I found this article about how Micrsoft and NYC are developing an advanced surveillance system "for the police by the police." Thousands of video cameras on street corners, license plate scanners, radiation detectors.
Now I no longer travel much in cities for a variety of reasons. I am used to living in the "country" where things are very much different. There are no people within a quarter mile save for one neighbor who we share a driveway with.
There are no security cameras, no license plate scanners, nothing like that.
The question is this: are we in any more 'danger' than the folks in town?
I think that many city dwellers would think yes. After all there are no police standing by, no cameras, nothing like that. Crazies could show up at any time and do us in, right?
But really, in order to put us into danger someone would first have to find us. Rural Pennsylvania is a big place and the population density is very sparse outside cities (which are also small for the most part). The average US population density from the above map is 32.22 people per square kilometer. Where we live its more like two.
So for some form of wacko to come visit us he or she would first have find us. Traveling through heavy woods and brush for a kilometer is a lot of work - you have to traverse streams, creeks, steep embankments, sharp brambles and so on. So its unlikely anyone just "happening by" will drop in.
In a city its far different. Most places its maybe twenty or thirty steps (yards or meters) to the next house.
Want to rob someone? House looks busy? Walk thirty more seconds to an empty house.
In town you can have neighborhood watch systems - people living around you watching out for you and you for them. While that's nice to a point it also strips away your privacy. Nosy Nelly looking in over your back fence all the time to make sure you're "safe."
On the other hand here there's a new mall about two miles away. Recently a bear walked into the Sears store.
"Lions and tigers and bears! Oh My"
We have lots of bears here. We see tracks and evidence frequently.
I suppose they might be dangerous if cornered or provoked. But in general I'd rather face a bear than a human intent on harming me.
Oh, did I mention that same said bears are also roaming around my desolate area - I guess any would be robbers will find out how friendly they are...
I don't know why people are attracted to cities.
We used to live in NYC many years ago. There's a lot of activity and bustle certainly - and places to go. But its dirty. The air is foul. It smells like garbage and vehicle exhaust.
Yet people like it...
Its almost like people in large groups become like "pets." They trade their innate "wildness" for "captivity" at the hands of the state (or city).
Like pets they get safety and company.
But at a significant price beyond simple freedom: intelligence.
It turns out that domesticated animals may lose a significant portion of their intelligence when they become domesticated.
After all, they no longer worry about thinks like their own security. Food is readily available down at the corner market. Helpful police are cruising by frequently.
But does not having to worry about these things make your mind less active - something that, for example, is a necessary component to longer, healthier living?
I have written a lot here about the demise of intelligence in our schools.
Little wonder when you think about the fact today's kiddies come from a more domesticated environment than we did (I grew up with maybe several dozen people per square mile). No need to worry about anything - its all taken care of.
Like my dog Mugs.
He wants for nothing but is he as smart as the fox outside who has to hunt his every meal?
Human society is dividing itself into the "domesticated" and the "wild" I think.
Every more bloated cities are stuffed with "domesticated" human masses who, if anything like other mammals, will decrease in intelligence over generations.
Bloated cities that govern out country and control our futures...
Today us "wild" human's are a dying breed I think. In the two generations since I was a kid our urban populations have grown significantly and, from what I see, our over all "intelligence" has started to diminish. Just like Rome.
Don't get me wrong.
Mugs is a great pet. He's always happy to see me. He sits in my lap at night when we watch TV. I pet him. He comes when he's called. I experiment on his health as I have written here.
But I was born a "wild" human. Not as "wild" as those in generations before but certainly more "wild" than what I can see today.
For Mugs this is the genetic "end of the line."
He's been clipped and so he won't be passing on this genes for "domestication."
Outside the wild fox, bear and coyote will be though, like me.
Modern society is in the process of "clipping" the town dwellers for the good of "everyone."
Its not complete or mandatory yet - but that's coming...
In the mean time Mugs will continue to enjoy his good life.