The Mole People [EPUB]
21 October 2014, 12:52
1995 | EPUB | 16.76MB
Thousands of people live in the subway, railroad, and sewage tunnels that form the bowels of New York City and this book is about them, the so-called mole people. They live alone and in communities, in subway tunnels and below subway platforms and this fascinating study presents how and why people move underground, who they are, and what they have to say about their lives and the “topside” world they’ve left behind.
Picking Up [EPUB]
21 October 2014, 12:39
2013 | EPUB | 0.8MB
America’s largest city generates garbage in torrents—11,000 tons from households each day on average. But New Yorkers don’t give it much attention. They leave their trash on the curb or drop it in a litter basket, and promptly forget about it. And why not? On a schedule so regular you could almost set your watch by it, someone always comes to take it away.
But who, exactly, is that someone? And why is he—or she—so unknown?
In Picking Up, the anthropologist Robin Nagle introduces us to the men and women of New York City’s Department of Sanitation and makes clear why this small army of uniformed workers is the most important labor force on the streets. Seeking to understand every aspect of the Department’s mission, Nagle accompanied crews on their routes, questioned supervisors and commissioners, and listened to story after story about blizzards, hazardous wastes, and the insults of everyday New Yorkers. But the more time she spent with the DSNY, the more Nagle realized that observing wasn’t quite enough—so she joined the force herself. Driving the hulking trucks, she obtained an insider’s perspective on the complex kinships, arcane rules, and obscure lingo unique to the realm of sanitation workers.
Nagle chronicles New York City’s four-hundred-year struggle with trash, and traces the city’s waste-management efforts from a time when filth overwhelmed the streets to the far more rigorous practices of today, when the Big Apple is as clean as it’s ever been.
Throughout, Nagle reveals the many unexpected ways in which sanitation workers stand between our seemingly well-ordered lives and the sea of refuse that would otherwise overwhelm us. In the process, she changes the way we understand cities—and ourselves within them.
Everything Bad is Good for You [EPUB]
15 October 2014, 05:06
2006 | EPUB | 0.7MB
Tune in, turn on and get smarter ...
The Simpsons, Desperate Housewives, The Apprentice, The Sopranos, Grand Theft Auto: We're constantly being told that popular culture is just mindless entertainment. But, as Steven Johnson shows, it's actually making us more intelligent.
Here he puts forward a radical alternative to the endless complaints about reality TV, throwaway movies and violent video games. He shows that mass culture is actually more sophisticated and challenging than ever before. When we focus on what our minds have to do to process its complex, multilayered messages, it becomes clear that it's not dumbing us down - but smartening us up.