Over at Burgh Diaspora, Pittsburgh’s future is considered:
The ability to keep foreign born skilled labor is tough to do. Immigration law often stands in the way of graduates remaining in Pittsburgh. A recent amendment provides the foreign born with another way to stay: Create more jobs in the entertainment industry. Other Pennsylvanian communities might note the geographic scope of the immigrant investment program. But Pittsburgh is uniquely positioned to attract this kind of financial (and intellectual) capital…The combination of hi-tech entertainment innovation and a vibrant local film industry makes Pittsburgh an ideal location for Silicon Valley Bollywood wannabes.
Notwithstanding my personal belief that Bollywood could save the world… something about this post sounds familiar. Maybe it’s the combination of (a) innovation described at a local university and (b) the phrase “uniquely positioned” that resonates. I’ve heard this all somewhere before. Maybe it is a much-beloved concept throughout the Rust Belt in general, the idea that we are sitting here like deep-sea anglerfish with maws open, “uniquely situated” to snap up that tasty confluence of plankton that is calculated to come floating by.
That doesn’t mean I think that Burgh Diaspora’s ideas about Pittsburgh’s “unique situation” are crazy compared to our ideas about Syracuse’s “unique positioning” to take advantage of a future green technology boom. It is perhaps a sign of how much at loose ends America really is, that there are so many unique futures out there for which we are so uniquely situated. We stare out bravely into the grey goo of possibilities borne of chaos.