economics, peer groups, wars

December 3, 2005 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

Environmental and Urban Economics: Social Capital in the U.S Civil War

from environmental and urban economics a rather interesting series of papers on social groups in the contest of military units and the soldiers lives afterwards. This one qoute hits me the hardest:

When people are strangers, they have few social incentives to be “nice” to common property. But, in more cohesive communities common property might not suffer a Tragedy even if there is no formal rule of law.

This reminds heavily of Hong Kong where plazas and parks genuinely bring people together into common living areas. The results: the apartments are rather nice and well kept although the fountain next to me is dry at the moment. This brings to mind an Islamic urban developer Pete Barber once told me about who had mapped out a whole social structure for reforming Iran around the concept of forcing people to live in communities that enforce social places i.e. airport like lounges that border into little societies of apartments etc. That planner, Ada I think was his name, later flew a plane into the world trade center. But that’s a story that I can find no information on, and even Pete’s information seems bad when you look on the internet for more info, I’m way to nice these days in other words. All that said Korea is relentessly dirty and people complain of disconnection constantly (similar to the burbs syndrone of American before soccer moms formed social groups around their childrens acheivements on the field or perhaps I’m just putting the personal into a context it’s not fit to). If Korea could build it’s apartments like HK it would probably be a better place, it is after all rather Californian.

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