Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, September 12, 2021

It’s an historical assumption that the post-World War II expansion of the U.S. interstate system spurred the suburbanization of America. But in fact, the highways came afterward, on an already-beaten path out of the cities:

Suburbanization has, for a long time, been a trend based on consumer preferences and larger trends, notably rising wealth and transportation and communications improvements (including the highways Baum-Snow investigates). Jackson (1985) finds U.S. suburbanization began at the end of the 19th century. Indeed, he refers to “streetcar suburbs.”…

The simple broad narrative is that, by and large, suburban living expanded throughout the twentieth century. Around the world, as incomes rise, people choose the mobility of the automobile; they overwhelmingly prefer the range and choice of personal transportation. As they choose automobility, origins and destinations disperse; and as these disperse, the attraction of the auto grows. It is a self-reinforcing cycle that is facilitated by better highways. But as with most public sector infrastructure developments, these usually follow rather than lead.

And when the suburbs got too crowded/diverse, the exurbs extended that decentralizing preference. Seems like as much as people are supposed to be social animals, it’s only within the context of establishing personal fiefdoms.

(Via Marginal Revolution)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/12/2021 05:22:50 PM
Category: History, Society
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As eminently disposable as I consider my Twittering to be, my latest tweet is witty enough (if I do say so myself) to merit a more permanent preservation here:

I just killed a spider the size of Norman Mailer. (true incident, verbiage inspired by @eastonellis)

Yes, that Twitter handle does belong to Bret Easton Ellis. I don’t know if he’s ever tweeted about killing spiders, but he certainly put those words that I paraphrased into one of his novels. As passing as that quip was, it stuck with me, and came to mind when I killed my frighteningly-oversized arachnid earlier today.

No telling if the late Mr. Mailer ever approved of being used as a comparative for bug-size. Well, maybe he did in the ’80s, but probably wouldn’t now.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 09/12/2021 04:19:04 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Publishing, Social Media Online
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