China’s Creative Class?

One can dispute the 1/24/12 post by Dominic Basulto on the blog Big Think on the rise of China’s creative class on a number of levels, but I wish to mention just one. Basulto seems to frame the issue of creativity in us v. them terms, strongly implying that the “rise” of the creative class in China is bad for the United States. The basic premise appears to be that creative endeavors — or endeavors for creative people — are a static-pie phenomenon. There’s only so much to share.

Perhaps, instead, the creative class tends to expand the economic pie? And perhaps the “rise” of the creative class in China (if that is happening) might increase the opportunities for shared values across cultures? Just a couple of thoughts.

Success Steps

This is not a self-help blog, and I don’t like posts that merely point to another’s writing. With that disclaimer, this recent post over at the blog Marc and Angel Hack Life really nails it. Each of the suggestions for achieving more success and personal satisfaction is based on sound psychological principles. Each is simple and incremental. Each is worth it. And number one on the list? Making — and accounting for — goals.

The Practical Dividends of Kindness

Want to feel better? Be kind. It really is that simple. As this article by Joe Wilner points out, acts of kindness to others — done without expectation of reward, remuneration, recognition, or repayment — paradoxically pay real dividends to the giver. The irony is sweet, no? Very sweet indeed.

The Great Collaborations

What are the greatest collaborations in history?

This interesting question arose in a Twitter conversation. Mike Brown at Brainzooming had referred to a great little post he’d written about the collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles. In an exchange following Mike’s tweet, we started discussing great collaborations.

Of course, the term “great” depends on the metric. Millions have received pleasure from the Lennon/McCartney collaboration, but that partnership was perhaps rather trivial in world-historical terms. Thus my question, and it is for you, the reader. What do you consider the great collaborations in different disciplines — politics, science, music, and the arts?

For example, consider Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, who not only closely collaborated in their political philosophies, but also effectively controlled the US Presidency for 25 years (if you count the third and less significant of their group, James Monroe). Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter also come to mind, since their multi-year collaboration had enormous impact on progressive law and US politics during the middle years of the 20th century (described in this book).

These examples stem from my background in political and legal thought. I’m interested, however, in the great, dominating partnerships in any discipline — particularly those with which I lack familiarity.

Please comment and provide your best examples. I am seeking thoughts from readers because you have so many different backgrounds, interests, and values. Take a moment to give it some thought and provide me with some feedback about your candidates for the truly “great” partnerships.

My Big News

For years I have fielded the same question from friends, colleagues, family, and current and former students: when am I going to leave law practice and devote myself to teaching, which I obviously love so much? Now we have an answer. I am delighted to announce that I have accepted an appointment to teach full-time at Georgetown University Law Center, with the title of Distinguished Visitor from Practice. Continue reading →

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