Pages of Society: Order, Entropy, and Relinquishing Control

I have a certain weakness for scientific nonfiction, whether articles in Discover or novels centered around black holes or relativity. Without any hesitation, I will throw aside school texts in favor of these others, consuming them with the same enthusiasm that fuels my consumptive coffee addiction. Always in the past, I had considered such reading interests to be mere diversions, occupying my time ideating over things unrelated to my various educational and professional paths or even the communities in which I exist. The last book, though – my second experience with author Brian Greene – spawned ideas that began to inform my views on architecture and urbanism, and these seeds ultimately transformed the ways in which I view economics, government, and even our political structure as a whole.

Read more of this post

Here Come the Foxes, There Goes the Neighborhood

Evening on a long Monday, hours nine through twelve of a day spent in class. The previous few days had been spent gluing 176 small white matboard triangles together into an undulating surface, without any sleep to glue back together my sanity.  My eyes water under the fluorescents as a colleague nods in and out of the discussion, each dip of his head bringing him closer to dreamland, the unattainable in architecture.

A pen cap flies from my hand toward him even as I force my own eyes open.  He jolts awake. Our powder keg of an instructor leans toward us, knuckles pressing into a table as he lectures us on sustainable urbanism. I struggle, my body’s rampant disinterest in wakefulness rebelling against my interest in the lecture.  Then he mentions foxes.

Read more of this post

Don’t You Hate Pants?

Years ago, in the dirty confines of a Penn State dorm room that had never felt the insensitive touch of a careless cleaning crew, my roommate and I tuned into a rerun of the Simpsons on his fifteen-inch television, its dented casing of black plastic opening along half of its seams. Krusty the Klown stood onstage with green hair tied back and hands clinging to a smoke in one (or was it a beer?) and a mic in the other. Flash to the audience: Homer, likely drunk on Duff, raises both of those fat yellow sausage arms of his, circles his hands around his gaping maw, and yells, “Don’t you hate pants?”

Read more of this post