This morning I came across Margaret O’Mara’s winter 2001 essay on dispersal and the aftermath of September 11th. It’s a bit similar to what Steven Johnson wrote in Wired at the time, but more historically-grounded: what’s especially interesting is how she connects dispersal to the growth of suburban high-tech industries and regions, like Silicon Valley.
I could kick myself for not seeing the connection myself. I’ve always been interested in how Bucky made use of the dispersal movement in his refashioning in the 1950s, but never followed the story out into industry, and tried to figure out what impact it actually had on industrial location and growth. Not that I’m competent to do that kind of thing, anyway. So it’s good that someone can make the connection.