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Monday, January 23, 2012

These people are smarter than you

Comments (62)

Of course they're smarter than you - they get to take your money, after all.

Love to see how the Lents "eco-district" works out...

WTH was that all about? Is their some way to parse out the actual intent and plan from the jargon? I am a proud liberal, but this makes me want to change my allegiance.

'Demand management strategies' is the key here - to 'CHANGE PEOPLE'S BEHAVIOR.'

There's no tinfoil hat about it - control will and has always been their goal.

This is crazy. I will send this link to a dozen people today. Ten of those recipients will believe that it is a Portlandia skit.

"Regulatory incentives" makes my head explode

To be more precise, looking at the Portland Sustainability Institute's 2010 IRS filing, they got $800,000 in revenue.

$575,000 of that comes from "government contracts", and $45,000 from "higher education contract" (read PSU).

Robert Bennett, the guy who starts the video, is paid $112,252.

Of course he's smarter than you.

Sam Adams founded this organization, of course.

Mouthing cut and paste on the fly!

Actually, they cribbed from this WEBsite:


The Urbanism BS Generator.

When you are doing nothing meaasurable it helps when you can confuse everyone so they don't understand what's going on.

I'm amazed to the day about how much crap political types get away with.

To summarize:
It appears the genesis of ecodistricts involves integrated neighborhood solutions. Ecodistrict is a framing strategy of neighborhood scale community with environmental performance improvement as an ecodistrict model.

If there is ongoing governance with so much rainwater infiltrated or evapor-transferred then we get to a build environment. The demand management strategy using social capital can make ecodistricts into econeighborhoods. Using soft flow design, together with environmental performance standards will produce the necessary enabling strategies for everyone.

Rajneeshpuram in the 21st century. Why does it keep happening here?

Stop posting clips from "Portlandia" like they are real.

"Soft flow design" kinda turned me on a little bit.

The Naomi Cole babe has a bit of a smirk....almost as if she's putting us on. In reality she's putting herself on with such incoherence....completely laughable.

Steve nails it above with http://www.ruderal.com/bullshit/bullshit.htm....it makes more sense than any of the smirking talking heads.

I prefer soft flow to hard flow.

you are too cool semi-beard guy, but where am i going to park my car?

"The Naomi Cole babe has a bit of a smirk....almost as if she's putting us on. In reality she's putting herself on with such incoherence....completely laughable."

One of the great things about the video is that everyone looks perfectly cast for their roles.

In terms of attitude towards social control, Ms. Cole can be seen as the direct descendant of Carrie Nation - except that the enemy is now Demon Consumption instead of Demon Rum. (Of course, to get Carrie Nation off your back, all you have to do is quit drinking - to pacify Ms. Cole, you have to alter every aspect of your behavior.)

Best condensed psycho babble I've heard in a long time.

Thanks for the link, Steve. Hours of fun there!



(That's the sound of my head exploding.)

"enabling strategies" is the clever new jargon for "behavior modification".

"In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. . . Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. . . Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them."

-George Orwell

If it looks like BS and smells like BS and sounds like BS and it's coming out of these "elite" overpaid uber educated folk's mouths, then it must be the gospel "truth", doncha know? Pure unadulterated BS at it's best/worst and they get paid oodles of loot to boot,what nonsense, lol.
dg above, frankly, I prefer warm, wet and kinda slippery.
On another note, how do you build an "ideal" community (Lents) around a stinky slop bucket recycling center? I wouldn't want to live there, or raise my kids anywhere close by, unless I got a huge grant that pays for everything and a twenty year tax abatement incentive.

They took all of our money so they must be smarter than us.

I've become familiar with the term "highly educated idiot" lately. A lot of behavior within the Portland city council, Metro, TriMet, etc. is HEI behavior. These folks are educated, but that doesn't stop them from acting and sounding like complete idiots.

Cool guy needs a hair cut

Hey, I can do it to thanks to the handy Generator!

"With proper funding we can inculcate frictionless dichotomies and reveal algorithmic terrains (aka, diagram porous partnerships), while also allowing us to curate site-specific ecologies and ensure the biodiversity of front-end programs as each ecodistrict reintermediates the network of collaborative architectures."

That'll be five thousand dollars.

More wisdom from Ms. Cole:

"Our strategy is based on five pilot districts. ... The last two are called Gateway and Lents. They are primarily residential, lower-income. We have done the least work to date out there."

I'm sure the people "out there" are going to appreciate Ms. Cole's efforts!

Oh. My. God. I have a doctorate degree and have been in professional practice for 27 years which at least involves some clarity of communication. What the HELL are most of these people talking about ?(particularly the dark haired woman who is just speaking jargon without content.) Oy!

I made it to 1:52

A massive uprising and purging of these silly baboons from the public arena is the only answer.

The mountain of useless printings behind their worse than useless utterances is like a
pandemic of human defect.

Other than that they seem like nice people.

I met Mark Gregory years ago.

He was TERRIFIED of driving a car: he relied on his wife's driving prowess, friends, or public transportation.

Maybe the War on Automobiles is about something bigger than Global Warming?

I believe Vera was autophobic also.

Fear is a powerful emotion.

He has a good heart, really. I hope that someday he gets into a car accident so that I can have it.

Ask Robert Bennett why the Portland Sustainability Institute has not been at the forefront in saving a most sustainable water system in our country, our Bull Run Water System?

In my opinion, some people are “taught within a box with tools/words they are to promote” and cannot or will not go outside of that box. One such promotion - eco districts, recycling water and technology for populations to accept toilet to drinking water. In places where there is nothing left but dirty water, that may be needed, although I would add, why allow such dirty pollution in the first place. It couldn’t be that corporations are behind this, they can dirty up the water, and be paid to “clean it back” somehow? All wrapped up in a nice corporation/governmental/university collaboration? So very smart they are and like foot soldiers out to educate the rest of us. Also, sounds like another avenue to redo and profit from redoing neighborhoods in our city.


Schools and Universities: Do most schools teach young people to be action-oriented -- or to be passive? Do most schools teach young people that they can affect their surroundings -- or not to bother? Do schools provide examples of democratic institutions -- or examples of authoritarian ones?
A long list of school critics from Henry David Thoreau to John Dewey, John Holt, Paul Goodman, Jonathan Kozol, Alfie Kohn, Ivan Illich, and John Taylor Gatto have pointed out that a school is nothing less than a miniature society: what young people experience in schools is the chief means of creating our future society. Schools are routinely places where kids -- through fear -- learn to comply to authorities for whom they often have no respect, and to regurgitate material they often find meaningless. These are great ways of breaking someone.
Today, U.S. colleges and universities have increasingly become places where young people are merely acquiring degree credentials -- badges of compliance for corporate employers -- in exchange for learning to accept bureaucratic domination and enslaving debt.

Not to keep picking on Ms. Cole, but:

"With the proposed design of the Oregon Sustainability Center on Portland State University’s campus, the design team, architects, and engineers have determined that they could get to a goal of net zero energy through about 70 percent efficiency of building systems, façade, and renewable energy, but that the remaining 30 percent has to come through occupant behavior."

So in other words, for all the gee-whiz high-tech blather about the building, a third of the savings come through restrictions on occupant behavior. Can't imagine why private firms won't lease there.

In this same article in "Sustainability" magazine, Clark Brockman, "Director of Sustainability" at SERA Architects, lets the cat out of the bag on why PSU was chosen as an "eco-district":

"Something I would add, especially on university campuses, is that they have a much more captive audience in terms of population. Universities are really well positioned to imagine EcoDistricts and begin to integrate them more quickly than other types of neighborhoods."

Nothing is better than a captive population when it comes to sustainability!

How do we stop these people?

These folks have been over-charretted.

Today, U.S. colleges and universities have increasingly become places where young people are merely acquiring degree credentials -- badges of compliance for corporate employers -- in exchange for learning to accept bureaucratic domination and enslaving debt.

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!"

From the doublespeak dictionary:


sustainable development n.
Economic development maintained without global resource depletion and environmental pollution, and without growth in any industry except government.
See also, smart growth

smart growth n.
Bureau slang for “environmentally-friendly totalitarianism.” See also, sustainable development

Maybe the War on Automobiles is about something bigger than Global Warming?

Mr. Tee, you may be right. Vera declared her "war on the automobile" before global warming was a buzzword or in the news.

I agree with Ben. These silly baboons need to be run out of town. The fact that the average blue collar family in Portland (people who have real jobs) has to foot the bill for this nonsense is really sad.

The fact that the average blue collar family in... (people who have real jobs) has to foot the bill for this nonsense is really sad.

Doesn't that describe a lot of what's going on with Portland youth anyways?

I am afraid because of these policies, the people running out of town, will be those wanting to get away from this.

Unfortunately, this agenda can cause the community to be divided, works well for those who are behind the scenes pushing and profiting by this.

I found the video rather sad in ways. The young lady looked in pain, not full of life, or with joy, but with those words she seemed to be so carefully taught. Perhaps she was not comfortable to be on camera...

The talking heads are interesting for what the don't say as well as what they do say. Essentially they exist in worlds of their own making that has no connection to the real world or to real people.

Mark Gregory (PSU)
"We're talking about ways we can use this eco-district to set up an ongoing governance, an ongoing communication with our neighbors that will allow us to do things in an innovative and sort of avant garde way."

MORE governance? And I thought Metro was one layer too many (not including my homeowners' association). And done "in an innovative and sort of avant garde way". Oh joy.

Robert Bennett (PSI)
"Part of the power of Portland Sustainability Institute's sort of broadly taken on the eco-district, and then the way we're framing it up is that it's explicitly a collaborative effort between the business community, local policy makers within the city, and then higher ed. and the support that students and faculty are bringing to bear on the effort."

Did I miss something? What happened to public participation, or even asking if the public wants what they are offering? Ouch!

Robert Bennett (PSI)
"Having close relationships with the Portland Development Commission and the City of Portland and Metro who ultimately unleash hundreds of millions of dollars worth of investment in neighborhood scales and make policy and set regulatory structure and incentives -- having them in the right mix right from the beginning is very helpful."

We are being done in with our own money. Hopefully all of these grand plans will be undone by their own lunacy and all that will be left are the [pot]holes where the money should have gone.

The Oregon University System is one of the partners in this farce? I'm sure that college students will be thrilled to learn that part of their 9% tuition increase is going to fund this.

Portland State is just a real estate development firm any more. And now they're going to play god over everyone who lives and works in their neighborhood.

I go down to that area once a year, and I try to limit my visits to that. There's nothing there worth three bucks, which is the minimum price of entry or exit. (During the week, it's more like five bucks.) So to heck with PSU. They can enjoy their little island of eco-whatever all on their own. Go by streetcar!

If they would just keep it all to their little island of eco - however they plan to be far reaching with their "smart" tentacles.
South Waterfront
Lloyd District
....and they won't stop there. This is just the beginning if they have their way.
I resent PSU students being sent out to our neighborhoods to do "surveys" and making our neighborhoods "their" studies? Especially considering that very close relationship with the city!

They never should have started the thing with Ricky Gervais's comedy partner in the first spot, sort of gave it away, like a story from The Onion, no matter how brilliantly acted you know that all these people are ready to bust a gut laughing at any moment.


The opening says it all, when Mr. Halfbeard starts in with, "Sam Adams went to China... there was a lot of developer interest." No kidding -- the "eco-district" thing is just the next Mark Edlen-Homer Williams snake oil. If only this town had enough sense to grow up and save itself. It doesn't look as though that is going to happen. So instead there will be ruin. I feel bad for my kids.

Robert Bennett, the guy who starts the video, is paid $112,252.

But he is evidently unable to manage his money effectively enough to be able to afford haircuts or Bic razors.

And we should trust him with public funds, why?

This reminded me to find psychobabble in the dictionary......perfect.

I just realized what annoyed me the most about life in Portland. It wasn't just the hipsters. It was that so much of public policy and discussion was led by people that I knew used to get beaten up every day in high school by the anime club. "Stop your crying. If Susie has to get out of her wheelchair to kick your ass, you're really going to get it."

RickN: Portland proper is a tough nut to crack, but here's an example of how surrounding areas are working to slow down if not stop this kind of urban planning from being implemented outside the city. As Jack has amply demonstrated, it's all about citizen scrutiny, education, and activism. Since I filed this interview, linked from Jim Huffman's site, the CRC has offered up a scaled down more economical Columbia Crossing plan. Of course that and a $1.80 will get you a house coffee at Starbucks.


"I just realized what annoyed me the most about life in Portland."

What annoys me most about life in Portland is that it is in fact good to have pleasant, walkable neighborhoods, etc. but that the eco-zealots with their talk of "net zero energy" et. al., manage to bankrupt us, and refuse to make the compromises that cities actually need to function.

Case in point:

"Welcome to Division 43, D.R. Horton’s newest micro home community in SE Portland! Homes starting from the low $100s are sized just right for Portland. And just right for you. Where it’s easy and convenient to live car-free."

Translation: there are no parking spaces provided in the twenty-nine unit development. (The map of the development helpfully points out that it is legal to park on the streets adjacent to the development.)

CoP allowed Horton to get away with providing no parking spaces because:

In the short-run, Portland city planners just know that trendy New Urbanists will move into this development, and they won't buy cars, since Portland city planners don't want them to buy cars.

In the longer-run, residents of the development will be forbidden from owning cars by the CoP.

Glad I don't live near this development...

The opening says it all, when Mr. Halfbeard starts in with, "Sam Adams went to China... there was a lot of developer interest.

He could have said it all by telling us that Sam Adams signed a memorandum with GE, one part is to "develop eco-districts" throughout the city.

Portland is the first city in the United States to ink such an agreement with General Electric.

What did Mayor sign and did our community have a say about this?

"Even if the voices in my head aren't real, they still have some pretty good ideas".

Mark -- The article from the NW Free Press is illuminating. And sick. Thanks to David Madore's willingness to get to the bottom of the financial scandal that lurks behind a lot of these publicly financed projects. It also brings into question how much of a private entity's records are open to public scrutiny. Hmmmm. Has this been tested anywhere? Anyone ever get a look at Homer's books?

"What did the Mayor sign"


From the document, Section 2(c):

"The parties will work together to develop a mutually acceptable operating rhythm whereby GE and Portland will participate in information exchanges in development of the Shared Vision and projects..."

Sounds vaguely obscene.

Green is the new Red...

Sadly ironic, but sustainability now is code word for death to liberty

The only thing not sustainable it seems is my sanity if I keep hearing this double speak being foisted on us as communication.

"mutually acceptable operating rhythm"

Is that sex talk???

What fun for the Eloi. Alas I can no longer afford anything with a "framing strategy", a "campus", or anything prefixed with "eco".

I rest my case. It was lovely, Portland...

You have rested your case, my suitcase is getting restless.

Portland is so hip. If only the rest of the country were as hip.

Nolo: Full disclosure, I have never been a public works/transportation "hater" as some have described some of the positions espoused here. When my children were young, back in Fremont, CA, we rode BART all the time and thought it was the greatest thing since Disney's monorail. But times have changed, and I've gotten an education, mostly through assignments. At the Connection, we are looking into these situations because there are a great many citizens who feel they have no voice and value an alternative, critical narrative about the best way forward.

Portland needs a hip replacement. Maybe the rest of the country does too!

On the "grassroots movement" statement-isn't the whole point of a grassroots movement to be free from interference from the establishment? It's hardly a grassroots movement if you have a bunch of planners and "stakeholders" lighting the whole thing off.

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