Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What Can We Deduce from This Picture?

What can we deduce from this picture?

We notice lots of large buildings, even more small buildings, but very few intermediate-size buildings. If we assume that building size is correlated with organization size, this might mean the city is dominated by a few large organizations that suppress competition. It is the skyline of the capital of a repressive oligarchy.

It might be possible to determine how repressive a government is simply by the urban architecture.

I don't know what city it might be or if it's even on Earth. At first, I thought it might be a future dystopian New York (you can see rivers resembling the Hudson and East rivers) but with more of the harbor filled in, until I realized that meant the sun was setting (or rising) in the north.


Anonymous Cambias said...

But can we assume building size correlates with organization size? Few big buildings nowadays are single-tenant, and I don't know of any big companies which actually own their namesake skyscraper any more. (N.B.: at least in the U.S.; it may be different in other lands.)

I'd say the picture tells us more about the bureaucracy and political situation in that city: very strong forces against new development preserve the large expanses of low-rise buildings, which means that the rare opportunities for new construction spawn titanic megabuildings because the market is incredibly overpriced. That also explains why the cityscape extends to the horizon, with vast buildings sprouting at random.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

> the sun was setting (or rising) in the north.

That's not the sun - that's the gas flare from the plant that renders down libertarian thought criminals into their constituent parts!

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Vader said...

What drives large building construction is real estate prices. If land is hideously expensive, you want to build as many floors over a given footprint as possible.

So the real question is why part of the city has big, economical buildings and part is still older inefficient buildings. My conclusion is they still have rent control.

2:16 PM  

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