A region is an area safely larger than the last one to whose problems we found no solution.
Advanced cultures are usually sophisticated enough, or have been sophisticated enough at some point in their pasts, to realize that foxes shouldn't be relied on to guard henhouses.
All through organized history, if you wanted prosperity you had to have cities. Cities are places that attract new people with new ideas.
Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.
Credentialing, not education, has become the primary business of North American universities.
Great cities are not like towns, only larger. They are not like suburbs, only denser. They differ from towns and suburbs in basic ways, and one of them is that cities are, by definition, full of strangers.
I think it is fatal to specialize. And all kinds of things show us that and that the more diverse we are in what we can do, the better.
In North America we live in a graveyard of lost aboriginal cultures, many of which were decisively finished off by mass amnesia in which even the memory of what was lost was also lost.
In small settlements everyone knows your affairs. In the city everyone does not- only those you choose to tell will know about you. This is one of the attributes of cities that is precious to most city people.
In wretched outcomes, the devil is in the details.
Intelligent people to a great extent are captives of their time or place.
it is immoral for powerless people to accept this powerlessness. They may not succeed in getting power but they can fight for it, and if enough fight for it, it makes it very difficult for the people with the big sticks.
It may be that we have become so feckless as a people that we no longer care how things work but only the kind of quick, easy outer impression that they get.
New ideas must use old buildings.
Not TV or illegal drugs but the automobile has been the chief destroyer of American communities.
Nothing is so clear in history that is it happens for any one thing. It seems that a lot of things come together to make great changes.
One wonders at the docility of the students who evidently must be satisfied enough with the credentials to be uncaring about the lack of education.
People must take a modicum of public responsibility for each other even if they have no ties to each other.
People who try to predict the future by extrapolating in a line of more of what exists- they are always wrong.
Power is supposed to be so corrupt. I don't think it's so much corrupt, in the usual sense of the word, as stupid and unrealistic. The more power a person has, the further he gets from reality.
Redundancy is expensive but indispensable.
Some men tend to cling to old intellectual excitements, just as some belles, when they are old ladies, still cling to the fashions and coiffures of their exciting youth.
Streets and their sidewalks- the main public places of a city- are its most vital organs.
The point of cities is multiplicity of choice.
The salient mystery of Dark Ages sets the stage for mass amnesia. People living in vigorous cultures typically treasure those cultures and resist any threat to them. How and why can a people so totally discard a formerly vital culture that it becomes vitally lost?
The trouble with paternalists is that they want to make impossibly profound changes, and they choose impossibly superficial means for doing so.
There are dangers in sentimentalizing nature. Most sentimental ideas imply, at bottom, a deep if unacknowledged disrespect. It is no accident that we Americans, probably the world's champion sentimentalizers about nature, are at one and the same time probably the world's most voracious and disrespectful destroyers of wild and rural countryside.
There is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans.
There is no new world that you make without the old world.
To science, not even the bark of a tree or a drop of pond water is dull or a handful of dirt banal. They all arouse awe and wonder.
Unity, like so many good things, is good only in moderation.
Virtually all ideologues, of any variety, are fearful and insecure, which is why they are drawn to ideologies that promise prefabricated answers for all circumstances.
We must demonstrate that it is possible to overcome poverty, misery and decay by democratic means, and we must ourselves believe, and must show others, that our American tradition of the dignity and liberty of the individual is not a luxury for easy times but is the basic source of the strength and security of a successful society.
While politicians, clergy, creators of advertisements, and other worthies assert stoutly that the family is the foundation of society, the nuclear family, as an institution, is currently in grave trouble.
While you are looking, you might as well also listen, linger and think about what you see.
Writing, printing, and the Internet give a false sense of security about the permanence of culture.
You can't rely on bringing people downtown, you have to put them there.
You don't get new products and services out of sameness.
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