Blog posts tagged "mike.davis"

Monster at Our Door, Disasters Sown in Their Footsteps

November 22nd, 2005

I’m currently reading Mike Davis’ “The Monster At Our Door: Global Threat of Avian Flu”, and finding it very interesting.

In particular I’ve been unexpectedly struck by how much like raving, leftist loonies dedicated moderates sound when they start writing comprehensively about current events. First Jared Diamond with Collapse, and now Mike Davis. (also, unfortunately, I think this book will firmly cement Davis, one of my favorite authors, into the “Prophet of Doom” ghetto)

Turns out that the key factors pushing the evolution and possible pandemic rise of an avain flu super killer (best case says 50 million dead, worst case as many as 1 in 6) are crony capitalism, and big multi-nationals (global agribusiness). Meanwhile preparedness has been dramatically damaged by the incompetence, and duplicity of the current administration, its phony war on terror, its headline grabbing disaster, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and its deeply incestuous relationship with “Big Pharma”. (in fairness, it was also damaged by the previous administration, and the previous one, clearly traceable, like many modern ills, to the days of the Great Gipper)

I haven’t decided if its alarming or comforting to find our old friends, these familiar horsemen of modern apocalypse lurking behind yet another potential global disaster.

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SF Shaped the Web?

June 8th, 2005

Matt Webb has a fascinating observation that the dot com boom was shaped fundamentally by the physical reality of SF

Visiting San Francisco for the first time in 2001, it all snapped into place. Here was a city cross-hatched by freeways that each felt just a little too dangerous to walk under. Coupled with a lack of decent public transportation, it meant there were loads of communities slightly too small to support really big stores or specialist shops. I was seeing, in short, a city in which home delivery made a ton of sense: pet supplies, groceries, late night snacks…

I don’t know if its true, but its a neat idea. Someone get Mike Davis on the case!

It is also kind of funny because I think of San Francisco as small, approachable city, that is relatively easy to get around, or to get from one side to the other. (Bay to Breakers anyone?) At least compared to other American cities.

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