- Apr 2022
Humans’ tendency to“overimitate”—to reproduce even the gratuitous elements of another’s behavior—may operate on a copy now, understand later basis. After all, there might begood reasons for such steps that the novice does not yet grasp, especially sinceso many human tools and practices are “cognitively opaque”: not self-explanatory on their face. Even if there doesn’t turn out to be a functionalrationale for the actions taken, imitating the customs of one’s culture is a smartmove for a highly social species like our own.
Is this responsible for some of the "group think" seen in the Republican party and the political right? Imitation of bad or counter-intuitive actions outweights scientifically proven better actions? Examples: anti-vaxxers and coronavirus no-masker behaviors? (Some of this may also be about or even entangled with George Lakoff's (?) tribal identity theories relating to "people like me".
Explore this area more deeply.
Another contributing factor for this effect may be the small-town effect as most Republican party members are in the countryside (as opposed to the larger cities which tend to be more Democratic). City dwellers are more likely to be more insular in their interpersonal relations whereas country dwellers may have more social ties to other people and groups and therefor make them more tribal in their social interrelationships. Can I find data to back up this claim?
How does link to the thesis put forward by Joseph Henrich in The WEIRDest People in the World: How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous? Does Henrich have data about city dwellers to back up my claim above?
What does this tension have to do with the increasing (and potentially evolutionary) propensity of humans to live in ever-increasingly larger and more dense cities versus maintaining their smaller historic numbers prior to the pre-agricultural timeperiod?
What are the biological effects on human evolution as a result of these cultural pressures? Certainly our cultural evolution is effecting our biological evolution?
What about the effects of communication media on our cultural and biological evolution? Memes, orality versus literacy, film, radio, television, etc.? Can we tease out these effects within the socio-politico-cultural sphere on the greater span of humanity? Can we find breaks, signs, or symptoms at the border of mass agriculture?
total aside, though related to evolution: link hypercycles to evolution spirals?
- urban vs. rural
- follow the herd
- spatial relationships
- imitation > innovation
- group think
- comparative anthropology
- evolution spirals
- human evolution
- Joseph Henrich
- city vs. town
- Big History
- Dec 2021
3. We narrate to you the most accurate history, by revealing to you this Quran. Although, prior to it, you were of the unaware. 4. When Joseph said to his father, “O my father, I saw eleven planets, and the sun, and the moon; I saw them bowing down to me.”
In this version, we see that Joseph tells his father about the dream that he had of his brothers bowing down to him and Jacob is wise enough to inform him not to say anything to his brothers because he knows that it will make them jealous. However, it's not the dream that makes them jealous, it's the fact that Joseph is clearly the favorite brother. Here, Jacob instructs him to keep listening to God because at the end of the day he is the one that is going to make everything okay. (Itani, T. (n.d.). Quran in English - Clear and Easy to Read. Quran in English. https://www.clearquran.com/012.html) CC BY-NC
- Sep 2021
The press is full of reports that President Biden screwed up the pullout from Afghanistan. But none of the people saying he did it wrong say what he should have done instead.
I've noticed this phenomenon as well. When criticizing public policy, writers should be required to write down their alternate plans and then go at least one or two levels deep as to the knock on effects that their decisions are likely to have.
It's easy to criticize, but it's much harder to do the actual work and thinking to actually do something else.
- May 2019
Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.
Contrary to Hyppolytus and Siyavash, Joseph had a long lasting life and had a family something that the Greek and Persian version did not have. We can argue that the reason why Joseph lived longer was because of his faith in God. A God who always helped him get through the toughest of circumstances. The gods in the Greek version did not help Hippolytus on the contrary it was the reason why he died, while in Siyavash there is no divine powers involved. CC BY-NC-ND .
In here like in the Persian version, Hyppolitus has a tragic end. In this image we see the position in how he died. His ankles are tied and while his horse is running. Is indeed a terrible ending for someone who was not to blame for anything, all thanks to the god Poseidon. Interestingly, the Persian version has not such things as divine beings, there is not even mention of them. This once proves that in order for some things to appeal to other cultures things such as religion, politics and lifestyle need to take part. CC BY-NC-ND
- Dec 2016
- Nov 2016
Much of the behavior atissue here concerns the very presence of (primarily black) people in the public view,congregating openly for leisure or without apparent purpose
This concern presents the aforementioned idea that classism is attributed to race in American society. Stigmas surrounding the black community may stem from their oppression on a socio-economic scale.
I should not have to not want to go outside because...there’s a bunch of other people out thereloitering, hanging out and doing whatever. Next thing you know, there’s garbage all around andthat’s not being taken care of
This argument presents the idea of a slippery slope, that one issue inevitably leads to another, more pressing matter. However, I believe this contributes the reputation of the city of Atlanta as mentioned above; the mere presence of homelessness alludes to issues of poverty, addiction, and crime in the city, and contributes to the negative perspective of the city maintained by many visitors and outsiders.
Indeed, much of the ‘trouble’ across sites,but especially in Westhaven Park and Oakwood Shores, was seen by many respondentsto originate from remaining public housing complexes located nearby, or from visitors torelocated public housing residents in the mixed-income developments
The efforts of positive integration mandate an intermingling of races and classes, although this statement poses the idea that isolation might better allow for the progression of lower-class individuals and families. In fact, the idea of relocation to public housing mandates the removal of these groups from their current locale.
What ‘counts’ as disorder, and what behaviors arereasonably open to monitoring and control?
Recent actions by local police reveal that city monitoring and control often discriminates against the poor and homeless. A recent law allowed for cops to disperse loiterers in areas such as parking garages, to contribute to the feeling of safety in the city. Suits have been filed against the city, claiming that such legislation targets homeless individuals who seek refuge in these spaces.
expressions of incivility (loitering, panhandling, harassment, public drinking)are often seen to indicate more fundamental problems with safety and crime,
Many of my annotated bibliography articles addressed the presence of homelessness in the city, and its contribution to Atlanta's reputation for crime and danger. Unlike other cities, downtown Atlanta is not bustling with locals at night. Visitors and tourists are then confronted by the presence of homelessness and poverty in the city, which is associated with crime. Many of the articles I have studied propose solutions that deal with the expansion of shelters and resources available to the homeless and poverty-stricken, to keep these individuals off the streets and decrease their proximity to the reputation of the city. This essay proposes similar solutions through the process of positive gentrification.
hese include access to themore diverse social networks of higher-income neighbors (‘weak ties’ or ‘bridging’social capital) that can connect them to information and opportunity as well as increasedresponsiveness of political and market actors that can lead to greater access
This is an issue addressed in many of my annotated bibliographies, as poverty becomes cyclical and seemingly inescapable for so many Americans. Lower-class individuals do not have the resources necessary to procure better employment and living conditions; this is evident in our discussion on the expansion of Marta in class, and the importance of cheaper public transportation to lower classes.
In the United States, these tensions are further complicated byracial dynamics
This idea supports the argument made in our perspectives course that race and class are closely tied. As discussed through our study of the graphic novel Blacksad, prejudice in many places abroad is derived from class. In the United States, we have masked class with discrimination targeted at race.
The strategy of reclaiming public housing complexes for mixed-income developmentis essentially an effort at ‘positive gentrification’
As detailed in the Atlanta Business article, this is a course of action that will be utilized by the city of Atlanta once the Peachtree-Pine shelter is closed. In order to support the individuals and families displaced by its closure, the city is negotiating the purchase of low-income housing options nearby.
econcentration effortsare geared towards either dispersing poor people to less-poor communities or attractinghigher-income residents to low-income neighborhoods.
This descriptions of efforts by cities to diminish poverty is the same as gentrification, which has both positive and negative impacts on lower-income individuals and families. As presented by Max in class, the introduction of Krog Street Market to a certain community increased the cost of living in that neighborhood, driving out this populace.
The Atlanta Business article by Dave Williams details city plans to close the Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter, and convert the space to a police and fire facility. City officials met to vote on the action, but the council was delayed by complaints and protests from members of the community. The article catalogues continued efforts of the city to terminate the shelter’s operation, accused of “‘warehousing’ the homeless.” The shelter has in turn accused Atlanta officials to maintain agenda of negative gentrification. Ultimately, the city continues with its plans to transition the shelter, while seeking low-housing opportunities for individuals and families displaced by its closure.
The author presents an objective chronicle of the council meeting, and the members’ idiosyncratic perspectives on the shelter. However, I have read numerous articles on the closure of the shelter, and most are devoted to the perspectives of Anita Beaty and other members of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. This Atlanta Business article does not consider the concerns and arguments of this group, or the effects of the closure on the homeless population. The perspectives presented are mostly biased to positively portray the city and its council members, although the article deals with a controversial issue in Atlanta.
To what extent do these mixed-income efforts providemechanisms to integrate low-income people into well-functioning communities withaccess to amenities and opportunities, and to what extent are they mechanisms to facilitatethe appropriation of urban space by and for more affluent residents and the interests ofcapital in the context of a broader neoliberal agenda
From what I've learned this semester, this is the question at the root of urban planning and development: how will this effect the upper and lower classes respectively? To what extent are these projects meant to integrate these two vastly different groups of people? At what point do they just become money-making schemes? In the case of the BeltLine, the original intent of the project was to create a space accessible to and affordable for all. The popularity of and the potential profitability of the project has cause priorities to shift in favor of the upper class.
Notions of social organization and concerns about social control and safetyprovide one important theoretical argument for mixed-income responses to concentratedpoverty and the problems of public housing, and also underlie many of the tensionsthat emerge in on-the-ground encounters between newcomers and established residentsin gentrifying contexts. As state-sponsored efforts at ‘positive gentrification’ and socialintegration, mixed-income responses to public housing reform complicate thesedynamics, raising particular questions about rights, appropriation, use values, thedelineation of public and private (space, ownership, action, responsibility), and tensionsbetween freedom and control.
The issues surrounding integrative mixed-income neighborhoods are understandably complex and often call into question the rights of existing residents while facing considerable backlash from both income groups. The term "positive gentrification" seems almost an oxymoron these days, at least for current residents. Gentrification is more or less synonymous with whitewashing in the sense that poorer minorities are forced out of the neighborhood after it is revitalized. This often discourages gentrification. At the same time, the higher class is concerned with the the safety and upkeep of their neighborhoods, which may encourage plans to oust the lower class.
As David Harvey (1988) makes clear, use value and exchange value are intimately tied in thecontext of land and development, the unique qualities of which distinguish it from other kinds ofcommodities. Use and exchange value are constructed differently by a range of different actors(residents, landlords, realtors, developers, financial institutions, government) and reflect a broadrange of (changing, situational) needs, idiosyncrasies and habits. Mixed-income developments areamong the ‘catalytic moments in the urban land-use decision process when use value and exchangevalue collide to make commodities out of the land and improvements thereon’ (ibid.: 160), thenegotiation of which plays out in concrete ways on the ground
After searching for mixed income developments in the United States and coming up with results that more or less discussed how much of a failure they have been, I decided to search for public housing successes in other countries. The best examples were by far Vienna and Singapore, which both maximize urban space and succeed in integrating income groups. They offer residences for people of all classes, and there is a noticable difference between housing developments in the United States and these two countries.
New York City
Mixed income housing has the potential to overcome some of the barriers that are exacerbatedby segregation, but it will take more than just physical integration. ‘Right to the city’ providesa foundation for social integration that goes beyond a superficial level of social interaction.Through encouraging diversity, a respect for different cultures can be fostered.
This reminds me of Sara Schindler's article about discrimination and segregation through the physical design of the built environment. In contrast to what Schindler address in her article, middle income housing seeks to eliminate segregation by physically integrating communities through middle income housing. As the article says, however, this is easier said than done. In order to enfranchise (if you will), members of the community must feel that they have a right to where they live and connect to their community.
It’s important to note here the role that the Superblock at Westhaven Park plays in bothheightening attention to issues of gang- and drug-related crime, and serving as thepresumed source of many of these problems.
This is an issue that seems to come up fairly frequently in our discussions of Atlanta and the built environment, although it's generally a fear that seems relatively unfounded. Superblocks are generally unappealing and unwalkable because they create areas that lack interaction and economic activity. That sort of desolation in a city environment generally means that gangs and undesirables are more likely to congregate in these areas, and therefore people are afraid to walk there. Here we see that fear validated--most of the crime in Westhaven Park originates from the Superblock. Areas like these can be improved dramatically by doing things like adding trees and narrowing the streets to encourage foot traffic.
I’m an African American black female. I have a master’s degree. I mean I don’t stunt mygrowth because of the environment that I’m in, and I talk a little bit to the kids. I give themthings to try to draw some attention to myself so that I can communicate with them, but Ialso have — on the other side of that I can see that there’s some jealousy and envy from lackof understanding because I’m not going to revert to some of their negative ways which is, youknow, the talk, the walk, the clothes. I’m not gonna do that. I’m gonna be me. And my car’sbeen scratched up. My mirror’s been broken off. I can’t put my name on the mailbox. Theykeep taking it off. I mean going through stuff like that and it’s very frustrating and verydiscouraging because it’s my own people, you know?
I think it's interesting to note the dynamic between community members. While the physical community exists and includes everyone who lives in the mixed income housing neighborhoods, the black community exists separately from that. The renter's attempt to separate herself from the "negative ways" of her neighbors raises a couple of questions in my mind. Why should her neighbors' behavior be considered negative? This question is similar to one the article poses: what's wrong with hanging out? This "othering" and separation between races and classes is at the root of segregation, and while we tend to believe that there is only response on the part of the "superior" residents, it is clear that the their counterparts react negatively to the separation and othering as well.
Thus, we conclude that mixed-income development, at least as implemented andexperienced at these three sites in Chicago, fails to avoid fundamental social challengescommon to other gentrifying neighborhoods, such as differential influence over acceptedbehavioral norms, stigmatization based on race and class, and general discomfort anddistance based on perceptions of difference.
The conclusion of the experiment was surprising and unexpected to me. I sincerely believed that the physical integration of the community would allow the residents to overcome the social challenges outlined in the article. It also makes me what the extent to which same income neighborhoods are successful in terms of overcoming social issues like race, or even general differences between neighbors. Are the problems surrounding the gentrification of neighborhoods rooted in class, or are they rooted in other issues, like race or the appropriation of space? I think it would be interesting to conduct studies that would serve as a standard of comparison for the Chicago mixed income housing units.
the transformation of public housing
Another reason why mixed-income development face particular backlash is stigma surrounding public housing. As Blumgart says in his article, "Public housing in the United States is associated with failure and misery," and I would agree. Most, if not all, of the "projects" in Atlanta have been demolished. A good number of them lack public funding and fall into states of disrepair while people are still living there. They are breeding grounds for poverty, crime, and troubled children. The public housing policies in the United States are terrible, but, as the author states, "there is nothing inherently doomed in the concept of public housing."
Blumgart, Jake. "4 Public Housing Lessons the U.S. Could Learn From the Rest of the World." Equity Factor. Next City, 26 Aug. 2014. Web. 06 Nov. 2016.
On theother hand, the fact that these efforts are essentially market-driven strategies thatprivatize former public housing developments — transferring property and responsibilityfor development and management to private developers and largely relying on attractinghigher-income homeowners — may lead to the privileging of exchange-valueorientations that are specifically opposed to Lefebvre’s notions of city life, whichprioritize use value and habitation
This is one of the most frustrating aspects of urban development in my opinion, and it's completely at odds with Lefebvre's right to the city, which is rooted, as the article says, in value and habitation. The city is more or less meant to be public space, funded for the people and by the people. Unfortunately, the neo-liberal values of American culture come creeping in and private companies feel the need to swoop in and make a profit with no interest in the public good. In the case of real estate, they tend to gentrify struggling areas and effectively eliminate any possibility of the original residents living there by installing more expensive housing and businesses. Once established, these neighborhoods and businesses exclude the original residents from the community and the private companies profit off an area that wasn't really theirs to begin with.
ROBERT J. CHASKIN and MARK L. JOSEPH
In her article, Maria Saporta explains the reported reason behind Atlanta BeltLine founder Ryan Gravel's departure from the BeltLine board of directors. Joined by fellow board member Nathaniel Smith, Gravel resigned in order to draw attention to the lack of attention the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership has given to "issues of equity and affordability." According to the article, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership is the private sector organization responsible for fundraising, advocacy, and affordability along the BeltLine.
In the full story, which is published on the SaportaReport and includes the full resignation letter signed by Gravel and Smith, the two former board members express concern over the ABP's emphasis on fundraising above affordability. In their letter, they also expressed concerns and regrets over the loss of community input in the project, saying they believe that "who the Atlanta BeltLine is built for is just as important as whether it is built at all." Despite the increase in funding, the ABP has ignored its obligation to create affordable housing along the BeltLine. According to the letter, recently acquired funds will support fewer than 200 affordable units out of the required 5,600. Their resignation will, hopefully, result in "elevated concern" for the affordability and equal access of the BeltLine.
Saporta, Maria. "Beltline Founder Gravel Resigns from Board." Atlanta Business Chronicle, 27 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Nov. 2016.
Saporta, Maria. "Ryan Gravel and Nathaniel Smith Resign from BeltLine Partnership Board over Equity Concerns." SaportaReport, 26 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Nov. 2016.
- Oct 2016
Here is a visual of how the Westhaven Park neighborhood has gentrified and what they want to do.
They’re used to being able to stand outside in the hallway or in front of the building and cusseach other out and all that. You can’t do that here. That’s a violation of your lease. In theprojects, you could do that
This ties into my previous annotations on page 12 and 13, where they discuss ways in which they want to make a sense of community, and how some people are turned off to the idea of using public places due to the unwanted behavior.
There are, for example, different concerns regarding the kindsof infractions more likely to be made by low-income renters, who are seen as more likelyto engage in illegal activities than their higher-income neighbors.
This is an example of segregation by the built environment that we have discussed in previous readings. Since there are different concerns and priorities between lower income families and higher income, they often get segregated
These kinds of concerns lie behind some of the design choices made by developers —privileging private ‘defensible’ space over shared public spaces at the block leve
The concern for public and private space is a continued argument through the reading. Here it is describing how some people want private property to “defend” their space and how they want to perceive it and use it.
The concernhere focuses on maintaining a sense of the place as a community
We have seen this all throughout the semester, and how the built environment affects many aspects of the culture. Here, they are discussing how many people wish to live or work in an area that is safe and for the most part not disruptive, but not many people will make an effort to attain this or will disagree over it. This is just another fold on the complexity of gentrification.
There’s a lot of fighting in public
This is the other side of the argument of public space, the other in my annotation of page 5. This shows how some people believe public space actually sparks unwanted behavior, and as a result, renders the space useless.
clearly note that their current environment is significantly safer than the neighborhoodsfrom which they moved, and that these improvements in crime, an increased senseof security and the quieter atmosphere of the developments are major benefits ofthe new developments
It is interesting to see that their findings have been that the crime has gone down because that was one argument against gentrification, saying it would actually spur it.
Williams, Dave. "Atlanta City Council Approves Homeless Shelter Ordinance over Audience Protests." Widgets RSS. Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2016. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
Dave Williams, a staff for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, wrote an article detailing the event of the Atlanta City Council approving a homeless shelter ordinance. This ordinance authorized negotiations for the possibility to convert a homeless shelter into a police and fire facility. The overwhelming decision of 13-1 by the city council outraged many locals attending the meeting. One of these outraged locals said, “The policy of the city right now is gentrification.” They are also furious because the city does not really have a plan for where they would relocate all of the homeless people.
These two readings are related because the article by Williams is an example of what Chaskin and Joseph are writing about. Many cities in the U.S. are trying to find the balance between the revival of areas without displacing families. They call it “Positive Gentrification.” This causes a problem because many people view gentrification as something only negative, as shown in Williams’ article.
although tensions around issues ofdisplacement are very much alive in response to relocations prompted by the Planfor Transformation
William’s article is a direct example of this, they are displacing a homeless shelter, which indirectly promotes income mixing because the homeless have no income.
The right to the city, in Lefebvre’s view, includes both the right to appropriation,which concerns access, use and enjoyment rather than ownership, and the right toparticipation in decision making and the production of urban spac
This ties into my earlier annotation about the argument of public space on page 2, and this is the side of the argument that argues against private space
This ties into the article written by Dave Williams. By bringing in police and the fire department into the building that houses homeless people, it will almost have a double layer of gentrification. Not only are you getting rid of the “undesirables” of a city, but you are also adding a layer of protection and stability that will draw more affluent people into the area.
‘public’ space, and the nature and extent of rights to usethat space in daily life
We have seen this argument pop up in many of our readings this year. It is a very fine line between what constitutes as public or private space. This is another example of how controversial gentrification really is.
These changes include a significantly improved builtenvironment, lower levels of crime, more (and more targeted) supportive services, betterintegration into the street grid and better access to surrounding neighborhoods, thepromise (over time) of better neighborhood amenities, and new neighbors, most of whomdiffer from them in terms of income, occupation, education, cultural background, familystructure, life experience and (in some cases) race.
These are the positive outcomes of gentrification. These are why people believe it is necessary for urban renewal, and what they use as their main argument.