THERE are currently two equally powerful, but ideologically opposed, visions of what a smart city is and what it should be. In the blue corner is the paternalistic approach, in which a network of sensors, transport arteries, motion-sensitive street lighting and smart grids feed into a central operating centre. There, a team of civil servants and a mayoral Wizard of Oz respond to these electronic indicators and usher citizens accordingly.
In the red corner, is the city networked from the bottom up. Here, the smart technology is not billion-dollar investments made by city authorities, but the smartphones we carry and our internet-connected homes. The rise of apps and social networks allows us to navigate, edit and influence the cities we live in, telling authorities rather than waiting to be told.
- Book information
- Smart Cities: Big data, civic hackers, and the quest for a new utopia by Anthony M. Townsend
- Published by: W.W. Norton
- Price: $28.95
- Book information
- The New Science of Cities by Michael Batty
- Published by: MIT Press
- Price: $45.00
To add to this interesting, but maybe to simplified notions of top-down vs bottom-up read the Economist debate between Anthony M. Townsend and Irving Wladawsky-Berger on the issue, which gives some more flesh to the bones.
McKinsey shouldn’t close up shop just yet. But if Wikistrat has its way, the future of geopolitical analysis will belong to the crowd.
The biggest consultancy firms—the McKinseys and Janeses of the world—make many millions of dollars…
Today, we are excited to name the first group of cities selected through the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge – cities who have demonstrated a dedicate …
In conjunction with Swedish officials, Volvo plans to send 100 autonomous cars out on to the streets of Gothenburg.
The Swedish automaker says that 100 autonomous vehicles will be piloted under …
Interesting times to live in Göteborg!
Trin Tragula — for that was his name — was a dreamer, a thinker, a speculative philosopher or, as his wife would have it, an idiot.
And she would nag him incessantly about the utterly inordinate amount of time he spent staring out into space, or mulling over the mechanics of safety pins, or doing spectrographic analyses of pieces of fairy cake.
“Have some sense of proportion!” she would say, sometimes as often as thirty-eight times in a single day.
And so he built the Total Perspective Vortex — just to show her.
And into one end he plugged the whole of reality as extrapolated from a piece of fairy cake, and into the other end he plugged his wife: so that when he turned it on she saw in one instant the whole infinity of creation and herself in relation to it.
To Trin Tragula’s horror, the shock completely annihilated her brain; but to his satisfaction he realized that he had proved conclusively that if life is going to exist in a Universe of this size, then the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion.
Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Inspired by Alexis Madrigal’s quote from Lovecraft describing the brain’s limitations, referring to the cosmic horrors he wrote about, but transplanted to the context of Big Data, I thought of Douglas Adams idea of the Total Perspective Vortex. Are we heading for a Total Perspective Vortex with our aim for more and more data?
Thanks Alexis for locating this text. Being an old Lovecraft fan it really warms my heart to see how his words are expressing so well what is beyond our abilities to grasp… Which is exactly what Big Data is…
Source: The Atlantic
China’s academic scandal: call toll-free hotlines to get your name published
02 December 13 by Liat Clark Tweet, wired.co.uk
Academic fraud in China has been a problem for years. And now we know why it’s been so successfully perpetuated, thanks to an investigative feature in the journal Science that has revealed “a thriving academic black…
Interesting new angle on how creativity multiplied with, prima facie not dangerous incentives (quantity), and new communication technology, can threaten old traditional structures and values…
Hands-free devices like Google Glass can be really transformative when the hands they free are those of a surgeon. And leading hospitals, including Stanford and the University of California at San Francisco, are beginning to use Glass in the…
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P A Martin Börjesson
To be able to see the future emerge we have to throw a wide net to catch the weak signals. In this tumble I collect things I find valuable for my work as scenario planner, strategist and futurist - for more info about me go to www.futuramb.se.
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