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People come and go so quickly here

city map

This blog has become one of my favorite daily reads. So I shall show my gratitude by swiping his stuff.

Like this map. The one up top there. Guess what the dots mean. No, guess. Seriously, I’m not typing anything else until you do.

Wrong! It’s a list of all 160 cities in 1900 that had a population greater than 25,000.

Holy smokes! Can you believe it? Granted, some of those cities had a lot more than 25,000 citizens. The top twenty ranged from New York City, at 3,437,202 to Providence, RI at 175,597. (Poor little Rhode Island. Providence has slid to 124th with a current population of approximately 176,862. We’re leaking people!).

It’s so easy to forget that Superpower America is a 20th Century invention. Before that, we were a few happy rubes with cowshit on our boots. One of my favorite displays at the Smithsonian was in the Castle: they preserved intact the 1876 centennial exhibition, showing all our proudest accomplishments at the end of the Victorian era. Tennessee’s entire display is a coon skin and some pieces of wood. With bark on.

Somehow, that map links up in my head with this datum what I also nicked: as of 2006, service industries accounted for 42% of the world’s employment in 2006, agriculture 36.1%. Listen up — we got more peeps driving desks than driving ploughs!

He says (and I agree) that this is a huge milestone: the point at which the majority of our species is no longer in the business of grubbing up food.

Why do these two ideas go together? I…hmm. Well, history moves very fast. And, despite everything, pretty much in the right direction.

Get me! I’m an optimist!

October 4, 2007 — 6:07 pm
Comments: 19