cities are microcosms of the world's best
and worst, problems and successes, mistakes and solutions in extreme
and sometimes distorted forms. The city makes, breaks, creates and
destroys people, organizations, environments and cultures. The city
has as much mercy as the people who live in it.
becomes more extreme because of the stress induced by a large population
in a relatively small area. Necessities can become luxuries. Waste
can become a part of the landscape. Wealth can take on cancerous proportions.
Poverty can be a permanent, leprous sore. Inherited privilege and
inherited misfortune can be within walking distance or even sight
of each other and never come face to face. People can lose their sense
of proportion or the accepted proportions can be out of balance. There
is no true jungle which exists under the law of the city. The city
can actually be less forgiving than and just as unpredictable as the
are Darwinian Evolution in action, no matter what political system
they exist under. The good become better. The evil sink lower. The
strong get stronger. The weak get weaker. Power blocks lock themselves
in and the powerless get locked out. The lies get more complex and
the truth gets plainer, but only to those with the courage
to look. The resolute dig in and the confused surrender. The armor
gets thicker and the open wounds find it more difficult to heal. The
fighters die and the meek inherit what's left, which
is sometimes just the wreckage.
who visit the city often undergo a change in personality. They do
things in the city that their friends neighbors and relatives would
not recognize as their actions. Some people go to the city for this
very reason. Whether these things are good or bad, moral or immoral
depends on the choices of the
force the development of ego just by population density. Everyone
in the city knows the truth of the old saying that the squeaky wheel
gets the grease. Ego development is necessary to become a squeaky
wheel, the loudest squeaky wheel. This "ego necessity" is
a source of the extremes and distortions that cities routinely produce.
city produces extraordinary people. People who live outside of the
city are often intimidated by people who live in the city. This intimidation
can take many forms from fear to admiration to hostility to subservience.
These reactions magnify whatever extremes have been developed in the
city person. The presence of a city person can affect a situation,
even when the city person makes no action them self.
this because the city person is different from other humans? Is it
because of the way the person who lives outside of the city perceives
the city person? Both common sense and quantum physics agree on the
answer. Common sense says that the answer to both questions is Yes.
Quantum physics says that both the observed and the observer have
an affect on each other.
discipline of physics was developed in large part and distributed
entirely by people living and working in big city universities. Physics
has been the source of all the technological developments that have
affected the world in the twentieth century. These developments have
made it possible for cities to become larger and more crowded. They
have enabled governments to increase their control of their populations
through greater military might, greater techniques and reserves of
information gathering and gathered, along with more sophisticated
surveillance techniques and so called social planning techniques.
are the main points of origin of distribution of everything from commodities
to ideas. Everything new or old, invented or recycled goes to or through
a city or cities on its way to becoming widespread. Every person or
thing that wants to "make it big" must eventually have some
kind of contact with a city. All religions and life-styles get their
chance at popularity and acceptance by passing through cities. Source
or path, cities are the centers of the cultures that develop in and
people see the distortions and extremes of cities and make a sweeping
judgment of evil. Some see the successes
and accomplishments and judge them to be the pinnacles of humankind.
The truth, like it or not, is that cities are just concentrated examples
of man. They are a mirror of ourselves that we can use to see the
present state of affairs of the human race. We can condemn, praise
or ignore them, but this misses the point and the opportunity.
opportunity is that we can see what is wrong and right with ourselves
and maybe even do something about it. Judging the city is just a diversion
from facing ourselves. The things that exist in the city are manifestations
of what happens in the human mind. The things that we would condemn
in the city are the problems that we must cure in ourselves. The things
that we would praise in the city are the things that we should develop
problems illustrated by the "big city" will be solved
if the human race learns to overcome the fears
that inspire greed, prejudice, arrogance and all the other things
that we use to separate and protect ourselves from each other. The
successes of the city will be available to all if the human race can
ever overcome the manifestations of these same fears that take the
form of elitism, pride and exclusivity.
Although it may start somewhere else, the majority of
us will most likely get our first experience of this kind of change
from a city source. Only the lucky ones will get it before.
By Kiredor Roinuj