Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A small room inside a bay window. A single bed, a table and chair, and a sink. I could manage something larger, with more conveniences, but I could never match the view.

The expanded book form of George W.S. Trow's November 1980 New Yorker article "Within the Context of No Context" is back at my bedside, and this morning, while I nibbling on the first pages of its New Yorker portion, I thought, Trow is bothered by demographics.

Here is a line from his "History" chapter: "History became the history of demographics."

Here is the line that follows (from a second "History" chapter):  "History has been the record of growth, conflict, and destruction."

And the line that follows that (from "The New History"): "The New History was the record of the expression of demographically significant preferences: the lunge of demography here as opposed to there."

And the line that follows that (from "The Decline of Adulthood"): "In the New History, nothing was judged -- only counted."

And from there it only gets more interesting.

(Here is a link to the Atlantic Monthly's 1984 "Beyond Demographics" article by James Atlas.)

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