Walk Score is an online software tool that assesses the basic characteristics of any address in Canada or the United States given to it. Your neighbourhood is rated by an algorithm between 0 and 100 for ease of access to a list of general amenities, such common sense things as schools, cinemas, bus stops. Its intentions are generally progressive and supportive of the idea that a walkable community is simply nicer to live in and easier on the environment and therefore more desirable. Walk Score is often used by people looking for a new neighbourhood and it can be quite fairly said to be a barometer of the quality of life in a given place. A strong Walk Score, would reflect the humane values of urbanist Jane Jacobs. A low Walk Score might be reflected in a less salubrious environment.
So, it was a little disorienting to come across a Texas mom’s utilization of Walk Score today. All those people nearby in your dense, cross-connected community? Well, if things got tough they might just kill you and eat your brain, right? If there was a pandemic, a civil war, an infrastructure and economic crash all at the same time you want to be ready, right? You need maximum info on where to be when things get even dumber than they already are.
Jamie, who seems super nice and obviously really loves her kids, blogged about the way she applies Walk Score to her preparations for the coming apocalypse. Walk Score provides her with intel on her kind of community. The index tells Jamie where she doesn’t want to be.
This is almost a mirror opposite use of Walk Score for assessing resilience. Flying deeper into the century, each to their own anxiety, we suppose…
Walk score. One test preppers want their home to FAIL!
image: Jeremy Brooks via Flickr/CC
Barely anyone at large in the industrial, consumer, automotive, real estate complex we call home has escaped the call of the lottery ticket. Deep down, even the most sensible and realistic of us harbours a fantasy of something for nothing here. We think of all the good things we could do for those we care about or all the crazy shit we could do for ourselves. Either way, we frequently line up at that most suburban of settings, the gas station, and lay down several hours pay in our minimum wage job for a piece of paper that could change everything. Time to think a little more about the psycho-social effects of the lotteries, yeah?
EIther way, good luck and don’t forget to give us some.
Robin Hoodwinked:how billion dollar powerballs reflect 21st century inequality. State lotteries take from the poor to give to the rich, but we have options and there is a game-changing alternative
US basic income activist Scott Santens on medium.com
image: Mark Turnauckus via Flickr/CC
We need to work less to live better
David Suzuki at rabble.ca
The decline of manufacturing in the United States can now be seen as the source of a painful menace to public health.
As jobs left the US, suicides rose
Canadian journalist Yves Engler surveys the political life of sprawl and finds it all a little lacking. It does seem pretty easy to attach dispersed living to right-of-centre values.
Sprawl is an enemy of the left
image: Greg Wass via Flickr/CC
Words on inequality from a person who has spent decades developing their ability to think at the largest of scales. Sensible, impressive words.
image: Hugo Heikenwaelder via Wikimedia Commons/CC