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Peter Drucker (88) in Wired 6.03 (March 1998):

I've been telling people for 30 years that material changes in our lives are almost irrelevant. The important changes are demographic, in health care and education. The demographic revolution of the last 40 years is unprecedented. Today, the majority of people around the world live in cities. Urbanization changes your worldview. So, the real change is in meaning, not in goods.

What can we expect to happen because of these changes?

Thirty years from now, the big cities may be dying very fast. Downtown office buildings have become dysfunctional. As information and ideas have become more mobile, the kind of work that doesn't require contact with customers or contact with other professionals - in other words, 75 percent of the work in any organization - doesn't have to be done downtown. For 300-odd years we have had a continuing, occasionally interrupted real estate boom. It was slowed down by depression, but not stopped. That boom may be over for good.

Douglas Barnes piece about the importance of interactivity reminds me of the idea in the Jane Jacobs books about cities that a lot of the value of cities lies in the random interaction they offer.Any ideas for how a net can offer interaction with random people in a conveniant way? I think the features required are having control over about how many randoms you meet and having a reason to interact with them (people tend not to like having someone come up to them for no reason at all).

I've been speculating on what the net might be like when billions of people are signed on--it's got to be different--the bandwidth is almost unmanagable as it is. (I'm speaking as a reader.) Will there be more local groups? Cohorts? (Cohorts are people who have joined at roughly the same time.) Maybe really big cohorts (10E6 or 7 people) with review services to let you know about discussions you might be interested in from other cohorts? In effect, I'm talking about a hierarchy of nets.

Nancy Lebovitz on the Extropian List (4/12/93)

The generic city is "a post city being prepared on the site of the ex-city". It is not bound together by the public domain, the agora, but by the residue. The street is dead; the skyscraper has become the definitive typology. It has swallowed up all the rest and can stand where it likes, aloof and untouchable...

...The city in Koolhaas's view, has become irrevocably "unmakable": "planning makes no difference". The satellite towns that cluster around the generic city rise and fall unpredictably. The population explodes then tumbles, the economy booms then collapses. In this apotheosis of multiple choice, says Koolhaas, it will no longer be possible to reconstruct cause and effect. "They work--that is all".

Lieven De Cauter, 'The Forward Flight of Rem Koolhaas' in Archis 1998/4

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