Charles Heying and his cadre of coauthors wrote a nice book and I thought a few of the recommendations are worth commenting on. This raises a question about the future of old school media and the popularity of books as we increase the amount of electronic content in the world. The nice thing about reading a book is you get a significant amount of content from one source. A downside is that it doesn't force you to articulate your thoughts on a particular subject like commenting on a blog would. Media like Bikeportland.org is such a site where the comments can offer significant insight. The newest radio shows on Oregon Public Broadcasting offer an online format for collecting thoughts and the host brings those into the show to offer perspectives that the generalist host would otherwise have.
Back to one of the recommendations worth noting in the book...
Recommendation #2: Don't let economists design your economic development strategy. Here's the excerpt:
For one, they are trained to use data that comes from sources that were design in an industrial economy, like gross domestic product. They focus things like growth and jobs and old school terminology. "things like environmental impacts are described as externalities, as if the economy operates in some abstract world and its connection to the physical world is tangential, even accidental. Pollution and resource depletion seem to come as a surprise to economists, something akin to collateral damage.
There are some socialist leanings in this book, but having read the book "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" among other titles, I appreciate some of these critiques.
Reading the first review on Amazon, it was funny to see that the commenter was from Austin, TX a City where the "Keep (insert City name here) Weird" slogan started. Essentially, I see that sort of a movement as a keep it local concept, an effort to preserve the uniqueness of a community. I don't believe Weird is the right moniker, but it's something that one can hang your hat on (whether it be of a cowboy or bicycle messenger variety).