By 2020, China is projected to have spent $300 billion on high-speed rail and to have a 16,000-mile network. By then, Spain is projected to have spent $100 billion and to have a 6,200-mile network. In the United States, comparable figures are harder to determine because the fate of high-speed rail is more uncertain, but projections are that by 2014, we might have spent over $12 billion and have one 800-mile north-south line in California. We have a long way to go to catch up. While Europe has been focusing on compact development using less energy along transportation corridors, we’ve spent the past 60 years devoting ourselves to energy-intensive, automobile-dependent sprawl. Without a significant cultural shift, including compact development and transit connections around high-speed rail stations in a comprehensive system, it’s going to be difficult to make high-speed rail work in the United States.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.