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Author Richard Florida is fond of theorizing that communities cross a threshold to prosperity and easy living when members of the diversity creative class — loosely defined by him as gays, women, immigrants, bohemians, and anyone who works in the arts or social media — move in and begin to remake the place in their image.
Think of those technologies that make living day-to-day in a modern secular society fun, timesaving, convenient, entertaining, safe, and… *snicker*… self-actualizing; those things that most distinguish modern societies from more primitive societies and from societies of generations past — appliances, cars (scooters for you side-sitting SWPLs), water treatment, hi-tech medical devices, flat screen TVs, iPods, smartphones, laptops, GPS, digital cameras, wi-fi hot spots, 3G, blogs, Youtube, online shopping, and energy to feed it all.
Who is most responsible for that creative class cornucopia? Non-profit lawyers? Interior decorators? Fashion mavens? Jazz musicians? Art gallery owners? Event planners? PR multitaskers in pencil skirts?
It is to laugh.
Try electrical engineers and computer scientists. You know, incredibly unsexy male nerds.
If tomorrow all the present and future electrical engineers and computer scientists disappeared, after some lag time for the effects to trickle down and the existing devices to decay, Florida’s creative class would find itself in a world of culturally backwards hurt. Those bohemians would suddenly be living their poseur lives for real.
A little perspective folks, on who is doing the real heavy lifting to give you the lifestyle you now can’t live without. And just how precarious is that thin, pale line between materialist abundance and dispiriting drudgery.