Friday, September 13, 2013

Mapping the city's gentrification

Wired magazine maps the gentrification of San Francisco:

...What we’re talking about isn’t simply the replacement of presumably authentic recent immigrants by their presumably younger, whiter, or better educated new neighbors. What we’re talking about is the replacement of an entire system of urban inter-relationships, built up over generations and stratified in ways that make sense within an urban context---now short-circuited by the inexorable demands of the (suburban) digital technology landscape...

...So where does all this leave us? Taken together, maps (and Heraclitus) tell us that nothing is permanent but change. However, another Yuppie Eradication Project showing us how to puncture Volvo and Prius tires along Valencia Street isn’t going to help with any of this…

San Francisco, which was born out of the Gold Rush, has been transformed many times over by various other gold rushes---this is just the technology one---and waves of immigrants. In fact, the Mission District that provides a backdrop for my view here was largely Polish and German until the 1960s. What we now think of as “authentic” San Francisco largely rezzed-in during that tumultuous decade, and it’s a good bet that the largely working-class Irish residents of pre-1960s Castro had similarly negative things to say about their new Summer-of-Love neighbors...

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Updating "The Treason of the Intellectuals"

"Julien Benda in his classic 1928 La Trahison de Clercs (The Treason of the Intellectuals) decried with prophetic accuracy how the abandonment of objective truth abetted totalitarian ideologies, which lead to the cataclysmic destruction of World War II. La Trahison de Clercs of our time remains the nearly complete failure of Western intellectuals to study, understand, and acknowledge the heinous consequences of the living Islamic institution of jihad war."

Bill Maher gets it.

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