June 26, 2012

Dr. Vibrant's Back: Richard Florida Redux

For over a decade, I've periodically debunked the theory of Richard "Rise of the Creative Class" Florida, who has pocketed near-Gladwellian speaking fees by telling local leaders what they want to hear: the way to make your little backwood burgh rich is to bring in a lot of gays, artists,   bohemians, and immigrants. Notice how San Francisco has a lot of gays? Well, did you also notice that San Francisco is also the Tech Capital? Huh?

Now he's trying to milk his 2002 book The Rise of the Creative Class further with a tenth anniversary edition.

Modern American doesn't have much of an intellectual immune system. Institutional America has an endless appetite for hucksters of ideas for politically correct theories about how to make money, ideas that frequently make far more money for their spokesperson than for the poor saps who try to implement them.

My role has often been to play rogue white blood cell in the English-speaking world's undergunned intellectual immune system.

So, way back in 2002, I wrote in VDARE:
These research high technology centers are not actually located in the cities of San Francisco, Boston and New York at all, but in their much less diverse suburbs. The authors’ methodological blunder is obvious: they use overly expansive definitions of “metropolitan areas.” Thus, they label “San Francisco” both the Gay Capital and the Tech Capital, even though Castro Street in San Francisco and Sand Hill Road in Palo Alto might be 90 minutes apart – in normal traffic. 
All across the country over the last 45 years, the pattern has been unmistakable: the techno-innovators congregate out in the far suburbs, a long, long way from what is normally called “diversity.” … 
Obviously, colleges can play important roles in creating tech centers, as can nice weather and good scenery. Yet the Bay Area’s technopolis didn’t grow up around UC Berkeley, as the Florida & Gates’ theory would predict, but around Stanford – the school for smart rich kids way off in the orchard-filled Santa Clara Valley. … 
Bohemians don’t invent technology. Nerds do. … Nerds tend to be especially devoted family men, possibly because they find chasing women so painful. And the most important component of any serious technology company’s workforce is married men with children. 
The suburban high tech nerdistans (to use Joel Kotkin’s phrase) are diverse in the sense that they are full of not only white nerds, but also Chinese and Asian Indian nerds. But that’s not exactly what most pundits mean when they talk about Diversity. 

In 2005, I wrote in the Washington Examiner:
“And, sure, booms and bohemians tend to correlate, but who really attracts whom to a metroplex? Do the engineers and salesguys actually pursue the gay art dealers and immigrant restaurateurs, or are Dr. Florida’s footloose favorites more likely to follow the money generated by the pocket-protector boys? 
“In the 1970s, for example, Houston suddenly became one of the gayest cities in America, even though Houston was not famously tolerant. No, Houston got (briefly) hip because gays, immigrants, and artistes flocked there because OPEC had raised prices, making Houston’s unhip oil companies rich for a decade. 
“In contrast, famously tolerant New Orleans and Las Vegas (“Sin City”) rank today near the bottom of Dr. Florida’s talent tables because his kind of folks can’t make much money in either. 
“So, he appears to have gotten the arrow of causality mostly backwards.”

And in 2008, I reviewed one of Florida's self-help books in The American Conservative:
When he's not intentionally unhelpful, he's obtuse. For example, in Who's Your City, he reprints a popular map of America he put up on his blog in 2007 showing that the largest surpluses of extra single men are in Southwestern cities, near the Mexican border. Having had a year to think it over, Dr Vibrant asserts, "The best ratio for heterosexual women was in greater Los Angeles, where single men outnumber single women by 40,000." 
So if a bachelorette doesn't quite have the looks to land a husband in, say, Cincinnati, she should hightail it to L.A., where there's much less competition from attractive women. Yeah, right … 
The obvious reason there are so many more single men than single women in the Southwest is that there are so many illegal alien males there. The kind of single women who buy hardcover advice books probably aren't that interested in a Mixtec-speaking drywaller, but Dr. Vibrant ignores such potentially controversial topics. 
He has, after all, built his success on telling business and civic leaders that if they want their dreary little burgh to become the next Silicon Valley, they'll need a lot of homosexuals, like in San Francisco. He says, "Gays predict not only the concentration of high-tech industry, but also its growth …"

Slowly, a few other people have started to notice the obvious problems in Florida's theory. In "The Fall of the Creative Class," writer Frank Bures, who moved to Madison, WI a decade ago because it seemed like the Next Big Thing in Floridian breakthroughs, calls up several social scientists to ask how the evidence is working out for Creative Class theorizing: not good. 

The most fun part is a section on Penelope Trunk, a less slick version of Dr. Florida, whom, to my surprise turns out to be a real person.
One of these peo­ple was a woman named Pene­lope Trunk, a brand­ing expert, a Gen Y prog­nos­ti­ca­tor, and a ruth­less, relent­less self-promoter. Her arrival in Madi­son could not have been more dif­fer­ent than ours. She announced on her blog that she’d done exhaus­tive research and con­cluded that the best place in the coun­try for her to live was Madi­son,  Wis­con­sin. Trunk’s name was splashed across the papers, and seemed to con­firm every Florid­ian sus­pi­cion. Local cap­i­tal­ists bankrolled her new com­pany, Brazen Careerist. She blogged and blogged and blogged about how best to choose the place to work and live. She was an apos­tle of Florid­ian doc­trine and flew around giv­ing speeches about how places could attract the shock troops of the cre­ative econ­omy the way Madi­son had attracted her. 
One day I met Trunk for cof­fee. She was loud and brash and talked over the din of the other peo­ple. She seemed to be under the impres­sion that I’d come to her for career advice, which she gave and to which I politely lis­tened. And while I liked her energy, I could tell by the way peo­ple shot her dirty looks that Madi­son was going to be a tough fit. 
Four years later, Trunk left town, which seemed odd, given her much-ballyhooed arrival. By then, we had fallen out of touch, and I was never quite clear on her rea­son for leav­ing. So I called her to find out what had gone wrong. Trunk now lives on a farm in south­west Wis­con­sin, (she divorced her hus­band and mar­ried a farmer). On the phone, she was still brash and bom­bas­tic and as she told it, her hon­ey­moon with the city started to end almost as soon as she got there. One day her ex-husband was googling, “sex offend­ers,” and he dis­cov­ered there were four reg­is­tered on their block. Next, she dis­cov­ered that the pub­lic schools were ter­ri­ble. “I started talk­ing to every­one,” Trunk said. “And I said, ‘Hey, aren’t you upset the schools suck? How is every­one send­ing their kid here?’ And peo­ple said, ‘Oh, no, I really love my school. I make sure for my kid it’s all about val­ues.’ I mean the bull­shit that peo­ple were telling me was utterly incred­i­ble. Then it just became like an onslaught. Tons of lies. Madi­son is a city full of peo­ple in denial. Peo­ple don’t leave Madi­son, so they don’t real­ize what’s good and not good.” 
I asked her if she had any regrets, or if the move was a wrong one, or if she had any advice for other peo­ple look­ing to relo­cate. Or maybe, I sug­gested, life was just messier than research? 
“No,” she said. “Life is totally clear cut. It’s exactly what the research is. All the research says go live with your friends and fam­ily. Oth­er­wise, you have to look at why you’re not doing that. If you want to look at a city that’s best for your career, it’s New York, San Fran­cisco or Lon­don. If you’re not look­ing for your career, it doesn’t really mat­ter. There’s no dif­fer­ence. It’s split­ting hairs."

That's cartoonishly overstated, but the "friends and family" part makes a lot of sense. Keep in mind that you aren't going to make friends as easily the older you get, so if you've got a pretty good class of friends by the time you get out of college, try to hang onto them.

And don't overlook the huge contribution that a good grandmother can make to your family life. My aunt, for instance, has driven at least a million miles to take care of her grandchildren who live on opposite sides of Greater Los Angeles. 

I had a terrific mother-in-law, a bright, energetic woman who really liked me. But, then, a few months before our first son was born, she was killed in a car crash. The 1990s turned out significantly more difficult for us than if we had had her around to pitch in.

119 comments:

Anonymous said...

O/T

San Francisco homosexual rights activist arrested for child porn. Linked to pictures showing 1 and 2 and 3 year-olds being sodomized.

http://www.businessinsider.com/gay-rights-activist-allegedly-caught-using-child-porn-and-ranting-against-blacks-2012-6

Anonymous said...

The tech-in-the-suburbs thing isn't quite as clear-cut as you suggest; there's a notable concentration of tech companies founded by MIT grads in Cambridge, clustered around Kendall and Central Squares -- which is where Cambridge's diversity clusters as well.

But in fairness, it's not a patch on Route 128. Heck, I'm not sure there are more tech jobs in Cambridge than there are in Burlington alone. And 128 ain't what it used to be.

Joel said...

FWIW, in 2012 the tech scene in SF proper is actually red hot.

Anonymous said...

"Bohemians don’t invent technology. Nerds do."

How many people really know the difference, anyway, or give the issue much thought beyond "burn all 'em freaks at the stake for their own good?"

And is it really so impossible for the same person to be a nerd and a "Bohemian?"

(And no, I don't mean Gypsy or Western Czech.)

Anonymous said...

"live with your friends and family..."

I like the idea of a self help bore maturing into John Derbyshire. She might have added: 'draw what consolations you can from the whole sorry mess, and I'm sorry I acted like such a know-all.'

Gilbert Pinfold.

Extroverted Narcissist said...

Presumably, you missed it, but your friend over at the woman-hater blog had a big diatribe about that crazy Trunk woman.

sunbeam said...

There is a real difference between Engineers and Physicists, Mathematicians, and Computer Scientists.

It's kind of strange, but discussing this is a kind of long thing.

Suffice it to say if you are looking for a bohemian tech type go to the Math or Physics department. Particularly Math. The sandals and sock with the big toe is far from unknown there.

If you are looking for charisma and virility I think you got to get a foreign born one for that. European or maybe Latin American.

It's like a monocle, the US born can't pull it off, the geek radiates from them no matter what they do.

Engineers are usually much more conservative socially and politically than people who studied the sciences.

Maybe things have changed, but it used to be that Math and Physics guys who couldn't get faculty positions (tenure track) would go into the computer field. Of course you had your usual truckload of EE in there as well.

Anonymous said...

Joel is right, Twitter, Yelp, and the other social networking sites are all locating in San Francisco, which is becoming a bedroom community for the tech industry. Nerds don't actually want to be bohemians, but they want to live near them.

Anonymous said...

creative class clown.

Anonymous said...

The city of Chicago is attracting tech companies as it becomes whiter. Nerds like being able to walk or take the el to work, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Penelope Trunk on the Karen Owen Duke fiasco:

"So what makes these slides so fascinating? I think it’s her spunk and self-knowledge and enthralling sense of her own power. I wish I had had that when I was her age. I am twenty years older than Owen, but she inspires me to be brave, takes risks, and let my creativity get the best of me."

Roissy's take on her domestic violence drama with her farmer husband (blogged on her site with a photo of the bruise and much more!)

guest007 said...

One could make the same argument about the DC area. The tech guys live in the suburbs and many drive in from the exurbs. The inner city is for the politicians and the NGO hangers-on.

Shouting Thomas said...

Web design is the outpost of gay men.

They have such incredible color sense... yeah, I know, it's a "stereotype," and one that is repeated endlessly in the biz.

The advertising and design houses In NYC (and I image in LA) are gay ghettos.

The coding and engineering end of the biz is overwhelmingly in the hands of straight nerds. This is a drudging biz that, despite media attempts to make it seem otherwise, involves endless hours perched on one's ass hacking out the solution to some tiny problem.

The gay designer part is easier for people to understand, so they do believe that those ad and design houses are high tech personified.

NYC enjoyed a huge boom in advertising and design in the 90s, but that biz has leveled out and seems destined to never to return to its glory days.

Roach said...

Steve, this is a good column and full of common sense. Also, I'm sorry to hear about your mother in law; that is truly sad.

Aaron B. said...

'And is it really so impossible for the same person to be a nerd and a "Bohemian?"'

Yes.

Anonymous said...

have negro, will unravel

Anonymous said...

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2012/06/melting-pot-cities-america/2312/#

Anonymous said...

http://youtu.be/KAb8Y_B7n5c

She has to be Jewish.

Anonymous said...

http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2012/06/25/get-pregnant-at-25-if-you-want-a-high-powered-career/comment-page-2/#comment-311174

Anonymous said...

"so if you've got a pretty good class of friends by the time you get out of college, try to hang onto them.
"
That's true. If you leave your high school friends and go to college, it is never the same. People move all over the place now, which is not good. All my family moved away and I didn't have many friends out of college because most people went back home after graduation including me, but when I got home there was nobody left.

Carol said...

Also, I'm sorry to hear about your mother in law; that is truly sad.

Yes, family and familial connections are everything, in the end. Everything else is just noise.

Anonymous said...

have negro, will unravel

Lol!

I see these brilliant one-liners quite frequently in iSteve. Is it the same person every time?

Anonymous said...

Gays are heavily over represented among programmers and the computer industry generally. Tim Cook, Peter Thiel would be on anyone's top 10 techies and that's 20% vs an expected 3 or 4%.

These tend to be the non-obvious ones so this isn't especially well known outside the industry.

Anonymous said...

Web design is the outpost of gay men.

They have such incredible color sense... yeah, I know, it's a "stereotype," and one that is repeated endlessly in the biz.

The advertising and design houses In NYC (and I image in LA) are gay ghettos.


A lot of them do go into the field, but tend to be mediocre. The best designers tend to be straight men.

Anonymous said...

I am a non-native Californian and the culture in all parts of the state including the tech centers is very very liberal and bohemian compared to the interior of the USA Besides sexual deviation my observation is that programming as a job is highly correlated with libertarianism, militant atheism, disregard for social conventions on clothing manners and grooming, veganism

Victor said...

I get the message. Gays, hipsters and artistes are attracted to places with money. If you wish to avoid them, live somewhere poor.

Anonymous said...

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_Inp2a8e7_-o/SszOOVb6LjI/AAAAAAAAD94/BnAvtGos6E8/s400/mad.jpeg

The intellectual class.

Anonymous said...

Gay, hipsters and artists are parasites. Nerds produce things.

DaveinHackensack said...

"FWIW, in 2012 the tech scene in SF proper is actually red hot."

In NYC proper as well. But that's a relatively recent phenomenon in both cities.

Anonymous said...

By this logic Brazil should be a hight-tech mecca.

slumber_j said...

"Mixtec-speaking drywaller." Now there's a great phrase, way better than the French "Plombier polonais."

Let that be the rallying cry!

Anonymous said...

Did anybody invite you to the thin privilege conference yet?

Unlike race, people are thin for some part of their life and thus is a far more universal privilege. (with the possible exception of the inhabitants of mexico and a quaint interpretation of the 70% overweight statistic, which btw also turns into not-anorexic privilege at the other end of the scale)

Matthew said...

If you look at what Dick Florida is saying, fundamentally, it really isn't all that different from what you're saying: economies need lots of smart people to grow, and cities should do things to attract smart people if they want to grow.

At random, some things he gets right or wrong:

1) Florida doesn't distinguish between populations that contribute economically and/or culturally and those which don't; doesn't distinguish between good tolerance (of gays, Asians) and bad tolerance (of illegal aliens, or dysfunctional blacks).

2) He presents little to no evidence to prove that allowing gay marriage or health benefits for gay partners attracts gays to a community or company.

3) Gays are important cultural contributors to their communities. Community theatre, for example, would wither without gay actors, who are extra willing to take on minor roles for litle or no pay. For them it's a way to socialize with other gays. Straight men with children often don't have the time for this. (This is why gay men shouldn't act straight by adopting children or whatever. Their value to society lies elsewhere.)

4) Florida ignores completely the contributions and needs of married couples with children. In his view cities should ignore them.

5) A tolerant environment for folks willing to be different and to try new things has long been connected to innovation and economic growth. Tolerance of the wrong things however (for example, of the wrong kind of diversity, like illegal aliens, or of black misbehavior) isn't going to lead to innovation and growth. What that sort of tolerance leads to is lots of wasted time and money fleeing the consequences of tolerance.

6) Investing in civic amenities (as opposed to overgenerous pensions for public employees) is a good thing. But Dick doesn't tell these mayors the shit they don't want to hear.

7) Gay men have produced, I think, their share of tech heroes: Peter Thiel, Tim Gill, Bruce Bastian, Chris Hughes, etc.

Basically, what Florida says true ain't new, and what he says that's new ain't especially true.

And he's still an asshole.

Anonymous said...

"Bohemians don’t invent technology. Nerds do. … Nerds tend to be especially devoted family men, possibly because they find chasing women so painful."

Yeah, but are bohemians and nerds entirely separate creatures? Think of Steve Jobs. I heard that an entire computer underground developed out of the counterculture. There was the IBM Organizational Man computer sector and the creative hacker sector. The thing about computing is it allowed many intellectually creative people to 'express' themselves technologically than artistically. Consider the Flynn character in TRON. He's a nerd but also a rebel, a maverick. Nerds may not seem very creative cuz they seem to be all about numbers and math stuff, and there is that kind of nerd to be sure, the drone. But another kind of nerd is actually looking for all sorts of angles to do things differently, and computer technology allowed more creative use of technology than anything that came before. There is so much one can do with automotive or machine-related stuff. But with computers, you can create new programs, new video games, new puzzles, new software. Steve Wozniak had a bohemian streak in wanting to make stuff and give it out for free. He was like a hippie nerd. Since so much of computer stuff requires design, nerds have to hire artistically talented people for graphic art and stuff.

Though bohemians and nerds are different in many ways, they have things in common. They both stand apart from jocks and aren't the most popular people in highschool. Many feel misunderstood as outsiders; both are more likely to be into sci-fi, chess, and books than jocks or 'popular kids' are.
Also, many nerds are into music, alternative culture, designer drugs, and etc. I knew computer kids who were stoners and jam music nuts. I also used to hang around the art school crowd though my major was in history. My passion was movies, and nerds and bohemian types were more into culture and intellectual stuff than fratboy and sorority crowd ever were.

So, on a spiritual level, nerds and bohemians are cultural cousins. Though bohemians go where the money is, it's also true that many nerds go where the 'culture' is. It's like Zuckerberg was impressed with the Napster guy cuz he was culturally 'cool'.
Of course, both groups like to go where the weather and landscape are nice too.

Hollywood is certainly one place that attracts technological gizmos of all kinds and artistic types of all kinds. Technology can be creative and indeed must be in entertainment and computers. It's not just about how it works but how it looks.

Harry Baldwin said...

I aspire to hucksterdom. I need to come up with a politically correct idea bout how to make money, and laugh all the way to the bank as the saps who try to implement it go broke.

Maintaining my integrity is not paying off, dammit.

Matthew said...

"Gay, hipsters and artists are parasites. Nerds produce things."

So you don't watch movies, television, or theatre, listen to music, attend art exhibits, or appreciate the value of art and design in a myriad of contexts?

If you're a normal person you probably do so every single day.

Anonymous said...

What is it with gays and power? They have so much of it. Indeed, would 'gay marriage' be even an issue if gays didn't have power? Suppose gays were as poor as American Indians and pressed for 'gay marriage'. Would anyone care? People came to care--or were pressured to car--because gays have tremendous power in business, entertainment, politics, academia, etc. Jews formed an alliance with talented gays, and so the gay agenda became not just a moral issue but a political one: anyone who dares oppose it or put down gays will be destroyed. So, the gay agenda is less about helping a downtrodden minority than about catering to a powerful elite minority. It is because gays are so powerful that they were able to fool the masses that they are so weak. Similarly, it's because Jews are so powerful that they fooled so many Americans that we all need to work together to protect those poor poor helpless Jews from bullies like Iran and Pat Buchanan. Paradoxically in America, you need power to be 'powerless', which then morally justifies your power.

Anyway, I was watching TINKER TAILER SOLDIER SPY. Not a good movie; TV series was much better. But one thing that struck me was it felt so much like a story of closet-gay men, indeed even more so than Gay Edgar by Eastwood.

How did gays become so powerful? Maybe they have something in common with Jews in this regard. Since they were often seen as 'freaks' or 'outsiders', they learned to gain power secretly, cunningly, intelligently, patiently, and creatively. They learned to perceive and practice power like George Smiley, Karla, and the other guys in TINKER TAILOR. Thus, almost unnoticed, they were making great inroads into many elite areas of power. While one bunch of gays flamboyantly shook their ass in public, another bunch of gays took the Saul Alinsky and Secret Spy path to power. Since they couldn't fit in openly, they found their way into American life through the backdoor. But once they got inside the elite corridors of American life, they began to attack its immune system against the gay agenda. Once the system was weakened from inside, it could be attacked from the outside. And so we have Obama as president finally openly supporting 'gay marriage'. As for politicians, they have to play and pander to power. Gays along with Jews got power. Most politicians are gigolos and whores of AIPAC and GAYPAC.

Mr. Anon said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tim Cook, Peter Thiel would be on anyone's top 10 techies and that's 20% vs an expected 3 or 4%."

Thiel is a business-guy, not a tech-guy, isn't he? If he's a tech-guy, it's in the same sense that Rockefeller (a green-eye-shade man originally) was an "oil-man".

Aaron in Israel said...

This has probably been mentioned in previous Florida cycles here, but super-nerd Paul Graham has written several essays about best cities. Google "Boston" at paulgraham.com. "Cities and Ambition" is especially interesting.

Anonymous said...

I'd love for the gays and the Hispanics to live in the same neighborhoods so that the gays could teach our brown brothers and sisters that certain paint colors on domiciles in non-desert landscapes are at best jolting, and at worst, revolting.

I don't think our gay friends would allow the turquoises and the oranges (orange is only okay on an orange and a CalTrans worker), and the lime greens, nor would they allow the front yard cacti with the jackass statuary.

Now, if gays lived with blacks because blacks moved into the neighborhoods, they'd have a problem ever getting those broken-down basketball hoops removed from the middle of the street. They could remove the grocery carts, sure, but the hoops? Nope. They'd move.

Mr. Anon said...

"Notice how San Francisco has a lot of gays? Well, did you also notice that San Francisco is also the Tech Capital? Huh?"

The only thing San Francisco is a capital of is potholes, demos, and public urination. That's not the gays' fault though. That's down to the pinkos.

"One of these peo­ple was a woman named Pene­lope Trunk, a brand­ing expert, a Gen Y prog­nos­ti­ca­tor, and a ruth­less, relent­less self-promoter."

"Relentless self-promotion" seems to have become the defining characteristic of today's public intellectual.

One thing that seems to be forgotten about the genesis of silicon valley is that there was already a well established electronics industry on the peninsula dating back to at least WWII. It consisted of companies like Lenkurt, Eitel-McCullough, Dalmo-Victor, Ampex, Varian, Hewlett-Packard. There was already a lot of talent and a trained workforce there before the 1960s.

Dahlia said...

Great advice at the end Steve.

I think you're absolutely right about how things would have gone had your mother-in-law lived.

I would add that not all parents and elder family members are selfless and/or can be counted on to help take the edges off of life. Of critical importance: people usually get better as they age, but some traits, like selfishness, seem to stay forever. Dads with tempers becoming patient grandpas is a typical occurrence that gives the impression that parents always become better grandparents.

Inability to deal with relations who are selfish in order to help is another thing that like selfishness doesn't change. If they couldn't stand up to their spouse, sister, etc. before, grandchildren won't make them assertive.

Anonymous said...

His last name is actually pronounced "Flo Rai Duh".

Old Fogey said...

Many thanks for the kind words about grandparents. We try to do what is best for our grandchildren without annoying our own children too much in the process.

Anonymous said...

Totally OT, but had to toss in this--our basketball loving Prez today congratulated "the Miami Heats", yes, you heard right, "Heats."

Yes, I knew he was lying when he said he loved baseball and the White Sox because he was a South Side guy (yeah, sure) when he said he had visited Cominskey Field (both words wrong) many times....but I did think he might know something about basketball.

The Heats?

Is there anything true about this guy?

Truth said...

It's funny, a bunch of you guys seem to idolize Roissy, and I get the feeling that he's a fairly intelligent guy, but over the years I've read probably 3 or 4 of his articles, and I have the same reaction every time; "geez, could this guy sound like any more of a wimp?"

Whiskey said...

Steve, your comment that America's intellectual and government and media class has no immune system to hucksterism is spot on. Perhaps the best thing I've ever seen you write, it is a spectacular observation and one that goes at least as far back as Twain's time.

I would say, that the idealization of gays and hipsters and arty scenes as money makers caters to female impulses, as opposed to nerdy male ones. Like a PUA, it tells the female dominated media, academia, government, and intellectual class just what pretty lies they want to hear.

Whiskey said...

Engineers, if they screw up, buildings fall down, vehicles crash, people die. So they are naturally conservative. Risk taking is encouraged in Math and Sciences because there is little penalty (you don't go to jail for killing people) for being wrong.

Coding, requires attention to detail, often rote memorization of vast library functions and/or algorithms, and logical problem solving that does not burn enormous computing resources. Coders in private life tend to live conservatively, otherwise they don't last long: little substance abuse aside from caffeine, fairly sedate and sedentary lives.

Anonymous said...

@Truth:

Roissy ... I have the same reaction every time; "geez, could this guy sound like any more of a wimp?"

Agreed. But he is a wonderful writer. Truly great stylist. This coupled with the fact that he is quite bright makes his very readable.

Anonymous said...

"Nerds may not seem very creative cuz they seem to be all about numbers and math stuff, and there is that kind of nerd to be sure, the drone. "

Your understanding of creativity is deficient.

Anonymous said...

Totally OT, but had to toss in this--our basketball loving Prez today congratulated "the Miami Heats", yes, you heard right, "Heats."

It's not that unusual for people to misspeak like that.

Anonymous said...

http://www.hajji75.org/GalaReception%204-11-08.html

rich folks

Anonymous said...

The Atlantic has an entire separate webzine devoted to this professional BS-er's work:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/

Anonymous said...

So Penelope packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus.

Anonymous said...

http://homepage.smc.edu/delpiccolo_guido/Soc34/Soc34readings/omiandwinant.pdf

blah bah

gumm said...

I love madison though not its politics.

Anonymous said...

Florida is really clueless.

It was Midwestern farmer types, not gays and bohemian types, that developed things like Silicon Valley:

http://www.forbes.com/asap/1997/0825/102.html

Anonymous said...

Florida's wiki page lists one of your articles in the section on critical articles on Florida:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Florida#Critical_articles_on_Florida

Anonymous said...

***Totally OT, but had to toss in this--our basketball loving Prez today congratulated "the Miami Heats", yes, you heard right, "Heats."***

"It's not that unusual for people to misspeak like that."

He was referring to basketball fans, not random "people". Fans of the NBA do not refer to the team from Miami as the "Heats".

Conatus said...

"My role has often been to play rogue white blood cell in the English-speaking world's undergunned intellectual immune system."
Best line ever in a Sailer post.

Gays are good pioneers in an urban area, taking the brunt of the early crime as the houses turn over. But they have no future, the world ends with them, their time is finite so they care about decorations and not schools.
The 'Breeders' as the heterosexuals are known, have a future in the form of kids. The world continues after their death. So the breeders care more about a stable society while the gays just want to decorate that society as it goes down in flames.

Anonymous said...

"Thiel is a business-guy, not a tech-guy, isn't he?"

Yes, and so is Tim Cook.

How many homosexuals here, here, or here? Apart from Turing none pop out.

Journo said...

I spoke to Richard Florida in Seoul several years ago about South Korea's strict immigration controls. After some 10 hours in the country and much thought, he told me it should be easier for foreigners to work in Korea.

But "Who? Whom?" gets awfully confusing out there.

The Koreans rip off the brown people's wages, pay the Chinese less than the legal minimum, and sometimes beat and/or murder their own mail-order brides. Shoddy Korean safety standards cause the odd Mongolian to get his head chopped off by a bulldozer.

Meanwhile, Creative foreigners from South Asia used to cheat the immigration system by passing around the same $50,000 to their friends to get investor visas. Vietnamese and Thais smuggle drugs. Russian blondes turn tricks.

Yes, some African and Asian migrant workers Create things in Korean factories, and young white people teach English.

But, end of the day, Koreans want you only as long as you are useful. They want your technology only if they can make it their own. They will always be in the driver's seat there, and that's fine.

Anyway, Florida gave a speech to an audience of kowtowing, wide-eyed (excuse the pun) Koreans, and went back to the good old US of A with a handsome speaker's fee. I could tell that was just fine with him.

ex-son in law said...

Steve, I fear you would have fewer fond memories of your mother-in-law were she still alive.

Ex Submarine Officer said...

You guys are totally out of it. Brogrammers and Hogrammers are hot trends and taking the autism out of programming jobs.

Here in DC, boring, sweaty, BO guys working on USDA databases live in the suburbs. Guys working on hot startups live in the city and have for a long time. They have reasonably cute asian girlfriends.

These days, same in SF, every heard of SOMA?

Wow, seeing how wrong you guys are on this stuff, can this site be trusted on HBD.

The one poster did get it right about Math/Physics students (I was physics). Didn't have any science friends who weren't math or physics, the rest were the arts types. You know, physics is so profound and all.

Programming (not application design...) is also an incidental skill for physics guys, sort of like how knowing powerpoint is collateral skill for marketing weenies.

Anyhow, best programmers ever are math/physics/hardcore engineering (EE/chem/Mech)
CS majors blow, they are second rate, some are good, but their bell curve is shifted way to the left since they don't have to pass differential equations, the degree has all the rigor of a drama major.

Some CS guys are good or even great, but it is hit or miss. But virtually every single programmer w/a physics/hard engineering background is good.

I would love to live in a society where everyone had passed differential equations. About the closest place like this is Japan. Early in my courtship ( and eventual marriage to a Japanese lady), I led off with something like, "do you know calculus?". My future bride looked at me like I had asked her if she knew arithmetic, answering, "of course I do". I responded, "why of course", and she explained that all Japanese kids take calculus in HS.

Maybe they don't all pass, but it certainly explains a lot of what goes on around here (Japan)...

Ex Submarine Officer said...

Coding, requires attention to detail, often rote memorization of vast library functions and/or algorithms, and logical problem solving that does not burn enormous computing resources. Coders in private life tend to live conservatively, otherwise they don't last long: little substance abuse aside from caffeine, fairly sedate and sedentary lives.

You are a dumbass. Beta programmers doing some enterprise crap, sure. Alpha guys inventing new stuff, fugeddaboutit. Me, I assume some library exists if it makes sense that I need then I go find it. And yes, I'm alpha programmer and also have been serial womanizer, substance abuser, thrill seeker, etc.

So STFU, dude.

Henry Canaday said...

Proximity to Boston’s and San Francisco’s financial districts may help. I heard that one rule of thumb for an IT start-up is: don’t make a venture capitalist drive more than an hour to your board meeting.

Kylie said...

"...I get the feeling that he's [Roissy] a fairly intelligent guy, but over the years I've read probably 3 or 4 of his articles, and I have the same reaction every time; 'geez, could this guy sound like any more of a wimp?'"

Yes. He's got intelligence, insight and real skill in writing but I stopped reading his blog because I found him so pathetic that it made me uncomfortable. He's more to be pitied than scorned.

Kylie said...

"'Totally OT, but had to toss in this--our basketball loving Prez today congratulated "the Miami Heats", yes, you heard right, "Heats."'

It's not that unusual for people to misspeak like that."


It's not unusual for his people to misspeak like that.

Anonymous said...

Twitter, Yelp, and the other social networking sites are all locating in San Francisco, which is becoming a bedroom community for the tech industry.

Um, social networking ≠ high tech, and it may well turn out to be something of a fad in the long run. As Neal Stephenson put it, "we can't facebook our way out of a recession."

Black Sea said...

New Orleans has long enjoyed a reputation for relaxed bohemianism, for being conducive to the arts, tolerant of homosexuality, and welcoming to all manner of eccentrics. I'm not sure why it never developed into a high-tech mecca. Maybe Katrina?

ben tillman said...

I know it was a long time ago, but I'm very sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

He was referring to basketball fans, not random "people". Fans of the NBA do not refer to the team from Miami as the "Heats".

People do misspeak about things they know or aware of. It happens when you're thinking about something but talking about something else or going through the motions.

heartiste said...

troof:
"geez, could this guy sound like any more of a wimp?"

don't you have a half-black personal identity crisis to fret about?

ben tillman said...

"Totally OT, but had to toss in this--our basketball loving Prez today congratulated 'the Miami Heats', yes, you heard right, 'Heats'."

It's not that unusual for people to misspeak like that.


Bob Barker used to be accused of saying "a new boats" on The Price Is Right, but sometimes a "t" sound can sound like "ts" when it's recorded and replayed.

David said...

Black Sea wrote

>Maybe Katrina?<

Heh, good one

I'll go ya one better. Since Katrina was Dubya's fault, the real culprit is - you guessed it - raccccisssm!

Anonymous said...

"Anyhow, best programmers ever are math/physics/hardcore engineering"

There are an awful lot of engineers that code very, very badly.

"Coding, requires attention to detail, often rote memorization of vast library functions"

Not so much the rote memorization. I think it's closer to legal research, where you recall something approximately like what you need from a vast library of past reading and experience, then go look it up.

David Davenport said...

How did gays become so powerful? ... Since they were often seen as 'freaks' or 'outsiders', they learned to gain power secretly, cunningly, intelligently, patiently, and creatively. They learned to perceive and practice power like George Smiley, Karla, and the other guys in TINKER TAILOR. Thus, almost unnoticed, they were making great inroads into many elite areas of power. While one bunch of gays flamboyantly shook their ass in public, another bunch of gays took the Saul Alinsky and Secret Spy path to power. Since they couldn't fit in openly, they found their way into American life through the backdoor. But once they got inside the elite corridors of American life, they began to attack its immune system against the gay agenda. Once the system was weakened from inside, it could be attacked from the outside. And so we have Obama as president finally openly supporting 'gay marriage'. As for politicians, they have to play and pander to power. Gays ... got power. Most politicians are gigolos and whores of AIPAC and GAYPAC.

That is an excellent post. Sincerely.


Fans of the NBA do not refer to the team from Miami as the "Heats".

Oh yes they do, if those fans be speak'in Ebonics.

New Orleans has long enjoyed a reputation for relaxed bohemianism, for being conducive to the arts, tolerant of homosexuality, and welcoming to all manner of eccentrics.

You have entirely missed the point of Steve's "Richard Florida Redux" piece.

David Davenport said...

Um, social networking ≠ high tech

True.

By the way, I assume all iStevies out there know about the Facebook I.P.O. fiasco.

Facebook = MySpace Part II?

Anonymous said...

Gladwellian, I love it. Very clever, Steve.

Semi-employed White Guy said...

Anyhow, best programmers ever are math/physics/hardcore engineering (EE/chem/Mech)
CS majors blow, they are second rate


Absolute tripe. As a CS major, I have made a good living as consultant fixing the unreadable, unmodifiable, unscalable, buggy, spaghettified messes those "best programmers ever" produced. None of those majors ever learn or appreciate the "art" of coding. Oh, and by fixing, I mean completely re-writing!

Anonymous said...

"How many homosexuals here, here, or here? Apart from Turing none pop out."

Geeks don't need to be gay since they're wussy to begin with.

Aaron B. said...

No one has mentioned Dan Bunten, the brilliant programmer who created M.U.L.E. for the Commodore 64, who later became Dani Bunten (and lived to admit regretting it). I don't know if he was homosexual, but I suppose he counts as "not straight." But my own 18 years in the business tells me he and the couple of others mentioned here are the rare exceptions that prove the rule. Programming (not managing programmers) is all about logic, making machines (electronic and virtual, but still machines) work. Homosexuals are no more likely to be drawn to computer programming than they are to fixing up cars. How many homosexual car mechanics have you seen?

Sure, there's a creative component involved in programming sometimes, especially when you're talking about very small or one-man operations where you don't have complete separation of the programmers from the graphic designers and other teams. But if creativity were a major part of it, you'd see more female programmers, and they're (still) very rare too. You could say fixing up hot rods involves a creative component in painting the body, but that's a side project. Most of the time is spent under the hood, so only straight guys do it.

As Steve showed in a long-ago article, homosexual men tend to be more interested in traditionally female work and hobbies, while lesbians are more interested in male endeavors like hitting a ball around). The chains of logic involved in programming make it an inherently male activity, so it would be more likely to attract lesbians than homosexual men.

There are plenty of asexual-seeming nerds in programming, but that's because they're socially inept. They like girls; they just don't know how to get one.

Anonymous said...

"Bohemians don’t invent technology. Nerds do."


How many people really know the difference, anyway, or give the issue much thought beyond "burn all 'em freaks at the stake for their own good?"



I know the difference. So does Wkipdia.

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits. In this context, Bohemians can be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.


They're not nerds.

Also, I've never encountered anybody who says things like "burn all 'em freaks at the stake for their own good" about anyone. And I doubt that you have.

Anonymous said...

Though bohemians and nerds are different in many ways, they have things in common. They both stand apart from jocks and aren't the most popular people in highschool. Many feel misunderstood as outsiders; both are more likely to be into sci-fi, chess, and books than jocks or 'popular kids' are.



The world as seen through the prism of John Hughes!

Bohemians are not into sci-fi, they're into serious literature and (correctly, I might add) regard sci-fi as very badly written. Nobody who thinks of himself as artistic is going to sing the praises of Robert Heinlein.

Anonymous said...

Twitter, Yelp, and the other social networking sites are all locating in San Francisco, which is becoming a bedroom community for the tech industry.


Hmm. I'm not sure I'd consider "social networking sites" to be the sin qua non of the tech industry. More parasitical on it.

Anonymous said...

But if creativity were a major part of it, you'd see more female programmers

Why? Women are less creative than men.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you guys, when it comes to places like silicon valley, so wrong even though a lot of what's been said is probably right, but it doesn't get to the root cause. Silicon Valley wasn't caused by Stanford, or Berkeley, or Terman, or gays, or yuppies, suburbs, or lifestyle issues... it was caused by Moffet field and sustained government spending, much military but not all, of a particular type. It involves things like NACA (WWI NASA, Moffet became the west coast facility), Lindberg, wind tunnels, aerial fleet scouting, dirigibles, blimps, blimps carrying heavy early radars, lots of radars, shrinking radars and other electronics, radars and the battle of the Atlantic, patrol planes, Polaris missiles (the Polaris program was basically done in the valley, I think that required around 20,000 engineers total), Trident missiles, spy satellites, lots of missiles and spy satellites... large scale radar defense networks that required these new-fangled things called computers, many of which were designed/built initially for these radar-centered defense projects.

A good chunk of one side of the field today is Google and the other is still Lockheed Martin (as in arguably biggest defense contractor in the world). All this required lots and lots of engineers and technicians (as well as all sorts of others as well) and sustained funding for leading work over decades. Lots of kids grew up together as children in this atmosphere, where everyone's dad was an engineer. I imagine Route 128 was the same in WWII.

There's actually been a bit of research on this, you can't study silicon valley for real without a cold hard look at the Cold War and government/military spending roots that go back to the 20s. You could say it has historically been the US's national industrial policy. In talking about how such areas come about, it has to be on the table, probably like you can't talk about British history or the history of technology without talking about the Royal Navy and the Admiralty.

Anonymous said...

Fans of the NBA do not refer to the team from Miami as the "Heats".
--------
People do misspeak about things they know or aware of. It happens when you're thinking about something but talking about something else or going through the motion-
-----

I remind you that this guy from the South Side of Chicago claimed to be a White Sox fan, then referred to having gone to "Cominskey Field" many, many times to root for the team.

Asked who some of his favorite Sox players are/were, he hummed, hawed, then said, "Well, you know, as a kid growing up in Hawaii, I rooted for the Oakland A's."

Now, mind you, he couldn't name a single Sox player, yet not that long before this little conversation in 2008, the Sox had won the World Series, 2005, I believe. Heck, even I can name their catcher at that time their manager who were both notorious for their tempers.

No, he didn't misspeak. He's a fraud.

Anonymous said...

Gays have used the internet to organize to great effect.

Hopefully, HBDers will use it for more than simply communication on blogs.

Mangan has up a post about a speech he delivered at a recent conference on evolutionary psychology. He says Derb, Steve, and other HBDers attended.

What needs to happen next is for a quality groups of HBD thinkers and communicators to extend these speeches to a wider audience. I am hoping they talk about doing such things.

Truth said...

"don't you have a half-black personal identity crisis to fret about?"

Is this the actual ManCrush love object himself?

Well, if I did it wouldn't be personal, because I'm not half-black.

But hey, at least Steve and I are both cool now.

Anonymous said...

No, he didn't misspeak. He's a fraud.

I don't doubt that he actually doesn't care as much about pro sports as he pretends. Politicians often pretend to be into pro sports, especially local teams, more than they really are. He's into playing pickup, but that he doesn't mean he's that into following pro bball. I like pickup - it's great exercise and lots of fun - but I don't follow pro bball and haven't since I was a kid.

But there's no real reason to believe that he didn't just misspeak.

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned Dan Bunten, the brilliant programmer who created M.U.L.E. for the Commodore 64, who later became Dani Bunten (and lived to admit regretting it).

So he created M.U.L.E. and then cut off his own mule?

Anonymous said...

"But if creativity were a major part of it, you'd see more female programmers

Why? Women are less creative than men. "

Not according to Dr. Vibrant:

A number of commentators have argued that women are better suited to the kinds of work demanded by the knowledge economy. Indeed, it is true that women make up the slight majority of the creative class, accounting for 52 percent of its members. It’s also true that a greater fraction of employed women hold creative class jobs (37.1 percent) than employed men (32.6 percent).

And all this despite nerd discrimination against women!!

However from one of the comments:

"I'm sure Florida has the numbers, but I'm just guessing: it includes k-12 teachers as creative class. 82% of them are women"

The all new ways of getting minorities to score higher just don't materialize out of ether..

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:54, Boston was basically the same. Defense contractors Bolt, Berenek and Newman (packet switching for the ARPANET) and Raytheon in Cambridge, Mitre Corp. at Hanscom Field in Bedford on Route 128.

The Air Force Electronic Systems Command is still at Hanscom.

MIT/Harvard/Tufts/etc. have supplied the brains, but DOD money was always the straw that stirs the drink in Boston area tech.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Richard Florida has been comfortably ensconsed at the University of Toronto for the past several years. The Premier (= Governor) of Ontario for the past decade fell madly in love with Florida's fantasy theories, and fast forward ... Ontario has since 'evolved' from being Canada's most prosperous province to being on federal 'welfare'. In addition, a noticeable and boldly overt gay agenda has been forcing its way into Ontario's schools and other insitutions, to the major annoyance of a growing number of citizens, resulting in Ontario's Liberal government coming within one seat of losing the Oct. '11 provincial election.

In short, Florida's looney theories don't work any better outside the U.S. than inside the U.S.

Davers6
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

sunbeam said...

My posts usually turn out too long, so I'm not going to post the text of the messages I'm responding to.

Computer Science as a major can be anything from a jazzed up business degree to something very, very serious. Just depends on the school you are at. (Some of them even do hardware, even if they aren't into fabrication.)

I can tell you from having seen Math from the Engineering side, and having tried at the kind of math you see in computer science, that our programmer friends have nothing to be ashamed of

I tell people (the small number who at least pretend not to be bored) "Engineering uses complicated mathematical tools to do simple things. Computer Science uses simple math to do complicated things."

Someone else said that Engineers are crappy programmers. Some are, but it depends. Honestly anyone of moderate intelligence can learn to use a programming language, even something as shitty and overcomplicated as the C/C++ family, which stays around because sometimes you need to use pointers, and there is a LOT of C/C++ code out there.

The downside is that C passed it's shitty genes down to other languages, but I'm digressing again.

One thing that is kind of lost with all this, is that I think a good point can be made for someone knowing about the subject that they are programming for. Whether it's the insurance industry, or writing CFD applications.

I think we are overspecialized today, one big reason is that business doesn't have the patience it had even 30 years ago.

Trust me, someone with a computer science degree can learn all about fluid mechanics without attending a college class, if he is interested and in the right environment.

And a Mechanical Engineer can become a very good programmer. It's easier for him, because the right environment is there just by an internet connection if he is interested.

Kylie said...

"'don't you have a half-black personal identity crisis to fret about?'

Is this the actual ManCrush love object himself?

Well, if I did it wouldn't be personal, because I'm not half-black.

But hey, at least Steve and I are both cool now."


How cool can you be if you're in agreement with me??

My husband doesn't even bother any more noting how hopelessly and endlessly I am out of the loop, except to say one word, "Garp".

No, really, he just said it less than an hour ago.

sunbeam said...

Anonymous said:

"Oh, you guys, when it comes to places like silicon valley, so wrong even though a lot of what's been said is probably right, but it doesn't get to the root cause. Silicon Valley wasn't caused by Stanford, or Berkeley, or Terman, or gays, or yuppies, suburbs, or lifestyle issues... it was caused by Moffet field and sustained government spending, much military but not all, of a particular type. It involves things like NACA (WWI NASA, Moffet became the west coast facility), Lindberg, wind tunnels, aerial fleet scouting, dirigibles, blimps, blimps carrying heavy early radars, lots of radars, shrinking radars and other electronics, radars and the battle of the Atlantic, patrol planes, Polaris missiles (the Polaris program was basically done in the valley, I think that required around 20,000 engineers total), Trident missiles, spy satellites, lots of missiles and spy satellites... large scale radar defense networks that required these new-fangled things called computers, many of which were designed/built initially for these radar-centered defense projects.

A good chunk of one side of the field today is Google and the other is still Lockheed Martin (as in arguably biggest defense contractor in the world). All this required lots and lots of engineers and technicians (as well as all sorts of others as well) and sustained funding for leading work over decades. Lots of kids grew up together as children in this atmosphere, where everyone's dad was an engineer. I imagine Route 128 was the same in WWII.

There's actually been a bit of research on this, you can't study silicon valley for real without a cold hard look at the Cold War and government/military spending roots that go back to the 20s. You could say it has historically been the US's national industrial policy. In talking about how such areas come about, it has to be on the table, probably like you can't talk about British history or the history of technology without talking about the Royal Navy and the Admiralty."

I would have thought that would have gone without saying. I think all this Randian/Entrepeneur stuff has a very high BS to truth ratio.

I might add that California's tuition free universities up until the late 60's or 70's had a lot to do with the origin of it as well.

Still I have to say there has always been something special about California. That climate...

If you get off the plane after having been in the Southeast it's like you can breathe for the first time in your life. You don't break into a sweat walking a couple blocks down the street. Something was wrong your whole life, and you never really knew what it was until you encountered low humidity air without super high temperatures (depends on what part of California I guess. I've never been anywhere there where that wasn't true.). For the first time you are where things are the way it's supposed to be. And you realize you have spent the majority of your life living in something's asshole.

The second thing about California is something I could theorize on, but I don't have any firm beliefs on.

And that is creativity and free thinking. In California you will have conventions where people make toys powered by steam.

Childish? Toys? Sure. But that kind of thing is what makes you capable of creating... lots of stuff.

And you just don't see it in the areas of the country I'm most familiar with.

SFG said...

Aaron: I know a few geek girls, and quite a few of them were bi. Not so many outright lesbians, though...

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 5:31 PM

"San Francisco homosexual rights activist arrested for child porn. Linked to pictures showing 1 and 2 and 3 year-olds being sodomized."

So no straight man has ever watched child porn? Interesting. Most pedophiles are otherwise heterosexual men. But who cares about facts, right? You people(social conservatives) are so full of biases and hatreds that it is IMPOSSIBLE to argue objectively with you. I have given up as it is pointless. The issue of gay rights is an EMOTIONAL and not LOGICAL issue to you. You just don't like gays on a visceral, intrinsec level. The end.

Anonymous said...

People tend to be a lot more multifasceted abd layered than Steve Sailer assumes. But I cannot blame him since he is clearly an Aspie and can only understand the World through strict categorization.

Norville Rogers said...

Anon 6/26/12 11:55 PM--that's hilarious, I had no idea Bradley's mag was all-in on the compleat Florida nostrums (though I suspected a lot of overlap). David Brooks is another who embraced this cause/effect confusion. Let's all move to Detroit, it'll be so creative!

Anonymous said...

I checked Penelope Trunks website,and her personality as presented there, doesn't jibe with the reasonable quote presented in the post here. Her inability to have a private thought stretches to the limit of insanity. Her unrelenting pronouncements of Truth (her version) must be unbearable in person- her poor husband/boyfriend.

Her repressed memories of child abuse cause suspicion. How often is this true, and how often is it a hallucination of the mentally ill? I'm no expert. Does anybody know?

I didn't relish Roissy's ridicule of her, she is just too earnest, and if she thought that she was behaving exactly as, he claims, all women are programmed to, I think she'd admit it. You must concede, that when the evidence proved her suppositions wrong, she didn't persist, to save face. I don't think I could ever like her manic personality, but I certainly feel sympathy for how hard she tries. I'm not a frequent Roissy reader, but he never shows any charity. Like an adult Holden Caufield, his goal in life is to expose all of us as phonies, but unlike Holden, he never lets on that he wishes the myths were true. I have a saturation point for satire, I've only gotten more sentimental as I've gotten older.

Back on topic: gays tend to be sybarites, if there is money, comfort, acclaim to be had, in a particular area, they'll flock there. I can't see recruiting them as a means to anything, but they are as effective as pigs at finding truffles.

Bobby Blumpkin said...

Never trust a man named Dick Florida.

Anonymous said...

I could've sworn I'd seen that Frank Bures article here before, possibly in one of the posts on the unceasing theme of "Whither Chicago"--anyway I'm glad you caught it too because his tragicomic narrative of trying to follow Richard Florida's rules for life is a handy example of above-average-IQ loyal NPR listeners enthusiastically falling for the first theory to come along that confirms their prejudices.

free suggestion said...

Obama should name for his fave White Sox hero one Robin Ventura, who nobly charged at the white Texan oppressor after that brushback pitch (I am surprised the "alternative right" hasn't already made a novelization of the incident). Despite not technically being Hispanic the name has a good balance of vowels which Barack and his Barbadian AG might be able to get past the crucial illegal alien voting bloc.

ben tillman said...

How often is this true, and how often is it a hallucination of the mentally ill? I'm no expert. Does anybody know?

No. It would be impossible for anyone to know.

Anonymous said...

There always were a fair number of homosexuals in the sharp end of the programming business, with concentrations at Berkeley, but they were never dominant. Guy L Steele's book goes into this a little, I think, but not a great deal, and has a great deal of data on the Unix era guys.

There are homosexuals into working on cars. It appears Daniel R. Stern the Chrysler mechanic (longtime Usenetter) is gay or something since he puts the rainbow streamer under his pictures on Slant 6 and other antique Mopar web sites.

Another interesting datum is the guys who collect and restore old laundry appliances. I had no idea anyone did that until I googled for parts on a vintage Norge I acquired with a vacation house, unused for decades but still working save for leaky seals. They have a web site at automaticwasher.org that is definitely gay, but they are doing all kind of heavy mechanical work, painting, and other car-restoration-like tasks. Neither straight males nor females of any orientation would restore old washing machines!

Anonymous said...

A number of commentators have argued that women are better suited to the kinds of work demanded by the knowledge economy. Indeed, it is true that women make up the slight majority of the creative class, accounting for 52 percent of its members. It’s also true that a greater fraction of employed women hold creative class jobs (37.1 percent) than employed men (32.6 percent).

He's probably counting Human Resources departments and other office drone positions that tend to be packed with women.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you from having seen Math from the Engineering side, and having tried at the kind of math you see in computer science, that our programmer friends have nothing to be ashamed of

The math in civil and mechanical engineering just goes up to basic calculus.

I think electrical engineering doesn't even really go beyond calc. Though it is more challenging than civil or mech e, and more abstract.

Anonymous said...

There always were a fair number of homosexuals in the sharp end of the programming business, with concentrations at Berkeley, but they were never dominant. Guy L Steele's book goes into this a little, I think, but not a great deal, and has a great deal of data on the Unix era guys.

Probably has more to do with extreme beta males herded into extremely male saturated environments.

JSM said...

"Bohemians are not into sci-fi, they're into serious literature and (correctly, I might add) regard sci-fi as very badly written. Nobody who thinks of himself as artistic is going to sing the praises of Robert Heinlein."

Well, aren't you special.

There is some excellent SF. James Tiptree, Jr.'s Love is the Plan the Plan is Death, for instance.

Anonymous said...

Sci-fi is basically a low-brow genre.

Anonymous said...

I met Florida once - he was an insufferable douchebag.

Kylie said...

"'Bohemians are not into sci-fi, they're into serious literature and (correctly, I might add) regard sci-fi as very badly written. Nobody who thinks of himself as artistic is going to sing the praises of Robert Heinlein.'

Well, aren't you special.

There is some excellent SF. James Tiptree, Jr.'s Love is the Plan the Plan is Death, for instance."


I looked up Tiptree's story and read it and agree, it's excellent SF. It's just not very good fiction. I used to say that science fiction was bad science and worse fiction and frankly, that story didn't change my view.

Now, I consider Dick's The Man in the High Castle one of the most exciting novels I've ever read, almost ties for first place with Hammett's Red Harvest.

ben tillman said...

Another interesting datum is the guys who collect and restore old laundry appliances.

Nice use of "datum".

Jamie said...

Not only gays but homeless people are important for business development- lets also encourage cities that want to thrive to hand out generous benefits to the homeless like SF so they too can experience the vibrant enrichment of life that comes with beggars mumbling incoherent ramblings and hassling businessmen walking by each day.

Charlotte said...

"He's probably counting Human Resources departments and other office drone positions that tend to be packed with women."

Is there an entymologist in the house?
If you're going to evoke the insect world as analogy for the human workforce, honey, please note: drones are males who exist to mate and die. Female bees, other than the Queen, are the workers who actually get things done. I've seen that from time to time, in human milieux that don't involve calculus, heavy lifting, or complex machinery. But I don't know. Maybe there are some alien bees that do things differently.

I have just come off a project for a major organization, whose recruiting team was all female and the job they did of engineering the "human resources" was jaw-dropping awesome. They were very busy bees indeed.

kendallseo said...

There is a real distinction between Technicians and Physicists, mathematicians,Researches.
Kendall Chrysler