Sunday, May 18, 2008

herding cats

However, Peterson found a negative relationship between creative cities and strength that connects people to one another - such as modesty, gratitude, spirituality, teamwork, kindness, and fairness. ... This jibes with my research teams findings which show that regional creativity and innovation are related to diversity and openness, but not to social capital of the sort Robert Putnam has written about. Putnam's most recent research has also found that diversity hinders social capital. This is all very troubling news for our sense of community and social cohesion. The very strengths that make places diverse and creative seem to damage our social capital and community commitment. ( Florida, R. Who's your city. Basic Books, 2008 p. 210-211 )

A interesting trade-off: more creative people - fewer/shallower social connections. Makes perfect sense in terms of system analysis, because connection creation and maintenance require time and resources that can be better spent on developing new ideas. Online social networking, with its "low-touch" relationships, serves this environment much better than more traditional forms of social interaction, like family, clubs, churches, and etc. May also relate to the Tipping Point phenomenon described by Malcolm Gladwell and Andrew Hargadon's concept of technology brokering ( How Breakthroughs Happen).
I will use this problem as an example in my next Principles of Invention class.

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