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Old 12-02-2007, 09:47 AM   #1
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Last Call - Boston Globe Article

I recommend all to read an article published in today's Globe. Many on this board have rued the changes that have happened to Boston neighborhoods, and to cities in general. The vanishing of niche bookstores from Harvard Square, record stores, delis, cafes, and gay bars (the focus of the article, but it goes beyond gar bars) - the overall diminishing of the character of place. This article does an excellent job at describing why these changes have occurred - the solution is quite's the internet. Even the very online community of architecturalBoston has its hand in diminishing the city around us! Instead of meeting at coffee shops, book shops and dusty bars to discuss urbanity, we do so anonymously over the internet..
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:43 PM   #2
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Re: Last Call - Boston Globe Article

What an absurd argument. The majority of conversations taking place online would have never occurred without the internet's ability to facilitate the convergence of far-flung people with similar interests. It also allows people to hold conversations that aren't specific to one mutually convenient time. There is no "law of conservation of discussions" that has moved so many online that the market for places to discuss them would be diminished.

Even if there were such a law, it's not like the same people that hold online discussions go out less, or hold in-person conversations with the people they know in-person less about their interests. Are the sidewalks of cities really less crowded because of the internet? That would have to be proven first, I think.

No, I think the far stronger argument is that the growth of the internet's popularity has correlated with the rise in the popularity of cities, which, in turn, has attracted corporations with financial clout and reputation among new urbanites such that they can drive away local competitors. It's rare that a small local business goes under because of lack of loyal or appreciative customers; they go under because they're bought out, because rents are raised, because their prices can be undercut, etc.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:59 PM   #3
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Re: Last Call - Boston Globe Article

First of all if this forum was not on the internet, I would not have gone to a coffee shop, book shop, etc. to chat with people about this because I wouldn't be aware of it. I have to say many of us wouldn't know where to go to talk about these issues were it not for the forum and internet. Thus, the coffee shops, book shops, etc. would not have receive any benefits anyways.
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Old 12-02-2007, 11:19 PM   #4
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Re: Last Call - Boston Globe Article

I agree with the czsc and LeTaureau.

Also, the decline of gay nightclubs might have more to do with the assimilation of gay culture into the general culture. There was an article I read not long ago that talked about gay parts of town and gay events being less distictly gay than they once were. They attributed that to more acceptance of gays by the general populace, at least in many urban areas.
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