The problem many cities face today is not how to lure people back but where to put them all. In San Francisco, where the poor were squeezed out years ago, even the middle class is feeling threatened by the proliferation of techies who reverse-commute to suburban Silicon Valley. The Times recently reported that midtown sidewalks are so crowded that people have taken to walking in the street.
It’s a bit curious that this is happening just as digital technology infiltrates everything. If the automobile caused us to disperse, the information age seems, paradoxically, to be drawing us back together.
-Frank Rose ‘Augmented urban reality’ The New Yorker
The great eighteenth-century venture of a universal civilization harmonized by rational self-interest, commerce, luxury, arts, and science—the Enlightenment forged by Voltaire, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, and others—seems to have reached a turbulent anticlimax in a worldwide revolt against cosmopolitan modernity.
The recent explosions of (resentment) against writers and journalists as well as against politicians, technocrats, businessmen, and bankers reveal how Rousseau’s history of the human heart is still playing itself out among the disaffected.
-Pankaj Mishra ‘How Rousseau predicted Trump‘ The New Yorker
Chance made me an American, but I chose to be a New Yorker. I probably always was.
Tony Judt The Memory Chalet
Also, this parade of identity politics is condescending and embarrassing for everyone participating. Why can’t we just treat people like people? It would be nice if the Democrats had some African-Americans, Hispanics, gays, or women speak who did not think that their race/orientation/sex was the only interesting thing about themselves or even the most interesting thing about themselves. Couldn’t they have had a disabled girl who was not so entirely predictably and tediously just another flavor of victim?
I remain politically homeless.
reader comment citied in Andrew Sullivan’s DNC Day 1 blog Daily Intelligencer