The Devil is in the Details

Starting a blog post with a picture of RMS Titanic is an unsubtle way of saying you’re going to discuss failure. That’s partly true in this case, although I want to talk about a specific type of failure, which is failure of foresight. Or perhaps failure of imagination. I recently happened across a painting of …

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Cleaning Up

The trend towards mapping big data by the city government of New York continues, this time with respect to the new laws to reduce greenhouse gases and energy use by large buildings. Because NYC relies more heavily on mass transit than any other city in the country, buildings represent a disproportionately large percentage of our …

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Smart Alecs

Sometimes it seems like my reading has topics that have suddenly become hot, when in reality it’s just that I’m paying attention to a topic so I see it more. On the other hand, sometimes a topic has actually become hot. “Smart cities” probably falls into the second category. I use scare quotes because, unfortunately, …

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Virtually There

“The digital reconstructions bringing Roman ruins to life” by Matthew Nicholls raises some interesting questions. In general I’m in favor of reality reality over virtual reality and augmented reality, but that position is not absolute. There are certainly places for digital reproductions of reality. I just have an instinctive reaction against the technology because we …

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