Wednesday, March 16, 2011

bright minds, big city

From Wired Magazine:
Are People Nicer In Cities?

Geoffrey West, Luis Bettencourt, and their team of theoretical physicists may have found the root of the reason cities exist, uncovering the socioeconomic benefits that more than compensate for the high rents and vermin infestations.

“Because you can take the same person, and if you just move them from a city of
fifty thousand to a city of six million, then all of a sudden they’re going to
do three times more of everything we can measure. It doesn’t matter where the
city is or which cities you’re talking about.”

I'm not convinced that you can reasonably quantify the degree of intelligence people gain when living in a city. There will be people who shine in a population of a few hundred or thousand, and there are people who could live in the best city in the world and still be narrow-minded idiots.

But there's still something that opens up in your head when you see just how expansive and diverse the world can be, and one of the best places for that is a top-class hub city, preferably with as much cultural diversity as possible. It may not make you smarter, but it can blow your mind.

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