I am beginning a new series on economics focusing on income and wealth inequality, which may last for a couple weeks. This first post (originally written in 2014 as preliminary work for a thesis research project that ended up simply not happening) does not deal directly with income inequality; instead, I discuss the political economy of banking, reviewing a book and a journal article on the topic. Next week’s post will make clear the relationship of the content in this post with income inequality.
Mark Alexander started a series of blog posts a few months ago that I have read religiously every week. In his blog, he describes how he is making a game in GameMaker: Studio from start to finish, providing me valuable insight in not only tips, tricks, and techniques in game design and programming, but also the process of how to make a game. I have been itching to make a game ever since August when I started using GameMaker, and I have always planned to get back into design once I earned my bachelor’s degree; I even paid for the full version and the HTML5 export module, and published the first game I ever made on GameJolt. The semester is now over, and it’s time to make use of my investment. And like Mark Alexander, I will be documenting my process in a series of blogs.
I watched the film The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces twice, and I found it amazing. The film discusses how the design and architecture of spaces impacts its use. After I first watched the film with Jasmin in her class, I felt like I was suddenly very aware of how the space around me was used and how it could be improved. I felt more like a flaneur than ever before.
My favorite times of day are twilight and nighttime. During twilight, the sky’s colors are overwhelmingly beautiful. We often take photos of twilight, and I always find it funny. When we look back at those photos, they all seem to be very similar if not the same. When we took the photo, though, we were in awe. It seems that twilight is able to amaze us every day it comes, as if it’s new and fresh, and few photographs (especially those taken by a phone) are able to completely capture its grandeur.
Jaime Lerner, the author of Urban Acupuncture, recommends that people draw a map of their city to get a feel for it. By drawing a map, one sees, with their eyes, what parts of a city are important to oneself. On his book tour, Jaime Lerner had a Toronto official draw a map of Toronto, and the official found the act enlightening. He drew all the major features he knew, along with all the features that were important to himself. He also drew the “pinpricks” he played a part in adding to Toronto, and he loved seeing all the work that he had done to the city visually. His map became a key part of Jaime Lerner’s presentation.
Most of my memories of Salt Lake City take place on 400 S. This was the street we would often drive through when I was a kid, before I went to the University of Utah. It is the street where the Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL) is, and I would spend a lot of time there when my mother would work in Art of the Main, the art gallery in the library. In 2008 during the Presidential campaign, we would visit the Democratic Party headquarters located in a building just off 400 S. When my church, Wasatch Hills Seventh-Day Adventist Church, would have their Inter-City Outreach (ICOR) program hand out clothing and other essentials to the homeless, they would do so at Pioneer Park, right along 400 S. And every day, when I commute to the University of Utah on Trax, the train drives up along 400 S. The street is synonymous with Salt Lake City to me, so naturally I chose to observe 400 S.
I wake up every morning to an air raid alarm from my iPad, just ornery enough to make sure I get out of bed. After hitting the snooze button five times, it’s 6:00 AM by the time I actually leave bed. My floor is mostly clean in the morning, though I’ve often dropped homework or some other project down there, so I do need to be conscious of where I step. Certainly that could be improved, but after years of habit, I know it won’t be.