2018年3月22日 星期四

Tech Envisions the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City 科技業的終極想像:新創整座城市

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2018/03/23 第208期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
編輯小語 Tech Envisions the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City 科技業的終極想像:新創整座城市
No Dancing, No Swaying: Saudi Pop Concert Comes With Warning 沙國聽演唱會 禁舞蹈搖擺
Tech Envisions the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City 科技業的終極想像:新創整座城市
文/Emily Badger

For all the optimism, innovation and wealth that are produced here, the Bay Area can also feel like a place that doesn't work quite right.

The cost of housing has priced out teachers and line cooks. Income inequality is among the widest in the nation. The homeless crisis never seems to ebb. Traffic is a mess. On bad days, transit is, too. And local governments are locked in conflict.



Clearly, the region has not been optimized.

"It could be so much better," said Ben Huh, who moved to San Francisco in 2016 after running the Cheezburger blog empire in Seattle. "There's so much wealth. There's so much opportunity."



In the maddening gap between how this place functions and how inventors and engineers here think it should, many have become enamored with the same idea: What if the people who build circuits and social networks could build cities, too? Wholly new places, designed from scratch and freed from broken policies.

Huh leads a project begun by the startup accelerator Y Combinator to explore the creation of new cities. Hundreds applied to work on what looked like "the ultimate full-stack startup." Last October, Sidewalk Labs, an Alphabet company, announced it would team up with a government agency in Toronto to redevelop a stretch of the city "from the internet up."


何賓領導由新創加速器Y Combinator開始的一項專案,研究如何創造新城市,數百人應徵想加入這個像是建立「終極全端開發新創公司」的工作。去年10月,字母公司旗下的「人行道實驗室」宣布,將和多倫多的政府機構合作,「從網路開始」再開發這座城市的一個區塊。

For others in tech — intrigued by word of a proposed smart city in Arizona, a big Bitcoin land grab in Nevada, a special economic zone in Honduras — fantasizing about newly built cities has become a side gig. They dream of utopias with driverless cars, radical property-ownership models, 3-D-printed houses and skyscrapers assembled in days.

While some urban planners roll their eyes, it is true that America's cities have always been built on someone's hubris, whether the characters who plotted New York's street grid or those who imagined the Golden Gate Bridge.



"Who were these guys who were thinking so big? Then the question is, where are those people now?" said Paul Romer, the former chief economist at the World Bank, whose ideas (and TED talks) on new "charter cities" have influenced some in tech. "Tech types — as much as people might talk about the parochial way they're approaching it — deserve credit for thinking bigger than anybody in government right now."

Their interest has an internal logic to it. The tech industry tries to produce better versions of familiar things — cheaper phones, smaller computers, faster chips. But cities like San Francisco don't seem to be evolving into more efficient versions of themselves.






新創公司成立後,通常需要「創業加速器」(accelerator) 的幫助,新創企業加速器是媒合新創公司與投資方的機構,讓新創公司獲得資金。此外還有startup incubator,為「創業孵化器」,為普遍小規模的新創公司提供創業、法律、財務或管理等諮詢服務,協助其公司組織發展健全的機構。

full-stack常見於「full-stack developer」一詞,意為「全端開發者」,指的是同時具有前端程式設計能力和後端伺服器及資料庫存取能力,有開發一個應用程式能力的工程師。

side gig意同sideline,為「副業」之意,前者為口語用法。對於在主業之餘經營副業,同時具有多重身分的年輕人,最近的流行說法是「斜槓(slash)青年」,例如「工程師/吉他手/插畫家」。

charter有「特許」之意,charter cities是經濟學家保羅.羅默所提出的新概念,他以香港為例,開發中國家可透過特許方式,畫定特別區域,施行實驗性政策並觀察其效果,有利於國家整體發展。

No Dancing, No Swaying: Saudi Pop Concert Comes With Warning 沙國聽演唱會 禁舞蹈搖擺
文/Nour Youssef

The concert seemed like it would be another adventurous step for ultraconservative Saudi Arabia: a pop star famous for lively love songs performing in a kingdom where, until recently, public concerts were prohibited.

But that was before the tickets went on sale, and buyers saw the terms and conditions.



"Dancing is strictly prohibited during the concert," the tickets stated in fine print. Also banned: "Swaying."

The regulations for the March 30 concert by Tamer Hosny, a popular Egyptian singer whose lyrics sometimes contain sexual innuendo, were issued by the kingdom's entertainment authority and announced last week.



Greeted with criticism and mockery on social media in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East, the rules underlined the balancing act that the Saudi government must perform as it takes steps toward the liberalization called for by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a society that may not be entirely comfortable with it.

"No dancing or swaying. Why go then? To pray? This is a music concert," wrote Abdellah Benaddi, a Twitter user.



Authorities also instructed ticket vendors to show concertgoers a longer list of rules: No smoking. "Modest outfits" required. Men and women segregated.

"To those going to the Tamer Hosny concert: don't dance or sway. Just pray for the Prophet," Mezan, a Twitter user from Saudi Arabia, wrote.

"The attendees must perform their ablutions before coming so they can perform the evening prayers right after the concert," another Twitter user added sarcastically.

The restrictions represented another example of how foreign cultural imports like concerts have been adjusted to fit with the kingdom's ultraconservative society.


沙國的推特用戶梅桑寫道:「致塔默.何斯尼演唱會的觀眾:切忌跳舞或搖擺。 只為先知祈禱。」



Mohammed, 32, has moved rapidly and radically since he was named crown prince in 2017. He has confronted Iran, Saudi Arabia's Middle East rival; ordered the arrests of princes and members of the Saudi business elite in what he called an anti-corruption crackdown; and curbed the powers of clerics.

In September, the government announced that it would lift the ban on women driving this year. Since then, it has hosted several concerts, including one by Greek composer Yanni, and promised to allow commercial movie theaters, ending a 35-year ban.

His modernizing campaign also includes a plan to reduce the petroleum-rich kingdom's near-total reliance on oil revenue, and to attract tourism.


去年9月,政府宣布今年將取消女性開車禁令。 其後,沙國舉辦了數場音樂會,包括希臘作曲家雅尼的音樂會,並承諾終結35年禁令,允許商業電影院存在。



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