Grandin’s 2009 book Fordlandia, is that of Henry Ford’s speculative attempt in the 1920s to tame the Amazon for rubber production. He bought up a huge tract of land in Amazonia, called his new town Fordlandia, and sought to impose upon the tropical rainforest an American Midwestern lifestyle for the rubber plantation and factory workers. The idea was to secure the flow of rubber for the tyres of his cars (he had established control over almost everything else). ‘Fordlandia had a central square, sidewalks, indoor plumbing, manicured lawns, a movie theater, shoe stores, ice cream and perfume shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, a golf course, and, of course, Model Ts rolling down its paved streets,’ writes Grandin. Nothing came of it all, even after twenty years of trying and the outlay of astronomical amounts of money. The tropical rainforest won out. Abandoned in 1945, the place is now a ruin in the jungle.


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

Most memorably, he argued that technological progress might have slowed down, or, more specifically, that the economic benefit of new discoveries was less than had been the case in the past. The economist and economic historian Robert Gordon developed this theme in his influential 2016 book The Rise and Fall of American Growth, in which he argued that the inventions over the twentieth century, such as electricity, indoor plumbing, and the like, were part of “one big wave of innovation” that will not be repeated. This explanation for secular stagnation has proved controversial, not least because it turns out to be very difficult to measure whether technological progress has slowed down. A totally out-of-the-blue technological slowdown that is not easy to confirm using data has seemed to some too much of a deus ex machina, and many of those interested in secular stagnation have looked around for other causes.


pages: 313 words: 91,098

The Knowledge Illusion by Steven Sloman

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, attribution theory, bitcoin, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, combinatorial explosion, computer age, crowdsourcing, Dmitri Mendeleev, Elon Musk, Ethereum, Flynn Effect, Hernando de Soto, hindsight bias, hive mind, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, libertarian paternalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, meta analysis, meta-analysis, obamacare, prediction markets, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, Rodney Brooks, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Wisdom of Crowds, Vernor Vinge, web application, Whole Earth Review, Y Combinator

But this was possible only because others in the community filled the other roles—spear wielding, butchery, making fire. There’s an explosive gain in efficiency and power when cognitive labor is divided. This explosive gain resulting from the division of cognitive labor can be seen directly in the construction of a building. Individuals working alone can put up a tent or even build a log cabin. Modern homes, with indoor plumbing, insulation, temperature control, full-service kitchens, and home entertainment systems, require a group effort. Consider the variety of trades that participate in building a modern home: surveyors, excavators, framers, bricklayers, roofers, plumbers, drywall and window installers, carpenters, painters, plasterers, electricians, cabinetmakers, landscapers, and carpet installers. Some people can do more than one job, but nobody can do all of them in a way that meets legal codes and satisfies the modern consumer.


pages: 327 words: 90,542

The Age of Stagnation: Why Perpetual Growth Is Unattainable and the Global Economy Is in Peril by Satyajit Das

"Robert Solow", 9 dash line, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, collaborative economy, colonial exploitation, computer age, creative destruction, cryptocurrency, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, Downton Abbey, Emanuel Derman, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, financial repression, forward guidance, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gig economy, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, happiness index / gross national happiness, Honoré de Balzac, hydraulic fracturing, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, Innovator's Dilemma, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, liquidity trap, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, margin call, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, open economy, passive income, peak oil, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, precariat, price stability, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, rising living standards, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, savings glut, secular stagnation, seigniorage, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Slavoj Žižek, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, TaskRabbit, The Chicago School, 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 market place, the payments system, The Spirit Level, Thorstein Veblen, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade route, transaction costs, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, WikiLeaks, Y2K, Yom Kippur War, zero-coupon bond, zero-sum game

In 2015, the McKinsey Global Institute estimated that, without labor productivity increases to offset the effects of aging populations and declining birthrates, it is conceivable that there will be a 40 percent drop in GDP growth rates and a 20 percent drop in the growth rate of per capita income globally.8 Innovation too may be flagging. Economist Robert Gordon identified three phases of innovation.9 Industrial revolution 1 (1750–1830) focused on coal, steam engines, railroads, and textiles. Industrial revolution 2 (1870–1900) saw five key innovations: electricity; the internal combustion engine; running water, indoor plumbing, and central heating; rearranging molecules central to petroleum, chemicals, plastics, and pharmaceuticals; and communication and entertainment devices such as the telephone, the phonograph, popular photography, radio, and motion pictures. Industrial revolution 3 (1960 to the present) has been concentrated around computing and telecommunications. Innovation entails a series of discontinuous, highly significant technological jumps, followed by gradual adoption and modest incremental improvements.


pages: 347 words: 86,274

The Power of Glamour: Longing and the Art of Visual Persuasion by Virginia Postrel

Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, factory automation, Frank Gehry, indoor plumbing, job automation, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, placebo effect, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, urban renewal, washing machines reduced drudgery, young professional

As an adult, he worked tirelessly as a designer to attain the lifestyle Menzel’s scene represented, a dream Lagerfeld’s biographer Alicia Drake describes as “a world of wit and erudite conversation, a world of light and luxury, choreographed manners and costume, a world of curiosity and a possibility of the superlative.”22 Here is the paradox. The glamour that inspired Lagerfeld was an illusion. The painting naturally omits the unpleasant aspects of eighteenth-century existence (even for aristocrats), from the terrors of smallpox to the lack of indoor plumbing. More important, the manners and customs of eighteenth-century aristocrats are long gone, as Lagerfeld himself acknowledges. “All that has followed is petit bourgeois,” he said in 1979.23 For good or ill, the life of that party cannot be reclaimed by re-creating the scene with antiques and a contemporary group of fashionably attired men. We are different now. As a literal prescription, Lagerfeld’s endeavors were bound to fail.


pages: 341 words: 93,764

The Postman by David Brin

indoor plumbing, New Journalism

Someone pulled out a harmonica. A guitar was passed to Johnny Stevens, who proved to be quite gifted. Soon the crowd was singing bawdy folk songs and old commercial jingles. The mood was high. Hope was thick as the warm, dark beer, and tasted at least as good. It was later in the evening that he heard it for the first time. On his way out of the men’s room—grateful that Cottage Grove had somehow retained gravity-flow indoor plumbing—Gordon stopped suddenly near the back stairs. There had been a sound. The crowd by the fireplace was singing. . . . “Gather ‘round and listen to my tale—a tale of a fateful trip. . . .” Gordon cocked his head. Had he imagined the other murmur? It had been faint, and his head was ringing a bit on its own from the beer. But a queer feeling at the back of his neck, an intuition, refused to let go.


pages: 344 words: 94,332

The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity by Lynda Gratton, Andrew Scott

3D printing, Airbnb, assortative mating, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, disruptive innovation, diversification, Downton Abbey, Erik Brynjolfsson, falling living standards, financial independence, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Google Glasses, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, intangible asset, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Economic Geography, old age dependency ratio, pattern recognition, pension reform, Peter Thiel, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, uber lyft, women in the workforce, young professional

Looking back 100 years, a present-day centenarian has seen much in their lifetime: two world wars and a shift from soldiers on horseback to nuclear weapons; the Russian Revolution and the rise and fall of communism; an end to the first wave of globalization and the emergence of the second; the collapse and subsequent ascendance of China; the advent of electricity, radio and television; the early days of the Model T; the first-ever commercial air flight; and, of course, the first manned flight to the moon, as well as the rise of the internet. At a domestic level they would have seen the advent of automatic washing machines, the widespread adoption of indoor plumbing in the house, as well as the vacuum cleaner, not to mention the introduction of the zipper and the bra! A moment’s reflection on these changes makes it obvious that being able to forecast developments for the centenarians born today is nonsensical. Dealing with this uncertainty will be a major part of living a long life. Those who live longer – assuming the pace of change will not alter – will experience a great deal more flux than past generations.


pages: 934 words: 232,651

Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-1956 by Anne Applebaum

active measures, affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, centre right, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, language of flowers, means of production, New Urbanism, Potemkin village, price mechanism, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, scientific worldview, Slavoj Žižek, stakhanovite, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning

And so even as the Palace of Culture was under construction, the city bureau also began to rebuild Warsaw’s medieval Old Town and its historic main thoroughfare, Nowy Świat, in excruciating, painstaking detail. The party was somewhat embarrassed by this: Bierut explained that healthy, sanitary, contemporary apartments would be constructed behind the old-fashioned façades, and would be handed immediately to worthy members of the working class.58 But despite the addition of indoor plumbing, the Old Town eventually looked so familiar that some found it eerie. One former resident of the medieval city center described the effect years later: “The house I was born in was destroyed violently … but I can go into the bedroom I had as a boy, look out of the exact same window at the exact same house across the courtyard. There’s even a lamp bracket with a curious twist in it hanging in the same place.”59 This, at last, was popular, and for a while the Old Town was a powerful advertisement for the regime.

She almost gave up and went home, but was convinced to stay by Tevan, her work supervisor. Unusually, Tevan had her own apartment: “There was a hostel for engineers but since everybody was a man, I got a separate room in a half-ready building. The walls were not plastered, the room was so damp that I had to sleep with my clothes on and by the morning all my clothes had become wet.” But the apartment did have indoor plumbing and a small kitchen, and Tevan lived alone. Though she didn’t tell Kollár at the time, her fiancé was then in prison, having been swept up with dozens of others in the wake of the Rajk trial. She invited Kollár to stay with her, and the two women lived together until Kollár married a year later. For Kollár, the period that followed seemed, in retrospect, a very happy one. When I met her in 2009 she remembered her first years on the steel mill construction site with immense nostalgia.


Zoe's Tale by John Scalzi

gravity well, indoor plumbing

He pointed at the tent next to ours. “At the very least, you’ll be close to your friend. This is Trujillo’s tent. He and Gretchen will be living here.” “Good,” I said. I had caught up with Dad with Gretchen and her dad; the two of them had gone off to look at the little river that ran near the edge of our soon-to-be settlement to find out the best place to put the waste collector and purifier. No indoor plumbing for the first few weeks at least, we were told; we’d be doing our business in buckets. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was to hear that. Gretchen had rolled her eyes a little bit at her dad as he dragged her off to look at likely locations; I think she was regretting taking the early trip. “How long until we start bringing down the other colonists?” I asked. Dad pointed. “We want to get the perimeter set up first,” he said.


pages: 304 words: 96,930

Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture by Taylor Clark

Berlin Wall, commoditize, cuban missile crisis, David Brooks, deskilling, Edmond Halley, fear of failure, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, McJob, McMansion, Naomi Klein, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, The Great Good Place, trade route

San Francisco proper, with seventy-five outlets for its 744,000 inhabitants (score: 10.1), rates highly; Cleveland, which has just nine of them for its 478,000 people (score: 1.9), not so much. And Detroit (score: 0.4) might want to have its mayor put in an emergency call to Seattle. Consequently, long-struggling communities often react to the arrival of Starbucks the same way some citizens of developing nations react to getting indoor plumbing. When one finally opened in Lexington, Kentucky, in 2002, a local business owner was actually quoted as saying, “Hallelujah!” There’s something almost delusional in the way people talk about their new Starbucks. When the company debuted in Muskegon, Michigan, for example, the president of the local chamber of commerce crowed, “Having them locate in Muskegon is a symbol that we are a community of the future.”


pages: 364 words: 99,613

Servant Economy: Where America's Elite Is Sending the Middle Class by Jeff Faux

back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, disruptive innovation, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kickstarter, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, old-boy network, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

—James Baldwin 8 The Politics of Austerity Banana republic, here we come,” wrote Paul Krugman in December 2010 after Barack Obama and the Republicans agreed on a deficit-reduction plan that slashed social spending and continued George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy.1 To be sure, Krugman’s phrase—conjuring up the image of strutting generals, hacienda-owning oligarchs, and tin-shack poverty—was tongue-in-cheek. The United States is not a third-world country. Our generals tend not to strut, our oligarchs don’t typically raise cattle, and our poor usually have indoor plumbing. But just as surely, a rough template of long-term austerity is slowly being fit onto American society. Given the unequal distribution of income and wealth, widely shared prosperity wholly depends on rapid economic growth. The basic arithmetic is not controversial. The workforce is growing at roughly 1 percent per year. Worker productivity, which reduces the amount of labor required to maintain the same level of production, is on a long-term trend of 2.3 percent per year.


pages: 377 words: 97,144

Singularity Rising: Surviving and Thriving in a Smarter, Richer, and More Dangerous World by James D. Miller

23andMe, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, Asperger Syndrome, barriers to entry, brain emulation, cloud computing, cognitive bias, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, en.wikipedia.org, feminist movement, Flynn Effect, friendly AI, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, low skilled workers, Netflix Prize, neurotypical, Norman Macrae, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, phenotype, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Silicon Valley, Singularitarianism, Skype, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, supervolcano, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, Turing test, twin studies, Vernor Vinge, Von Neumann architecture

CHAPTER 14 How Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs Might Impact the Economy CHAPTER 15 Inequality Falling CHAPTER 16 Preparing for the Singularity CHAPTER 17 What Might Derail the Singularity? CHAPTER 18 Singularity Watch ACKNOWLEDGMENTS NOTES REFERENCES INDEX INTRODUCTION We are on the edge of change comparable to the rise of human life on Earth. —Vernor Vinge1 Economic prosperity comes from human intelligence. Consider some of the most basic human inventions—the wheel, the alphabet, the printing press—and later, more complex and advanced inventions such as indoor plumbing, automobiles, radio, television, and vaccines. All are products of the human brain. Had our species been a bit less bright, these inventions might have escaped us. Yet we can only begin to imagine the many additional wondrous technologies we might now possess had evolution made us even smarter. In the past, human intelligence was a gift of evolution. No more. We are now using our intelligence to figure out ways of increasing our brainpower.


pages: 359 words: 98,396

Family Trade by Stross, Charles

British Empire, glass ceiling, haute couture, indoor plumbing, land reform, new economy, sexual politics, trade route

And you know something? They’re wrong and I don’t want to be part of that. You’ve been telling me that I can’t escape the Clan, and I’m afraid you’re right—you’ve convinced me— but that only means I’ve got to change things. To carve out a niche I can live with.” She stood up and walked toward him. “I don’t like the way the families live like royalty in a squalid mess that doesn’t even have indoor plumbing. I don’t like the way their law values people by how they can breed and treats women like chattels. I don’t like the way the outer family feel the need to defend the status quo in order to keep from being kicked in the teeth by the inner families. The whole country is ripe for modernization on a massive scale, and the Clan actually has the muscle to do that, if they’d just realize it. I don’t like the dehumanizing poverty the ordinary people have to live with, and I don’t like the way the crazy fucked-up feudal inheritance laws turn an accident of birth into an excuse for rape and murder.


pages: 358 words: 103,103

Revolution Business by Stross, Charles

indoor plumbing, strikebreaker

He wanted to put as many of us as possible through the right kind of finishing school-Harvard, Yale, the Marine Corps-in case we ever have to evacuate." "Evacuate." The gears whirred in Miriam's head. "Evacuate the Gruinmarkt?" If that was even on the menu-"Why hasn't it already happened?" "Would you voluntarily abandon your home? Your world?" Brill looked at her oddly. "Urn. It's home, right?" The idea resonated with her own experience. "But there are no decent roads, no indoor plumbing, hedge-lords with pigs in their halls, a social setup out of the dark ages-why would you stay?" "Home is where everyone you know is," said Brill. "That doesn't mean you've got to love it-you know my thoughts, my lady! What you can't do is ignore it." Miriam fell silent for a couple of minutes, thinking. She'd had a taste of living another life in another world-but it had strings attached, and not ones to her liking, in Baron Henryk's captivity.


pages: 346 words: 101,255

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

It uses water, and what’s so scary about that, when “we wash our faces and hair with water! Humans love water!” I was doubtful. American humans may love water, but not to clean their backsides with. On the Web site of the American Bidet Company, company founder Arnold Cohen, who prefers to be called “Mr. Bidet,” expresses his conviction that the bidet “is the most significant innovation for personal hygiene and sanitation since the introduction of indoor plumbing.” But the bidet has known limited spread beyond its French origins, and even in France it is disappearing. Ninety percent of French homes used to have a bidet; now it’s 10 percent. Yet if logic governed human cleansing habits, the bidet would be as common as the toilet. Instead, it has generally been viewed with suspicion or bewilderment. (One American schoolteacher visiting Paris in 1929 wrote in her diary, “Oh what a mistake we made about the little bathroom for the feet or whatnot.”)


pages: 327 words: 102,322

Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of BlackBerry by Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

Albert Einstein, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, diversified portfolio, indoor plumbing, Iridium satellite, patent troll, QWERTY keyboard, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, Skype, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, the new new thing

Hockey stars such as Jarome Iginla, Doug Weight, and Bill Guerin turned to Smith to crawl out of slumps. Often their problems weren’t physical. Players had to get their head back in the game and Smith knew how to get them there. Once Balsillie explained his circumstances, Smith shared his own story. He was one of ten children born into a hard-luck family in Prince Edward Island. According to Smith’s book, Internal Perfection, his parents lacked money for such basic necessities as indoor plumbing or electricity.14 As a young man, Smith battled a drinking problem, moved to Alberta to work as a pipe fitter, corked his alcohol dependency, and parlayed his redemption into a new career as a high-end personal life coach. Smith shared past traumas with clients to put them at ease. Anything bad they were going through had already happened to him. Smith helped clients cage their fears. The trick, he told Balsillie, was summoning a joyful experience.


pages: 297 words: 96,509

Time Paradox by Philip G. Zimbardo, John Boyd

Albert Einstein, cognitive dissonance, Drosophila, endowment effect, hedonic treadmill, impulse control, indoor plumbing, loss aversion, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Necker cube, Ronald Reagan, science of happiness, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, twin studies

PART VI Corrigibility corrigibility (kor•i•dzĭ•b´l•ĭ•tee) Capable of being corrected, reformed, or improved. CHAPTER 10 Once Bitten Experience, O, thou disprov’st report! Shakespeare, Cymbeline THE LAST DECADE has seen an explosion of books about poop. When my two-year-old granddaughter crawls up onto my lap, she typically brings with her a fat stack of picture books, including several that explore in considerable detail the miracle of defecation and the mysteries of indoor plumbing. Some offer detailed descriptions for the budding anatomist; some offer little more than drawings of happy children, squatting, standing, and wiping. Despite their many differences, each of these books communicates the same message: Grown-ups do not poop in their pants, but if you do, then don’t worry too much about it. My granddaughter seems to find this message both reassuring and inspirational.


pages: 307 words: 102,734

The Black Nile: One Man's Amazing Journey Through Peace and War on the World's Longest River by Dan Morrison

airport security, colonial rule, indoor plumbing, Joan Didion, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Potemkin village, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley

New blooms of bougainvillea were climbing a homemade trellis, and Khalifa’s five-year-old granddaughter came outside to watch us speak and to play with a hose that had been left running in the dirt under the vines. For some, a little running water could go a long way. Khalifa was old and retired, and maybe a little wired. He and his wife, Afaf, had received a three-bedroom house even though their children were all grown and gone. Afaf even ran a little snack and soda stand nearby. I walked deeper into the settlement and found a few other villagers who said they were adjusting nicely to the indoor plumbing and plentiful electricity of their new homes, but they clammed up when a car appeared and parked about twenty yards away. A lone driver got out and watched our meeting without approaching. “We hass to go now,” the taxi driver said. “He is bolise.” Bolise were indeed everywhere in Egypt. Young men in black woolen uniforms lounged outside the tourist sites pretending to screen visitors for explosives and guns.


Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America by Christopher Wylie

4chan, affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, Chelsea Manning, chief data officer, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, computer vision, conceptual framework, cryptocurrency, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Etonian, first-past-the-post, Google Earth, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Peter Thiel, Potemkin village, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Sand Hill Road, Scientific racism, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, uber lyft, unpaid internship, Valery Gerasimov, web application, WikiLeaks, zero-sum game

There are art deco cinemas, roof gardens, and the restless cacophony of intoxicated clubgoers drinking cans of Red Stripe until 4 A.M. every weekend. One often sees completely veiled Muslim women shopping in the same off-license greengrocer as tattoo-clad club kids with asymmetrical hair. It is still a place where I can walk outside in relative anonymity. My building is old, built in a time before the Internet was even imaginable and when indoor plumbing was still a novelty. The floor is wooden and solid, but every so often it creaks as you take a step. There are extra bolts on the door, installed after a group of men kept coming to the door the week after I went public. My neighbors started complaining, until they realized who I was. Now they let me know anytime they see people loitering nearby. There are many things missing where I live.


pages: 415 words: 103,801

The Last Kings of Shanghai: The Rival Jewish Dynasties That Helped Create Modern China by Jonathan Kaufman

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, colonial rule, Deng Xiaoping, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, joint-stock company, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Mikhail Gorbachev, old-boy network, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rent control, Steve Jobs, trade route

He called the view his “muse.” In the bathroom he installed two bathtubs. “I like sharing my bed but not my bath,” he told a friend. The Cathay made the Kadoories’ hotels, even the famed Majestic Hotel, look dowdy by comparison. Guests abandoned the Kadoories’ Astor House Hotel, just down the Bund from the Cathay, which still required room boys to pick up chamber pots, while the Cathay had indoor plumbing. Overnight, Victor’s Cathay turned the Kadoorie hotel into “a second-rate establishment,” an English-language newspaper in Shanghai wrote. An American visitor described the Astor House as “a faded green, cavern-like wooden structure, with tall rooms smelling of must and mildew.” By contrast, slender Chinese women in elegant cheongsams spurned the Majestic and flocked to the Cathay, blending with foreign hotel guests looking for the trendiest tea dances—a British tradition combining afternoon tea with dancing—and the latest jazz.


pages: 401 words: 108,855

Cultureshock Paris by Cultureshock Staff

Anton Chekhov, clean water, haute couture, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, money market fund, QWERTY keyboard, Skype, telemarketer, urban renewal, young professional

By the beginning of the 14th century, its population had reached more than 250,000, cramped in an area perhaps one-quarter of the city’s size today. It may have had an awe-inspiring cathedral and other impressive churches and palaces, and it may have become a renowned centre of learning, but crowded and dank as most cities were at that time, Paris stank. The rich, of course, lived well regardless of the conditions, but with no indoor plumbing or underground sewers; with horses traversing the streets; rubbish piling up and trenches for excrement running open in the middle of many streets—life in the city was not easy for the masses. Houses were heated by fireplaces that smoked and built up soot inside and out; food spoiled quickly; and insects and bugs thrived in bedlinens, clothes and on the people themselves, who went mostly unwashed.


pages: 363 words: 104,113

Clan Corporate by Stross, Charles

glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, liquidity trap, RFID

He’s whistling past the graveyard, she realized, appalled. “How old are you, Erasmus?” she called through the doorway. “Thirty-nine.” The closing kitchen door cut the rest off. Miriam stared after him, slightly horrified. She’d taken him for at least a decade older, well into middle age. This was a roomy apartment, top of the line for the working classes in this time and place. It had luxuries like indoor plumbing, piped town gas, batteries for electricity. But it was no place to live alone, with tuberculosis eating away at your lungs. She stood up and followed the sounds through to the kitchen. “Erasmus-” She paused in the doorway. He had his back turned to her, washing his hands thoroughly under a stream of water piped from the coal-fired stove. “Yes?” He half-turned, his face in shadow. “Have you eaten in the past hour or two?”


pages: 484 words: 104,873

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future by Martin Ford

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, artificial general intelligence, assortative mating, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bernie Madoff, Bill Joy: nanobots, business cycle, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, computer age, creative destruction, debt deflation, deskilling, disruptive innovation, diversified portfolio, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, financial innovation, Flash crash, Fractional reserve banking, Freestyle chess, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gunnar Myrdal, High speed trading, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, iterative process, Jaron Lanier, job automation, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, Lyft, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, McJob, moral hazard, Narrative Science, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, optical character recognition, passive income, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post scarcity, precision agriculture, price mechanism, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, rent-seeking, reshoring, RFID, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, single-payer health, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, strong AI, Stuxnet, technological singularity, telepresence, telepresence robot, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Future of Employment, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, uber lyft, union organizing, Vernor Vinge, very high income, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel’s famous comment—“We were promised flying cars, and instead what we got was 140 characters”—captures the sentiment of a generation that expected the future to be way cooler than this. This lack of broad-based progress stands in stark contrast to what a person who lived through the final decades of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth would have experienced. Indoor plumbing, automobiles, airplanes, electricity, home appliances, and public sanitation and utility systems all came into widespread use during this period. In industrialized countries, at least, people at all levels of society received an astonishing upgrade in the quality of their lives, even as the overall wealth of society was propelled to dizzying new heights. Some economists have taken note of this plodding rate of advance in most spheres of technology and have tied it to the economic trends we looked at in the previous chapter, and in particular to the stagnation of incomes for most ordinary Americans.


pages: 460 words: 108,654

Time Travelers Never Die by Jack McDevitt

Albert Einstein, index card, indoor plumbing, Johannes Kepler, life extension, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Rosa Parks, Thales of Miletus, walking around money, white picket fence, Winter of Discontent

What you must do is avoid shooting your ten-year-old grandfather.” Shel and Dave smiled. “I mean it,” he said. “Avoid the irreparable act.” Michael commented that his visitors must be hungry. But nobody was, so he simply had Albertino bring out some wine. “I can’t resist asking,” he said finally. “Where else have you been?” THEY stayed through the night. The beds were soft, and Shel was surprised to discover indoor plumbing, including a flush toilet and a shower. “They’re in common use,” said Michael, in the morning. “You could use some air-conditioning.” Michael glanced over at Dave, who was busily looking elsewhere. “You’re spoiled,” he said. “I know.” Shel sat back. They’d just had a superb breakfast of bacon and eggs and the largest pieces of toast he’d ever seen. “Dad,” he said, “seriously, I’d like not to hear any more talk about happy times in the Renaissance.


pages: 391 words: 105,382

Utopia Is Creepy: And Other Provocations by Nicholas Carr

Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, Airbus A320, AltaVista, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, cloud computing, cognitive bias, collaborative consumption, computer age, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Elon Musk, factory automation, failed state, feminist movement, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, game design, global village, Google bus, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, hive mind, impulse control, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Joan Didion, job automation, Kevin Kelly, lifelogging, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Menlo Park, mental accounting, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Republic of Letters, robot derives from the Czech word robota Czech, meaning slave, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, SETI@home, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Singularitarianism, Snapchat, social graph, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, technoutopianism, the medium is the message, theory of mind, Turing test, Whole Earth Catalog, Y Combinator

A week ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in a move that he said was inspired by the experience of his friend Steve Jobs, announced that Facebook was introducing a new feature that would make it easy for members to identify themselves as organ donors. Should Zuckerberg’s move increase the supply of organs, it will save many lives and alleviate much suffering. We should all be grateful. Dark dreams of the future are best left to science fiction writers. THE HIERARCHY OF INNOVATION May 14, 2012 If you could choose only one of the following two inventions, indoor plumbing or the Internet, which would you choose? —Robert J. Gordon HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW EDITOR Justin Fox is the latest pundit to ring the “innovation ain’t what it used to be” bell. “Compared with the staggering changes in everyday life in the first half of the 20th century,” he writes, “the digital age has brought relatively minor alterations to how we live.” Fox has a lot of company. He points to science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, who worries that the internet, far from spurring a great burst of industrial creativity, may have put innovation “on hold for a generation.”


pages: 371 words: 108,317

The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future by Kevin Kelly

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, bank run, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, cloud computing, commoditize, computer age, connected car, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, Downton Abbey, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Filter Bubble, Freestyle chess, game design, Google Glasses, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, lifelogging, linked data, Lyft, M-Pesa, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, Mitch Kapor, multi-sided market, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, old-boy network, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, personalized medicine, placebo effect, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, recommendation engine, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social web, software is eating the world, speech recognition, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, transport as a service, two-sided market, Uber for X, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Review, zero-sum game

Before we invented automobiles, air-conditioning, flat-screen video displays, and animated cartoons, no one living in ancient Rome wished they could watch pictures move while riding to Athens in climate-controlled comfort. I did that recently. One hundred years ago not a single citizen of China would have told you that they would rather buy a tiny glassy slab that allowed them to talk to faraway friends before they would buy indoor plumbing. But every day peasant farmers in China without plumbing purchase smartphones. Crafty AIs embedded in first-person shooter games have given millions of teenage boys the urge, the need, to become professional game designers—a dream that no boy in Victorian times ever had. In a very real way our inventions assign us our jobs. Each successful bit of automation generates new occupations—occupations we would not have fantasized about without the prompting of the automation.


pages: 431 words: 106,435

How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher

British Empire, California gold rush, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, clean water, collective bargaining, glass ceiling, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Republic of Letters, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, white flight, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration

His diary records that he received “$1.25 a day above horsefeed” for making this eighty-five-mile trek through a barren, sandy waste on horseback. The entry on his final day of service reads: “My last trip! Thank God.” • • • BY THE LATE NINETEENTH CENTURY, the inescapable fact that urban and rural Americans now lived in different worlds had become an issue of great domestic importance. Residents of cities and towns increasingly enjoyed the world’s most modern homes, equipped with clean water, indoor plumbing, and central heat and light. They had good roads, rail service, municipal utilities, and libraries, as well as access to mass entertainment and the latest consumer goods. The post brought the latest news and information to their doorsteps and enabled many to carry on same-day correspondence. The lives of many of the farmers and settlers who still made up 65 percent of the population were nearly medieval in comparison.


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

But they faced a new test, which proved more daunting to the future of reading than tabloids, radio, film, or even cars. In the 1950s, the television went from living room curiosity to household ubiquity. Less than 1 percent of homes owned a television set in 1948. One decade later, 83 percent did, and they sat in front of it for more than five hours a day. No personal technology—not the radio, the telephone, the car, the refrigerator, or indoor plumbing—had ever spread so quickly from household to household. Newspapers initially ignored the threat from television. Print journalism was “far more fascinating, far more varied, and offers far greater possibility of financial reward,” New York Daily News executive editor Richard W. Clarke said in 1947. New York Times executive editor Turner Catledge, writing in 1951, claimed he did not “regard TV as a direct competitor of the type of newspaper we publish.”


pages: 361 words: 111,500

Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Exxon Valdez, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, indoor plumbing, Mikhail Gorbachev, place-making, Pluto: dwarf planet, science of happiness, Silicon Valley, Transnistria, union organizing

Some of Veenhoven’s colleagues still think his old advisor was right, that the study of happiness is misguided, stupid. But they can’t ignore him. His research is out there; it’s cited in journals, and in the academic world that means it matters. The contemplation of happiness, of course, is not new. The ancient Greeks and Romans did a lot of it. Aristotle, Plato, Epicurus, and others sweated over the eternal questions. What is the good life? Is pleasure the same as happiness? When are we going to invent indoor plumbing? Later, the Greeks and the Romans were joined by others, paler-skinned men from lands farther north who spent an inordinate amount of time in cafés, contemplating life’s inextricable quandaries. Men like Kant, Schopenhauer, Mill, Nietzsche, and, later, Larry David. They, too, had much to say about happiness. And then there is religion. What is religion if not a guide to happiness, to bliss?


pages: 390 words: 115,769

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins

clean water, collective bargaining, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, land reform, life extension, lifelogging, longitudinal study, Maui Hawaii, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, randomized controlled trial, Silicon Valley, telemarketer

And I certainly don’t want to go back to a way of life as devoid of modern technologies as the Vilcabambans have traditionally known. I’ve lived without having a soft place to sleep and I’ve lived without food refrigeration, so I know it is possible to be happy without them, but I enjoy such comforts and am grateful for them. I do not want to live in a barely heated house with a mud floor, and I’d rather not live without running water and indoor plumbing. I also treasure the low rates of infant mortality that have ensued from advances in public health and sanitation, and I appreciate many of the complexities and challenges of the modern world. I love my life in the modern Western world, and even with all its faults and limitations, I still cherish it as my home. I recognize as well that some of the toxicities of the modern world are beginning to encroach upon and alter the traditional Vilcabamban way of life, a development I’ll discuss more fully later on.


pages: 377 words: 115,122

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

8-hour work day, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, call centre, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, game design, hive mind, index card, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, telemarketer, The Wisdom of Crowds, traveling salesman, twin studies, Walter Mischel, web application, white flight

Other students turn to him for speech lessons; he trains them and they start winning, too. By the time Dale leaves college in 1908, his parents are still poor, but corporate America is booming. Henry Ford is selling Model Ts like griddle cakes, using the slogan “for business and for pleasure.” J.C. Penney, Woolworth, and Sears Roebuck have become household names. Electricity lights up the homes of the middle class; indoor plumbing spares them midnight trips to the outhouse. The new economy calls for a new kind of man—a salesman, a social operator, someone with a ready smile, a masterful handshake, and the ability to get along with colleagues while simultaneously outshining them. Dale joins the swelling ranks of salesmen, heading out on the road with few possessions but his silver tongue. Dale’s last name is Carnegie (Carnagey, actually; he changes the spelling later, likely to evoke Andrew, the great industrialist).


pages: 360 words: 110,929

Saturn's Children by Charles Stross

augmented reality, British Empire, business process, gravity well, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Kuiper Belt, loose coupling, phenotype, Pluto: dwarf planet, plutocrats, Plutocrats, theory of mind

(Which is perfectly true if you discount eight major planets, thirtysomething dwarf planets, several hundred moons, and the minor point that, as it turned out, just the one planet they started with was more than enough to see them through to extinction.) And so, this huge consortium of government-run space agencies got started several centuries ago with a charge to figure out ways and means, and now, even though our Creators are still dead, and we still don’t know quite how to bootstrap a biosphere they can live in, they’re sending out starships to build cities and install indoor plumbing in preparation for their eventual colonization and conquest of the galaxy. Talk about misplaced priorities! The Bark is a hollow cylinder about two kilometers long and four hundred meters in diameter, packed with ice. When it’s time to depart, the beampower stations inside Mercury orbit will point their death rays at it and punch about ten thousand gigawatts of microwaves at the rectenna on its tail.


pages: 409 words: 118,448

An Extraordinary Time: The End of the Postwar Boom and the Return of the Ordinary Economy by Marc Levinson

affirmative action, airline deregulation, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boycotts of Israel, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, deindustrialization, endogenous growth, falling living standards, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, informal economy, intermodal, invisible hand, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, late capitalism, linear programming, manufacturing employment, new economy, Nixon shock, North Sea oil, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, price stability, purchasing power parity, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, rising living standards, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, unorthodox policies, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, yield curve, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

More than half of British families owned their own homes by the early 1970s, twice the proportion of 1950 (which helps explain why eight out of ten Britons questioned in 1972 were satisfied with their living conditions). In Rome, quaint bicycles yielded to ear-splitting scooters, which were soon nudged aside by tiny Isetta cars. People in remote French villages installed electric wiring and indoor plumbing. Waves of demand for copper, iron, and other industrial commodities rippled across the world, raising living standards from Brazil to Thailand. Those gains meant not just more income, but also less work and greater opportunity. The average Frenchwoman retired at age sixty-nine in 1950; twenty years later the figure had dropped to sixty-four. Millions of people who had envied the Americans were soon living nearly as well as Americans, with claims to social benefits, like six-week vacations and tuition-free universities, that Americans could only envy.9 The long sweep of history, of course, brushes over important details.


The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler

A Pattern Language, blue-collar work, California gold rush, car-free, City Beautiful movement, corporate governance, Donald Trump, financial independence, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, germ theory of disease, indoor plumbing, jitney, land tenure, mass immigration, means of production, megastructure, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shock, Peter Calthorpe, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, Potemkin village, Ronald Reagan, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Works Progress Administration, yellow journalism

They had grown increasingly isolated from the benefits of industrial civilization. Medical care often lay beyond their reach. One­ room schools could be dismally inadequate and hard to get to. A simple trip to the nearest small town might be an ordeal. Henry Ford, himself a Michigan farmboy, had farmers very much in mind when he devel­ oped the Model T, and they were among his most avid early customers. They emptied their savings accounts and forsook indoor plumbing to buy cars. The Saturday trip to town became an overnight institution all over rural America. Farmers now had regular access to a society beyond their little hill or hollow, to libraries, to popular culture, to ideas besides those in the family Bible. The car also lightened work by serving as a mobile power plant around the farm. With its dr:iving wheel jacked up, its engine could run other machines, saw firewood, pump water.


pages: 453 words: 117,893

What Would the Great Economists Do?: How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today's Biggest Problems by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

German companies, such as Krupp and Thyssen in steel, Siemens in electrical equipment and chemical giants Bayer, Hoechst and BASF had all become industrial powerhouses. But, in the empire, most people still lived on farms, while small businesses were losing out to cheaper products from industrializing nations such as America, Germany and Britain. German Austria’s per capita income in 1913 was only about half that of Britain, though twice that of Hungary. Most people had no access to indoor plumbing, clean water or mass-produced shoes and clothing. Telephones and central heating were available only to the wealthy. Austrian bureaucrats still handwrote documents even though typewriters had been in use for twenty years. Because Schumpeter had grown up during a time of vast change, his Harvard student and later economics Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson described him as ‘completely qualified to play the important sociological role of the alienated stranger’.7 * * * After Schumpeter’s father passed away when he was five, he moved with his mother to Graz, where one of the few universities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was located.


pages: 374 words: 113,126

The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today by Linda Yueh

"Robert Solow", 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, bank run, banking crisis, basic income, Ben Bernanke: helicopter money, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, Corn Laws, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cryptocurrency, currency peg, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, endogenous growth, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, forward guidance, full employment, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gunnar Myrdal, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invisible hand, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, lateral thinking, life extension, manufacturing employment, market bubble, means of production, mittelstand, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, negative equity, Nelson Mandela, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, paradox of thrift, Paul Samuelson, price mechanism, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, reshoring, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working-age population

German companies, such as Krupp and Thyssen in steel, Siemens in electrical equipment and chemical giants Bayer, Hoechst and BASF had all become industrial powerhouses. But, in the empire, most people still lived on farms, while small businesses were losing out to cheaper products from industrializing nations such as America, Germany and Britain. German Austria’s per capita income in 1913 was only about half that of Britain, though twice that of Hungary. Most people had no access to indoor plumbing, clean water or mass-produced shoes and clothing. Telephones and central heating were available only to the wealthy. Austrian bureaucrats still handwrote documents even though typewriters had been in use for twenty years. Because Schumpeter had grown up during a time of vast change, his Harvard student and later economics Nobel laureate Paul Samuelson described him as ‘completely qualified to play the important sociological role of the alienated stranger’.7 After Schumpeter’s father passed away when he was five, he moved with his mother to Graz, where one of the few universities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire was located.


pages: 396 words: 112,354

Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger

Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, low earth orbit, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, white flight

That was a problem, because what the crew wanted the ground to know was that Borman was sick—and it wasn’t just the mild motion sickness that Lovell and Anders had experienced early on. For the better part of twelve hours, Borman had been alternating between throwing up and battling the urge to throw up, a fight he often lost. He was also experiencing intermittent episodes of very loose bowels, a symptom that often accompanies this kind of digestive upset. Both problems were extremely difficult to manage in a spacecraft that had no indoor plumbing. Although the commander was going about his work and his voice betrayed nothing, he would be able to carry on that way for only so long. If Borman couldn’t eat food and hold it down, his performance would falter, and eventually he wouldn’t be able to function at all. Already, the sound and smell of his suffering were making the cramped cockpit unbearable for all three men. Worse, if Borman’s sickness had been caused by a virus, Lovell and Anders would almost certainly contract it, too.


pages: 406 words: 113,841

The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives by Sasha Abramsky

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, bank run, basic income, big-box store, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, fixed income, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, job automation, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, microcredit, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Some of the symptoms of poverty were indeed alleviated, yet the grand goal of the Great Society to actually eradicate poverty—to pull it up by the roots and erase all evidence of its existence—proved to be a bridge too far. Three years after Johnson had launched the War on Poverty, with the country’s attention largely having shifted to the war in Vietnam rather than the domestic “war,” Senator Robert Kennedy would tour the Mississippi Delta and be shocked to see barefoot, malnourished, sickly children living in shanties with no indoor plumbing. By early 1968, as Kennedy campaigned for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, his take on poverty’s unrelenting grip on much of America had gone from surprise to shuddering, incandescent horror. I have seen children in Mississippi starving, their bodies so crippled from hunger and their minds have been so destroyed for their whole life that they will have no future. I have seen children in Mississippi—here in the United States—with a gross national product of $800 billion—I have seen children in the Delta area of Mississippi with distended stomachs, whose faces are covered with sores from starvation, and we haven’t developed a policy so we can get enough food so that they can live, so that their children, so that their lives are not destroyed, I don’t think that’s acceptable in the United States of America and I think we need a change.


pages: 411 words: 114,717

Breakout Nations: In Pursuit of the Next Economic Miracles by Ruchir Sharma

3D printing, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, cloud computing, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, eurozone crisis, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, informal economy, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land reform, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, quantitative easing, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, software is eating the world, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, Thomas L Friedman, trade liberalization, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, zero-sum game

The Technology Edge Today, an interesting debate is under way over whether the digital technology revolution is really a big deal in terms of improving U.S. productivity. Leading skeptics about America’s productivity boom, such as Northwestern University economist Robert Gordon, say the computer and the Internet, even when rendered mobile in handheld devices, do less to raise productivity than inventions from previous technology revolutions—particularly the emergence in the late nineteenth century of electricity, the combustion engine, and indoor plumbing. The technology bulls say we haven’t seen anything yet. Everyone knows that today’s PCs are faster than machines that three decades ago would fill a warehouse. Not everyone is fully aware that the next step—cloud computing—will allow home PCs to tap the computing power of an army of warehouse-size supercomputers. It’s hard to imagine just what gains will emerge from this awesome capacity, but as a demonstration to provoke interest, Google recently used its cloud to decode the human genome . . . in eleven seconds.


pages: 395 words: 116,675

The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge by Matt Ridley

"Robert Solow", affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, AltaVista, altcoin, anthropic principle, anti-communist, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, Boris Johnson, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Columbian Exchange, computer age, Corn Laws, cosmological constant, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of DNA, Donald Davies, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Edward Snowden, endogenous growth, epigenetics, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, George Santayana, Gunnar Myrdal, Henri Poincaré, hydraulic fracturing, imperial preference, income per capita, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge economy, land reform, Lao Tzu, long peace, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Necker cube, obamacare, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, price mechanism, profit motive, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, rising living standards, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, smart contracts, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, twin studies, uber lyft, women in the workforce

At the rate the world economy is growing – and it has shown no signs of deceleration – the average human being may be earning up to sixteen times as much again in 2100 as he or she does today, according to the OECD: that’s $175,000 a year in today’s money. The Great Recession of 2008–09 was just a brief blip in global terms: one year when the global economy shrank by less than 1 per cent before growing by 5 per cent the next. By far the lion’s share of this improvement went (and still goes) to ordinary workers and the poor. As McCloskey puts it, although the rich got richer, ‘millions more have gas heating, cars, smallpox vaccinations, indoor plumbing, cheap travel, rights for women, lower child mortality, adequate nutrition, taller bodies, doubled life expectancy, schooling for their kids, newspapers, a vote, a shot at university and respect’. Global inequality is currently falling fast as people in poor countries get richer quicker than people in rich countries. The proportion of the world population living on $1.25 a day, corrected for inflation, has gone from 65 per cent in 1960 to 21 per cent today.


pages: 446 words: 117,660

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

Still, regional economic divergence is real and correlates closely, though not perfectly, with political divergence. But what’s behind this divergence? What’s the matter with Trumpland? Regional disparities aren’t a new phenomenon in America. Indeed, before World War II the world’s richest, most productive nation was also a nation with millions of dirt-poor farmers, many of whom didn’t even have electricity or indoor plumbing. But until the 1970s those disparities were rapidly narrowing. Take, for example, the case of Mississippi, America’s poorest state. In the 1930s, per-capita income in Mississippi was only 30 percent as high as per-capita income in Massachusetts. By the late 1970s, however, that figure was almost 70 percent—and most people probably expected this process of convergence to continue. But the process went into reverse instead: these days, Mississippi is back down to only about 55 percent of Massachusetts income.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

Assuming she didn’t die early (due to poor sanitation, life expectancy at the time was only 40 years), she lived long enough to witness a world in which people drove cars, flew through the sky, made water appear at the turn of a faucet (and flush away just as easily), commanded lights with the flick of a switch, and employed machines to do everything from wash their clothes to calculate their payroll. In her lifetime, she witnessed the invention of: electricity and all its spin-offs; automobiles and highway systems; running water and indoor plumbing and heating; the radio and the telephone; flight; as well as the vacuum tube, penicillin, radar, rockets and atomic weapons. And anyone born in 1950 witnessed the dawn of the space age, transistors and computers before the age of 30. Together, the above inventions defined modernity. They also imbued people with the expectation that technology would deliver a fantastic future. Now fast forward to today: that expectation has been disappointed.


pages: 396 words: 117,897

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, British Empire, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, megacity, megastructure, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, rolodex, X Prize

Joseph Monier, a Parisian gardener, patented first a version using simple metal netting in 1878, and the 1880s saw the first common applications in France, Germany, and Austria, especially in new industrial buildings. Copper's ancient use for coins and alloys (brass, bronze) continued during the era of industrialization, but two new applications emerged to dominate the market. The first was the general adoption of indoor plumbing in growing cities, with copper as the standard choice first for water pipes, and later also for heating and cooling systems. The second was the invention of large-scale electricity generation during the early 1880s, followed by a rapid increase in demand for new power plant capacities and transmission lines. Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and it is the preferred metal for wires and cables (with applications ranging from massive bundled units in data centers to the circuitry in microprocessors) and in electric motors; other uses include connectors, bearings, brakes, and radiators in motor vehicles, as a roofing material and (because of the metal's antimicrobial properties) in frequently touched public surfaces.


pages: 501 words: 114,888

The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

By replacing premade ingredients with premade experiences, the experience economy is a new kind of disruptive business model satisfying a new kind of need. For most of history, we didn’t want prepackaged experiences because life itself was the experience. Just staying safe, warm, and fed was adventure enough. Technology changed that equation. At the turn of the Industrial Revolution, the richest people on the planet didn’t have air-conditioning, running water, or indoor plumbing. They lacked automobiles, refrigerators, and telephones. Plus, computers. Today, even folks living below the US poverty line draw on these conveniences. Those better off draw on much more. So much, in fact, that we’ve started to take our stuff for granted. As a result, for many, experiences—tactile, memorable, and real—have become more valuable than possessions. Retailers have capitalized on this trend.


pages: 423 words: 126,096

Our Own Devices: How Technology Remakes Humanity by Edward Tenner

A. Roger Ekirch, Bonfire of the Vanities, card file, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invention of the telephone, invisible hand, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Network effects, optical character recognition, QWERTY keyboard, Shoshana Zuboff, Stewart Brand, women in the workforce

Even when zori were used as house slippers, they were not allowed to touch the sensitive surfaces of tatami mats. Tabi, mittenlike socks with separate room for the big toe, were always worn with sandals outdoors, and sometimes with geta. (Some Romans wore a similar woolen or leather foot covering—called a soccus, whence the English word sock —with a leather counterpart of the zori.) Untainted by the dirt of the street, tabi were ideal for indoor wear. After the introduction of indoor plumbing, users of bathrooms stepped into special zori to protect the feet (and living areas) from contamination, a custom that still prevails. The design of the sandals and clogs permitted people to change pairs rapidly without touching the footwear. So strong was this custom that, according to tradition— or perhaps it is a Japanese urban legend—when the first trains opened service in Japan in the late nineteenth century, travelers left their sandals on the platform before boarding and were surprised to find them gone when they returned.21 Luxurious or simple, geta and zori were hygienic, and not just because they were left outside.


pages: 414 words: 123,666

Merchants' War by Stross, Charles

British Empire, dumpster diving, East Village, indoor plumbing, offshore financial centre, packet switching, peak oil, stem cell

The things we take for granted, she thought, relaxing into the tub: the comforts of a middle-class existence in New Britain seemed exotic and advanced after months of detention in a Clan holding in Niejwein. I could fit in here. She tried the thought on for size. Okay, so domestic radios are the size of a photocopier, and there's no Internet, and they use trains where we'd use airliners. So what? They've got hot and cold running water, and gas and electricity. Indoor plumbing. The chambers Baron Henryk had confined her to had a closet with a drafty hole in a wooden seat. I could live here. The thought was tempting for a moment- until she remembered the thin, pinched faces in the soup queue, the outstretched upturned hats. Erasmus's hacking cough, now banished by medicines that she'd brought over from Boston-her own Boston. No antibiotics: back before they'd been discovered, a quarter to a third of the population had died of bacterial diseases.


Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress

Cepheid variable, Charles Lindbergh, double helix, gravity well, index card, indoor plumbing, job automation, phenotype, union organizing

As if were possible for anyone at a We-Sleep factory to do otherwise! Not that Hawke hadn’t earned the reverence in Mayleen’s voice. When Mayleen had been hired last winter, Jordan, only four weeks into his own job as Hawke’s personal assistant, had gone with Hawke to her shack for the interview. Although adequately heated and provisioned through the cheap Y-energy that was every citizen’s right under the Dole, the shack had no indoor plumbing, little furniture, and few toys for the skinny tow-headed kids that had stared at Jordan’s leather jacket and lapel comlink. Last week, Mayleen had announced with pride that she’d just bought a toilet and a lace pillow set. The pride, Jordan now knew, was as practical as the toilet. He knew because Calvin Hawke had taught him. Jordan returned to studying the road. Mayleen said, “Expecting someone?”


pages: 257 words: 56,811

The Rough Guide to Toronto by Helen Lovekin, Phil Lee

airport security, British Empire, car-free, glass ceiling, global village, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, place-making, urban renewal, urban sprawl

Streetcar: King (#504). Once an outpost of sorts for cheap suds and pub grub, today the Toad offers much the same but amid the fancy lounges and restaurants that now line King West. The Wheat Sheaf 667 King St W T416/5049912. Streetcar: King (#504). Toronto’s oldest public house, The Wheat Sheaf served its first pint in 1849. In the ensuing century and a half since then, not much has changed – except for indoor plumbing, refrigeration and a television permanently tuned to sporting events. | Uptown Uptown Amber 119 Yorkville Ave, at Bellair St T416/926-9037. Subway: Bay (Bellair exit). Many beautiful and famous people have been spotted sipping martinis at this very of-the-moment spot. Andy Poolhall 489 College St, at Palmerston Ave T416/923-5300. Streetcar: College/Carlton (#506). If you want the opportunity to sit down – the seats were salvaged from the Concord’s VIP lounge at New York’s JFK airport – then come early.


pages: 413 words: 119,587

Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots by John Markoff

"Robert Solow", A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, AI winter, airport security, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bill Duvall, bioinformatics, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, call centre, cellular automata, Chris Urmson, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, collective bargaining, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Dean Kamen, deskilling, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Hofstadter, Dynabook, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, future of work, Galaxy Zoo, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Grace Hopper, Gunnar Myrdal, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hacker Ethic, haute couture, hive mind, hypertext link, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the wheel, Jacques de Vaucanson, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Conway, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, labor-force participation, loose coupling, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, Mother of all demos, natural language processing, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pre–internet, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, semantic web, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Singularitarianism, skunkworks, Skype, social software, speech recognition, stealth mode startup, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, strong AI, superintelligent machines, technological singularity, Ted Nelson, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tenerife airport disaster, The Coming Technological Singularity, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, Turing test, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, zero-sum game

“The computer and Internet revolution (IR3) began around 1960 and reached its climax in the dot-com era of the late 1990s, but its main impact on productivity has withered away in the past eight years,” he wrote. “Many of the inventions that replaced tedious and repetitive clerical labour with computers happened a long time ago, in the 1970s and 1980s. Invention since 2000 has centered on entertainment and communication devices that are smaller, smarter, and more capable, but do not fundamentally change labour productivity or the standard of living in the way that electric light, motor cars, or indoor plumbing changed it.”44 In one sense it was a devastating critique of the Silicon Valley faith in “trickle down” from exponential advances in integrated circuits, for if the techno-optimists were correct, the impact of new information technology should have resulted in a dramatic explosion of new productivity, particularly after the deployment of the Internet. Gordon pointed out that unlike the earlier industrial revolutions, there has not been a comparable productivity advance tied to the computing revolution.


The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker's Guide to Microeconomics by Rod Hill, Anthony Myatt

American ideology, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, bank run, barriers to entry, Bernie Madoff, business cycle, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, different worldview, endogenous growth, equal pay for equal work, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, failed state, financial innovation, full employment, gender pay gap, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, happiness index / gross national happiness, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, liberal capitalism, low skilled workers, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Singer: altruism, positional goods, prediction markets, price discrimination, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, profit motive, publication bias, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, random walk, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Myth of the Rational Market, the payments system, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, ultimatum game, union organizing, working-age population, World Values Survey, Yogi Berra

In the United States, the official poverty line uses an absolute measure of poverty that is not adjusted for changes in average living standards.3 Some textbooks accept this approach. ­Others reject this and argue for relative approaches such as a definition of poverty as income that is less than half that of the median household.4 (The median household is the middle one in a ranking from richest to poorest.) The justification for using a relative measure of poverty is that ‘necessities’ are cul­ turally determined. Lack of indoor plumbing or hot water may not be out of the ordinary in a poor country, but it would be in a rich one. Hence, as community standards increase, those left behind experience a feeling of relative deprivation, or poverty, even if they experience no absolute change in their condition. The growing gap between themselves and others causes them to experience ‘social exclusion’ as opposed to ‘social inclusion’.


pages: 404 words: 124,705

The Village Effect: How Face-To-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter by Susan Pinker

assortative mating, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, call centre, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, estate planning, facts on the ground, game design, happiness index / gross national happiness, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, Kickstarter, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, medical residency, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, neurotypical, Occupy movement, old-boy network, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, Ray Oldenburg, Silicon Valley, Skype, social intelligence, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steven Pinker, The Great Good Place, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Tony Hsieh, urban planning, Yogi Berra

The researchers noted that teens in low-income families often get less supervision from adults, many of whom are working long hours, and so use their laptops mainly for entertainment: to play games, to chat, and to download music and movies.37 Like a television, laptops can be used as an educational tool. But usually they’re not. Negroponte’s utopian vision was intended primarily for developing economies, where the challenges turned out to be different. Many of the proud new owners of the laptops are children without access to indoor plumbing and electricity. One young American electrical engineer who volunteered with one of the first and biggest OLPC programs, in Peru, noted in his blog that the problems could be big (the kids were often sick) or small (easily broken laptop keyboards), but the accretion of obstacles overwhelmed any educational goals. Uncontaminated drinking water was hard to come by in the village, so his students often had diarrhea and were too sick to learn.


Gorbachev by William Taubman

active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, card file, conceptual framework, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, haute couture, indoor plumbing, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, Potemkin village, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Saturday Night Live, Stanislav Petrov, trade liberalization, young professional

At its junction with Clara Zetkin Street sits house number 49, built toward the end of the nineteenth century by a landowner named Sergei Bibikov, nationalized and given over to an agricultural institute after the 1917 revolution, then traded in the early 1930s to a man named Grigory Dolinsky in return for his house, closer to the institute, on Tolstoy Street. The two-story house has three windows facing the street. A gate to the right leads into a small courtyard, where the privy, now replaced by indoor plumbing, stands crumbling in the corner. In back, a staircase leads up to the room that was the Gorbachevs’ first home. It is tiny, a mere 120 square feet. A large stove along the south wall for heating the room took up more than 30 square feet. A bed under two east-facing windows had only three legs when Gorbachev moved in; he replaced it with a narrow four-footed frame with steel-mesh netting that settled almost to the floor when they lay down.

Former Brezhnev adviser Aleksandr Bovin disclosed in the journal New Times that the Soviet Union was referred to by some foreign critics as “Upper Volta with rockets.” (Today Upper Volta, a small land-locked nation in West Africa, is known as Burkina Faso.) Yevgeny Chazov, Soviet minister of health (and personal physician to Soviet leaders), revealed that 30 percent of Soviet hospitals lacked indoor plumbing. Seminars at the Historical Archives Institute in Moscow leveled charges that in past years could have been made only in private kitchen conversations, the telephone covered with a pillow: Stalinism was a species of totalitarianism on a par with Hitler’s; Nikolai Bukharin, Stalin’s comrade turned victim whom Gorbachev rehabilitated in his anniversary speech, had in fact helped Stalin to power, then betrayed others by confessing to crimes he never committed; Marxist-Leninist philosophy was neither Marxist nor Leninist nor philosophy.


pages: 260 words: 130,109

Frommer's Kauai by Jeanette Foster

airport security, indoor plumbing, Maui Hawaii, Skype, sustainable-tourism

King Kamehameha IV agreed to sell the island for $10,000. The next year, normal weather returned, and the green pastures withered into sparse semi-desert vegetation. Today, Sinclair’s great-great-grandson, Bruce Robinson, continues to run the ranching operation and fiercely protects the privacy of the island residents. From the outside, life on Niihau has not changed much in 140 years: There’s no running water, indoor plumbing, or electrically generated power. The Hawaiian language is still spoken. Most of the men work for the ranch when there is work, and fish and hunt where there is no work. The women specialize in gathering and stringing pupu Niihau, prized, tiny white seashells (found only on this island), into Niihau’s famous leis, which fetch prices in the thousands of dollars. THE ISLAND IN BRIEF 4 Today, even Waimea’s historic relics are spare and simple: a statue of Cook alongside a bas-relief of his ships, the rubble foundation of the Russian fort, and the remains of an ancient aqueduct unlike any other in the Pacific.


pages: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

The addition of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Central Park—based on the “People’s Garden” in Liverpool, the first public urban park—provided a welcome respite from the gridiron, and more block-sized parks were being created all the time. The wealthy Progressives of the City Beautiful movement successfully lobbied for civic art and enduring public monuments inspired by Classical architecture (and against ads in the subway—a battle they lost). Indoor plumbing, electric lights, and improvements in public health made the city a cleaner, more pleasant place to live. The trend was global: along with the Eixample of Barcelona, the Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Gold Coast in Chicago, the Recoleta in Buenos Aires, and the Bund in Shanghai, Fifth Avenue became a proving ground for the latest manifestations of elegant urbanism. New York’s working class, meanwhile, was enthusiastic about the nascent “wonder city” of skyscrapers of Midtown, which seemed to embody the loftiest civic aspirations while maximizing efficient land use.


pages: 433 words: 127,171

The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future by Gretchen Bakke

addicted to oil, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, big-box store, Buckminster Fuller, demand response, dematerialisation, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, full employment, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Menlo Park, Negawatt, new economy, off grid, post-oil, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, smart meter, the built environment, too big to fail, washing machines reduced drudgery, Whole Earth Catalog

Certainly not everyone was jostled into awareness in the same way, but enough Americans had become interested in systemic change that Carter, an unusual pick, was elected to the highest office in the land. By the time Carter took office, every home in America was its own miraculous technological node, built into a complexly woven support net of wires and pipes and ductwork. By 1976 everyone in America who wanted it had electricity, indoor plumbing, central heating, a refrigerator, and a phone. Our workplaces were similarly well served. Living in these homes and laboring in these workplaces changed us. It only took a generation after the end of the Depression for Americans to become consummately modern individuals, until as a nation we had lost working knowledge of a coal brazier, a kerosene lamp, a latrine, an ice box, a well, a mangler, or anything else more complicated than a switch, a button, an outlet, a socket, a tap, or a flusher.


pages: 489 words: 132,734

A History of Future Cities by Daniel Brook

Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, carbon footprint, Celtic Tiger, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, joint-stock company, land reform, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pearl River Delta, Potemkin village, profit motive, rent control, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, starchitect, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

Petersburg had wanted to be a city of superlatives, boasting the world’s grandest university building and greatest art collection, but now it was taking first place in all the wrong categories. The Russian capital attained the dubious distinction of having the highest death rate of any major city in Europe by the 1870s. Sanitation was atrocious. An 1870s study of a working-class district found that just one resident in fourteen had access to running water—and it was usually a spigot in a courtyard rather than indoor plumbing. A public health report from the period estimated the amount of human feces piled up in the courtyards of St. Petersburg buildings at thirty thousand tons. Bleak life in the factories and the slums drove men to drink. By 1865, the city had 1,840 taverns, and Petersburgers topped the nation in per capita vodka consumption. “Drunkenness is unprecedented, even for Russia,” wrote one observer at the time.


pages: 455 words: 131,569

Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution by Richard Whittle

Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, cuban missile crisis, drone strike, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, indoor plumbing, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, Mikhail Gorbachev, precision agriculture, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Yom Kippur War

Within three more years, the Air Force would also implement Werner’s once-rejected grander vision of flying Predators overseas from brick-and-mortar buildings rather than faux freight containers. In 2005, global Predator operations moved to just such a facility at Indian Springs Auxiliary Airfield, which was renamed Creech Air Force Base. And the structure at Creech was only the first Predator ground control station with indoor plumbing: within half a dozen more years, variations on that facility were being used to fly Predators and Reapers overseas from nearly a dozen other bases in the United States as well. Now Predator and Reaper operators could wage war by day or night and go home to their families after their shift was done, an even stranger way to wage war than the Trailer Park imposed on the Wildfire team. Colonel Ed Boyle left the Trailer Park before the 17th RS detachment took over there.


pages: 517 words: 139,477

Stocks for the Long Run 5/E: the Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies by Jeremy Siegel

Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, backtesting, banking crisis, Black-Scholes formula, break the buck, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, California gold rush, capital asset pricing model, carried interest, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, compound rate of return, computer age, computerized trading, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, diversification, diversified portfolio, dividend-yielding stocks, dogs of the Dow, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, fundamental attribution error, housing crisis, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, income inequality, index arbitrage, index fund, indoor plumbing, inflation targeting, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, market bubble, mental accounting, money market fund, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, new economy, Northern Rock, oil shock, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price anchoring, price stability, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk/return, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, stocks for the long run, survivorship bias, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, transaction costs, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund

Bill Gross and Mohammed El-Erian, heads of the giant investment firm PIMCO, coined the term new normal in 2009 to describe a condition where U.S. economic growth will sink to 1 to 2 percent, well below the 3+ percent that it has averaged in the post–World War II period.16 Other investment managers have also embraced the concept.17 Even if growth is slower in the United States, this does not mean that growth rates will decline around the world. Although the life-changing innovations cited in the first column of Table 4-1 have long existed in the developed world, the developing world is just beginning to acquire the conveniences of advanced economies. In 2006 the United Nations Human Development Report estimated that 2.6 billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population, had no indoor plumbing. Electrification, refrigeration, and basic healthcare still elude billions of people. Indeed, a large part of the increase in the world’s income and wealth over the next several decades involves the developing world acquiring the lifestyle that the developed world has long possessed. I do not believe that even the developed world’s productivity is necessarily on a downward path. The digitization and instant availability of information will combine to spur faster productivity growth.


pages: 473 words: 154,182

Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them by Donovan Hohn

carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, Exxon Valdez, Filipino sailors, Google Earth, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, intermodal, Isaac Newton, means of production, microbiome, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, post-Panamax, profit motive, Skype, standardized shipping container, statistical model, Thorstein Veblen, traveling salesman

Three other seemingly unrelated events coincided with the commercialization of childhood and the infantilization of animals: In 1871, a printer from Albany, New York, named John Wesley Hyatt added nitric acid to pulped cotton, thereby inventing celluloid. In 1873, the first Pekin ducks were imported to the United States from China. And in the 1880s, bathtubs began appearing in middle-class homes along with indoor plumbing. Celluloid eventually evolved into the plastics industry. The Pekin duck eventually became the preferred species of American duck breeders, making yellow ducklings a familiar symbol of birth and spring—familiar and far less alien than the Chinese themselves. And the average American bathroom, which had once consisted of a washtub and an outhouse, was consecrated as a temple of cleanliness. Much as the modern nursery sheltered children from the social contamination of the street, so the modern bathroom protected their naked, slippery bodies from germs.


The death and life of great American cities by Jane Jacobs

Golden Gate Park, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

Comments were dropped by Council spokesmen, politely, about the numbers of depositors in the district…the extent of their deposits…the difficulty of understanding why investment of savings by city dwellers seemed so little available for use in cities…the solid concern about the problem within the district…the value of public understanding. Before the meeting was over, several of the lenders pledged their help—that is, favorable consideration of requests for loans. The same day, the Council began negotiating for a site for forty-nine new dwellings. Soon afterward, the most squalid row of slum apartments was equipped with indoor plumbing and otherwise modernized, by means of a $90,000 loan. Within three years, some five thousand houses had been rehabilitated by their owners, and the number rehabilitated since has been so great it has not been kept track of. In 1959, construction of several small apartment houses was begun. The Council, and people within the district, refer to the banks’ interest and cooperation in their improvement with gratitude.


Multitool Linux: Practical Uses for Open Source Software by Michael Schwarz, Jeremy Anderson, Peter Curtis

business process, Debian, defense in depth, GnuPG, index card, indoor plumbing, Larry Wall, MITM: man-in-the-middle, optical character recognition, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Richard Stallman, SETI@home, slashdot, web application

Believe me, this can be harder than it sounds when the room is a network and its operating systems. In this chapter, we teach you how to detect the subtle and insidious acts of the typical script kiddie once he gains access to an account on your computer. In the next chapter, we will present a tool that can help you stop the barbarian at the gate so that you don't have to corner him and explain what indoor plumbing is for. A Model of Network Attacks This breakdown of phases in a network-based system compromise is my own taxonomy. I find it a handy way of categorizing the methods attackers use to gain access to a system and to hide their traces. Types of Attack There are two major categories of attacks on network machines. The first is the denial-of-service (DoS) attack. This is analogous to the civil disobedience protester shouting so you cannot communicate.


pages: 466 words: 146,982

Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden

big-box store, buy low sell high, centre right, colonial rule, Columbine, Costa Concordia, double entry bookkeeping, facts on the ground, financial innovation, indoor plumbing, invention of movable type, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Murano, Venice glass, spice trade, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning

Progress found yet other ways to intrude into late-nineteenth-century Venice. Iron bridges were built across the Grand Canal at two new locations, the Accademia and the train station, thus significantly opening up the city to foot traffic. A cholera outbreak in 1867 led to modifications in water flow so as to allow sewage to more easily be flushed out to sea. Water lines were run into Venice from the Brenta Valley, providing indoor plumbing and bringing to an end the rich culture of campo gossip at the pozzo. The Industrial Revolution came to Venice in the form of the Stucky mill on the end of Giudecca. Giovanni Stucky, the son of a Swiss father and a Venetian mother, built the giant flour mill and granary in a classic industrial mode that stylistically defied the city across the canal. The local government only allowed it because the factory provided much-needed jobs for its citizens.


pages: 570 words: 158,139

Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker

airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise

“It is a way of seeing the familiar from a different angle—a wild moment,” Zhang said. The three Washington-area couples I met taking lessons in tai chi were her clients. Their three-week tour took them eventually to Shangri-La in the mountain valleys of Yunnan Province bordering Tibet. They went from the plush comforts of Shanghai to the austere beauty of snowcapped mountains, Buddhist monasteries and no heat or indoor plumbing. They told me they felt as if they had gone from modern to medieval times, the reaction that Zhang cultivates to show old and new China. So far, Zhang has been lucky that her competition is largely from the Chinese government. Most of the thousands of Chinese tour agencies that appear to be independent are owned by the government and focused on serving a mass market. They compete by offering the lowest prices.


pages: 499 words: 152,156

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China by Evan Osnos

conceptual framework, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Gini coefficient, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, land reform, Lao Tzu, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mohammed Bouazizi, plutocrats, Plutocrats, rolodex, scientific worldview, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, transcontinental railway, Washington Consensus, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

In 1980 the city had six thousand hutong; over the years, all but a few hundred were leveled to make way for office buildings and apartment complexes. Only one of the city’s forty-four princely palaces had survived intact. I asked around and found a one-story house for rent at No. 45 Caochang Bei Xiang. Most people in these old homes used a communal public toilet around the corner from my front door. But this house had been fitted with indoor plumbing, and renovated to comprise four modern rooms surrounding a small courtyard that contained a date tree and a persimmon tree. When I reported my new address to the Chicago Tribune’s driver, Old Zhang, he did not approve. “You’re going the wrong direction,” he said. “You should be moving from the ground into an apartment up in the air, not the other way around.” The walls of the house were porous; when it rained, the ceiling leaked, and when the winter overwhelmed the heating, I wore a ski hat around the house.


pages: 482 words: 147,281

A Crack in the Edge of the World by Simon Winchester

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, butterfly effect, California gold rush, Golden Gate Park, index card, indoor plumbing, lateral thinking, Loma Prieta earthquake, Menlo Park, place-making, risk tolerance, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, supervolcano, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, wage slave, Works Progress Administration

Moreover, he can hardly have anticipated the effect on his invention of the feral donkeys that wandered down from the hills and did their bit to add to the universal misery – by chewing at the tent canvas, biting down guy ropes and in one case breaking into a tent that was occupied by a snoring drunk and munching away half of the man’s hair. The town was filthy in those early days, and known primarily for rats, fleas and piles of empty liquor bottles. Cholera outbreaks were dismayingly frequent, and in the early years it was common for the bodies of the dead to be abandoned by the shore, in the hope that the tides might carry them off into the open sea. There was little by way of indoor plumbing, and the water supply was halting, with what there was invariably polluted. Gas lights had been invented but not installed, and so the city at night was dark and dangerous, crowded and unhealthy – and yet regarded with tolerant fondness by all who looked back on those heady first Gold Rush years. Those who survived the very early San Francisco were armed with a pride that was quite unknown to the later immigrants.


pages: 488 words: 150,477

Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East by Sandy Tolan

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, colonial rule, en.wikipedia.org, facts on the ground, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, one-state solution, The Spirit Level, Yom Kippur War

Solli, an architect and builder, was a quiet man, unassuming, with daughters named Rosalie and Eively. He spoke Arabic and, according to later generations of Khairis, coexisted comfortably among the town's Muslim and Christian Arabs. Ahmad and Mr. Solli designed large living and sleeping quarters separated by double wooden doors in the center. Workers walled off a small bedroom in a corner. They laid tile, hung wire for electric lights, and ran pipe for indoor plumbing. Zakia would have an inside kitchen with a modern stove. Instead of baking her Arabic bread in the taboun, the open-air, wood-fired oven found at most traditional homes, she now had the luxury of sending her dough to the communal ovens in al-Ramla, to be brought back as warm bread ready for the table. These were new luxuries for the town founded twelve centuries earlier, in 715 A.D., by the Muslim caliph Suleiman Ibn Abdel-Malek.


Class Acts: Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels by Rachel Sherman

deskilling, income inequality, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, knowledge worker, means of production, new economy, pink-collar, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, upwardly mobile, yield management

The Rise of Luxury Hotels The word hotel came into use in the United States in the late eighteenth century to designate taverns and inns that served upper-class clients, a new distinction in hospitality practices.5 The upscale Tremont Hotel, which opened in Boston in 1829, has long been considered the first “modern” hotel in the United States.6 The Tremont and other hotels that followed it during the nineteenth century demonstrated impressive technical achievements in architecture, services, and amenities. In the early years, these included gas lighting, private rooms, and indoor plumbing; later, hotels introduced electricity and elevators to marveling guests. Luxury hotels were defined by their large size, tasteful aesthetics, cleanliness, high-quality food, and prime location, as well as the privacy and security they afforded and service marked by “faultless personal attention.”7 The “highest achievement of the first class hotel” was that “each guest may easily fancy himself a prince surrounded by a flock of courtiers.”8 These “public” institutions were seen to represent modernity, technological innovation, and progress.9 Important social and political figures frequented or even lived in these hotels.10 By the 1930s, personalized service, replacing the earlier obsequious, racialized servitude, had surpassed technological innovation as the key selling point for and main managerial concern in grand hotels such as the Waldorf-Astoria.11 But after midcentury, palace hotels declined in importance.


pages: 529 words: 150,263

The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris by Mark Honigsbaum

Asian financial crisis, biofilm, Black Swan, clean water, coronavirus, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, Pearl River Delta, Ronald Reagan, Skype, the built environment, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl

THE LEGIONNAIRES’ disease outbreak is a classic example of how new technologies and changes to the built environment designed to improve hygiene and ameliorate the conditions of life are constantly giving rise to new threats to health and well-being. It also illustrates how, in certain political and cultural contexts, epidemics that might otherwise have gone unnoticed can command wide public attention and provoke considerable anxiety. L. pneumophila has been around for millennia, but it was not until we began building cities and equipping buildings with indoor plumbing and hot water systems that we presented the bacterium with a new ecological niche in which to prosper. And it was not until we added other luxuries, such as air conditioning, showers, humidifiers, and misters, that we gave the bacterium an efficient way to aerosolize and colonize the human respiratory tract. Even so, it took several years for doctors and public health experts to wake up to the pathogenic threat posed by the presence of this ancient organism in the heart of modern metropolises.


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

For the middle class had embraced to an extreme the idea of a germ theory of disease, becoming germ-phobic. While the wealthiest urbanites may have abhorred germs, they could avoid the riffraff or escape to distant estates. The middle class, however, felt trapped. For them, everything from public library books to dust could harbor lethal germs. Germicide sales boomed, as did the installation of indoor plumbing, flush toilets, and modern kitchens that included iceboxes to keep food fresh.57 This germ phobia and resolute commitment to stomping out the bugs ultimately fueled support for grand public health schemes. Because the middle and upper classes were convinced that the poor—particularly immigrants—were the source of all truly terrible microbial scourges, they were willing to pay the price in higher taxes for biological, as opposed to class, warfare.

This period marked the beginning of toilet seat phobias, which, in the twentieth century, would extend to include polio and all sexually transmitted diseases, allowing syphilitics to tell their spouses they “got it from a public toilet.” With the appearance of AIDS in the 1980s, toilet seat phobia would also embrace HIV. This is hardly a solely American phenomenon. In the 1990s—one hundred years after the introduction of indoor plumbing—most families living in formerly Soviet countries would deliberately disconnect toilet seats, preferring to squat to avoid alleged contagion. 58. Bellew, “Hygeia.” Harper’s Weekly, vol. 25 (1881): 231. 59. The massive water and sewer projects undertaken in Chicago, for example, are described in Cain, L. P., “Raising and watering a city: Ellis Sylvester Chesbrough and Chicago’s first sanitation system.”


pages: 423 words: 126,375

Baghdad at Sunrise: A Brigade Commander's War in Iraq by Peter R. Mansoor, Donald Kagan, Frederick Kagan

Berlin Wall, central bank independence, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, friendly fire, HESCO bastion, indoor plumbing, land reform, open borders, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, zero-sum game

The next thirteen months would be just that. The alarm on my watch sounded all too early. The first order of business was to figure out a personal hygiene routine. I quickly discovered that there was little routine to this matter anywhere in Baghdad. Latrines consisted of plywood stalls with metal cans to collect waste, which soldiers burned daily after mixing the foul gruel with the Army’s common fuel, JP-8. The indoor plumbing of the Martyr’s Monument was woefully inadequate and often backed up, creating smelly cesspools in the basement. There were no sinks, and the few showers consisted of solar-heated, gravity-fed water tanks perched atop plywood structures with canvas or plywood dividers. I made a note to centralize hygiene and waste management as a critical task before dysentery and diarrhea brought us to our knees.


Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, Brownian motion, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, Danny Hillis, dark matter, double helix, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, housing crisis, IFF: identification friend or foe, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, SETI@home, social graph, speech recognition, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture

“I’d take that ticket and give it to the downtown manager in New York, where the Police court was, and he would go around and pay the fine,” says Hurd.48 “He drove like mad and only needed to sleep for three or four hours a night,” says Marina, recalling an early drive across the United States. “Remember, those were 1930s motels in 1946; nothing had been built during the war. Many of them had no indoor plumbing. I had led a sheltered life, and I had never seen an outhouse, except once at camp.” Herman Goldstine, with whom von Neumann occasionally shared hotel rooms while on government assignments, remembers that “he would waken in the night, at two or three in the morning, and would have thought through what he had been working on. He would then write [it] down.”49 Von Neumann could deliver publishable text, and even mathematical proofs, on the first draft.


pages: 547 words: 172,226

Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu, James Robinson

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, Atahualpa, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, BRICs, British Empire, central bank independence, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, creative destruction, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of the americas, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, financial independence, financial innovation, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, invention of movable type, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Mohammed Bouazizi, Paul Samuelson, price stability, profit motive, Rosa Parks, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, spice trade, spinning jenny, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, working poor

Sustained economic growth is almost always accompanied by technological improvements that enable people (labor), land, and existing capital (buildings, existing machines, and so on) to become more productive. Think of our great-great-grandparents, just over a century ago, who did not have access to planes or automobiles or most of the drugs and health care we now take for granted, not to mention indoor plumbing, air-conditioning, shopping malls, radio, or motion pictures; let alone information technology, robotics, or computer-controlled machinery. And going back a few more generations, the technological know-how and living standards were even more backward, so much so that we would find it hard to imagine how most people struggled through life. These improvements follow from science and from entrepreneurs such as Thomas Edison, who applied science to create profitable businesses.


The Origins of the Urban Crisis by Sugrue, Thomas J.

affirmative action, business climate, collective bargaining, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Ford paid five dollars a day, George Gilder, ghettoisation, Gunnar Myrdal, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, job automation, jobless men, Joseph Schumpeter, labor-force participation, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, New Urbanism, oil shock, pink-collar, postindustrial economy, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, white flight, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

Few disagreed with redevelopers that the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century tenements that lined the streets of the redevelopment sites comprised some of the city’s worst housing stock. More than 90 percent of the buildings on the Gratiot site were occupied by renters who paid an average of $19 per month in 1946, by far the lowest rents in the city. Landlords compensated for low rents by subdividing buildings and packing families into small, cramped apartments. More than half of the buildings in the neighborhood had substandard facilities and no indoor plumbing, or were classified as fire and safety hazards. But redevelopment did not ameliorate the living conditions of the impoverished residents of sites slated for slum clearance. The most obvious problem with slum clearance was that it forced the households with the least resources to move at a time when the city’s tight housing market could not accommodate them. Hugo C. Schwartz, local director of the Federal Public Housing Authority, noted the irony that “from the standpoint of income and race,” residents of the redevelopment areas “are the families who will find it most difficult to find a place to live if they are pushed out of their present dwellings.”


pages: 742 words: 166,595

The Barbell Prescription: Strength Training for Life After 40 by Jonathon Sullivan, Andy Baker

complexity theory, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, indoor plumbing, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral panic, phenotype, publication bias, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), the scientific method, Y Combinator

Everybody does it – or used to do it – and in some cultures it is (or was) second only to standing as the posture one most frequently assumes while awake. The bottom of the squat is the position people all over the world and throughout history assume for working, eating, voiding, talking, and having babies. The ability to squat below parallel and stand up again is fundamental to human physical existence even in cultures that have recliners and indoor plumbing, because the inability to get up from a chair or toilet can have significant negative implications for one’s quality of life. Essentials of Performance When you learn the squat properly, on your own or under the instruction of a qualified coach, you should undergo the standard teaching progression, which starts without the bar. This teaching progression is detailed in Rippetoe’s Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training, 3rd edition,3 and will not be described here.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

Mortgages were rare in these countries as of 2000 but have since become a multibillion-dollar industry, rising from 0 percent of GDP to 7 percent in Brazil and Turkey, 4 percent in Russia, and 3 percent in Indonesia by 2013. This growing role for credit in a developing economy is referred to as “financial deepening.” For countries where people could not buy a car or a house unless they amassed the necessary cash, the introduction of these simple credit products is as important a step into the modern world as indoor plumbing. The public mood and psychology during a time of healthy credit growth bears no resemblance to the anything-goes atmosphere of a credit mania. In place of shady lenders and unqualified borrowers, responsible lenders are widening the choice of solid loan options available to the average Joe or small business, fueling a period of economic growth that is strong but not too strong to last. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, all eyes turned immediately to the problems created by the rapid expansion of debt in the United States and Europe.


pages: 520 words: 164,834

Bill Marriott: Success Is Never Final--His Life and the Decisions That Built a Hotel Empire by Dale van Atta

Berlin Wall, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate raider, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, dumpster diving, financial innovation, hiring and firing, index card, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, Maui Hawaii, medical residency, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, profit motive, Robert Bork, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, urban renewal

When his mother was pregnant with Helen, she climbed a tree to pick apples, fell, and broke her leg. Little Willard became her nursemaid while she was bedridden, fetching whatever his mother needed.5 A big change occurred in 1905, when the family moved to the “grand estate.” Owned by an Ogden racehorse breeder, it was the showplace of Marriott—100 acres of lush pasture with a two-story house, a twenty-stall barn, and a high white fence around the entire property. Even without indoor plumbing or electricity, the new house was considered a mansion by the townspeople. Will and Ellen’s fourth child, Eva, was the first to be born there, followed by Paul and Kathryn (“Kay”). Ellen was pregnant with her seventh child when Helen and Eva, playing with matches, started a fire that burned down the mansion. Later, as a well-known restaurateur, Willard would remember that fire and attribute the spread of the flames to an unkempt house where chickens were allowed to wander and dirty linens lay in piles.


pages: 603 words: 186,210

Appetite for America: Fred Harvey and the Business of Civilizing the Wild West--One Meal at a Time by Stephen Fried

Albert Einstein, British Empire, business intelligence, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, City Beautiful movement, estate planning, glass ceiling, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, indoor plumbing, Livingstone, I presume, Nelson Mandela, new economy, plutocrats, Plutocrats, refrigerator car, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration, young professional

With Phillips in place, Fred expanded the Florence hotel and restaurant even further, adding not only more dining space but also offices, hotel rooms, and large “sample rooms” where traveling salesmen could show their lines to local customers. He also gave the place a proper name; instead of the Santa Fe depot hotel and eating house, it would now be known by the more elegant appellation “The Clifton.” Fountains and a new sign were installed out front; inside were luxuries Florentines had yet to enjoy—even indoor plumbing. “Every Tuesday and Friday, the ladies of Florence can have use of the bath rooms at The Clifton Hotel,” the Herald proudly announced. “This will be a luxury which will be duly appreciated. All other days the bath rooms are open to gentlemen.” CHAPTER 9 COWBOY VICTUALER LAKIN, KANSAS, WAS ONE OF MANY DUSTY WESTERN TOWNS willed into being by the arrival of the railroad. In fact, it was one of the first in which the Santa Fe acknowledged its creationist powers, naming the hamlet after one of its employees, D.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, Bob Noyce, business cycle, business process, call centre, centre right, Chris Wanstrath, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Irwin Jacobs: Qualcomm, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, Live Aid, low skilled workers, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Nelson Mandela, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Since productivity improvements drive growth, that is an important and now a hotly debated subject among economic writers. The economist Robert Gordon has made a compelling case in his book The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War that the days of steadily rising growth are probably behind us. He believes all the big gains were made in the “special century” between 1870 and 1970—with the likes of automobiles, radio, television, indoor plumbing, electrification, vaccines, clean water, air travel, central heating, women’s empowerment, and air-conditioning and antibiotics. Gordon is skeptical that today’s new technologies will ever produce another leap forward in productivity comparable to that special century. But MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson has countered Gordon’s pessimism with an argument I find even more compelling. As we transition from an industrial-age economy to a computer-Internet-mobile-broadband-driven economy—that is, a supernova-driven economy—we are experiencing the growing pains of adjusting.


Termites of the State: Why Complexity Leads to Inequality by Vito Tanzi

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Andrei Shleifer, Andrew Keen, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, barriers to entry, basic income, bitcoin, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, business cycle, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, centre right, clean water, crony capitalism, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, experimental economics, financial repression, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, income inequality, indoor plumbing, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jean Tirole, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, libertarian paternalism, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, means of production, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, pushing on a string, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, unorthodox policies, urban planning, very high income, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

It was a period of increasing trade and capital movements among countries and of fast economic growth, promoted by changing policies and technologies. However, it was a period of still relatively limited direct governmental interference in the activities of markets and in the lives of citizens. The growth of the economies had been spurred by the deepening impact of the Industrial Revolution (see Gordon, 2015), which had introduced major new technologies (railroads, electricity, steamships, cars, indoor plumbing, new ways of producing clothes, machines to produce many manufactured goods, petroleum as a source of energy, and so on) that were changing the world in truly radical ways. That revolution required huge investments, and was accompanied by an accelerating process of urbanization. It was fed by large migratory movements, both within countries (from rural areas to the new urban centers, where the industrial enterprises were being set up) and between countries, toward new and still largely underpopulated countries.


pages: 685 words: 203,949

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Anton Chekhov, Bayesian statistics, big-box store, business process, call centre, Claude Shannon: information theory, cloud computing, cognitive bias, complexity theory, computer vision, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Exxon Valdez, framing effect, friendly fire, fundamental attribution error, Golden Gate Park, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, impulse control, index card, indoor plumbing, information retrieval, invention of writing, iterative process, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, life extension, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, optical character recognition, Pareto efficiency, pattern recognition, phenotype, placebo effect, pre–internet, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, Rubik’s Cube, shared worldview, Skype, Snapchat, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Turing test, ultimatum game, zero-sum game

Our attics, garages, basements, and the junk drawers in our kitchens are in such a state that we hope no one we know ever takes a peek inside of them, and we fear the day we may need to actually find something there. These are obviously not problems that our ancestors had. When you think about what your ancestors might have lived like a thousand years ago, it’s easy to focus on the technological differences—no cars, electricity, central heating, or indoor plumbing. It’s tempting to picture homes as we know them now, meals more or less the same except for the lack of prepackaged food. More grinding of wheat and skinning of fowl, perhaps. But the anthropological and historical record tells a very different story. In terms of food, our ancestors tended to eat what they could get their hands on. All kinds of things that we don’t eat today, because they don’t taste very good by most accounts, were standard fare only because they were available: rats, squirrels, peacocks—and don’t forget locusts!


pages: 706 words: 202,591

Facebook: The Inside Story by Steven Levy

active measures, Airbnb, Airbus A320, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, augmented reality, Ben Horowitz, blockchain, Burning Man, business intelligence, cloud computing, computer vision, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, don't be evil, Donald Trump, East Village, Edward Snowden, El Camino Real, Elon Musk, Firefox, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, Jony Ive, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, MITM: man-in-the-middle, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Network effects, Oculus Rift, PageRank, Paul Buchheit, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Mercer, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, sexual politics, Shoshana Zuboff, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, Snapchat, social graph, social software, South of Market, San Francisco, Startup school, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, Tim Cook: Apple, web application, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y Combinator, Y2K

—not a disqualifier on its own—but neither of them had the kind of check-the-boxes CV that so many Facebookers had and that Chamath Palihapitiya so vividly despised. Rejected from Facebook, they would create a product that was so compelling that Mark Zuckerberg had to back up the Brink’s trucks to buy it. Koum had been sixteen years old when he and his mother had fled the anti-Semitism of their native Kiev for Mountain View, California. It was 1992. Koum had been poor in Ukraine—his school didn’t have indoor plumbing—and his small family struggled in the New World, living in subsidized housing and subsisting with the help of food stamps. America had its own challenges, especially when Koum’s mother got cancer. Koum, never a big fan of authority figures, got interested in computers and joined an online hacker group. He studied programming at San Jose State University, helping make ends meet by working as a security auditor at Ernst & Young.


pages: 741 words: 208,654

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Doomsday Book, indoor plumbing, invention of the wheel, stem cell

she asked, smiling her gap-toothed smile at Kivrin, and Kivrin thought, Maybe they’re taking me to the bathroom, and made an effort to sit up and put her legs over the side of the bed. She was immediately dizzy. She sat, her bare legs dangling over the side of the high bed, waiting for it to pass. She was wearing her linen shift and nothing else. She wondered where her clothes were. At least they had let her keep her shift. People in the Middle Ages didn’t usually wear anything to bed. People in the Middle Ages didn’t have indoor plumbing either, she thought, and hoped she wouldn’t have to go outside to a privy. Castles sometimes had enclosed garderobes, or corners over a shaft that had to be cleaned out at the bottom, but this wasn’t a castle. The young woman put a thin, folded blanket around Kivrin’s shoulders like a shawl, and they both helped her off the bed. The planked wooden floor was icy. She took a few steps and was dizzy all over again.


Saving America's Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age by Lizabeth Cohen

activist lawyer, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, charter city, deindustrialization, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, garden city movement, ghettoisation, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hiring and firing, housing crisis, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Jane Jacobs, land reform, megastructure, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Eisenman, postindustrial economy, race to the bottom, rent control, Robert Gordon, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Vilfredo Pareto, walkable city, War on Poverty, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

A very partial list includes a major $60 million facelift to the old, depressed Hudson River town of Newburgh; construction of six thousand units of housing in metropolitan Rochester, half of them low income and on scattered sites in the suburbs; an expansive low-and-moderate-income residential project, the Shoreline Apartments, with a school and shops along Buffalo’s Lake Erie, designed by Paul Rudolph; Schomburg Plaza, located at 5th Avenue between West 110th and 111th Streets in Harlem, consisting of two award-winning thirty-five-story octagonal apartment towers with six hundred mixed-income units, stores, and a day care center, developed in collaboration with the prominent black psychologist and UDC board member Kenneth Clark and his wife, Mamie Phipps Clark; new housing and a convention-tourism complex to help buoy the off-season economy of Niagara Falls; remediation and future planning for six upstate communities in the Chemung River Valley devastated by Hurricane Agnes in June 1972; and the replacement of dilapidated shacks without indoor plumbing in a migrant labor camp in Kent, Orleans County, with the townhouse apartments of Carlken Manor.55 The UDC’s most ambitious and innovative undertaking was the creation of three New Towns on undeveloped land—Audubon, in Amherst, near the new campus of SUNY Buffalo; Lysander, renamed Radisson, twelve miles north of Syracuse; and the transformation of Welfare Island into Roosevelt Island in New York’s East River.


pages: 389 words: 210,632

Frommer's Oregon by Karl Samson

airport security, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

. & 503/581-2228. www.salemart.org. Free admission. Wed–Fri 11am–6pm; Sat–Sun noon–5pm. Bush House Museum Set at the top of a shady hill in the 100-acre Bush’s Pasture Park, this imposing Italianate Victorian home dates back to 1878. Inside you can see the original furnishings, including 10 fireplaces and the original wallpaper. At the time it was built, this home had all the modern conveniences—indoor plumbing, gas lights, and central heating. Also on the grounds is Oregon’s oldest greenhouse conservatory. S A L E M & T H E M I D  W I L L A M E T T E VA L L E Y 17 Owens St. Portland Salem OREGON Stat e St. WILLAMETTE UNIVERSITY Chu rch S t. Lesli e St. Kearny St. Wilson Park 11 10 Trad e St. Libe rty S t. Com merc ial S t. 8 Bush St. Travel Salem 6 7 18th St. Riverfront Park Cent er St Chem . eket a St. 17th St. 5 13th St. 14th St. 4 15th St. 2 Mar ion S t. 12th St. 99 13th St.


pages: 351 words: 102,379

Too big to fail: the inside story of how Wall Street and Washington fought to save the financial system from crisis--and themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin

affirmative action, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, break the buck, BRICs, business cycle, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Emanuel Derman, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fixed income, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, naked short selling, NetJets, Northern Rock, oil shock, paper trading, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, shareholder value, short selling, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, too big to fail, value at risk, éminence grise

“I don’t think I’m the right person to answer that question.” O’Neal was out of a different mold than most of Merrill’s top executives, not least of all because he was African American—quite a change from the succession of white Irish Catholics who had headed the firm in the past. His was, by any measure, an amazing success story. O’Neal, whose grandfather had been born a slave, had spent much of his childhood in a wood-frame house with no indoor plumbing on a farm in eastern Alabama. When Stan was twelve, his father moved the family to a housing project in Atlanta, where he soon found a job at a nearby General Motors assembly plant. GM became Stan O’Neal’s ticket out of poverty. After high school he enrolled at the General Motors Institute (now known as Kettering University), an engineering college, on a work-study scholarship that involved his working six weeks on the assembly line in Flint, Michigan, followed by six weeks in the classroom.


pages: 740 words: 227,963

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, California gold rush, card file, desegregation, Gunnar Myrdal, index card, indoor plumbing, invisible hand, labor-force participation, Mason jar, mass immigration, medical residency, Rosa Parks, strikebreaker, trade route, traveling salesman, union organizing, white flight, Works Progress Administration

He recounted what his mother told him: “You’re going to have to leave this place, you keep that up.” Which is why Marshall ended up in California. Then Robert joins in. “I had taken my bath in the tin tub,” he begins. “I was clean.” “Was that the Saturday-night bath?” Beckwith’s wife, Isabel, asks. Everyone laughs in recognition. Like most black people in the South, none of them had had indoor plumbing back then, and Saturday was the one night in the week when they could manage the time-consuming ritual of boiling water from the well and filling a tin tub so everyone in a given family could take a bath. They knew just what Robert meant. They let him finish his story. “A white man called me over,” Robert goes on. “ ‘Hey, boy, I’ll pay you if you can tell me where I can find a clean colored girl.’ ” He pauses for effect.


pages: 927 words: 236,812

The Taste of War: World War Two and the Battle for Food by Lizzie Collingham

agricultural Revolution, American ideology, British Empire, centre right, clean water, colonial exploitation, distributed generation, European colonialism, fixed income, full employment, global village, indoor plumbing, labour mobility, land reform, mass immigration, means of production, profit motive, rising living standards, trade route, V2 rocket, women in the workforce

To many American farmers the Second World War certainly felt like a ‘good’ war. Farm incomes rose by 156 per cent.10 ‘As farm prices got better and better … farm times became good times,’ recalled Laura Briggs, raised on a small farm in Idaho in the 1930s and 1940s. ‘Dad started having his land improved, and of course we improved our home and the outbuildings. We and most other farmers went from a tarpaper shack to a new frame house with indoor plumbing. Now we had an electric stove instead of a wood burning one, and running water at the sink where we could do the dishes; and a hot water heater; and nice linoleum … It was just so modern we couldn’t stand it.’11 The war also provided a painless solution to the problem of agricultural unemployment, caused by the Depression. Rural workers were attracted to the factories by a wage double that of a farm worker and which could be earned in a mere eight hours a day.12 In the United States ex-farmers and farm labourers made up 35 per cent of wartime industry’s mechanical engineers and 30 per cent of those working in production.13 Including those called up into the military, 6 million people left the farms.14 Mordecai Ezekiel, economic adviser to the Department of Agriculture, commented dryly that ‘we will have conquered unemployment by the same means that the Fascist countries conquered it, by organizing our people and our resources into a military economy’.15 Indeed, by 1942 farming was doing so well that farmers began to regret the loss of labour to industry.


Parks Directory of the United States by Darren L. Smith, Kay Gill

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Asilomar, British Empire, California gold rush, clean water, cuban missile crisis, desegregation, Donner party, El Camino Real, global village, Golden Gate Park, Hernando de Soto, indoor plumbing, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, oil shale / tar sands, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Torches of Freedom, trade route, transcontinental railway, Works Progress Administration

Location: On Dawson Street in Thomasville. Facilities: Historic house, picnic area, gift shop. Activities: Guided house tour. Special Features: The Lapham-Patterson House is an outstanding example of a Victorian era home. Built between 1884-85 as a winter cottage for prosperous shoe merchant C.W. Lapham of Chicago, the residence was equipped with its own gas lighting system, hot and cold running water, indoor plumbing, and modern closets. Architectural features include fishscale shingles, oriental-style porch decorations, long-leaf pine inlaid floors, cantilevered balcony, and a double-flue chimney with a walk-through stairway. Lapham-Patterson House was named a National Historic Landmark in 1975. of I-75 Forsyth exit 185; or 18 miles north of Macon exit 171. Facilities: Museum, historic buildings, gift shop, picnic area.

Activities: Guided tours. Special Features: Harry Truman, the only Missourian ever elected US president, was born here on May 8, 1884. Truman’s family stayed in the six-room frame home, built between 1880 and 1882, until Harry was almost one year old. Furnishings represent those typically found in homes during the period when the Trumans lived here. In addition to the house, which had neither indoor plumbing nor electricity, visitors can view the smokehouse, well, and outhouse in the back. ★3007★ HARRY S TRUMAN STATE PARK 28761 State Park Rd Warsaw, MO 65355 Web: www.mostateparks.com/trumanpark.htm Phone: 660-438-7711 Size: 1,440 acres. Location: West of Warsaw 6 miles on Highway 7, then right on Highway UU 2 miles to the park, in Benton County. Facilities: 100 basic campsites, 98 electric campsites, showers, picnic sites, picnic shelter, hiking trails, beach with bathhouse and restrooms, marina, store, boat ramp, boat rentals, playgrounds.

T Group camps — For organized groups. Normally located in isolated areas of the park, sites have drinking water and pit or flush toilets. T Yurts — Mongolian-style round tents on a wooden deck; contain cookstove, refrigerator, countertop, table, chairs, electric heat and outlets. Sleep four. T Rustic cabins — Include refrigerator and gas or electric kitchen stove. Each has a fireplace, wood stove or gas heater for heat. No indoor plumbing. Sleep two to eight people. ★3974★ BALD EAGLE STATE PARK 149 Main Park Rd Howard, PA 16841 Web: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/baldeagle.asp Phone: 814-625-2775 Size: 5,900 acres. Location: Off PA 150, midway between Milesburg and Lock Haven, via I-80. Facilities: 101 class A campsites, 70 class B campsites, showers, flush toilets, picnic 744 PENNSYLVANIA ★3978★ BIG POCONO STATE PARK c/o Tobyhanna State Park Tobyhanna, PA 18466 Web: www.dcnr.state.pa.us/stateparks/parks/bigpocono.aspx Phone: 570-894-8336 Size: 1,306 acres.


pages: 941 words: 237,152

USA's Best Trips by Sara Benson

Albert Einstein, California gold rush, car-free, carbon footprint, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute couture, haute cuisine, if you build it, they will come, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, McMansion, mega-rich, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, the High Line, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

On their scenic 35-acre hillside horse ranch just east of Danville, they offer three-hour classes in recreational tree climbing, an exhilarating zip-line, plus a state-of-the-art tree house set in a forest full of chirping birds. Adventurous souls who don’t mind heights or rustic living will appreciate the elegant hand-hewn stairway and deck, burl furniture, picture windows, Vermont Castings wood stove and a fire pole for dramatic exits. Advance reservations are essential. Note that there’s limited, generator-powered electricity and no indoor plumbing, although guests have access to a bathroom with running water at the base of the tree. Those seeking a more traditional sleeping experience can continue 7 miles east to St Johnsbury. * * * Late-summer travelers with a weakness for weird should check out the Great Vermont Corn Maze (www.vermontcornmaze.com), a seasonal operation 9 miles north of Hwy 2, reached from the town of Danville west of St Johnsbury.


pages: 1,152 words: 266,246

Why the West Rules--For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future by Ian Morris

addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, conceptual framework, cuban missile crisis, defense in depth, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of the americas, Doomsday Clock, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Flynn Effect, Francisco Pizarro, global village, God and Mammon, hiring and firing, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, market bubble, mass immigration, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, pink-collar, place-making, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, sexual politics, Silicon Valley, Sinatra Doctrine, South China Sea, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, upwardly mobile, wage slave, washing machines reduced drudgery

It struck some as an age of vulgarity, a world, one poet put it, where … residents from raw estates, brought down The dead straight miles by stealing flat-faced trolleys, Push through plate-glass swing doors to their desires— Cheap suits, red kitchen-ware, sharp shoes, iced lollies,* Electric mixers, toasters, washers, driers— A cut-price crowd, urban yet simple, dwelling Where only salesmen and relations come. Figure 10.9. Never had it so good: the author and his toys, Christmas Day, 1964 Suburbs and satellite cities unfolded around every exit ramp and bypass, from America’s Levittown to Britain’s Telford, offending the aesthetes with their boxiness and monotony; but they gave the people what we wanted—a little space, indoor plumbing, and garages for our shiny Fords. The twentieth century was the age of everything, of material abundance beyond the dreams of avarice. Cheap coal and oil generated electricity for all, turning on engines and lighting up houses at the flick of a switch. More than two thousand years earlier Aristotle had observed that slaves would always be with us, unless people had automata—self-moving machines—to do the work for them.


pages: 1,117 words: 305,620

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill

active measures, air freight, anti-communist, blood diamonds, business climate, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, Donald Trump, drone strike, failed state, friendly fire, Google Hangouts, indoor plumbing, Islamic Golden Age, Kickstarter, land reform, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, private military company, Project for a New American Century, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, WikiLeaks

Noor was educated in London and managed his family’s business investments outside of Somalia. When his father died, he left his life of safety and comfort to return to Mogadishu, where he was given the title of minister of state for the presidency. Noor, however, still enjoyed the luxuries of the West. He rolled around Mogadishu in an armored SUV with animal skins over the seats. He set up a wireless Internet network in an ASWJ camp outside of the capital that didn’t have indoor plumbing and his Koran was housed in a shiny new iPad. He showed me an e-mail from Ethiopia’s minister of foreign affairs on his recently acquired white iPhone. Noor, who regularly met with Western officials and intelligence agents, declined to outline who exactly was funding ASWJ from the outside, but he did single out the United States as Somalia’s “number one” ally. “I’m here to thank them, because they are helping us, fighting against the terrorists,” he told me.


Southwest USA Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, carbon footprint, Columbine, Donner party, El Camino Real, friendly fire, G4S, haute couture, haute cuisine, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), low earth orbit, off grid, place-making, supervolcano, trade route, transcontinental railway, walkable city, Works Progress Administration, X Prize

The Utah portion of the park contains all the fossils, but the Canyon Section Visitor Center (970-374-3000; www.nps.gov/dino; Dinosaur, CO; per car $10; 9am-4pm Jun-Aug, 8am-4:30pm Wed-Sun Sep & May) shows a good movie and there are pretty hikes. Staying over? Pitch your tent at the waterfront Green River Campground (Dinosaur Quarry; campsites $12; mid-Apr–Oct); first-come, first-served. The 88 sites have access to running water (indoor plumbing and the river), but no showers. Ask about primitive camping. If you’d rather a roof over your head, book at the comfy-cozy Jensen Inn (435-789-590; 5056 S 9500 East, Jensen; r incl breakfast $95-150; ), 3 miles north of the Hwy 40 turnoff on Hwy 149. Sleep in a tipi ($95) or camp ($55) on the grounds and you can still get the scrumptious home-cooked breakfast. Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area Named for its fiery red sandstone canyon, Flaming Gorge provides 375 miles of shoreline around Flaming Gorge Reservoir, which straddles the Utah-Wyoming state line.


pages: 675 words: 344,555

Frommer's Hawaii 2009 by Jeanette Foster

airport security, California gold rush, Charles Lindbergh, glass ceiling, gravity well, haute couture, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Maui Hawaii, place-making, polynesian navigation, South China Sea, sustainable-tourism, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Yogi Berra

King Kamehameha IV agreed to sell the island for $10,000. The next year, normal weather returned, and the green pastures withered into sparse semidesert vegetation. Today Sinclair’s great-great-grandson, Bruce Robinson, continues to run the ranching operation and fiercely protects the privacy of the island residents. Life on Niihau has not changed much in 140 years: There’s no running water, indoor plumbing, or electric power. The Hawaiian language is still spoken. Most of the men work for the ranch when there is work, and fish and hunt when there is no work. The women specialize in gathering and stringing pupu Niihau, prized tiny white seashells (found only on this island), into Niihau’s famous leis, which fetch prices in the thousands of dollars. On his search for the Northwest The Coconut Coast The eastern shore of Kauai north of Passage in 1778, British explorer Capt.


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

“It seems, then, that ambilateral harmfulness may have a significant bearing on the ‘emergence’ of ‘new’ infectious diseases … because the ability of a plant microbe to harm an animal (or vice versa) in any manner whatsoever would seem to indicate that the ‘emergence’ of a ‘new’ pathogen is not far off!” The CDC estimated that somewhere between 2,000 and 6,000 people had been dying every year of Legionnaires’ Disease, probably for decades, certainly since the advent of air-conditioning technology and, long before that, indoor plumbing. Prior to the dramatic Philadelphia outbreak, these cases had simply been dumped into the category of “pneumonia of unknown etiology.” Armed with such observations, medical historian Robert Hudson of the University of Kansas closed the international gathering on a particularly frightening note. After describing the Black Death plague of medieval Europe, Hudson warned that “when we grant that our knowledge of existing microscopic pathogens is deficient, we necessarily grant the possibility at least of a return of the great epidemics of the past … . the possibility exists that a deadly and common organism could emerge that is easily spread from person to person and that might be aloof to all available therapeutic and preventive methods.”


Greece Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, capital controls, car-free, carbon footprint, credit crunch, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, pension reform, period drama, sensible shoes, trade route, urban sprawl

The owners also operate the good restaurant Xyloskalo with spectacular views at the very entrance to the gorge. XyloskaloCRETAN€ ( GOOGLE MAP ; %28210 67237; www.omalos.com; dishes €5-10; h10am-7pm or 8pm daily Apr-Oct, Sat & Sun Nov-Mar; W) Perched just over the spectacular drop of Samaria Gorge, with eagles occasionally circling outside its wrap-around windows, this cosy restaurant dishes up classic Cretan and Greek meals. And offers that last chance to use indoor plumbing and wi-fi. GETTING THERE & AWAY Most people hike the gorge one way going north–south on an organised day trip from every sizeable town and resort in Crete. Note that prices listed usually don’t include the €5 admission to the gorge or the boat ride from Agia Roumeli to Sougia or Hora Sfakion. With some planning, it’s possible to do the trek on your own. There are daily early-morning public buses to Omalos from Hania (€6.90, 45 minutes) and Rethymno (€15, 1¾ hours), as well as services from Sougia (€4.20, one hour) and Paleohora (€6.40, one hour), once or twice daily in high season.


pages: 1,351 words: 404,177

Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein

affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, American ideology, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Joan Didion, Kitchen Debate, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, sexual politics, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog

From the time he was a boy in the Southern California citrus groves, staying up half the night to man the creepy little potbellied orchard heaters that kept the frost from the trees but not the black smudge from the boy tending them, to stain his clothes for school the next day; from the time his father built a combination grocery and gas station and made it his second son’s duty to begin each day in the dark, at 4 a.m., driving to the Los Angeles market to select the day’s produce; from the time he was denied a chance to go to Harvard because he could only afford to live at home; from the time he was blacklisted from his little local college’s single social club because he was too unpolished; from the time he was reduced to sharing a one-room shack without heat or indoor plumbing while working his way through Duke Law School; from the time, finishing third in his class, he trudged frantically from white-shoe Wall Street law firm to white-shoe Wall Street law firm and was shown the door at each one (he ended up practicing law back home, where, forced to handle divorce cases, he would stare at his shoes, crimson-red in embarrassment, as women related to him the problems they suffered at the marital bed).


pages: 769 words: 397,677

Frommer's California 2007 by Harry Basch, Mark Hiss, Erika Lenkert, Matthew Richard Poole

airport security, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, clean water, Columbine, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, indoor plumbing, Iridium satellite, Joan Didion, Maui Hawaii, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration

Grant Grove Cabins Value Although all the accommodations here are cabins, they offer a wide range of amenities and prices, from handsomely restored cabins that ooze history, with private bathrooms, to primitive tent-cabins that simply provide a comfortable bed and shelter at a very low price. Those who want to “rough it” in style should reserve one of the nine cabins, built in the 1920s, that have electricity, indoor plumbing, and full private bathrooms. A bit less modern, but still quite comfortable, the 43 basic cabins have kerosene lanterns for light and a shared bathhouse. Some are wooden; others, available in summer only, have wood floors and walls but canvas roofs. All cabins have full linen service. It’s a 10-minute walk from the cabins to the Grant Grove visitor center, and the Grant Grove Restaurant is also nearby.


Frommer's Mexico 2008 by David Baird, Juan Cristiano, Lynne Bairstow, Emily Hughey Quinn

airport security, AltaVista, Bartolomé de las Casas, centre right, colonial rule, East Village, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Maui Hawaii, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Skype, sustainable-tourism, the market place, urban planning

Postal 15), 77780 Tulum, Q. Roo. & 998/887-5470. Fax 998/887-5469. www. anayjose.com. 22 units. $233–$255 (£128–£140) garden and pool view; $306–$373 (£168–£205) beachfront and ocean view. AE, MC, V. Free parking. Amenities: Restaurant; outdoor pool; spa; tour info; car rental. In room: A/C in some rooms, safe, no phone. Azulik is all about slowing down, leaving civilization behind (except for such niceties as indoor plumbing and room service), and enjoying the simple life (with or without clothes). I enjoyed the simple life during an all-too-brief stay here, and what I liked most about Azulik was the design and positioning of the individual cabañas. All but three of them sit on a stone ledge next to, and a little above, the sea. The ledge is just high enough to provide privacy while you sit out on the semi-shaded wood deck in front of your cabaña enjoying either the sun or the stars.


pages: 1,336 words: 415,037

The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bob Noyce, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, Charles Lindbergh, collateralized debt obligation, computerized trading, corporate governance, corporate raider, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everybody Ought to Be Rich, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, John Meriwether, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Samuelson, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, yellow journalism, zero-coupon bond

Born in West Germany in 1946 as Astrid Beaté Menks after her parents “walked out of Latvia when Russia took it,” Menks had emigrated to the United States at age five with her parents and five siblings on a converted, broken-down battleship. Her first sight of America as they pulled in to the harbor was a huge object approaching through a fog bank—the Statue of Liberty. The Menks family was assigned to sponsors in Verdell, Nebraska, where they lived on a farm with a potbellied stove and no electricity or indoor plumbing. When Astrid was six, the family moved to Omaha. Shortly afterward, when their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Astrid and her two younger brothers entered the Immanuel Deaconess Institute of Omaha, an all-purpose facility operated by Lutheran sisters that included a retirement home, an orphanage, a hospital, a church, and a recreational hall. Her father, who spoke little English, worked as a maintenance man on the grounds while the children lived at the orphanage.


pages: 803 words: 415,953

Frommer's Mexico 2009 by David Baird, Lynne Bairstow, Joy Hepp, Juan Christiano

airport security, AltaVista, Bartolomé de las Casas, centre right, colonial rule, East Village, glass ceiling, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, low cost airline, low cost carrier, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Skype, sustainable-tourism, the market place, urban planning, young professional

Postal 15), 77780 Tulum, Q. Roo. & 998/880-5629. Fax 998/880-6021. www. anayjose.com. 22 units. $232–$256 (£116–£128) garden and pool view; $304–$370 (£152–£185) beachfront and ocean view. AE, MC, V. Free parking. Amenities: Restaurant; outdoor pool; spa; tour info; car rental. In room: A/C in some rooms, safe, no phone. Azulik is all about slowing down, leaving civilization behind (except for such niceties as indoor plumbing and room service), and enjoying the simple life (with or without clothes). I enjoyed the simple life during a brief stay here, and appreciated the design and positioning of the individual cabañas. Most sit on a stone ledge above the sea. The ledge is just high enough to provide privacy while you sit out on the semishaded wood deck in front of your cabaña enjoying either the sun or the stars.


pages: 1,631 words: 468,342

Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House by Cheryl Mendelson

biofilm, Broken windows theory, clean water, deskilling, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Indoor air pollution, indoor plumbing, Jacquard loom, Own Your Own Home, sensible shoes, spice trade, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer

The eponymous bunny of The Velveteen Rabbit has to be saved by magic because it is to be burned, along with all the other fabrics that touched the skin of the child who has just survived scarlet fever. Scientific research confirms that microorganisms—bacteria, viruses, yeasts—survive on fabrics for significant periods of time and survive transfer from one cloth to another. One study, in fact, has found that some fibers are more hospitable than others to certain viruses. In the age of antibiotics, advanced indoor plumbing, and vaccinations, however, sickroom routines that were familiar in every household through the early twentieth century are now forgotten. No smelly disinfectants are used to wipe down every surface and utensil near the sick one. No linens are burned or boiled, and handkerchiefs, “body linen,” and bed linens of the sick are not laundered separately. By and large, this is as it should be. In every household, however, there are times when it is valuable to exercise a degree of special caution—for example, in the case of infectious illness, dirty diapers, or flood-contaminated textiles.


Frommer's California 2009 by Matthew Poole, Harry Basch, Mark Hiss, Erika Lenkert

airport security, Asilomar, Bay Area Rapid Transit, California gold rush, call centre, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Columbine, Donald Trump, Donner party, East Village, El Camino Real, European colonialism, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, Joan Didion, Mason jar, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, post-work, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, South of Market, San Francisco, sustainable-tourism, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Y Combinator

Grant Grove Cabins Value Although all the accommodations here are cabins, they offer a wide range of amenities and prices, fr om handsomely r estored cabins that ooz e history, with private bathrooms, to primitive tent-cabins that simply provide a comfortable bed and shelter at a v ery low price. Those who want to “ rough it” in style should reserve one of the nine cabins, built in the 1920s, that have electricity, indoor plumbing, and full priv ate bathrooms. A bit less modern, but still quite comfor table, the 43 basic cabins have kerosene lanterns for light and a shared bathhouse. Some are wooden; others, available in summer only, have wood floors and walls but canv as roofs. All cabins hav e full linen service. It’s a 10-minute walk from the cabins to the Grant Grove visitor center, and the Grant Grove Restaurant is also nearby.


Southeast Asia on a Shoestring Travel Guide by Lonely Planet

active transport: walking or cycling, airport security, Alfred Russel Wallace, anti-communist, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, clockwatching, colonial rule, Google Earth, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, large denomination, low cost airline, low cost carrier, Mason jar, megacity, period drama, Skype, South China Sea, spice trade, superstar cities, sustainable-tourism, trade route, urban sprawl, white picket fence, women in the workforce

Blue Lagoon Resort GUESTHOUSE $ ( 08 6330 0094; Ao Khlong Prao; r 600-1000B; ) Rustic bungalows overlook a serene lagoon in this shady grove of a guesthouse. A wooden walkway leads to the beach. There are also exceedingly friendly Thai cooking classes. Tiger Huts GUESTHOUSE $ ( 08 1762 3710; Ao Khlong Prao; r 600B) The only thing that separates these wooden huts from labourer shanties is indoor plumbing. They are low on comfort and hospitality, but high on location, claiming the widest and prettiest part of the beach. The neighbouring resorts must be very jealous. Buzza’s Bungalows GUESTHOUSE $ ( 08 7823 6674; Hat Kaibae; r from 400B; ) Solid concrete bungalows with porches create a laid-back travellers ambience. It’s a short and hassle-free stroll to the beach. Porn’s Bungalows GUESTHOUSE $ ( 08 9251 9233; Hat Kaibae; www.pornsbungalows-kohchang.com; r from 800-900B) Kaibae’s resident rasta scene hangs out in a shady coconut grove beside the beach; wooden fan bungalows with hot-water showers.


Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976-1980 by Rick Perlstein

"Robert Solow", 8-hour work day, affirmative action, airline deregulation, Alistair Cooke, American Legislative Exchange Council, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Brewster Kahle, business climate, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, COVID-19, Covid-19, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency peg, death of newspapers, defense in depth, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, energy security, equal pay for equal work, facts on the ground, feminist movement, financial deregulation, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Kitchen Debate, kremlinology, land reform, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, oil shock, open borders, Potemkin village, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Bork, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, traveling salesman, unemployed young men, union organizing, unpaid internship, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, wages for housework, walking around money, War on Poverty, white flight, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, yellow journalism, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

At sixty-eight years old, any gaffe, any utterance too far out in right field, any wire-service photo of him falling asleep at some interminable Republican banquet, would be all it would take to finish him. That, said the conventional wisdom, was when the superhero known as “Big John” would swoop in to save the day. * * * JOHN BOWDEN CONNALLY JR. WAS born on a tenant farm in stark and unforgiving South Texas, in a house with neither indoor plumbing nor electricity. The soap was fashioned at home from lye and bacon crackling. His mother cooked on the woodstove that also heated the house. Connally was his parents’ second son. Their first burned to death after falling into that stove. Politicians, of course, love to recite stories of hardscrabble beginnings. But in John Connally’s case, they were not exaggerated. He began working in the fields alongside his sharecropper father at the age of five.


pages: 2,323 words: 550,739

1,000 Places to See in the United States and Canada Before You Die, Updated Ed. by Patricia Schultz

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bretton Woods, Burning Man, California gold rush, car-free, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, Donald Trump, East Village, El Camino Real, estate planning, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, Guggenheim Bilbao, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, Mars Rover, Mason jar, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, out of africa, Pepto Bismol, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, sexual politics, South of Market, San Francisco, The Chicago School, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, wage slave, white picket fence, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, éminence grise

With its rough-around-the-edges ambience, the Shack Up Inn is a fun, kitschy place to stay. Sure, a few chain motels line the outskirts of town, but why stay there when you can flop in a once dilapidated sharecropper’s quarters at the Shack Up Inn? Located on Hopson Plantation, the former farming enterprise is now home to an isolated rural “B ’n’ B”—bed and beer. A row of shacks (now with indoor plumbing and air-conditioning) are a big draw for blues tourists who embrace the funky rusticity of the place. Another atmospheric option is the old Riverside Hotel, a no-frills ranch house whose overnighters have included Ike Turner and the late blues fan John F. Kennedy Jr. A locally owned boardinghouse/budget hotel since 1944, the Riverside is notorious as the former hospital for blacks where pioneering blues singer Bessie Smith died in 1937, following a car crash on Highway 61.


pages: 3,292 words: 537,795

Lonely Planet China (Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet, Shawn Low

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, bike sharing scheme, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, G4S, haute couture, haute cuisine, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Kickstarter, land reform, mass immigration, Pearl River Delta, place-making, Rubik’s Cube, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, trade route, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, Xiaogang Anhui farmers, young professional

Jinzhanghan Grasslands Set along a winding river about 40km north of Haila’er, this grassland camp (Jinzhanghan Caoyuan %133 2700 0919; hJun–early Oct) has a spectacular setting, even if it is designed for tourists. You can pass an hour or so looking around and sipping milk tea, spend the day horse riding (per hour ¥200) or hiking, or come for an evening of dinner, singing and dancing. If you want to stay the night, you can sleep in one of the yurts (per person ¥100). There’s no indoor plumbing, but there is a toilet hut. To get here, you’ll have to hire a taxi from Haila’er (about ¥300 return) or join one of the Chinese group tours (sign up at your hotel or at the booth at the Haila’er train station). About 2km before the main camp there are a couple of unsigned family-run camps. Prices for food, accommodation and horse rental are about half what you pay at Jinzhanghan, but they are rather less organised.