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FTD #76: Nov. 15 2019

Friday tab dump

Hi and welcome to another edition of Friday Tab Dump, my weekly roundup of interesting links.

PODCAST: A third grader's guide to the impeachment hearings {nyt}

In which Leo, a third grader, asks and is asked questions about things in the news. So great.

PODCAST: The help-yourself city: {99 percent invisible}

So good:

“Informal urbanism” is a broad term. It applies to everything created outside the legal city planning and development processes. It can be a whole community, like a favela in Brazil. Or it can be a tiny thing, like a homemade road sign that helps drivers avoid a pothole.

But there are lots of actions that skirt the boundary between “formal” and “informal.” In the last decade, there’s been a rise in tactical urbanism and guerilla urbanism, where regular people make interventions in their communities. This ranges from hastily painted bike lanes, to do-it-yourself park benches in under-served communities. Gordon C.C. Douglas is the author of The Help-Yourself City and he spoke with Roman Mars about the concept of informal urbanism.Initially the mall was such a hit that a store was robbed on its first day, but the hype didn’t last forever. Original anchor shops Gimbel’s and Strawbridge’s went out of business. Other anchors left too, and soon the upper levels of the mall had more “for lease” signs than actual stores. The mall was still popular—before it closed, it generated above-average revenue per square foot—but started to deteriorate. Its Center City location, bookended by subway stations and train lines, always drew crowds. But it was starting to seem really old.

See also: all coverage of podcasts on this blog.

How TikTok holds our attention {new yorker}

Informative article about something I don't know anything about:

Marcella is eighteen and lives in a Texas suburb so quiet that it sometimes seems like a ghost town. She downloaded TikTok last fall, after seeing TikTok videos that had been posted on YouTube and Instagram. They were strange and hilarious and reminded her of Vine, the discontinued platform that teen-agers once used for uploading anarchic six-second videos that played on a loop. She opened TikTok, and it began showing her an endless scroll of videos, most of them fifteen seconds or less. She watched the ones she liked a few times before moving on, and double-tapped her favorites, to “like” them. TikTok was learning what she wanted. It showed her more absurd comic sketches and supercuts of people painting murals, and fewer videos in which girls made fun of other girls for their looks.

See also: what is probably bad about TikTok.


November 15, 2019


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