Laurie Garrett, who wrote the nonpareil Coming Plague, was apparently covering Davos for Newsday. I’m not sure if this was a printed dispatch or whether it was just an email to friends, but it’s an interesting perspective on Davos.
“The world isn’t run by a clever cabal. It’s run by about 5,000 bickering, sometimes charming, usually arrogant, mostly male people who are accustomed to living in either phenomenal wealth, or great personal power. A few have both. Many of them turn out to be remarkably naive — especially about science and technology. All of them are financially wise, though their ranks have thinned due to unwise tech-stock investing. They pay close heed to politics, though most would be happy if the global political system behaved far more rationally — better for the bottom line.”
Richard Gayle points to Nicholas Negroponte’s thoughts on innovation in Technology Review. “Our biggest challenge in stimulating a creative culture is finding ways to encourage multiple points of views. Many engineering deadlocks have been broken by people who are not engineers at all. This is simply because perspective is more important than IQ. The irony is that perspective will not get kids into college, nor does it help them thrive there. Academia rewards depth. Expertise is bred by experts who work with their own kind.”
Gayle comments that “a growing culture welcomes these things. As soon as we turn our back on these, we will become a culture in decline.” I couldn’t agree more.
I had breakfast this morning with Boston-based weblogger Halley Suitt. Halley may well be pioneering a new form of travel, blog tourism. Although she’s here partly for business, she’s also cramming in visits to a bunch of UK webloggers and also hopped over to the Netherlands on Sunday to meet a blogger there. I’m sure she’ll write more about it on her site, but it’s clear that the connection formed through a weblog can be powerful in person as well. You meet all the nicest people through a weblog.