This blog will cover a variety of topics that come to mind, including transportation, cities, parks and public lands, government, design, tech, geography, and education.

Also, check out my blog posts written for work at the Sunlight Foundation.


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Post queue

This is a list of posts I’m planning to write. It was inspired by the post queue on Alon Levy’s blog, Pedestrian Observations.

Transportation, cities, and regions:

  • A follow-up to my post about the limitations of GTFS transit mode classifications. Specifically, this post will propose a new way of describing transit services that focuses on service instead of technology.
  • My experiences visiting mid-sized US cities, including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Sacramento.
  • Observation from navigating the transit systems of Paris, Barcelona, and Madrid.
  • What other cities can learn from transit in San Francisco.
  • Planning-driven operations vs. operations-driven planning (for transit systems), and why the former is better.
  • Why I think the key to the future of national rail service in the United States is medium-speed unreserved trains, in contrast to high-speed rail, which is what most discussions center on.
  • A potential vision for rail service on the Northeast Corridor, integrating everything from high-speed and long-distance rail to short-distance commuter services.
  • Why the “last mile” problem in urban transit isn’t nearly as much of a problem as people think, and can actually be a good thing. (Basically, elaborating on this post.)
  • My categorization of the three primary non-industrial land uses, and how their spatial distribution can best be matched to transit service. (An elaboration on both this post and this one.)

Geography:

  • Correcting misconceptions: Why most rural Americans live in the East, not the West (and most live in large states, not small ones).
  • What constitutes a local government? Understanding cities, counties, county equivalents, etc.
  • What assets should count as local vs. regional?

Public lands and natural beauty:

  • Great public lands that are not National Parks (other NPS, BLM, USFS, FWS, state — probably each a separate post).
  • Why the West is more scenic than the East.

Government:

  • How cities can restructure place-based departments to deliver results for residents.
  • My concept for a field of Government Design (“GovDesign”).
  • The relationship between OpenGov, GovDesign, and GovTech.
  • An agenda for fire department reform (yes, that’s a thing).

Education and math:

  • My observations about math education and number sense, after having been a math tutor for a year and a half.
  • Some of the techniques I used to show my students about doing arithmetic in ways that rely on dealing with the actual quantities, especially ones that are helpful for doing mental math, in contrast to some traditional pencil-and-paper methods like long division.
  • How I came to love 0-indexing of numbering, and why I think being conscious of the usage of 0-indexing vs. 1-indexing in everyday life (and incorporating more 0-indexing) can be very helpful. Also included in this discussion are closed, half-closed, and open intervals, and discrete vs. continuous data.
  • Philosophy of science, and how I see the different fields of science relating to each other in different ways. (A modified version of this diagram.)
  • What topics I think are over- and under-emphasized in high school curricula.
  • How different academic disciplines (particularly in universities) have much more in common than people realize.

Other:

  • Equal representation in legislative bodies based on population makes a lot of sense. But, it does have a major challenge that is rarely discussed, and this post will explain what it is.
  • Examples from my life (and my observations) of how more choice can be a bad thing, inspired by this book.


The blogs I follow the most:

And some others: