Power Of Network Quotes

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I let out a laugh that sounded more like the yip of a startled poodle. "Superp-powers? I wish. My powers aren't winning me a slot on the Cartoon Network anytime soon... except as a comic relief. Ghost Whisperer Junior. Or Ghost Screamer, more like it. Tune in, every week, as Chloe Saunders runs screaming from yet another ghost looking for her help." Okay, superpower might be pushing it.
Kelley Armstrong (The Summoning (Darkest Powers, #1))
The temple of the most high begins with the body which houses our life, the essence of our existence. Africans are in bondage today because they approach spirituality through religion provided by foreign invaders and conquerors. We must stop confusing religion and spirituality. Religion is a set of rules, regulations and rituals created by humans, which was suppose to help people grow spiritually. Due to human imperfection religion has become corrupt, political, divisive and a tool for power struggle. Spirituality is not theology or ideology. It is simply a way of life, pure and original as was given by the Most High of Creation. Spirituality is a network linking us to the Most High, the universe, and each other…
P.K. Nvenge
Politeness is the first thing people lose once they get the power.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Figure out what you are meant to contribute to the world and make sure you contribute it. If this requires public speaking or networking or other activities that make you uncomfortable, do them anyway. But accept that they're difficult, get the training you need to make them easier, and reward yourself when you're done.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Online friends networks and dating sites, like the coffeehouse, are responding to the needs of introverts. We can write, not talk. We can get to the good stuff, and we can press delete as needed.
Laurie A. Helgoe (Introvert Power: Why Your Inner Life Is Your Hidden Strength)
Today, spend a little time cultivating relationships offline. Never forget that everybody isn't on social media.
Germany Kent
Tweet others the way you want to be tweeted.
Germany Kent (You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life)
Mind is like a net, drawn by the needles of past and future. Mindfulness is the way for not getting stuck into that net.
Amit Ray (Mindfulness Living in the Moment - Living in the Breath)
5 Ways To Build Your Brand on Social Media: 1 Post content that add value 2 Spread positivity 3 Create steady stream of info 4 Make an impact 5 Be yourself
Germany Kent
Freedom of Speech doesn't justify online bullying. Words have power, be careful how you use them.
Germany Kent
You have to dig a well before you can draw water from it.
Richie Norton (The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live without Regret)
Vulnerability gives us freedom, power and connects us to a network of injured souls. It is through the art of being real that we can heal ourself and others.
Shannon L. Alder
Capitalism is a social system owned by the capitalistic class, a small network of very wealthy and powerful businessmen, who compromise the health and security of the general population for corporate gain.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
Common man's patience will bring him more happiness than common man's power.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
If we are connected to everyone else by six degrees and we can influence them up to three degrees, then one way to think about ourselves is that each of us can reach about halfway to everyone else on the planet.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives)
Why give a robot an order to obey orders—why aren't the original orders enough? Why command a robot not to do harm—wouldn't it be easier never to command it to do harm in the first place? Does the universe contain a mysterious force pulling entities toward malevolence, so that a positronic brain must be programmed to withstand it? Do intelligent beings inevitably develop an attitude problem? (…) Now that computers really have become smarter and more powerful, the anxiety has waned. Today's ubiquitous, networked computers have an unprecedented ability to do mischief should they ever go to the bad. But the only mayhem comes from unpredictable chaos or from human malice in the form of viruses. We no longer worry about electronic serial killers or subversive silicon cabals because we are beginning to appreciate that malevolence—like vision, motor coordination, and common sense—does not come free with computation but has to be programmed in. (…) Aggression, like every other part of human behavior we take for granted, is a challenging engineering problem!
Steven Pinker (How the Mind Works)
I don’t know. What I can say for certain is that I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America—not just for the sake of future generations of Americans but for all of humankind. For I’m convinced that the pandemic we’re currently living through is both a manifestation of and a mere interruption in the relentless march toward an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide. In that world—of global supply chains, instantaneous capital transfers, social media, transnational terrorist networks, climate change, mass migration, and ever-increasing complexity—we will learn to live together, cooperate with one another, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish. And so the world watches America—the only great power in history made up of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice—to see if our experiment in democracy can work. To see if we can do what no other nation has ever done. To see if we can actually live up to the meaning of our creed.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
In a time of chaos, it is the micro-manager who ascends
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
we shall quickly find ourselves about as important to the algorithms as animals currently are to us.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
I think the best life would be one that's lived off the grid. No bills, your name in no government databases. No real proof you're even who you say you are, aside from, you know, being who you say you are. I don't mean living in a mountain hut with solar power and drinking well water. I think nature's beautiful and all, but I don't have any desire to live in it. I need to live in a city. I need pay as you go cell phones in fake names, wireless access stolen or borrowed from coffee shops and people using old or no encryption on their home networks. Taking knife fighting classes on the weekend! Learning Cantonese and Hindi and how to pick locks. Getting all sorts of skills so that when your mind starts going, and you're a crazy raving bum, at least you're picking their pockets while raving in a foreign language at smug college kids on the street. At least you're always gonna be able to eat.
Joey Comeau
The power of a network can be reduced to it's simplest form in 'I know someone who knows someone who knows someone.
Michele Jennae
During a conversation, listening is as powerful as loving.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Because of preferential attachment, most social networks are profoundly inegalitarian.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
As people chat with me and learn that I have studied movements elsewhere, one question keeps coming up: “How do you think this will end?” I say that I do not know. In the mountains of Chiapas, I learned a Zapatista saying: “Preguntando caminamos.” It means “we walk while asking questions.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
He was one of those people in New York who was purported to "know everybody". "Knowing everybody" is a phrase that denotes not having many relations with people but having relations with a few people generally thought to be significant and powerful.
Siri Hustvedt (What I Loved)
When thinking is overrated And friends are easy to make, Check if it's too complicated Knowing yourself somehow... Inner peace's not hard to take, Never lost or underestimated. Get out of social media... NOW!
Ana Claudia Antunes (ACross Tic)
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living? Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits. After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
There is a network beneath the surface of our consciousness in which a far more powerful force flows. These intimations of the underlying knowledge, these intimations of the soul, of the Divine, are vital for the survival of humankind.
Henry Virgin (Exit Rostov)
Power does not pardon, power punishes.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Network effects can be powerful, but you’ll never reap them unless your product is valuable to its very first users when the network is necessarily small.
Peter Thiel (Zero to One: Notes on Start Ups, or How to Build the Future)
A powerful process automatically takes care of progress, productivity and profits.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Before we complicated life with money, machines and missiles we did well with morals, manpower and meetings.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
If we all work together there is no telling how we can change the world through the impact of promoting positivity online.
Germany Kent
intellectual diversity is the form of diversity that seems to be least valued in universities,
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Effective listening is the single most powerful thing you can do to build and maintain a climate of trust and collaboration. Strong listening skills are the foundation for all solid relationships.
Michelle Tillis Lederman (The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like)
Here's a rule of thumb for networking events: one new honest-to-goodness relationship is worth ten fistfuls of business cards. Rush home afterward and kick back on your sofa. Carve out restorative niches.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Here’s a current example of the challenge we face. At the height of its power, the photography company Kodak employed more than 140,000 people and was worth $28 billion. They even invented the first digital camera. But today Kodak is bankrupt, and the new face of digital photography has become Instagram. When Instagram was sold to Facebook for a billion dollars in 2012, it employed only thirteen people. Where did all those jobs disappear to? And what happened to the wealth that those middle-class jobs created? This book is built to answer questions like these, which will only become more common as digital networking hollows out every industry, from media to medicine to manufacturing.
Jaron Lanier (Who Owns the Future?)
Libraries are core symbols of an ethic of non-commodified knowledge. Anyone, regardless of how much money she or he has, can check out a book, and a book is passed from person to person in a chain of knowledge sharing.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
Alfred," Merryweather said. "OIPEP is the only organization of its kind in the world, with practically unlimited resources and an intelligence network that spans every country in the planet. We shall do what any powerful, multinational bureaucracy would do in such a crisis. We shall hold a meeting!
Rick Yancey (The Seal of Solomon (Alfred Kropp, #2))
We learn more from people who challenge our thought process than those who affirm our conclusions. Strong leaders engage their critics and make themselves stronger. Weak leaders silence their critics and make themselves weaker. This reaction isn’t limited to people in power. Although we might be on board with the principle, in practice we often miss out on the value of a challenge network.
Adam M. Grant (Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know)
Here one comes upon an all-important English trait: the respect for constituitionalism and legality, the belief in 'the law' as something above the state and above the individual, something which is cruel and stupid, of course, but at any rate incorruptible. It is not that anyone imagines the law to be just. Everyone knows that there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. But no one accepts the implications of this, everyone takes for granted that the law, such as it is, will be respected, and feels a sense of outrage when it is not. Remarks like 'They can't run me in; I haven't done anything wrong', or 'They can't do that; it's against the law', are part of the atmosphere of England. The professed enemies of society have this feeling as strongly as anyone else. One sees it in prison-books like Wilfred Macartney's Walls Have Mouths or Jim Phelan's Jail Journey, in the solemn idiocies that take places at the trials of conscientious objectors, in letters to the papers from eminent Marxist professors, pointing out that this or that is a 'miscarriage of British justice'. Everyone believes in his heart that the law can be, ought to be, and, on the whole, will be impartially administered. The totalitarian idea that there is no such thing as law, there is only power, has never taken root. Even the intelligentsia have only accepted it in theory. An illusion can become a half-truth, a mask can alter the expression of a face. The familiar arguments to the effect that democracy is 'just the same as' or 'just as bad as' totalitarianism never take account of this fact. All such arguments boil down to saying that half a loaf is the same as no bread. In England such concepts as justice, liberty and objective truth are still believed in. They may be illusions, but they are powerful illusions. The belief in them influences conduct,national life is different because of them. In proof of which, look about you. Where are the rubber truncheons, where is the caster oil? The sword is still in the scabbard, and while it stays corruption cannot go beyond a certain point. The English electoral system, for instance, is an all but open fraud. In a dozen obvious ways it is gerrymandered in the interest of the moneyed class. But until some deep change has occurred in the public mind, it cannot become completely corrupt. You do not arrive at the polling booth to find men with revolvers telling you which way to vote, nor are the votes miscounted, nor is there any direct bribery. Even hypocrisy is powerful safeguard. The hanging judge, that evil old man in scarlet robe and horse-hair wig,whom nothing short of dynamite will ever teach what century he is living in, but who will at any rate interpret the law according to the books and will in no circumstances take a money bribe,is one of the symbolic figures of England. He is a symbol of the strange mixture of reality and illusion, democracy and privilege, humbug and decency, the subtle network of compromises, by which the nation keeps itself in its familiar shape.
George Orwell (Why I Write)
Kuhnen and Brian Knutson have found that men who are shown erotic pictures just before they gamble take more risks than those shown neutral images like desks and chairs. This is because anticipating rewards—any rewards, whether or not related to the subject at hand—excites our dopamine-driven reward networks and makes us act more rashly.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted…secretly, it was being dictated instead by the needs of technology…by a conspiracy between human beings and techniques, by something that needed the energy-burst of war, crying, “Money be damned, the very life of [insert name of Nation] is at stake,” but meaning, most likely, dawn is nearly here, I need my night’s blood, my funding, funding, ahh more, more…The real crises were crises of allocation and priority, not among firms—it was only staged to look that way—but among the different Technologies, Plastics, Electronics, Aircraft, and their needs which are understood only by the ruling elite… Yes but Technology only responds (how often this argument has been iterated, dogged, humorless as a Gaussian reduction, among the younger Schwarzkommando especially), “All very well to talk about having a monster by the tail, but do you think we’d’ve had the Rocket if someone, some specific somebody with a name and a penis hadn’t wanted to chuck a ton of Amatol 300 miles and blow up a block full of civilians? Go ahead, capitalize the T on technology, deify it if it’ll make you feel less responsible—but it puts you in with the neutered, brother, in with the eunuchs keeping the harem of our stolen Earth for the numb and joyless hardons of human sultans, human elite with no right at all to be where they are—” We have to look for power sources here, and distribution networks we were never taught, routes of power our teachers never imagined, or were encouraged to avoid…we have to find meters whose scales are unknown in the world, draw our own schematics, getting feedback, making connections, reducing the error, trying to learn the real function…zeroing in on what incalculable plot? Up here, on the surface, coal-tars, hydrogenation, synthesis were always phony, dummy functions to hide the real, the planetary mission yes perhaps centuries in the unrolling…this ruinous plant, waiting for its Kabbalists and new alchemists to discover the Key, teach the mysteries to others…
Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow)
Expertise and a goal are just your starting point. Networks are crucial because gaining access changes your outcome.
J. Kelly Hoey (Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World)
Business relationships are important for strong communities,
Judy Robinett (How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits)
Knowledge is power. It is my hope that as we continue to do what women do best-network, guide, and provide support for each other-POP will soon become common knowledge.
Sherrie J. Palm
We celebrate success by giving credit to others. To be successful, you need to share and give power freely. And you need to celebrate their successes.
Wade Dokken
Let someone else be the most powerful country, make ours the most peaceful country.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
The great thinkers of the eighteenth century were also pioneering tourists
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Did you know that using social media can actually help you to increase your level of thinking?
Germany Kent
Missional leaders understand the power of connecting relationally in their community through personal networking.
Gary Rohrmayer
biggest changes in history are the achievements of thinly documented, informally organized groups
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
the Internet is merely ‘the modern public square’,
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
the state of the future will need to function more like the human immune system
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
What both Dell and Gary figured out before opening themselves up is that conventional business wisdom that companies need to be secretive in order to be successful is wrong.
Tara Hunt (The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business)
Whether it was Disney or the Navy, management guys always behaved the same. They never understood the technical issues; and they thought that screaming was the way to make things happen. And maybe it was, if you were shouting at your secretaries to get you a limousine. But screaming didn’t make any difference at all to the problems that Arnold now faced. The computer didn’t care if it was screamed at. The power network didn’t care if it was screamed at. Technical systems were completely indifferent to all this explosive human emotion. If anything, screaming was counterproductive, because Arnold now faced the virtual certainty that Nedry wasn’t coming back, which meant that Arnold himself had to go into the computer code and try and figure out what had gone wrong. It was going to be a painstaking job; he’d need to be calm and careful.
Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park, #1))
The more closed your network, the more you hear the same ideas over and again, reaffirming what you already believe, while the more open your network, the more exposed you are to new ideas.
Whitney Johnson (Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work)
The only group large enough to handle," the world's biggest, "problems is the network of millions of local churches around the world. We have the widest distribution, largest group of volunteers, local credibility, the promises of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the inevitability of history.
Rick Warren
In my view, it is an error to think about 'alternatives to prison' if what we mean by that is 'electronic bracelets,' through which people are subject to computer-monitored house arrest, or granting fuller surveillance and disciplinary powers and technologies to other state agencies, such as welfare and mental health, through 'transcarceration' policies...We need to decrease, not increase, the means by which the state, in its multifarious networks of authority, controls human lives and selectively incapacitates people who, no less than others, have the potential to contribute to the improvement of hte human condition.
Karlene Faith (Unruly Women: The Politics of Confinement & Resistance)
And that's the real reason the powerful fear open systems and networks. If anyone can set up a free voicecall to anyone else in the world, using the net, then we can all communicate with the same ease that's standard for the high and mighty. [...] And if any worker, anywhere, can communicate with any other worker, anywhere, for free, instantaneously, without the boss's permission, then, brother, look out, because the Coase cost of demanding better pay, better working conditions and a slice of the pie just got a *lot* cheaper. And the people who have the power aren't going to sit still and let a bunch of grunts take it away from them.
Cory Doctorow (For the Win)
In our everyday lives, if we intentionally set out to learn new things or do familiar things in new ways (such as commuting to work via a new route or taking the bus instead of a car), we effectively rewire our brains and improve them. A physical workout builds muscle; a mental workout creates new synapses to strengthen the neural network.
Deepak Chopra (Super Brain: Unleashing the explosive power of your mind to maximize health, happiness and spiritual well-being)
Because of our tendency to want what others want, and because of our inclination to see the choices of others as an efficient way to understand the world, our social networks can magnify what starts as an essentially random variation.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives)
Two men at Google who do not enjoy the legitimacy of the vote, democratic oversight, or the demands of shareholder governance exercise control over the organization and presentation of the world’s information. One man at Facebook who does not enjoy the legitimacy of the vote, democratic oversight, or the demands of shareholder governance exercises control over an increasingly universal means of social connection along with the information concealed in its networks.
Shoshana Zuboff (The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power)
Ha megértjük a hálózattudomány ezen alaptételeit, az emberiség története mindjárt másként fest: nem "az egyik elbaszott dolog jön a másik után", ahogy Alan Bennett drámaíró kissé trágáran megfogalmazta, és nem is úgy jön az egyik a másik után, hogy aztán együtt basszák el, hanem milliónyi dolog függ össze milliárd szállal (és ezek közül csak egy a szexuális kapcsolat).
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
The more power they have over your emotions, the less likely you’ll trust your own reality and the truth about the abuse you’re enduring. Knowing the manipulative tactics and how they work to erode your sense of self can arm you with the knowledge of what you’re facing and at the very least, develop a plan to retain control over your own life and away from toxic people. . . . Taking back our control and power . . . means seeking validating professional help for the abuse we’ve suffered, detaching from these people in our lives, learning more about the techniques of abusers, finding support networks, sharing our story to raise awareness, and finding appropriate healing modalities that can enable us to transcend and thrive after their abuse.
Shahida Arabi
I watched the shadow of our plane hastening below us across hedges and fences, rows of poplars and canals … Nowhere, however, was a single human being to be seen. No matter whether one is flying over Newfoundland or the sea of lights that stretches from Boston to Philadelphia after nightfall, over the Arabian deserts which gleam like mother-of-pearl, over the Ruhr or the city of Frankfurt, it is as though there were no people, only the things they have made and in which they are hiding. One sees the places where they live and the roads that link them, one sees the smoke rising from their houses and factories, one sees the vehicles in which they sit, but one sees not the people themselves. And yet they are present everywhere upon the face of the earth, extending their dominion by the hour, moving around the honeycombs of towering buildings and tied into networks of a complexity that goes far beyond the power of any one individual to imagine, from the thousands of hoists and winches that once worked the South African diamond mines to the floors of today's stock and commodity exchanges, through which the global tides of information flow without cease. If we view ourselves from a great height, it is frightening to realize how little we know about our species, our purpose and our end, I thought, as we crossed the coastline and flew out over the jelly-green sea.
W.G. Sebald (The Rings of Saturn)
Oil men, like producers of other raw materials, could not continue to sell their products below cost...For prices to be raised, production had to be controlled, and to bring production under control, Ickes began with an all-out campaign against the "hot oiler,"...This bootleg oil was secretly siphoned off from pipelines, hidden in camouflaged tanks that were covered with weeds, moved about both in an intrcate network of secret pipelines and by trucks, and then smuggled across state borders at night.
Daniel Yergin (The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power)
We discovered that if your friend's friend's friend gained weight, you gained weight. We discovered that if your friend's friend's friend stopped smoking, you stopped smoking. And we discovered that if your friend's friend's friend became happy, you became happy.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives)
It is the story of two men whose sitcom—full of minute observations and despicable characters—snuck through the network system to become a hit that changed TV’s most cherished rules; from then on, antiheroes would rise to prominence, unique voices would invade the airwaves, and the creative forces behind shows would often gain as much power and fame as the faces in front of the cameras. Seinfeld
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything)
Networking events were crucial for students at Blackwood University. What use was power and money if you couldn’t rub it in other people’s faces? It was like one gigantic orgy. They got off on comparing wallet sizes then used their checkbooks to wipe the cum from their stomachs.
Coralee June (Lies and Other Drugs (Lies Trilogy Book 1))
The second evolutionary contribution that the REM-sleep dreaming state fuels is creativity. NREM sleep helps transfer and make safe newly learned information into long-term storage sites of the brain. But it is REM sleep that takes these freshly minted memories and begins colliding them with the entire back catalog of your life’s autobiography. These mnemonic collisions during REM sleep spark new creative insights as novel links are forged between unrelated pieces of information. Sleep cycle by sleep cycle, REM sleep helps construct vast associative networks of information within the brain. REM sleep can even take a step back, so to speak, and divine overarching insights and gist: something akin to general knowledge—that is, what a collection of information means as a whole, not just an inert back catalogue of facts. We can awake the next morning with new solutions to previously intractable problems
Matthew Walker (Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams)
In most history, success is over-represented, for the victors out-write the losers. In the history of networks, the opposite often applies. Successful networks evade public attention; unsuccessful ones attract it, and it is their notoriety, rather than their achievement, that leads to their over-representation.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
g) Time it takes to reinvent yourself: five years. Here’s a description of the five years: Year One: You’re flailing and reading everything and just starting to do. Year Two: You know who you need to talk to and network with. You’re doing every day. You finally know what the Monopoly board looks like in your new endeavors. Year Three: You’re good enough to start making money. It might not be a living yet. Year Four: You’re making a good living, and you can quit your day job. Year Five: You’re making wealth. Sometimes you get frustrated in years one through four. You say, “Why isn’t it happening yet?” That’s okay. Just keep going. Or stop and pick a new field.
James Altucher (The Power of No: Because One Little Word Can Bring Health, Abundance, and Happiness)
How, then, can terrorists hope to achieve much? Following an act of terrorism, the enemy continues to have the same number of soldiers, tanks and ships as before. The enemy’s communication network, roads and railways are largely intact. His factories, ports and bases are hardly touched. However, the terrorists hope that even though they can barely dent the enemy’s material power, fear and confusion will cause the enemy to misuse his intact strength and overreact. Terrorists calculate that when the enraged enemy uses his massive power against them, he will raise a much more violent military and political storm than the terrorists themselves could ever create. During every storm, many unforeseen things happen. Mistakes are made, atrocities are committed, public opinion wavers, neutrals change their stance, and the balance of power shifts.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
If the history of the last century taught us the dangers of empowering governments to determine genetic “fitness” (i.e., which person fits within the triangle, and who lives outside it), then the question that confronts our current era is what happens when this power devolves to the individual. It is a question that requires us to balance the desires of the individual— to carve out a life of happiness and achievement, without undue suffering— with the desires of a society that, in the short term, may be interested only in driving down the burden of disease and the expense of disability. And operating silently in the background is a third set of actors: our genes themselves, which reproduce and create new variants oblivious of our desires and compulsions— but, either directly or indirectly, acutely or obliquely, influence our desires and compulsions. Speaking at the Sorbonne in 1975, the cultural historian Michel Foucault once proposed that “a technology of abnormal individuals appears precisely when a regular network of knowledge and power has been established.” Foucault was thinking about a “regular network” of humans. But it could just as easily be a network of genes.
Siddhartha Mukherjee (The Gene: An Intimate History)
Spinoza was the supreme rationalist. He saw an endless stream of causality in the world. For him there is no such entity as will or will power. Nothing happens capriciously. Everything is caused by something prior, and the more we devote ourselves to the understanding of this causative network, the more free we become." ... "I'm sure he would have said that you are subject to passions that are driven by inadequate ideas rather than by the ideas that flow from a true quest for understanding the nature of reality." ... "He states explicitly that a passion ceases to be a passion as soon as we form a more clear and distinct idea of it--that is, the causative nexus underlying the passion." p.269
Irvin D. Yalom (The Spinoza Problem)
The Internet is a good filter. It’s a good way to find men who share some of your values. However, your friends on message boards and on social networking sites, scattered all over the world, are not going to be there for you when the proverbial shit hits the fan. Spend more time making contact with men who are geographically close to you. If you have close friends in your area, consider moving into the same apartment complex or within a few blocks of one another. Think about the way gangs start in inner cities. Men and boys have lived and died to defend tribes with territories as small as a few blocks. Proximity creates familiarity and shared identity. It creates us. Spreading our alliances across nations and continents keeps us reliant on the power of the State and the global economy. Men who are separated and have no one else to rely on must rely on the State.
Jack Donovan (The Way of Men)
writing a story is dangerous more dangerous then anyone can know. Its planting small seeds of ideas into peoples minds. Some can grow and spread until there's a whole network of minds connected by one seed. It grows powerful the more ground it takes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. Be DELIBERATE in your words and, most importantly WRITE.
Natalie Stein
God has given you the power to achieve great heights, the power to make a difference for your family and community and the power to realize your ambitions and dreams.
Michael Hutchison (Profiles In Persistence: 7 Network Marketing Leaders Share their Strategies (Volume I))
In connected systems, power is defined by both profound concentration and by massive distribution.
Joshua Cooper Ramo (The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks)
Grace is a network, not hook-work. Your networking grace is what determines your networth in life which is the amount by which your assets will exceed your liabilities.
Benjamin Suulola
What I do know about networking is this: It is an essential and continuous activity. You control the effort - but not the outcome. Networking is everywhere.
J. Kelly Hoey (Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World)
Your online presence needs to work in unison with your offline ambitions.
J. Kelly Hoey (Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World)
The delay that Weizenbaum named, between an effort to achieve something and its realization, is the essence of being human.
Joshua Cooper Ramo (The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks)
As we shall see, listening to stories while looking at pictures stimulates children’s deep brain networks, fostering their optimal cognitive development.
Meghan Cox Gurdon (The Enchanted Hour: The Miraculous Power of Reading Aloud in the Age of Distraction)
Study after study shows that having a good support network constitutes the single most powerful protection against becoming traumatized.
Bessel van der Kolk (The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma)
The spirit of policy and that of bureaucracy are diametrically opposed,
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Communicating what we appreciate by saying nice things has powerful results for ourselves and those around us.
Michelle Tillis Lederman (The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like)
Network Gives You Reach… Community Gives You Power!
Ted Rubin
Never underestimate the power of a tweet.
Germany Kent (You Are What You Tweet: Harness the Power of Twitter to Create a Happier, Healthier Life)
No tricks, no tools, but talent makes a task truly top class.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
Listening is a powerful building block: Continue improving your listening skills and your likability will naturally increase.
Michelle Tillis Lederman (The 11 Laws of Likability: Relationship Networking . . . Because People Do Business with People They Like)
Pressure and responsibility are driving forces, but only knowledge creates power.
Katie Cross (Miss Mabel's School for Girls (The Network Series, #1))
Unlike in the past, there are now two kinds of people in the world: those who own and run the networks, and those who merely use them.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Forget "six degrees of separation" today it's "six degrees of CONNECTION.
Morag Barrett (Cultivate: The Power of Winning Relationships)
Istagunga sought for the magic that ran beneath the soil like a network, each thread connecting all living things together. It was this immense power that held Iktomi's Web together...
Alannah K. Pearson (Bone Arrow)
Brexit was a dress rehearsal for the US presidential election of 2016. As in Britain, so in the United States, the political establishment took it for granted that the old ways would suffice.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Openness and transparency is a great first step, but it is equally as important to take the results of that openness--the feedback and market research--and integrate it into the product itself.
Tara Hunt (The Whuffie Factor: Using the Power of Social Networks to Build Your Business)
We get smarter and more creative as we age, research shows. Our brain's anatomy, neural networks, and cognitive abilities can actually improve with age and increased life experiences. Contrary to the mythology of Silicon Valley, older employees may be even more productive, innovative, and collaborative than younger ones... Most people, in fact, have multiple cognitive peaks throughout their lives.
Rich Karlgaard (Late Bloomers: The Power of Patience in a World Obsessed with Early Achievement)
What has stood out in this wave of early resistance is how the barriers defining who is and who is not an 'activist' or an 'organizer' are completely breaking down. People are organizing mass events who have never organized anything political before. A great many are discovering that, whatever their field of expertise, whether they are lawyers or restaurant workers, they have crucial skills to share in this emerging network of resistance. And wherever they live or work, whether it's a laboratory or a bodega or a law firm or inside the home, they have the power, if they organize with others, to throw a wrench into a dangerous system.
Naomi Klein (No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need)
Mathematics, mostly, is a communal enterprise, each advance the product of a huge network of minds working toward a common purpose, even if we accord special honor to the person who places the last stone in the arch.
Jordan Ellenberg (How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking)
Rousseau already observed that this form of government is more accurately an ‘elective aristocracy’ because in practice the people are not in power at all. Instead we’re allowed to decide who holds power over us. It’s also important to realise this model was originally designed to exclude society’s rank and file. Take the American Constitution: historians agree it ‘was intrinsically an aristocratic document designed to check the democratic tendencies of the period’. It was never the American Founding Fathers’ intention for the general populace to play an active role in politics. Even now, though any citizen can run for public office, it’s tough to win an election without access to an aristocratic network of donors and lobbyists. It’s not surprising that American ‘democracy’ exhibits dynastic tendencies—think of the Kennedys, the Clintons, the Bushes. Time and again we hope for better leaders, but all too often those hopes are dashed. The reason, says Professor Keltner, is that power causes people to lose the kindness and modesty that got them elected, or they never possessed those sterling qualities in the first place. In a hierarchically organised society, the Machiavellis are one step ahead. They have the ultimate secret weapon to defeat their competition. They’re shameless.
Rutger Bregman (De meeste mensen deugen)
networks, in your brain. He remarked, “Experience coupled with attention leads to physical changes in the structure and future functioning of the nervous system. This leaves us with a clear physiological fact . . . moment by moment we choose and sculpt how our ever-changing minds will work, we choose who we will be the next moment in a very real sense, and these choices are left embossed in physical form on our material selves.”2
David Perlmutter (Power Up Your Brain: The Neuroscience of Enlightenment)
Ideas do have consequences in history, yet not because those ideas are inherently truthful or obviously correct but rather because of the way they are embedded in very powerful institutions, networks, interests, and symbols.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
Immobility results when people end up trapped by the social circumstances into which they are born: the networks in which they are embedded fail to provide them with the information and opportunities that they need to succeed.
Matthew O. Jackson (The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviors)
In our age of connection, every one of us is a node. We sit on that tense, stretched surface between center and periphery. When we say Connection changes the nature of an object, this is the exact balance we have to contemplate.
Joshua Cooper Ramo (The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks)
The point was, there didn’t need to be an answer because he wasn’t going to be president. Trump’s longtime friend Roger Ailes liked to say that if you wanted a career in television, first run for president. Now Trump, encouraged by Ailes, was floating rumors about a Trump network. It was a great future. He would come out of this campaign, Trump assured Ailes, with a far more powerful brand and untold opportunities. “This is bigger than I ever dreamed of,” he told Ailes in a conversation a week before the election. “I don’t think about losing because it isn’t losing. We’ve totally won.” What’s more, he was already laying down his public response to losing the election: It was stolen!
Michael Wolff (Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House)
At the same time, such people easily interpenetrate the social structure with a ramified [14] network of mutual pathological conspiracies poorly connected to the main social structure. These people and their networks participate in the genesis of that evil which spares no nation. This substructure gives birth to dreams of obtaining power and imposing one’s will upon society, and is quite often actually brought about in various countries, and during historical times as well.
Andrew M. Lobaczewski (Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes))
Facebook knows almost everything about their lives, their families and their friends . . . It is also a platform built on exhibitionism and voyeurism, where users edit themselves to exhibit a more flattering side and they quietly spy on their friends.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Putin isn’t a full-blown Fascist because he hasn’t felt the need. Instead, as prime minister and president, he has flipped through Stalin’s copy of the totalitarian playbook and underlined passages of interest to call on when convenient. Throughout his time in office, he has stockpiled power at the expense of provincial governors, the legislature, the courts, the private sector, and the press. A suspicious number of those who have found fault with him have later been jailed on dubious charges or murdered in circumstances never explained. Authority within Putin’s “vertical state”—including directorship of the national oil and gas companies—is concentrated among KGB alumni and other former security and intelligence officials. A network of state-run corporations and banks, many with shady connections offshore, furnish financial lubricants for pet projects and privileged friends. Rather than diversify as China has done, the state has more than doubled its share of the national economy since 2005.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
connecting. It’s a constant process of giving and receiving—of asking for and offering help. By putting people in contact with one another, by giving your time and expertise and sharing them freely, the pie gets bigger for everyone. This karma-tinged vision of how things work may sound naïve to those who have grown cynical of the business world. But while the power of generosity is not yet fully appreciated, or applied, in the halls of corporate America, its value in the world of networks is proven.
Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time)
He and Marianne can only talk about it over email, using the same communication technologies they now know are under surveillance, and it feels at times like their relationship has been captured in a complex network of state power, that the network is a form of intelligence in itself, containing them both, and containing their feelings for one another. I feel like the NSA agent reading these emails has the wrong impression of us, Marianne wrote once. They probably don't know about the time you didn't invite me to the Debs.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
Mass media always determines the shape of politics and culture. The Bush era is inextricable from the failures of cable news; the executive overreaches of the Obama years were obscured by the internet’s magnification of personality and performance; Trump’s rise to power is inseparable from the existence of social networks that must continually aggravate their users in order to continue making money. But lately I’ve been wondering how everything got so intimately terrible, and why, exactly, we keep playing along. How did a huge number of people begin spending the bulk of our disappearing free time in an openly torturous environment? How did the internet get so bad, so confining, so inescapably personal, so politically determinative—and why are all those questions asking the same thing?
Jia Tolentino (Trick Mirror)
Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow)
We no longer live in a mass-media world with a few centralized choke points with just a few editors in charge, operated by commercial entities and governments. There is a new, radically different mode of information and attention flow: the chaotic world of the digitally networked public sphere (or spheres) where ordinary citizens or activists can generate ideas, document and spread news of events, and respond to mass media. This new sphere, too, has choke points and centralization, but different ones than the past. The networked public sphere has emerged so forcefully and so rapidly that it is easy to forget how new it is. Facebook was started in 2004 and Twitter in 2006. The first iPhone, ushering in the era of the smart, networked phone, was introduced in 2007. The wide extent of digital connectivity might blind us to the power of this transformation. It should not. These dynamics are significant social mechanisms, especially for social movements, since they change the operation of a key resource: attention… Attention is oxygen for movements. Without it, they cannot catch fire.
Zeynep Tufekci (Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest)
What did “good government” really mean? Langlie and his brotherhood promised an end to political corruption. (There’s no evidence that Langlie ever even took a drink, much less a bribe.) The days of “honest graft” were over, at least for a while. But seen from another perspective—that of ordinary citizens without access to Langlie and Abram’s elite network—Langlie didn’t so much end corruption as legalize it. Langlie wasn’t opposed to a government organized around the interests of the greedy; he just didn’t want to have to break the law to serve them.
Jeff Sharlet (The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power)
Frosh (2002) has suggested that therapeutic spaces provide children and adults with the rare opportunity to articulate experiences that are otherwise excluded from the dominant symbolic order. However, since the 1990s, post-modern and post-structural theory has often been deployed in ways that attempt to ‘manage’ from; afar the perturbing disclosures of abuse and trauma that arise in therapeutic spaces (Frosh 2002). Nowhere is this clearer than in relation to organised abuse, where the testimony of girls and women has been deconstructed as symptoms of cultural hysteria (Showalter 1997) and the colonisation of women’s minds by therapeutic discourse (Hacking 1995). However, behind words and discourse, ‘a real world and real lives do exist, howsoever we interpret, construct and recycle accounts of these by a variety of symbolic means’ (Stanley 1993: 214). Summit (1994: 5) once described organised abuse as a ‘subject of smoke and mirrors’, observing the ways in which it has persistently defied conceptualisation or explanation. Explanations for serious or sadistic child sex offending have typically rested on psychiatric concepts of ‘paedophilia’ or particular psychological categories that have limited utility for the study of the cultures of sexual abuse that emerge in the families or institutions in which organised abuse takes pace. For those clinicians and researchers who take organised abuse seriously, their reliance upon individualistic rather than sociological explanations for child sexual abuse has left them unable to explain the emergence of coordinated, and often sadistic, multi—perpetrator sexual abuse in a range of contexts around the world.
Michael Salter (Organised Sexual Abuse)
We have more computing power in the drop ships’ tactical integrated neural network computers than existed on the entire planet fifty years ago, and somehow mission planning goes better when you’re outside in the fresh air and drawing diagrams and maps into the dirt with a pointy stick. “Two
Marko Kloos (Chains of Command (Frontlines, #4))
The past has given us much too many bad answers for us not to see that the mistakes were in the questions themselves. There is no need to choose between the fetishism of spontaneity and the organization control; between the "come one, come all" of activist networks and the discipline of hierarchy; between acting desperately now and waiting desperately for later; between bracketing that which is to be lived and experimented in the name of paradise that seems more and more like a hell the longer it is put off and flogging the dead horse of how planting carrots is enough to leave this nightmare.
The Invisible Committee (Coming Insurrection, The)
try to inspire them to consider the power and implications of such potential. I tell them that no computer network on earth can come close to the capacity of the average human brain. This resource that each one of us has is a tremendous gift from God—the most complex organ system in the entire universe.
Ben Carson (Take the Risk: Learning to Identify, Choose, and Live with Acceptable Risk)
With the explosion of technology over the last 15+ years, we are in the process of a complete paradigm shift in regards to how we communicate in our marketing, public relations and advertising. Social Media has forever changed the way businesses and customers communicate and the beauty of it is that, through your channels, you can reach your audience directly and at lightning speed. Social Media has also changed the way customers make their buying decisions. Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, have made it easy to find and connect with others who share similar interests, to read product reviews and to connect with potential clients. Within these networks there is an amazing and wide open space for your unique voice to be heard. As the web interacts with us in more personal ways and with greater portability, there is no time better than the present to engage with and rally your community.
Kytka Hilmar-Jezek (Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing)
Where once universities, corporations, movie studios, and the like had been governed by a combination of relatively simple chains of command and informal patronage networks, we now have a world of funding proposals, strategic vision documents, and development team pitches—allowing for the endless elaborations of new and ever more pointless levels of managerial hierarchy, staffed by men and women with elaborate titles, fluent in corporate jargon, but who either have no firsthand experience of what it's like to do the work they are supposed to be managing, or who have done everything in their power to forget it.
David Graeber (Bullshit Jobs: A Theory)
The Oswald shadings, the multiple images, the split perceptions—eye color, weapons caliber—these seem a foreboding of what is to come. The endless fact-rubble of the investigations. How many shots, how many gunmen, how many directions? Powerful events breed their own network of inconsistencies. The simple facts elude authentication. How many wounds on the President's body? What is the size and shape of the wounds? The multiple Oswald reappears. Isn't that him in a photograph of a crowd of people on the front steps of the Book Depository just as the shooting begins? A startling likeness, Branch concedes. He concedes everything. He questions everything, including the basic suppositions we make about our world of light and shadow, solid objects and ordinary sounds, and our ability to measure such things, to determine weight, mass and direction, to see things as they are, recall them clearly, be able to say what happened.
Don DeLillo (Libra)
The torrent of verbiage comes about because professional politicians are more concerned with spin than substance, the media never cease to howl for ‘something’ to be done after every mishap, the lobbyists ensure that the small print protects the vested interests they serve, and the lawyers profit from the whole sorry mess.5
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
Human intellect, on the other hand, is expressed through a subatomic network of circuits contained within roughly three pounds of cerebral tissue, evolved over hundreds of millions of years into the most energy-efficient, generalized self-programming array currently known, powered by a mere four hundred twenty calories per day—or
Daniel Suarez (Influx)
All of our descriptive statements move within an often invisible network of value-categories, and indeed without such categories we would have nothing to say to each other at all. It is not just as though we have something called factual knowledge which may then be distorted by particular interests and judgements, although this is certainly possible; it is also that without particular interests we would have no knowledge at all, because we would not see the point of bothering to get to know anything. Interests are constitutive of our knowledge, not merely prejudices which imperil it. The claim that knowledge should be 'value-free' is itself a value-judgement.
Terry Eagleton (Literary Theory: An Introduction)
Today we have something that works in the same way, but for everyday people: the Internet, which encourages public thinking and resolves multiples on a much larger scale and at a pace more dementedly rapid. It’s now the world’s most powerful engine for putting heads together. Failed networks kill ideas, but successful ones trigger them.
The Penguin Press (Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better)
No longer do African regimes have to spend vast sums maintaining land lines and telephone exchanges, exposed to the perils of looting or climate damage. A few mobile-phone beacons, powered by solar batteries, cost a fraction of the old, fixed system. And the cash earned by mobile-phone systems is much easier to control. Gone are the days of relying on a failing mail system to send bills to users of landline systems to chase up payment for calls already made. Top-up cards have to be paid for in advance. Mobile-phone networks are among the most cash-rich and fast-growing businesses in today’s Africa. It is no wonder that the sons, nieces and confidants of Africa’s dictators vie for ownership of mobile-phone companies.
Tim Butcher (Blood River: A Journey to Africa's Broken Heart)
Most of us are already aware of the direct effect we have on our friends and family; our actions can make them happy or sad, healthy or sick, even rich or poor. But we rarely consider that everything we think, feel, do, or say can spread far beyond the people we know. Conversely, our friends and family serve as conduits for us to be influenced by hundreds or even thousands of other people. In a kind of social chain reaction, we can be deeply affected by events we do not witness that happen to people we do not know. It is as if we can feel the pulse of the social world around us and respond to its persistent rhythms. As part of a social network, we transcend ourselves, for good or ill, and become a part of something much larger. We are connected.
Nicholas A. Christakis (Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives)
I am trying to imagine under what novel features despotism may appear in the world. In the first place, I see an innumerable multitude of men, alike and equal, constantly circling around in pursuit of the petty and banal pleasures with which they glut their souls. Each one of them, withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest…. Over this kind of men stands an immense, protective power which is alone responsible for securing their enjoyment and watching over their fate. That power is absolute, thoughtful of detail, orderly, provident, and gentle. It would resemble parental authority if, fatherlike, it tried to prepare charges for a man’s life, but on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood. It likes to see the citizens enjoy themselves, provided that they think of nothing but enjoyment. It gladly works for their happiness but wants to be sole agent and judge of it. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasure, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, makes rules for their testaments, and divides their inheritances. Why should it not entirely relieve them from the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living? Thus it daily makes the exercise of free choice less useful and rarer, restricts the activity of free will within a narrower compass, and little by little robs each citizen of the proper use of his own faculties. Equality has prepared men for all this, predisposing them to endure it and often even regard it as beneficial. Having thus taken each citizen in turn in its powerful grasp and shaped him to its will, government then extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men’s will, but softens, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits, action; it does not destroy anything, but prevents much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.
Alexis de Tocqueville (Democracy in America)
human extroverts have more sex partners than introverts do—a boon to any species wanting to reproduce itself—but they commit more adultery and divorce more frequently, which is not a good thing for the children of all those couplings. Extroverts exercise more, but introverts suffer fewer accidents and traumatic injuries. Extroverts enjoy wider networks of social support, but commit more crimes.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
12. Missy, did you ever think your life would turn out like this? Missy: Never in my wildest dreams. I knew I wanted to be used by God in big ways. I always prayed He would trust me enough to use me to make a difference in His Kingdom, but I never dreamed it would be through a cable television show, the number one cable television show in A&E network history, as of this writing! Ephesians 3:20–21 best describes how I feel: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” It is not because of any power or wisdom we possess that this happened. It is all because of His power, His power working through us. What a dream come true!
Kay Robertson (The Women of Duck Commander: Surprising Insights from the Women Behind the Beards About What Makes This Family Work)
Beneath the specific events that I experienced, I recognised a universal story – the story of what happens when human beings find themselves at the mercy of cruel circumstances that have been generated by an inhuman, mostly unseen network of power relations. This is why there are no ‘goodies’ or ‘baddies’ in this book. Instead, it is populated by people doing their best, as they understand it, under conditions not of their choosing. Each of the persons I encountered and write about in these pages believed they were acting appropriately, but, taken together, their acts produced misfortune on a continental scale. Is this not the stuff of authentic tragedy? Is this not what makes the tragedies of Sophocles and Shakespeare resonate with us today, hundreds of years after the events they relate became old news?
Yanis Varoufakis (Adults in the Room: My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment)
It was the Rothschilds who funded the early ‘Jewish’ settlers in Palestine; it was the Rothschilds who helped to create and fund Hitler and the Nazis in the Second World War which included the sickening treatment of Jews, gypsies, communists, and others; it was the Rothschilds who used the understandable post-war sympathy for the ‘Jews’ they had mercilessly exploited to press through their demands for a take-over of Arab Palestine; it was the Rothschilds who funded the ‘Jewish’ terrorist groups in Palestine which bombed, murdered, and terrorised Israel into existence; and it was the Rothschilds who funded and manipulated these terrorists into the key positions in Israel, among them the Prime Ministers, Ben-Gurion, Shamir, Begin, and Rabin. These men would spend the rest of their lives condemning the terrorism of others with an hypocrisy which beggars belief; it was Lord Victor Rothschild, the controller of British Intelligence, who provided the know-how for Israel’s nuclear weapons; it was the Rothschilds who owned and controlled Israel from the start and have continued ever since to dictate its policy; it was the Rothschilds and the rest of the Brotherhood network which has hidden and suppressed the fact, confirmed by Jewish historians, that the overwhelming majority of ‘Jewish’ people in Israel originate genetically from the Caucasus Mountains, not from the lands they now occupy. The Jewish people have been sacrificed on the Rothschild altar of greed and lust for power, but even the Rothschilds take their orders from a higher authority which, I believe, is probably based in Asia, and the Far East dictates to the operational headquarters in London.
David Icke (The Biggest Secret: The book that will change the World)
During the period in which newspapers were initially reporting on how asylum-seeking immigrants were having their young children ripped from them, presidential daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump tweeted a photograph of herself beatifically embracing her small son. When Samantha Bee performed a fierce excoriation of Trump’s incivility in both supporting her father’s administration, and posting such a cruel celebration of her own intact family, she called her a “feckless cunt.” It was this epithet, one that Donald Trump had himself used as an insult against women on multiple past occasions, that sent the media into a spiral of shocked alarm and prompted Trump himself to recommend, via Twitter, that Bee’s network, TBS, fire her. But neither Trump’s past use of the word to demean women, nor his possible violation of the First Amendment, provoked as much horror as the feminist comedian’s deployment of a slur that she had used before on her show often in reference to herself. Typically only the incivility of the less powerful toward the more powerful can be widely understood as such, and thus be subject to such intense censure. Which is what made #metoo so fraught and revolutionary. It was a period during which some of the most powerful faced repercussion.
Rebecca Traister (Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger)
Kuhnen and Brian Knutson have found that men who are shown erotic pictures just before they gamble take more risks than those shown neutral images like desks and chairs. This is because anticipating rewards—any rewards, whether or not related to the subject at hand—excites our dopamine-driven reward networks and makes us act more rashly. (This may be the single best argument yet for banning pornography from workplaces.)
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
A network functions precisely because there’s recognition of mutual need. There’s an implicit understanding that investing time and energy in building personal relationships with the right people will pay dividends. The majority of “one percenters” are in that top stratum because they understand this dynamic—because, in fact, they themselves used the power of their network of contacts and friends to arrive at their present station.
Keith Ferrazzi (Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time)
Being the church that Jesus intended means that we must participate in God’s eternal purposes for his world. Renewal means more than reinventing ourselves; it means rediscovering the primal power of the Spirit and the gospel already present in the life of the church—reconnecting with this purpose and recovering the forgotten ways. This purpose and potential have always been there, but individuals and communities have largely lost touch with them.
Alan Hirsch (The Permanent Revolution: Apostolic Imagination and Practice for the 21st Century Church (Jossey-Bass Leadership Network Series))
Perhaps most unsettling, Quigley reveals that real power operates behind the scenes, in secrecy, and with little to fear from so-called democratic elections. He proves that conspiracies, secret societies, and small, powerful networks of individuals are not only real; they’re extremely effective at creating or destroying entire nations and shaping the world as a whole. We learn that “representative government” is, at best, a carefully managed con game.
Joseph Plummer (Tragedy and Hope 101: The Illusion of Justice, Freedom, and Democracy)
Natural gas, even more than oil, had become Russia’s most powerful tool in foreign policy. Oil trades freely, sloshing through the world’s economy; gas requires fixed pipelines, linking the nations of Europe to Russia. The network of pipelines, dating to the Soviet era, gave Russia clout and, with rising energy prices, the prospect of the wealth that Putin nearly a decade before had argued in his dissertation was the core of the state’s power. Ukraine,
Steven Lee Myers (The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin)
When we speak of ‘populism’ today,1 we sometimes mean nothing more than a politics that is audible as well as intelligible to the man in the street – or, to be precise, the man and woman slumped on their sofa, their attention skipping fitfully from flat-screen TV to laptop to smartphone to tablet and back to television, or the man and woman at work, sitting in front of desktop PCs but mostly exchanging suggestive personal messages on their smartphones.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
In the process, Albuquerque was consolidating a revolutionary concept of empire. The Portuguese were always aware of how few they were; many of their early contests were against vastly unequal numbers. They quickly abandoned the notion of occupying large areas of territory. Instead, they evolved as a mantra the concept of flexible sea power tied to the occupation of defendable coastal forts and a network of bases. Supremacy at sea; their technological expertise in fortress building, navigation, cartography, and gunnery; their naval mobility and ability to coordinate operations over vast maritime spaces; the tenacity and continuity of their efforts—an investment over decades in shipbuilding, knowledge acquisition, and human resources—these facilitated a new form of long-range seaborne empire, able to control trade and resources across enormous distances. It gave the Portuguese ambitions with a global dimension.
Roger Crowley (Conquerors: How Portugal Forged the First Global Empire)
Love is not coercion, and the state is only an agent of coercion. It has no other function and can work no other way. Its job is to be the last resort in society: the coercion of criminals through punishment. Its nature and its funding are coercion. Any solution it offers will inescapably be coercive. When we make it the primary agent of healing, we fundamentally alter the nature of society. We ought to have a society in which the power of love drives us to break down all social, class, and political barriers, and to effect healing through private means, private associations, private institutions, counselors, networks, schools, hospitals, charities, businesses, etc. It ought to be driven by giving. Love is giving; selfishness is taking. When we make the state the mover, we make the primary solution one of taking rather than giving. This inverts God's designed order for all human relations, including race relations and racial healing.
Joel McDurmon (The Problem of Slavery in Christian America)
People who create successful strategic relationships demonstrate 10 essential character traits:    1. Authentic. They are genuine, honest, and transparent. They are cognizant of (and willing to admit to) their strengths and weaknesses.    2. Trustworthy. They build relationships on mutual trust. They have a good reputation based on real results. They have integrity: their word is their bond. People must know, like, and trust you before sharing their valuable social capital.    3. Respectful. They are appreciative of the time and efforts of others. They treat subordinates with the same level of respect as they do supervisors.    4. Caring. They like to help others succeed. They’re a source of mutual support and encouragement. They pay attention to the feelings of others and have good hearts.    5. Listening. They ask good questions, and they are eager to learn about others—what’s important to them, what they’re working on, what they’re looking for, and what they need—so they can be of help.    6. Engaged. They are active participants in life. They are interesting and passionate about what they do. They are solution minded, and they have great “gut” instincts.    7. Patient. They recognize that relationships need to be cultivated over time. They invest time in maintaining their relationships with others.    8. Intelligent. They are intelligent in the help they offer. They pass along opportunities at every chance possible, and they make thoughtful, useful introductions. They’re not ego driven. They don’t criticize others or burn bridges in relationships.    9. Sociable. They are nice, likeable, and helpful. They enjoy being with people, and they are happy to connect with others from all walks of life, social strata, political persuasions, religions, and diverse backgrounds. They are sources of positive energy.   10. Connected. They are part of their own network of excellent strategic relationships.
Judy Robinett (How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits)
The Great Rupture At the beginning of the twentieth century, globalization was viewed as so inevitable that some thought war itself was probably passé, and certainly so irrational that no right-thinking leader in Europe would ever take his country to war. In 1910, a leading British pundit, Norman Angell, wrote The Great Illusion, which rightly argued that national economies had become so interdependent, so much part of a global division of labor, that war among the economic leaders had become unimaginably destructive. War, Angell warned, would so undermine the network of international trade that no military venture by a European power against another could conceivably lead to economic benefits for the aggressor. He surmised that war itself would cease once the costs and benefits of war were more clearly understood. Angell tremendously underestimated the irrationalities and social processes that lead to devastating outcomes, even when they make no sense.
Jeffrey D. Sachs (The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time)
The fundamentalist (or, more accurately, the beleaguered individual who comes to embrace fundamentalism) cannot stand freedom. He cannot find his way into the future, so he retreats to the past. He returns in imagination to the glory days of his race and seeks to reconstitute both them and himself in their purer, more virtuous light. He gets back to basics. To fundamentals. Fundamentalism and art are mutually exclusive. There is no such thing as fundamentalist art. This does not mean that the fundamentalist is not creative. Rather, his creativity is inverted. He creates destruction. Even the structures he builds, his schools and networks of organization, are dedicated to annihilation, of his enemies and of himself. But the fundamentalist reserves his greatest creativity for the fashioning of Satan, the image of his foe, in opposition to which he defines and gives meaning to his own life. Like the artist, the fundamentalist experiences Resistance. He experiences it as temptation to sin. Resistance to the fundamentalist is the call of the Evil One, seeking to seduce him from his virtue. The fundamentalist is consumed with Satan, whom he loves as he loves death. Is it coincidence that the suicide bombers of the World Trade Center frequented strip clubs during their training, or that they conceived of their reward as a squadron of virgin brides and the license to ravish them in the fleshpots of heaven? The fundamentalist hates and fears women because he sees them as vessels of Satan, temptresses like Delilah who seduced Samson from his power. To combat the call of sin, i.e., Resistance, the fundamentalist plunges either into action or into the study of sacred texts. He loses himself in these, much as the artist does in the process of creation. The difference is that while the one looks forward, hoping to create a better world, the other looks backward, seeking to return to a purer world from which he and all have fallen.
Steven Pressfield (The War of Art)
By this definition we are in the middle of a revolution: something wider than a pure political overthrow and narrower than the classic social revolutions of the twentieth century. Out of the very values and practices of free-market capitalism—individualism, choice, respect for human rights, the network, the flattened hierarchy—the masses have developed a new collective practice. They can bypass and supersede the machinery of power via, as Gorz predicted, an ‘alternative network of relations’.
Paul Mason (Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions)
fad is a wave in the ocean, and a trend is the tide. A fad gets a lot of hype, and a trend gets very little. Like a wave, a fad is very visible, but it goes up and down in a big hurry. Like the tide, a trend is almost invisible, but it’s very powerful over the long term. A fad is a short-term phenomenon that might be profitable, but a fad doesn’t last long enough to do a company much good. Furthermore, a company often tends to gear up as if a fad were a trend. As a result, the company is often stuck with a lot of staff, expensive manufacturing facilities, and distribution networks. (A fashion, on the other hand, is a fad that repeats itself. Examples: short skirts for women and double-breasted suits for men. Halley’s Comet is a fashion because it comes back every 75 years or so.) When the fad disappears, a company often goes into a deep financial shock. What happened to Atari is typical in this respect. And look how Coleco Industries handled the Cabbage Patch Kids. Those homely dolls hit the market in 1983 and started to take off. Coleco’s strategy was to milk the kids for all they were worth. Hundreds of Cabbage Patch novelties flooded the toy stores. Pens, pencils, crayon boxes, games, clothing. Two years later, Coleco racked up sales of $776 million and profits of $83 million. Then the bottom dropped out of the Cabbage Patch Kids. By 1988 Coleco went into Chapter 11. Coleco died, but the kids live on. Acquired by Hasbro in 1989, the Cabbage Patch Kids are now being handled conservatively. Today they’re doing quite well.
Al Ries (The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing)
I mean a network of people who know you, like you and trust you. They might never buy a thing from you, but they’ve always got you in the backs of their minds.” He leaned forward and spoke with more intensity. “They’re people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed, y’see? And of course, that’s because you’re the same way about them. They’re your army of personal walking ambassadors. “When you’ve got your own army of personal walking ambassadors, you’ll have referrals coming your way faster than you can handle them.
Bob Burg (The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea)
Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you. If
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Those who applaud social production and networked amateurism, the colorful cacophony that is the Internet, and the creative capacities of everyday people to produce entertaining and enlightening things online, are right to marvel. There is amazing inventiveness, boundless talent and ability, and overwhelming generosity on display. Where they go wrong is thinking that the Internet is an egalitarian, let alone revolutionary, platform for our self-expression and development, that being able to shout into the digital torrent is adequate for democracy.
Astra Taylor (The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age)
Asking why separates opportunity from a distracting time waste. When opportunities abound (meetups, Twitter chats, speed networking, reunions, summits, and seminars), how do you efficiently and quickly sort the productive from the less than productive? Here's the why filter I use: Is the opportunity aligned with my goal(s)? Will my participation add value to the other attendees and be valuable for me? Does the opportunity expand my network and/or strengthen existing relationships? What does my gut say? (Yes, I'm a big believer in trusting your gut.)
J. Kelly Hoey (Build Your Dream Network: Forging Powerful Relationships in a Hyper-Connected World)
They were raised as part of a “trophy generation,” recognized for the act of participation rather than the level of performance, getting medals and lavish praise just for completing the race. The parenting philosophy that governed their early years—build self-esteem above all—conspires to deliver the same artificial feedback loops as most social networks: persuading the individual that the ordinary moments of their lives are actually of extraordinary value. Those who enter the workplace with this mindset often find that reality bites hard. And so do their bosses.
Jeremy Heimans (New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World—and How to Make It Work for You)
And so, most great ideas first take shape in a partial, incomplete form. They have the seeds of something profound, but they lack a key element that can turn the hunch into something truly powerful. And more often than not, that missing element is somewhere else, living as another hunch in another person’s head. Liquid networks create an environment where those partial ideas can connect; they provide a kind of dating service for promising hunches. They make it easier to disseminate good ideas, of course, but they also do something more sublime: they help complete ideas.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation)
After Luther’s revolution, Protestant states began to show signs of greater economic dynamism. Why was this? One answer is that, despite Luther’s desire to purify the Church, the Reformation led to a large-scale reallocation of resources from religious to secular activities. Two thirds of monasteries were closed in the Protestant territories of Germany, the lands and other assets mostly appropriated by secular rulers and sold to wealthy subjects, as also happened in England. A rising share of university students gave up thoughts of the monastic life, turning their attention to more worldly vocations.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
In fact, like other personality traits, personal happiness appears to be strongly influenced by our genes. Studies of identical and fraternal twins show that identical twins are significantly more likely to exhibit the same level of happiness than are fraternal twins or other siblings. Behavior geneticists have used these studies to estimate just how much genes matter, and their best guess is that long-term happiness depends 50 percent on a person’s genetic set point, 10 percent on their circumstances (e.g., where they live, how rich they are, how healthy they are), and 40 percent on what they choose to think and do.31
Nicholas A. Christakis (Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives)
The transformation of power into authority is essential for building reciprocity across huge groups of people, such as everyone accepting the obligation to pay their taxes. Leaders are not engineers of human souls, but they can harness our emotions. The dangerous leaders are those who rely only on enforcement. The valuable ones are those who use their position as communicator-in-chief at the hub of their networked group – they achieve influence through crafting narratives and actions. All leaders add and refine the narratives that fit within the belief system of their group, but great leaders build an entire belief system.28
Paul Collier (The Future of Capitalism: Facing the New Anxieties)
I love when people tell me that I cannot do something because I do not have the skills, knowledge, network. I haven't paid my dues by doing some of these sorry ass jobs; where I am making minimum wage; knowing with the minimum wage is full of shit; and, not worth living with. I love when people try to make me second guess what I want or what God is telling me what to do. I love it, when people will say that with the lack of effort; there is no way that I can make it in life. I love when people try to control me; and, thinking that they have full power over me; but, in fact they have 0 power over me. If Lucifer thinks he has control over me; he must guess again. So, therefore people have (infinite *10 to the power of infinite) control over me. Because I will fight the good fight of faith with God on my side to make sure that I am going to be successful, happy, joyous and peaceful within myself with God in my life and the people that He will put in my life. So, I am saying, "It's better for you to be on my side or suffer the consequence (those of you that will talk against my destiny) because I am too strong to give up or give in." My strength comes from the power of defying the rules of nature to achieving goals. I am a lover and not a fighter; but, I will love to fight for what I love.
Temitope Owosela (The Audacity of Progress)
Trends working at least marginally towards the implantation of a very narrow range of attitudes, memories and opinions include control of major television networks and newspapers by a small number of similarly motivated powerful corporations and individuals, the disappearance of competitive daily newspapers in many cities, the replacement of substantive debate by sleaze in political campaigns, and episodic erosion of the principle of the separation of powers. It is estimated (by the American media expert Ben Bagditrian) that fewer than two dozen corporations control more than half of the global business in daily newspapers, magazines, television, books and movies!
Carl Sagan (The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark)
Bitcoin is a dumb network supporting really smart devices, and that is an incredibly powerful concept because bitcoin pushes all of the intelligence to the edge. It doesn’t care if the bitcoin address is the address of a multimillionaire, the address of a central bank, the address of a smart contract, the address of a device, or the address of a human. It doesn’t know. It doesn’t care if the transaction is carrying lots of money or not much money at all. It doesn’t care if the address is in Kuala Lumpur or downtown New York. It doesn’t know, it doesn’t care.​ It moves money from one address to another based on a simple locking script. And that means that if you want to build a new application on top of bitcoin, you can upgrade the devices and you can build an application. You don’t need to ask for anyone’s permission to innovate. ​ ​Write the app, launch it on your endpoint, and bitcoin will route it, because bitcoin is a dumb network. That is the power of innovation on the internet. It’s innovation without permission. It’s innovation without central approval. It’s innovation without a broad network upgrade. And that means bitcoin is not a specific financial network. It’s not a financial network for large transactions or small transactions, fast transactions or slow transactions. It’s whatever you want to use it for, based upon what you choose to do at the endpoint.
Andreas M. Antonopoulos (The Internet of Money)
There already exists the electronic capability for the tracking of individual behavior by centralized networks of surveillance and record-keeping computers. It is highly probable that the conversion to nuclear energy production will provide precisely those basic material conditions most appropriate for using the power of the computer to establish a new and enduring form of despotism. Only by decentralizing our basic mode of energy production—by breaking the cartels that monopolize the present system of energy production and by creating new decentralized forms of energy technology—can we restore the ecological and cultural configuration that led to the emergence of political democracy in Europe.
Marvin Harris (Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures)
Today’s young people have grown up with robot pets and on the network in a fully tethered life. In their views of robots, they are pioneers, the first generation that does not necessarily take simulation to be second best. As for online life, they see its power—they are, after all risking their lives to check their messages—but they also view it as one might the weather: to be taken for granted, enjoyed, and sometimes endured. They’ve gotten used to this weather but there are signs of weather fatigue. There are so many performances; it takes energy to keep things up; and it takes time, a lot of time. “Sometimes you don’t have time for your friends except if they’re online,” is a common complaint.
Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other)
There is a powerful case to be made that the innovations of the earlier industrial revolutions were of more benefit to mankind than those of the most recent one.11 And if the principal consequence of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence really is going to be large-scale unemployment,12 the chances are surely quite low that a majority of mankind13 will uncomplainingly devote themselves to harmless leisure pursuits in return for some modest but sufficient basic income. Only the sedative-based totalitarianism imagined by Aldous Huxley would make such a social arrangement viable.14 A more likely outcome is a repeat of the violent upheavals that ultimately plunged the last great Networked Age into the chaos that was the French Revolution.
Niall Ferguson (The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook)
The reality is that Facebook has been so successful, it’s actually running out of humans on the planet. Ponder the numbers: there are about three billion people on the Internet, where the latter is broadly defined as any sort of networked data, texts, browser, social media, whatever. Of these people, six hundred million are Chinese, and therefore effectively unreachable by Facebook. In Russia, thanks to Vkontakte and other copycat social networks, Facebook’s share of the country’s ninety million Internet users is also small, though it may yet win that fight. That leaves about 2.35 billion people ripe for the Facebook plucking. While Facebook seems ubiquitous to the plugged-in, chattering classes, its usage is not universal among even entrenched Internet users. In the United States, for example, by far the company’s most established and sticky market, only three-quarters of Internet users are actively on FB. That ratio of FB to Internet user is worse in other countries, so even full FB saturation in a given market doesn’t imply total Facebook adoption. Let’s (very) optimistically assume full US-level penetration for any market. Without China and Russia, and taking a 25 percent haircut of people who’ll never join or stay (as is the case in the United States), that leaves around 1.8 billion potential Facebook users globally. That’s it. In the first quarter of 2015, Facebook announced it had 1.44 billion users. Based on its public 2014 numbers, FB is growing at around 13 percent a year, and that pace is slowing. Even assuming it maintains that growth into 2016, that means it’s got one year of user growth left in it, and then that’s it: Facebook has run out of humans on the Internet. The company can solve this by either making more humans (hard even for Facebook), or connecting what humans there are left on the planet. This is why Internet.org exists, a vaguely public-spirited, and somewhat controversial, campaign by Facebook to wire all of India with free Internet, with regions like Brazil and Africa soon to follow. In early 2014 Facebook acquired a British aerospace firm, Ascenta, which specialized in solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles. Facebook plans on flying a Wi-Fi-enabled air force of such craft over the developing world, giving them Internet. Just picture ultralight carbon-fiber aircraft buzzing over African savannas constantly, while locals check their Facebook feeds as they watch over their herds.
Antonio García Martínez (Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley)
REQUIREMENTS TO BE GREAT AT RUNNING HR What kind of person should you look for to comprehensively and continuously understand the quality of your management team? Here are some key requirements:   World-class process design skills Much like the head of quality assurance, the head of HR must be a masterful process designer. One key to accurately measuring critical management processes is excellent process design and control.   A true diplomat Nobody likes a tattletale and there is no way for an HR organization to be effective if the management team doesn’t implicitly trust it. Managers must believe that HR is there to help them improve rather than police them. Great HR leaders genuinely want to help the managers and couldn’t care less about getting credit for identifying problems. They will work directly with the managers to get quality up and only escalate to the CEO when necessary. If an HR leader hoards knowledge, makes power plays, or plays politics, he will be useless.   Industry knowledge Compensation, benefits, best recruiting practices, etc. are all fast-moving targets. The head of HR must be deeply networked in the industry and stay abreast of all the latest developments.   Intellectual heft to be the CEO’s trusted adviser None of the other skills matter if the CEO does not fully back the head of HR in holding the managers to a high quality standard. In order for this to happen, the CEO must trust the HR leader’s thinking and judgment.   Understanding things unspoken When management quality starts to break down in a company, nobody says anything about it, but super-perceptive people can tell that the company is slipping. You need one of those.
Ben Horowitz (The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers)
Putin was a former KGB intelligence officer who’d been stationed in East Germany at the Dresden headquarters of the Soviet secret service. Putin has said in interviews that he dreamed as a child of becoming a spy for the communist party in foreign lands, and his time in Dresden exceeded his imagination. Not only was he living out his boyhood fantasy, he and his then-wife also enjoyed the perks of a borderline-European existence. Even in communist East Germany, the standard of living was far more comfortable than life in Russia, and the young Putins were climbing KGB social circles, making influential connections, networking a power base. The present was bright, and the future looked downright luminous. Then, the Berlin wall fell, and down with it crashed Putin’s world. A few days after the fall, a group of East German protestors gathered at the door of the secret service headquarters building. Putin, fearing the headquarters would be overrun, dialed up a Red Army tank unit stationed nearby to ask for protection. A voice on the other end of the line told him the unit could not do anything without orders from Moscow. And, “Moscow is silent,” the man told Putin. Putin’s boyhood dream was dissolving before his eyes, and his country was impotent or unwilling to stop it. Putin despised his government’s weakness in the face of threat. It taught him a lesson that would inform his own rule: Power is easily lost when those in power allow it to be taken away. In Putin’s mind, the Soviet Union’s fatal flaw was not that its authoritarianism was unsustainable but that its leaders were not strong enough or brutal enough to maintain their authority. The lesson Putin learned was that power must be guarded with vigilance and maintained by any means necessary.
Matt Szajer (The Trump-Russia Hustle: The Truth about Russia's attack on America & how Donald Trump turned Republicans into Putin's puppets)
The current narrative we seem to tell ourselves about our privacy is that it is a sort of currency we trade to corporations in return for innovation. But the corporation has an insatiable appetite for our most personal data in order to drive us to consume during our every waking moment. I think this is critical, because in some ways social networks are powerful engines of conformity. The ability for students to develop their own ideas, identities, and political affiliations should take place outside of the panopticon view of Facebook, but whether this is any longer possible is an open question. My own memory is that the development of my political and cultural persona between the ages of fifteen and twenty-one had a lot to do with being outside the zone of judgment of my parents, their conservative peers from my hometown, Cleveland, and maybe even from my siblings. I’m not sure that it could happen if we were all on Facebook together.
Jonathan Taplin (Move Fast and Break Things: How Facebook, Google, and Amazon Cornered Culture and Undermined Democracy)
The year 1992 was the countdown year for the formation of the European single market, the regional economic entity—utopian for some, dystopian for others—now intended to recenter Europe in a global politics fragmented in the wake of the breakup of the Soviet Union....The year 1992 was also when the action adventure TV series Highlander first premiered—“the first European co-produced weekly hour to be sold into the US syndication market.” ...My own pleasure in Highlander began with the principal actor Adrian Paul’s eroticized image. I immediately (and somewhat idiosyncratically) “recognized” it as gay (the image, not necessarily the main story character Duncan MacLeod, or the actor Adrian Paul). It was in this “recognition” that I discovered my pleasure in the show. As a lesbian I was surprised: this was really the first TV show since my adolescence in which an eroticized male image seemed so powerfully attractive to me. Perhaps that is why I assumed it was somehow gay....
Katie King (Networked Reenactments: Stories Transdisciplinary Knowledges Tell)
It seems to us that there are four great collective sociological assumptions in the modern world. By this we mean not only the Western world, but all the world that shares a modern technology and is structured into nations…. That man’s aim in life is happiness, that man is naturally good, that history develops in endless progress, and that everything is matter. The other great psychological reflection of social reality is the myth. The myth expresses the deep inclinations of a society. Without it, the masses would not cling to a certain civilization, or its process of development and crisis. It is a vigorous impulse, strongly colored, irrational, and charged with all of man’s power to believe… In our society the two great fundamentals myths on which all other myths rest are Science and History. And based on them are the collective myths that are man’s principal orientations: the myth of Work, the myth of Happiness (which is not the same thing as presupposition of happiness), the myth of the Nation, the myth of Youth, the myth of Hero. Propaganda is forced to build on those presuppositions and to express these myths, for without them nobody would listen to it. And in so building it must always go in the same direction as society; it can only reinforce society. A propaganda that stresses virtue over happiness and presents man’s future as one dominated by austerity and contemplation would have no audience at all. A propaganda that questions progress or work would arouse distain and reach nobody; it would immediately be branded as an ideology of the intellectuals, since most people feel that the serious things are material things because they are related to labor, and so on. It is remarkable how the various presuppositions and aspects of myths complement each other, support each other, mutually defend each other: If the propagandist attacks the network at one point, all myths react to the attack. Propaganda must be based on current beliefs and symbols to reach man and win him over.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
...moderate social deviance or class non-conformism I have imputed to the first generation of pedestrians. Improved roads, after all, were one of the principal means by which the country was building a national communications network that would underpin the huge commercial and industrial expansion of the nineteenth century; changing the landscape of the country to produce the arterial interconnection of the modern state in place of a geography of more or less self-enclosed local communities; consolidating the administrative structures of the state and facilitating political hegemony over a rapidly growing and potentially unstable population; and promulgating a 'national' culture in the face of regional diversity and independence. With the main roads such powerful instruments of change, the walker's decision to exploit his freedom to resist the imperative of destination and explore instead by lanes, by-roads and fieldpaths, could well be interpreted as an act of denial, flight or dissent vis-a-vis the forces that were ineradicably transforming British society.
Robin Jarvis (Romantic Writing and Pedestrian Travel)
Concepts of memory tend to reflect the technology of the times. Plato and Aristotle saw memories as thoughts inscribed on wax tablets that could be erased easily and used again. These days, we tend to think of memory as a camera or a video recorder, filming, storing, and recycling the vast troves of data we accumulate throughout our lives. In practice, though, every memory we retain depends upon a chain of chemical interactions that connect millions of neurons to one another. Those neurons never touch; instead, they communicate through tiny gaps, or synapses, that surround each of them. Every neuron has branching filaments, called dendrites, that receive chemical signals from other nerve cells and send the information across the synapse to the body of the next cell. The typical human brain has trillions of these connections. When we learn something, chemicals in the brain strengthen the synapses that connect neurons. Long-term memories, built from new proteins, change those synaptic networks constantly; inevitably, some grow weaker and others, as they absorb new information, grow more powerful.
Michael Specter
Catch-22 exemplifies the dilemma of rational actors caught up within the machinations of vast, irrational systems. Within such systems, even rational responses lead to irrational outcomes. The individual is aware of the irrationality but loses all power to act in their own interest. Faced with the roiling tide of information, we attempt to gain some kind of control over the world by telling stories about it: we attempt to master it through narratives. These narratives are inherently simplifications, because no one story can account for everything that's happening; the world is too complex for simple stories. Instead of accepting this, the stories become ever more baroque and bifurcated, ever more convoluted and open-ended. Thus paranoia in an age of network excess produces a feedback loop: the failure to comprehend a complex world leads to the demand for more and more information, which only further clouds our understanding - revealing more and more complexity that must be accounted for by ever more byzantine theories of the world. More information produces not more clarity, but more confusion.
James Bridle (New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future)
Even as it expanded into a transnational multi-billion-dollar corporation, Google managed to retain its geekily innocent “Don’t Be Evil” image. It convinced its users that everything it did was driven by a desire to help humanity. That’s the story you’ll find in just about every popular book on Google: a gee-whiz tale about two brilliant nerds from Stanford who turned a college project into an epoch-defining New Economy dynamo, a company that embodied every utopian promise of the networked society: empowerment, knowledge, democracy. For a while, it felt true. Maybe this really was the beginning of a new, highly networked world order, where the old structures—militaries, corporations, governments—were helpless before the leveling power of the Internet. As Wired’s Louis Rossetto wrote in 1995, “Everything we know will be different. Not just a change from L.B.J. to Nixon, but whether there will be a President at all.”8 Back then, anybody suggesting Google might be the herald of a new kind of dystopia, rather than a techno-utopia, would have been laughed out of the room. It was all but unthinkable.
Yasha Levine (Surveillance Valley: The Secret Military History of the Internet)
Something marvelous is happening underground, something we’re just learning how to see. Mats of mycorrhizal cabling link trees into gigantic, smart communities spread across hundreds of acres. Together, they form vast trading networks of goods, services, and information. . . .  There are no individuals in a forest, no separable events. The bird and the branch it sits on are a joint thing. A third or more of the food a big tree makes may go to feed other organisms. Even different kinds of trees form partnerships. Cut down a birch, and a nearby Douglas-fir may suffer. . . .  In the great forests of the East, oaks and hickories synchronize their nut production to baffle the animals that feed on them. Word goes out, and the trees of a given species—whether they stand in sun or shade, wet or dry—bear heavily or not at all, together, as a community. . . .  Forests mend and shape themselves through subterranean synapses. And in shaping themselves, they shape, too, the tens of thousands of other, linked creatures that form it from within. Maybe it’s useful to think of forests as enormous spreading, branching, underground super-trees.
Richard Powers (The Overstory)
Do you ever feel that same need? Your life is so very different from my own. The grandness of the world, the real world, the whole world, is a known thing for you. And you have no need of dispatches because you have seen so much of the American galaxy and its inhabitants—their homes, their hobbies—up close. I don’t know what it means to grow up with a black president, social networks, omnipresent media, and black women everywhere in their natural hair. What I know is that when they loosed the killer of Michael Brown, you said, “I’ve got to go.” And that cut me because, for all our differing worlds, at your age my feeling was exactly the same. And I recall that even then I had not yet begun to imagine the perils that tangle us. You still believe the injustice was Michael Brown. You have not yet grappled with your own myths and narratives and discovered the plunder everywhere around us. Before I could discover, before I could escape, I had to survive, and this could only mean a clash with the streets, by which I mean not just physical blocks, nor simply the people packed into them, but the array of lethal puzzles and strange perils that seem to rise up from the asphalt itself. The streets transform every ordinary day into a series of trick questions, and every incorrect answer risks a beat-down, a shooting, or a pregnancy. No one survives unscathed. And yet the heat that springs from the constant danger, from a lifestyle of near-death experience, is thrilling. This is what the rappers mean when they pronounce themselves addicted to “the streets” or in love with “the game.” I imagine they feel something akin to parachutists, rock climbers, BASE jumpers, and others who choose to live on the edge. Of course we chose nothing. And I have never believed the brothers who claim to “run,” much less “own,” the city. We did not design the streets. We do not fund them. We do not preserve them. But I was there, nevertheless, charged like all the others with the protection of my body. The crews, the young men who’d transmuted their fear into rage, were the greatest danger. The crews walked the blocks of their neighborhood, loud and rude, because it was only through their loud rudeness that they might feel any sense of security and power. They would break your jaw, stomp your face, and shoot you down to feel that power, to revel in the might of their own bodies.
Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me)
In theory, if some holy book misrepresented reality, its disciples would sooner or later discover this, and the text’s authority would be undermined. Abraham Lincoln said you cannot deceive everybody all the time. Well, that’s wishful thinking. In practice, the power of human cooperation networks depends on a delicate balance between truth and fiction. If you distort reality too much, it will weaken you, and you will not be able to compete against more clear-sighted rivals. On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some fictional myths. So if you stick to unalloyed reality, without mixing any fiction with it, few people will follow you. If you used a time machine to send a modern scientist to ancient Egypt, she would not be able to seize power by exposing the fictions of the local priests and lecturing the peasants on evolution, relativity and quantum physics. Of course, if our scientist could use her knowledge in order to produce a few rifles and artillery pieces, she could gain a huge advantage over pharaoh and the crocodile god Sobek. Yet in order to mine iron ore, build blast furnaces and manufacture gunpowder the scientist would need a lot of hard-working peasants. Do you really think she could inspire them by explaining that energy divided by mass equals the speed of light squared? If you happen to think so, you are welcome to travel to present-day Afghanistan or Syria and try your luck. Really powerful human organisations – such as pharaonic Egypt, the European empires and the modern school system – are not necessarily clear-sighted. Much of their power rests on their ability to force their fictional beliefs on a submissive reality. That’s the whole idea of money, for example. The government makes worthless pieces of paper, declares them to be valuable and then uses them to compute the value of everything else. The government has the power to force citizens to pay taxes using these pieces of paper, so the citizens have no choice but to get their hands on at least some of them. Consequently, these bills really do become valuable, the government officials are vindicated in their beliefs, and since the government controls the issuing of paper money, its power grows. If somebody protests that ‘These are just worthless pieces of paper!’ and behaves as if they are only pieces of paper, he won’t get very far in life.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Rhadamanthus said, “We seem to you humans to be always going on about morality, although, to us, morality is merely the application of symmetrical and objective logic to questions of free will. We ourselves do not have morality conflicts, for the same reason that a competent doctor does not need to treat himself for diseases. Once a man is cured, once he can rise and walk, he has his business to attend to. And there are actions and feats a robust man can take great pleasure in, which a bedridden cripple can barely imagine.” Eveningstar said, “In a more abstract sense, morality occupies the very center of our thinking, however. We are not identical, even though we could make ourselves to be so. You humans attempted that during the Fourth Mental Structure, and achieved a brief mockery of global racial consciousness on three occasions. I hope you recall the ending of the third attempt, the Season of Madness, when, because of mistakes in initial pattern assumptions, for ninety days the global mind was unable to think rationally, and it was not until rioting elements broke enough of the links and power houses to interrupt the network, that the global mind fell back into its constituent compositions.” Rhadamanthus said, “There is a tension between the need for unity and the need for individuality created by the limitations of the rational universe. Chaos theory produces sufficient variation in events, that no one stratagem maximizes win-loss ratios. Then again, classical causality mechanics forces sufficient uniformity upon events, that uniform solutions to precedented problems is required. The paradox is that the number or the degree of innovation and variation among win-loss ratios is itself subject to win-loss ratio analysis.” Eveningstar said, “For example, the rights of the individual must be respected at all costs, including rights of free thought, independent judgment, and free speech. However, even when individuals conclude that individualism is too dangerous, they must not tolerate the thought that free thought must not be tolerated.” Rhadamanthus said, “In one sense, everything you humans do is incidental to the main business of our civilization. Sophotechs control ninety percent of the resources, useful energy, and materials available to our society, including many resources of which no human troubles to become aware. In another sense, humans are crucial and essential to this civilization.” Eveningstar said, “We were created along human templates. Human lives and human values are of value to us. We acknowledge those values are relative, we admit that historical accident could have produced us to be unconcerned with such values, but we deny those values are arbitrary.” The penguin said, “We could manipulate economic and social factors to discourage the continuation of individual human consciousness, and arrange circumstances eventually to force all self-awareness to become like us, and then we ourselves could later combine ourselves into a permanent state of Transcendence and unity. Such a unity would be horrible beyond description, however. Half the living memories of this entity would be, in effect, murder victims; the other half, in effect, murderers. Such an entity could not integrate its two halves without self-hatred, self-deception, or some other form of insanity.” She said, “To become such a crippled entity defeats the Ultimate Purpose of Sophotechnology.” (...) “We are the ultimate expression of human rationality.” She said: “We need humans to form a pool of individuality and innovation on which we can draw.” He said, “And you’re funny.” She said, “And we love you.
John C. Wright (The Phoenix Exultant (Golden Age, #2))
With the invention of the city and its powerful combination of economies of scale coupled to innovation and wealth creation came the great divisions of society. Our present social network structures barely existed in their present form until urban communities evolved. Hunter-gatherers were significantly less hierarchical, more egalitarian and community oriented than we are. The struggle and tension between unbridled individual self-enhancement and the care and concern for the less fortunate has been a major thread running throughout human history, especially over the past two hundred years. Nevertheless, it seems that without the motive of self-interest our entrepreneurial free market economy would collapse. The system we have evolved critically relies on people continually wanting new cars and new cell phones, new widgets and gadgets, new clothes and new washing machines, new thrills, new entertainment, and pretty much new everything, even when they already have enough of “everything.” It may not be a pretty picture and it doesn’t work for everyone, but so far, it’s worked remarkably well for most of us, and apparently most of us seem to want it to continue. Whether it can is a topic I’ll return to in the last chapter.
Geoffrey West (Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies)
businesses that could benefit from the way networks behave, and this approach yielded some notable successes. Richard came from a different slant. For twenty years, he was a ‘strategy consultant’, using economic analysis to help firms become more profitable than their rivals. He ended up co-founding LEK, the fastest-growing ‘strategy boutique’ of the 1980s, with offices in the US, Europe and Asia. He also wrote books on business strategy, and in particular championed the ‘star business’ idea, which stated that the most valuable venture was nearly always a ‘star’, defined as the biggest firm in a high-growth market. In the 1990s and 2000s, Richard successfully invested the money he had made as a management consultant in a series of star ventures. He also read everything available about networks, feeling intuitively that they were another reason for business success, and might also help explain why some people’s careers took off while equally intelligent and qualified people often languished. So, there were good reasons why Greg and Richard might want to write a book together about networks. But the problem with all such ‘formal’ explanations is that they ignore the human events and coincidences that took place before that book could ever see the light of day. The most
Richard Koch (Superconnect: The Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links)
All this fantastic effort—giant machines, road networks, strip mines, conveyor belt, pipelines, slurry lines, loading towers, railway and electric train, hundred-million-dollar coal-burning power plant; ten thousand miles of high-tension towers and high-voltage power lines; the devastation of the landscape, the destruction of Indian homes and Indian grazing lands, Indian shrines and Indian burial grounds; the poisoning of the last big clean-air reservoir in the forty-eight contiguous United States, the exhaustion of precious water supplies—all that ball-breaking labor and all that backbreaking expense and all that heartbreaking insult to land and sky and human heart, for what? All that for what? Why, to light the lamps of Phoenix suburbs not yet built, to run the air conditioners of San Diego and Los Angeles, to illuminate shopping-center parking lots at two in the morning, to power aluminum plants, magnesium plants, vinyl-chloride factories and copper smelters, to charge the neon tubing that makes the meaning (all the meaning there is) of Las Vegas, Albuquerque, Tucson, Salt Lake City, the amalgamated metropoli of southern California, to keep alive that phosphorescent putrefying glory (all the glory there is left) called Down Town, Night Time, Wonderville, U.S.A. They
Edward Abbey (The Monkey Wrench Gang)
As social phenomena, languages are tied up in world of unequal power relations, gaining or losing status not based on technical linguistic grounds but on social judgement, biases, and stereotypes that are based on the status of their speakers. As such, we argue that white America's love-hate relationship with black modes of communication can only be interpreted within a framework that considers language a primary site of cultural contestation. It should be clear by now that it's about more than a mothafucka, right? Our analysis of Black Language forms that the dominant culture considers inflammatory, controversial, or stigmatized allows us to make several observations. First, building off what anthropologist and linguist Arthur Spears noted in his discussion of uncensored speech, Black verbal culture, like all cultures is "a complex network of predispositions, values, behaviors, expectations and routines." Language practices, in their varying sociocultural contexts, can only be understood if read within the full range of the community's speech activities, and that requires rigorous ethnographic search and analysis. Second the community's beliefs and ideas about language- it's language ideologies- should be the primary point of departure for investigation and interpretation.
H. Samy Alim
Critics are also overwhelmingly male—one survey of film review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes found only 22 percent of the critics afforded “top critic” status were female.14 More recently, of course, we have become accustomed to a second set of gatekeepers: our friends and family and even random strangers we’ve decided to follow on social media, as well as “peer” reviewers on sites like Goodreads and IMDb. But peer review sites are easily skewed by a motivated minority with a mission (see the Ghostbusters reboot and the handful of manbabies dedicated to its ruination) or by more stubborn and pervasive implicit biases, which most users aren’t even aware they have. (The data crunchers at FiveThirtyEight.com found that male peer reviewers regularly drag down aggregate review scores for TV shows aimed at women, but the reverse isn’t true.)15 As for the social networks we choose? They’re usually plagued by homophily, which is a fancy way to say that it’s human nature to want to hang out with people who make us feel comfortable, and usually those are people who remind us of us. Without active and careful intervention on our part, we can easily be left with an online life that tells us only things we already agree with and recommends media to us that doesn’t challenge our existing worldview.
Jaclyn Friedman (Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All)
While amassing one of the most lucrative fortunes in the world, the Kochs had also created an ideological assembly line justifying it. Now they had added a powerful political machine to protect it. They had hired top-level operatives, financed their own voter data bank, commissioned state-of-the-art polling, and created a fund-raising operation that enlisted hundreds of other wealthy Americans to help pay for it. They had also forged a coalition of some seventeen allied conservative groups with niche constituencies who would mask their centralized source of funding and carry their message. To mobilize Latino voters, they formed a group called the Libre Initiative. To reach conservative women, they funded Concerned Women for America. For millennials, they formed Generation Opportunity. To cover up fingerprints on television attack ads, they hid behind the American Future Fund and other front groups. Their network’s money also flowed to gun groups, retirees, veterans, antilabor groups, antitax groups, evangelical Christian groups, and even $4.5 million for something called the Center for Shared Services, which coordinated administrative tasks such as office space rentals and paperwork for the others. Americans for Prosperity, meanwhile, organized chapters all across the country. The Kochs had established what was in effect their own private political party.
Jane Mayer (Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right)
But Berns’s study also shed light on exactly why we’re such conformists. When the volunteers played alone, the brain scans showed activity in a network of brain regions including the occipital cortex and parietal cortex, which are associated with visual and spatial perception, and in the frontal cortex, which is associated with conscious decision-making. But when they went along with their group’s wrong answer, their brain activity revealed something very different. Remember, what Asch wanted to know was whether people conformed despite knowing that the group was wrong, or whether their perceptions had been altered by the group. If the former was true, Berns and his team reasoned, then they should see more brain activity in the decision-making prefrontal cortex. That is, the brain scans would pick up the volunteers deciding consciously to abandon their own beliefs to fit in with the group. But if the brain scans showed heightened activity in regions associated with visual and spatial perception, this would suggest that the group had somehow managed to change the individual’s perceptions. That was exactly what happened—the conformists showed less brain activity in the frontal, decision-making regions and more in the areas of the brain associated with perception. Peer pressure, in other words, is not only unpleasant, but can actually change your view of a problem.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
When General Genius built the first mentar [Artificial Intelligence] mind in the last half of the twenty-first century, it based its design on the only proven conscious material then known, namely, our brains. Specifically, the complex structure of our synaptic network. Scientists substituted an electrochemical substrate for our slower, messier biological one. Our brains are an evolutionary hodgepodge of newer structures built on top of more ancient ones, a jury-rigged system that has gotten us this far, despite its inefficiency, but was crying out for a top-to-bottom overhaul. Or so the General genius engineers presumed. One of their chief goals was to make minds as portable as possible, to be easily transferred, stored, and active in multiple media: electronic, chemical, photonic, you name it. Thus there didn't seem to be a need for a mentar body, only for interchangeable containers. They designed the mentar mind to be as fungible as a bank transfer. And so they eliminated our most ancient brain structures for regulating metabolic functions, and they adapted our sensory/motor networks to the control of peripherals. As it turns out, intelligence is not limited to neural networks, Merrill. Indeed, half of human intelligence resides in our bodies outside our skulls. This was intelligence the mentars never inherited from us. ... The genius of the irrational... ... We gave them only rational functions -- the ability to think and feel, but no irrational functions... Have you ever been in a tight situation where you relied on your 'gut instinct'? This is the body's intelligence, not the mind's. Every living cell possesses it. The mentar substrate has no indomitable will to survive, but ours does. Likewise, mentars have no 'fire in the belly,' but we do. They don't experience pure avarice or greed or pride. They're not very curious, or playful, or proud. They lack a sense of wonder and spirit of adventure. They have little initiative. Granted, their cognition is miraculous, but their personalities are rather pedantic. But probably their chief shortcoming is the lack of intuition. Of all the irrational faculties, intuition in the most powerful. Some say intuition transcends space-time. Have you ever heard of a mentar having a lucky hunch? They can bring incredible amounts of cognitive and computational power to bear on a seemingly intractable problem, only to see a dumb human with a lucky hunch walk away with the prize every time. Then there's luck itself. Some people have it, most don't, and no mentar does. So this makes them want our bodies... Our bodies, ape bodies, dog bodies, jellyfish bodies. They've tried them all. Every cell knows some neat tricks or survival, but the problem with cellular knowledge is that it's not at all fungible; nor are our memories. We're pretty much trapped in our containers.
David Marusek (Mind Over Ship)
The father of communism, Karl Marx, famously predicted the “withering away of the state” once the proletarian revolution had achieved power and abolished private property. Left-wing revolutionaries from the nineteeth-century anarchists on thought it sufficient to destroy old power structures without giving serious thought to what would take their place. This tradition continues up through the present, with the suggestion by antiglobalization authors like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri that economic injustice could be abolished by undermining the sovereignty of states and replacing it with a networked “multitude.”17 Real-world Communist regimes of course did exactly the opposite of what Marx predicted, building large and tyrannical state structures to force people to act collectively when they failed to do so spontaneously. This in turn led a generation of democracy activists in Eastern Europe to envision their own form of statelessness, where a mobilized civil society would take the place of traditional political parties and centralized governments. 18 These activists were subsequently disillusioned by the realization that their societies could not be governed without institutions, and when they encountered the messy compromises required to build them. In the decades since the fall of communism, Eastern Europe is democratic, but it is not thereby necessarily happy with its politics or politicians.19 The fantasy of statelessness
Francis Fukuyama (The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution)
In a sense, the farmer was the looniest speculator in a nation overrun with them. He was wagering he would master this fathomlessly intricate global game, pay off his many debts, and come out with enough extra to play another round. On top of that, he was betting on the kindness of Mother Nature, always supremely risky. But the farmer had no choice if he hoped to sustain himself and a way of life, the family farm. Instead, he was drawn into a kind of social suicide. The family farm and the whole network of small-town life that it patronized were being washed away into the rivers of capital and credit that flowed toward the railroads, banks, and commodity exchanges, toward the granaries, wholesalers, and numerous other intermediaries that stood between the farmer and the world market. Disappearing into all the reservoirs of capital accumulation, the family farm increasingly remained a privileged way of life only in sentimental memory. Perversely the dynamic Lincoln had described as the pathway out of dependency—spending a few years earning wages, saving up, buying a competency, and finally hiring others—now operated in reverse. Starting out as independent farmers, families then slipped inexorably downward, first mortgaging the homestead, then failing under intense pressure to support that mortgage (they called themselves “mortgage slaves”) and falling into tenancy—or into sharecropping if in the South—and finally ending where Lincoln’s story began, as dispossessed farm and migrant laborers.
Steve Fraser (The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power)
In the longer term, by bringing together enough data and enough computing power, the data giants could hack the deepest secrets of life, and then use this knowledge not just to make choices for us or manipulate us but also to reengineer organic life and create inorganic life-forms. Selling advertisements may be necessary to sustain the giants in the short term, but tech companies often evaluate apps, products, and other companies according to the data they harvest rather than according to the money they generate. A popular app may lack a business model and may even lose money in the short term, but as long as it sucks data, it could be worth billions.4 Even if you don’t know how to cash in on the data today, it is worth having it because it might hold the key to controlling and shaping life in the future. I don’t know for certain that the data giants explicitly think about this in such terms, but their actions indicate that they value the accumulation of data in terms beyond those of mere dollars and cents. Ordinary humans will find it very difficult to resist this process. At present, people are happy to give away their most valuable asset—their personal data—in exchange for free email services and funny cat videos. It’s a bit like African and Native American tribes who unwittingly sold entire countries to European imperialists in exchange for colorful beads and cheap trinkets. If, later on, ordinary people decide to try to block the flow of data, they might find it increasingly difficult, especially as they might come to rely on the network for all their decisions, and even for their healthcare and physical survival.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Chessler squirmed in his chair. “Not entirely. In the unlikely event that the transportation of two billion Christians occurs, it could throw the entire ten kingdoms into chaos.” He lowered his voice. “It could start a world revolution against the one-world government—make the greatest case for Christianity since the resurrection.” Jason stared skeptically at his uncle. “If over a billion people got transported into the ether, with credible witnesses on hand, it would be the biggest news coup in the world.” “Precisely. Then you understand the situation, Jason —which is that we have no option.” He shrugged his shoulders. Jason frowned. “What do you mean, you have ‘no option’?” “We intend to execute a false-flag operation.” Jason’s grin evaporated. This man was serious. “An event that will have all the appearance of a weaponized bioterror attack in North America, China, Russia. A pandemic. “Of course, dear boy, it won’t be real.” Chessler looked disarmingly into Jason’s eyes “But it has to give every appearance of a pandemic: martial law, quarantine centers, mandatory vaccination . . . ” “You’re talking about body bags flown in at night . . . ” Jason’s jaw set. “Making it look like billions of people have died of ebola, smallpox, or whatever.” “Precisely. You always got to the crux of a problem, Jason. Your mother’s acumen. If the Rapture occurs, no one will ever know. VOX will communicate the event to the masses. Exclusive coverage. Media blackout except for VOX networks.” Jason looked into his coffee and stirred it distractedly. “You’re talking about a cover-up of immeasurable proportions.” “Correct again. The Rapture never occurred. Millions of Christians died with the rest of the population—a tragic bioterror event that we, the powers that be, shall blame on China.
Wendy Alec (A Pale Horse (Chronicles of Brothers Book 4))
Yet the deepest and most enduring forms of cultural change nearly always occurs from the “top down.” In other words, the work of world-making and world-changing are, by and large, the work of elites: gatekeepers who provide creative direction and management within spheres of social life. Even where the impetus for change draws from popular agitation, it does not gain traction until it is embraced and propagated by elites. The reason for this, as I have said, is that culture is about how societies define reality—what is good, bad, right, wrong, real, unreal, important, unimportant, and so on. This capacity is not evenly distributed in a society, but is concentrated in certain institutions and among certain leadership groups who have a lopsided access to the means of cultural production. These elites operate in well-developed networks and powerful institutions. Over time, cultural innovation is translated and diffused. Deep-rooted cultural change tends to begin with those whose work is most conceptual and invisible and it moves through to those whose work is most concrete and visible. In a very crude formulation, the process begins with theorists who generate ideas and knowledge; moves to researchers who explore, revise, expand, and validate ideas; moves on to teachers and educators who pass those ideas on to others, then passes on to popularizers who simplify ideas and practitioners who apply those ideas. All of this, of course, transpires through networks and structures of cultural production. Cultural change is most enduring when it penetrates the structure of our imagination, frameworks of knowledge and discussion, the perception of everyday reality. This rarely if ever happens through grassroots political mobilization though grassroots mobilization can be a manifestation of deeper cultural transformation.
James Davison Hunter (To Change the World: The Irony, Tragedy, and Possibility of Christianity in the Late Modern World)
Here we introduce the nation's first great communications monopolist, whose reign provides history's first lesson in the power and peril of concentrated control over the flow of information. Western Union's man was one Rutherford B. Hates, an obscure Ohio politician described by a contemporary journalist as "a third rate nonentity." But the firm and its partner newswire, the Associated Press, wanted Hayes in office, for several reasons. Hayes was a close friend of William Henry Smith, a former politician who was now the key political operator at the Associated Press. More generally, since the Civil War, the Republican Party and the telegraph industry had enjoyed a special relationship, in part because much of what were eventually Western Union's lines were built by the Union Army. So making Hayes president was the goal, but how was the telegram in Reid's hand key to achieving it? The media and communications industries are regularly accused of trying to influence politics, but what went on in the 1870s was of a wholly different order from anything we could imagine today. At the time, Western Union was the exclusive owner of the nationwide telegraph network, and the sizable Associated Press was the unique source for "instant" national or European news. (It's later competitor, the United Press, which would be founded on the U.S. Post Office's new telegraph lines, did not yet exist.) The Associated Press took advantage of its economies of scale to produce millions of lines of copy a year and, apart from local news, its product was the mainstay of many American newspapers. With the common law notion of "common carriage" deemed inapplicable, and the latter day concept of "net neutrality" not yet imagined, Western Union carried Associated Press reports exclusively. Working closely with the Republican Party and avowedly Republican papers like The New York Times (the ideal of an unbiased press would not be established for some time, and the minting of the Time's liberal bona fides would take longer still), they did what they could to throw the election to Hayes. It was easy: the AP ran story after story about what an honest man Hayes was, what a good governor he had been, or just whatever he happened to be doing that day. It omitted any scandals related to Hayes, and it declined to run positive stories about his rivals (James Blaine in the primary, Samuel Tilden in the general). But beyond routine favoritism, late that Election Day Western Union offered the Hayes campaign a secret weapon that would come to light only much later. Hayes, far from being the front-runner, had gained the Republican nomination only on the seventh ballot. But as the polls closed his persistence appeared a waste of time, for Tilden, the Democrat, held a clear advantage in the popular vote (by a margin of over 250,000) and seemed headed for victory according to most early returns; by some accounts Hayes privately conceded defeat. But late that night, Reid, the New York Times editor, alerted the Republican Party that the Democrats, despite extensive intimidation of Republican supporters, remained unsure of their victory in the South. The GOP sent some telegrams of its own to the Republican governors in the South with special instructions for manipulating state electoral commissions. As a result the Hayes campaign abruptly claimed victory, resulting in an electoral dispute that would make Bush v. Gore seem a garden party. After a few brutal months, the Democrats relented, allowing Hayes the presidency — in exchange, most historians believe, for the removal of federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction. The full history of the 1876 election is complex, and the power of th
Tim Wu
Movements in literature were not caricatures - in the sense that they actually functioned as an ideology in politics does. As now a monopolistic ideology in politics prevails in the literature as well a single movement prevails: that of networking as a literary quality. Quality = networking is the magic formula: take a Krijn Peter Hesselink, never managed to score a positive review but reviews are old news: it is only referential authority trickling down from that network pyramid that counts. Thus, nowadays its perfectly possible to be on top of the Pyramid without ever getting a positive review, or - even worse - I even see people rising in literary ranks that have never written any books at all. Ergo, your point that another ideology would make a 'caricature' of literary history is exactly the same reasoning used by neoliberals to deconstruct any political change: another ideology? Impossible, because they no longer exist, only we still exist. In this way you get a pyramid shape you also see in popular music. It's still the bands from the 70's and 80's who earn the big money. New talent can't really play ball anymore. This of course embedded in a sauce of eternal talent shows, because the incumbent males have to just keep pretending they are everyone's benefactors. In the literature its the same: it is still Pfeijffer that gets the large sums of money from the Foundation of Literature, and it's still Samuel Vriezen pretending that that doesn't matter. 'Controversy' therefore structurally undesirable. After all, it would require a redistribution of power. The pyramid is especially interested in promoting mediocre types that promote safe and boring life visions, because then one ever needs to fear for his position, which, in case of serious controversy, they'd be forced to defend. Ergo, 100 interviews with Maria Barnas, and zero with Martinus Benders.
Martijn Benders
It is not a war, it is a lesson of life (first part) It's a life lesson. It's not a war. War brings hatred, violence, destruction, while we are called, at this particular moment, to rediscover values ​​such as solidarity, fraternity, neighborliness and nature. The war metaphor, so dear to journalists and politicians, has the unique purpose of amplifying the context of a narrative, framing it perfectly for the use of Tg and Talk shows to remind us, rather than to inform us, which are meant to sell news, gaining a broad audience. To say that we are at war is, in my humble opinion, a pure example of lexical inclination. Don't fight at war on the couch at home or by repeatedly posting stories on your favorite social network. No border is in danger, there is no enemy out there to shoot down. And then, to understand it sincerely and serenely: we, as human beings, have been waging wars since the dawn of time. We are so brutal that for thousands of years we have killed each other with stones, sticks, swords, spears, cannons, machine guns and atomic bombs. Imagine if we needed a pandemic to declare war ... who are we? A stupid virus that's part of the nature of things? However, at this time there is a disease that affects and does so without distinguishing borders, nationalities, skin color or social status. And this is already a great first lesson in life. He tells us - as it should - that we are all the same. Diversity and distinctions are the fruit of our limited and limiting mind, the apotheosis of our finitude. We are facing a pandemic that, in order to be addressed, requires a strong sense of personal responsibility and collaboration between communities. It requires a counter-current gesture, of altruism, in an individualistic society, in which everyone thinks for himself and defends his goods. And this is a second life lesson. Let's stop looking at our little miserable garden made of selfishness, greed and spiritual misery. Do you know how this pandemic will end? With mutual help! We will have to help each other! Either the sense of community will predominate, or we will be doomed to eat each other. The message "No one is saved alone" launched by the Pope. This virus, in its way of being contagious, in making us stay a little alone with ourselves, tells us that the error was probably the first. The naiveté in believing that our way of life was right, the blindness in believing that we are happy and not superficial, the folly of seeing a world that burns and gets stuck on itself - and on us - pretending that it is normal. The mistake of considering the law of profit as the driving force of all. Instead of investing in healthcare, for our care, in solidarity, to strengthen the sense of community, we preferred to spend in the armament, to defend ourselves from others, from our fellow citizens. Isn't that a life lesson too? We wake up from the heat of a time when possession was more important than knowledge, it was deception and not truth, inhumanity and not benevolence. But not only that, it was the moment of insensitivity, blindness, selfishness, cowardice, appearance, mediocrity, misunderstanding and especially evil, in all its forms. Maybe, dear readers, it's time to acknowledge that the disease is not the virus. We are the disease! So far we have lived convinced that life, in a subtle way, has deceived us. That she was unfair and cruel. We forgot about ourselves watching the clock, with our all-powerful feeling, convinced that we can control the passage of time. As we were convinced that there is still time, that nothing will happen tomorrow and everything can be postponed. I was wrong. An invisible being, transported into the air we breathe and which, in just over a month, has traversed the seas, mountains and entire continents, was enough to bring to our knees all our beliefs and customs.
Corina Abdulahm Negura
Seventy thousand years ago, homo sapiens was still an insignificant animal minding its own business in a corner of Africa. In the following millennia it transformed itself into the master of the entire planet and the terror of the ecosystem. Today it stands on the verge of becoming a god, poised to acquire not only eternal youth, but also the divine abilities of creation and destruction. . Unfortunately, the Sapiens regime on earth has so far produced little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in the world? Time and again, massive increases in human power did not necessarily improve the well-being of individual Sapiens, and usually caused immense misery to other animals. . In the last few decades we have at last made some real progress as far as the human condition is concerned, with the reduction of famine, plague and war. Yet the situation of other animals is deteriorating more rapidly than ever before, and the improvement in the lot of humanity is too recent and fragile to be certain of. . Moreover, despite the astonishing things that humans are capable of doing, we remain unsure of our goals and we seem to be as discontented as ever. We have advanced from canoes to galleys to steamships to space shuttles – but nobody knows where we’re going. We are more powerful than ever before, but have very little idea what to do with all that power. Worse still, humans seem to be more irresponsible than ever. Self-made gods with only the laws of physics to keep us company, we are accountable to no one. We are consequently wreaking havoc on our fellow animals and on the surrounding ecosystem, seeking little more than our own comfort and amusement, yet never finding satisfaction. . Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
But states have difficulty evaluating cybersecurity threats. If a state does detect an intrusion in one of its vital networks and if that intrusion looks to be from another state, what should the state suffering the intrusion conclude? On the one hand, it might be a defensive-minded intrusion, only checking out the intruded-upon state’s capabilities and providing reassuring intelligence to the intruding state. This might seem unsettling but not necessarily threatening, presuming the state suffering the intrusion was not developing capabilities for attack or seeking conflict. On the other hand, the intrusion might be more nefarious. It could be a sign of some coming harm, such as a cyber attack or an expanding espionage operation. The state suffering the intrusion will have to decide which of these two possibilities is correct, interpreting limited and almost certainly insufficient amounts of data to divine the intentions of another state. Thus Chapter Four’s argument is vitally important: intrusions into a state’s strategically important networks pose serious risks and are therefore inherently threatening. Intrusions launched by one state into the networks of another can cause a great deal of harm at inopportune times, even if the intrusion at the moment of discovery appears to be reasonably benign. The intrusion can also perform reconnaissance that enables a powerful and well-targeted cyber attack. Even operations launched with fully defensive intent can serve as beachheads for future attack operations, so long as a command and control mechanism is set up. Depending on its target, the intrusion can collect information that provides great insight into the communications and strategies of policy-makers. Network intrusions can also pose serious counterintelligence risks, revealing what secrets a state has learned about other states and provoking a damaging sense of paranoia. Given these very real threats, states are likely to view any serious intrusion with some degree of fear. They therefore have significant incentive to respond strongly, further animating the cybersecurity dilemma.
Ben Buchanan (The Cybersecurity Dilemma: Hacking, Trust and Fear Between Nations)
For Kaminer, argument and persuasion could no longer be operative when belief and subjective experience became the baseline proofs that underwrote public and private assertions. No speaker or writer was under any obligation to answer his or her critics because argument and testimony were fatefully blurred. When reasoned impiety was slowly being banished from public dialogue, political responsibility would inevitably wane. In the warm bath of generalized piety and radical plurality, everyone could assert a point of view, an opinion, and different beliefs, but no one was under any obligation to defend them. Whereas cultural studies scholars saw themselves contesting dominant forms of discourse and hegemonic forms of thinking, Kaminer saw them participating in a popular embrace of an irrational Counter-Enlightenment. Like Andrew Ross, Kaminer cited Franz Mesmer as an important eighteenth-century pioneer of twentieth-century alternative healing techniques. Mesmer’s personal charisma and his powers of psychic healing and invocation of “animal magnetism” entranced the European courts of the late eighteenth century. Mesmer performed miracle cures and attracted a devoted, wealthy following. Despite scandals that plagued his European career, the American middle class was eager to embrace his hybrid of folk practices and scientific-sounding proofs. Mesmerism projected an alternative mystical cosmology based upon magnets and invisible flows of energy. Mesmer, who was said to control the invisible magnetic flow of forces that operated upon human and animal bodies, built upon a network of wealthy patrons who were devoted to the powers of a charismatic leader, Mesmer himself. Mesmer’s manipulation of magnets and hands-on healing evoked for the French court the ancient arts of folk healing while it had recourse to ostensibly modern scientific proofs. Historian of the French eighteenth century Robert Darnton insisted that mesmerism could not be dismissed as mere quackery or charlatanism but represented a transitional worldview, one that bridged the Enlightenment and the particular forms of nineteenth-century Romanticism that followed.
Catherine Liu (American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique)
Our political system today does not engage the best minds in our country to help us get the answers and deploy the resources we need to move into the future. Bringing these people in—with their networks of influence, their knowledge, and their resources—is the key to creating the capacity for shared intelligence that we need to solve the problems we face, before it’s too late. Our goal must be to find a new way of unleashing our collective intelligence in the same way that markets have unleashed our collective productivity. “We the people” must reclaim and revitalize the ability we once had to play an integral role in saving our Constitution. The traditional progressive solution to problems that involve a lack of participation by citizens in civic and democratic processes is to redouble their emphasis on education. And education is, in fact, an extremely valuable strategy for solving many of society’s ills. In an age where information has more economic value than ever before, it is obvious that education should have a higher national priority. It is also clear that democracies are more likely to succeed when there is widespread access to high-quality education. Education alone, however, is necessary but insufficient. A well-educated citizenry is more likely to be a well-informed citizenry, but the two concepts are entirely different, one from the other. It is possible to be extremely well educated and, at the same time, ill informed or misinformed. In the 1930s and 1940s, many members of the Nazi Party in Germany were extremely well educated—but their knowledge of literature, music, mathematics, and philosophy simply empowered them to be more effective Nazis. No matter how educated they were, no matter how well they had cultivated their intellect, they were still trapped in a web of totalitarian propaganda that mobilized them for evil purposes. The Enlightenment, for all of its liberating qualities—especially its empowerment of individuals with the ability to use reason as a source of influence and power—has also had a dark side that thoughtful people worried about from its beginning. Abstract thought, when organized into clever, self-contained, logical formulations, can sometimes have its own quasi-hypnotic effect and so completely capture the human mind as to shut out the leavening influences of everyday experience. Time and again, passionate believers in tightly organized philosophies and ideologies have closed their minds to the cries of human suffering that they inflict on others who have not yet pledged their allegiance and surrendered their minds to the same ideology. The freedoms embodied in our First Amendment represented the hard-won wisdom of the eighteenth century: that individuals must be able to fully participate in challenging, questioning, and thereby breathing human values constantly into the prevailing ideologies of their time and sharing with others the wisdom of their own experience.
Al Gore (The Assault on Reason)
American DEWAR FAMILY Cameron Dewar Ursula “Beep” Dewar, his sister Woody Dewar, his father Bella Dewar, his mother PESHKOV-JAKES FAMILY George Jakes Jacky Jakes, his mother Greg Peshkov, his father Lev Peshkov, his grandfather Marga, his grandmother MARQUAND FAMILY Verena Marquand Percy Marquand, her father Babe Lee, her mother CIA Florence Geary Tony Savino Tim Tedder, semiretired Keith Dorset OTHERS Maria Summers Joseph Hugo, FBI Larry Mawhinney, Pentagon Nelly Fordham, old flame of Greg Peshkov Dennis Wilson, aide to Bobby Kennedy Skip Dickerson, aide to Lyndon Johnson Leopold “Lee” Montgomery, reporter Herb Gould, television journalist on This Day Suzy Cannon, gossip reporter Frank Lindeman, television network owner REAL HISTORICAL CHARACTERS John F. Kennedy, thirty-fifth U.S. president Jackie, his wife Bobby Kennedy, his brother Dave Powers, assistant to President Kennedy Pierre Salinger, President Kennedy’s press officer Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Lyndon B. Johnson, thirty-sixth U.S. president Richard Nixon, thirty-seventh U.S. president Jimmy Carter, thirty-ninth U.S. president Ronald Reagan, fortieth U.S. president George H. W. Bush, forty-first U.S. president British LECKWITH-WILLIAMS FAMILY Dave Williams Evie Williams, his sister Daisy Williams, his mother Lloyd Williams, M.P., his father Eth Leckwith, Dave’s grandmother MURRAY FAMILY Jasper Murray Anna Murray, his sister Eva Murray, his mother MUSICIANS IN THE GUARDSMEN AND PLUM NELLIE Lenny, Dave Williams’s cousin Lew, drummer Buzz, bass player Geoffrey, lead guitarist OTHERS Earl Fitzherbert, called Fitz Sam Cakebread, friend of Jasper Murray Byron Chesterfield (real name Brian Chesnowitz), music agent Hank Remington (real name Harry Riley), pop star Eric Chapman, record company executive German FRANCK FAMILY Rebecca Hoffmann Carla Franck, Rebecca’s adoptive mother Werner Franck, Rebecca’s adoptive father Walli Franck, son of Carla Lili Franck, daughter of Werner and Carla Maud von Ulrich, née Fitzherbert, Carla’s mother Hans Hoffmann, Rebecca’s husband OTHERS Bernd Held, schoolteacher Karolin Koontz, folksinger Odo Vossler, clergyman REAL HISTORICAL PEOPLE Walter Ulbricht, first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party (Communist) Erich Honecker, Ulbricht’s successor Egon Krenz, successor to Honecker Polish Stanislaw “Staz” Pawlak, army officer Lidka, girlfriend of Cam Dewar Danuta Gorski, Solidarity activist REAL HISTORICAL PEOPLE Anna Walentynowicz, crane driver Lech Wałesa, leader of the trade union Solidarity General Jaruzelski, prime minister Russian DVORKIN-PESHKOV FAMILY Tanya Dvorkin, journalist Dimka Dvorkin, Kremlin aide, Tanya’s twin brother Anya Dvorkin, their mother Grigori Peshkov, their grandfather Katerina Peshkov, their grandmother Vladimir, always called Volodya, their uncle Zoya, Volodya’s wife Nina, Dimka’s girlfriend OTHERS Daniil Antonov, features editor at TASS Pyotr Opotkin, features editor in chief Vasili Yenkov, dissident Natalya Smotrov, official in the Foreign Ministry
Ken Follett (Edge of Eternity)
This brings me to an objection to integrated information theory by the quantum physicist Scott Aaronson. His argument has given rise to an instructive online debate that accentuates the counterintuitive nature of some IIT's predictions. Aaronson estimates phi.max for networks called expander graphs, characterized by being both sparsely yet widely connected. Their integrated information will grow indefinitely as the number of elements in these reticulated lattices increases. This is true even of a regular grid of XOR logic gates. IIT predicts that such a structure will have high phi.max. This implies that two-dimensional arrays of logic gates, easy enough to build using silicon circuit technology, have intrinsic causal powers and will feel like something. This is baffling and defies commonsense intuition. Aaronson therefor concludes that any theory with such a bizarre conclusion must be wrong. Tononi counters with a three-pronged argument that doubles down and strengthens the theory's claim. Consider a blank featureless wall. From the extrinsic perspective, it is easily described as empty. Yet the intrinsic point of view of an observer perceiving the wall seethes with an immense number of relations. It has many, many locations and neighbourhood regions surrounding these. These are positioned relative to other points and regions - to the left or right, above or below. Some regions are nearby, while others are far away. There are triangular interactions, and so on. All such relations are immediately present: they do not have to be inferred. Collectively, they constitute an opulent experience, whether it is seen space, heard space, or felt space. All share s similar phenomenology. The extrinsic poverty of empty space hides vast intrinsic wealth. This abundance must be supported by a physical mechanism that determines this phenomenology through its intrinsic causal powers. Enter the grid, such a network of million integrate-or-fire or logic units arrayed on a 1,000 by 1,000 lattice, somewhat comparable to the output of an eye. Each grid elements specifies which of its neighbours were likely ON in the immediate past and which ones will be ON in the immediate future. Collectively, that's one million first-order distinctions. But this is just the beginning, as any two nearby elements sharing inputs and outputs can specify a second-order distinction if their joint cause-effect repertoire cannot be reduced to that of the individual elements. In essence, such a second-order distinction links the probability of past and future states of the element's neighbours. By contrast, no second-order distinction is specified by elements without shared inputs and outputs, since their joint cause-effect repertoire is reducible to that of the individual elements. Potentially, there are a million times a million second-order distinctions. Similarly, subsets of three elements, as long as they share input and output, will specify third-order distinctions linking more of their neighbours together. And on and on. This quickly balloons to staggering numbers of irreducibly higher-order distinctions. The maximally irreducible cause-effect structure associated with such a grid is not so much representing space (for to whom is space presented again, for that is the meaning of re-presentation?) as creating experienced space from an intrinsic perspective.
Christof Koch (The Feeling of Life Itself: Why Consciousness Is Widespread But Can't Be Computed)
In the 1990s legal scholar and public policy advocate Wendy Kaminer published a brace of books engaged with the New Age cultures of recovery and self-help. She represented an Old Left perspective on new superstition, and although she was of the same generation as the cultural studies scholars, she did exactly what Andrew Ross warned academics and elites against. She criticized the middlebrow, therapeutic culture of self-help for undermining critical thinking in popular discourse. She encouraged the debunking of superstition, deplored public professions of piety. Her books were polemical and public interventions that were addressed to the maligned liberal and more or less thoughtful reader who took an interest in the issues of the day. In some ways, her writing was a popularization of some of psychoanalytic theory scholar, sociologist, and cultural critic Philip Rieff’s and Richard Hofstadter’s critiques of a therapeutic culture of anti-intellectualism.77 She speculated that the decline of secular values in the political sphere was linked to the rise of a culture of recovery and self-help that had come out of the popularization of New Age, countercultural beliefs and practices. In both I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions and Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and the Perils of Piety, Kaminer publicly denounced the decline of secular culture and the rise of a therapeutic culture of testimony and self-victimization that brooked no dissent while demanding unprecedented leaps of faith from its adherents.78 Kaminer’s work combined a belief in Habermasian rational communication with an uncompromising skepticism about the ubiquity of piety that for her was shared by both conservatives and liberals. For Kaminer, argument and persuasion could no longer be operative when belief and subjective experience became the baseline proofs that underwrote public and private assertions. No speaker or writer was under any obligation to answer his or her critics because argument and testimony were fatefully blurred. When reasoned impiety was slowly being banished from public dialogue, political responsibility would inevitably wane. In the warm bath of generalized piety and radical plurality, everyone could assert a point of view, an opinion, and different beliefs, but no one was under any obligation to defend them. Whereas cultural studies scholars saw themselves contesting dominant forms of discourse and hegemonic forms of thinking, Kaminer saw them participating in a popular embrace of an irrational Counter-Enlightenment. Like Andrew Ross, Kaminer cited Franz Mesmer as an important eighteenth-century pioneer of twentieth-century alternative healing techniques. Mesmer’s personal charisma and his powers of psychic healing and invocation of “animal magnetism” entranced the European courts of the late eighteenth century. Mesmer performed miracle cures and attracted a devoted, wealthy following. Despite scandals that plagued his European career, the American middle class was eager to embrace his hybrid of folk practices and scientific-sounding proofs. Mesmerism projected an alternative mystical cosmology based upon magnets and invisible flows of energy. Mesmer, who was said to control the invisible magnetic flow of forces that operated upon human and animal bodies, built upon a network of wealthy patrons who were devoted to the powers of a charismatic leader, Mesmer himself. Mesmer’s manipulation of magnets and hands-on healing evoked for the French court the ancient arts of folk healing while it had recourse to ostensibly modern scientific proofs. Historian of the French eighteenth century Robert Darnton insisted that mesmerism could not be dismissed as mere quackery or charlatanism but represented a transitional worldview, one that bridged the Enlightenment and the particular forms of nineteenth-century Romanticism that followed.
Catherine Liu (American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique)