Because ambitions are to some extent incompatible and admiration is a zero-sum game, each city tends to focus on one type of ambition. The reason Cambridge is the intellectual capital is not just that there's a concentration of smart people there, but that there's nothing else people there care about more. Professors in New York and the bay area make are second class citizens—till they start hedge funds or startups respectively. This suggests an answer to a question people in New York have wondered about since the bubble: whether New York could grow into a startup hub to rival Silicon Valley. One reason that's unlikely is that someone starting a startup in New York would feel like a second class citizen. 3 There's already something else people in New York admire more. In the long term, that could be a bad thing for New York. The power of an important new technology does eventually convert to money.
At the time i thought she was being deliberately eccentric. Sure, it can be interesting to eavesdrop on people, but is good quality eavesdropping so important that it would make affect where you chose to live? Now i understand what she meant. The conversations you overhear tell you what sort of people you're among. _ no matter how determined you are, it's hard not to be influenced by the people around you. It's not so much that you do whatever a city expects of you, but that you get discouraged when no one around you cares about the same things you. There's an imbalance between encouragement and discouragement like that between gaining and losing money. Most people overvalue negative amounts of money: they'll work much harder to avoid losing a dollar than to gain one. Similarly, although there are plenty of people strong enough to resist doing something just because that's what one is supposed to do where they happen to be, there are few strong enough to keep working on something no one around them cares about.
Palo Alto was probably much like cambridge in 1960, but you'd never guess now that there was a university nearby. Now it's just one of the richer neighborhoods in Silicon Valley. 2 a city speaks to you mostly by accident—in things you see through windows, in conversations you overhear. It's not something you have to seek out, but something you can't turn off. One of the occupational hazards of living in Cambridge is overhearing the conversations of people who use interrogative intonation in declarative sentences. But on average i'll take cambridge conversations over New York or Silicon Valley ones. A friend who moved to silicon Valley in the late 90s said the worst thing about living there was the low quality of the eavesdropping.
My, favourite teacher
For a long time cities were the only large collections dissertation of people, so you could use the two ideas interchangeably. But we can see how much things are changing from the examples i've mentioned. New York is a classic great city. But Cambridge is just part of a city, two and Silicon Valley is not even that. (San Jose is not, as it sometimes claims, the capital of Silicon Valley.
It's just 178 square miles at one end.) maybe the Internet will change things further. Maybe one day the most important community you belong to will be a virtual one, and it won't matter where you live physically. But I wouldn't bet. The physical world is very high bandwidth, and some of the ways cities send you messages are quite subtle. One of the exhilarating things about coming back to cambridge every spring is walking through the streets at dusk, when you can see into the houses. When you walk through Palo Alto in the evening, you see nothing but the blue glow of TVs. In Cambridge you see shelves full of promising-looking books.
Cambridge with good weather, it turns out, is not Cambridge. The people you find in Cambridge are not there by accident. You have to make sacrifices to live there. It's expensive and somewhat grubby, and the weather's often bad. So the kind of people you find in Cambridge are the kind of people who want to live where the smartest people are, even if that means living in an expensive, grubby place with bad weather. As of this writing, cambridge seems to be the intellectual capital of the world.
I realize that seems a preposterous claim. What makes it true is that it's more preposterous to claim about anywhere else. American universities currently seem to be the best, judging from the flow of ambitious students. And what us city has a stronger claim? A fair number of smart people, but diluted by a much larger number of neanderthals in suits. The bay area has a lot of smart people too, but again, diluted; there are two great universities, but they're far apart. Harvard and mit are practically adjacent by west coast standards, and they're surrounded by about 20 other colleges and universities. 1 cambridge as a result feels like a town whose main industry is ideas, while new York's is finance and Silicon Valley's is startups. _ When you talk about cities in the sense we are, what you're really talking about is collections of people.
Conquest of the air essay writing - biology report
I'd always imagined Berkeley would be the ideal place—that it report would basically be cambridge with good weather. But when I finally tried living there a couple years ago, it turned out not. The message berkeley sends is: you should live better. Life in Berkeley is very civilized. It's probably the place in America where someone from Northern Europe would feel most at home. But it's not humming with ambition. In retrospect it shouldn't have been surprising that a place so pleasant would attract people interested above all in quality of life.
Practically every fifteenth century Italian painter you've heard of was from Florence, even though Milan was just as big. People in Florence weren't genetically different, so you have to assume there was someone born in Milan with as much natural ability as leonardo. What happened to him? If even someone with the same natural ability as leonardo couldn't beat the force of environment, do you suppose you can? I'm fairly stubborn, but I wouldn't try to fight this force. I'd rather use. So i've thought a lot about solution where to live.
but the fact that they control google, which affects practically everyone. how much does it matter what message a city sends? Empirically, the answer seems to be: a lot. You might think that if you had enough strength of mind to do great things, you'd be able to transcend your environment. Where you live should make at most a couple percent difference. But if you look at the historical evidence, it seems to matter more than that. Most people who did great things were clumped together in a few places where that sort of thing was done at the time. You can see how powerful cities are from something I wrote about earlier : the case of the milanese leonardo.
You should be better looking. But the clearest message gpa is that you should be richer. What I like about Boston (or rather Cambridge) is that the message there is: you should be smarter. You really should get around to reading all those books you've been meaning. When you ask what message a city sends, you sometimes get surprising answers. As much as they respect brains in Silicon Valley, the message the valley sends is: you should be more powerful. That's not quite the same message new York sends. Power matters in New York too of course, but New York is pretty impressed by a billion dollars even if you merely inherited.
Frankenstein essay - world Literature - buy custom
May 2008, great cities attract ambitious people. You can sense it when you walk around one. In a hundred subtle ways, the city sends you a message: you could do more; you should try harder. The surprising thing wallpaper is how different these messages can. York tells you, above all: you should make more money. There are other messages too, of course. You should be hipper.