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Intelligence Density and the Creative Class

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the iq-per-cubic-meter dept.

Education 185

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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185 comments

it's more complicated (4, Interesting)

mikeraz (12065) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389342)

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.

Re:it's more complicated (5, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389682)

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:it's more complicated (4, Insightful)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389718)

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.

Re:it's more complicated (0, Flamebait)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390012)

Yes it does. Mouth-breathers don't get into universities, most of them know better than to even apply. The vast majority of morons want nothing more from life than to drink alcohol among people who think like they do and practice their comfortable bigotry together. They are not aware that seeking diversity is the best thing in life - far from it, they actually feel better in homogeneous groups. Some people are just smarter than others, and universities are where such people are naturally congregated. Let me guess, you feel slighted because you're in an area slighted by the survey? It's a survey, it's objective, you're only feeling slighted because you're engaging in projection.

Re:it's more complicated (3, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390052)

I think you're confusing 'smarter' with 'more prone to compulsive grade and approval seeking.'

It's pretty dumb to suck up with someone, merely because you've been trained to believe that their 'credentials' make them superior to you.

In case you didn't know, Universities are where wallpaper enthusiasts naturally congregate. There are a lot of slope-heads everywhere, including the halls of 'intellect.'

Now, go conform.

Re:it's more complicated (1)

Venik (915777) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390330)

Let me guess, you feel slighted because you're in an area slighted by the survey?

Let me also make a guess, you don't think you are a moron, do you? From my personal experience of living next to a well-respected university for the past fifteen years - after graduating from that same university - this is just a place were people who think they are smart naturally congregate. The people who are in fact smart prefer to congregate at the Cote d'Azure. Hopefully, one of these days I will finally do something smart that will allow me to sell my house in New Jersey to someone in need of proximity to the academia. And I will settle for groping silicone tits at some Mediterranean resort.

Re:it's more complicated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389998)

why would you want high 'diversity'? that just means you have to compete against unjust, discriminatory 'anti-discrimination' laws that shield non-white/non-straight/non-males from real competition.

I think it's pretty simple (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390002)

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:I think it's pretty simple (0, Flamebait)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390072)

For IT work,

We were discussing Intelligence Density, not IT density. Now go change the toner cartridge on the LJ5 down in Accounting like a good little gnome.

Re:it's more complicated (2, Insightful)

LarryFeltonJ (754774) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390360)

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.

To calculate human capital density properly, (3, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389348)

you must factor in average height as well.

Re:To calculate human capital density properly, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389422)

I think average weight would be more relevant, especially with America's obesity statistics.

Re:To calculate human capital density properly, (1)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389458)

Weight can't be a reliable indicator of volume, though. We would best correct weight values with Body Mass Index.

Re:To calculate human capital density properly, (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389678)

I would have thought volumetric capacity would be more relevant.

[*ducks*]

Re:To calculate human capital density properly, (1)

onionman (975962) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389904)

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 already said, "college degree != being smart".

qualifications lead to less choice (5, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:qualifications lead to less choice (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389432)

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:qualifications lead to less choice (2, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389782)

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]).

Re:qualifications lead to less choice (1)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389796)

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 of hours of a particular day (and the boss is unreachable and unable to assign further things to do, pretty common at the end of a project when the boss is already busy in meetings planning the next project).

Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389370)

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:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389410)

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.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389466)

Even a crappy American worker is paid minimum wage, in India, a great worker may only cost minimum wage in the US.

There's also the cost of the unhappy customer who can't (and therefore won't) deal with the frustration of talking to the crappy tech support in India ... and the cost to the company's reputation ... and the marketing costs for ads saying "our tech support isn't that bad, not according to the Indian marketing company who took a poll for us" ... and the cost to the American economy the lost jobs take resulting in less people being able to afford your product or forcing you to lower the cost (and profit margin) of your product so more people can afford it again ...

It's never as simple as "in India the labor is cheaper and therefore better". Once they accept the crappy customer service they offer they will be looking to save more money by switching to some other place that charges less than India. I wouldn't be surprised if companies start dropping cell phones in the poorest third world nations so the people who find them can offer tech support when they start ringing.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389628)

They're also outsourcing business tax work, legal services, and scads of other stuff. It's not just "customer support."

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (4, Insightful)

MrMr (219533) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389806)

Unfortunately they don't want to realize that the biggest cost saver would be outsourcing the management levels.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389644)

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 very easily cost you 10k on missed work alone.

Outsourced labor is much the same way. Nobody is as productive as American workers are, the only country that comes close to us is Norway and they've got a small enough population that we're not in any trouble from them. Chinese and Indian labor looks a lot worse when you factor in the externalities like pissing off your customers with poor support, heavy metal laden goods and flat out shoddy quality. Sure there are exceptions, but you have to pay more for them which largely defeats the purpose of going off shore.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389668)

Nobody is as productive as American workers are

[citation needed]

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (2, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389846)

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

nashv (1479253) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390006)

Sorry, I don't see comparisons with India and China in that graph. But that is besides the point, this measure of productivity is GDP per man-hour of work. The GDP is largely diluted among non-working sections where countries have a large populations. What this means, is that for various reasons, the country as a whole is not a productive as the US. It does not mean that an average Indian/Chinese worker is less productive than the average American worker.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390130)

BeNeLux numbers are skewed by small(er) populations and concentrations of large amounts of money transiting through those countries in tax avoidance schemes.
Ireland is in a similar boat.

Of course, one might add that up until 2007 there was a similar skewing effect in the US due to the housing bubble.

It will be interesting to see what those numbers look like for 2008 and 2009.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389736)

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.

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389446)

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, it does. Companies that allow for geographically disparate telecommuters are the exception rather than the rule. .

Re:Why would you have to move? This isn't 1910. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389612)


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 the creative and brainy people will tend to conglomerate together into population centers. If you think the internet and UPS can solve this, then you don't realize that "things" can mean other creative and brainy people, and things like an theatre district or a good selection of ethnic restaurants.

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

Actually, I'd bet you'd see the exact same thing happening in India. You think all the tech jobs in India are spread out all over the sub-continent? From what I understand there's two cities where all the action happens.

Most of us... (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Most of us... (1)

jbeach (852844) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389574)

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.

Re:Most of us... (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389692)

A mammalian psychology thing.

If your boss is a mammal, then you are in a better position than 90% of IT workers.

Re:Most of us... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389740)

If your boss is a mammal, then you are in a better position than 90% of IT workers.

Yes, reptiles seem to be more popular in management. Must be the cold-blooded thingy.

Re:Most of us... (1)

painandgreed (692585) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389784)

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 workers are with a community built up to keep those workers happy, it attracts business too. Cities that do not present attractive places to live have trouble attracting skilled workers and keeping businesses there. While some features such as good schools, low housing prices, etc that are usually considered as desirable, this is mostly to the skilled workers who have already established themselves and settled down already. Most fresh college graduates are still much like college students and need lively social scene involving music, food selection, and recreational activities. If a city doesn't have that, then it will find it hard to attract the base workers it needs to keep businesses. Likewise, I think if you look at the top selections, you will find that those places are known for such qualities.

The mass of jobs, not a job, attracts us... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32390364)

Most of us are not itinerant workers. We don't literally go where the next job is, with no locality. But at certain transition points in our lives, we examine the potential employment opportunities while judging where to transfer. I try to "go where the jobs are" which is not the same thing as to "go where the job is".

Someone like me would decline a job in Nashville unless it was stupendously high paying, to the point where it would offset my belief that I would not be happy there and I would not find a continued career after the job is over. A place like the S.F. Bay Area, while expensive to live, offers a hope of continued employment in many different jobs that would suit me. So the jobs in the Bay Area can attract me even before I've interviewed or been given an offer with any specific employer, while a fully committed job offer with one employer in Nashville would not attract me, because Nashville doesn't have that promise of many other relevant employers. Even now, when the Bay Area is said to have above average unemployment, it holds more promise for a specialized techie than some other podunk place.

Chicken and egg, sure, but not my problem as I'm not part of the Nashville leadership... this is where I agree with the comment about universities. They serve a big role in allowing the critical mass of employers to flourish in the same area, and hence to become attractive at this collective level.

creative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389404)

I think this article misses the boat right off the bat by equating intelligence/technical ability with being creative. There are numerous examples of intelligent/technical people who don't have an ounce of creativity in their bodies.

Re:creative? (1)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389484)

I think this article misses the boat right off the bat by equating intelligence/technical ability with being creative. There are numerous examples of intelligent/technical people who don't have an ounce of creativity in their bodies.

And an equal number of examples of creative people who don't have an ounce of intelligence. It's a "home run" when someone possesses both qualities, but that isn't the case with most creative or intelligent people.

Re:creative? (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390366)

True enough, but the concept of the "creative class" implies people who have creativity and intelligence and the drive to make something of their talents. Since it's awfully hard to measure traits, especially at the population level, university degrees, particularly advanced degrees, make a reasonable proxy. Sure, there are plenty of smart, creative, hard-working people who never completed any education beyond high school (if that) and there are plenty of people with university degrees who are apparently dumb as rocks. But on the whole, getting a degree indicates a certain amount of intelligence and drive, and getting a research degree indicates a certain amount of creativity as well. It may not be the best measure available, but can you suggest a better one?

Type of degree (2, Interesting)

mederbil (1756400) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389412)

There is going to be more people with degrees per square mile where there are many artsy people, San Fransisco for example. Arts grads get paid less and therefore will probably be more confined, perhaps to coffee shops. ;)

Computer engineering and programmers get very good pay and large offices, like at Google. They are going to more spread out, like in Silicon Valley.

I work for a small northern Canada tech company with people with engineering, math, commerce and science degrees, in a small office of about 10 people. Around the office in my city (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada) has a lot of high school graduate diamond mine workers, oil workers, and engineering companies working for all of our industries and many arts grads without jobs (no surprise). I think measuring people with degrees per square mile is a good idea because our industry workers without degrees are barely in town and few are often living here for long. I think that it makes for innacurate findings.

BTW, sorry for any rambling, bad spelling or grammar, little sleep, apartment burnt down, etc.

Re:Type of degree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389630)

I think measuring people with degrees per square mile is a good idea because our industry workers without degrees are barely in town and few are often living here for long. I think that it makes for innacurate findings.

Did you mean "measuring people with degrees per square mile is a BAD idea"? Seems to me the underlying assumptions are flawed. Is treating all degrees as equal a good assumption? Are treating all degrees as superior to a high school or trade a good assumption? Lets compare an art major to a master carpenter and an engineer and see how far that gets us.

Not Enough Heat (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389430)

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

open-sourced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389438)

The linked page doesn't contain the word 'open', 'source' or even 'license'. WTF? Should I add "open-sourced" to my submissions to get them accepted too?

Re:open-sourced? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389502)

It's "open sourced" because he included some charts and graphs. That means he's made his data "available".






</asshattery>

Geeks (4, Interesting)

1000101 (584896) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Geeks (1)

BrianRoach (614397) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389524)

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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389880)

I fail to see how that makes moving any less difficult. I am introverted myself and I prefer to build a small number of quality friendships. I desire human contact as much as anyone else, and losing these friends would be devastating to me.

doesn't really give any evidence (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389480)

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 action is.

Netflix- Local Favorites for Santa Clara, CA (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390138)

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?

It's The Money (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389486)

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.

Re: It's The Money (1)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390254)

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 outside the US definition of "small", and the latter puts it outside the definition of "medium". Employers under 100 employees are 6 times more numerous than 100-499, which in turn are 5 times more numerous than 500+ employee gigs. To put it another way, there are 30 employers with fewer than 100 employees for every employer with 500+ employees. http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html [census.gov]

2293 kilometers (1)

isilrion (814117) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389494)

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)

Re:2293 kilometers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389698)

Time for a statistics thread. I live 83 miles from where I was born as the car drives. In the interim, I have lived in one location 350 miles and another that was 650 miles away from where I was born. How does this fit in when you start considering multiple moves that take you to multiple places?

doesn't follow (1)

chinakow (83588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389496)

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.

Creative class? Please join the real world (5, Insightful)

dirkdodgers (1642627) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389596)

Best response I've read on here in a long, long time. Somebody mod this guy up

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389642)

So you're saying that I'm a statistical white guy from an affluent family sipping coffee and listening to indie rock? Hmmmm, I need to stop with the peyote and LSD. Should I change my Census survey then.

Well Said! (4, Insightful)

Will Steinhelm (1822174) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389728)

Wee, I'd love my doctor to get creative on me one day.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (3, Interesting)

imidan (559239) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389816)

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, there's really dumb people with PHDs. The problem starts when assumptions are made and held about a person with only regard to education, and not based on the actual person. There's probably some smart people cutting up chickens, but being smart I don't think they're going to want to do that for very long since there's better paying, more rewarding jobs out their.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390134)

There's(sp) probably some smart people cutting up chickens, but being smart I don't think they're going to want to do that for very long since there's better paying, more rewarding jobs out their.(sp)

That depends on whether you're caught up in the idea that your 'career' needs to be your life's pursuit.

People who feel that way get very, very defensive about it, I understand. They've thrown all their betting chips on one number.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390388)

Life's too short to spend 8 hours a day doing something you hate.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

xororand (860319) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390396)

Aye. Christopher McCandless [buffalo.edu] looks pretty happy to me despite having spent the time between his university graduation and death with hiking and working as a farm aid.
Theodore Kaczynski [wikipedia.org] decided against pursuing a career in the industrial society, despite his undeniably high intelligence and a PhD in mathematics.
Different people have different needs.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (4, Informative)

Doofus (43075) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389922)

Don't forget liars.

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

Re:Creative class? Please join the real world (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390040)

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.

I have fixed leaky toilets ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32390334)

and pipes in dozens of different ways, depending on the specifics and constraints of the problem as well as available materials.

Craftsmen can be and are most definitely creative and intelligent. Frankly, most artists I know are pretentious, self-aggrandizing wankers. They may speak with authority, but much of what they say is nonsense just the same.

Creativity is far more prevalent and diverse than your apparently narrow perspective seems to allow.

Amish are a great example of your excellent point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32390258)

In greate part creativity comes from the tension between the need for a solution and the available resources. (Necessity is the mother of invention.)

The Amish, who will not use electricity and certain other "modernities" are brilliantly creative at solving problems without those resources.

I bet the average Amish farmer (and perhaps any successful farmer) is much more creative than the average Slashdotter.

the point apparently (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389520)

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

Creative != College Educated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389534)

I don't really understand the connection between "Creative" and "College Educated." Considering that many creative people (especially in the cultural arts) either never went to college, or dropped out... Also, considering that many people that go to college don't have a creative bone in their bodies... I'm not sure the correlation of degrees to populated area is really appropriate as a measure of creativity.

Plus, the "creative class" seems a bit strange...

contractor or Direct (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389556)

this really depends more on if you are a contractor or direct emplyee.

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

Family (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389570)

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 including those who really want to "get away" and those who have the wealth or work need to relocate (say to SF or NY). These reasons can not helped or hurt by technology other than technology lets people live longer, and may help older people stay more independent longer.

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. Then there really isn't any other technology (besides money) that can help us.

Re:Family (1)

schlesinm (934723) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389670)

I have two kids and a Mom who loves to babysit her grandkids. But my Mom is also getting older and will start to need us to help her soon. I might be able to make more money by moving to a different location, but, for me, family comes first. And as someone who grew up thousands of miles away from extended family, I want my kids to grow up with cousins, aunts and uncles nearby and available. Also, since most of my friends I have known for decades are close to where they grew up, I also get to hang out with long time friends more (we went on a cruise with a friend from grade school last year). My wife and I looked into moving a decade or so ago and actually almost did (I would have if the company had understood cost of living differences and been willing to compensate for it), but now that we're settled, we have less reason to move. And finally, I've been in the computer industry in my city for the last 20 years. I have contacts at a large number of employers and can easily get a group of friends/co-workers looking for a position for me if I lose my current job.

Re:Family (1)

hhawk (26580) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389760)

A network of friends in the same field is an other good reason to stay. I had not thought of that.

Even you had tons of money and could move and take your Mom with you, then she would be in a new city with zero friends, zero knowledge of the streets, the vendors, and cultural life, etc. While that would work for some, for most that would make them feel more isolated and dependent.

Re:Family (4, Informative)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Surf and snow (1)

pigiron (104729) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389572)

Hell, I like to live within close driving distances of decent surf and snow. The technology jobs can either move to where I am or do without my onsite services. I'm not going to work in Omaha or Dallas no matter how good the pay is!

As Willie Sutton would say (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389578)

You go where the money is.

Some jobs have opportunities just about everywhere, nursing is a good example, so you can stay in your local area. (I am aware of hiring freezes by hospitals because of an abundance of nurses, but it would be rare to not find a nursing job within 100 miles of where you live.) Other jobs are spread out more. How many professional athletes and professional team managers reside within 100 miles of where they grew up? You have to go where the money is.

His analysis of the "density of smart people" is.. (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389580)

...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.

I humbly disagree. We is not smart or creative. (3, Insightful)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

There's something called "rest of the world", clod (2, Insightful)

aBaldrich (1692238) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

It's about your priorities in life (1)

MetricT (128876) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389688)

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:It's about your priorities in life (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389852)

Sorry, with your "church on Sunday" and "Matthew 6:21", you fail the "intelligence" part - miserably.

Re:It's about your priorities in life (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389944)

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.

Density? (1)

mcferguson (733767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389730)

Smart people are more tightly compact when.... the entire population is more tightly compact? Whoa! This is some serious science. He could have maybe (I don't know) thrown in some statistics to see if the density of degree holders (what a great definition of "smart") is greater than the mean you would expect for the density in question. But whatever... San Francisco #1!!!!

Re:Density? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32389966)

No. Smart people are more tightly compact when you compress [wikipedia.org] them. At least until the hydrostatic pressure balances out.

Betetr Opportunities (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 3 years ago | (#32389802)

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.

Basic economics (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390028)

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... San Fran has Silicon Valley, Stanford, a financial centre, oh and apparently is also a healthcare/biotech hub (not sure how much the tourism sector plays into this).

The theory that there is economic value to having smart people together rests on the assumption that smart people collaborate with each other.

It's called employment. Doing business. Economics.

He notes concern over places where urban areas have higher degree density. People do commute, more in some places than others (he is using census i.e. residence data). On top of that, some places have planning/zoning that specifically encourage out-of-centre business parks. You'll still have high concentration of where smart people work in both central and urban areas.

It's becoming increasingly accepted that there is real economic value to bringing a lot of smart and entrepreneurial people together in the same place.

*Golf clap*

Career-driven people (2, Interesting)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Interesting, But (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390122)

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.

Techical people are not the most mobile (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Not so much here. (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 3 years ago | (#32390410)

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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