1 May 2006

Buzzthoughts would be a good term for faddish ideas that seem important at the time and demand to be voiced. Here's one. That population density accounts for a lot. In densely populated areas there's more frequent interaction, the speed of speech is faster and as the medium changes so the limits of the thinkable change. With dense population comes anonymity and the range of the socially and economically possible broadens. For instance, move to the city and the pay-off for more disciplined integration into rigid units of time and space is that you'll have your pick of chiropractors (and massage parlours). Communal ethics alters. There are more potential witnesses and when help is in earshot the gender gap shifts. The cramped life is stressful, complicated, definitely more richly textured and probably more fun. You perhaps come to depend less on the monolithic sanctities of nation and God for a compelling metanarrative.

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