Monday, June 18, 2012

When the free book shelf gives me some insight

The Ann Arbor District Library has a rack of free books that I peruse while I’m waiting for my tutoring students to show up. I rarely find anything I consider valuable (there’s a reason they’re free, you know), but one day I stumbled upon Cities in a Global Society, a volume of the Urban Affairs Annual Review, edited by Richard V. Knight and Gary Gappert, published in 1989.

You know what else was published in 1989? Me.

I’ll read just about anything with the word “cities” in the title but I thought it would be especially instructive to see what people thought of urban areas and their role in the world at large when I was just a little babe.  And here it is:

“First of all, I must confess my irritation at all parafuturistic models of the world based on hyper-communication technology, with models of billions of human beings, in megacities as well as in the most remote villages, linked to integrated computer systems feeding all possible information ranging from the fall edition of the L.L. Bean catalogue to the listings of the Tokyo Stock exchange. If this is the Global Society we have in mind, forget it.”

So, just for fun, I googled those two examples.