Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'll point to this out again and again, because every time the subject comes up the only response is defensive anger.

Empiricism and the Cartesian subject: "The only morality beyond question is my own. I define myself; other definitions apart from those of friends who are as well-meaning as I am, are irrelevant."

Is there a moral difference between pushing a man off a bridge and flicking a switch that starts a motor that moves a bar that knocks him off?  Is there a moral difference to the man being pushed? The Anglophone philosophers' favorite, the Trolley Problem, doesn't ask.

Continental philosophers try to construct or invent a fluid self in rhetorical language, a romanticized idealized self/other; they try to bridge in language a gap that's unbridgeable in the world. Continental philosophy is literature.  Anglo-American technocrats write how-to manuals and try to will that gap away.

I pick and choose from the same cast of characters, but for real estate I rely on Atrios.

Duncan Black
Getting A Little Less Hellish All The Time.
While people generally think of gentrification as the process wealthier residents displacing poorer ones, it's also about revitalizing retail/commercial corridors that have become a bit, well, hellish. When I first got to the urban hellhole there were only a few locations I would think to direct visitors to, not because the city had nothing else to offer, but because areas were a bit spotty if you didn't have a destination in mind. Now there are many more.
His neighborhood
...prior to the government intervention and development provided by Hope VI, the neighborhood was predominantly African American, however, since federal intervention the community is 67% White, 12% Black, 15% Asian, and 6% Latino.
[The stats are from Wikipedia and unsourced. This seems to confirm them]

Duncan Black
While I think quite often concerns about urban gentrification are a bit misplaced, an exception to that is when the poor get priced out of areas with access to decent mass transit. [etc.]
The Guardian
Councils plan for exodus of poor families from London.
Ministers were accused last night of deliberately driving poor people out of wealthy inner cities as London councils revealed they were preparing a mass exodus of low-income families from the capital because of coalition benefit cuts.

Representatives of London boroughs told a meeting of MPs last week that councils have already block-booked bed and breakfasts and other private accommodation outside the capital – from Hastings, on the south coast, to Reading to the west and Luton to the north – to house those who will be priced out of the London market.

Councils in the capital are warning that 82,000 families – more than 200,000 people – face losing their homes because private landlords, enjoying a healthy rental market buoyed by young professionals who cannot afford to buy, will not cut their rents to the level of caps imposed by ministers.
Atrios and Zadie Smith

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