David Brooks spoke at Franklin & Marshall College this past Saturday, delivering a lecture that was free and open to the public.

For those (like me) interested in the local angle, Brooks commented frequently on F&M, and how as a liberal arts college it is a strong example of educating the “whole self,” including reason, emotions, and even parts of the mind we are just beginning to understand scientifically. He didn’t mention Lancaster itself, though he did note in the Q&A that earlier in his career he was in favor of suburbanization but since shifted his views as he became convinced of the value of living in denser proximity to others.

His talk was an expanded version of his TED talk, which I’ve embedded below. Watch it and you’ll get the gist of what he said on Saturday.

2 thoughts on “David Brooks at F&M Saturday

  1. To Brooks’ discussion on suburban living: In Lancaster we hear plenty about farmland preservation. To those folks, I respond with the elder Brooks’ new sensibility. The best way to preserve farmland is with urban enhancement. If people choose cities, then they won’t sprawl into farmland. Most of the people who bemoan the “loss” of this land live in areas that used to be agrarian.

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more, Jeff. I’m on the board of LIVE Green, which is doing a great job making the urban environment in Lancaster even better than it already is for nature lovers like me. We’re also working with the Lancaster County Conservancy to find ways to do exactly what you’re talking about–preserve open space by enhancing high-density areas. I’m very hopeful, even as I’m very concerned about the overall trends.

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