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The leftie newspaper that gets thrown onto my front yard every week just had an interesting take. Apparently Durham's hippie street, Ninth St., is being surrounded and encroached by corporate commerce. A big hotel, a supermarket, chain restaurants....
I suppose that this is unfortunate. I like hippie streets, although in actuality they don't really offer much to civilization. But I've lived through a few generations, and this is an extremely conformist time, and becoming more so by the day. Everyone's mind is now one mind, networked by telephones. And the monitoring and control from Big Bro that crazy people in the past warned us about is now actually happening.
NOTE: This was written before the 2014 explosion in surveillance of everybody everywhere.
It only makes sense that our commercial options should streamline, narrow and homogenize. Yesterday's people might not like it but tomorrow's world is going to be for tomorrow's people, and they love it. You might like to go to Mildred's Muffins but it's a pretty safe bet that more people will go to McDonalds. Or Starbucks. Pick your conformity.