Monday, March 31, 2008

Atrios
Middle Class
It's true that given Manhattan's extremely high housing and other costs, "middle class" people are going to make a bit more money than they do in other places. But it's kind of weird how the WaPo quickly slips between "middle class" to "affluent" in describing this group of people.
Once upon a time, Manhattan was an island of adult thrills and vices. In the national imagination, it was a place of artists, musicians, socialites, Wall Street bankers -- or of hustlers, runaways, addicts, murderers. But it was not on the radar of the typical white, middle-class couple as a place to raise children.

Now demographers say Manhattan is increasingly a borough of babies, and more and more of them are white and well-off.
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Indeed, according to Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College, the median household income for this group of children was $280,000 in 2005.

In a reversal of a decades-long trend of flight to the suburbs, affluent couples are deciding to stay, at a time when crime is low, some schools have improved and urban life has a new allure, said Kenneth T. Jackson, a professor of urban history at Columbia University.
Ultimately, though, the article isn't so much about class as it is about race. It's about white people. Which makes it quite a bit weirder.
It's about race and class and culture, and the wealthier siblings of Duncan Black.
More of the same:

Fast Company
The Convergence Culture Consortium
This Blog Sits at the Intersection of Anthropology and Economics

Grant McCracken makes DeLong seem like Tiresias

Intellectual complexity is the complexity of relations among various perspectives. Intellectual complexity to those who see marketing as a philosophically rewarding activity is the complexity of myopia and narcissism: the collapsing of the interplay of formal and emotional relations in language and communication into the "reciprocity" of a moving fan.
All curiosity is curiosity regarding "X." How to perform the necessary actions more quickly and cleanly? The definition of thinking only and always inside the box. Manic functionalism and unquestioned values.
We don't look at Giotto because of how well he branded the Catholic Church but because of how well he described it and his world: well enough that we who have little relation to either still imagine we have some understanding of both. We're more interested in Giotto than in the men who told him what to paint.

In LA, the Madison Avenue intellectuals are laughed at by the men and women who bring their dreams to life. What McCracken and the others listed above don't realize is that it's the theater that will be remembered long after they're forgotten.

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