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The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking by Oliver Burkeman
experimental subject, fear of failure, hedonic treadmill, Kibera, Lao Tzu, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, science of happiness, selection bias, Steve Jobs, Supply of New York City Cabdrivers, traveling salesman, World Values Survey
For all these reasons – and also because it is a conveniently short drive from central Nairobi, with its international airport and comfortable business hotels – Kibera has become a world-famous landmark of suffering. Prime ministers and presidents travel there for photo-opportunities; television news crews come regularly to gawp; and the slum has disproportionately become the focus of hundreds of aid groups, many of them religious, mostly from the United States and Europe. Their names reflect the sense of agonised desperation for which the name ‘Kibera’ has come to stand: the Fountain of Hope Initiative; Seeds of Hope; Shining Hope for Communities; the Kibera Hope Centre; Kibera In Need. But ask Norbert Aluku, a lanky young social worker, born and raised in Kibera, if his childhood there was one of misery and suffering, and he will laugh at you in disbelief.
But in the opinion of Frankie Otieno, a twenty-two-year-old resident of Kibera who spent his Sundays not worshipping but attending to his various business interests, these smaller churches were essentially scams. ‘In Kibera, a church is a business,’ he said, his easy smile tinged with cynicism. He was sitting on a tattered sofa in the shady main room of his mother’s house in Kibera, drinking Coke from a glass bottle. ‘A church is the easiest way to get money from the aid organisations. One day, you fill up your church with kids – somebody who’s dirty, somebody who’s not eating – and then the organisation comes and sees the church is full, and they take photos to show their sponsors, and they give you money.’ He chuckled. ‘It’s all about the photos, you know?’ In another part of Kibera, reached by pursuing still narrower paths, deeper into the slum, then rounding a bend past a health clinic, three Kiberan men were starting their work day at the goat-bone recycling facility.
It’s about taking whatever you have, and using it as best you can, together with your neighbours. In Kibera, it’s only with your neighbours that you’re going to get by.’ Or ask Irene Mueni, who lives there too, and who speaks darkly of traumatising events in her childhood, yet who still says: ‘Happiness is subjective. You can be happy in a slum, unhappy in a city. The things you need for happiness aren’t the things you think you need.’ This is the difficult truth that strikes many visitors to Kibera, and they struggle for the words to express it, aware that it is open to misinterpretation. Bluntly, Kiberans just don’t seem as unhappy or as depressed as one might have expected. ‘It’s clear that poverty has crippled Kibera,’ observes Jean-Pierre Larroque, a documentary filmmaker who has spent plenty of time there, ‘but it doesn’t exactly induce the pity-inducing cry for help that NGOs, church missions, and charity groups would have you believe.’
Money, Real Quick: The Story of M-PESA by Tonny K. Omwansa, Nicholas P. Sullivan, The Guardian
BRICs, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, cashless society, cloud computing, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, disruptive innovation, financial exclusion, financial innovation, financial intermediation, income per capita, Kibera, Kickstarter, M-Pesa, microcredit, mobile money, Network effects, new economy, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, software as a service, transaction costs
For low-income Kenyans, concludes a report by Financial Sector Deepening, M-PESA seems to “hit that sweep spot for saving that keeps funds close enough to use in an emergency, but also imposes a cost on withdrawals that serves as an effective commitment feature preventing haphazard withdrawal for consumption spending—something that makes mobile money a hit for the poor.” Kibera is at once one of the world’s most depressing and most uplifting spots. Depressing because it is hard to imagine life in an “informal settlement” of over 250,000 people, living without running water or toilets or sewage, packed together in tin and mud shacks with dirt floors and little air, stuck inside a maze of twisty passages with no escape from your neighbors or thugs or the smell of human and animal waste or the heavy air, smoky from ******ebook converter DEMO Watermarks******* cooking fires. The Mombasa-Kisumu train en route to Uganda roars through every day scattering children playing on the tracks. Aside from a few batteryoperated lights and illegally spliced electric lines, Kibera is dark at night. But Kibera is also uplifting for the civilization it has built, its electronics shops and beauty shops and clothing shops and furniture stalls and brilliant graffiti art on the roofs so those above know they exist, for its joyous human spirit, what novelist William Faulkner referred to in his Nobel acceptance speech as the “indomitable spirit of man,” for the determination of its people to gather themselves and somehow move forward in life.
However you cut it, Safaricom has been great for Kenya and put the country on the world stage. Says Betty Mwangi, general manager, Safaricom: “M-PESA is like oxygen to Kenyans.” Imagine 50 other countries with huge proportions of unbanked citizens inhaling a similar breath of fresh air into their economies. Like many residents of Kibera, Mercy, a stocky woman with close-cropped hair and bright eyes, comes from a rural “upcountry” area of Kenya. She moved to Kibera 15 years ago, she says, because of low rent and a relative who could help her find a job and a place to live. Her house is a typical Kibera shack with a corrugated tin roof and mud floor. Bed sheets hang from the ceiling to divide the structure into separate sections to afford a measure of privacy to Mercy and the nine other people who, remarkably, all share the 15’ x 15’ structure. Other occupants include Mercy’s husband, five children of her own, and three children belonging to her siblings.
Urban migrants, who had come to the city to work and send money home, were desperate for cash and even airtime, both aids to escaping the horrific ethnic violence. Forget speed, convenience, safety—they just needed cash anyway they could get it. M-PESA payments started coming from the village to the city, particularly the large urban slum settlement of Kibera, a city within the city of Nairobi. Agents found that urban customers were making withdrawals instead of deposits. Once desperate for e-float, agents now scrambled to find cash with the banks closed. Olga Morawczynski, an anthropologist who studied money flows between Kibera and the farming village of Bukura in Western Kenya, observed this dramatic shift. The shift was temporary, but significant—money was flowing at the so-called base of the pyramid, from the poor to the poor. Allowing money to flow electronically rather than physically eradicated the space and time barriers to money transfer.
Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend
1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar
In 2000 the city began funding the effort and in just two years it had surveyed some two-thirds of Pune’s 450 slum settlements, mapping some 130,000 households. The effort to put Kibera on the map was started by two geeks from the rich world, Erica Hagen and Mikel Maron, who in 2009 joined forces with a trio of Kenyan community-development groups to launch Map Kibera. They recruited a handful of twentysomethings who were active in the community, one from each of the slum’s thirteen villages. With just two days of training in how to use consumer-grade GPS receivers, these volunteer mappers were sent out to traverse Kibera on foot, using their bodies as tools to collect traces of the thousands of streets, alleys, and paths that would form the first-ever digital base map of the thriving community. Results came quickly. “We did the first map in three weeks,” Maron recalls.39 The mapping technique used in Kibera was imported from an unlikely place, which was also the source of the first modern surveys of Kenya—the country’s former colonial ruler, the United Kingdom.
The Indian activists who pioneered slum mapping in the 1990s saw their work as a way to begin integrating poor communities into existing city-planning efforts in the hope of securing a fairer share of government resources. But with the new chart living online in OpenStreetMap, Map Kibera is focused instead on powering new tools that change how the community is represented in the media, and how organizers lobby the government to address local problems. Voice of Kibera, for instance, is a citizen-reporting site built using another open-source tool called Ushahidi. The name means “testimony” in Swahili, and it was developed in 2008 to monitor election violence in Kenya. Voice of Kibera plots media stories about the community onto the open digital map, and allows residents to send in their own reports by SMS. Another Map Kibera effort recruits residents to monitor the progress of infrastructure projects. Government-funded slum upgrades, such as the installation of water pumps and latrines, are hot spots for graft in Kenya.
Over time, slowly but surely, the map is helping shift public perception of Kibera away from flying bags of crap and toward a view of a community of real people. As Maron told me, “People like living in Kibera. What they don’t like is having raw sewage running by their house.”41 Map Kibera represents a shift in how we think about using technology to help poor communities. We can ship all of the laptops we want to the world’s slums, but we can’t force anyone to use them, and even if they do we certainly can’t guarantee it will have the intended impact. The United Nations can track all of the weak signals of economic distress from afar through efforts like Global Pulse, but the tools to intervene once a crisis is identified haven’t changed much from yesteryear. Map Kibera demonstrates how open-source tools, put in place on behalf of poor communities, can empower them to create knowledge relevant to the problems they face.
Pax Technica: How the Internet of Things May Set Us Free or Lock Us Up by Philip N. Howard
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, Brian Krebs, British Empire, butter production in bangladesh, call centre, Chelsea Manning, citizen journalism, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, digital map, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Julian Assange, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, national security letter, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, obamacare, Occupy movement, packet switching, pension reform, prediction markets, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, Skype, spectrum auction, statistical model, Stuxnet, trade route, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks, zero day
Authoritarian regimes face the digital dilemma repeatedly: once when deciding whether or not to allow internet access, again when people (invariably) start involving their devices in politics, and yet again when citizens demand access to the latest televisions, phones, and other consumer electronics that constitute the internet of things. Finding Kibera The Map Kibera project in Nairobi, Kenya, is one example of how this process has helped a marginalized community figure out its strengths and understand its needs.15 This act of citizen mapping has made invisible communities visible. And it demonstrates how the internet of things is helping people bring stability to the most anarchic of places. Primož Kovačič is a soft-spoken Slovenian who left his country in 2007 to work in Africa. He’s not sure why he chose to settle in Nairobi, much less in one of its toughest slums. Once there he found a community with immense amounts of economic, cultural, and social capital that had no strong institutions. Kibera is a place where hundreds of thousands of people live. For decades it has been politically invisible because no public map recognized the boundaries of the community, and leaders didn’t pay much attention to its needs.
Jason Motlagh, “Protesters Broaden Tactics as Belarus Cracks Down,” Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 2011, http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2011/0712/Protesters-broaden-tactics-as-Belarus-cracks-down. 14. Oksana Grytsenko, “Ukrainians Crowdfund to Raise Cash for ‘People’s Drone’ to Help Outgunned Army,” Guardian, June 29, 2014, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/29/outgunned-ukrainian-army-crowdfunding-people-drone. 15. “Map Kibera,” accessed June 20, 2014, http://mapkibera.org/. 16. Brian Ekdale, “Slum Tourism in Kibera: Education or Exploitation?” Brian Ekdale’s Blog, July 13, 2010, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.brianekdale.com/slum-tourism-in-kibera-education-or-exploitation/. 17. Robert Neuwirth, The Hidden World of Shadow Cities, TEDGlobal, 2005, accessed September 30, 2014, http://www.ted.com/talks/robert_neuwirth_on_our_shadow_cities. 18. “Spatial Collective,” accessed June 20, 2014, http://spatialcollective.com/. 19.
In fact, many government maps still identify Kibera as a forest. Even Google Maps reveals few details for one of the most crowded and impoverished slums on the planet. By itself Nairobi has some two hundred slums, few of which are on government maps. Some poor districts of the world’s megacities, like Nairobi, become what Bob Neuwirth calls “marquee slums”: they attract all the big nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and charity projects.17 Most of them were not on maps, until Primož Kovačič arrived. Kovačič decided to help launch a collective project to, at the very least, map the area.18 Gathering a group of volunteer “trackers” equipped with some basic consumer electronics, including cheap GPS devices and mobile phones, Kovačič and his colleagues “found” Kibera. They identified two hundred schools.
Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game
But a few kilometers from downtown Nairobi—a short, white-knuckle ride by matatu, the local minibuses Kenyans use to get around—is Kibera. The most populous slum in Africa, and maybe the world, is home to about a quarter million souls.190 Kibera represents the flip side of the dual realities of Nairobi: Downtown. Kibera. The place is an assault on the senses, beginning with an overload of the color red. Red rust stains the tin roofs laid out as far as the eye can see. The muddy soil that tracks between the riot of shacks and makes up the potholed, random dirt roads and paths is red. The smell, for a pampered Westerner, is hard to describe or forget. There are no formal sanitary facilities in Kibera, and open sewers run wherever there is open ground. There are also random piles of garbage, with adults, children, and animals picking through them. To Western eyes, Kibera is dystopic, hopeless squalor.
To Western eyes, Kibera is dystopic, hopeless squalor. Not so for Kenyans. To them, Kibera is a community with a distinct culture and purpose. It is as much Nairobi as the modern downtown. Kibera is also the seat of the traditional economy. It is overrun with informal businesses—food stalls, small grocers, butchers, secondhand clothing stores, repair shops. Some are established stalls or stores, others are just blankets spread out on the ground with whatever is on offer. The Kenyan women visiting this day make mental notes about which clothing shops would be worth a return visit on the weekend. The men would return for a piece of recycled hardware, or for a part for an older car. Whatever they need is on offer in Kibera, and at a better price than in any modern store. Kibera is also the home for new arrivals—either migrants from the countryside or those moving from other communities.
Kibera is also the home for new arrivals—either migrants from the countryside or those moving from other communities. Manhattan a century ago had its Lower East Side; Nairobi today has Kibera. While poverty, terrible sanitation, social pathologies (such as alcohol abuse and teen pregnancies), corruption, and crime are all rampant, these don’t make the community a no-go zone for Kenyans from other parts of Nairobi. Kibera is a distinct center for cultural and commercial interactions, like any historical ethnic enclave in a major Western city. Think the Latin Quarter, Little Italy, or Chinatown. Not today’s versions, but the way these places looked a few generations ago. There’s a lot going on in Kibera. Whether he lives in Kibera, a leafy, affluent neighborhood, or something in between, a Kenyan’s personal identity is rooted in tribe, clan, and family.
The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman, Rod A. Beckstrom
Atahualpa, barriers to entry, Burning Man, creative destruction, disintermediation, experimental economics, Firefox, Francisco Pizarro, jimmy wales, Kibera, Lao Tzu, Network effects, peer-to-peer, pez dispenser, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Wisdom of Crowds, union organizing
We went inside several of these homes and for the first time in our lives fully realized what it's like to have absolutely nothing. Although the people of Kibera don't have any of our material comforts, they are starting to see how we live—fancy cars, big houses, fast food. A part of them wants these comforts, but another part of them resents that Western expansion is changing their traditional way of life. In slums like Kibera, the resentment is so strong that at times people turn to extreme measures. If you're living in the slums, you can't start a traditional army, but you can start a circle. Imagine how stunned we were when Joseph, our guide, subtly gestured toward a group of middle-aged men sitting outside a doorway smoking and told us, "Look. Over there. See down that alley? There's an Al Qaeda cell there." Al Qaeda has reached the Kibera slum. Circles can communicate with one another through cell phones and e-mail; a cell in Kibera can now easily and regularly communicate with a cell in Kabul, Munich, or New York.
What a small loan can do is staggering. Beatrice Ngendo was a single grandmother who lived with her twelve grandchildren in Kibera. Her children and their spouses had all died of AIDS. THE STARFISH AND THE SPIDER She said to herself: / now have to work twice as hard as other mothers in Kibera to feed and educate these children. Through her loans, Beatrice started four successful businesses: a grocery store, a butchery, a restaurant, and a stone boardinghouse that she built by hand. Her grandchildren gained access to education; when we met Beatrice, her oldest grandchild had just graduated as a qualified nurse. Another Jamii Bora member was Wilson Maina, a charismatic figure with an infectious smile. Wilson was admired by many in Kibera: he ran a small business selling secondhand clothes. But just a few years earlier, Wilson had been a violent criminal.
Al Qaeda headquarters doesn't conceive each attack; rather, members adopt the ideology and copy what has worked in the past. Many unaffiliated groups simply take the brand and use it. We saw this proliferation of circles firsthand when we visited TAKING ON DECENTRALIZATION Kenya. Just outside of downtown Nairobi, the Kibera slum is the worst in Africa. Joseph, a warm man in his late fifties, was our guide as we walked unpaved streets where a million people live on six hundred crowded acres with no running water, no electricity, and no sewage service. The streets were muddy (at least we told ourselves it was mud), and there was garbage everywhere. The living conditions in Kibera are so harsh that the average life span is thirty-eight years—and dropping. A typical home in the slum is a nine-by-ninefoot tin shack where a family of eight to ten people is crowded together. What could be called the "living room" is typically separated from the "bedroom" by a torn bed-sheet.
Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men, and Other Nonviolent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, or Simply Change the World by Srdja Popovic, Matthew Miller
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, British Empire, corporate governance, desegregation, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, Rosa Parks, urban planning, urban sprawl
If you still have doubts about the power of ordinary hobbits like our good friend Kathy, consider the residents of Kibera. The biggest slum in Nairobi, Kenya—and by some accounts the largest slum in the world, with as many as ve million people huddling together in squalor—Kibera presented its residents with all the threats you’d expect to nd in one of the world’s worst hellholes. The landscape was terrifying. There was Jamhuri Park, where the bushes were thick and the trees cast a perpetual shadow, making it a favorite spot for local rapists. Then you had the Nairobi dam, which served as a Holiday Inn for bandits, and if you walked down the central Karanja Road on payday, you were almost certain to be robbed. And then there were the ying toilets. Since there wasn’t a widespread or e cient sewer system in the Kibera slum, many residents were forced to do their business in ditches along the streets.
Taking note of the project, the United Nation Children’s Fund got involved and doled out some cash. Soon every resident of Kibera could receive maprelated alerts via text messages sent directly to their cell phones, a service that helped people stay clear of everyday crime and outbreaks of violence in the neighborhood. Block by block, district by district, the Kiberans were reclaiming their community. The young men and women in Kibera are prime examples of people power harnessed to great use. Unlike many of the other examples in this book, these guys didn’t seek out corrupt enemies to overthrow or freedoms to win. They simply worked with one another to bring a sense of safety to their friends and families. That’s always a strong vision of tomorrow. Although the residents of the Kibera slum were disappointed in their government and disillusioned by their institutions, they still believed that they had the ability to make positive changes on their own.
But at night, when it was too dangerous for people to dart out of their homes even for a minute in order to relieve themselves, Kiberans simply went to the bathroom in a plastic bag, tied it up, and tossed it out the window: a ying toilet. Needless to say, there were plastic bags everywhere. Kibera, as you could imagine, was not an easy place to live in. In order to survive, you needed to really know your way around. Sadly, the NGOs who set out to help the slum’s residents did not. They had the best intentions in the world, but they comprised mainly foreigners or more fortunate Kenyans. The help these outsiders provided was well received, but it didn’t solve any real problems. Sure, they could set up some latrines and reduce the number of ying toilets. But the fundamentals of the slum weren’t e ectively addressed. Things started to change only when the community decided to work together. Kibera’s residents united themselves and began with simple tasks. The rst was to map out their neighborhoods.
Arrival City by Doug Saunders
agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, call centre, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, ghettoisation, Gini coefficient, guest worker program, Hernando de Soto, Honoré de Balzac, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kibera, land reform, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, new economy, Pearl River Delta, pensions crisis, place-making, price mechanism, rent control, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, working-age population
This wattle-and-daub shack is perched amid a lake of similar houses jammed close together across a two-kilometer expanse, separated by narrow alleyways of mud, garbage, and slurries of human waste, a labyrinthine, pungent cluster of almost unimaginably high population density built on hillocks of refuse near the heart of Nairobi. This is the Kianda neighborhood in the Kibera slum, whose inhabitants, numbering close to a million, are perhaps the largest and most infamous slum community in sub-Saharan Africa, subject to disease infestations and bursts of political and gang violence on a terrifying scale. At the end of 2007, Kibera exploded into months of murderous political violence, in which members of the Luo tribe drove Kikuyus out of their neighborhoods, making this an even more ethnically segregated, and dangerous, place. Kibera, like most African slums, is a true arrival city. Though it has existed here for 90 years, created when Kenya’s colonial administration granted some parkland to the homeless Nubian veterans of the First World War, in the post-colonial decades it has become a vital instrument of urbanization, propelling entire villages and districts into the city.
This lack of secure tenure, more than anything, has contributed to the failure of places like Kibera: If you can’t own your house, it is very hard to rise above your circumstances.20 The solution, in theory at least, is just over the hill. Within sight of Eunice’s shack, rising along the horizon, is a growing cluster of neat, gray, high-rise buildings, with red roofs and small concrete balconies, the site of an expansive slum-redevelopment project, to which Kibera’s residents are, theoretically, to be moved into stable, sanitary, fully-owned apartment housing. It is a project initiated by UN-HABITAT, the United Nations human-settlements agency, whose world headquarters happen to be within walking distance of Kibera. That such a redevelopment project could only be launched three decades after the U.N. set up shop here is telling.
She also pays 150 shillings ($2) a month for the privilege of lining up for half an hour to use crude municipal toilets, 50 meters away; the only alternative is the alarmingly popular “flying toilet,” in which a plastic bag filled with waste is flung out the window at night, contributing to Kibera’s mountain of stench. Getting into the proper city, less than a kilometer away, is damningly difficult, an odyssey of perilous and unhygienic lanes leading to a shortage of bridges and trains. There are almost no spaces in which someone like Eunice could open a small business (and she very much wants to do so), and most of these spaces are controlled by criminal gangs or ethnic mafias. There are very few free schools here, and the fees can be prohibitive: Eunice had to pull her youngest son out of school because she couldn’t afford the fee. This, and the lack of decent employment opportunities for males, leads to thousands of idle young men on the street who turn to theft, drug dealing, or the brewing and selling of homemade liquor to get by, a social stew that prevents Kibera from developing into a successful arrival city.
Dreaming in Public: Building the Occupy Movement by Amy Lang, Daniel Lang/levitsky
activist lawyer, Bay Area Rapid Transit, bonus culture, British Empire, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate personhood, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deindustrialization, different worldview, facts on the ground, glass ceiling, housing crisis, Kibera, late capitalism, mass incarceration, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Port of Oakland, Rosa Parks, Saturday Night Live, Slavoj Žižek, structural adjustment programs, the medium is the message, too big to fail, trade liberalization, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, We are the 99%, white flight, working poor
. ♦ adriennemareebrown.net/blog/2011/10/18/one-step-in-building-the-occupyunify-movement-in-detroit/ Also published in My Soul Looks Back: Life After Incarceration, by Yusef Shakur ONE DAY THE POOR WILL HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO EAT BUT THE RICH Occupy DC (Hasty Notes) Keguro Macharia 16 October 2011 I walk to McPherson Square, one of the main arteries of Occupy DC. On a first pass, I am reluctant to walk through the park. A few earnest people are talking to some of the DC homeless who stay around the park. I recognize a certain ‘I have come to help Kibera1’ look. And feel ashamed for thinking this. A few cellphones are out, documenting occupation, documenting the homeless. DC is a tourist town. The Kibera-ness of it will not leave me. It is the first time I have felt so close to Kibera while in the States. A man is yelling about Jesus – later in the day, he will yell, ‘Mitt Romney will not save us, Rick Perry will not save us.’ He never says Barack Obama will not save us. * * * I return to McPherson Square with a friend who is bold enough to walk through the park. My friend, who lives close to the park, tells me that the tents have mushroomed, grown from a few to more.
What he says seems unimportant – too familiar, something already known – but the making too-familiar of others’ narratives is ideological and material violence at its most quotidian. Listening matters. Seeing matters. ‘I speak for the bush’ flashes through my mind. Perhaps the quotidian violence it maps might become less quotidian, less a part of urban modernity. Kibera-ness still nags. * * * I tell my friend I am feeling ungenerous. This is why I see Kibera-ness. But this might not be quite right. Still. I like to pay attention to these moments of unease. We make our way to the Lincoln Memorial, from where a march will ensue to the newly constructed MLK memorial. * * * On our way there, we encounter several joggers – DC is a jogging city – almost all white, almost all male, with a certain busy-ness to them.
‘Too many people’ takes on greater significance as we approach the crowds massing around the Lincoln Memorial – mostly black, many with union t-shirts, others sporting t-shirts featuring MLK, Jr. ‘Too many people.’ Kibera-ness beckons. There’s a sense of kinship in the air – groups cluster, families come out together, one seeks inter-generational cohorts. I have been reading Christina Sharpe on Corregidora, about the work of ‘making generations’. I am thinking, now, of the generation-making work taking place through a shared commitment to labor. ‘Workers’ Rights are Human Rights.’ * * * Kibera-ness recedes, as does the US, for a moment, and I think about the courageous Kenyans who occupied the Ministry of Education.2 My frames kaleidoscope: Egypt, Wisconsin, Nairobi, Wangari Maathai. More joggers
Planet of Slums by Mike Davis
barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, jitney, jobless men, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, liberation theology, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor
In 1972, Ajegunle contained 90,000 people on 8 square kilometers of swampy land; today 1.5 million people reside on an only slightly larger surface area, and 81 Sharma, Rediscovering Dbaravi, pp. xx, xxvii, 18. 82 James Drummond, "Providing Collateral for a Better Future," Financial Times, 18 October 2001. 83 Suzana Taschner, "Squatter Settlements and Slums in Brazil," pp. 196, 219. 84 Urban Planning Studio, Disaster Resistant Caracas, p. 27. 85 Mohan, Understandingthe DevelopingMetropolis, p. 55. they spend a hellish average of three hours each day commuting to their workplaces.86 Likewise in supercrowded Kibera in Nairobi, where more than 800,000 people struggle for dignity amidst mud and sewage, slum-dwellers are caught in the vise of soaring rents (for chicken-cooplike shacks) and rising transport costs. Rasna Warah, writing for UN-Habitat, cites the case of a typical Kibera resident, a vegetable hawker, who spends almost half her monthly income of $21 on transportation to and from the city market.87 The commodification of housing and next-generation urban land in a demographically dynamic but job-poor metropolis is a theoretical recipe for exactly the vicious circles of spiraling rents and overcrowding that were previously described in late-Victorian London and Naples.
The diarrhea associated with AIDS is a grim addition to the problem.80 The ubiquitous contamination of drinking water and food by sewage and waste defeats the most desperate efforts of slum residents to practice protective hygiene. In Nairobi's vast Kibera slum, UNHABITAT's Rasna Warah studied the daily life of a vegetable hawker named Mberita Katela, who walks a quarter mile every morning to buy water. She uses a communal pit latrine just outside her door. It is shared with 100 of her neighbors and her house reeks of the sewage overflow. She constantly frets about contamination of her cooking or washing water — Kibera has been devastated in recent years by cholera and other excrement-associated diseases.81 In Calcutta likewise, there is little that mothers can do about the infamous service privies they are forced to use. These small brick sheds sit above earthware bowls that are almost never cleaned on a regular schedule, thus ensuring that "the stinking mess around the bustee's privy is washed straight into the ponds and tanks of water in which the people clean themselves and their clothes and their cooking utensils."82 Examples of poor people's powerlessness in the face of the sanitation crisis are legion.
The constriction or closure of opportunities for non-market setdement at the edge, in turn, has immense repercussions for the stability of poor cities. In lockstep with the increasing percentage of renters, the most dramatic consequence in the short run has been soaring population density in Third World slums — land inflation in the context of stagnant or declining formal employment has been the piston driving this compression of people. Modern mega-slums like Kibera (Nairobi) and Cite-Soleil (Portau-Prince) have achieved densities comparable to cattle feedlots: crowding more residents per acre into low-rise housing than there were in famous congested tenement districts such as the Lower East Side in the 1900s or in contemporary highrise cores such as central Tokyo and Manhattan. Indeed, Asia's largest contemporary slum, Dharavi in Mumbai, has a maximum density more than twice that of the nineteenthcentury New York and Bombay streets that Roy Lubove believed were the "most crowded spots on earth" in late-Victorian times.80 79 Greg Bankoff, " Constructing Vulnerability: The Historical, Natural and Social Generation of Flooding in Metropolitan Manila," Disasters 27:3 (2003), p. 232. 80 "A certain district of the eleventh ward had 243,641 people per square kilometer, and Koombarwara in Bombay, 187,722."
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
Another important reason given is that schools do not have suitable hygiene facilities.15 The greatest proportion without water and sanitation lives in sub-Saharan Africa. When I walk around Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya, one of Africa’s largest urban slums, I meet people who have to take an hour or more per day just to locate a water vendor and wait in line to be served. Some pay as much as a tenth or even a fifth of their income to get water. The inhabitants of Kibera were never granted deeds to land, so the buildings are outside the law, with little access to infrastructure and without the security in their possessions that would make investments in these areas possible. Everywhere in Kibera I notice open sewers. When it is raining, the waste flows through the streets. Instead of toilets, there are latrines, not much more than holes in the ground with planks across for people to put their feet on.
Women are afraid to go, especially at night, and children fear falling inside, which sadly they often do. For all these reasons, Kibera has its own version of ‘Gardyloo!’, called ‘flying toilets’. Kiberans relieve themselves in black polythene bags and at night they throw them away as far from their home as possible. The neighbour in turn sometimes throws it further away, and so on, until it is out of sight. The rain often washes them down into the river. When you walk around in the mornings you see piles of flying toilets in alleyways and on rooftops, from which people also harvest rainwater. Children play with these wrapped bags as balls during leisure time. The flying toilet contributes to disease and early death in Kibera and many other slums around the world. The most common diseases in Kibera are all environment-related. Infant mortality is three times higher than in the rest of Nairobi.
Infant mortality is three times higher than in the rest of Nairobi. But even a local health worker admits to using the flying toilet all the time: ‘At night, it is so dark in Kibera that you cannot dare to get out of your room since you are not sure if you will fall in one of the abandoned toilets and, as a woman, you can never be sure that you will not be raped.’16 But things are changing even here. Two water pipes have been constructed, so Kiberans do not have to rely entirely on the unsafe water from the dam and from the rain. Several modern sanitation blocs have been built by entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), where Kiberans can go to a clean toilet and get a hot shower at a low cost, and hand-washing facilities have been introduced in several schools. Cases of typhoid, dysentery and hookworm infestations are on the decline, and at last, so is child and infant mortality.
It's Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong
Berlin Wall, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, Doha Development Round, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, Kibera, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, oil shock, out of africa, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, structural adjustment programs, upwardly mobile, young professional, zero-sum game, éminence grise
Those slum-dwellers know what they're missing, they're educated now. I tell my wife: “There's no way, long term, those guys are going to accept to die of hunger when the smell of your chapattis is wafting over the wall.”’ The biggest slum is Kibera, virtually an obligatory stop these days on visiting VIPs' itineraries. Kibera, bizarrely, lies within a tee shot's distance of Nairobi's golf club. Aerial photographs show the neat green medallion that is the club abutting what looks like a brown sea of broken matchsticks, in fact the corrugated-iron mabati roofs of between 800,000 and 1.2 million residents, prompting the immediate mental query: ‘Why don't they just invade?’ Kibera is where the phrase ‘flying toilets’ was added to the English language, a description of the method used to dispose of faeces – dump it in a plastic bag and throw it out of the window – by residents who couldn't be bothered walking to the public latrine.
Yet while the slum does not boast regular electricity, tarred roads or clean water, it offers hope of a different kind. If your children miraculously survive to the age of five in Kibera, they will go on to receive a far better education than their rural equivalents, and in that education lie untold possibilities. By the late 1990s, many analysts were confidently predicting that population trends alone would accomplish what Kenya's presidents had failed to achieve with their national anthems, independence days and flag salutes: a true sense of nationhood. Nairobi's first slums were mono-ethnic, the result of colonial attempts to corral Africans into distinct, controllable areas during the Emergency years. The newer ones started out that way, but the phenomenon didn't last long. Often dubbed a Luo settlement, Kibera itself actually contains forty-two separate tribes, ‘all doing their jig together’, as an official from the UN's Habitat told me.
Kenyan writer BINYAVANGA WAINANA A brown clod of earth, trailing tufts of grass like a green scalp, suddenly soared through the air and landed on the stage, thrown by someone high on the surrounding slopes. Then another one sailed overhead, this time falling short and hitting the journalists packed against the podium. Then came some sticks, a hail of small stones. The first rows of the crowd hunched their shoulders and hoped it would get no worse: there were plenty of kids up there from Kibera slum, the sprawl of rusty shacks that stretched like an itchy brown sore across the modern city landscape, and they had a nasty habit of using their own excrement as missiles. The mood in the open-air stadium in Uhuru Park on 30 December 2002, a year and a half before that strange meeting in the finance ministry, was on the brink of turning ugly. Mostly male, mostly young, the audience was getting bored with waiting.
City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There by Ted Books
active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, big-box store, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, demand response, housing crisis, Induced demand, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, McMansion, megacity, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, Zipcar
Community-based groups like Shack/Slum Dwellers International have enlisted citizens to conduct their own censuses and create their own maps, which they publish on open online platforms, thereby expanding our collective knowledge of cities. Map Kibera, for instance, used youth volunteers with handheld GPS units and the wiki OpenStreetMap to create a detailed map of the most famous informal settlement in Nairobi. Until Map Kibera, most government maps showed the area as a forest. The project revealed the network of paths and roads and showed locations of churches, clinics, and stores. Residents of Kibera are now using the map as a platform to report uncompleted or badly built government projects, countering official reports and often exposing corruption. Similarly, Transparent Chennai helps informal settlers in the city formerly known as Madras to map their own settlements in relation to (the lack of) government services.
Similarly, Transparent Chennai helps informal settlers in the city formerly known as Madras to map their own settlements in relation to (the lack of) government services. These efforts combine local knowledge with technology to engage planners and city leaders. The desolate, official map of Kibera, shown at left from Google Maps, reflects nothing of the dense life visible in Google’s satellite view. These two images were accessed on the same day in December 2012, minutes apart. The use of technology is, like the autocatalytic city, built up incrementally responding directly to needs. Nowhere is the power of this process more pronounced than in transportation. While services like Uber, Waize, Zimride, and Zipcar are disrupting the established regime in the developed world, entrepreneurs in emerging markets are also using information technology and cell phones to radically reinvent transportation, improving services for users and boosting the livelihoods of drivers.
What's Yours Is Mine: Against the Sharing Economy by Tom Slee
4chan, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, asset-backed security, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bitcoin, blockchain, citizen journalism, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, David Brooks, don't be evil, gig economy, Hacker Ethic, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, new economy, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, Paul Graham, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, pre–internet, principal–agent problem, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, software is eating the world, South of Market, San Francisco, TaskRabbit, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas L Friedman, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ultimatum game, urban planning, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, Y Combinator, Zipcar
More encouragingly, Donovan looks at how some “data geeks” recognized their own myopia in the Map Kibera project, which started as a community-mapping project to trace the massive Nairobi slum. Some questioned the need for the project as “locals [already] knew their surroundings intimately.” Making mapping information available would more likely benefit external parties than the residents themselves. The problems the project seeks to address are what Donovan calls “wicked problems: ill-defined, tangled, and resistant to technological fixes.” However, Although it began as an example of misdiagnosing a wicked problem (Kibera’s poverty and marginalization) as a tame one (insufficient information availability), Map Kibera has admirably grown beyond a reductionist approach; it has expanded to include other forms of activity such as citizen reporting, and has taken steps to ensure local ownership of the project.
However, Although it began as an example of misdiagnosing a wicked problem (Kibera’s poverty and marginalization) as a tame one (insufficient information availability), Map Kibera has admirably grown beyond a reductionist approach; it has expanded to include other forms of activity such as citizen reporting, and has taken steps to ensure local ownership of the project. The project has moved beyond a technological goal to a set of social goals. Its list of sponsors, interestingly, includes only non-commercial organizations. Donovan contrasts Map Kibera’s evolution with that of more narrowly technological mapping projects, such as Google’s Map Maker initiatives, which have been accused of unethical “exploitation of open communities.” 49 The danger of such projects is that, by eliminating the illegibility that privileges local knowledge over outsider knowledge, they may allow the already powerful to gain access to community knowledge that was previously hidden from them: to “see like a slum.” When it comes to development programs, Donovan concludes, open data is not enough and should not be the primary focus.
The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot
active measures, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Atul Gawande, Bonfire of the Vanities, Broken windows theory, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, Celtic Tiger, centre right, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, Doha Development Round, epigenetics, financial independence, future of work, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, illegal immigration, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, Kenneth Rogoff, Kibera, labour market flexibility, longitudinal study, lump of labour, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, New Urbanism, obamacare, paradox of thrift, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, road to serfdom, Simon Kuznets, Socratic dialogue, structural adjustment programs, the built environment, The Spirit Level, trickle-down economics, twin studies, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Winter of Discontent, working poor
A key part of having the will is getting the players aligned: governments, funders and people. There are many ways to do it wrong. An academic in Kenya, for example, wanted to raze to the ground the slum of Kibera, close to the centre of Nairobi, and transfer to new-build housing, out of town, the half-million people who currently live in Kibera. He had no idea if that was what the people of Kibera wanted, but he knew that the land thus liberated was potentially valuable real estate that, in his view, could be put to ‘better’ use than housing poor people. And the poor people? They should be grateful for what they ended up with. I wish I were caricaturing. To put it in context, Kibera, reportedly the biggest urban slum in Africa, has a lot wrong with it. It is a makeshift settlement, with makeshift housing and substandard or no services. People pay more for a litre of water, collected in a jerrycan, than a litre of water would cost in London.
It is a makeshift settlement, with makeshift housing and substandard or no services. People pay more for a litre of water, collected in a jerrycan, than a litre of water would cost in London. That said, ‘high streets’ have developed. Shops with advertisements for mobile phones are next to food shops and convenience stores, medical clinics and pharmacies. Kibera is a hotbed of crime, to be sure, but it has aspects of community, too, that would take great effort to reproduce elsewhere, in rows of breeze-block new housing, for example. One way to do it better is shown by what the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA – we met it earlier) has done in Ahmedabad in Gujarat. SEWA members, living in shanties, gathered together and said what they wanted to improve their housing. The first thing they said was: we do not want to be moved! We want to stay right where we are, but we would like a place to cook, a bathroom and running water.
., here Gandhi, Mahatma, here, here gangs, here, here Gawande, Atul, here GDP, measurement of, here gender equity, move to, here General Motors, here Georgia, here Gershwin, George, here Glasgow, here, here, here, here, here, here, here combating gang violence, here life expectancy, here, here, here mortality rates, here Glass, Norman, here Gleneagles Summit, here Global Burden of Disease, here global warming, see climate change global wealth, increasing, here Gnarr, Jon, here Goldblatt, Peter, here golf, here Gordon, David, here, here, here, here Gornall, Jonathan, here Göteborg, here Great Gatsby Curve, here Greece, here, here financial crisis and austerity, here, here, here, here green space, here grooming, in apes, here, here Guardian, here Guinea-Bissau, here, here Gunbalanya, here, here, here Hacker, Jacob, here, here Haiti earthquake, here Hampshire, Stuart, here, here HAPIEE studies, here ul Haq, Mahbub, here Hayek, Friedrich von, here health advice, here health and safety regulations, here, here health and well-being boards, here health care systems, here health inequities (definition), here heart disease, here, here, here, here, here, here, here abolition of, here and adverse childhood experience, here, here in Australian aboriginals, here and civil servants, here, here, here and exercise, here and high status, here, here and Japanese migrants, here and job strain, here Hertzman, Clyde, here, here Heymann, Jody, here high blood pressure, here, here, here HIV/AIDS, here, here, here, here homicide, here, here, here Hong Kong, here, here HPA axis, here Human Development Index (HDI), here, here, here, here Hungary, here, here, here Hutton, Will, here Huxley, Aldous, here Hyder, Shaina, here Iceland, here, here, here, here, here ideology, here, here income inequalities, here, here, here, here, here, here India, here, here, here, here average BMI, here caste system and education, here child mortality, here, here, here cotton farmers, here distrust of education system, here income inequalities, here life expectancy, here, here, here, here, here literacy, here scavengers, here, here, here, here see also Kerala infant mortality, here inherited wealth, here Institute of Economic Affairs, here intergenerational earnings elasticity, here International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, here International Labour Office (ILO), here, here, here, here International Monetary Fund (IMF), here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and impact of structural adjustments, here Ireland, here, here, here, here Israel, here Italy, here, here fertility rate, here maternal mortality, here Jakab, Zsuzsana, here Japan, here, here, here, here life expectancy, here, here, here and team commitment, here, here Japanese-Americans, here, here Jordan, here Judt, Tony, here, here, here Kahneman, Danny, here Kalache, Alex, here, here Karasek, Robert, here Kelly, Yvonne, here Kennedy, Robert, here, here, here Kenya, here, here Kerala, here, here Keynes, John Maynard, here Keynesian economics, here, here, here, here Kibera slum, here King’s Fund, here Kivimaki, Mika, here Kokiri Marae, here, here Krueger, Alan, here Krugman, Paul, here, here Kuznets, Simon, here Labonté, Ron, here labour market flexibility, here Lalonde, Christopher, here Laos, here latency effect, here Lativa, here Lee, J. W., here Lewis, Michael, here Lexington, Kentucky, here libertarians, here, here life expectancy, here, here, here, here among Australian aboriginals, here disability-free, here, here and education, here, here, here, here in former communist states, here and mental health, here and national income, here US compared with Cuba, here Lithuania, here, here, here Liverpool, here, here, here ‘living wage’, here loans, low-interest, here lobbying, here Los Angeles, here ‘lump of labour’ hypothesis, here Lundberg, Ole, here lung cancer, here, here lung disease, here, here, here, here luxury travel, here Macao, here, here McDonald’s, here McMunn, Anne, here Macoumbi, Pascoual, here Madrid, indignados protests, here, here Maimonides, here malaria, here, here, here, here, here Malawi, here male adult mortality, here, here Mali, here, here Malmö, here, here Malta, here Manchester, here, here, here Maoris, here, here, here, here Marmot Review, see Fair Society, Healthy Lives marriage, here Marx, Karl, here maternal mortality, here, here, here maternity leave, paid, here Matsumoto, Scott, here Meaney, Michael, here Medicaid, here Mediterranean diet, here Mengele, Joseph, here mental health, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and access to green space, here and adverse childhood experience, here and austerity, here and fear of crime, here and job insecurity, here and unemployment, here meritocracy, here Mexico, here, here, here, here, here education and cash transfers, here, here Millennium Birth Cohort Study, here, here Minimum Income for Healthy Living, here, here, here Mitchell, Richard, here Modern Times, here Morris, Jerry, here, here Moser, Kath, here Mozambique, infant mortality, here Mullainathan, Sendhil, here Murphy, Kevin, here, here Muscatelli, Anton, here Mustard, Fraser, here Mwana Mwende project, here Nathanson, Vivienne, here Native Americans, here Navarro, Vicente, here NEETs, here, here neoliberalism, here, here, here, here, here Nepal, here, here Neruda, Pablo, here Netherlands, here, here New Guinea, here, here NEWS group, here, here Nietzsche, Friedrich, here, here Niger, here nitrogen dioxide, here, here non-human primates, here Nordic countries and commission report, here and social protection, here, here, here, here, here see also individual countries Norway, here, here, here, here, here, here life expectancy and education, here, here Nottingham, here Nozick, Robert, here obesity, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here in children, here, here and diabetes, here and disincentives, here food corporations and, here genetic and environmental factors in, here and migrant studies, here and rational choice theory, here social gradient in, here, here, here, here in women, here, here Office of Budget Responsibility, here Olympic Games, here opera, here Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), here, here, here, here, here, here, here organisational justice, here Orwell, George, here Osler, Sir William, here Panorama, here Papua New Guinea, here ‘paradox of thrift’, here Paraguay, here, here, here parenting, here, here, here, here and work–life balance, here pay, low, here pensions, here, here, here, here Perkins, Charlie, here Peru, here, here, here physical activity and cognitive function, here green space and, here Pickett, Kate, here Pierson, Paul, here, here Piketty, Thomas, here, here, here, here Pinker, Steven, here Pinochet, General Augusto, here PISA scores, here, here, here, here, here Poland, here, here, here, here Popham, Frank, here Porgy and Bess, here poverty, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and aboriginal populations, here, here absolute and relative, here, here child poverty, here, here, here, here, here and choice, here and early childhood development, here, here effect on cognitive function, here and urban unrest, here and work, here Power, Chris, here pregnancy, here preventive health care, here ‘proportionate universalism’, here puberty, and smoking here public transport, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here Ramazzini, Bernardino, here RAND Corporation, here, here, here rational choice theory, here, here, here rats, and brain development, here Rawls, John, here, here Reid, Donald, here Reinhart, Carmen, here, here reproduction, control over, here retirement, here reverse causation, here Reykjavik Zoo, here Rio de Janeiro, here, here Rogoff, Kenneth, here, here Rolling Stones, here Romania, here Romney, Mitt, here Rose, Geoffrey, here Roth, Philip, here Royal College of Physicians, here Royal Swedish Academy of Science, here Russia, here, here, here and alcohol use, here life expectancy, here, here, here, here Sachs, Jeffrey, here, here St Andrews, here San Diego, here Sandel, Michael, here, here Sapolsky, Robert, here Scottish Health Survey, here Seattle, here Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), here, here, here, here Sen, Amartya, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and Jean Drèze, here, here, here, here serotonin, here sexuality, here, here see also reproduction, control over sexually transmitted infections, here, here Shafir, Eldar, here Shakespeare, William, here, here, here, here Shanghai, here Shaw, George Bernard, here, here Shepherd, Jonathan, here shootings, here Siegrist, Johannes, here Sierra Leone, here, here, here Singapore, here, here Slovakia, here Slovenia, here, here smallpox vaccinations, here Smith, Adam, here Smith, Jim, here smoking, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here declining rates of, here, here and education, here and public policy, here social gradient in, here, here and tobacco companies, here and unemployment, here Snowdon, Christopher, here social cohesion, here, here, here, here, here, here, here social mobility, here, here social protection, here ‘social rights’, here Social Science and Medicine, here Soundarya Cleaning Cooperative, here South Korea, here, here, here, here Spain, here, here, here Spectator, here sports sponsorship, here Sri Lanka, here Stafford, Mai, here Steptoe, Andrew, here Stiglitz, Joseph, here, here, here, here, here stroke, here, here, here structural adjustments, here, here Stuckler, David, here suicide, here, here, here, here, here and aboriginal populations, here, here and Indian cotton farmers, here and unemployment, here, here suicide, attempted, here Sulabh International, here Sun, here Sure Start programme, here Surinam, here Sutton, Willie, here Swansea, here Sweden, here, here, here, here, here, here, here life expectancy and education, here, here male adult mortality, here, here Swedish Commission on Equity in Health, here Syme, Leonard, here, here, here Taiwan, here, here Tanzania, here taxation, here Thailand, here Thatcher, Margaret, here Theorell, Tores, here tobacco companies, here Topel Robert, here Tottenham riots, here Tower Hamlets, here, here Townsend, Peter, here trade unions, here, here, here, here traffic calming measures, here Tressell, Robert, here ‘Triangle that Moves the Mountain’, here, here trickle-down economics, here, here Truman, Harry S., here tuberculosis, here, here, here, here Tunisia, here Turandot, here, here Turkey, here, here Uganda, here, here unemployment, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and mental health, here and suicide, here, here youth unemployment, here, here, here, here UNICEF, here, here United Kingdom alcohol consumption, here capital:income ratio, here and child well-being, here cost of childcare, here and economic recovery, here, here education system, here, here disability-free life expectancy, here founding of welfare state, here health-care system, here income inequalities, here, here literacy levels, here male adult mortality, here PISA score, here politics and economics, here and poverty in work, here, here poverty levels, here, here prison population, here social attitudes, here and social interventions, here social mobility, here ‘strivers and scroungers’ rhetoric, here, here and taxation, here unemployment, here use of tables for meals, here United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), here, here, here, here United States of America air pollution, here, here alcohol consumption, here capital:income ratio, here child poverty, here and child well-being, here cotton subsidies, here and economic recovery, here education system, here, here, here female life expectancy, here and gang violence, here health-care system, here, here income inequalities, here, here, here, here international comparisons, here, here, here lack of paid maternity leave, here life expectancy and education, here male adult mortality, here, here, here maternal mortality, here, here obesity levels, here, here, here, here PISA score, here politics and economics, here and poverty in work, here poverty levels, here prison population, here race and disadvantage, here, here, here, here, here social disadvantage and health, here social mobility, here suicide rate, here and taxation, here US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here US Department of Justice, here US Federal Reserve Bank, here US National Academy of Science (NAS), here, here, here, here University of Sydney, here urban planning, here Uruguay, here, here, here, here utilitarianism, here, here, here Vågerö, Denny, here valuation of life, here Victoria Longitudinal Study, here Vietnam, here, here violence, here domestic (intimate partner), here, here, here Virchow, Rudolf, here vulture funds, here, here Wales, youth unemployment in, here walking speed, here Washington Consensus, here, here, here welfare spending, here West Arnhem College, here Westminster, life expectancy in, here Whitehall Studies, here, here, here, here, here, here, here wife-beating, here Wilde, Oscar, here, here Wilkinson, Richard, here willingness-to-pay methodology, here, here Wolfe, Tom, here, here women and alcohol use, here and cash-transfer schemes, here A Note on the Author Born in England and educated in Australia, Sir Michael Marmot is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL.
Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change From the Cult of Technology by Kentaro Toyama
Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, blood diamonds, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, computer vision, conceptual framework, delayed gratification, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, end world poverty, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, fundamental attribution error, germ theory of disease, global village, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, liberation theology, libertarian paternalism, longitudinal study, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, microcredit, mobile money, Nelson Mandela, Nicholas Carr, North Sea oil, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Powell Memorandum, randomized controlled trial, rent-seeking, RFID, Richard Florida, Richard Thaler, school vouchers, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Upton Sinclair, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, Y2K
For a while now, the total US population has been eclipsed by the number of wireless subscriptions.12 So during a golden age of innovation in the world’s most technologically advanced country, there has been no dent in our rate of poverty.13 All of our amazing digital technologies, widely disseminated, didn’t alleviate our most glaring social ill. A Tale of Two Approaches When Smith said, “Talent is universal; opportunity is not,” she was quoting an epigraph from a memoir, It Happened on the Way to War, by former Marine captain Rye Barcott. Barcott was an officer-in-training in 2000 when he visited Kibera, the largest slum in Nairobi, and his eyes were opened to global poverty. Feeling compelled to do something about it, he worked with local residents Tabitha Atieno Festo and Salim Mohamed to found a nonprofit organization called Carolina for Kibera (CFK), which has since been honored for its work by Time magazine and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The organization runs health and education programs and trains youth leaders to solve community problems. Steve Juma, for example, joined a CFK youth soccer team and discovered he made a good referee and peer mentor.
If so, I’d be wrong that more technology by itself doesn’t help social causes, but that would also mean that our social system tends toward greater poverty unless new technologies are invented at a breakneck pace. That is an even darker scenario, which, if true, would only further justify the overall thesis of Part 2: that we need to pay more attention to social forces rather than to technological ones. 14.Carolina for Kibera (n.d.). 15.Of course, it’s understandable that corporate spin highlights products even if executives praise employee talent. The problem occurs when the rest of society drinks the Kool-Aid. And it does. I once had a conversation with an influential Harvard development economist in which I mentioned the importance of growing wisdom in people. He fixed me with a quizzical look and asked, “How is that different from what you’d want for your kids?”
Journal of Economic Perspectives 9(2):209–219, www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.9.2.209. Cameron, William Bruce. (1963). Informal Sociology: A Casual Introduction to Sociological Thinking. Random House. Caplan, Bryan. (2012). Selfish reasons to have more kids: Why being a great parent is less work and more fun than you think. Basic Books. Carlin, George. (1984). Carlin on campus. HBO, April 19, 1984. Carolina for Kibera. (n.d.). Stories: Steve Juma, http://cfk.unc.edu/ourimpact/stories/. Carr, Nicholas. (2011). The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. W. W. Norton. CBS News. (2007). What if every child had a laptop? May 20, 2007, www.cbsnews.com/news/what-if-every-child-had-a-laptop/. Center for American Women and Politics. (2014). 2014: Not a landmark year for women, despite some notable firsts.
Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace by Ronald J. Deibert
4chan, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Brian Krebs, call centre, citizen journalism, cloud computing, connected car, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, failed state, Firefox, global supply chain, global village, Google Hangouts, Hacker Ethic, informal economy, invention of writing, Iridium satellite, jimmy wales, John Markoff, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, MITM: man-in-the-middle, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, planetary scale, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, South China Sea, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, Ted Kaczynski, the medium is the message, Turing test, undersea cable, We are Anonymous. We are Legion, WikiLeaks, zero day
Each LRA-related incident is plotted on a map by type – civilian death, injury, abduction, looting – and once consolidated, the map shows the movements of the LRA across the region, and the scope, scale, and frequency of its actions. Incidents captured by cellphone cameras are linked to specific events on the website as corresponding evidence. In Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya’s largest slum, an experiment in crowd-sourcing data may revolutionize access to basic health care and sanitary services. Conditions in Kibera are dire: most residents are illegal squatters, and local officials regularly withhold basic services, including electricity, sewage treatment, and garbage collection. The most important commodity, water, is extremely scarce – turned on and off by capricious officials, and grossly overpriced by private dealers. Despite the poverty, over 70 percent of Kiberans have mobile phones.
Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep
battle of ideas, British Empire, call centre, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, illegal immigration, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Kibera, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, urban planning, urban renewal
It was commonly estimated that something around half of Karachi’s people lived in unauthorized homes. In other words, half of the inhabitants of the largest city of a nation founded by a lawyer—a lawyer whose face and name where everywhere—were now living in the realm of the extralegal. And this was typical of cities across much of the developing world. Karachi’s katchi abadis were rough equivalents of the vast settlement called Kibera that was growing at the edge of Nairobi, or the crowded slum of Dharavi in the heart of Bombay, or the favelas that climbed the steep hillsides of Rio de Janeiro (and which the Athenian planner Doxiadis, in his plan for Rio, had proposed to demolish). Governments were struggling, and often failing, to deal with social and economic change. Western advice frequently went astray, as in the exploding Nigerian city of Lagos, where one study reported that United Nations–led efforts to create a city plan “had no tangible results.”
Human Rights Commission Hurricane Katrina Hussain, Altaf Hussein ibn Ali (grandson of Prophet Mohammed) Hyatt Regency Hotel Icon Tower Ilyas, Ghulam Ilyas, Najeeb Ilyas, Waqas Inchon India: British divisions among populace Hindus’ migration to independence of Pakistan’s wars with partition of Indian National Congress Indonesia Indus River Indus River Valley industrialization instant cities populations of Investment Advisory Centre of Pakistan Iqbal, Khuram Iran Iraq Babylon ruins in Islam in creation of Pakistan see also Muslims Islam, Zia-ul Islamabad Istanbul IT Tower Jalil, Nasreen Jamaat-e-Islami Jamali, Seemin Jihad jihadi organizations Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah, Muhammad Ali birth of death of tomb of Jinnah Ground Jinnah International Airport road to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre February 5, 2010 bombing and Jinnah Road as Bandar Road Jubilee Cinema Jundallah Kabul Kamal, Mustafa background of construction projects of Karachi: airport road in alternative government in bird sellers in building boom in 1950s as capital of Pakistan central city and suburban planning and development commuting and electricity supply in ethnic diversity in government in Kamal’s construction projects in literacy in migrants and refugees in monsoons in in 1947 parks in, see parks poor in population growth and expansion of post-traumatic stress suffered in press in religious diversity in seaport of socio-economic survey of transportation and traffic in types of conflicts in unauthorized settlements (katchi abadis) in violence in, see violence water supply in Karachi Boat Club Karachi Gymkhana Karachi Monorail Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) Building (old city hall) protesters at Karachi Press Club Karachi University katchi abadis (unauthorized settlements) Kaur, Bibi Inder Kennedy, John F. Kennedy Center Khan, Akhtar Hameed Khan, Ishrat Ul Ebad Khan, Mahboob Khan, Nawaz Khan, Nichola Khan, Wahab Khan, Yahya Khattab, Raja Umer Khuhro, M. A. Kibera kidnappings Kishwar, Romana Korangi Kothari Parade Kumail, Mohammad Kumeli, Abbas Lagos Lahore Landhi land mafias (land grabbers) Langley, James Lari, Yasmeen Larkana Lebanon Lighthouse Bazaar Lighthouse Centre Lighthouse Cinema literacy London Los Angeles, Calif. Love Line Bridge Lyari Macao Machar Colony mafias land Malik, Rehman Malik, Zain Manghopir Road Mawdudi, Abul A’la Mawdudi, Maulana McCartt, Steve Medellín megacities Memon, Sharfuddin “Bobby,” Memon Masjid Memons Mexico City migrants and refugees in Karachi in Pakistan reverse migration and Mirza, Iskander Mithidar Mohajirs Gutter Baghicha and Mohammad, Fawaz Mohammed, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Prophet monsoons Mountbatten, Louis MQM (Muttahida Qaumi Movement) Alibhai and Ashura fires and Gutter Baghicha and name change of MQM Haqiqi Mumbai murders Musharraf, Pervez Muslim League Muslim League National Guards Muslims Ahmadi extremist Memon migration to Pakistan Shia, see Shia Muslims; Shia processions Sufi Sunni, see Sunni Muslims Nader, Mohammad Nader, Shaheen Naim, Mufti Nairobi Napier, Robert Narindas, Makwana National Arms Navi Mumbai Naweed, Baseer nazims Nehru, Jawaharlal New Delhi New Karachi News International newspapers New York, N.Y.
Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand
agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K
By 2004 I knew something important was up with the rampant urbanization of the developing world, but I couldn’t find much in the way of ground truth about it until the publication of Shadow Cities: A Billion Squatters, a New Urban World, by journalist Robert Neuwirth. His research strategy was to learn the relevant language and then live for months as a slum resident—in Rocinha (one of seven hundred favelas in Rio de Janeiro), in Kibera (a squatter city of 1 million outside Nairobi), in the Sanjay Gandhi Nagar neighborhood of Mumbai, and in Sultanbeyli, a now fully developed squatter city of 300,000 with a seven-story city hall, outside Istanbul. In each seemingly scary shantytown, Neuwirth found he could just walk in, ask around, find a place to rent, and start making friends. In Kibera he was the only white person for miles, and no one cared. He was frightened just once, when city police in Rio threatened him, apparently because he had neglected to bribe them. Contrary to a standard assumption, Neuwirth discovered that the wretched quality of housing in squatter cities is never the main concern of the inhabitants.
The Participation Revolution: How to Ride the Waves of Change in a Terrifyingly Turbulent World by Neil Gibb
Airbnb, Albert Einstein, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate social responsibility, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, gig economy, iterative process, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kodak vs Instagram, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, performance metric, ride hailing / ride sharing, shareholder value, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, trade route, urban renewal
Again, this is done by combining a focus on creating a safe social culture that people feel part of with an onus on developing both the social and technical skills needed to get into the workplace (this includes more than 800 free tattoo removal sessions a month, provided free by volunteer doctors). “Nothing stops a bullet like a job,” says Father Boyle, neatly summing up Homeboys’ social mission. In September 2012, the United Nations Settlements Program announced the launch of “block by block”, an initiative designed to encourage people to re-imagine 300 run-down public spaces across the globe using Minecraft; its first area of focus being the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. This project is something that Lisa is particularly interested in. She was trained as a designer in Taipei but wasn’t able to find any meaningful work. The UN initiative has suggested a means for her and her friends to start to use Minecraft to develop and pitch ideas for urban renewal back in Taiwan – something her network of Minecraft co-creators had started to explore.
Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System by Alexander Betts, Paul Collier
Alvin Roth, anti-communist, centre right, charter city, corporate social responsibility, Donald Trump, failed state, Filter Bubble, global supply chain, informal economy, Kibera, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, peer-to-peer, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, rising living standards, risk/return, school choice, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, trade route, urban planning, zero-sum game
Westerners often forget that host states in the South – especially democracies like Kenya – also face challenges of political sustainability not entirely distinct from those in Europe. Kenyan politicians are extremely reluctant to consider self-reliance or even increased socio-economic participation for refugees. But at times there have been glimmers of hope. For example, despite anti-refugee rhetoric from the Minister of Defence and the Minister of Home Affairs, a new group of elected Kenyan MPs, led by Kenneth Okoth, MP for Kibera, the Nairobi slum area, has begun to educate politicians about refugees and organize visits of MPs to Dadaab. Gradually there are small glimmers of improvement. For example, with support from the World Bank and UNHCR, Kenya has agreed to open a new camp in the Turkana Valley for some of its Sudanese refugees: Kalobeyei. It does not abandon Kenya’s encampment policy but it does at least create a different kind of camp with the potential for greater autonomy.
New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World--And How to Make It Work for You by Jeremy Heimans, Henry Timms
"side hustle", 3D printing, 4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, battle of ideas, Benjamin Mako Hill, bitcoin, blockchain, British Empire, Chris Wanstrath, Columbine, Corn Laws, crowdsourcing, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Ferguson, Missouri, future of work, game design, gig economy, hiring and firing, IKEA effect, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, Jony Ive, Kibera, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Minecraft, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, profit motive, race to the bottom, ride hailing / ride sharing, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Snapchat, social web, TaskRabbit, the scientific method, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, web application, WikiLeaks
Lara Stein, the woman charged by TED with founding and running TEDx, describes the moment that big TED, which had to some degree remained wary and culturally resistant to TEDx, began to see what it had on its hands. In 2012, six hundred TEDx organizers met for a week in Qatar for the first TEDx Summit, at which they shared experiences and dreamed together about what the platform could become. “It didn’t matter if you were a kid out of a shanty town in Kibera or a Carnegie, you got to come and have this experience,” Stein recalls. “The bonds that were forged there carried the movement for many years.” But increased access to the brand has not meant abandoning control. Like the conference in Vancouver, the TEDx experience is carefully structured. In the official “rules” for wannabe TEDx organizers the word “must” appears forty-eight times. There are twenty-seven appearances of “should” and twenty-one of “cannot.”
Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas
"side hustle", activist lawyer, affirmative action, Airbnb, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, collective bargaining, corporate raider, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, David Heinemeier Hansson, deindustrialization, disintermediation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, friendly fire, global pandemic, high net worth, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Hyperloop, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, new economy, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit maximization, risk tolerance, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, sharing economy, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steven Pinker, technoutopianism, The Chicago School, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, Travis Kalanick, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Upton Sinclair, Vilfredo Pareto, working poor, zero-sum game
Nnaemeka wrote a prescient essay about this distancing in the MIT Entrepreneurship Review a few years ago. It criticized elite twenty- and thirtysomethings’ neglect of what she called “the unexotic underclass”—people neither rich enough to be global elites themselves nor poor enough to get the global elites’ attention. “Chances are there are more people addressing the Big Problems of slum dwellers in Calcutta, Kibera or Rio, than are tackling the big problems of hardpressed folks in say, West Virginia, Mississippi or Louisiana,” she wrote. This preference for distant needs and transnational problem-solving can deepen the feeling that all those globalists are in cahoots with one another and not attentive to their compatriots. This feeling is puffed up by a vast and cynical complex that produces conspiracy theories and fraudulent news to this effect.
The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in an Interconnected World by Jacqueline Novogratz
access to a mobile phone, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, business process, business process outsourcing, clean water, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, Hernando de Soto, Kibera, Lao Tzu, market design, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, Ronald Reagan, sensible shoes, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, transaction costs, zero-sum game
On the savanna, we’d point in awe at the graceful silhouettes of acacia trees in the fading light, smell the dirt and wind and the coming rain, and then dance slowly outside the car, besotted with the endless swirl of orange and pink sky and the slow loping of the giraffes and antelopes near the water holes, feeling the sweet ache of being so fully alive. My life in Nairobi, as in Rwanda, was one of extremes, moving from magical adventures to the realities of life for the very poor, sometimes within a single day. On the other side of the city’s tracks, more than a million people lived in slums such as Mathare Valley, Kibera, Pumwani, and Soweto, in shantytown houses made of mud and corrugated metal sheets. There were no clear streets, just winding alleyways, open sewers, the smell of trash, and wandering children sniffing glue. Men skinned goats and hung meat in open-air markets that swirled with flies. That this world existed in such close proximity to the gorgeous tree-lined suburbs of Nairobi and its spacious national park made the desperation even crueler.
Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British by Jeremy Paxman
British Empire, call centre, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Etonian, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, imperial preference, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Kibera, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, mass immigration, offshore financial centre, polynesian navigation, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade
‘This embodiment of the eager, masterful, materialistic civilization of today’, he wrote, ‘was pushed through a region in which nature, both as regards wild man and wild beast, does not differ materially from what it was in Europe in the late Pleistocene.’ Now, as you rattle out of Nairobi you are advised to shut the window, because if you don’t there’s a good chance someone will lob a pile of human shit through it. The train passes through Kibera, the biggest shanty town in Africa, home to perhaps a million people, which formally doesn’t exist yet whose cardboard, wood and corrugated-iron shacks probably house a third of the population of the capital – not that anyone ventures in to take an accurate census. But then the whole of Nairobi was an accident – it just happened to have the last bit of flat ground where colonial engineers could turn around a locomotive before the line they were building snaked its way up through the highlands towards Lake Victoria.
Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce
additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce
Its boss and founder Tony Roberts has fought continued scepticism in the environment community about the morality of shipping old computers to developing countries. Some say the risks of them ending up somewhere like Mandoli are too high. But he says we should see the potential good that can be done as well. In mid-2008, shortly after the organization’s tenth anniversary, it also celebrated its 100,000th delivery. Three-quarters so far have ended up in Africa, where Kenya takes the most. When we spoke, he was trying to set up a new computer lab in Kibera, the huge slum on the outskirts of Nairobi. The potential of CSK to take the world’s computers may be limited. But Tony believes there is huge potential to set up similar enterprises round the world. Most discarded computers have several years of active life left in them. And now that more and more computer owners are having to think about where their old kit ends up, the potential is growing fast.
City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith
active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional
In the 1930s, cardboard shanties, or Hoovervilles, appeared on the outskirts of cities across America, the last resort of the desperate victims of the Great Depression. Today’s shanty towns in the developing world evoke the conditions in the earliest cities. Their bricolage hutments and narrow alleyways, where people live cheek by jowl, working, sleeping and eating in the same room, surrounded by the sounds and smells of neighbours, offer glimpses of how life must have been in the first cities. In Dharavi or Kibera (a Nairobi slum about the size of Dharavi) the dark, fetid underside of the city is exposed. Yet even here hope is never quite extinguished – the hope for a life better than that in rural villages or in the shanties. Out of that hope great cities are built. In contrast to the megaslums of today, most of which are on the outskirts, nineteenth-century slums were often in inner-city areas.
Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna
"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day
Indeed, though most of the world’s population never physically leaves their nation of birth, urbanization significantly boosts their degree of connectedness despite their location. The lives of any two people in cities across Europe and Asia are increasingly more similar than the lives of fellow citizens living in rural areas. In terms of access to basic services, people in Jakarta have more in common with those in London than they do with their countrymen on the remote Maluku Islands. Even those in the slums of Dharavi in Mumbai or Kibera in Nairobi earn far more than the landless peasantry they left behind. A world where people have more in common across geography than within it is a telltale sign of a supply chain world. As the Columbia University professor Saskia Sassen has shown, globalization has enabled a proliferating set of networks—what Sassen calls “circuits”—that have a life of their own. Financial investors in New York and London and the capital pools they deploy in Asia, Swiss and Singaporean commodities brokers and the resource deposits they control in Africa and Latin America, Silicon Valley and Bangalore programmers and their global customers, German and American carmakers and their factories from Mexico to Indonesia—these are all cross-border circuits connected by way of supply chains.
Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership by Andro Linklater
agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, light touch regulation, market clearing, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, ultimatum game, wage slave, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, working poor
At the same time, the soil degrades, cities spread, climate changes, and natural disasters such as droughts and floods, earthquakes and tsunamis, whittle away spare capacity to danger levels. Any realistic scenario for 2050 has to consider how the earth will be owned. In 2010, for the first time in human existence, more people lived in cities than in the country. But even in the sprawl of metal and plastic shacks that make up the slums of Kibera outside the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, or the intricate warren of dwellings that house a million people in the Dharavi slum in India’s Mumbai, the same fundamentals hold good. The food and sometimes the clothing may be produced elsewhere, but occupancy of a room or a corrugated iron shack is the essential base every family needs for sleeping, eating, and working, so that it will be strong enough to produce whatever labor or goods are necessary to buy a bag of rice and a T-shirt.