Bookmarks for April 13

charing-crossSimon Callow laments the “bibliocide” of Charing Cross Road, London’s celebrated book village. Fastly becoming an extension of Chinatown or an annexe of Oxford Street. Regular readers of the blog will recall that we like a good bookshop at the Northern Light and we regret the street’s passing too.

+ The Guardian went to town with its analysis of the G20 riots, noting that the rise of the “citizen cameraman” is changing the relationship between protestor and police. Ian Jack offers some awesome analysis on how powerful the photograph has become, but warns that at best they only offer a half truth. Elsewhere, Paul Walker reports on how the shock of Ian Tomlinson’s death was felt around the world; while Martin Preston , a press photographer, gives a vivid account of what it feels like to be at the business end of a police baton.

+ The great Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm admits that socialism has failed and that capitalism is bankcrupt. He asks, what’s next?

+ Not a Neverland built on the never-never. Johann Hari on the dark side of Dubai: “a living metal metaphor for the neo-liberal globalised world that may be crashing into history”.

+ If Dubai’s vision of the future is now obsolete, what comes next? John Geraci, founder of DIY Cities thinks that open source applications could lead the way to a new kind of urban planning. “The conversation about the future of our cities should involve the people living in those cities … it should be about how to reinvent these services as modern, efficient things, how to make them work at a fraction of their current cost, and, while we’re at it, how to make them better than they are now.” My vote would be to work out a way that hisoric quarters selling, say, books, shouldn’t be left to fade away.

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