Blog archive May 2008

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26.05.08 / 01 / my videos now on vimeo

my videos are now on vimeo, because it allows a much better quality of playback. instead of youtube's 10 minutes/100Mb rules, vimeo gives you 500Mb of upload a week, to use as you wish - so i can post a 250Mb/11min tour of barbara hepworth's garden this week, and fill in my allowance with smaller videos.

and vimeo seems to have less trash than youtube [maybe i just haven't found the trash yet] - and a much prettier interface [youtube shoves the trash right at you!].

[although sometimes trash wins - just as i was writing this i saw this fiat 126 with superbike engine. i'd like one of those. and there's plenty of room for the shopping!]

21.05.08 / 01 / where the action is

i found some more communist postcards today - by strange coincidence one of them is a picture of luzhniki stadium where today's champions league final is taking place.

18.05.08 / 01 / the future of london from 1945

as depicted in the county of london plan. you can see it all coming - the huge clearances of city fabric, the tower blocks, the urban motorways. of course, after the depression and the war much of london was in a terrible state. many people had lost their homes, many lived in overcrowded conditions with poor sanitation. the war had shown what centralised planning could achieve, and people expected great things in peacetime. the affluent consumer society was not foreseen, so the only way you were going to get a bathroom was by government provision. industry was smoky and polluting, so it had to be separated from housing. open space and sunlight were a public health requirement in an age when slum children had rickets. so goodbye shoreditch, and all those other chaotic areas that we all love now.

it was a socialist vision. private enterprise had made a terrible mess, and only the state acting on behalf of ordinary people could muster the resources to clear it up. it was a modernist vision, rational and scientific, collectivist. people would all have the same, and all have enough, and be content with that. people would be decent and community-minded and not vandalise the common areas or attack you just because there was no-one around. nobody would be goaded into such actions by inequality, unemployment or family breakdown. the eventual architecture brought its own problems, but still these wartime visions pose uncomfortable questions about the kind of society we have become.

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