Cover by Joel Spolsky

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sixteenBUILDING COMMUNITIES WITHSOFTWARE

MONDAY, MARCH 3, 2003

In his book, The Great Good Place (Da Capo Press, 1999), social scientist Ray Oldenburg talks about how humans need a third place, besides work and home, to meet with friends, have a beer, discuss the events of the day, and enjoy some human interaction. Coffee shops, bars, hair salons, beer gardens, pool halls, clubs, and other hangouts are as vital as factories, schools, and apartments. But capitalist society has been eroding those third places, and society is left impoverished. In Bowling Alone (Simon & Schuster, 2001), Robert Putnam brings forth, in riveting and well-documented detail, reams of evidence that American society has all but lost its third places. Over the last 25 ...

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