SOCIETY

Posts in "Society"

One Woman, 100 Marathons, 200 Food Banks

I set a goal to road-trip across the country, running a marathon in all 50 states (I’d later up it to 100 marathons), volunteering at each of the 200 Feeding America food banks, and visiting friends and family as I went.

I set out in July 2014. I ran my 100th marathon last month and volunteered at my 200th food bank on April 11. Am I done? Not even close. Not while there are millions of hungry Americans. Not when there is more that I — that we all — can do.

Guerilla Gappistas Repair Rome When Public Services Fail

Filling a gap: the clandestine gang fixing Rome illegally
As Italys capital falls apart, a secret organisation is doing the repairs the authorities won’t.
They always leave their signature, a logo of a hammer and screwdriver, either painted with stencils on the ground or on a piece of paper. They also leave leaflets exhorting their fellow Romans to follow their example: “The Gap are a secret organisation – instead of carrying out sabotage actions the gappisti make repairs where bureaucracy fails. Find your goal, organise and repair: become a gappista yourself!”

 

Utah Tests Out Preferential Voting, Eliminates Primaries

Payson and Vineyard will likely be the only cities in the state of Utah trying out a new form of voting, called ranked choice voting, for their municipal elections in 2019, after multiple other cities that had expressed interest ended up backing out of the new pilot program.

Ranked choice voting is a system that allows people to rank all candidates in a race from first to last. If a candidate receives more than half of the first-choice votes, they win the election. If no one receives more than half, however, the last-place candidate is eliminated. When a voter’s first choice is eliminated, their second choice is included in the count for the second round. That process continues until a candidate receives more than 50 percent of the total vote.

Advocates of the system say benefits include obtaining a true majority winner and more civil races because candidates are trying to appeal to all voters, rather than just their base, because the candidate wants to be that voter’s second choice.

The concept was discussed at a Payson City Council meeting last week, with the council opting to stay with the pilot program. Payson Mayor Bill Wright said there will be a cost savings for the city, since ranked choice voting eliminates the need for Payson to hold a primary.

 

Norway’s Halden Prison is a ‘Campus’

Halden Prison in Norway looks sort of like a fancy dorm room or a hotel — much different than the barbed wire and cramped cells we often associate with prison design. Its look is all part of a plan to create a more humane prison, one where the architecture isn’t part of the punishment. Most prisons around the world are consolidated into one single building. This style makes it easy and efficient for inmates to move around, but the design is monotonous and full of visually unappealing materials, like steel and concrete. Plus, tight quarters inside these spaces can foster conflict.
Halden has a different structure: a campus design, where inmates move from one building to another, and are surrounded by lots of windows and construction materials that help muffle noise and take advantage of natural light. The prison’s layout also encourages guards to interact with inmates face-to-face, which fosters better relationships and reduces security-related incidents.
Halden’s design style is expensive — which is why we mostly see it implemented in places with good social support systems, like Western Europe and Scandinavia. Still, the design is setting new standards for what prisons could be like in the future.

 

 

Floating Cities Recommended by United Nations

Oceanix City, or the world’s first sustainable floating city, would essentially be groups of hexagonal platforms – anchored to the seabed – that could each house around 300 people, effectively creating a community for 10,000 residents. Cages under the city could harvest scallops, kelp, or other forms of seafood. Marc Collins Chen, the chief executive of Oceanix, said the technology to build large floating infrastructure or housing already exists.

 

Data-oriented approach ends homelessness in 3 USA cities

Nine more have ended veteran homelessness. It’s part of a national program called Built for Zero that uses a data-based approach to help officials figure out exactly who needs what services. Now it’s accelerating its work in 50 more cities.

 

Ecuador Legalizes Gangs as Cultural Associations, Murder Rate Plummets

Ecuador legalized gangs. Murder rates plummeted.

In Ecuador, the unprecedented decision to legalize gangs across the country was basically a decision to adopt the opposite attitude [to the USA] . The country allowed the gangs to remake themselves as cultural associations that could register with the government, which in turn allowed them to qualify for grants and benefit from social programming, just like everybody else.

This approach appealed to David Brotherton, a sociologist at the City University of New York who’s been arguing since the 1990s that US policy wrongly pathologizes gang members. So in 2017, a decade after Ecuador legalized gangs, he headed over there to conduct ethnographic research on major groups like the Latin Kings and Queens.

It turned out they’d undergone a stunning transformation. The members were still very active in their gangs, but these were functioning more like social movements or cultural groups. Previously violent Latin Kings were working in everything from catering to crime analysis. And they were collaborating with other gangs they’d warred with in the past.

 

The Calling Cards of the 1970s and ’80s British CB Radio Subculture

In the late 1970s to early 1980s, there was a frenzy for Citizens Band (CB) radio in the UK. However, while it was legal to own such a device, it was not legal to operate on the airwaves. So an elaborate system of codes and pseudonyms were used by the “breakers” who communicated across miles to neighbor hobbyists and strangers.

Link: https://hyperallergic.com/417878/eyeball-cards-cb-radio-culture/