Floating Buildings Are Resilient If Global Warming Rises

(p. B6) More developers are building waterborne structures. Floating buildings can alleviate housing shortages in major cities at a time when land is scarce and restrictive zoning makes it hard to build up, said Koen Olthuis, whose Netherlands-based architecture firm Waterstudio specializes in floating structures.

For flood-prone cities like Miami, structures that rise and sink with the sea offer an alternative to waterfront construction that looks increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels. “Climate change has definitely helped us spread our designs and ideas,” Mr. Olthuis said.

. . .

In Rotterdam’s harbor, developer RED Company is building a 54,000-square-foot, three-story, wooden, floating office building. The project, which will serve as the new headquarters of the Global Center on Adaptation, will be energy-neutral and feature solar panels and a floating swimming pool, according to the company.

GCA helps countries, companies and organizations to adapt to climate change. The center’s CEO Patrick Verkooijen said that Rotterdam is threatened by rising sea levels and that the “completely self sufficient floating office is one of many examples of how we must adapt to the realities of climate change to ensure our infrastructure is not only resilient but future proof.”

. . .

Some hope the trend will ultimately lead to floating cities. The Seasteading Institute advocates for communities in international waters as “startup societies” that can make up their own rules. It was founded by investor Peter Thiel and Patri Friedman, the grandson of Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman.

For the full story, see:

Konrad Putzier. “Developers Float Answer to Floods.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, February 19, 2020): B6.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Feb. 18, 2020, and has the title “Are Floating Hotels, Office Buildings the Answer to Rising Sea Levels?”)

A Dynamic Industry, Like Wireless, Counsels “Greater Caution in Judicial Intervention”

(p. A13) Donald Trump’s administration likes living dangerously on 5G. It pulled an unlikely victory out of its hat when a judge approved the wireless merger of Sprint and T-Mobile that’s been in the works for nearly a decade. The judge gave the OK, he said, because his crystal ball (his words) was just as good or bad as those of the plaintiffs and defendants.

His most sensible and telling observation came on page 148, where he suggested that a dynamic and rapidly changing industry like wireless counseled “greater caution in judicial intervention.”

For the full commentary, see:

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. “Trump Outswamps the 5G Swamp.” The Wall Street Journal (Wednesday, February 19, 2020): A13.

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date Feb. 18, 2020, and has the title “YOUR HEALTH; Here’s Why Health Experts Want to Stop Daylight-Saving Time.” Where there is a difference in wording in the first quoted paragraph, the online version is used.)

Facebook’s Story, Based on Zuckerberg Interviews

(p. 15) In 2011, Levy, now the editor at large at Wired, wrote an extensive history of Google. To report the book, he secured liberal access to executives at Google and was allowed to soak up company culture by wandering around its corporate campus. He employed much the same strategy for “Facebook.” Zuckerberg granted Levy numerous interviews over a three-year period, and gave him “unprecedented access” to company executives.

The result is a work that recounts the company’s narrative mainly through the lens of its central figures.

. . .

Not for nothing is the book subtitled “The Inside Story.” Levy, who first met Zuckerberg in 2006, takes readers inside his college dorm suite; inside the late-night coding and cavorting at the company’s first home base in Palo Alto; inside meetings with the tech moguls who were the start-up’s first major investors; inside design choices that fueled the social network’s popularity; and inside Zuckerberg’s head.

For the full review, see:

Natasha Singer. “Power Trip.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, March 15, 2020): 15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date Feb. 25 [sic], 2020, and has the title “‘Facebook: The Inside Story’ Offers a Front-Row Seat on Voracious Ambition.”)

The book discussed in the passages quoted above, is:

Levy, Steven. Facebook: The Inside Story. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2020.

Remote Workers Are 13% More Efficient Than Office-Based Workers

(p. B4) Fans of remote work often cite studies showing that people who work from home are more productive, like a 2014 study led by the Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom. The study examined remote workers at a Chinese travel agency and found that they were 13 percent more efficient than their office-based peers.

For the full commentary, see:

Kevin Roose. “THE SHIFT; Work From Home? Think Again.” The New York Times (Thursday, March 12, 2020): B1 & B4.

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date March 10, 2020, and has the title “THE SHIFT; Sorry, but Working From Home Is Overrated.”)

The paper mentioned in the passages quoted above, is:

Bloom, Nicholas, James Liang, John Roberts, and Zhichun Jenny Ying. “Does Working from Home Work? Evidence from a Chinese Experiment.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 130, no. 1 (Feb. 2014): 165-218.

“Entrepreneur Sent Our Words Across an Ocean”

Cyrus Field is described as a “project entrepreneur” in my Openness to Creative Destruction book. In the op-ed linked-to below, I celebrate his achievement.

My book, mentioned above, is:

Diamond, Arthur M., Jr. Openness to Creative Destruction: Sustaining Innovative Dynamism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019.