Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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You got a problem with that?

I usually end up deciding to write about something after noticing I’ve brought it up in conversation two or three times. As is the case with this article from Smithsonian Magazine on what makes New Yorkers who they are. Amongst other theories for why we are the way we are, it’s suggested that “the special difficulties of life in New York—the small apartments, the struggle for a seat on the bus or a table at a restaurant—seem to breed a sense of common cause. When New Yorkers see a stranger, they don’t think, “I don’t know you.” They think, “I know you. I know your problems—they’re the same as mine—and furthermore we have the same handbag.” So that’s how they treat you.”

May 5, 2008