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Book about the Creative Class

Book about Creative ClassI admit that when I think about creative people, I think about artists, writers, musicians, actors, etc. But if you think about it, there are another set of people such as scientists, entrepreneurs, and programmers who invent things or build businesses. The author of this book includes both the artsy types and the scientific/mathematical types along with business professionals (whatever that means) when talking about the creative class. The first version of the book came out around 2000 and the second updated version around 2010. It is interesting read but also, may be dismaying for regular folks because if you are not part of the creative class, especially on the technical/scientific end, then your earning prospects will be dismal. Artists, writers, and musicians do not as a rule make much money unless you are the lucky few to make it big. It’s one of those all or nothing careers. But not everyone can be a computer scientist or technology whiz. As a matter of fact, I don’t think very many can be a programmer or scientist. There’s a reason why people drop out of science and engineering. What about the accountants and finance folks? The author seems to classify the finance folks under the creative class but I think he is thinking of the Wall Street types…you know, the ones who developed the derivatives that nearly destroyed our economy back in 2008. They were really creative in designing and selling those things! Otherwise, I generally don’t regard accountants or finance types as creative and it’s for a good reason. While it is all a rosy view for the creative class, the author does point out the dark underside of the rise of  the creative class: the growing inequality. He pulled some data that shows the service and working class getting hit hard by all of the changes in the last decade. He also ties in how certain locations will fare better than others. You pretty much have to be located in California or in the Boston-Washington, DC corridor to be in a prime spot. Austin, Texas was also mentioned as another good prime spot (unless I’m reading him wrong). All of the prime locations have greater technology activity and greater tolerance for diversity, especially for gays. If you have a greater tolerance for gays, then you are more likely to have a greater tolerance for all kinds of people, thus generating a bigger potential for a collision of diverse ideas to create new ones. Also, not only you need to have high technology going on, you need to have a vibrant cultural scene, such as a lot of musicians. So, maybe for my next career I need to learn to code and combine design and art to create my own ‘very unique’ career! It may be better than constantly reading about the death of accounting/finance.

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