Sarah Williams Goldhagen on Architecture: Extra-Large
July 31, 2006

A FRIEND RECENTLY TOLD me that his most important pedagogical tool as an architect is this maxim: the architect's primary ethical responsibility is to be the guardian of the public realm, in contrast to the myriad others who currently configure our built landscape— clients, politicians, contractors, developers, and NIMBY-driven "community action" committees.

Religious Experience
February 20, 2006

The riots currently engulfing the Islamic world, prompted by a Danish newspaper’s decision to caricature the Prophet Mohammed, require two responses. The first is easy: horror. In the physical assault on Denmark’s embassies and citizens, and in the diplomatic assault on Denmark’s government—all because a free government won’t muzzle a free press—multiculturalism has become totalitarianism. Religious sensitivity, say the zealots marching from Beirut to Jakarta, matters more than liberty. Indeed, it matters more than life itself.

February 07, 2005

The governor of the Indonesian province of Aceh, Abdullah Puteh, easily survived the tsunami that killed more than 173,000 Indonesians last month. At the time, he was safe in his cell at Salemba Penitentiary in central Jakarta, 1,000 miles away, awaiting trial for a million-dollar scam involving a gubernatorial helicopter. The aging, Russian-made Mi-2 now gathers dust in a remote hangar at the airport in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh, a Cyrillic-script instruction manual helpfully stuffed into its lifeless console.

Noise Pollution
November 04, 2002

In the weeks leading up to the October 12 bombing in Bali, warnings of pending terror flooded U.S. intelligence channels. Analysts from the National Security Agency (NSA), the CIA, and the FBI combed through threats suggesting that car-bomb attacks, hijackings, and kidnappings were planned against Americans on three continents. The volume of electronic and telephonic communications--what intelligence professionals call "chatter"--between assumed Al Qaeda operatives spiked in late September.