Imagine that you're walking down a street and look around you:
"Do average passersby throw down or pick up litter? After a minor fender-bender, do drivers politely exchange information, or scream and yell with wild gesticulations? Is honking constant or sporadic? Are crosswalks sacrosanct? Do restaurant dinners usually start or wind down at 9 p.m.? Can you drink tap water, or should you avoid it? Do you mostly pay what the price tag says, or are you expected to pay in untaxed cash and then haggle over the unstated cost? Are construction sites clearly marked and fenced to protect pedestrians, or do you risk walking into an open pit or getting stabbed by exposed rebar?"
So writes Victor Davis Hanson in a recent column on the importance of culture. Davis, one of my favorite smart people, has the ability to view the broad spectrum. This article is his summary of the impact of culture on people versus natural resources and race. It's chock full of thoughts that go bump in the night.