A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“A man is washing the car with his son. The son asks, ‘Dad, can’t you just use a sponge?‘“ (6/23)
“Don’t waste a moment of your life trying to be normal” (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
“Dance like no one is watching. Because they are not. They’re checking their phones” (6/23)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (6/23)
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Entry from December 18, 2015
“Trend is not destiny”

Entry in progress—B.P.

The Contrary Opinion—Buttons
Trend is Not Destiny
The quotation has been kicking around in the field of urban studies/environmentalism for decades. It was popularized by both Lewis Mumford and Rene Dubos. It was in a book by Albert Mayer in 1967. But Paul Valéry appears to have written it first. In any event, when applied to the stock market, it tells us simply that trends do not go on forever. Trends do, however, tend to last longer and go further than originally expected, and you can make money knowing this.

Google Books
The Urgent Future:
People, Housing, City, Region

By Albert Mayer
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill
1967
Pg. 3:
Trend Is Not Destiny: Alternatives to Trend
Another troubling factor is that the whole tendency of urban and highway planning and develop ment in this country is to follow trend, to study trend, to ride with trend as smoothly as possible.
Pg. 169:
We must all rethink our rules. And finally, we must emblazon on our banner that trend is not destiny.

Caltech
OCLC WorldCat record
Trend is Not Destiny
Author: Dubos, Rene
Publisher: California Institute of Technology 1971-01-01
Edition/Format: Downloadable archival material
Database: WorldCat
Summary:
People who are worried about where Western civilization is heading usually ask, “Where is technology taking us?” They should begin to ask, “Where do we want science and technology to take us?”

Google Books
Architecture as a Home for Man:
Essays for Architectural Record

By Lewis Mumford
New York, NY: Architectural Record Books
1975
Pg. 203:
Mayer’s repeated admonition, “Trend is not destiny,” should be on the walls of every planning office. If it were taken seriously, most of the silly chatter about Megalopolis as the “new form of the city” — actually the formlessness of the non-city — would abruptly cease..

OCLC WorldCat record
Trend is not destiny, futures are something you make
Author: Robert L Heilbroner; Gerald Leach; Preparedness for the future (Project)
Publisher: Malmö : Lärarhögsk., 1983.
Series: Särtryck och småtryck från Pedagogisk-psykologiska institutionen, Lärarhögskolan i Malmö, Lunds universitet, 471.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Google Books
Human Ecology:
Following Nature’s Lead

By Frederick R. Steine
Washington, DC: Island Press
2002
Pg. 192:
Lewis Mumford wrote a 1967 review of Albert Mayer’s book The Urgent Future in Architecture Record. This review was reprinted with the title “Trend Is Not Destiny” in Lewis Mumford, Architecture as a Home for Man: Essays for Architecture Record, ed. Jeanne M. Davern (New York: Architectural Record Books, 1975), pp. 201-206. Mumford took the title from the trend-is-not-destiny admonition in Mayer’s book. Mumford argued that the admonition “should be on the walls of every planning office” (p. 203). The destiny quote has also been attributed to René Dubos. The earliest use of the phrase that I am aware of is by Paul Valéry.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Friday, December 18, 2015 • Permalink