Sunday, September 09, 2007

weak ties and strong language

The new Key Magazine in the NYT has this article of interest, a combination anthropological study of SoCal condo life and general expose on the marketing of "lifestyle" urban living centers. The jury's still out on whether the findings are reassuring or frightening. The (somewhat geriatric) gist is that the young folks don't want to leave their college dorms, which reminds me of this BLDGBLOG post that posits that our wish for pedestrian urbanism is, for most, really a nostalgia for campus life.

One problem I do have with the article is that it casts contemporary social networking as a kind of mass solipsism-- all of the examples cited are chiefly recreational groups. No mention is really made of groups that produce-- other than a sideways mention of Burning Man, which is somewhat equated in the article with flash mobs. Actually, come to think of it, the while article is sprinkled with condescension of this type, which seems to spring from the unspoken assumption that a mortgage and family is the de facto "normal" way of life in our country. So maybe I don't like this article after all. But I like the slide show. Look at that.

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