Adhering to the motto “a provocative title will surely increase readership”, Atlantic has an interesting article on How the Crash Will Reshape America:
Economic crises tend to reinforce and accelerate the underlying, long-term trends within an economy. Our economy is in the midst of a fundamental long-term transformation—similar to that of the late 19th century, when people streamed off farms and into new and rising industrial cities. In this case, the economy is shifting away from manufacturing and toward idea-driven creative industries—and that, too, favors America’s talent-rich, fast-metabolizing places.
I find Richard Florida’s “world is spiky” view to be more accurate than Thomas Friedman’s “world is flat”. But, in this article a tension that I’ve felt with Florida’s work is more clearly revealed than previously. Florida has argued – generally quite effectively – that location matters. Cities and regions of creativity and innovation spur growth. To succeed in your career, it’s a good idea to be in areas that are hotspots for your field. But…I am not sure how to reconcile this view with the growth of technology. Now, more than ever, technology has reduced the challenges of distance. Online education and distributed teams reflect this. Video conferencing and online conferences reduce the need for travel. Is location less, not more, important than in the past?