Tag Archives: United States

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* The path to take if you want to drive across the United States and maintain a comfortable 70 degree temperature. (Courtesy: Nathan Yau/Flowing Data)

* Noh, a type of Japanese theater. (Courtesy: Charles Isherwood/NYT)

* Britain has about 20 civil servants with relevant experience negotiating trade deals. (Courtesy: Economist)

* Wildlife and humans cooperate to find beehives. (Courtesy: Natalie Angier/NYT)

Things I Learned this Week

Among the things I learned this week:
* Art Spiegelman was art director for Garbage Pail Kids. I’ll have to ask my parents if they regret grounding me for secretly buying the cards given it was an early foray into art collecting rather than some titillating experience. (Courtesy: Boing Boing)

* About 80 percent of construction in the United States has been built during the last 50 years. (Courtesy: The New York Times)

* Watching kids do puzzles is a great lesson in understanding alternative approaches to being methodical. (Courtesy: Personal experience)

Inequality in the United States and Its Implications

The United Nations released its 2008 State of the World’s Cities report, which in past years has been an excellent source about demographic shifts around the world. Unfortunately, the United Nations decides to charge people a ridiculous amount ($44) for the report rather than making it available at an affordable (or even free) rate.

Based on an FT article on the World’s Cities report, the United States was ranked disturbingly high in the degree of inequality in its cities, most notably New York, Washington DC, and Miami. It is all interesting, so go read it.

Also of note is that there is a significant amount of research on inequality and its role in fomenting revolution. And while I do not want to take the rather selfish, short-sighted, and disturbing position of the UN Human Settlements Program executive director (“Inequality is not good for the economy”), I do think inequality is a make-or-break situation for the United States in the near and middle term. Perhaps the crown jester in all this are multi-millionaire politicians boasting about who is a better defender of the middle class (with the cherry on top being no one ever mentions the lower class).

Now where’s my cake?