The Comfort Pursuit

On PhD outcomes

But if I had to name the very best outcome of the PhD (besides being greeted with ‘Welcome back, Dr Mewburn’ while boarding aeroplanes) is that I am not afraid to appear stupid. When I discover my ignorance, I know how to fix it. I’ll just research the shit out of it. People should fear my mad skills of research.

Read more…

Job vs Career

‘A job is what you do for other people. A career is who you are’, Mark said. He told me that a career mission is driven by a desire to solve a particular set of problems. Your job is just whoever happens to be paying for you to do your mission at any one time. A career potentially spans many of these mission oriented jobs.

Inger Mewburn (The Thesis Whisperer), in How to be an Academic

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the second great misunderstanding that lies at the root of most urban degradation today: widening a city’s streets in the name of safety is like distributing handguns to deter crime.

Speck, Jeff (2012) Read more…

Induced demand is the name for what happens when increasing the supply of roadways lowers the time cost of driving, causing more people to drive and obliterating any reductions in congestion. Read more…

I think people are suspicious of schemes that offer them nothing in return. We should get rid of automobiles, but in a positive way. What we need is more things that conflict with their needs—wider sidewalks, more space for trees, even double lines of trees on some sidewalks, dead ends not for foot traffic but for automobiles, more frequent places for people to cross streets, more traffic lights—they’re an abomination to automobiles, but a boon to pedestrians. And then we should have more convenient public transportation.

We constantly sacrifice all kinds of amenities for automobiles. I think we can wear down their number by sacrificing the roadbed to some of our other needs instead. It’s a switch in values.

(Jane Jacobs) Read more…

Belief in the significance of architecture is premised on the notion that we are, for better or for worse, different people in different places – and on the conviction that it is architecture’s task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be.

Read more…