"Today, 2.5 billion people are online. It sounds like a lot. But really, that’s a little more than a third of everyone on Earth. By 2025, that number will have more than doubled to nearly 6 billion, or 80 percent of the world’s population, who will primarily connect to the world through mobile devices and digital platforms."
"Five of the six most-visited websites in the world are [in Silicon Valley], in ranked order: Facebook, Google, YouTube (which Google owns), Yahoo! and Wikipedia. (Number five is a Chinese-language site.) If corporations founded by Stanford alumni were to form an independent nation, it would be the tenth largest economy in the world, with an annual revenue of $2.7 trillion, as some professors at that university recently calculated. Another new report says: ‘If the internet was a country, its gross domestic product would eclipse all others but four within four years.’"
"A study last year found that driving by young people decreased 23 percent between 2001 and 2009. The millennials don’t value cars and car ownership, they value technology — they care about what kinds of devices you own … The percentage of young drivers is inversely related to the availability of the Internet [research found]. Why spend an hour driving to work when you could take the bus or train and be online?"
"The technology industry, by sequestering itself from the community it inhabits, has transformed the Bay Area without being changed by it—in a sense, without getting its hands dirty… Technology can be an answer to incompetence and inefficiency. But it has little to say about larger issues of justice and fairness, unless you think that political problems are bugs that can be fixed by engineering rather than fundamental conflicts of interest and value."
"Google’s urbanism, on the other hand, is that of someone who is trying to get to a shopping mall in their self-driving car. It’s profoundly utilitarian, even selfish in character, with little to no concern for how public space is experienced. In Google’s world, public space is just something that stands between your house and the well-reviewed restaurant that you are dying to get to. Since no one formally reviews public space or mentions it in their emails, it might as well disappear from Google’s highly personalized maps."
Like nails sticking out of would-be construction sites, China’s so-called ‘nail houses’ remain standing as long as their owners refuse to make way for development—sometimes becoming symbols of resistance. (via WSJ.com)
"New York City Transit (NYC Transit) is viewed as the world’s most expansive subway system due to its 468 subway stations, the most of any transit system in the world. It is also one of the world’s busiest subways, transporting 1.6 billion passengers annually. While the system emits 2 million tons of greenhouse gases each year, it prevents approximately 17 million tons of greenhouse gases annually, ‘making it one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas avoidance in the United States.’"