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Salmagundi (Fall 2006, No. 152), the quarterly journal of humanities and social sciences of Skidmore ... - page 6 / 6

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patterns) are simply differences in taste, which takes us back to the fallacy that an appraisal of suburbia is simply a sum of opinions, or a set of poll numbers, or the mere fact that at a given time in history, any number of people chose tragically to invest their life savings in a particular kind of house because they mistakenly believed that current conditions would continue forever.

We’re about to find out the hard way that life is tragic and history is merciless and that reality doesn’t care what we like or don’t like. The suburban system we have come to think of as “sprawl” is going to fail spectacularly. We will be desperate to make other arrangements, and all the statistical bullshit in the world will not avail us to bargain our way around it. The global oil crisis we face, in combination with climate change, is about to bring on perhaps the greatest discontinuity that the human race has ever faced. If there are any historians left to unearth this book centuries from now, they will marvel that anyone ever thought that simply liking something was enough to guarantee its existence.

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