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Intelligence Density and the Creative Class 185

Posted by Soulskill
from the iq-per-cubic-meter dept.
Doofus writes "The Atlantic has an interesting review of some open-sourced work by Rob Pitingolo about the comparative educational attainment levels of various metropolitan areas. While people are now capable of being far more mobile than in generations past, many people remain within 100 miles or so of where they were born. For the technology-partition of the creative class, this is less likely to be the case, in my personal experience. Do we technical people put interesting work and the concentration of human educational capital ahead of other considerations when deciding on a move? Or is it more complicated? Is it more about the fact that the creative jobs are where the creative people are?"
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Intelligence Density and the Creative Class

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  • by mikeraz (12065) <michael@@@michaelsnet...us> on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:01AM (#32389342) Homepage
    With employment being fungible for the vast majority where to live is driven by how one wants to live. I look for high density and diversity in restaurants. You want something else.
    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot <slashdot@NOSpAM.pudge.net> on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:59AM (#32389682) Homepage Journal

      I look for low density and a lack of diversity in restaurants. I am quite happy that you, and many other people, want something different than me, as it makes it easier to find what I am looking for.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by Miseph (979059)

        My God, it's like your meaningless differences of opinion complement one another such that there is nothing to argue or disagree about... you simply don't have the same preferences, and live your lives as you wish to.

        I know that's possible, but this is Slashdot. Things like that just don't happen here. Ever.

        I'm not sure that I can sit idly by and watch the very fabric of our community be torn asunder in this way. THIS CAN NOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND. I hereby order you to fight. Bitch and moan, make ad hominem

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by jonadab (583620)
        > I look for low density and a lack of diversity in restaurants.

        You laugh, but low population density has a lot of advantages (lower cost of living, lower crime rates, the ability to actually get to know most of the people in town...), and those of us who prefer our own cooking often don't give a fig about the restaurants near where we live. Personally, I only go to restaurants when I'm too far away from home to get there at mealtimes. I've never been to most of the restaurants near my house. I have N
        • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

          I look for low density and a lack of diversity in restaurants.

          You laugh, but low population density has a lot of advantages ...

          Actually, no, I was absolutely serious. I live in a rural area, and I love it. I hate the congestion of the city. And I don't eat a wide variety of foods, so the more diversity of restaurants, a. the more likely it is someone I am with will want to go to one of them, and b. the less likely it is that there will even be a restaurant I want to go to, since the total number of restaurants is population-limited.

          So, no, I really DO want low density and lack of restaurant diversity. (And yes, I mostly eat at

    • by OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @12:04PM (#32389718) Homepage

      Since every other social study says that people with degrees flock together, living even in the same neighborhoods. Usually these studies decry how "terribly unfair" this is. Still it explains perfectly well what's happening here.

      Ironically, this means that, as a university graduate, you're probably better of in one of the lesser density cities.

      And frankly I resent the direct correlation made : "smart" != "university graduate". One does not imply the other, in any direction.

    • You go where the work is. If you pick an area and wait until you get employment in that area, you could be years between jobs. For IT work, metro centers and restaurant selection are pretty much a given. Except for Cajun. Tough to find good Cajun out of the south.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by LarryFeltonJ (754774)
      I'm a high density/diversity sort of person myself, but intuitively the list doesn't surprise me. There are several things going for places like New York and San Francisco. Intelligent young people would tend to gravitate toward places with a lot of stimulation and opportunity. And most of the places near the top of the list still have active economic life. Not many young people stream toward dying agricultural towns, or even non-descript suburban areas.
    • by oakgrove (845019) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:40PM (#32390438)
      From the article:

      Instead of measuring human capital or college degree holders as a function of population, he measures it as a function of land area -- that is, as college degree holders per square mile.

      So, high density urban areas have a higher density of $EDUCATIONAL_ATTAINMENT. Well, blow me down. I'd bet that if you looked at the density per square mile of the people that don't have an eighth grade education, the chart would be virtually the same.

      Seems to me that degrees per capita would be a much more useful metric.

      • by oakgrove (845019) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:50PM (#32390510)
        At the risk of a faux pas replying to myself, here's the list normalized for overall population density:

        Rank City % Above Expected Concentration
        1 Oklahoma City 544%
        2 Nashville 167%
        3 Jacksonville 156%
        4 Salt Lake City 87%
        5 Kansas City 84%
        6 Seattle 78%
        7 Raleigh 73%
        8 San Francisco 61%
        9 New Orleans 54%
        10 Atlanta 50%
        11 Austin 48%
        12 Virginia Beach 46%
        13 Washington 45%
        14 Charlotte 43%
        15 Louisville 42%
        16 Portland 35%
        17 Birmingham 32%
        18 San Diego 31%
        19 Minneapolis 30%
        20 Orlando 28%
        21 Denver 27%
        22 Boston 22%
        23 St. Paul 13%
        24 Indianapolis 11%
        25 Richmond 9%
        26 Tampa 9%
        27 San Jose 8%
        28 Pittsburgh 6%
        29 Oakland 6%
        30 Columbus 5%
        31 Cincinnatti -3%
        32 New York City -10%
        33 Sacramento -11%
        34 Houston -11%
        35 Memphis -12%
        36 Dallas -12%
        37 Chicago -15%
        38 Los Angeles -17%
        39 Phoenix -23%
        40 Providence -23%
        41 San Antonio -25%
        42 St. Louis -25%
        43 Balitmore -30%
        44 Miami -32%
        45 Las Vegas -34%
        46 Riverside -37%
        47 Buffalo -38%
        48 Philadelphia -41%
        49 Milwaukee -43%
        50 Cleveland -61%
        51 Hartford -62%
        52 Detroit -68%

        I find this much more interesting than the face palm-esque pop. density ranking original list. Interesting how 7 of the top ten are southern cities.

        • Someone please mod this up. He's right; it's ten times as interesting as the original list, although I think it's possible that a really high density of smart people enables things that a lower density never would, even if it's just because there are more people there.
        • by shiftless (410350)

          His list was bullshit, but yours is much more meaningful and accurate. BTW, interesting that a list of the "smartest" US cities doesn't include the US city with the most PhD's per capita: Huntsville, AL.

    • I look for high density and diversity in restaurants. You want something else.

      High density and diversity in fast food delivery, for example.

  • by hey! (33014) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:03AM (#32389348) Homepage Journal

    you must factor in average height as well.

    • by onionman (975962)

      you must factor in average height as well.

      The heights of the regions (buildings, terrain, etc.) would make a difference!! For example, in D.C. the heights of buildings are limited by ordinance to be lower than the Capital's dome. This means that D.C. is already at a great disadvantage compared to NY in terms of population per unit area because there is a limit to how many floors you can put in the buildings.

      Really, though, I would be much more interested in degrees/population rather than degrees/area in a given region. And, like others have alre

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:04AM (#32389358)
    The more specialised you are, the fewer job openings you have - that will use your speciality (yes, obviously you could get a lesser job, but isn't that a waste of your talents and so ultimately unsatisfactory?). That means you have to range further to find those rarer openings. So in that respect more educated people will have a tendency to be more mobile, though not always through choice. And not always viewing it as a good thing: having to move from country to country to chase the next step of career progression.
    • Only if you need to be physically near the people that you work with. My nearest colleague is over a thousand miles away. I could continue to do exactly the same work pretty much anywhere in the world, as long as it has an Internet connection. With weather like today's, I sometimes wonder why I stay here...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tepples (727027)

        Only if you need to be physically near the people that you work with.

        I once telephone-interviewed with a video game developer halfway across the United States. I was turned down because they don't telecommute, and they don't telecommute in part because of console makers' home office bans (example [warioworld.com]).

      • by mikael_j (106439)

        But even if you could do your job from anywhere a lot of times employers want you to be in the office during office hours so that they can make sure you're working (although they'll describe it with a bunch of talk about wanting the employees to function well as a team and such things).

        Personally I could easily do my job from home or a beach in some much warmer country but my boss would rather have me come to the office every day and sit there, even if we both know I have no work to do for the first couple

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      (yes, obviously you could get a lesser job, but isn't that a waste of your talents and so ultimately unsatisfactory?).

      I am likely one of only 2 or three people within 300 (or more) miles of where I sit who could do the job I am doing now. Granted, I live in a fairly rural area, but it's not BFN. The job is frustrating, stressful, and intellectually tiring - though it is satisfying on the occasional day.

      If I were to lose this job, I'd seriously consider a career change. My 'talents' are not related to this job - those are skills, acquired over time, and a benefit of my talents. My talents are 'innate' and are well suited to

  • Do we technical people put interesting work and the concentration of human educational capital ahead of other considerations when deciding on a move?

    So why would you have to move to create a concentration of "human educational capital"? We've got this think called the Internet ... you don't see all those jobs that were outsourced to India requiring that their workers move to North America or Europe.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218)
      The reason why companies outsource isn't because people are uber intelligent and great at their job in India, one needs only to call tech support to find that out. Its because Indian workers are cheap for the amount of education and such. Even a crappy American worker is paid minimum wage, in India, a great worker may only cost minimum wage in the US.

      If you pay $20,000 for each worker in India and $50,000 for each worker in America, it simply makes sense to outsource.
      • by tomhudson (43916)
        They're also outsourcing business tax work, legal services, and scads of other stuff. It's not just "customer support."
      • by hedwards (940851)
        That's incredibly inaccurate. So how about one that's about cars. Say you have your choice of two cars. One is reliable works well in the snow but costs 30k. Now say that the other one is somewhat unreliable and dubious in the snow, but it costs only 20k. The implication you're making is that you would ignore the lesser quality and save the money. The problem though is that you're giving something up in order to get the cheaper price and if you're in an area that has a lot of snow, the cheaper car could ver
        • by AdamHaun (43173)

          If you're a large corporation that needs a thousand cars, you buy the 20k model because your upper management says you need to cut costs. Your salespeople then take on the extra risk and delays, but those are intangible costs that are much harder to measure. Measurable costs and benefits are almost always prioritized over intangibles, probably because they're more predictable.

        • by CAIMLAS (41445)

          One is reliable works well in the snow but costs 30k. Now say that the other one is somewhat unreliable and dubious in the snow, but it costs only 20k

          Yet that's not true. I can get a very good quality vehicle from Hyundai (for instance) which is not only reliable, works well in the snow, gets good mileage etc. but is $10k less than something "American" that (typically) isn't as reliable or well designed.

          Granted, it doesn't have the bells and whistles of an American vehicle, but those bells and whistles are useless if the vehicle doesn't work well.

          As for productivity... a large amount of that is factored by how much we make. Actual "successful work accomp

        • by tomhudson (43916)

          Say you have your choice of two cars. One is reliable works well in the snow but costs 30k. Now say that the other one is somewhat unreliable and dubious in the snow, but it costs only 20k. The implication you're making is that you would ignore the lesser quality and save the money.

          You mean:

          One is reliable works well in the snow and only costs $15k. Now say that the other one is somewhat unreliable and dubious in the snow, and costs $30k. The implication you're making is that you would ignore the lesser

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CAIMLAS (41445)

        Honestly, I've come to actually appreciate Indian tech support recently.

        Why?

        1) It's not the same as it was 5+ years ago. The people answering the phone can speak passable English (better than someone from Atlanta, anyway).
        2)They're polite. Maybe we just have good vendors, but I've been very satisfied once I get ahold of someone.

        Yeah, there's bad support. But you'll get that anywhere.

        • by shiftless (410350)

          The people answering the phone can speak passable English (better than someone from Atlanta, anyway).

          And yet when I visit your state, the girls have no trouble listening to every word I say. Actually even the tech support girls on the phone dont at all act like they'd like for me to shut up. Are there really that many people out there who don't like my accent? Where are they hiding?

          (basements perhaps? :D)

    • And yet ... many, many tech companies seem to insist that you work in this big brick-and-motor constructed building they call "The Office" rather than from your house.

      They don't outsource to one guy in India, or a bunch of one guys in different locations. They outsource to a company that (in theory) has a team with supervision/management. And they do it from a big building they call "The Office".

      BTW, I'm not disagreeing with you or saying that it should work like this, I'm just pointing out that in reality,

    • by Vellmont (569020)


      So why would you have to move to create a concentration of "human educational capital"?

      For at least a couple different reasons.

      1. It's far easier to work with someone in the same building as you are than it is to work with someone 1000 miles away. This is especially true if you work together closely.

      2. Creative and brainy people want creative and brainy things. Creative and brainy things can largely only be supported in places where there's large concentrations of creative and brainy people. Therefore t

      • by tomhudson (43916)

        It's far easier to work with someone in the same building as you are than it is to work with someone 1000 miles away. This is especially true if you work together closely.

        Two words: "Office Politics".

        Two more words: "Body Odor".

        Yet two more words: "Sexual harassment".

        The "Work together closely" costs businesses lots of money from time wasted in office politics and sexual harassment lawsuits.

        you don't see all those jobs that were outsourced to India requiring that their workers move to North America

    • I looked really hard at those internet employment "opportunities" a few months ago. I can make 2x the money here in town, 3x if I were willing to move to a better paying area.
  • Most of us... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:06AM (#32389376)
    Most of us go to where the jobs are. Google, Microsoft, Intel and Apple are all pretty large employers of creative people. If I can make $25K more per year if I move, chances are I'll move. So they end up having large concentrations of creative people because most people move where the jobs are. Good luck finding a high-paying, interesting tech job in rural America. Yes, you -can- "telecommute" but most of the time you get paid a lot less than if you go to the cube farm.
    • by jbeach (852844)
      And most bosses tend to not like the idea of telecommuting for creative jobs, in my experience. They want to have employees nearby so they can "watch what they're doing" - even if they don't understand it. A mammalian psychology thing.
      Relatively uncreative jobs like call centers can go overseas, no problem - but bosses can tend to be strangely threatened by creative people, and want to keep tabs on them regardless of how good their work is.
    • Most of us go to where the jobs are.

      Citation please. ...or rather, from what I've read, the jobs go to where the people are. Most people decide where they want to live first, move there, and then look for a job. Efforts by cities such as Nashville to attract high tech industry and jobs have not done so well because even if they do attract the businesses with incentives, the businesses find that they cannot attract the workers.

      The nucleation for this tends to be universities. Since that is where the skilled

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:17AM (#32389430)

    To achieve maximum flamage, these numbers should be cross referenced by religious views, political affiliation, and choice of text editor :-D

  • Geeks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by 1000101 (584896) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:24AM (#32389468)
    Many people in the IT field are less social and have a smaller group of friends outside of work, so picking up and moving isn't as big of a change. Not everyone fits this, but I'm sure it impacts the results.
    • Or, we don't see geographic proximity as a requirement for continued friendship.

      I moved 1800 miles 3 years ago ... and my friends are still my friends. I just see them "in person" far less often. I also have friends who left the area where we met before I did. I even have friends who now live on completely different continents.

    • Re:Geeks (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sky Cry (872584) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:43PM (#32390456)

      But less social also means it's harder to find friends in the new area, making moving much harder.

  • The basic assumption is that population density (of the normal sort) is important. This college-degree density is just (population density) * (proportion of population with college degrees), and as his figures show, the first term ends up being more important in most cases.

    Furthermore, even anecdotal evidence doesn't really support him, despite SF coming out at the top of his list. Although there's plenty of "knowledge economy" in SF, it's ultra-sprawl Silicon Valley that's actually where the heart of the a

    • Although there's plenty of "knowledge economy" in SF, it's ultra-sprawl Silicon Valley that's actually where the heart of the action is.

      Members in and around Santa Clara, California are currently renting these titles much more than other Netflix members.

      1. Karthik Calling Karthik
      2. Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani
      3. Like Stars on Earth (Taare Zameen Par)
      4. Ishqiya
      5. Paa
      6. The Future of Food
      7. Death at a Funeral
      8. Pixar Short Films: Vol 1
      9. Sex and the City: Season 2
      10. Outsourced

      That's in the heart of the action... what movies do your neighbors rent?

  • There is a considerable history of computer professionals earning pretty good pay checks. The mobility of these techs is highly linked to their financial ability to move where they please. A 90K per annum computer tech is far more able to accept offers than a 30K school teacher who may actually be better educated and more able.

    • I'm confused by your statement. Pretty much by definition, you'll find K-12 schools in any metro area where there aren't tumbleweeds rolling down Main street. Other than a few very high cost metro areas, teachers make enough to actually live where they work. However, it's pretty slim pickings when it comes to finding places that can support computer techs making 90K/year. Off the top of my head I'd say you're looking at companies larger than 100, and possibly even larger than 500. The former puts it out
  • That's how far I moved recently, after seriously considering a position 7780 kilometers away. And I settled with the closer one, not because it was closer (which, with that distance, doesn't really matter anyway), but because it would be also interesting for my wife. So, yeah, I'd say I'm willing to move far away looking for interesting things to do.

    (1425 and 4834 miles, for those who don't use metric)

  • if "Is it more about the fact that the creative jobs are where the creative people are?" where true then if you where living somewhere where there where no creative jobs, then it would mean that you are not a creative person and if you have moved to get a job then this 'fact' is incorrect. I think the location of creative jobs has more to do with large bodies of water than any other factor.
  • by dirkdodgers (1642627) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:31AM (#32389506)

    Having a college degree makes you statistically more likely to have a job, and to be more highly compensated, but it's not at all clear to me that having a degree makes you part of a "creative class", whatever the fuck that is. Having a college degree also means you are statistically more likely to be white and to come from an affluent family. The transition from "educational attainment" to "smarter people" to "creative class" sounds great while sipping an $8 coffee and listening to indie rock, but in the real world it's pretty fucking condescending.

    Carpenters are creative.
    Mechanics are creative.
    Landscapers are creative.
    Welders are creative.
    Stonemasons are creative. ...

    Not all. Maybe not most. But probably not a great deal more or less than are coders, analysts, lawyers, doctors, accountants (maybe I'll give you that one!), and economists.

    • Well Said! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Will Steinhelm (1822174) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:53AM (#32389648)
      Thank you. Some of the most creative people I know are carpenters, furniture makers, and other craftsmen. Or are musicians, or painters, or chefs. Most of these people went to a community college at most. Using college degrees to indicate creativity shows a misunderstanding of creativity.
    • by imidan (559239) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @12:11PM (#32389790)

      I get what you're saying, but I assume that the OP was using 'creative class' according to the Florida definition [wikipedia.org]. That most members of Florida's creative class are white men is true, but it's a descriptive condition, not a prescriptive one. I'm not saying that's not a problem, just that it's the case.

    • by Vellmont (569020)

      You're probably right. There's a whole set of blue collar jobs that require quite a bit of creativity and intelligence. There's many more that don't. I don't think a factory job cutting up chickens, or a farm job picking tomatoes requires a lot of creativity. It's the AVERAGE we're talking about here though, not specifics.

      Are you REALLY trying to say there's no correlation between educational attainment, and smarts? Sorry, I just find the idea ridiculous. There's smart people without college degrees,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by shiftless (410350)

        There's a whole set of blue collar jobs that require quite a bit of creativity and intelligence.

        There are just as many, if not more blue collar jobs requiring high levels of creativity and intelligence.

        For example, a mechanic. Most mechanics are useless precisely because modern cars are more complicated and more difficult to understand for people who are not too good at visualing how complicated electronic systems work (i.e. most people.)

        How about a machinist? That's another common blue collar job full of

    • by Doofus (43075) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @12:17PM (#32389832)
      Being "creative" is not the sole criterion for being a member of the Creative Class [wikipedia.org].

      Several key factors that differentiate members of the Creative Class and "people in any field that happen to be creative" include the generation of new knowledge, of one sort or another, or the generation of innovative solutions to difficult problems.

      This does not take away any sliver of the importance of the creativity demonstrated by the classes of work you noted, but the scope of their impact is completely different.
      • by Trepidity (597)

        Most of the members of the "creative class" defined as in the linked article, though, are not really generating new knowledge, nor innovative solutions to difficult problems. I think that's the claim people are objecting to--- the attempt to take a particular segment of jobs, admittedly useful and well-paying ones, and attempt to elevate them with lofty-sounding terms.

        The vast majority are solving relatively standard problems in relatively standard ways, porting variations on old solutions to new platforms

    • by Larryish (1215510)

      Don't forget liars.

      Liars are some of the most creative people in the world.

    • They are not artists, they are craftsmen. There is no creativity in fixing a leaky toilet. A plumber cannot speak with authority on interesting subjects while an artist certainly can.
  • is to riff upon the concepts of intelligence, education, creativity, mobility, and technology

    basically, you can say just about anything within that huge scattershot area... and signify absolutely no thought of any value whatsoever

    • basically, you can say just about anything within that huge scattershot area... and signify absolutely no thought of any value whatsoever

      Yes, but just think of how creative one could appear to be while promulgating such bombastic bullshit; perhaps that is what TFA had in mind all along?

  • Y'all are thinking too much. Some of us just like to be near our loved ones.
  • this really depends more on if you are a contractor or direct emplyee.

    Contractors go where the money is.
    they tend to be nomads.

  • by hhawk (26580)

    We are more Mobile but we also have to help take care of our family: our parents who live longer, and our other relations not to mention children and the need for parents or grand parents to help care for our kids, etc. Technology lets' us travel more, and stay connected when we do. It also helps us connect to our growing networks of friends and family.

    However, there are many economic reasons to stay close to a birth location assuming that is near other family members. Of course there are exceptions includi

    • Re:Family (Score:5, Informative)

      by couchslug (175151) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @12:18PM (#32389838)

      "Until there is a robot that can stay home with Mom and look after her, help her take her meds and buy her groceries, do light household and yard work, etc."

      FYI, when Mom and Dad move from "needing light assistance" to "incompetent, incontinent, and incoherent" they WILL go beyond the abilities of a single caregiver.

      Make as much money as you can, research elder care LONG before they (and, eventually, you) need it, research how to save THEIR assets as well as yours, and how to avoid probate. If you are able to read this, NOW is a good time, not when the shit hits the fan. Caring for mad. dying old folks is exhausting, stresses a marriage/relationship, and is expensive.

      Modern medical technology gives us the ability to suffer for many years. Get ready. You have been warned.

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:43AM (#32389580) Homepage

    ...not very smart. First off, it's silly to equate "smart" to "educated." Smart children of illegal immigrants who pick strawberries don't tend to go to college. Dumb children of business executives tend to go to college and get a degree in something, e.g., education, that doesn't require mastering any speficic, difficult body of knowledge. A college education is a middle-class entitlement in the U.S., like Social Security and Medicare.

    The other silly thing about it is that first he tabulates the density of degree holders and finds out that degree holders are more dense where people are more dense. Wow, blinding insight. Then he tries to eliminate the effect of population density using a linear regression, which isn't the right tool for the job. If he wants to eliminate the effect of population density, he should just start with the percentage of the population that has a degree. His linear regression method produces results that obviously don't make much sense, e.g., that Oklahoma City has 544% more people with degrees than you'd expect. (See the note at the bottom of the chart.) Presumably this indicates that not only does every adult in Oklahoma City have a degree, but so do all their children, as do their dogs, cats, and major household appliances.

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:53AM (#32389652)

    I cantankerously but humbly disagree with every conclusion of this article. I don't agree that college-trained people are generally smarter. I readily agree that college educated people are better at manipulating and understanding symbols and words than the general population. But they are not better at using the vast amount of stored knowledge and experience stored in those words and books to make their lives better. They are marginally better but not greatly so.

        I live in Portland Oregon USA and hear constantly about the movement of smart and creative people into smart and creative cities, of which Portland is proclaimed to be. It is simply not true. People move here because life is easy here. We are a thousand miles from any urban center of global consequence.

        For example, we have a company called Wieden+Kennedy, who are a world-renowned employer of creative people. They make advertising. Everybody loathes advertising, and everyone does as much as possible to minimize their exposure to it. If a person is really creative, then why would they be wasting their creativity on advertising? Hense they are not creative: they're just people who have the annoying talent of recycling cliches to sell things that no one would buy if they weren't persuaded to do so by 'creative' people.

        Real creative people make useful things and solve real problems. In Portland, 'creative' people make nothing and create real problems.

        As for the relationship between technical abilities and creativity: there is very little. Look at the vast majority of postings here on Slashdot that follow every story. Dim, moronic, childish, dull, embarrassing. Not creative. If there were any intrinsic connection between creativity and technical/scientific/engineering ability, we would see it here. We don't.

        Creativity is what creativity does. You can't measure it. It's not a fashion and real creativity is rarely noticed for what it is.

  • by aBaldrich (1692238) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @11:58AM (#32389672)
    The summary is really, really misleading. I really wanted to know about this "intelligence density", and which citieas hosted the biggest proportion of graduates every 1000 people. I wanted to compare Bologna with Oxford, Paris, Rome, Boston...
    But then I realised this study was limited to a single country.
  • I have almost 300 hours of undergrad/grad credit, and some killer real-world experience. I could be quite substantially richer by living somewhere else. But the idea of being able to afford More Shiny Things isn't nearly as appealing to me as being able to eat Sunday lunch after church with my parents and brother, or catch a baseball game after work with my friends.

    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. - Matthew 6:21

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I totally agree with you, I have a master in CS from a good school and I turn down an offer to work at some megacorp in some megacity because I was happy in my hometown, and I was depressive as hell in the megacity.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      And I value the experience of visiting/living in a diverse range of places, witnessing the culture and meeting new friends there, safe in the knowledge that my other friends and family are easy to contact from around the world, or on the end of an airline ticket if I want to visit.

      Wealth doesn't just give you material objects, it gives you a significant measure of freedom and flexibility.

  • I have found that willing to take short term (3 months) or medium term (6 month) assignments and travel a bit has led to better money, more interesting work, and more opportunities. A VP at my company once told me that to get very far would require flexibility in this area, now I personally live in the same town for the last 40 years but I have done lots of out of town assignments in other parts of the country and world. And have made it know that I WOULD move if required.

  • Am I missing something? Like the section where he did the obvious thing and correlated degrees and economy? Most obviously there's the overall level of economic activity, but the type of economic activity will also be a major player. He points out Nashville has a high density, a quick Googling suggests this is a major healthcare/biotech centre. He also mentions Seattle where apparently the biggest employer is the University of Washington, is another a healthcare/biotech hub though there's also MS, Boeing...

  • Career-driven people (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Angst Badger (8636) on Saturday May 29, 2010 @12:44PM (#32390054)

    I've only moved for a job once, and that had a lot more to do with the recession than anything else, and hopefully, I'll never do it again. I think the real division here is between people for whom their career is their supreme consideration and those for whom it is not. Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about "career" beyond making sure that my needs are met with a little left over for some luxuries. I do pretty well: I've worked as an independent contractor for the last several years, so it varies from year to year, but I usually gross somewhere in the low six digits. My career-driven counterparts tend to make about 20% more than me, which is not enough for me to disrupt the rest of my life, and I'm not sure what would be. If I wasn't putting a kid through college, I'd probably work a lot less.

    I used to be career-driven. Over the course of the last twenty years, I discovered that how happy or unhappy I was at any given time had next to nothing to do with how much money I was making -- as long as I was making enough to avoid privation -- and very little to do with what I was doing at work. It's not like it's going to be any great comfort to have my peak earnings and my job references on my epitaph.

  • Degrees/100k Population of those cities would reveal a different figure that give Education to Population density, which when considered with the prior figures of the author might indeed suggest where "the action is".

    This would make some small areas stand out by looking at a different "concentration". Something like "Bankers per city" in Connecticut.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 29, 2010 @01:31PM (#32390372)

    I disagree with the thesis of this post. In my experience, technical people are not the most mobile people in the work force. People involved in high level business positions, airline pilots, diplomats, or people into artsy careers (music, acting) are way more mobile than tech people when it comes to moving far away from where they were born. Stop thinking you are special just because you know how to use computers.

    • Stop thinking you are special just because you know how to use computers.

      On the other hand, given what passes for skillful computer use among the general public, our skills do make us special; in a manner of speaking. Whether or not that is appreciated and adequately compensated is another matter entirely, but truly skillful computer professionals are not as common as most people think.

  • I'm in the Pittsburgh area. You can get a world class education here, pretty much regardless of the field. If you're into medicine there's Pitt. If you're into the law, there's Pitt and Duquesne. If you're into business, there's Point Park. If you're into CS, there's CMU. All within 15 miles of where I live. Why would I need to leave?

    LK

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