Monday, September 22, 2003

Coffee and social networks

Watching the Open University Cooking Programme on Saturday morning (lying in bed, natch), I discovered the following fascinating fact: both the London Stock Exchange and Lloyd's shipping brokerage developed on the sites of coffee houses. Coffee houses in the 18th Century were renowned for bringing together diverse groups of people and for being places where "anything goes" conversations were accepted. I suppose this neatly ties up the anti-capitalist demonstrators' targeting of Starbucks - but then the French Revolution was fomented in coffee shops too.

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