Your Money for Your Life
What do you see as some of the more valuable aspects of urbanization and some of the more dangerous?
Well, the "valuable" aspect, or at least the interesting one, is that bigger towns are getting much more "urban-informatic" lately.There's a lot of innovation in the urban fabric these days. Cities also seem to have political energy in an era when nations are getting weaker every day. For instance, the UK is a creaking financial wreck while Boris Johnson's London is a freak scene.
The obviously dangerous aspect of modern cities is urban organized crime, narcoterror, low-intensity warfare, war in urban terrain, favela shoot-'em-ups, whatever faddish name the trouble has this year. Baghdad, Mogadishu, Grozny.
But I'd also like to point out that large financial centers in certain cities around the planet are certainly going to kill millions of us by destroying our social safety networks in the name of their imaginary financial efficiency. You're a thousand times more likely to die because of what some urban banker did in 2008 than from what some Afghan-based terrorist did in 2001.
Financiers live in small, panicky urban cloisters, severely detached from the rest of mankind. They are living today in rich-guy ghetto cults. They are truly dangerous to our well-being, and they are getting worse and more extremist, not better and more reasonable. You're not gonna realize this havoc till you see your elderly Mom coughing in an emergency ward, but she's going there for a reason.
From a boingboing.net interview with Bruce Sterling