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August 27 2013

The Best Map Ever Made of America's Racial Segregation

The Best Map Ever Made of America’s Racial Segregation
Wired hyper enthousiaste pour ces cartes

Drawing from the 2010 Census, it shows one dot per person. White people are shown with blue dots; African-Americans with green; Asians with red; and Latinos with orange, with all other race categories from the Census represented by brown. Here: Atlanta.

Par exemple :
Los Angeles

ou cet aperçu d’un quartier de #detroit

The racial dot map :

#cartographie #segregation #etats_unis #demographie #groupes_ethniques #urbanisme

July 25 2013

Don't buy the right-wing myth about Detroit-

Don’t buy the right-wing myth about #Detroit-

Conservatives want you to think high taxes drove people away. The real truth is much worse for their radical agenda

Detroit isn’t just any old city — it happens to be the biggest population center in the state hit the hardest by the right’s corporate-written trade agenda. Indeed, according to the Economic Policy Institute, the state lost more jobs than any other from NAFTA (43,600, or 1 percent of its total job base) and lost another 79,500 jobs thanks to the China PNTR deal. And that’s just two of many such #trade_pacts. Add to this the city’s disproportionate reliance on American auto companies which made a series of horrific business decisions, and Detroit is a microcosmic cautionary tale about what happens when large corporations are allowed to write macro economic policy and dictate the economic future of an entire city.

If told, this cautionary tale would likely spark a discussion about revising current trade deals, regulations, public investment and industrial policy in general. That is, it would spark precisely the discussion that the conservative movement and the corporations that fund politicians don’t want America to have. So the right works to make sure that discussion is short circuited by a narrative that focuses the Detroit story primarily on taxes and public pensions.


That brings us to how this all plays into the right’s push to enact ever more regressive tax cuts, protect endless corporate welfare and legislate new reductions in workers’ guaranteed pensions.

These latter objectives may seem unrelated, but they all complement each other when presented in the most politically opportunistic way. It’s a straightforward conservative formula: the right blames state and municipal budget problems exclusively on public employees’ retirement benefits, often underfunding those public pensions for years. The money raided from those pension funds is then used to enact expensive tax cuts and corporate welfare programs. After years of robbing those pension funds to pay for such giveaways, a crisis inevitably hits, and workers’ pension benefits are blamed — and then slashed. Meanwhile, the massive #tax_cuts and #corporate_subsidies are preserved, because we are led to believe they had nothing to do with the crisis. Ultimately, the extra monies taken from retirees are then often plowed into even more tax cuts and more corporate subsidies.

We’ve seen this trick in states all over America lately. In Rhode Island, for instance, the state underfunded its public pensions for years, while giving away $356 million in a year in corporate subsidies (including an epically embarrassing $75 million to Curt Schilling). It then converted the pension system into a Wall Street boondoggle), all while preserving the subsidies.

Similarly, in Kentucky, the state raided its public pension funds to finance $1.4 billion a year in tax subsidies, and then when the crisis hit, lawmakers there slashed pension benefits — not the corporate subsidies.

The list of states and cities following this path goes on — but you get the point. In the conservative narrative about budgets in general, the focus is on the aggregate annual $333 million worth of state and local pension shortfalls — and left out of the story is the fact that, according to the New York Times, “states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies” in the form of #tax_loopholes and subsidies.”

The mythology around Detroit, then, is just another version of this propaganda.

Reposted bykrekk krekk

July 23 2013

Detroit art caught in bankruptcy battle - CBS News

#Detroit art caught in bankruptcy battle - CBS News
Tout est à vendre

Detroit, which became the largest city to declare bankruptcy in U.S. history Thursday, is home to one of the most prestigious collections of #art in the world. And one of the options on the table to deal with its crippling debt is for all of that to be sold. But it’s not so simple.

To Rod Spencer, the Detroit Institute of Arts is priceless.

“The DIA is the history of Detroit, that’s what it means to me,” he said.

A man looks at an 1837 painting by Burnham Thomas Mickell at the Detroit Institute of Arts. CBS News

Spencer has been coming at least once a month for 25 years. But now, the city is talking about selling everything from works by Van Gogh, to Picasso, to the original Howdy Doody doll.

“Will it go to a private collection? Where would this go?” Spence said.

Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, said all assets must be on the table to appease the city’s creditors.

Experts consulted by the Detroit Free-Press valued all the works at $2.5 billion — around 10 percent of the city’s potential long-term debt of $20 billion.


July 20 2013

Where Innovation Lives

I sat down with Jon Bruner in New York City this week to talk about where innovation happens. Concentration still seems to matter, even in a networked world, but concentration of what? Minds, money, markets, or manufacturing know-how?

People we mention in this episode include Brady Forrest, Kipp Bradford and Alistair Croll.

Links for things we mention:

By the way, we clearly aren’t the only ones making comparisons between Silicon Valley and Detroit. Seems to be entering the zeitgeist. However, if you are interested in Detroit as a model for the unraveling of a dominant concentration of innovation, pick up a copy of the classic American Odyssey by Robert Conot or the more recent Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff.

You can subscribe to the O’Reilly Radar podcast through iTunes or SoundCloud, or directly through our podcast’s RSS feed.

July 09 2013

Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit's Woes -

Financial Crisis Just a Symptom of Detroit’s Woes -

Detroit, l’agonie, suite et pas fin (hélas)

DETROIT — A question unimaginable in most major American cities is utterly commonplace in this one: If you suddenly found yourself gravely ill, injured or even shot, would you call 911?

#detroit #états-unis #crise #agonie

June 08 2011

Radio review: Unbuilding Detroit

An engrossing story of how art is flourishing in the midst of urban desolation

Unbuilding Detroit (Radio 4) began with evocative descriptions of empty private and public spaces. "The whole back of the house has fallen off," we heard in one house. The roof had gone too ("top of the stairs, where we walk into the sky"). In a city where a third of land or buildings are vacant, depopulation was a recurrent theme: "Here's an abandoned church that the congregation just walked away from."

But the story, in this well-made feature, was what has flourished in such urban desolation. Artists have reclaimed forlorn buildings and no-go areas. Tyree Guyton spoke about working creatively in a tough area. "I decided to transform my neighbourhood into something whimsical," he said. He wasn't kidding: houses are adorned with polka dots, random numbers, stuffed animals. "It's about getting people to see beyond what they think they see," he added.

Other artists relish where nature takes back the built spaces, with trees growing in houses and weeds disguising pavements. "Because it's in a city, it seems uncanny," said one. Another project placed a graffiti mural in an alleyway associated with gang violence, vandalism and drugs. Six months later, miraculously, it's still there and untouched. This was an engrossing programme, told only in the words and sounds from Detroit's streets, about the unpredictable life cycles of even hard-pressed cities. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

January 02 2011

Detroit in ruins

Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre's extraordinary photographs documenting the dramatic decline of a major American city

July 30 2010

The Louvre of the Industrial Age

This morning I had the chance to get a tour of The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, along with Dale Dougherty, creator of Make: and Makerfaire, and Marc Greuther, the chief curator of the museum. I had expected a museum dedicated to the auto industry, but it's so much more than that. As I wrote in my first stunned tweet, "it's the Louvre of the Industrial Age."

When we first entered, Marc took us to what he said he said may be his favorite artifact in the museum, a block of concrete that contains Luther Burbank's shovel, and Thomas Edison's signature and footprints. Luther Burbank was, of course, the great agricultural inventor who created such treasures as the nectarine and the Santa Rosa plum. Ford was a farm boy who became an industrialist; Thomas Edison was his friend and mentor. The museum, opened in 1929, was Ford's personal homage to the transformation of the world that he was so much a part of. This museum chronicles that transformation.

The machines are astonishing - steam engines and coal fired electric generators as big as houses, the first lathes capable of making other precision lathes (the makerbot of the 19th century), a ribbon glass machine that is one of five that in the 1970s made virtually all of the incandescent lightbulbs in the world, combine harvesters, railroad locomotives, cars, airplanes, even motels, gas stations, an early McDonalds' restaurant and other epiphenomena of the automobile era.

Under Marc's eye, we also saw the transformation of the machines from purely functional objects to things of beauty. We saw the advances in engineering - the materials, the workmanship, the design, over a hundred years of innovation. Visiting The Henry Ford, as they call it, is a truly humbling experience. I would never in a hundred years have thought of making a visit to Detroit just to visit this museum, but knowing what I know now, I will tell you confidently that it is as worth your while as a visit to Paris just to see the Louvre, to Rome for the Vatican Museum, to Florence for the Uffizi Gallery, to St. Petersburg for the Hermitage, or to Berlin for the Pergamon Museum. This is truly one of the world's great museums, and the world that it chronicles is our own.

I am truly humbled that the Museum has partnered with us to hold Makerfaire Detroit on their grounds. If you are anywhere in reach of Detroit this weekend, I heartily recommend that you plan to spend both days there. You can easily spend a day at Makerfaire, and you could easily spend a day at The Henry Ford.

P.S. Here are some of my photos from my visit. (More to come soon. Can't upload many as I'm currently on a plane.)

July 27 2010

Detroit 2.0: Motor City to Maker City

detroit_logo_335x121.gifMaker Faire Detroit opens this coming weekend at The Henry Ford in Dearborn. Our goal is to create a fun, family-friendly event and showcase talented makers from Michigan and aroundthe Midwest. I also think the event gives us an opportunity to consider ways that makers can be part of re-inventing Detroit from the ground-up. This Thursday, just before Maker Faire Detroit, we've put together a special program Can Do Camp to explore what makers are doing and what can be done.

One of the presenters will be K. Venkatesh Prasad, Technical Leader, Infotronics in the Research and Advanced Engineering Group at Ford Motor Company. At Maker Faire in the Bay Area, Prasad spoke about about Automakers 2.0, (see links below) which was the idea that there would be a new generation of people working on cars and thinking of the car as a technology platform.

Here is a brief sketch of Prasad's ideas for a new Detroit that leverages its capacity for building physical things but also extends into a digital world where more of those things are connected.

What if Detroit's capacity of factory spaces, automobile proving grounds, specialized manufacturing equipment and enormous intellectual concentration could get re-purposed and re-wired and be made available to auto “makers,” not just the Big-3 or the Big-6, but the “Small Millions?” Then the millions of us small or individual “auto makers,” inventors & doers, would have physical or virtual access to boundless tools, garages, talent, teachers -- when and where they were needed. Detroit could become the desired destination of hobbyists, entrepreneurs and businesses big and small.

Detroit 2.0 is the re-making of the Motor City to become the cradle of a new generation of creativity built on shared space, shared toolkits, shared platforms and most importantly shared human intelligence, energy and zeal to create the next Great Lake of jobs, commerce, industry, and yes, education for the 21st century.

Detroit 2.0 is about making Detroit an exciting place for children of all ages and the maker in all of us (the auto maker). This program could host exchange or summer students from the world over. In addition to the in-classroom learning, these students would get unmatched access to a complete set of local resources, such as garage space, tool kits, computing platforms and senior mentors --- to re-create themselves and to re-wire Detroit for the 21st century.

Detroit 2.0, through another lens, is the next big app of social-networks, only this time these would be cyber-physical social-networks. The individual auto makers, the small millions, could be anywhere, developing prototypes using computer-aided-design tools and their socially networked friends could be in Detroit. They could complete physical prototype builds, test them out in physical proving grounds before virtually shipping re-designed parts to a distributed Detroit 2.0 cyber-physical lab. Exciting mash-ups of data and human intelligence could yield the as yet unseen --- high precision machines for everything, Green-X, Bio-X & Transportation-X to name just a few.

Prasad will discuss Detroit 2.0 at Maker Faire at 11am on Saturday morning in Anderson Theater at The Henry Ford.

For additional coverage of Maker Faire Detroit, follow these links:

I did a webcast with Prasad on the car as a technology platform. His Maker Faire Bay Area talk is available here on Fora.TV.

Reposted bykrekk krekk

July 21 2010

Detroit Can Do Camp - July 29

MFDetroit_Can_Do_Camp_F1.jpgAs part of the week leading up to Maker Faire Detroit, we have organized Can Do Camp for Thursday, July 29 at Eastern Market in Detroit. Can Do Camp is an informal day for makers to meet each other and explore the DIY mindset. This mindset is a powerful and positive force for building hands-on communites as well as fostering innovation and developing a diverse, creative culture. Can Do Camp will bring together what President Obama called "the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things."

In a recent blog post, entitled "Catastrophe Thinking," @NutureGirl pointed out that if you want to make change, you have to change the story. She suggests that we can't keep repeating awful stories, such as we hear about Detroit, and expect things to change. Maybe it's time to create a new story for Detroit, and that story is about what people are already doing and what all of us can do by working together. It's why we're organizing Maker Faire Detroit at The Henry Ford (July 31-Aug.1). If it was the can-do spirit that built Detroit, can that same spirit re-invent Detroit?

(For reference, Web 2.0 was a new story about the web, pointing out that there were hackers and entrepreneurs at work on a new generation of applications, and that the bust following the boom was behind us. Telling the right story at the right time can be powerful.)

The venue for Can Do Camp is Eastern Market in Detroit. Eastern Market has made the transition from a meat-packing district to a large farmer's market that draws people from all over. This marketplace is the center of a growing urban agriculture movement. Near Eastern Market is where a new hackerspace (OmniCorpDetroit -- OCD) will be opening soon.

At Can Do Camp, Tim O'Reilly will be talking in the afternoon (and Can Do Camp follows loosely the pattern of FOO camp, which Tim organizes). Tim is coming because he recognizes, as do I, that doing something in Detroit matters. However small, it is worth doing and worth caring about Detroit even if you don't live there. As I've written before, Detroit's problems are our problems. Yet regardless what anyone says, what really matters is tapping into the energy and ingenuity of the tech and creative communities in the region.

Can Do Camp is open and free of charge. (And there's free beer at the end of the day.) If you'd like to join us, please register (mainly to keep a headcount for lunch) by sending an email to for an invitation. For more information on the program, please visit the Can Do Camp website.

I'd like to thank Lesa Mitchell and the Kauffman Foundation for supporting this event, along with our partner for Maker Faire Detroit, The Henry Ford, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the New Economy Initiative.


April 23 2009

Play fullscreen
A workers vision for a new auto industry

April 18 2009

Play fullscreen
Motown blues or Detroit green
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