The Ancient Athens in All of Us

In some circles the Richard Florida “creative class” argument for why certain cities prosper and others fail has been the flavor of the month for years. In the end I think he confuses cause and effect, but in spite of that many of the issues he takes on regarding making places for “creatives” are valid

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Walking Around

It’s important to revisit the primary purpose of this blog from time to time in a very focused way in order to understand the broader purpose of what is written here. There is a lack of choice for the middle class in this country in terms of living arrangements. This lack of choice is in

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Place

I found the central axioms of my life expressed in the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. In his essay Self Reliance Emerson wrote: “Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events. Great men have always done so.” In his “A

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Dismissing Conspiracy

I heard a social commentator opine that the Democratic Party’s obsession with the homosexual agenda is mischievous and was a misappropriation of effort given the many crises looming on the horizon. Although I’m sympathetic to the idea that peak energy and global climate change are more important issues, in the same way that avoiding global

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Resilience

I remember hearing the argument years ago that Israel was the model to follow when it came to the prevention of terrorism, and I remember thinking just how idiotic that was: Keeping 99 out of 100 terrorists from successfully attacking you is not preferable to not having any terrorists want to attack you. By the

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Sex and Violence

More violence than sex actually, sorry to disappoint! The only issue which comes close to the perceived quality of the public schools in deterring people from living in the city is the perceived level of danger connected with urban life in America. Bringing this to mind over the last few days has been the media

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Raising Children Downtown

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/cityhallpolitics/article/1225624–downtown-not-the-place-to-raise-kids-says-toronto-deputy-mayor-doug-holyday http://downtownkids.tumblr.com/ Setting aside the topic of education, dealt with elsewhere, what is it like raising children in the city? I can’t imagine doing it anyplace else. The resources at the disposal of a parent, at least in my hometown, are such that giving children opportunities to explore their own interests are innumerable. The irony

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Arbitrage

If you want to live in an uncool place there are some tremendous advantages that come with it. I’m talking really uncool places, not the type of places where great masses of hipsters congregate to demonstrate their individuality by being different together, but really living in a place that other people stay away from in

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My Motivated Reasoning

I brainstormed titles and urls for this blog and its accoutrements for a few hours and then went over them with my wife. There were a few I liked apart from Rational Urbanism: Sense and the City; Real Urbanism; and Urban Sense among others. I decided on “Rational Urbanism” because with so many of the

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It’s the Schools, Stupid! (Part II)

The main idea of the first part of this essay was to explain the “income effect” on standardized testing. Of all the demographic factors impacting outcomes on standardized tests, the most significant is parental income. This relationship has been shown to exist not only when the wealthy or the poor cluster, but when they do

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