The following article in the New York Times, American Capitalism Is Brutal, You Can Trace That To The Plantation, describes in an excellent manner how modern management systems have their roots in slavery and plantation economy. A short summary: an efficient plantation required an elaborate bookkeeping to keep track of each slave’s productivity. Hence a multilayered system of supervision of labor was necessitated. Continue reading Slavery and modern management
Casey Schreiber explains in the video below the Garden City concept as envisioned by Ebenezer Howard.
Here is an interesting read by Jean-Yves Tizot on the political theory behind the garden city movement.
As distances within a space habitat will be rather small, only a couple of kilometers in most designs , bicycles will be an excellent mode of transportation for space settlers. Promoting cycling will also have environmental and public health benefits. Continue reading Public bicycle system
The Guardian has a good article about a campaign to make Cleveland, Ohia (USA) a lead-free city. The article also contains a table with some of the negative consequences of lead exposure on the health of children.
In orbital space settlements water recycling is essential. So it is quite worrisome when we read the following article on ScienceDaily:
To cite from this article (my emphasis):
If people are educated on recycled water, they may come to agree it’s perfectly safe and tastes as good — or better — than their drinking water. They may even agree it’s an answer to the critical water imbalance in California. But that doesn’t mean they’re going to use recycled water — and it sure doesn’t mean they’ll drink it.
The problem is that educated people are disgusted to use a perfectly safe product that is necessary for staying alive. Perhaps people should not think too much about the origin of their tap water – if education is apparently not sufficient in this case.
Though it is often said that crime is caused by poverty, there is little to no evidence to actually back up this claim. On the contrary it seems the more affluent people are more likely to commit property crimes. The Guardian has a nice article about this strange phenomenon:
Creating an optimal living climate is one of the Four Goals formulated by Gerard O’Neil. This means that urban planners should take public health into account.
We found an important study at ScienceDaily:
One of the Four Goals formulated by O’Neill in The High Frontier is to find an optimal life climate for all of humanity. The major implication of this for space habitats is to eliminate those substances, that are known to have a negative impact on public health. Continue reading Lead: one more time…
In the video below the folks of RealLifeLore give a short summary of the history of the territorial expansion of mankind.
Given our nature as an expansionist species it seems to be inevitable we will eventually settle the world’s oceans, Antarctica and, of course, Outer Space.
On a loosely related notice, Margaret Kohn and Kavita Reddy have written an article on the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on the historical attempts to justify colonialism. They also spend some time explaining the difference between colonialism and imperialism.
The Guardian reports that Dutch researchers have been awarded a €2.9 million grant to develop a prototype artificial uterus. Though artificial uteri have several benefits, they also raise a multitude of ethical questions.