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Wired 14.10

October 6, 2006

I used to be a much more voracious reader than I am now. In my undergrad days, being on the debate team at Ohio State meant I spent a lot of time scouring Lexis Nexis for the latest news, reading magazines like Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, the Economist, etc.

These days, with my job and wife and son, I only have a limited amount of time to read “for fun” – but one of the magazines that’s survived the purge is Wired. It may not always be relevant, but I’ve found it always well written, and frequently compelling. This month’s issue is no exception. There are articles on:

  • The medical debate over “metabolic syndrome” – which critics describe as a useless new name for obesity, but might allow pharmaceutical companies to market drugs as the answer to being overweight.
  • The role of massive physical complexes in fueling the “Internet cloud” which is becoming increasingly important to companies like Google, Ask.com, Microsoft, and others. As an architect, this one is particularly interesting to me – because for all the effective importance of these structures, they seem to so often be designed without any intention other than purely functional constraints – constraints unimaginatively solved, it would seem.
  • The online community Second Life – the virtual experience of one of the Internet clouds described above. Complete with references to Snow Crash, which is always A Good Thing(tm).
  • Andrew Lipson, who among other things likes to make Lego models of mathematically-derived surfaces.
  • A comparison of some techniques for green living and their repercussions (i.e. whether its better, on the whole, to go with disposable diapers over cloth diapers over a diaper service).
  • Bruce Sterling’s thoughts on two options for rebuilding the Gulf Coast in the post-Katrina recovery: “reinforced concrete fortresses or cheap structures designed to wash away.”

Good stuff, I tell you. 

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