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Click on the audio player above to hear this interview. The details surrounding the life and death of Queens resident George Bell have struck a chord with Americans. As our partner The New York Times reported [http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/nyregion/dying-alone-in-new-york-city.html?ref=nyregion&_r=0], Mr. Bell had been dead for days before a neighbor noticed a smell emanating from his apartment in July. His estate stipulates that about half a million dollars of his assets be left to virtual strangers that he hadn't communicated with in decades. His 10-year-old Toyota Rav4 was left behind with just 3,000 miles on it. Bell's story has left many considering the significance of a life lived nearly entirely alone. In modern America, particularly in urban America, where one solitary individual can exist in near anonymity next to another, is it becoming easier to just be alone? And is solitude something to be feared, or celebrated? ERIC KLINENBERG, professor of sociology at New York University and author of "Going Solo:The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone [http://www.amazon.com/Going-Solo-Extraordinary-Surprising-Appeal/dp/0143122770]," weighs in. What you'll learn from this segment: The historical trends around people living solitary lives. Whether it's easier or more difficult to live a solitary life today. Why living a solitary life might be something to be celebrated.  

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