eric klinenberg

eric klinenberg.png

intro’d to Eric here:

Prof Laura Vaughan (@urban_formation) tweeted at 6:04 AM – 8 Oct 2018 :
Looking forward to this talk from @EricKlinenberg about social infrastructure @RSAEvents Impressively full room for a weekday lunchtime #RSAsociety (

book on hold

livestream: []

eric starts at 7 min

9 min – if we keep saying.. the house is on fire.. and how horrible those other people are for getting us there.. . we’re not going to get anywhere.. we need a to change the convo.. of what a diff society would be like..

13 min – (chicago) diff in death rate wasn’t nature/demographics of the people..  in most vulnerable there were  ie: abandoned homes & empty lots.. very little to draw you out into public areas..  other areas that looked like should have high death rates.. but w lively sidewalk culture.. very little abandoned .. lively libraries.. so.. everyday people come out.. interact.. bumping into each other.. community develops.. more likely to survive ie: heat wave.. have a long life..

15 min – social infra – physical places/orgs that shape our interactions

17 min – we have neglected social infra..  we’ve become more atomized/polarized

18 min – (ny) on hurricane sandy

19 min – on building infra – (research director for us) ..need for social infra.

20 min – blow up the idea of a wall..

21 min – the big u

22 min – resilience center.. this group (while describing center as a library) had forgotten about the library

24 min – so i took them to libraries doing a great many things they were talking about.. palaces for the people – carnegie’s idea of what libraries should be

library ness

25 min – a day in a life of library a parade of people who come thru the library who see it as a resilience center all the time.. libraries are doing all these amazing things

26 min – on essay writer saying.. library is obsolete.. replace w amazon

27 min – imagine we had no such thing as a library.. by virtue of your humanity.. gives you access of our shared cultural heritage for free.. citizenship status doesn’t matter.. today.. that idea is so out of sync w who we have become..

forbes had to take article down.. so many librarians/people wrote in

28 min – carnegie not only a philanthropist.. did some nasty things on the side.. he had a decidedly mixed record – need to tell both stories.. but today i’m talking about.. his side that built palaces..

29 min – also.. palaces.. not enough.. we have enormous work to do

30 min – will be spending trillions a year to keep up w infra.. clearly inadequate to date

31 min – reason i wrote book – 2 things i think we agree on.. 1\ infra broken 2\ society broken


37 min – a commercial eatery can prove to be very inaccessible to some.. if private sector going to be part of social infra.. has to be open and accessible

39 min – the thing is.. sm really only become helpful in most cases.. when they help you consummate a f 2 f interaction w a living person in real life.. t

2 convers as infra.. tech as it could be..

i realize not for all ie: in small community and an outlier.. online can be huge.. but for most of us.. friends on fb and followers on twitter.. is an unsatisfying way to be in the world..

40 min – the people who understand the power of irl social infra more than anyone else.. are the people who own the biggest sm co’s..  ie: fb, google, apple campuses.. largest investments in social infra..  all kinds of shared spaces.. everything designed for real life interactions.. serendipitous encounters..

41 min – all these guys are trying to figure out how to get people to commit to the place of work.. and you do it by creating an environ that foster relationships..t

yeah that for sure.. but also.. redefine work – so that it’s not about solving other people’s problems for pay..

what we need most is the energy of 7bn alive people.. figure that out then ‘trying to get people to commit’ becomes irrelevant

an undisturbed ecosystem.. in the city.. as the day.. via gershenfeld something else law..

44 min – what if we had addressed the broken windows project by fixing the windows.. people have been researching this for a decade.. treated places.. ie: abandoned buildings.. 39% reduction in crime

48 min – can’t do good infra from top down.. only way is by paying attention to how people live and listening to what people want..t

yeah.. we have the means to listen to every voice.. every day.. ie: tech as it could be..

52 min – we are in a moment of crisis right now.. a lot of my work is to figure out how to deal w climate change.. i think we’re in a reckoning/pivot moment.. we don’t sustain ourselves w a reorg of society

54 min – point of book is not: if we build these places.. it will solve our problems.. ie: if build library need to program it and maintain it..

55 min – daughter in amazon store.. she felt she needed so many things.. then went to library – it was closed was sunday..  why..

57 min – i think many communities.. given the chance.. would tax selves to get some of these resources back

58 min – not one thing you can do.. try this.. so many want to complain about things..  the situation.. turn it in the other direction.. start to talk about something we can seize upon..

59 min – i’m reporting in the book about places that have invested in these places.. every day i wanted to give up..i would walk into a library

1:00 – i’m done w the complaint.. call attention to things going right..


as it could be..

2 convers.. as infra

ie: hlb via 2 convers that io dance.. as the day..[aka: not part\ial.. for (blank)’s sake…]..  a nother way

the energy of 7bn alive people

undisturbed ecosystem

in the city.. as the day..

gershenfeld something else law


find/follow Eric:

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NYU sociologist. Director . Books include Heat Wave, Going Solo, Modern Romance (w ), and Palaces for the People, out 9/2018.


his site:

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an American sociologist and a scholar of urban studies, culture, and media. He is best known for his contributions as a public sociologist.