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Surprising Science

‘Do Not Call’ Web Registry Call

We ought to make opt-out easy but beware of injuring the model that brings us free content.

Harvard University professor Jonathan Zittrain supports some sort of global do-not-track system because “there are currently no functioning limits on what data gets collected and how it is used, and the rise of cookie consortia like Doubleclick means otherwise-unrelated Web sites can all quietly serve as collection points for data about us that gets fed to a central source. If kept for long periods of time and not distilled, that data can prove as revealing about us as, say, our search engine histories.” But he worries that making opt-out too easy for people could “injure the model that’s bringing them free content.”

This essay describes a model for urban development that takes into account and makes use of the externalities that exist in the built environment. Buildings and the people that inhabitat them makes neighborhoods and vice versa the value of a building is in its locations. How can better frame this relationship between an object and its environment? How can develop strategies for a integral area development that learn from the best global examples?

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