Evan Kindley over at Slate bemoans the collapse of the creative class… or perhaps, the collapse of the old order at the expense of the new while writing a review of Scott Timberg’s Culture Crash:
Timberg falls prey to the professional Jeremiah’s tendency to focus only on what has disappeared—without attending to what has risen up in its place. Timberg is right to blanch at the astonishing number of jobs in publishing and journalism that have been lost since 2008 (about 260,000, according to a figure he cites from U.S. News & World Report). This has, indeed, been a disaster for the creative class. But he fails to note that there are signs of life as well.
The entire jeremiad is worth a read, and the book itself might be worth perusing. What is fascinating — at least to your humble writer here — is the contrast between the old creative class of writers, journalists, and artists in contrast with the newer creative class of designers, content creators, and social media experts.
Kindley sidesteps the precise value of each, I think… and perhaps the quality vs. quantity argument that many might offer in today’s environment. Culture has never been cheaper and more accessible, and without the gatekeepers, we don’t even know what is good culture vs. bad culture. Whether or not this is an old or new argument seems to objectively miss the point. One might argue very plainly that the loss is keenly felt in the tradeoff between gatekeepers and Big Data, and whether or not the monetization of culture was really worth the exchange.
…but I digress. This is a blog after all, and I benefit from the democratization of content to one degree or another. Still, once upon a time the blogosphere was one of culture, arts, and ideas. Even the most basic perusal of Facebook and Twitter would reveal a world of emojis, outrage, and cat pictures. Tough to argue there’s something gained in that.