The World

Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit?

Interesting history of mass transit in America. For those of us frustrated by being forced to drive a car everywhere (aka being stuck in traffic without an alternative way to get around) πŸ™„, this article provides some explanation, or at least context.

πŸ‘‰ Why Did America Give Up on Mass Transit?

American suburbs are unique in being almost entirely auto-oriented, relating on those dumb park-and-rides for mass transit. Other countries that have extended mass transit into the suburbs themselves have had much more success. As the article says, “good service can make transit successful even in low-density suburbs.”

The World

How the Government Kick-Started Silicon Valley

I like the perspective in this article. Silicon Valley and the larger tech sector weren’t just created by a few extraordinary people, but were made possible by the overall environment.

πŸ‘‰ The Hidden History of How the Government Kick-Started Silicon Valley

These breakthroughs are made possible by a larger cast of thousands around them, by broader social structures, and by other things that America, writ large, makes possible β€” whether it be public policies or public education.

This article gives a clue as to why the tech revolution started in America. I mean it wasn’t just an accident that one giant company after another started in Silicon Valley. The US government helped. There’s wasn’t a government “plan” to create Silicon Valley, but the government did set up the environment that allowed it to happen.

Thanks, space race!

No one was sitting behind a desk in Washington saying, β€œOh, this is how we’re going to build a tech industry.” But that is what happened.

I hope we continue to collectively invest like this going forward.

The World

Sylvan Constellation

I don’t think a lot about cemeteries, but this article has some really beautiful alternatives to traditional cemeteries, which this article calls ”Β toxic wastelands” and even cremation, which “emits the equivalent of 41,040 cars worth of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the United States alone.”

My favorite is the “Sylvan Constellation”, which transforms decomposition into electricity, resulting in a ghostly star-like grave. Sounds better than decaying underground to me anyways. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

πŸ‘‰ Becoming Stardust: The Future Cemetery


The World

Roadmap to Alpha Centauri

With the Voyager space sailing beyond out solar system, this article looks at some ways we could send people to Alpha Centauri.

πŸ‘‰ Roadmap to Alpha Centauri

This article is a complete mindmelt 🀯: ion drives, solar sails, nuclear rockets,  foraging for dark matter.

I don’t really understand this stuff, but I do like the idea that people could potentially fly around the universe and find a new home. Especially considering the black holes out there.