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500 Hundred Years of Failed Utopias

In 1516 Saint Thomas More wrote the book Utopia, coining the term and establishing a bar for future community planners for centuries to come.  At the tail end of the 500th year since its publication, the USC Libraries system has compiled an exhibition called 500 Years of Utopia.

The exhibit focuses an an amalgam of real-world utopias and the fiction that produced them, looking at what a utopia means to society and the society that it sprung from.  More info and photos here.

 

Alphabet's Utopia

Alphabet, the company behind Google and its brethren, has decided to build its own city.   This technological metropolis will, of course, include Google Fiber, ubiquitous internet, self-driving cars, and all the other modern marvels Google is at the forefront of.   In designing a city, however, Google will need to embark on some decidedly non-cutting-technologies, like water supplies, sanitary sewers, garbage removal, and sidewalk repair, depending on how far into world-building they are intending to go.

 

The Kingdom of North Sudan

A man from Virginia promised his daughter she'd be a princess someday.   To follow through with his promise, a flag was made and a drive through the desert was planned...

Read more...
 

Fordlandia

Henry Ford has an interesting duality:  he paid living wages and launched the five-day workweek, but he was also an unabashed capitalist and industrialist, interested in money and power on top of a taste for fascist racists.  In his attempt at making the world in his image, he built his own utopian city in the Amazon jungle.  Called Fordlandia, it was Ford's attempt to gain control over the rubber his vehicles dearly needed.  It never quite worked as Ford expected, and with WWII looming it never took off as the industrial utopia Ford had wished for.

 

The Difference Between Socialists and Anarchists

"The difference between the Socialists and Anarchists is thus explained: The Socialists believe in abolishing all present forms of government in a peaceable way and organizing society after their ideal methods, while the Anarchists wish to adopt a quicker method, using force to accomplish their ends, believing, like some of our western people when talking of the Indian, that the only good Capitalist is the dead one."

Source unknown, 1886

 

The Isolationism Of Seasteading

Hippies and Randian Libertarians have all fantasized about building their own country, where they can live by their own rules, and most recently Seasteading has been the shining example of how to accomplish this. Charlie Loyd, however, brings some reality back down on the seasteading movement, and the practicality of doing what they dream of.

 

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