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Showing posts from October, 2010

"Back to the rough ground" by Joseph Dunne

After many years, I have gone back and started to re-read the book "Back to the rough ground--practical judgment and the lure of technique" by Joseph Dunne. I first read this wonderful book when it came out in 1993 and it immediately became one of my favorite books overall. It is therefore exiting and interesting to go back and read it again. Not surprisingly, I see other aspects of the text now and I understand it much better (I think). At the same time I wonder how much of what I have thought are my own ideas actually comes from my reading of Dunne. To be honest, I also find the book now to be less overwhelming and intimidating than I remember it even to the degree that I now can find arguments and sections where I can see potential improvements. Anyhow, the book is a wonder of detailed argumentation and analysis.

What is still the most amazing aspect of the book is the fact that the reason Dunne wrote the book was that he was trying to "solve" a concrete practic…

Malcolm Gladwell article in The New Yorker

In the October issue of the New Yorker there is an article called "Small Change, why the revolution will not be tweeted" by Malcolm Gladwell. I found this article to have all the typical good Gladwell qualities such as an interesting topic, a bit counter intuitive and also challenging mainstream ideas. In the article Gladwell  makes an interesting argument about social networks and their potential power to support or produce societal change. Gladwell makes the case that serious and real societal change can only be done through activism that is a different sort than what happens in social networks. He makes the case by contrasting "weak ties" with "strong ties" when it comes to relationships and friendships. He also contrast the "network" with the "hierarchy". The overall argument is that for real activism to happen the preconditions are the presence of strong ties and hierarchy, while social networks only provide weak ties and networks…