pl. datum; n. a known fact || the assumption that forms the basis for a conclusion or inference || a starting point, from which, for example, a survey begins (from the Latin, "given"). Fact: from the Latin factum, "a thing done."
Amazing resource from the folks at The Reinvestment Fund -- allows a wide range of interactive maps of a wide range of housing and demographic information relevant to crucial questions of geography, development, and policy.
A collection of aerial views from Lion's Gate Bridge to Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver, the downtown peninsula, North Vancouver towards Coquitlam, then back along Burrard Inlet to the Port of Vancouver. Beware, this is a monstrous file, some 444MB. Apologies for the glare and window reflections in some of the shots.
Tracts used in the classifications presented in Elvin K. Wyly and Daniel J. Hammel (2005), "Mapping Neoliberal American Urbanism." In Rowland Atkinson and Gary Bridge, editors, Gentrification in a Global Context: The New Urban Colonialism. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 18-38.
This site was not made possible by the financial support of large multinational corporations seeking to distract attention from their misdeeds by making contributions to pseudo-liberal media products or charitable causes. Instead, this site is brought to you by the generous support of all the taxpayers who have supported the public, non-profit educational insitutions that have allowed me to pursue free, independent inquiry wherever it takes me.
"Observation is always selective. It needs a chosen object, a definite task, an interest, a point of view, a problem." Sir Karl Raimund Popper (1902-1994), Conjectures and Refutations (1953, published in 1963). Cited in Una McGovern, ed. (2005). Webster's New World Dictionary of Quotations. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, p. 663.
I Am Not Making This Up Department, Division 17: Responding to the controversy over the massive investment that Wall Street hedge funds are making in several companies spearheading the proliferation of surveillance cameras throughout hundreds of cities in China, Peter Siris drew comparisons to New York City's extensive surveillance system. "Is New York a police state?" he asked. Siris is the managing director of two hedge funds that are named (I am not making this up) Guerrilla Capital and Hua-Mei 21st Century. Both funds have been early and aggressive investors, providing funding for an increasingly sophisticated infrastructure of cameras, facial recognition algorithms, and software that makes it possible "for security cameras to count the number of people in crosswalks and alert the police [if] a crowd forms at an unusual hour, a possible sign of an unsanctioned protest." Keith Bradsher (2007). "Wall Street Sees an Opportunity in China's Surveillance Boom." New York Times, September 11, A1, A12, quotes from p. A12.
Marginal elasticity of bogosity under conditions of asymmetric intelligence: "Economics is the only academic discipline that in recent decades has moved in the direction that America and much of the world has moved, to the right." George Will (2007). "The Democratic Economist." Washington Post, October 4, A25.
"The supply of moral outrage is limited. When we aim it at the wrong targets, we squander a valuable resource." Robert Frank (2007). "Invisible Handcuffs." Book Review of Robert Reich, Supercapitalism: the Transformation of Business, Democracy, and Everyday Life (New York: Knopf). New York Times, October 21.
"Most people like to believe something is or is not true. Great scientists tolerate ambiguity very well. They believe the theory enough to go ahead; they doubt it enough to notice the errors and faults so they can step forward and create the new replacement theory. If you believe too much you'll never notice the flaws; if you doubt too much you won't get started. It requires a lovely balance." Richard W. Hamming (1986). "You and Your Research." Presentationg at the Morrise Research and Engineering Center, Morristown, NJ. Transcription by J.F. Kaiser. Available at http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~robins/YouAndYourResearch.html.
The efforts of some cyber-sleuths, insurgent independent journalists and bloggers "are the latest sign that a new generation of individuals see 'information gathering as a participatory contact sport,' said Jonathan Zittrain, a law professor at the Harvard Law School and a co-founder of its Berkman Center for Internet and Society. 'I think that is a positive sign.'" Quoted in Miguel Helft (2008). "Internet-Age Detective on the Trail of Gymnasts: Cyber-Sleuth Uncovers Information on Disputed Birth Dates of Chinese Athletes." New York Times, August 29, C14.
According to the theory of relativity, you already read this disclaimer -- just in a different place.
"If we don't make you cry, we fail ... It's about emotion, which is bizarre for a tech company." -- Lorraine Twohill, a Vice President of Global Marketing at Google, describing the corporate behemoth's newfound enthusiasm for advertising as part of an effort to disarm antitrust regulators with "heartwarming stories." Claire Cain Miller (2012). "Google, Where Data is Religion, Plays to Feelings." New York Times, January 1.
The paragraph above is a lie. When words hurt, sentences kill. And those do. My first sentence above erased eight hundred forty one thousand, three hundred seventeen individual stories. The second sentence disappeared five hundred sixty-one thousand, one hundred thirteen.
How could I be so callous, so care-less?
What can these huge numbers mean, when the complexity of individuals, all those multifaceted lives, are distilled down into ... each ... one? One. Each one an observation. Capable of being observed.
Now I think I understand why Markus Doel (2001) was so angry with the number one. It puts everything on the same level, and that feels violent, when we realize how many different sides there are to our own personal, individual identities. Think of trying to summarize as as "one" "observation." One? Louis Wirth (1938) taught us that the segmented self is the essence of personal identity in the overwhelming informational ecosystem of the city: we show different sides of ourselves when we interact with different people, in different circumstances. Indeed, we act so differently that perhaps it would be more honest just to say that we really are different 'selves' in different situations. Michael Curry (1997) brilliantly updates the idea for today's "digital invidual" -- the passwords, avatars, and cookie-and-GPS-trails each of us leaves for others exploring the strange landscapes of the social web.
. Torsten Hagerstrand and Allan Pred understand this, and so does Julie Graham (1993), Ananya Roy (2011), Michael Curry (1997), and Elizabeth Lee (2012).
So does Auguste Comte, and Louis Wirth, and Peter Gould, and Julie Graham, they're speaking now through Michael Curry (1997), and Ananya Roy (2011), Elizabeth Lee (2012), and so many others, each