Author: Sameer

Clues to Political anger in the shape of our Cities

It does ring true…

It was by looking at the working class that I was able to draw the geographic contours of peripheral France. The problem with urbanists is that they often begin with geography to get to people. I did exactly the opposite. And when you do that you come to realize that the majority of the working class in the West live in places that do not count anymore, that no longer exist culturally. That is why much of my focus is on that issue.

What is interesting is that the Western working class is no longer at the forefront of the economic model, and ultimately it finds itself geographically relegated. The real estate market creates the conditions for the presence of the people that business needs to function, and today the working class lives in places that matter the least. It is this economic rupture that leads to a cultural rupture, and eventually a very, very strong political rupture.

A French Thinker Diagnoses U.S. Political Anger – CityLab

Well it was nice while it lasted

Source: Uber’s Path of Destruction – American Affairs Journal

An examination of Uber’s economics suggests that it has no hope of ever earning sustainable urban car service profits in competitive markets. Its costs are simply much higher than the market is willing to pay, as its nine years of massive losses indicate. Uber not only lacks powerful competitive advantages, but it is actually less efficient than the competitors it has been driving out of business.

Games are now way more than Games

While this link talks about Fortnite, it really speaks to a trend. Even if the fad of Fortnite passes, and another brand replaces it, the underlying trend will probably continue.
The sophistication of games, their free-form narrative structures, and the cost and ubiquity of devices are trends converging on a new reality — that games are becoming the new Social Networks. When you can chat with other players, share thrilling experiences, and integrate the game into your day wherever you are, it becomes clearer this is going to become a new language for players to connect through – the way  conversations about TV shows were for a previous generation.

A new technology is integrating itself into the culture, and everything from society to the economy is going to be affected.

The game is an excuse to stay connected

Source: Fortnite was 2018’s most important social network

Coding with two heads

I love stories like this, that peel the layers of the hard work that makes real innovation happen, to reveal something thats often counter-intuitive.

This is the fascinating story of Googles only Senior Fellows – Jeff Dean and Sanjay Ghemawat – a pair of coders that solved foundational problems for Google and helped create the Internet experience as we know it, by coding together.

To solve problems at scale, paradoxically, you have to know the smallest details

Alan Eustace, Google

The Friendship that made Google Huge