A Florence is a city with multiple world-class scenes

There are many cities with single world-class scenes - Montreal for Deep learning, Honolulu for Surfing, etc. We could call these Scene cities. But it’s the convergence and intersection of scenes that makes for a Florence. The feeling of a Florence is one where Leonardo Da Vinci rubs shoulders with Machiavelli. Where Howard Hughes rubs shoulder with Humphrey Bogart.

Remember, A scene is world-class if people who want to do new ambitious things in a discipline try to join it from around the world

This is a useful criteria because it suggests two things:

  1. An algorithm for whether a place what a Florence in the past (for example, it made me realize that 1930’s LA was probably a Florence)
  2. A necessary condition for creating a Florence - you need to start with at least one scene.

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