Marshall McLuhan’s definition of media was so broad it seemed to include everything, from electric light to money to transportation and housing. In the…
Drew Austin
A quick reminder that I’m now sending out mid-week essays focused on urbanism and the future of cities (in addition to the Friday newsletter). This wee…
Drew Austin
As software matures, it creates an ever-growing tension in the built environment by sharpening the contrast between the two domains. Computers get smal…
Drew Austin
One interesting aspect of the pandemic internet is all the content that has stopped appearing anywhere. Max Read writes, “Instagram, cut off from a ste…
Drew Austin
The outward expansion of American cities has largely been driven by affluence. Ever since foot travel constrained the size of the pre-industrial urban …
Drew Austin
I’ve noticed more people comparing social media to smoking lately, which is a compelling but limited analogy. The parallels are obvious: Both feel grea…
Drew Austin
In early 2018, Bruce Sterling proclaimed that the smart city was dead, or rather, that it never quite existed in the first place. The idea of the “smar…
Drew Austin
The last newsletter I sent that wasn’t haunted by COVID-19 went out on February 21, a day I remember vividly. I went to a Knicks game that evening and …
Drew Austin
This year, we’ve spent more time than ever in our homes. Not surprisingly, our relationship to them has intensified. As the only bubbles of private spa…
Drew Austin
A year ago, I wrote about the increasingly casual nature of American attire and the aesthetic that Venkatesh Rao calls domestic cozy. I said that “by w…
Drew Austin
Back in 1967, Marshall McLuhan declared that “the city no longer exists except as a cultural ghost for tourists.” Although the internet didn’t yet exis…
Drew Austin
A few months ago, @turtlekiosk tweeted an idea that I keep thinking about: “In the future shoplifting won’t matter, not because loss prevention or surv…
Drew Austin