London, Chronological Ethnocentrism, Zero

Some interesting excerpts:

London: all that glisters… by David Goodhart:

But if London is such a wonderful place to live why do so many people want to get out? One reason for wanting to leave is the scale of churn itself which makes stable communities increasingly rare. According to the UCL publication London 2062 (edited by Sarah Bell and James Paskins) London’s ‘revolving door’ saw 7.3m inflows and 6m outflows in the period 2002-2011, that means the equivalent of about three quarters of the capital left in the past decade and almost a whole new city settled in. In around one third of the 33 London boroughs the equivalent of half their populations move in or out every five years.

Our First Real Gay President by Jim Loewen:

This ideology of progress amounts to a chronological form of ethnocentrism. Thus chronological ethnocentrism is the belief that we now live in a better society, compared to past societies. Of course, ethnocentrism is the anthropological term for the attitude that our society is better than any other society now existing, and theirs are OK to the degree that they are like ours.

Chronological ethnocentrism plays a helpful role for history textbook authors: it lets them sequester bad things, from racism to the robber barons, in the distant past. Unfortunately for students, it also makes history impossibly dull, because we all “know” everything turned out for the best. It also makes history irrelevant, because it separates what we might learn about, say, racism or the robber barons in the past from issues of the here and now. Unfortunately for us all, just as ethnocentrism makes us less able to learn from other societies, chronological ethnocentrism makes us less able to learn from our past. It makes us stupider.

From the same article:

since Thomas Dewey in 1948 no major party candidate with facial hair has even run for president, and Dewey wore only the smallest of mustaches.

Finally, check out Here And There Along The Echo. Damn those talented bastards; damn them to Hades. Glad it exists; same way I feel about Simogo, same way I feel about 80 Days. Just a sense of genuine admiration.


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