No News is No News

I've been traveling, grading papers, blogging elsewhere and generally staying occupied with other things for the last couple of weeks, hence the inactivity here. Also, I get bored quickly with Pittsburgh politics (plus ca change and all that), and the last couple of weeks' worth of pre- and post-election anxiety has pushed me to think about almost anything else. Yes, like most Pittsburghers I've long been aware of the key role that Pittsburgh Public Works plays in Democratic and therefore city politics. DPW is Pittsburgh's weather. Everyone complains about it; no one does anything about it.

The Great Outdoors Week came and is almost gone (I'm rehabbing a knee, so that's been no interest to me). The Three Rivers Arts Festival is about to begin. Pittsburgh went ga-ga over Dale Chihuly's glassblowing at the Phipps, without paying much attention to the fact that the celebrated sculptor doesn't, actually, blow glass. The man may be an artist, but he's a conceptual one, a la Jeff Koons or a big-time architect, not an actual craftsman.

The local blogosphere went buzz-buzz over the fact that Luke Ravenstahl doesn't own That alone tells me a lot about what a slow news month this has been.

I've noticed only a couple of economic development notes nearby recently, neither of which seems to amount to much.

The other day, Pittsburgh and Cleveland put a tiny amount of meat on the bones of their plan to pool some biotechnology development resources. Right now, this seems to be more marketing talk than anything else. Not that promoting our biotech economy is a bad thing.

And today brings news of a new study that shows that PA doesn't generate much entrepreneurship. This is news? PA has a disproportionate number of older adults (less likely to start businesses), a startup-unfriendly business climate (bad tax structures) and legal climate (compared to many states, courts here are quick to enforce non-competition covenants against employees who want to start their own businesses), and a history of embracing large manufacturing businesses rather than promoting a culture of individualism and risk-taking. That guy who owns ""? In my book (and in trademark law), he's an entrepreneur, not a cybersquatter. Of course, he lives on the West Coast.

I'm looking forward to a summer of baseball -- Aeros, SeaWolves, Curve, Wild Things, maybe even the Pirates here and there. I hear that Pittsburgh has a beautiful ballpark and some hardworking, if sometimes underachieving, ballplayers.


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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