What I Didn’t Know About Pittsburgh, #1

Carrie Furnace and the Oakmont Country Club.  George Westinghouse and the Pittsburgh Opera.

These things go in pairs – Pittsburgh’s industrial history and its contemporary arts and cultural resources.  Having written about Pittsburgh for close to 15 years, I’ve learned about a lot of those pairings.  What’s good for the bank account often turns out to be good for the spirit. Continue reading

Legal Infrastructure

I am aggregating the posts from the recent online symposium at Prawfsblawg concerning two relatively new books: Gillian Hadfield’s  Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy and The Future of the Professions: How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind.  In different but related ways, both books are speaking to both global and local shifts — now well underway — in what law is, what law does, and what roles lawyers and other legal institutions play in economies and cultures.

My own thoughts on the topic are these: Continue reading

#Pittsblog: Imagining Pittsburgh

Contemporary Pittsburgh is still mostly missing a writer who distills its emerging, collective voice, meaning a forward-looking imagineer to complement the marvelous visual nostalgia of Rick Sebak.  The expressive identity of the city and region are probably the things that I’ve wrestled with the most since moving here and writing about the place myself, on and off, for close to 15 years.  And when I come back to the topic from time to time — what defines Pittsburgh, in various ways, and what anchors its evolution? — this is the theme that pulls me in.  How does Pittsburgh talk about itself to itself, and how does Pittsburgh talk about itself to others? Continue reading