An interesting article on the dominant zeitgeist of several American cities.
Cities and Ambition (PDF) by Paul Graham
Cambridge – you should be smarter
Silicon Valley – you should be more powerful
New York – you should be richer
“How much does it matter what message a city sends? Empirically, the answer seems to be: a lot. You might think that if you had enough strength of mind to do great things, you’d be able to transcend your environment. Where you live should make at most a couple percent difference. But if you look at the historical evidence, it seems to matter more than that. Most people who did great things were clumped together in a few places where that sort of thing was done at the
While the article is financially oriented, it’s a fascinating look at how the group can influence the course of the individual.