BRINGING SOME GAME TO THE WORLD OF GAMING

After the Newtown, CT massacre there has been a huge outcry against … well, just about anything and everything, as folks who back any of the numerous inputs to that tragedy point the finger at one another with “it’s not me, it’s them.” Say what you will, but there are hundreds of contributors that cause someone to do something as unspeakable as slay children. But because gaming has gotten such a bad rap in the past few weeks, I want to bring to light an interesting article I saw in The Atlantic.

The article tests the theory that all dedicated gamers are sociably inadequate. As you may have guessed, the answer is that it’s not true. This article reveals that being a gamer and being anti-social are not mutually exclusive. In fact, many video games engage other players and require the gamers to speak to one another. Sure, it’s no face-to-face interaction, but it’s an interaction nevertheless. (more…)

THE CITIZEN PRO/AM

Like many of my blogs, today’s post was inspired by a compelling article I recently read. It’s called Democracy is for Amateurs: Why We Need More Citizen Citizens, and it really speaks to the Naked Civics philosophy. Let me start off by sharing the last sentence in that piece:  “It’s time to democratize democracy again.” (more…)

CIVIC DESIGN GONE AWRY

When you hear the term “design,” you likely think of things like logos, Photoshop and well-oiled machines. What you likely do not think of is government. But, whether it’s good or bad, our government is a design.  We know the blueprint of our government as the Constitution and Bill of Rights of course.  And lately it would seem that, like so many other institutions in our country, our government is failing us.  But what if it isn’t the design of government, but rather the design of our politics that is to blame?  We’re not used to thinking of politics as separate and apart from our governmental institutions, but separating the two just may lead to a better ability to redesign and make what’s wrong, right while not messing with what’s actually working.   (more…)

THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION OF 2011

Just about every time I tune into Minnesota Public Radio or visit NewYorkTimes.com, I’m inundated with statistics about the jobless rate rising or falling by mere fractions of percents. It’s great to have tabs on such a crucial part of the American existence, but it has recently been brought to my attention that perhaps this jobless rate isn’t necessarily measuring what it should be.

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THE EQUATION ONLY STEVE JOBS SEEMS TO GRASP

I recently stumbled upon a great article in The Atlantic about GM’s inability to make a product specifically for the consumer. That is, a product with every gadget the consumer would want without worrying about cost-efficiency. The article is called “Why GM Couldn’t Be Apple, According to a Former GM Exec,” and I think it’s spot-on.

It’s an insider’s view of the cookie cutter vehicle industry and the yearning for decent models, but more importantly, cost-efficient materials. Why have real Italian leather when we could have vinyl? and the like. The author, Alexis Madrigal, compares GM – a company that once upon a time had to be bailed out by the government – to Apple. (more…)

URBAN CRIME ON THE DECLINE

According to this article in The Atlantic, crime in America’s urban areas has dropped to the lowest it’s been in 40 years. My initial thought is that in an economy that’s hurting as much as ours, crime and violence would skyrocket. So why is it that now, of all times, crime rate is so low? I personally think it’s the culmination of proactive, forward thinkers and the efforts of urban communities. (more…)