The myth of the creative class (Jeff Jarvis)

Just now, Jeff Jarvis posted something that resonates strongly with me. See: The myth of the creative class:

“We have believed – I have been taught — that there are two scarcities in society: talent and attention. There are only so many people with talent and we give their talent only so much attention — not enough of either.

“But we are shifting, too, from a culture of scarcity to one of abundance. That is the essence of the Google worldview: managing abundance. So let’s assume that instead of a scarcity there is an abundance of talent and a limitless will to create but it has been tamped down by an educational system that insists on sameness; starved by a mass economic system that rewarded only a few giants; and discouraged by a critical system that anointed a closed, small creative class. Now talent of many descriptions and levels can express itself and grow. We want to create and we want to be generous with our creations. And we will get the attention we deserve. That means that crap will be ignored. It just depends on your definition of crap.”

This is so, so true…   One of the things that I find most encouraging about this era of media evolution is that every day I encounter a wider variety of unexpected jewels. Many of them are rough, or nascent. But they’re there, and I can find them if I look for them.

Even more importantly, I get to discover what resonates with me — and with other individuals. I don’t have to just settle for the kind of content I’m “supposed” to like (i.e., serious objective journalism, crisp professional audio, slickly produced video). I can focus on what I really like — and what has meaning to me. By getting to define my own criteria for “quality content,” I get to challenge my assumptions and expand my concept of who I am, and who I could be. My world is much richer for it.

This is exactly why I’ve always enjoyed going to see local music performances practically at random, while abhorring commercial radio for music discovery.

CJR: Dissent Deficit

Looks like Columbia Journalism Review may be starting to grow a spine once more. Today its editorial board has this to say:

“Dissent needs to go mainstream. It is already clear that a wide range of new and looming realities of the twenty-first century will demand creative and even radical new ideas from America about who we are, how we live, and how we deal with the rest of the world. Even Fareed Zakaria, in his fairly optimistic new book, The Post-American World, worries that America’s sclerotic political system (the “sensationalist” press included) is too consumed with trivia and sustaining the status quo to respond effectively to a world in which, as he writes, “on every dimension—industrial, financial, educational, social, cultural—the distribution of power is…moving away from American dominance.”

Thanks to Kim Pearson for the tip.

Interesting stuff, August 6th from 11:01 to 11:30

Here are some items that caught my interest, and why, from August 6th from 11:01 to 11:30:

Interesting stuff, August 6th from 11:01 to 11:30

Here are some items that caught my interest, and why, from August 6th from 11:01 to 11:30:

links for 2008-08-06 []

Is this thing on?

For the last couple of days I’ve been struggling with WordPress. The old version I was on (2.3) for some mysterious reason started slamming my web server to the point it would bring the site down whenever I’d try to write or edit a post. (Tech support at my web host,, was spectacularly UNhelpful in troubleshooting this problem, BTW. Tom Vilot and I figured it out independently. Bluehost support utterly wasted nearly two hours of my time yesterday in four separate calls….   Grrrrr……)

So now that Tom helped me get WP manually updated to 2.6 (Bluehost only offered automated update options to 2.5.1 — another grrrrrrr……) WP now seems ready to cooperate. (Well, except that my secure login stopped working.) I’m trying it out with this post. We’ll see what happens.

Moment of truth: Is this thing on? If you’re reading this, it worked.

UPDATE: OK, now that I know I can use the site again, here’s a gripe I have that maybe WordPress developers can do something about:

Why is the WordPress update process so F*CKING OBTUSE???

Here’s what I mean…
Continue reading

links for 2008-08-01 []