Six Rules for Effective Forecasting by Paul Saffo

Rule 1: Define a Cone of Uncertainty
A cone of uncertainty delineates the possibilities that extend out from a particular moment or event. The most important factor in mapping a cone is defining its breadth, which is a measure of overall uncertainty. In other words, the forecaster determines what range of events or products the cone should encompass. Drawing the cone is a dynamic process, and what we see here is just one iteration.

Rule 2: Look for the S Curve
Change rarely unfolds in a straight line. The most important developments typically follow the S-curve shape of a power law: Change starts slowly and incrementally, putters along quietly, and then suddenly explodes, eventually tapering off and even dropping back down.

Rule 3: Embrace the Things That Don’t Fit
The novelist William Gibson once observed: “The future’s already arrived. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.” The leading-edge line of an emerging S curve is like a string hanging down from the future, and the odd event you can’t get out of your mind could be a weak signal of a distant industry-disrupting S curve just starting to gain momentum.

Rule 4: Hold Strong Opinions Weakly
One of the biggest mistakes a forecaster—or a decision maker—can make is to over rely on one piece of seemingly strong information because it happens to reinforce the conclusion he or she has already reached. This lesson was tragically underscored when nine U.S. destroyers ran aground on the shores of central California on the fog-shrouded evening of September 8, 1923.

Rule 5: Look Back Twice as Far as You Look Forward
Marshall McLuhan once observed that too often people steer their way into the future while staring into the rearview mirror because the past is so much more comforting than the present. McLuhan was right, but used properly, our historical rearview mirror is an extraordinarily powerful forecasting tool. The texture of past events can be used to connect the dots of present indicators and thus reliably map the future’s trajectory—provided one looks back far enough.

Rule 6: Know When Not to Make a Forecast
It is a peculiar human quality that we are at once fearful of—and fascinated by—change. It is embedded in our social vocabulary, as we often greet a friend with the simple salutation, “What’s new?” Yet it is a liability for forecasters to have too strong a proclivity to see change, for the simple fact is that even in periods of dramatic, rapid transformation, there are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.

Even in periods of dramatic, rapid transformation, there are vastly more elements that do not change than new things that emerge.

Read Full Article @ Harvard Business Review

Cartographies of Disaster

The Japanese earthquake changed our relationship to place, and post-disaster social media changed it again.

“Natural disasters are fundamentally experiences of place: The epicenter was here. It was this many miles from this other place. It affected here and here and here. Place is understood through position and relationship, through contact and distance.

Geography determines terrestrial points of contact. These change, but usually at a rate barely perceptible to the human eye. Politics and language anchor societal points of contact, through alliance, ideological similarity, and shared knowledge. These change more quickly than continents, but stay stable long enough to fill history textbooks. Communication technologies scaffold personal points of contact. These change quickly indeed.”

Cartographies of Disaster

Cognitive Cartography

This selection (texts, images, videos) was shared in the Relational Cartographies class and it doesn’t reflect the long list of books and studies written on the subject.

BrasiliaBrasilia’s Monumental Axis

Brasilia Walking LinesBrasilia’s Monumental Axis with walking paths illustrated

RocinhaSao Paulo, Favela de Paraisopolis, photo Tuca Vieira

Mexico BorderTijuana, Baja California and San Diego, California

AtlantaAtlanta, Giorgia

Hurricane KatrinaHurricane Katrina, 2005

Hurricane SandyHurricane Sandy, 2012

Textbooks:

Environmental Psychology by Paul A. Bell

Environmental Psychology by Robert Gifford

Books:

The Image of the city by Kevin Lynch

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro

Wrestling with Moses by Anthony Flint

Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed by James C. Scott

Reality is Broken by Jane McGonigal

Robert MosesRobert Moses

Jane JacobsJane Jacobs

Links:

Did Robert Moses Ruin New York City?

[Legibility] RibbonFarm: Experiments in Refactored Perception by Venkatesh Rao

The Truth About Photographic Memory

Ten-Year Forecast by Kathi Vian

Videos:

More than Honey (00:14:20)

Automatic Google Car: Self-Driving Car on City Streets

Chimpanzee Memory Test

Stephen Wiltshire draws NYC

Building Maker Tutorial

AiAi being tested by Tetsuro Matsuzawa, a primatologist at Kyoto University. Via

30 Cities From 200 Years Ago…And Where They Are Now

The NYU Stern Urbanization Project is working on a stunning new series of animations, showcasing the expansion of 30 global cities over the last 200 years. The animations, created using information from The Atlas of Urban Expansion, clearly show the extremely rapid expansion in global cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. Particularly striking is the growth in the latter half of the 20th century, in which many cities increased their built-up area by more than 10 times.

This is in keeping with the theory of falling density, which holds that as cities have grown bigger and the world has urbanized, densities have been steadily falling. As a result, cities require more urban land per person, meaning total growth in the city area is much greater than population growth.” Text via NYUStern

Courtesy of Janet Delaney

Restore Mission Lake Project 2005

A project led by artist Ledia Carroll. She wrote:

“On Jan 20 2005 began mixing blue pigment into a white dolomite field chalk and applying it to a piece of the shore of the former lake with a baseball field line chalker. Through a grant I was able to complete drawing the line around the entire lake perimeter. On Oct 22, 2007 I completed a line around the former lake and hosted an alley cat bike race and bbq. Press release information about the events at the bottom of the page. Mission Lake Project was sponsored by SoEx Off-Site, a yearlong series of public art projects investigating diverse strategies for exploring and mapping public space, www.soex.org”

More about the project HERE

HERE 5: Erased Landscape – the making of flat land in central San Francisco

HERE, a project by Glenn Robert Lym Architect AIA/PhD, is a series of video films that look at architecture from the perspective of the San Francisco Bay Area. Most episodes examine Bay Area buildings and landscapes. Some venture to other parts of America and beyond.

This is the story of how a massive erasure of landscape occurred in early San Francisco, motivated by explosive population growth and fueled by an influx of mining and industrial wealth. Without second thought, San Francisco transformed sand dunes, hollows, creeks, marshes and bay waters into the flat lands now known as Market Street, South of Market, the Mission District, South Beach, the Financial District, Union Square and the Tenderloin.

Images and Text via Glenn Robert Lym’s website HERE

Watch “Erased Landscape” HERE

Field Trip 01: 16th & Mission / Corona Heights Park


Inaccurate Walking Time and Map by Google


Visual Memories by Fiona Moran. Courtesy of Ryan Aragon.

– Start and finish at 16th street and Misson street.
– Headed down Mission to Clarion Alley, took a right up to Valencia.
– We then turned left down to 18th street and turned right.
– We followed 18th to Dolores Park and grabbed ice cream at Bi Rite Creamery.
– Ice-cream in hand we were told to think about elevation and sidewalk changes as we walked the next few blocks
– We then travelled back on Dolores to 16th street and turned left toward Corona Heights and the Castro.
– We crossed Castro and walked up 16th to the top of Corona Heights stopping to meet geologist Christopher Lewis at Flint.
– Ice-creams no longer in hand.
– Chris took us around the hill top to see different views and left overs from earthquakes indicating geological movement as well as rock outcroppings to better illustrate what he was explaining.
– He explained the view we saw from the top of the hill illustrated where faults exist by tracking where hills came up from flat. For example the hills we looked at across the bay start at the Hayward fault.
– He briefly spoke about the past topography of the Mission district (with a lake, and how Mission Creek used to rune straight through the middle, and most importantly that the mission was marsh land that led to the bay.)
– He told us the two main environmental hazards in California were landslides and earthquakes, but knowing the past topography of the mission, soon with rising sea levels flooding will also be an issue.
– He then explained that the street names are embossed on the corners so that people can navigate in a catastrophic situation. (Post 1989 Urban Plan)
– We talked about how much of the city is built upon fill, sunset and marina are on sand, while much of the Mission, Embarcadero, Soma, Bay View, and Hunters Point are landfill.
– He then set into the rock that dominantly exists in SF. Mostly mesozoic sedimentary and Serpentinite (California state rock), all of which is oceanic and originated on the sea floor.
– Explaining further that sedimentary chert is old sea floor compressed shells and debris, while Serpentinite is ocean cooled mantle. [Mention of Pulgas Water Temple in south bay and Sunol Water Temple in east bay.]
– He showed us the side of the sedimentary rock we were in front of to display a fault that was uncovered by quarrying in the area many years ago.
– Went on to explain how 280 highway and skyline (highway 35) trace the San Andreas Fault, the fault moves offshore north of there in Pacifica, and back on in Bolinas following up through Tomales Bay, Dog-patch and Potrero Hill are Serpentinite outcroppings.
– Last tie bit: Rip wrap in surf at ocean beach contains old tombstones from cemeteries moved to Colma in the 30s and 40s.
– We then followed the same path back to 16th and Mission.

Observations and Notes Taken by Timothy Kopra. Edited by Sebastian Alvarez.

Thanks to Christopher J Lewis. Chair, Earth Sciences Department.

Emotional Cartography

Emotional Cartography is a collection of essays from artists, designers, psychogeographers, cultural researchers, futurologists and neuroscientists, brought together by Christian Nold, to explore the political, social and cultural implications of visualizing intimate biometric data and emotional experiences using technology.

Essays by Raqs Media Collective, Marcel van de Drift, Dr Stephen Boyd Davis, Rob van Kranenburg, Sophie Hope and Dr Tom Stafford.

Download the full and complete book HERE

Another project by Christian Nold: http://www.sf.biomapping.net/

An Atlas of Radical Cartography

This Atlas is an atlas and not the atlas. Rather, it is one of many possible atlases, given the abundance of artists, architects, and others using maps and mapping in their work. While all maps have an inherent politics that often lies hidden beneath an “objective” surface, the contributions to An Atlas of Radical Cartography wear their politics on their sleeve. This publication includes ten pairs of politically engaged maps and texts from within the growing movement of cultural producers who have parallel or integrated activist practices.

The simplest of radical cartographies, the “upside-down” world map, appears on the cover of this book. More than a neat trick, this picture of the world has a historical basis in medieval world maps that were sometimes oriented with East or South at top. The modern north-oriented map continually reproduces the idea of the global North and the global South. The “inverted” map calls into question our ingrained acceptance of this particular “global order.” The maps and texts in this book also serve this purpose—to unhinge our beliefs about the world, and to provoke new perceptions of the networks, lineages, associations and representations of places, people and power.

Text written by Alexis Bhagat & Lize Mogel. Continue HERE

The Ellis Act by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project

The Ellis Act is a state law which says that landlords have the right to evict tenants in order to “go out of business”. All units in the building must be cleared of all tenants- no one can be singled out. Most often it is used to convert to condos or group-owned tenancy-in-common flats. Once a building becomes a condo it is exempt from Rent Control, regardless of the age of the building, and even if a unit owner subsequently rents to a long-term tenant.

See this project by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project HERE