Shovel Ready

Many years ago I remember a television commentator saying more Americans have outhouses than computer connections. This was in the early days of dial up modems. He seemed to suggest that household computers were little more than Japanese video games, which was actually true at the time. Well, thirty years have passed and this afternoon … Continue reading Shovel Ready

What Can Other Places Teach California About Addressing Its Housing Crisis?

I’m going to ask you, Dear Reader, to pick apart a paper I’ve been asked to write for another organization. I was given the topic. Here’s my assessment of the situation. I’m curious what comments might ensue… What Can Other Places Teach California About Addressing Its Housing Crisis? There is no ready-mix recipe for affordable … Continue reading What Can Other Places Teach California About Addressing Its Housing Crisis?

Give it Another Century and We’ll See How it Goes

I got push back from readers when I dissed some flavorless suburban condo complexes in the context of urban agriculture. My observation was meant to be simple. We’re on a trajectory of ever larger, more complex, and highly leveraged institutional “solutions” to endemic social and economic problems that don’t actually make things better. Quite the opposite. What … Continue reading Give it Another Century and We’ll See How it Goes

The Domino Effect

There’s what exists on paper according to the authorities, and then there’s reality on the ground. The recent fires in Sonoma and Napa counties destroyed 7,000 buildings – almost all of them single family suburban homes. Entire subdivisions were wiped out overnight. This occurred in a part of the world where the gap between what … Continue reading The Domino Effect