Census in our mind


1976. Washington D.C. Belt-bottom pants and boom-boxes. The city was predominantly black.

2011 Washington D.C. Gentrified, half-black and half others.And that’s just one stat in the 2010 data.

Asian population in Arizona, Texas and elsewhere like Philadelphia should surprise any demographer.

While America went to war in Europe, European ended up at America’s shores. Then America went to wars in Korea and Vietnam. Asians ended up here in the US. “I see living people” (to paraphase “the Sixth Sense”) i.e. Iraqis, Afghans and Syrians in the US in next Census count.

More mosques and more tolerance, by osmosis.

Take KIA as an example. It is claiming the spot where Toyota and Honda Civic used to be: affordable, aesthetic and long on warranty.

We no longer discuss “Is America ready for a Catholic (or black) President”, we discuss “Is America ready for a Mormon President“.

This is to show how Bin Laden and  cohorts have become irrelevant. America has always been a moving target (no punt intended). My recommendation is that we should take the Census every five years. A decade is now too long to update policies. It’s ironic that after 9/11, we increased the amount of surveillance cameras by the millions. But those images were served up for security reason only, instead of for change management (as of this edit, this move served us well in the Boston Marathon apprehension).

Back to census in our mind. We have a mental map as opposed to the true map out there.

It’s called prejudging. We look for what eventually reinforce  what is already in our mind (a priori).

Texas is Marlboro country. Arizona, cactus. Las Vegas, casinos (- the Echelon). New York, well, high rises – Twin Towers.

Chicago, w/ Sears tower. California, gold rush?.

Often times, we refuse to absorb and adjust new information. So, Washington D.C. is all black. Chicago all Polish. And the White House, always “white”. The question to be asked is, what year was your census taken? or what century? Many backpackers travel to Vietnam were surprised to see new high rises and a Hard Rock Cafe. Naturally, the reaction is to follow “Lonely Planet” guide, to spend a day underground in Cu Chi tunnel and stay around “pho Tay” (backpacker’s quarter). This was like having an American compound in Baghdad, insulated from the real action. Just close the drapes, and open the old census in your mind, if that suits you. The next time you venture out into the open, be on the look-out for a Chinese debt collector who might serve you a notice. Back in 1971, the US economy was roughly 5 times bigger than China’s, and we laughed at Korean or Japanese-made cars. Now we can’t even afford a KIA Optima. Let’s see what your FICO score is, so we can put you in the right vehicle TODAY  i.e. Nano or Cherry (Indian and Chinese, respectively).

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