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Posts Tagged ‘geography’

Geography of Inequality

One vision of the digital electronic future is that it would “erase” place and space. One can Skype over a cell phone with people half a globe away. A law firm can send audio to India and get back transcriptions in the morning. A firm in California can order goods from Korea and have them shipped to a customer in Europe. The vision that all places are one is not new. Over a hundred years ago a journalist wrote that, thanks to the telephone, by our time everyone would live on their own mountain top and do their work over the electronic wire. Didn’t happen then; isn’t happening now. Where you live and work seems to matter economically and culturally at least as much now as decades ago. The obvious example is the continuing concentration of the IT industries themselves – Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley, Silicon Wadi, etc. (here).

Wikimedia: Uptown

Wikimedia: Bev. Hills

This musing is occasioned by a recent article in the Times occasioned by a report from the Brookings Institution on how American metropolitan areas are becoming increasingly different from one another with respect to the educational levels of their residents. Some places, like Washington, Boston, and San Francisco are experiencing growing concentrations of the college-educated; others like Las Vegas, Memphis, and Dayton are falling further behind. Early followers of this blog will have read of this trend 16 months ago and of a related trend, the concentration of twenty- and thirty-something college graduates in particular downtown neighborhoods of those cities.  But why does this matter?

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