Eclectic Curiosity

Posted on April 13th, 2004, by Steve Hardy in Archives, Uncategorized. No Comments

The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida’s fabulous book about creativity, work and cities is chock full of useful analysis and observations – such as these:

One person may be simultaneously a writer, researcher, consultant, cyclist, rock climber, electronic/world music/acid jazz lover, amateur gourmet cook, wine enthusiast or micro-brewer. The people in my interviews report that they have little trouble integrating such multiple interests and personae. This kind of synthesis is integral to establishing a unique creative identity. (p.13)

Where I grew up, we were conditioned to play the roles that we were dealt. We were not encouraged to create and build our visions, but rather to fit into the visions of a select few. I like to say that we were “institutionalized” individuals – because institutions defined our lives. (p.23)

Highly skilled craftsmen and merchants concentrated in towns and cities to serve the wealthy rulers who could pay for their services. In doing so they also found a brisk business serving each other. Farm families might grow their own food, make their own clothes and such, but specialized tradespeople living in cities had to buy goods other than their own. Cities became centers of specialization and diverse interaction – hubs of creativity. (p.59)

In the old days, bosses were people who knew their business better than the subordinates did, so both the typical organizational structure and the typical career path were vertical. As you stuck around and presumably learned more about the business, you moved up. But today, with growing specialization, this no longer holds true: [T]hose in authority,” Barley writes, “no longer comprehend the work of their subordinates.” (p. 114)

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