Here’s evidence that poor folks don’t own many cars. At least not in big cities. So despite the rhetoric, a pro-car tilt in public policy isn’t necessarily “populist,” it’s often simply regressive.
Former Grist editor Kathryn Schulz does a wise and witty TED talk on being wrong. My two favorite bits: starting at 2:32, she discusses the key paradox of wrongness: we all know we’re wrong about something, yet if we examine each one of our beliefs, we think we’re right. That combination lets us feel like we’re humble—“Sure, I could be wrong”—even as we defend each and every one of our opinions. And at 4:08, she talks about what it feels like to be wrong. Despite what you might think, she argues, being wrong feels just fine. In fact, up until the moment we realize we’ve goofed, being wrong feels just the same as being right. It’s only finding out that we’re wrong that feels awful. Which, when you think about it, explains a lot—for most of us, it’s just easier to remain wrong (and feel right) than to realize that you’re mistaken (and feel like a dope).
Cool bike repair kiosk. I wish I saw more of those around.
I’ve been reading about “collaborative consumption,” which is a fancy term for sharing. The internet and social networks are creating marketplaces for empty car seats, unused cars, spare bedrooms, and more. The potential for saving money, energy, and resources, while connecting people to their communities more tightly, is enormous. Fast Company has a great summary. Or watch this TED talk by the coauthor of the bible on the subject, Rachel Botsman.
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Worth watching: The original American sustainable foodie, Alice Waters, is interviewed by the Wall Street Journal’s Alan Murray. She says that food is political and that what we choose to eat says as much about our values as the way we vote. Suggesting that corporations have little interest in health and nutrition, she outlines her vision for thoughtful eating and sustainable farming, including a “stimulus” program to bring local, nourishing, tasty food to school cafeterias.
And, check out the NYT’s “Directory of Rare Wonders,” a stunning photo tour of endangered species by region.
I recommend checking out Todd Litman’s analysis of how pay-as-you-drive car insurance would benefit British Columbia. (It’s a subject that’s near and dear to Sightline’s heart.)
I recommend that Seattle-area folks check out Zach Shaner’s how-to guide for taking transit to hike Wallace Falls. (Car-free hiking is a subject that’s near and dear and near to Sightline’s heart.)
I recommend that everyone read Danny Westneat’s effort to dial down the over-heated bikes versus car rhetoric. (Also near and dear to Sightline.)
And I recommend architect Rob Harrison’s wonktastic analysis of the Bullitt Foundation’s LivingBuilding versus Passivhaus. (Again, you know the drill, it’s dear to Sightline.)
A new infographic about obesity trends in America. Way to stay level, Oregon. But Washington, why are you packing on the pounds?
And I’ll sleep better at night knowing the CDC is taking the threat of the zombie apocalypse seriously.