Cities and Ambition

August 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Posted in Economoney, Psychology, Writing | Leave a comment

An interesting article on the dominant zeitgeist of several American cities.

Cities and Ambition (PDF) by Paul Graham

Cambridge – you should be smarter.
Silicon Valley – you should be more powerful
New York – you should be richer

“How much does it matter what message a city sends? Empirically, the answer seems to be: a lot. You might think that if you had enough strength of mind to do great things, you’d be able to transcend your environment. Where you live should make at most a couple percent difference. But if you look at the historical evidence, it seems to matter more than that. Most people who did great things were clumped together in a few places where that sort of thing was done at the
time.”

While the article is financially oriented, it’s a fascinating look at how the group can influence the course of the individual.
David

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