By Alan Taylor : theatlantic – excerpt (includes great photos)
Oversupply: Ford Gobikes line the street next the Folsom and 17th Street park in San Francisco’s Mission district. They are already making their unwelcome mark on our streets. How long before they become a pile of trash like the Bikeshares in China? photo by rants.
Last year, bike sharing took off in China, with dozens of bike-share companies quickly flooding city streets with millions of brightly colored rental bicycles. However, the rapid growth vastly outpaced immediate demand and overwhelmed Chinese cities, where infrastructure and regulations were not prepared to handle a sudden flood of millions of shared bicycles. Riders would park bikes anywhere, or just abandon them, resulting in bicycles piling up and blocking already-crowded streets and pathways. As cities impounded derelict bikes by the thousands, they moved quickly to cap growth and regulate the industry. Vast piles of impounded, abandoned, and broken bicycles have become a familiar sight in many big cities. As some of the companies who jumped in too big and too early have begun to fold, their huge surplus of bicycles can be found collecting dust in vast vacant lots. Bike sharing remains very popular in China, and will likely continue to grow, just probably at a more sustainable rate. Meanwhile, we are left with these images of speculation gone wild—the piles of debris left behind after the bubble bursts… (more)
See the sea of bikes
By Emily Turner : cbslocal – excerpt
SANTA ROSA (KPIX) — Many of the Wine Country wildfire survivors made it through that tragedy to now find themselves as victims for a second time. They say now their problem is the government agency meant to help them.
In Sonoma County alone, thousands of houses were destroyed and even more lives turned upside-down in the disaster.Legal Aid of Sonoma County accuses FEMA of rejection for aid without a clear reason, repeatedly losing client’s documents, and a lack of clarity when it comes to their policy.
Legal Aid of Sonoma County accuses FEMA of rejection for aid without a clear reason, repeatedly losing client’s documents, and a lack of clarity when it comes to their policy…(more)
Santa Rosa fire survivors are denied insurance and FEMA aide.
By Franklin Foer : theatlantic – excerpt
The pursuit of digital readership broke the New Republic—and an entire industry.
Chris Hughes was a mythical savior—boyishly innocent, fantastically rich, intellectually curious, unexpectedly humble, and proudly idealistic.
My entire career at the New Republic had been spent dreaming of such a benefactor. For years, my colleagues and I had sputtered our way through the internet era, drifting from one ownership group to the next, each eager to save the magazine and its historic mission as the intellectual organ for hard-nosed liberalism. But these investors either lacked the resources to invest in our future or didn’t have quite enough faith to fully commit. The unending search for patronage exhausted me, and in 2010, I resigned as editor…
Over the past generation, journalism has been slowly swallowed. The ascendant media companies of our era don’t think of themselves as heirs to a great ink-stained tradition. Some like to compare themselves to technology firms. This redefinition isn’t just a bit of fashionable branding. As Silicon Valley has infiltrated the profession, journalism has come to unhealthily depend on the big tech companies, which now supply journalism with an enormous percentage of its audience—and, therefore, a big chunk of its revenue… (more)
A completely different view of the world, based on future expectations of where technology will take us, is unveiled as a major funding partner of Facebook pours his wealth into The New Republic. Having been interviewed by The Atlantic, I can speak from experience on how that movement feels. Both extremes, living in the past and living in the future are not getting most of us anywhere other than longing for a clear presence in the presence that is lacking in both.
For anyone who likes to get involved in politics, here’s a suggestion I’m passing around to members of congress on new ways to support energy efficient systems other than corporate tax credits.