Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Are We “Fantasia” or “Another Reality”?

Did you see this map in the New York Times with a review of a new book called The Big Sort?

I didn’t but fortunately my friend Bill Giest did and blogged it. The map is hilarious. But as the review notes though, the phenomena isn’t new. I read recently that Mormons were persecuted in Missouri and Illinois before they trekked west to be left alone in what is now Utah. Most people who went West early on were trying to escape the tyranny of a majority way of thought…

And then conformity caught up with the people in Utah and demanded they be a state…but to do so, Utah not only had to ban polygamy to be made a state, they went from household to household and appointed every other family, a Democrat or Republican so they wouldn’t tip the balance of power.

This kind of pressure to conform even happens in small sub-regions like the Triangle. Ever hear someone label someone as not a regional “player.” That means they don’t belong to my “clique.”

And you thought "high school hallway politics” was in the rear view mirror. Maybe the big sort is just about people doing what they did hundreds of years ago…not as much trying to find a place where people think like they do as much as where people are tolerant of people who are different.

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