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Old 06-15-2016, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Crook County, Illinois
3,002 posts, read 1,258,955 times
Reputation: 3666

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I think the real issue with LA being "fake" is that it triggers the Uncanny Valley effect (see below) of cities. East Coast cities in old states, like New York, Baltimore, or Philadelphia are exactly what most Americans imagine a "real" city to look like: high-density, streets on a widespread grid, people walking around, weathered tall buildings, historic Beaux Arts train stations, apathy to strange behaviors, and a large blue-collar population. All that, despite a strong car culture and attraction to suburbia in most places. Even touristy cities like Key West or New Orleans are seen as "real", due to the traits described above, as well as their long history.

Las Vegas, by contrast, occupies the opposite end of the real/fake spectrum. It's so fake beyond fake, that people simply write it off as "Vegas, baby!", and not give its un-city-like character much thought. They just accept its fakeness for what it is, although they may hate on its overuse of water in the desert and obsession with money.

But LA is a gray area. On one hand, it's a city, per the Webster's definition: a collection of people and buildings in close quarters, run by a mayor. On the other hand, where are the pedestrians? Where are the historic narrow streets? Where are the centuries-old buildings? Where's the grit and grime? (Outside of Skid Row, that is.) Where are the blue collar workers sitting down for lunch in front of their warehouse? Where are the rumbling trains? Where's the weird guy smoking on the fire escape in his underwear? Lack of those things reminds people of bland suburbia, rather than a "real" city that LA is supposed to be. That cognitive dissonance can easily get strong enough to trigger the Uncanny Valley effect.

I suppose Phoenix, AZ would be expected to trigger the same Uncanny Valley effect, given its similarity to LA in this regard. But this isn't the Phoenix forum.

_______
"Uncanny Valley" is a negative reactions to living things that are almost human, but aren't. Healthy people or beings that clearly aren't human (animals or robots) do not trigger the Uncanny Valley effect. It's the reason why realistic prosthetics that don't move like a healthy limb (close to human, but isn't) can make people uncomfortable, but metal or robotic prosthetic limbs (obviously not human) usually evoke a more neutral reaction or even mild curiosity. And obviously, a natural limb looks perfectly normal.

Last edited by MillennialUrbanist; 06-15-2016 at 11:12 PM..
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,436 posts, read 1,975,785 times
Reputation: 2255
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
But LA is a gray area. On one hand, it's a city, per the Webster's definition: a collection of people and buildings in close quarters, run by a mayor. On the other hand, where are the pedestrians? Where are the historic narrow streets? Where are the centuries-old buildings? Where's the grit and grime? (Outside of Skid Row, that is.) Where are the blue collar workers sitting down for lunch in front of their warehouse? Where are the rumbling trains? Where's the weird guy smoking on the fire escape in his underwear?
Someone has never lived in, and most likely has never visited Los Angeles.

Why was this thread bumped?
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:07 AM
 
1,538 posts, read 5,132,124 times
Reputation: 1645
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
I think the real issue with LA being "fake" is that it triggers the Uncanny Valley effect (see below) of cities. East Coast cities in old states, like New York, Baltimore, or Philadelphia are exactly what most Americans imagine a "real" city to look like: high-density, streets on a widespread grid, people walking around, weathered tall buildings, historic Beaux Arts train stations, apathy to strange behaviors, and a large blue-collar population. All that, despite a strong car culture and attraction to suburbia in most places. Even touristy cities like Key West or New Orleans are seen as "real", due to the traits described above, as well as their long history.

Las Vegas, by contrast, occupies the opposite end of the real/fake spectrum. It's so fake beyond fake, that people simply write it off as "Vegas, baby!", and not give its un-city-like character much thought. They just accept its fakeness for what it is, although they may hate on its overuse of water in the desert and obsession with money.

But LA is a gray area. On one hand, it's a city, per the Webster's definition: a collection of people and buildings in close quarters, run by a mayor. On the other hand, where are the pedestrians? Where are the historic narrow streets? Where are the centuries-old buildings? Where's the grit and grime? (Outside of Skid Row, that is.) Where are the blue collar workers sitting down for lunch in front of their warehouse? Where are the rumbling trains? Where's the weird guy smoking on the fire escape in his underwear? Lack of those things reminds people of bland suburbia, rather than a "real" city that LA is supposed to be. That cognitive dissonance can easily get strong enough to trigger the Uncanny Valley effect.

I suppose Phoenix, AZ would be expected to trigger the same Uncanny Valley effect, given its similarity to LA in this regard. But this isn't the Phoenix forum.

_______
"Uncanny Valley" is a negative reactions to living things that are almost human, but aren't. Healthy people or beings that clearly aren't human (animals or robots) do not trigger the Uncanny Valley effect. It's the reason why realistic prosthetics that don't move like a healthy limb (close to human, but isn't) can make people uncomfortable, but metal or robotic prosthetic limbs (obviously not human) usually evoke a more neutral reaction or even mild curiosity. And obviously, a natural limb looks perfectly normal.
yet another know-nothing from elsewhere who thinks he understands los angeles, but in actuality has no clue.

thanks for the armchair psychoanalysis of the city, though.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:24 AM
 
Location: West Hollywood
2,202 posts, read 4,002,487 times
Reputation: 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by theraven24 View Post
Someone has never lived in, and most likely has never visited Los Angeles.

Why was this thread bumped?
Agreed.

Wrong on so many levels.
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
24,179 posts, read 13,695,061 times
Reputation: 11377
Probably hasn't been to Las Vegas either, especially anywhere off the strip.
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Old 06-16-2016, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles County
11,068 posts, read 8,998,172 times
Reputation: 29012
New York City is real.

-NY residents
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Old 06-16-2016, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
24,179 posts, read 13,695,061 times
Reputation: 11377
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Geek View Post
New York City is real.

-NY residents
There are other cities in the U.S besides N.Y???

-NYC Residents
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Old 06-16-2016, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Downtown Los Angeles, CA
1,886 posts, read 1,249,076 times
Reputation: 2167
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillennialUrbanist View Post
But LA is a gray area. On one hand, it's a city, per the Webster's definition: a collection of people and buildings in close quarters, run by a mayor. On the other hand, where are the pedestrians? Where are the historic narrow streets? Where are the centuries-old buildings? Where's the grit and grime? (Outside of Skid Row, that is.) Where are the blue collar workers sitting down for lunch in front of their warehouse? Where are the rumbling trains? Where's the weird guy smoking on the fire escape in his underwear? Lack of those things reminds people of bland suburbia, rather than a "real" city that LA is supposed to be. That cognitive dissonance can easily get strong enough to trigger the Uncanny Valley effect.
I have seen literally every one of these things in LA...and I'm a somewhat recent transplant.

Pedestrians can bee seen everywhere, concentrated in specific areas just like any city.
Narrow streets are found all over the place, when not driving down major veins.
Centuries-old buildings are often updated to look more modern, or were destroyed by EQs over the years.
Grit and grime can be found in DTLA, Hollywood, EchoPark, Silver Lake, etc. That's just within LA city.
Blue collar workers are also everywhere. Many of them are brown, which doesn't fit the East Coast stereotype.
I ride a Rumbling Train, underground, to work every day.
From my DTLA office I can see two weird guys on fire escapes as I type this sentence, which look to be homeless.
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Old 06-17-2016, 05:35 AM
 
Location: West Hollywood
2,202 posts, read 4,002,487 times
Reputation: 1709
Quote:
Originally Posted by jm1982 View Post
There are other cities in the U.S besides N.Y???

-NYC Residents
Lol
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Old 06-17-2016, 08:08 AM
 
818 posts, read 472,739 times
Reputation: 789
Iowa
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