Category: Work

Richard Florida in crisis

Like an oiled boomerang, Richard Florida returns:

“I got wrong that the creative class could magically restore our cities, become a new middle class like my father’s, and we were going to live happily forever after,” he said. “I could not have anticipated among all this urban growth and revival that there was a dark side to the urban creative revolution, a very deep dark side.”

Indeed, who could possibly have seen any problems with the Creative Class thesis any sooner than… say, a decade ago.

At least we still have culture-led regeneration to keep us warm.

New year, same old creative industries

It’s January, so it must be time for the annual celebration of the value of the UK’s creative industries.

The UK’s creative industries are now worth a record £84.1 billion to the UK economy, figures published today reveal.

British films, music, video games, crafts and publishing are taking a lead role in driving the UK’s economic recovery, according to the latest Government statistics.

Strange (as always) to mention the creative activities with some kind of cultural or artistic bent, but not to flag up the ‘creative’ sector which accounts for almost half of that £84.1bn figure – ‘IT, Software and Computer Services’.

More here.

Pauper ubique jacet

How to ensure enough men become soldiers? Daniel Defoe, 1704:

’tis as plain our people have no particular aversion to the war, but they are not poor enough to go abroad; ’tis poverty makes men soldiers, and drives crowds into the armies, and the difficulties to get English-men to list is, because they live in plenty and ease, and he that can earn 20s. per week at an easie, steady employment, must be drunk or mad when he lists for a soldier, to be knock’d o’th’head for 3s. 6d. per week; but if there was no work to be had, if the poor wanted employment, if they had not bread to eat, nor knew not how to earn it, thousands of young lusty fellows would fly to the pike and musket, and choose to dye like men in the face of the enemy, rather than lye at home, starve, perish in poverty and distress.

More thoughts on the nature of poverty in ‘Giving Alms no Charity, and Employing the Poor A Grievance to the Nation’.

A vessel for your inner life?

Are creatives replacing artists? Does it matter? Bill Deresiewicz says:

When works of art become commodities and nothing else, when every endeavor becomes “creative” and everybody “a creative,” then art sinks back to craft and artists back to artisans—a word that, in its adjectival form, at least, is newly popular again. Artisanal pickles, artisanal poems: what’s the difference, after all? So “art” itself may disappear: art as Art, that old high thing.

More at The Atlantic.

A ‘creative’ economy. Again. (Or is it?)

Time for the annual celebration of the value of the UK’s creative industries.

“From Art to Architecture, Film to Fashion, British talent leads the world”

“The UK’s Creative Industries, which includes the film, television and music industries, are now worth £76.9 billion per year to the UK economy.”

Strange to mention the creative activities with some kind of cultural or artistic bent, but not to flag up the ‘creative’ sector which accounts for almost half of that £76.9bn figure – ‘IT, Software and Computer Services‘.

More here.

‘If at first you don’t succeed, it doesn’t matter that you tried.’

Discussion of the role of entrepreneurial failure at the New York Times:

Already-successful entrepreneurs were far more likely to succeed again: their success rate for later venture-backed companies was 34 percent. But entrepreneurs whose companies had been liquidated or gone bankrupt had almost the same follow-on success rate as the first-timers: 23 percent. In other words, trying and failing bought the entrepreneurs nothing — it was as if they never tried.

Disrupting Progress

When did ‘innovation’ stop being a dirty word? How does progress occur?

The eighteenth century embraced the idea of progress; the nineteenth century had evolution; the twentieth century had growth and then innovation. Our era has disruption, which, despite its futurism, is atavistic. It’s a theory of history founded on a profound anxiety about financial collapse, an apocalyptic fear of global devastation, and shaky evidence.

More on ‘disruption’, and the power of a tidy narrative, from Jill Lepore at the New Yorker.