"Because it was a place that always drew visionaries and big thinkers, it has always showed the way that the nation is going," said Strand. If economic stagnation and distrust of government are the defining features of this American moment, Niagara Falls charted the way to the bottom.
You wouldn't call it [the Canadian side of Niagara Falls] classy; you wouldn't call it impoverished, either.
It's a superficial topic, yet it seemed that so much was at stake. Why? Because struggles over taste (and "taste" is the hipster's primary currency) are never only about taste.
The things you prefer -- tastes that you like to think of as personal, unique, justified only by sensibility -- correspond tightly to defining measures of social class: your profession, your highest degree and your father's profession.
There is a clear monotonic association between childhood intelligence (measured before the age of 16) and the frequency of alcohol consumption in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. "Very bright" British children grow up to consume alcohol nearly one full standard deviation more frequently than their "very dull" classmates.
The more intelligent Americans are in their childhood, the more alcohol they consume as young adults.
Robert Lane Greene:
Steve Jobs says that the most important class he took in college (before dropping out) was calligraphy.
Writing a blog has become this very old-fashioned thing. It is like calligraphy or something.
As Obama has been repeating, the American middle class has been thrown under the bus.
Jonathan V. Last:
Politicians as a class are particularly susceptible to mirror-gazing. But Obama's vanity is overwhelming. It defines him, his politics, and his presidency.