Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some Notes On The Creative Cities Summit

I have seen several things come out of the Creative Cities Summit in Lexington so far, but they make me have more questions than answers.

Richard Florida puts forth the statements of “60 percent of jobs in America are now in service industries” and “We now have a knowledge economy”.

What percent of these jobs are based on the knowledge of a particular subject and what percentage are just warm bodies performing a task?

Do the fast food industry and Walmart service type jobs qualify as being a part of the “knowledge economy”?

Florida would like to see our service jobs lifted like our manufacturing jobs were after the Great Depression. Most manufacturing jobs were elevated (lifted?) right out of the country shortly after the end of the ‘50s, is that what we should do with our service jobs? Some would say that a good portion of our service job are already overseas (India for example).

And here is a good one. “Creativity is the social leveler.” Some of the most creative people on Wall St., those who led us down the path of bundled derivatives and the like, would hardly believe himself as on the same level as an automotive designer. Both are creative, yet one would not be seen with the other in a social situation. On the other hand, there are some who will not tolerate those who are not be tolerant of alternative lifestyles of any sort.

Florida’s keys to success for cities in the future, Technology, Talent and Tolerance are possibly a little out of order. I would put Talent in the driver’s seat. Talent is what brings on the successes of the owner’s creativity while technology in the wrong creative hands can lead to anything from GIGO decisions to computer hacking viruses, all of which end in mayhem and disaster.

Following the remarks about the youth of the early NASA engineers and designers who used to average 28 year in age but now are closer to 60, a tweet went out like this:
@kentuckyguy 20-somthings don't care about space exploration. (Or 30-somthings).
And just like that there was a confirmation from one who calls herself a Community organizer, Non-profit consultant, writer, lover of research, mother, foodie & tree hugger.
“True. It's a waste of $ if you ask me. I care about improving my planet & city 4 my son.” Shevawn Akers.
I wonder if she has ever stopped to realize that the communication advances and the orbiting satellites, that allow her to Twitter to her hearts content, came from this waste of money. That the medical advances from the experiments aboard the International Space Station, which can only be done in the 0g of space, are made possible by this waste of money. “
Listen up, old white guys! Get in the game! Your kids WILL NEVER behave like you or your grandparents! Join them or BE LEFT BEHIND! ’ Shevawn Akers
I think the she is just coasting on the waves generated by “the old white guys” that has pushed her as far as she has come already.

Then there is Caitlin Neal, a design person over at I,D and A, who tweets like it is all about looks and style
“Attn. #LFUCG re: new gov center:" Design and Locate Civic Bldgs Honorably." And, gov bldgs get the best locations!”
I’m guessing that she would NOT like it to be in place of the Lexington Mall

Tom Eblen posted:
“Once entrepreneurial companies get attention in local press, people start taking them seriously”
quoting a Cleveland business development expert. Maybe his favorite newspaper should run a weekly spotlight on the new and emerging entrepreneurs and then keep up with their progress. Then again it just may be too much work for them with all the staff cutbacks lately.

From the panel discussion by the four mayor, Steve Kay says “
Three mayors agree: quality of life is the new attractor, especially for young families.”
to which one Eric Patrick Marr quickly fired back
"Quality of life" is a good thing. #BORING is so not. -@ericpatrickmarr needing the microphone at #ccslex
Apparently, he thinks that he should be part of this presentation. But he continues on
"Quality of life" is such a subjective measurement. I hate when my native Lexington uses that weak justification for mediocrity.
“Quality of Life does NOT just mean "a short commute to work w/ soccer practice at 5:30." It means opportunities for The Human Heart.
"Quality of Life" means being able to run on Euclid and Woodland Avenues w/o "The Pandemic of Utility Wires & Poles."
"Quality of Life" means having safe, pedestrian-friendly downtown streets. Not Talladega Super Speedway.
Did he miss the part that said “especially for young families.” And, last but not least, this one
"Quality of Life" means YOUR brainpower is valued - and properly paid for - by YOUR city.
Sometimes I think that he just loves to hear himself talk, but all I hear is buzzword, buzzword, buzzword, cliche. No actual real ideas at all.

Scott Clark chimed in with
“Do politicians use "young families" to mean "people who don't care about after-5-fun?"
When else would young families have the time to do things together if not after 5 p.m.?

There are others, and I am sure, there will be more tomorrow, but when will these Twitterheads emerge from their cocoons of self centeredness and realize that they still make up just a small portion of the creative Lexington folks.

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