The Jungle

Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle was intended to inform the larger American public of the miserable working environment and sub survival wages of Chicago’s meat packing employees. The popular response was huge and lead to new government agencies and protections, but not the kind Sinclair had hoped for. By describing the dangerous and unhealthy … Continue reading The Jungle

Big Box Jesus

. One of my cousins recently attended an event at a suburban church and I tagged along. I’m amoral and omnivorous. I’ll go to any house of worship on the odd chance I might actually learn something useful – and I often do. And I meet a lot of really nice people along the way. … Continue reading Big Box Jesus

The Shape of Things to Come

After several years of traveling around the country in the presence of city planners, economic development officials, elected representatives, engineers, production home builders, professional consultants, and groups of concerned citizens I’ve come to my own personal unified theory of America’s land use future. The short version is that we’ve got the built environment that we … Continue reading The Shape of Things to Come

Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Projectile Wooden Shoes

Sabotage has its root in the French word sabot, which is a kind of wooden shoe. In the early days of the Industrial Revolution craftsmen would throw their shoes into the gears of factory machines. Skilled labor was being replaced with mechanical production, undermining traditional professions, reducing incomes, and removing the social standing of workers. … Continue reading Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Projectile Wooden Shoes

The Dreaded HOA

My upstairs neighbor recently fought a protracted battle with my side neighbor over patio furniture. It got ugly. There’s been a low grade turf war in the building for a while now. The key element is never about the items in question. It’s always about control. Both sides have their valid concerns, but at the … Continue reading The Dreaded HOA