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Purporting to have learned valuable lessons from the boom-and-bust fiasco.

I woke up the morning after Caitlin’s pronouncement and resolved never to look back. I feared that I would be turned into a pillar of salt by the Caitlin-mediated god offering me redemption. I pictured Seattle as a smoking ruin, to be instantly forgotten and fled in search of some relatively prelapsarian city—like Seattle before the boom—and I was wary of plunging into my self-pitying spiral again.

As if to acknowledge the wisdom (and maybe even the virtue) of my decision, a job suddenly materialized. One week to the day after my unemployment compensation ran out, after five months of unemployment, I began work writing newsletters, fliers and web pages for the King County Department of Transportation. Cosseting commuters. My office, it turned out, was in Maynardtown—a short walk through Pioneer Square from the ferry terminal—with a view out to the south, looking directly at two classically vulgar Paul Allen vanity projects: the new Seahawks football stadium and the new buildings around the Allen-restored old Union Station. I would have expected to view them as horrifying, if not downright threatening, encroaching as they were on the edge of the sacred center of Seattle. Instead, from the safety of my Maynardtown perch, in my new state of mind, they looked a world away—as harmless, now that the boom was over, as they were ostentatious. They looked more like the ruins of a fallen, bloated Empire than new monuments to a new Emperor.

In a way, they were ruins—the boom they pretended to honor had gone bust before the paint on the football stadium was dry, and Amazon, the primary tenant in the Union Square project, was laying off employees by the hundreds. It was as if Allen had built them not with the intention that they have a useful life before fading to ruin, but simply to be ruins. He wanted to leave a stain on the landscape that would immortalize him. I couldn’t look at them without thinking of Jonathan Raban’s line about the Pyramids: “Mr. Big was here.”

In the cold cleansing light of the technology bust, all the boom-delivered dangers to Seattle looked faded, worn, weakened. Gleaming new office buildings were plastered with vacancy signs that looked like white flags of surrender. The big success stories of the boom—Microsoft, Starbucks—had become just another part of the corporate scenery. Their novelty worn off, their growth curves flattened, their competitive environments completely changed, their founders grown into middle age, they had lost their novelty, their charm, their power. They were reduced like their corporate elders to a kind of white noise in the background. They were faded celebrities—still there, still glittering, but no longer vibrant, no longer leading the way to a glorious future, no longer objects of fascination, no longer dangerous.

I saw firsthand one morning how precipitous the fall can be from glamorous startup to establishment white trash. I was standing in a Pioneer Square Starbucks, at the corner of First and Yesler, when I saw a tourist couple walk in. The man was a classic: in his 70s, sporting a straw fedora, loud shirt, oversized Bermuda shorts, and black socks and shoes. He looked like the result of a collaboration between Edward Hopper and David Hockney. He and his wife took only two steps into the Starbucks theme park before he stopped, enraged. “Let’s go get coffee somewhere else!” he said. “I don’t want to go to a franchise .”

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
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
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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