The Best Of All Possible Worlds - "A public art contest in Evansville, Indiana becomes a debate over race, class, and good taste." [more inside]
Beginning with New York and wending its way through to Detroit, The Atlantic Cities has just completed a series of posts exploring geographic class divisions in a dozen cities (actually metro areas) in the U.S., with help from American Community Survey data. [more inside]
The dream of a laptop-powered "knowledge class" is dead. The media is melting. Blame the economy -- and the Web This is something I've been thinking about for some time, and voila!, here's a really good piece to back up my assumption that the expansiveness and multiple profusions of creative freedoms made possible by the Internet has helped bring down a large swath of "creative types", just as it has enabled others. This is a worthy and provocative read, and will be part of a Salon series that looks into the "hollowing out" of the creative class. [more inside]
Veteran Australian pop satirist New Waver, best known for covers of pop songs rewritten from a pessimistically neo-Darwinian point of view, has a new album out. Titled Bohemian Suburb Rhapsody, it looks at the subjects of gentrification, the explosion of revivalist styles in "hip" music, contemporary white-collar culture, the ideology of the "creative class" in the post-industrial age and the resulting oversupply of cultural products, through the medium of cover songs and musical montage. The album is free for dowloading from New Waver's web site; there is a more detailed explanation here, and a video for the song "Hey Dude" (which explains the dynamics of gentrification through the medium of a Beatles cover) here.
Rise of the Creative Class followed by the Flight of the Creative Class. Following up on The Rise of the Creative Class (2002), Florida argues that if America continues to make it harder for some of the world's most talented students and workers to come here, they'll go to other countries eager to tap into their creative capabilities—as will American citizens fed up with what they view as an increasingly repressive environment. He argues that the loss of even a few geniuses can have tremendous impact, adding that the "overblown" economic threat posed by large nations such as China and India obscures all the little blows inflicted upon the U.S. by Canada, Scandinavia, New Zealand and other countries with more open political climates. Florida lays his case out well and devotes a significant portion of this polemical analysis to defending his earlier book's argument regarding "technology, talent, and tolerance" (i.e. that together, they generate economic clout, so the U.S. should be more progressive on gay rights and government spending). He does so because that book contains what he sees as the way out of the dilemma—a new American society that can "tap the full creative capabilities of every human being." Even when he drills down to less panoramic vistas, however, Florida remains an astute observer of what makes economic communities tick, and he's sure to generate just as much public debate on this new twist on brain drain.
Wages of hate - anti-gay attitudes damage the economy - conversely, Gay-tolerant societies prosper. Will GOP anti-elitism and the US religious right make the U.S. a 3rd world country? Paul Craig Roberts argues that we're on the fast track, and a Carnegie Mellon study (title link) shows that culturally repressive attitudes in America are driving away the "Creative" class. Virginia Postrel defines this class differently (manicurists and stone cutters) but in Richard Florida's "Creative Class War" (recently on Metafilter), "America is no long attracting creative workers from abroad because it is seen as an intolerant society". More than artists and programmers are shunning the US - scientists are staying away too. In the US, meanwhile, a bifurcation - Americans are geographically self-segregating, choosing to live with those who hold similar beliefs and values.
Creative Class War: How the GOP's anti-elitism could ruin America's economy. This is an interesting and troubling article by Richard Florida on the possible flight of the American "Creative Class." [Via WorldChanging.]
A look into the new "creative class". A new study says cities must attract the new "creative class" with hip neighborhoods, an arts scene and a gay-friendly atmosphere -- or they'll go the way of Detroit.
The Rise of the Creative Class. The author argues that cities which meet the diverse needs of young people -- through vibrant nightlife, outdoors activities, and gay neighborhoods -- are also the ones best situated in the current economy. He has his own website, where you can look up your own city. Pretty interesting stuff.