So are any of you folks following this or in New York participating?  I'm curious to see what the Archinect community thinks.  There are a few local sympathy protests planned as well.  It would be nice if we could somehow make our country a little better.

Sep 29, 11 9:38 am

Been following it, and the most striking revelation is that both the left and the right have been extremely snarky against the protesters. Very odd. The right is all "shoot all the hippies". And the left is like "you idiots are not helping".

This leads me to only possible conclusion: that collapse of the US is well deserved by every participant and observer. It's all over. Time to pack it up and go back to Ireland, or Italy or wherever grandpa came over from. 

Sep 29, 11 11:02 am

Some thoughts have been posted here, in the news: Whose Public Space Is This? 80 Arrested in Wall Street.

Sep 29, 11 11:38 am

Ireland has been slammed by the downturn and Italy just got downgraded, better think of some other alternatives.

The idea that government is going to change anything is absurd. At least as far as change to improve conditions for the majority of Americans. Goldman Sachs rules the world.


Sep 29, 11 11:42 am

Just learned about it a couple days ago.  of course in the beginning these kinds of protests usually bring out the circus acts (and get attacked from both sides - anyone remember the Iraq war protests?), but once they get larger it starts to look a little more normal.  maybe the kids are finally starting to do something.

Sep 29, 11 12:01 pm

Ireland has been slammed by the downturn and Italy just got downgraded, better think of some other alternatives.

greece? spain?

yeah it's starting to look more normal

u.s. 'fall' indeed

Sep 29, 11 12:06 pm

I don't really get the point of the protests because I haven't really seen anyone actually have a specific agenda regarding what they want Wall Street to change— derivatives trading, artificially inflating commodities, repackaged securities, hedge funds?

Whether Democrat or Republican, I don't think much of this is a national policy failure. Think about it this way; who was responsible for authorizing the construction and renovation of so many homes financed by so many bad mortgages? Local and county government was. All of that mortgage money just gave them an incredible lump sum of cash to play with that's obviously leading to more problems.

The issue here is really that no one can afford to buy many of these bloated overpriced properties for two reasons:

  • The cost of living is artificially high due to mandated automobile ownership
  • Real wages haven't increased in close to 40 years

Our cities and towns simply aren't economically competitive anymore and haven't been for some time. I don't know why everyone is so hesitant to admit this. But the sooner we admit that we've built up millions of acres of shit, the faster we can dismantle it.

Sep 29, 11 1:12 pm

I lost all hope that the US will recover.  The economy is not going to change as long as the powerful people who control it keep making money.  The U.S is fucked. 

 I agree James....that we need to dismantle the shit habitat we created.  The only way we can improve the economy is if everything collapses and then communities tend to localise and decentralise production and economy.  I wrote a paper on this for my thesis...inter-community competition is a great idea. The problem is that all cities and towns have become homogenious, and have been dominated by large centralised industries and corporations making each place as shitty as the next.  If we localise and decentralise things like agriculture, manufacturing, clean energy production, etc...cities and towns would be able to evolve and prosper independent from the global forces that currently dictate their fate. 

Sep 29, 11 1:38 pm

j.arleo: "...we need to dismantle the shit habitat we created.  The only way we can improve the economy is if everything collapses..."

In 1932, the Saturday Evening Post asked John Maynard Keynes, the British economist, if the Depression had any precedent. “Yes,’ he replied. ‘It was called the Dark Ages, and it lasted four hundred years.”

Be careful what you wish for. 

Sep 29, 11 3:21 pm

nice answer from keynes.  smart dude.

when i saw the protests at wall street couldn't help but think about this one also going on in israel.  i can't help but feel like we are back in 1968.  civil society is on the rise all over the world.

maybe this time there will be real change. 

Sep 29, 11 4:02 pm

change to what?

Sep 29, 11 4:10 pm

wrote rusty!, 'Be careful what you wish for.'

Sep 29, 11 4:26 pm

Please post if there are any similar activities here on the west coast, I'm in.

Excellent Keynes quote.


Sep 29, 11 5:10 pm

watcha waitin' for?  start the revolution right now!

Sep 29, 11 5:34 pm

Protesting Wall Street is actually pretty pointless.  The banks are already toasted with their loads of shitty debt.  When the rich boy experts are saying things like "all we need to do is figure out a way to turn 1 euro into 5 euros" then you know it's game over, yo!

On second thought, it might be fun to head down to Wall Street with a guillotine, yo!

Sep 29, 11 6:39 pm

National policy is dictated by corporate interests. The US military is the security arm of the corporate-financial complex. Depending on a government that is laregly owned and subservient to corporate interests is an exercise in futility.

Having run out of things to pump and dump, the corporate-financial complex is now destroying soverign economies for profit. Greece is the Lehman Brothers of soverign economies. If it goes down, a good portion of the stock market (and the global economy) goes with it because of the Double Irish, which is largely "invested" in Greek bonds because of their marginally higher rates.

We need to bring economic warfare to those who are waging it against us. Hit them where it hurts. Opt out of corporate service and payments as much as you can, support your local community by dealing locally and bartering.

If everyone stopped buying health insurance, they'd go out of business and we could have universal single payer. Apply the same principle to all corproations, especially banks and the media. Time to make a run on the banks and get whatever money you have in there OUT.

It's up to us to change the system.


Sep 29, 11 7:19 pm

do you really not have a bank account, miles?

<sent from my iPhone>

Sep 29, 11 7:36 pm

No health insurance, eh?  So who fixes my broken arm or pays for my emergency meds?  Does that mean no car insurance too?  


Everyone agrees there needs to be change, but I for one, do not want to live in the woods, hunting and bartering to survive, in the hopes that some new "system" emerges.

If things truly were to collapse, it would be chaos.  I'd be grabbing a few guns, booze, water and canned food and heading to the hills.  No civilization would be safe enough to live in a metropolitan area (imho).

My picture of "bartering" is who has a bigger gun, bigger balls and less to lose.


Evolution is the only answer, everything else would be hell.  I have no answer, but hell sounds a lot worse than what we have now.

Sep 29, 11 8:52 pm

im ready for the dark ages, and for Greece, Ireland, and Portugal to go bankrupt

Sep 29, 11 9:20 pm

i have had the thought now for several years that we may be moving toward sovereignty being the province of corporations and the idea of a sovereign nation as we know it becoming a historical footnote --- that within a couple hundred years, each person's allegiance, sense of something like nationalism, and the social order that governs his/her reality will be tied to the corporation into which (s)he was born or (s)he emigrated and that such allegiance will be almost completely divorced from geographic locale.  Relating this thought back to architecture, I imagine something like an ethnic or regional style of building or the actual lifestyle of the person, for that matter, is primarily derivative of the corporate culture to which they belong and their socio-economic status within that corporation.

Sep 29, 11 10:09 pm

Everyone agrees there needs to be change, but I for one, do not want to live in the woods, hunting and bartering to survive, in the hopes that some new "system" emerges.

Trace... what the eventual scenario is and is one that is already happening is the United States is going to become more and more a collection of a few major cities with increasing levels of poverty outside of them.

If "less important" states don't active decisively and quickly, you might as well change the name of the U.S. to the United States of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Seattle.

The larger cities will continue to pump the nation dry of both money and talent. We've already observed that in urban planning and architecture where it almost seems inevitable that any aspiring architect or planner has to spend 5 or so years in a major city to "get their feet wet."

Many cities in the U.S. can be easily competitive. Florida has a huge international appeal but it's cities lack basic amenities. Meanwhile, places like Ohio and Pennsylvania have beautiful cities but no appeal. So, there's not a one-size-fits-all approach. Many of our cities also have a more basic "transportation" problem which really hampers the mobilization of the economy.

I also fully accept that sometimes we have to sell out too. New development, especially compact development, will simply not come about unless we play nice with the Starbucks and the CVSes of the business world.

Sep 30, 11 1:08 am

I disagree with that.  I think the country will continue to decentralize, as we have been seeing for a while now.  Technology allows distance to be overcome fairly easily.  I have worked with our clients all over the world, never needing to meet face to face.  Sure, the big cities will still be big, but the prohibitive cost to live, aging infrastructure, etc., will continue to push people into more contemporary places that are less expensive.

There are several multi-billion dollar developments around the country, some in large cities, some on the outskirts.  What they offer is #1 jobs, #2 inexpensive solutions, and #3 well planned communities.  They are turnkey solutions with light rail, modern schools, hospitals, jobs.  That's how I see things continuing.  Not suburbia, but fully contained, economically and environmentally friendly places to live that offer architectural diversity.  

Personally, I think this is a good thing.  It keeps cities from being over populated, minimizes needless sprawl, and gives those of us with small businesses a great place to thrive, raise a family, etc.


I remain optimistic, and I hope people are just joking (if not, then we are in real trouble) that they'd like the country to fall apart.  Clearly, chaos does not bring about a "better" order, that kind of thinking is truly fairy tale land.  

Sep 30, 11 8:57 am

looks like it's gaining steam:

union groups and organizers throwing support behind protests.


Sep 30, 11 2:05 pm

"I remain optimistic, and I hope people are just joking"

Me too. Although it's hard to remain optimistic, gleeful enthusiasm about a total societal collapse from otherwise smart people kind of scares me.

Trace, please don't run into the woods with a gun. That's what every other yahoo with a gun will do as well. And then what?

Our best bet is to accept that the decline will continue for another 10-15 years until baby boomer generation becomes politically irrelevant (let's go diabeetus!!).

Sep 30, 11 2:07 pm

and from the article:


The protestors have transformed the park into a village of sorts, complete with a community kitchen, a library, a concert stage, an arts and crafts center and a media hub.

Sep 30, 11 2:07 pm

By Bob on 09/29/11 at 3:26 PM

If your really want to punish "greed and avarice" you would direct your attention to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their Democratic enablers: Barney Frank and Chris Dodd...and Frank Raines, and Jim Johnson, and David Maxwell (bet you don't even know who they are, do you?)  But then that wouldn't fit your idiotic socialist narrative, would it?

By Bento on 09/29/11 at 3:32 PM

Ironic to learn that people who are marching (in part) against the influence of money in politics will be joined by the unions.  Let's hope these kids are smart enough to recognize their enemy when they are up close.

Sep 30, 11 2:55 pm

FRaC, they've successfully cloned you and named the clones Bob and Bento. Maybe the end IS near.

Sep 30, 11 3:48 pm

nah, no clones .. i still have faith that most americans do not agree with and mindlessly repeat the misguided speech of democratic socialists of america member cornel west

Sep 30, 11 4:05 pm

I love it when people say they are getting the hell out of the country because it is rough in the US. The economy stinks, no jobs, no rights, it is all going to hell... When the US hits a recession other countries go down the toilet completely. I am in one of those other countries but I am from the US. At the moment he US is like paradise in comparison. My case is a little extreme but I can tell you it is worse everywhere else right now.

There will be no societal collapse in the USA. There isn't going to be a revolution or a singular moment when everything goes down the shitter and the people either step out of it with some great resolve, or get stuck in an eternal apocalypse scrounging for grubs in the woods. Things aren't so bad. Take a look at the condition of countries throughout history right before they collapse, go to war, or explode into violence. I assure you the conditions don't include health insurance and underpaid professionals. If you still have access to hummus and Starbucks and you aren't actually dealing with water and electricity problems you should be fine. 

Seriously, I thought architects got out more. Didn't you all have to do some work/study thing at school? Real poverty isn't going to hit the architects. You are all safe. That's all. Time to have a sprout sandwich and look for jobs on the internets. Do you still have internets where you are? You should be fine. Don't worry.


Sep 30, 11 5:57 pm

be happy!

Sep 30, 11 6:05 pm

Well, I thought this was an interesting interview from someone down with the protestors on Wall St this week:

Sep 30, 11 6:11 pm

FRaC you are correct that unions tend to equal well-funded influence on politics, and I'm not a supporter of that aspect of unions.  But unions, at their best, are in support of decent living conditions for working people.  Can anyone really be against that?  On the flip side, tea partiers, at their best, are for less waste in government, and can anyone really be against that?  It's these divisive extremes that are killing us.


I support the Occupy Wall Street protestors because I support protests of governmentally enabled avarice in general.  I also happen to love hippies, even moreso when they do shower.

Sep 30, 11 8:49 pm

The tea party is pure astroturf, founded by Washington insider Dick Armey and Funded by the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers. They don't want efficiency in government, they want it to serve them exclusively.

Unions, like all power structures, tend towards corruption. But let's not lose sight of the fact that unions abolished child labor and unsafe working conditions and gave people living wages, retirement and health care.

The government has a job that it is clearly abandoned - read the preamble to the constitution.

The fortunes of a few are made from the poverty of many.

Sep 30, 11 9:17 pm

Well, looks like it is organizing:

I was going to go sailing tomorrow, but I think I'll join the folks in LA @ CIty Hall, sounds like a great way to spend my time. 



Sep 30, 11 10:40 pm

sailing?  soooo elitist

Oct 1, 11 12:18 pm

There's a balance out there that just seems to be all too elusive these days.  That's the problem, from where I sit.  We have extremes on so many fronts that no one, on any side, can get any clarity.  There is no fight or help for the middle class.



Back to optimism...I do hope that after all of this we all have a little less stomach for needless war.  Personally, I had no idea the actual costs (monetary).  With all this debt sensationalism, I would hope that next time around we aren't so supportive of committing $100's of billions per year to invasions. 


rusty - when I head to the woods I'll have a bigger gun and more booze, so don't worry about me!  ;-)

Oct 1, 11 1:17 pm

i was thinking this morning of a worst-case scenario wherein the politics stays broken, wall street stays focused on the short-term, multi-nationals do not reinvest in the US, and we continue to find a new equilibrium involving lower standard of living for many in response to the effects of globalization. 

whether these dynamics persist for one more year or fifty more years, at some point, the 300+ million people left here, just to have any promising future at all in this place, have to reinvest in infrastructure, the educational system, and government reform.  without these things, no amount of cheap money or tax loophole giveaways or propaganda is going to keep corporations invested here...and it seems like the longer it takes for us to create the political and economic space to accomplish these things, the more difficult and costly it will be to realize them

Oct 1, 11 2:30 pm

Well, I am happy to report back we had a successful march today in LA:

A friend of mine just sent me this quote:

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
Oct 1, 11 7:40 pm

FRaC, I am unclear what is "elitist" about taking a sailboat into the ocean.  Would you enlighten us?

Oct 1, 11 7:50 pm

Keith, FRaC is just paying devil's advocate, caricature of the most devoted ideologue you can find under the 'right' umbrella. It kind of works, because he will annoy you and make you think harder by poking the right buttons. I like it.

Oct 1, 11 8:11 pm

So I am embarrassed to say I did not know the source of these protests. 5 years ago I would have been of top of this. 

This was a call to arms by Adbusters magazine, a cause that got picked up by none other than anonymous.

This just went from interesting to HOLY SHIT!

Stay tuned. This one isn't going to end in a whimper.  


Oct 1, 11 8:20 pm

Rusty, OK, no worries.  In the spirit of full disclosure, I did feel guilty about going to lunch w/ a friend and having a cold beer during the protest....

But anyway the reason I am posting is I had a very positive experience being apart of it, I will do it again, and encourage anyone thinking about joining these events and supporting what I think can, and will, become a very positive movement in the US.

Oct 1, 11 8:29 pm


Oct 1, 11 9:28 pm

Best collection of images. So far. 

Oct 2, 11 3:57 am


Oct 2, 11 11:30 am

FRaC, the revolution is not televised.  The only reliable source of media is from twitter, webcams, and the people you see in that picture.  That's what democracy looks like in the 21st century.  They were camped out there for about 2 weeks before any other media outlet took notice.

Oct 2, 11 11:47 am

$10 boat rental = elitist?

that's what I think whenever I see these guys out in the harbor.

Oct 2, 11 11:54 am

Great link, rusty!

Oct 2, 11 12:01 pm

One of the images in my link was inappropriately cropped. Here's the full version:

Not cool internet cropping guy. Not cool.

Oct 2, 11 12:40 pm

Thanks for the link toast.  

"And I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies; and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale" ....Thomas Jefferson 1816

Oct 2, 11 2:53 pm

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