Needing less

Sometimes we need less. In fact, there is some advantage to single people living in very small spaces, since it encourages them to get out of the apartment. The limited space also discourage accumulation of lots of stuff. But you know what will come next. Activists will discover the “injustice” of the small space and demand a “livable” standard.
Fairfield Inn where I stay in South Hill has a kind of mini-suite with a bedroom separated by a half wall from a kind of sitting room. The King Suite, which is 375 sq Feet, would be sufficient for an individual or a couple w/o kids. They would have to be organized and frugal, i.e. not have too much stuff, but it could be pleasant enough. That would be a nice design for an apartment building.

Creole culture

I learned a few things today. First I attended a talk by a poet from New Orleans about Creole culture with Mona Lisa Saloy I visited New Orleans a couple years ago and walked all across the city from the French Quarter to the causeway so I feel a little like I know the place, but it was good to learn a bit more about aspect of the culture.

The creole culture is very old. Mona Lisa described how it was formed from a mix of French and African strains. It is hundreds of years old and related to the Caribbean cultures nearby. She showed pictures of Mardi-Gras, which reminds much of Carnival in Brazil
Smithsonian is doing a series of lectures on “intangible culture.” By its nature, intangible culture is hard to grasp. It is the culture carried in the hearts and minds of people, manifest in behaviors and not in stuff. That means that it is by nature also dynamic and ephemeral and must be renewed with each generation.

Mona Lisa read some of her poetry and it was a performance worth hearing. I imagine that the poem just do not have the same heft if you just read them. The beauty of intangible culture is also it poignancy. You have to be there. It can be experienced and enjoyed but not preserved and only imperfectly transmitted. I recall once driving from Payson, Arizona to Phoenix. It is a beautiful drive down the piney mountains to the desert floor. I remember sublimely beautiful purple clouds at sunset. I thought of taking a picture, but I knew it would not do it justice. We stopped to enjoy the moment, the colors and the warm breeze and the feeling that cannot be expressed. This is how I understand the concept of intangible culture. That is the intangible, cannot be touched or maybe recedes when you try do touch it or have it. It can be described but not really transmitted.
Funny thing. It is what you cannot express that gives life meaning.

Asians more wealth than whites in America

Changing demographics something new and the same old American success story. Various immigrant groups have surpassed the wealth of native born populations. If we look at America in twenty-five year intervals, we would find that people were pretty much sure that not too much had changed recently but it was going to. They would be right about the second, but not the first.
At some points in our history, outsiders have included, the Irish, the Germans, the Italians, the Jews, the Poles and … well lots of others. Each time the established people thought THIS time these guys would never fit in. As erstwhile newcomers integrate into the American mainstream, everybody starts to think this was just inevitable. We remember our struggles or those of our family and forget that we are now part of the establishment and so are they.

Net Neutrality

The internet is an excellent example of government, businesses and people each doing their parts to innovate. Like all good relationships, no partner was too overbearing. They played important but separate roles. Government was a catalyst for innovation and provided R&D muscle, but not manage or plan innovation.

Innovation is synonymous with inequality. Early adopters take the risks and reap benefits. When innovations go mainstream, they turn. Some fret about “fairness”. Pocket calculators were “for the rich” some advocated bans in the interests of fairness. We talked about digital divides. Some demanded government create basic computers for all. The market got there first.

Regulation need not slow innovation, but it usually does. The quest for “fairness” slows innovation. It is a trade-off between innovation & inclusion.W developed one of the most remarkable systems in history and in a short time and made it generally available. Careful not to break it.