irony abounds / NY Times on geography + internet
anybody else note this?
I another NY Times article on Thursday that made me smile (see December 21 fluff (dated fluff, in fact) from NY Times ‘styles’ / remember that rug?? about cowhide rugs being over), Silicon Valley Shaped by Technology and Traffic struck me as ironic. Silicon Valley and physical environs are the physical place where so much work is done to create the virtual (on-line) world. This article is about how important the geographical proximity is to all this development, and the relationship between the many “local clusters”.
real people, close to each other
It turns out that in this most web-centered of worlds, physical location matters so much – and is so specific — that different computer-related work is done depending on how close the work is to San Francisco in the north or to San Jose in the south:
In Manhattan, there used to be sewing machine repair shops clustered around West 26 Street, off Sixth Avenue, and button and ‘notions’ in the high West 30s, west of Eight Avenue, when the Seventh Avenue corridor in the 20s and 30s really did center the fashion/needle trades. (As just one example.)
Funny how the same benefits of proximity and concentration matter to the internet world.
I take it as an argument for why cities matter, even if there are only a few sewing machine repair shops on West 26 Street, or only a few high-end photo processing plants on West 17 Street, or even if the West 47 Street diamond merchants get clustered in one large building. And even if the peninsula south of San Francisco is not a city.
There’s more opportunity for that human nuance to come into play when people are clustered, even if the people spend their time on computers.
© Sandy Mattingly 2007
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