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Seth Tisue
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on the growth of Shenzhen, in China, a stone's throw from Hong Kong, from nothing to a city of 10 million in just 30 years: “The endless flow of newcomers led to yet another chapter in Shenzhen’s accelerated development. It created a kind of rival city — a mixture of teetering vertical tenements and informal marketplaces that took root amid the glistening towers of the metropolis; it was as if the nineteenth-century vision of Georges-Eugène Haussmann, the urban planner who at Napoleon’s behest modernized Paris, had been turned on its head. There the grand boulevards had been carved out of dense medieval neighborhoods to imbue the city with a sense of order. In Shenzhen, these two sides of the city — the medieval and the modern — seemed to be competing for dominance. With each new monolith built, a new wave of construction erupted in the migrant neighborhoods...” — Nicolai Ouroussoff, “Instant City: China’s Wild West gets tamed” (Harper’s, June 2013)

“This morning I declined to write a popular article about the question ‘Can machines think?’ I told the editor that I thought the question as ill-posed and uninteresting as the question ‘Can submarines swim?’ But the editor, being a social scientist, was unmoved: he thought the latter a very interesting question too.)” — Dijkstra
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