Is The 9-To-5 Becoming A 20th-Century Relic?
Now that technology allows more people to work pretty much anywhere and at any time, what does that mean for 21st-century city planners and urban designers?
What's the Latest Development?
At this week's Intelligent Cities "UnConference," a participant-run event hosted at the annual meeting of the American Planning Association, workplace strategist Adam Stoltz asked: "[W]hat happens when our behavior changes, when the ways that people move through and need to use space across cities no longer matches some of the ways we've built them?" He was referring to the ways in which technology now allows office workers to perform tasks virtually anywhere, at any time, and how that affects the design of living and working spaces as well as the transportation infrastructure used to connect the two.
What's the Big Idea?
Writer Emily Badger claims that today's built environment "[was] designed to accommodate the ways that people worked (and lived) 20 or 50 years ago" and that urban spaces are slowly changing in response to new technology and the corresponding shift in human work-life behavior. Interestingly, some see the changes as more of a return to the way people in cities lived and worked before the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, "when shopkeepers...lived in apartments above their stores." Stoltz advises city planners of the future to build with this in mind: "[S]hould there actually be places [in a city] where there is no WiFi?"
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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