Torr Leonard Profile picture
28 Dec, 15 tweets, 3 min read
"A few years ago, some blocks of Austin’s South Congress featured a castle-themed wax museum and comic book shop, a bar w/ $1 taco deals, an auto shop and a Santa on horseback.

Then, as at so many other places in Austin, the construction cranes came."…
"Those blocks recently reopened w/ a strip of buildings with shops offering brands from Lululemon to Le Labo perfumes. The $2k+ private club Soho House and an Hermès store are on the way.

Office tenants include consulting firm Deloitte & private-equity firm Tritium Partners LLC"
"developer said he saw a need for national luxury brands in a place where more well-paid execs were coming.

To manager of Auto Works that was there 28yrs before its lease was terminated, it was another reminder that some longtime Austinites can’t afford their own city any more."
"Austin has tried hard to hang on to its particular culture over years of booming growth and popularity, which have attracted money and energy to the city but also brought rising rents and traffic congestion."
"Austin is now one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., with a population of about a million, versus 675,000 in 2000."
"pandemic also has spurred moves to Austin.

Some NYers and SFers, now working remotely, have come for lower rents, great bars and year-round warmth.

Between April-Oct, Austin metro area saw the highest ratio in the country of arrivals to people leaving, according to LinkedIn."
"The arrivals have provided the economy with a boost as local businesses struggle with fallout from the pandemic.

But they also are bringing the city more of the same high costs and gridlock they are escaping."
"Those issues aren’t new.

It has been 20 years since the onetime town of college professors, state employees, musicians and plentiful beer adopted the slogan “Keep Austin Weird.”
"Riffs on that have sprung up in other cities seeing fast growth and an influx of California cash, such as Portland, Ore., and Boise, Idaho, as they too try to hold on to local flavor and affordability."
"But what is playing out in Austin now is on a sped-up timeline.

The prospect of the once laid-back city turning into another San Francisco, crowded and ultraexpensive, feeds intense political wrangling over zoning, density, transportation and city social programs."
"Many tech leaders & workers say clustering is good for innovation & they wanted to move to Austin because others were.

Some new arrivals say they wanted to be in a city w/ a socially progressive reputation, but also like limited regulations and the lack of a state income tax."
"City and state leaders, often at loggerheads, have celebrated the relocation of people to Austin while disputing whose policies provide the draw."
"The Republican governor credited the state’s business-friendly policies.

“Regulations are a hindrance to innovation,” he said.

“The leaders of these organizations are not coming to Austin for socially liberal reasons.”
"In recent years, more people have moved to Austin from elsewhere in Texas than from out of state, according to census data.

The city is relatively young, with many families and children.

Still, the influx from Silicon Valley, in particular, has caught the attention of locals"

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More from @torrHL

29 Dec
“Amazon’s Halo fitness tracker not only measures your heart rate and exercise routines but also your moods;

it records your voice, analyzes your tone, and issues detailed reports of your emotional states throughout the day.”…
“That first day a vexed emoji told me I was ‘stern’ or ‘discouraged’ for 16 percent of the day.

“You had one phrase that sounded restrained and sad’ for 1.6 seconds at 12:30 p.m. … But 8 percent of the day, including for 14.4 seconds at exactly 11:41:41 a.m., I was ‘satisfied.”
“Halo promises to deliver only narcissism and self-obsession.

The device doesn’t offer real insight into your inner states but reports on how you seem to other people.”
Read 6 tweets
29 Dec
"the number of misinformation-related terms posted on Twitter has surged more than 200% this year compared to 2019, from just over 8 million mentions last year to more than 26 million in 2020 — and the year isn’t over yet."…
"On the other hand, people are more likely to invoke misinformation as a way to dismiss uncomfortable facts or as a cause of various problems that they find challenging or unfortunate."
"But the online conversation surrounding misinformation often isn’t being driven by fact-checkers or media outlets reporting false claims.

Zignal Labs found that online discussion of misinformation came from a range of sources."
Read 4 tweets
29 Dec
“Jimmy Carter did something peculiar for a peacetime president.

He asked Americans to sacrifice:

to consume less, take public transit more, value community over material things, and buy bonds to fund domestic energy development, including solar.”…
“From our vantage, this may sound very farsighted and bold.

But any prescient, planet-saving leadership seen shimmering through hindsight is a mirage.

The speech and the panels advanced a program with the narrow goal of energy independence, not decarbonization.”
“Carter wanted to expand and secure the nation’s economic wheel beyond OPEC’s reach, not question it, shrink it, slow it, or “green” it.

“We have more oil in our shale alone than several Saudi Arabias [and] more coal than any nation on earth,” he boasted in the speech.
Read 8 tweets
28 Dec
"Children are more at risk of contracting the coronavirus at a social gathering than in a classroom or childcare setting, according to a study of nearly 400 youth in Mississippi."…
"Compared with children who tested negative, those who tested positive were more likely to have attended gatherings and have had visitors at home, the researchers found."
"Additionally, parents or guardians of children who were infected were less likely to report wearing masks at those gatherings."
Read 4 tweets
28 Dec
"one transit mode on TMNT’s chart was surprisingly carbon-light compared to nearly all others:

*Durable* “Vespa-like” electric scooters are greener than trains, buses, and any hybrid or EV."…
'an electric scooter subsidy could easily be modeled on CA’s EV subsidy.

Such a subsidy would actually be much more effective in tackling climate change, too, by actually changing the transportation habits—and maybe even other lifestyle decisions, down the line—of Americans."
"And for the working poor, many of whom live in places where car ownership is mandatory to find and keep work, it would amount to a revolution in mobility."
Read 11 tweets
28 Dec
"Companies Seek to Green the Grid With Trash Gas -

Pipeline owners and utilities eye manure, landfills, sewage to burnish environmental credentials."…
"MO hardly produces any natural gas, unless you count the hogs.

The methane wafting from manure ponds at swine farms across the state is increasingly funneled into pipelines and delivered to power plants & homes, where it is burned alongside shale gas for heat, showers & cooking
"Smithfield Foods Inc., the country’s largest pork producer, expects to be selling gas from all of its Missouri farming operations by summer.

Most of its farms already feed methane into the gas grid."
Read 4 tweets

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