Sunday, 9 December 2012

Triumph of the City

.... one of my favourite books this year. Packed with good history and deep insight.

Ed Glaeser thinks that innovation comes when smart people bump into each other, for which the city is the perfect venue. Of course that must be true, but perhaps there is another side. If you are too connected, you may end up having the same ideas that everyone else has. The folk wisdom of academia says that great ideas come either out of the great centres like Harvard or Cambridge; or from little departments in the middle of nowhere, which are free to explore their own avenues. And the truly deep ideas of history have come from outside the city. Moses went up a mountain; Jesus was 40 days in the wilderness; Mohammed meditated in a cave.