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A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Can Palo Alto Afford the Vanity of its Ruling Elite? Part 1 of an infinite series: Intro and Fiber-to-the-Premises

"Ruling elite" in the title is meant to provoke thought about how far the priorities of the decision-makers diverge from those of the typical resident. One of the...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Oct. 31, 2013
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Nov 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm | 37 comments | 52094 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Pet Hair for the Birds (Nests)

The increased chirping of birds signals that nest-building is close at hand. Birds can have problems finding suitable materials in a too-manicured suburban environment....

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 16, 2016
Last comment by Flying Fur, on Feb 22, 2016 at 11:53 pm | 1 comment | 45376 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

The Palo Alto Bicycle Lobby: Impeding more and safer bicycling?

I did a lot of around-town bicycling from the late 1980s through the early 2000s (foot#4) and became involved in the City's bike planning. I found myself often in...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 16, 2014
Last comment by pat, on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:47 pm | 52 comments | 44548 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Shills and Charlatans of "Smart Growth"

"For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong." (foot#1) Any decent manager approaching a new project asks about...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 16, 2014
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Jul 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm | 36 comments | 38375 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Listen for Yourself: An index into "A Conversation on the Future of the City"

At the December 2nd City Council meeting, there was over 3.5 hours on zoning, planning, traffic, parking,... (f1) The general themes and specific items have presented...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 13, 2013
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Dec 17, 2013 at 1:04 pm | 5 comments | 38010 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Yet another "Questionable" Staff Report/Survey

At Monday's Council meeting (12/9), the City Manager will present an Informational Report on a...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 7, 2013
Last comment by Margaret Fruth, on Dec 11, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
3 comments | 34552 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Why the City doesn't hear residents' perspectives? It doesn't want to (part 1 of 3)

"Watch what we do, not what we say" was famously said by John Mitchell, as then-President Nixon's Attorney General and political strategist. I was...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Dec. 3, 2013
Last comment by Joan Larrabee, on Dec 5, 2013 at 8:13 am | 6 comments | 34286 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Non-Player Character: Can you be mistaken for an IRL-NPC?

An NPC is a character in a computer game whose actions are determined by an automated script or set of rules, as opposed to being a character controlled by a player....

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Oct. 15, 2018
Last comment by Tim Buck II, on Oct 17, 2018 at 6:33 pm | 6 comments | 25967 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Palo Alto's Culture War: Analytics vs. Aspirationals

Many assessments of why the debate on Measure D was so bitter and divisive incorrectly cast it as a series of individual, isolated mistakes. Instead much of it was...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Nov. 10, 2013
Last comment by stephen levy, on Nov 17, 2013 at 12:27 pm | 37 comments | 25295 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Neighborhood Associations: Why they are still important

The recent news coverage of the difficulties facing one of Palo Alto's premier neighborhood association (College Terrace) brought forth comments that such associations...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 10, 2015
Last comment by pat, on Mar 16, 2015 at 8:58 pm | 17 comments | 24595 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

The "You're despicable" style of politics

No I am not talking about the presidential campaign. Nor about Congress. Rather about local politics, as practiced by certain elected and appointed officials, and...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Sep. 22, 2016
Last comment by Ken Underwood, on Jan 9, 2017 at 3:48 pm | 42 comments | 20223 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Public Transit Follies

Two false assumptions about public transit underlie "Smart Growth" as it is practiced here. The first is that trips other than commutes can be (largely)...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jul. 1, 2014
Last comment by Greenacres, on Jul 20, 2014 at 11:27 am | 26 comments | 19401 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Stupid Growth: So-called "Smart Growth" is a cancer on the community

Rule of thumb: Anything that needs to be labeled "smart" isn't. Classic Brainteaser: "Why aren't there ants that are the size of elephants?" The...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 7, 2014
Last comment by CrescentParkAnon., on Jun 14, 2014 at 11:07 am | 27 comments | 19232 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

How history should be taught: Connections to the present

The admonition "Those who fail to learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it" (many variations) is ignored in the traditional teaching...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jan. 16, 2016
Last comment by Noel82, on Jan 28, 2016 at 7:39 pm | 16 comments | 17361 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Mocking Nazis is a crime in Britain: Free Speech #1

Public awareness of ongoing attacks against Freedom of Speech is very low, judging from discussions with friends and from poor coverage in the mainstream media (MSM)...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on May. 1, 2018
Last comment by Resident, on May 31, 2018 at 3:52 am | 8 comments | 17197 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Should Palo Alto really aspire to be more like a Chinese factory city?

The concept of "community" is much diminished in "Smart Growth". The Comprehensive Plan Advisory Committee (CPAC) process in the...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 22, 2014
Last comment by cw, on Jul 1, 2014 at 2:13 am | 13 comments | 16387 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Rethinking High School Curriculum: Chemistry

Q: For cleaning and disinfecting, what are the differences between soap, household ammonia, alcohol and chlorine bleach? Explain in terms of how they work. I...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on May. 22, 2016
Last comment by Isabella Cohen, on Jun 8, 2016 at 6:17 am | 11 comments | 16361 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Humpty Dumpty's Theory of Meaning + 1984 + Overton Window

Respect for language is essential for a meaningful, productive discussion. Developing a sensitivity to misuse and manipulation of language is a foundation of critical...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Mar. 17, 2018
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Mar 21, 2018 at 3:21 pm | 20 comments | 15995 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

The Right to Listen: Free Speech #2

Speech is different from talking. It necessarily involves the communication of thoughts from a speaker to an audience (^

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Jun. 14, 2018
Last comment by Douglas Moran, on Jul 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm |
17 comments | 15821 Views

A PRAGMATIST'S TAKE

Affordable Housing: Complexities

The discussions of affordable housing policy have been impeded by mythology, misconceptions, magical thinking, posturing, empty slogans, ambiguous terminology, and...

Original post made by Douglas Moran on Feb. 21, 2017
Last comment by JJ, on Feb 28, 2017 at 5:00 am | 14 comments | 15680 Views
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