Monday, March 19, 2012

Our own bubbles

I greatly enjoyed Charles Murray's Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.  He finds that many us live in "bubbles" and are out of touch with large segments of our own society.  He argues that this is a problem.

Quite surprisingly, Murray manages to end his doleful analysis on an optimistic note, citing Nobelist Robert Fogel’s Fourth Great Awakening (2000) which includes the rise of philanthropy in America, much of it geared to promoting equality of opportunity.

Murray's "bubble test" is available here.  My own score tells me what I already knew.  I live in a bubble. Take the test.

The Long Tail is a wonderful thing.  We can easily find vast variety and highly ideosynchratic menus of music, books, TV -- and everything else -- which cater to our peculiar tastes.  As never before, we get to fashion a bubble that works for us.

Is the glass half full?  We have the "secession of the successful.  But "the rich" have always been apart.  That option is now available to large segments of the middle class.