I just finished the Globe article you linked to.
I was in New York over the weekend attending this conference: www.2045.com. If you think a city is unnatural, wait until you get a load of that!
But as we were walking down Broadway, I said to Samantha, my wife, "Let's count how many people make eye contact with us on this block." We were right near Times Square. And if you've ever been in Times Square on a Saturday evening, you know that it is a sight to behold. It is incredible. Pictures do it no justice. It is exhilarating. Each time you go it is just as overwhelming and incredible.
(Again, a very nice place to visit - something everyone should experience at least once.)
But in that throng and crush of humanity, under the neon lights of New York City, you can guess how many people we made eye contact with: Zero.
Samantha, who is a neuroscientist by training, said, "New York is like a brain high on crack." And it is. Overwhelming.
The other thing about a city like NY is that it is dominated by young people. It is a great attractor of the young and energetic. People stream in. "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere..." By the time you hit 35, it is probably too much. A friend of mine who lived there until he was about 35 said it would drive him crazy to stay forever. And he noted that a lot of the old timers were indeed crazy. Indeed, we saw a lot of crazy people on our trip. Harmless crazy. They lock up the dangerous ones.
At any rate, thank you again for the article. I'm going to share it with Samantha.
The author's book, How We Decide looks interesting.
As a final aside, there is a difference between de-ciding and choosing, and it is an important distinction. Look at other words with the -cide root: Suicide, homicide, patricide, etc. The act of de-ciding is one of killing off alternatives. Kill off all the alternatives until there is only one left standing.
To choose, on the other hand, is a different dynamic altogether. There is nothing there about killing anything else off. To choose is a mysterious process that has more to do with attraction than murder.
Look at the process by which the GOP "de-cided" on Romney: "Not this guy, not that guy, not the other guy, not Ron Paul. Ok, the only one standing is Romney. That is our de-cision."
Contrast that with how most people here arrived at Ron Paul: They chose him.
Over and out. Thank you again.