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Old August 2nd, 2010, 01:44 PM
James Brody James Brody is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Philadelphia area
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Cool TEA Bible/Cannibalism

Kenneth Vogel in The Politico talks about emergent networks and political organization. Robert Heinlein spoke of such things (The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) and any damn fool virus knows all about these tricks that let it survive vacuum and heat for however long is needed to find sources of useful energy.

Rules for Radicals, the iconic liberal organizing manifesto by Saul Alinsky, was an unlikely bible for tea party activists as they tried to mobilize their movement last year. Now, as they struggle to demonstrate their impact and staying power, they have another unlikely book to live by — a kind of management guide written by a couple of Stanford MBAs that extols the virtues of decentralization.

The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, has a thesis with understandable attraction for tea partiers — that poorly funded groups and companies loosely organized around basic shared ideas can change society, often by outmaneuvering governments or mega-corporations.

“The title is based on the contrasting biology of spiders, which die when their heads are chopped off, and starfish, which can multiply when any given part is severed — a trait the book’s authors posit is shared by decentralized entities ranging from Alcoholics Anonymous to Al Qaeda to Wikipedia.”

Identity of structure, however, implies identity of need.

The problem becomes one of why cannibalism is not more frequent and found in places other than church communions, crucifixions, tribal parties, and the slogan “Eat me!” Maybe dominance in money, slogans, signs, and endorsements are chow-down reifications that accrue existing resources and open doors to more of them.

And my contacts with TEA partiers suggest that genes for conquest and cannibalism dominate those for organization and sharing. Maybe this fact – if it is a fact – underlies why the liberals make swarms to levy power while the revolutionaries are happy on the lawns and in forests where they have freedom of expression but also freedom of menu…

More about emergent networks: Barabási, A-L (2002) Linked: The New Science of Networks. NY: Perseus.
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cannibalism, emergent nets, tea party, winner take all

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