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Tuesday, 13 June 2006
Why I Left Rochester and Upstate/Western NY
Now Playing: newest Ben Harper album
Topic: Creative Class
I left upstate NY (or western NY as I say to non-natives who think of Albany when I say upstate) for many reasons, primarily economic and social reasons. First read Richard Florida's Rise of the Creative Class or Flight of the Creative Class (still in my reading queue) for some background on what western NY is facing and check out Greater Rochester Enterprise and The Rump Group, both Rochester-based organizations trying to improve the economic development of my hometown and promote the Flower City to the rest of the state and to the rest of the country. Kodak and Xerox aren't what they used to be as employers for the city and region.

Lastly, read this NYT article "Flight of Young Adults Is Causing Alarm Upstate" to round out the picture. All of this explains why I left my hometown of Rochester in western New York for greener pastures:

" In almost every place upstate, emigration rates were highest among college graduates, producing a brain drain, according to separate analyses of census results for The New York Times by two demographers, William Frey of the Brookings Institution and Andrew A. Beveridge of Queens College of the City University of New York. Among the nation's large metropolitan areas, Professor Frey said, Buffalo and Rochester had the highest rates of what he called "bright flight." "

Posted by cph19 at 2:33 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006 2:37 AM EDT
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Sunday, 20 November 2005
The Most Difficult Week of My Life
Now Playing: Lemon Jelly - Come
Topic: Creative Class
There's not much more to say than it was a difficult week. There was no flow this past week but I'm looking forward to finding it- "the feeling people get when their activities require focus and concentration but are also incredibly enjoyable and rewarding" (HBR pdf link).

It's been three years since hearing Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talk about flow but I had tucked away in the back on my mind. It came up in the HBR quoted article above and it was another one of those ah-hah moments that I love so much.


With some free time now, check out Flickr Explore and (which Fred posted about recently) but I never delved into until now.

Currently Listening: Lemon Jelly - Come

Posted by cph19 at 12:01 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, 20 November 2005 5:39 PM EST
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Monday, 24 October 2005
Brain Drain vs. Flight of the Creative Class
Now Playing: random music at Spot
Topic: Creative Class
This NY Times article dicusses the brain drain but from the international perspective.

"In contrast, less than 5 percent of the skilled citizens of the powerhouses of the developing world, like India, China, Indonesia and Brazil, live abroad in an O.E.C.D. country."

What's the interplay between Florida's "The Flight of the Creative Class" and the brain drain from the world's poorest countries? If the creatives are leaving the United States and the well-educated are leaving the developing countries, then where are people emigrating?

This was the connection that I made after reading the Times article. It's not a perfectly parallel connection between these two extremes but I think there's an interesting discussion there. I don't know the answer but the larger developing countries are better prepared than the smaller developing countries (see the graphic above) to handle the "relatively smaller losses of talent."

Taxing the expatriate workers of a developing country? I don't think that's the answer, sounds more like a short-term band-aid for a far larger, systematic problem. But the "idea that Professor Bhagwati first proposed in the 1970's - that developing countries should tax their expatriate workers - is getting a fresh look." Here's mentioning Bhagwati, who came up during a debate on the merit of Freidman's "the world is flat" mantra.

Looking for more OECD reports? Here's one that's on my post-Masters-completion reading list:
Digital Broadband Content
I have an eBook folder full of PDFs to read (~90MB) in addition to the Amazon reading list. Focus, focus, focus...

Posted by cph19 at 10:40 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 25 October 2005 12:44 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 18 October 2005
The Week Ahead
Now Playing: Brazilian Girls - Don't Stop, Josh Rouse- Directions
Topic: Creative Class
I've been at Spot Coffee a lot lately, trying to get out of my apartment while finishing my Capstone project for school. While I have broadband at home, my desk is small, cramped, and a bit isolating for the 4-5 hours spent sitting there after work doing more work.

And I'm not alone. There's a univeral need to venture out for a little bit and be social, even if it means going to the coffee shop with your notebook, typing away or reading while the headphones keep motivating (I call it cranking) music thumping in my head. Here's the cranking playlist.

Wired's article describes this feeling pretty well. It's a topic one of my best friends and I have discussed before: is going to the coffee shop with my notebook and headphones and sitting there typing away sociable? Needless to say, we disagree.

I don't always end up chatting with someone but more often than not I do as the Wired article suggests. The kind of people at coffee shops are typically of a different nature. Do I go because I want to hang out with people who are like me or is becauset I want to hang out with people who are intellectual, creative, and otherwise cool people?

I'm looking for a place with energy and although Spot Coffee is an osais, Rochester as a city does not have energy. Although I've posted about Richard Florida before, the excerpts below clarify what I so uneloquently described above. From his speech at CC almost a year ago:

" You have to understand, I’m pretty darned conventional. I have no idea what’s going on. I’m going into it with an open mind, then I start asking people, especially young people graduating colleges and focus groups. We start to ask them, “How do you pick a place to live and work?” Young people, and we’re assuming they want a good economic opportunity, and I start to hear this weird thing. “We want to move to a place that has energy.” “Yes, we want to go to a place that has energy.” ....

...As one of my interview subjects said, “This isn’t about playing. It’s about recharging our batteries, about becoming more focused on work, about release… regenerating ourselves.” We’re getting ready, as she said, to work a second working day. A second 8-hour day. So people wanted to be involved, and in arts and culture, the same thing...

...I put my two boys through Purdue, and they graduated Purdue and they had a ton of offers in the Indianapolis area, and neither one of them stayed. And when I asked them, ‘Boys, why didn’t you stay?’ They said, ‘It’s not enough for us just to have a great technology job. We’re creative. We’re creative. We want to be challenged in arts and music. We want to be challenged by the sports we do. We want to be challenged in the other people we meet.’” He said, “My boys moved to Seattle and San Francisco. They’re challenged when they walk out their door in the morning in all facets of their life.” Challenged...

...Creative people don’t want to have stuff handed to them. We compete on merit. That’s what these focus groups tell us. We compete on merit. We AR meritocratic people. We want to know we’re gonna get by on our skills and our capabilities and how good we AR, not on who mom and dad AR and how many connections we have. That’s what people were looking for, and these were the visual cues that they could go to a town, they could go to a town and see that it was based on merit, because there was all these people part of the mix, and it was open. "

Event from Last Week: Dr. Brian Greene speaking on String Theory
Event for this Week: The Lounge's Snowboard Movie/Rail Jam on Sat. night

Posted by cph19 at 9:55 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005 3:57 AM EDT
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Saturday, 9 April 2005
Carly Fiorina Was Ahead of Her Time
Now Playing: Phoenix - Everythign is Everything (Live)
Topic: Creative Class
I happened to bounce over to a couple days before their now famous cover story, "Why Carly's Big Bet Is Failing," which came out two weeks before Carly Fiorina was officially booted out by H-P's board on Feb. 8th.

Despite all of the flack that she has received about and since her departure, I've come across two ringing endorsements of Carly in my readings on globalization, econonomic development, and innovation.

Friedman mentions her in his recent NYT op-ed piece on why the world is becoming more flat (i.e. technology is allowing more and more people to enter the market place and compete with one another- convergence).
"Now the real information revolution is about to begin as all the complementarities among these collaborative tools start to converge. One of those who first called this moment by its real name was Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O., who in 2004 began to declare in her public speeches that the dot-com boom and bust were just ''the end of the beginning.'' The last 25 years in technology, Fiorina said, have just been ''the warm-up act.'' Now we are going into the main event, she said, ''and by the main event, I mean an era in which technology will truly transform every aspect of business, of government, of society, of life.''"

These ideas got me back to Richard Florida, who I've posted on many times before and wrote a HBR article entitled "America's Looming Creativity Crisis" in Oct. 2004.

Florida spoke at my alma-matter last November and in his talk (transcript here) mentions that it was Carly who back in 2002 said that for H-P's decisions to relocate or develop new facilities, the tradiitional tools of economic development policy didn't matter. Tax breaks, incentives, and infrastructure, keep that stuff. "We go where the highly skilled and creative people are. End of story.?

I thought this connection was worth noting. Not sure if others will find this post worhtwhile but this is what the web is for, making connections between seemingly disparate piece of information. I love having these ah-hah moments where I can link together different pieces of information to create new knowledge. Its this kind of knowledge creation that I want this blog to capture. Now if I could get software or Google to help me find, create, monitor, or track these kind of ah-hah moments as I'm reading and surfing the internet, then I'd have a real valuable knowledge-generating application. Hmmm...

Posted by cph19 at 2:36 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005 3:53 AM EDT
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Sunday, 25 January 2004
Rise of the Creative Class
Topic: Creative Class
From Richard Florida's recent Washington Monthly article, "Creative Class War":

"America must not only stop making dumb mistakes, like starting trade wars with Europe and China; it must also put in place new policies that enhance our creative economy. Here, too, neither party quite gets it..."

"But let's get real: Demanding higher labor and environmental standards in trade agreements--the Democrats' favorite fix--is not going to keep software jobs from migrating to Eastern Europe. Our only hope is to strengthen our creative economy so that it produces more jobs to replace the ones we're losing. That will require taking on the Washington lobbyists who put the fix in for established industries at the expense of emerging ones. Millions of new jobs in the wireless networking field, for instance, could be created if unused broadcast spectrum, currently controlled by TV networks and the military, could be freed up. When's the last time you heard a presidential candidate talk about that?"

Sounds similar to the By The People dialogue yesterday (this is a paraphrase and NOT an exact quote)
Dr. David Reid- We need different kinds of jobs, higher value jobs. We need to stay ahead on the imagination curve, the innovation curve, etc.

Posted by cph19 at 10:36 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 19 October 2005 3:55 AM EDT
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