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All of this was relatively harmless—some of it even admirable. But Allen also started buying up land all over the Pacific Northwest, particularly in Seattle, and spinning out grotesquely grand visions for it. Two of his most noticeable and controversial initiatives were the Jimi Hendrix Museum, a high-tech rock-and-roll entertainment venue he wanted to build on the hallowed Seattle Center grounds, and the Seattle Commons, a planned transformation of the south shore of Lake Union into a Utopian mixed-use neighborhood centered on a park. To that end, Allen “loaned” $20 million in 1992 to the group seeking to build the Commons, with the understanding that if Seattle citizens did not vote to levy $50 million in property taxes to fund the vision, Allen would take 11.5 acres of south Lake Union land—bought by the Commons with his loan—in exchange for the money.

The debate over the Commons highlighted the shift in Seattle’s self-image and dreams for itself. Now, there was no longer any question at all that we lived in, and defined ourselves as, a technology town. Just as more and more employees and tradespeople had been flowing toward technology companies and out of resource-based and traditional manufacturing industries, so too now were more and more of the city’s politics and urban development flowing techward. City Hall under Mayor Norm Rice was solidly behind the Commons project, which amounted to a massive urban-renewal tax plan, seed-funded with tech-sector money, for turning one of the most symbolic sections of the city into a high-tech business park. Seattle Commons was promoted as the wave of the future, an inspired means of accommodating rapid population growth and making way for the “clean” industries of the post-industrial age—software, biotechnology, and other nonpolluting industries whose primary factory assets were the brains of their employees.

From 1992 into 1995 the debate raged, with battle lines being drawn not only between those in thrall to technology’s money and those who held to a more traditional and less greedy view of Seattle, but also along socioeconomic lines: Polls conducted by research firms found that enthusiasm for the Commons came largely from Seattleites with incomes higher than $60,000 per year. But Commons promoters tried to define the divide differently—as one between forward-thinking people with a clear vision of the future and backward people clinging to outmoded views, jobs and traditions.

Lost in the overarching philosophical debate was the reality that 95 businesses would be displaced by the Commons. I went over one day and walked through the south Lake Union neighborhood, noting the distinctive lack of glamour there. It was the Seattle Jonathan Raban—who I heard had returned here to settle down—had invoked so fondly in 1989. I walked past a scrap-iron yard, antique and second-hand furniture warehouses, a bike shop, used-car lots, an appliance store, a sewing-machine shop, a trophy shop, and various other small enterprises, all in rundown buildings, many with anti-Commons signs in their windows, and none destined to take over the world or the city or even the neighborhood. No one here was intent on defining the future. These were just little family operations trying to get by as I had with my typesetting business so long ago. Walking these streets now, newly back from my frenzied sojourn at Microsoft, I waded through the same emotional slough I’d traversed years before during that depressing walk around Lake Union. Why, I wondered, is this city constantly turning against itself?

Questions & Answers

anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Seattle and the demons of ambition. OpenStax CNX. Oct 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10504/1.4
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