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The Techno-Human Condition by Braden R. Allenby, Daniel R. Sarewitz
airport security, augmented reality, carbon footprint, clean water, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, conceptual framework, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, decarbonisation, different worldview, facts on the ground, friendly fire, industrial cluster, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, land tenure, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, Peter Singer: altruism, planetary scale, prediction markets, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, smart grid, source of truth, stem cell, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Whole Earth Catalog
Instead, we have a state of radical and irreducible contingency that requires-if it is to be comprehended sufficiently to allow effective engagement with its implications-simultaneous contemplation of many different and perhaps conflicting worldviews. Thus does the anthropogenic world resulting from the Enlightenment, and its industrial and scientific revolutions, seem to create a strong and necessary commitment to the development of internally consistent and coherent worldviews and ideologies, even as it demands the philosophic flexibility necessary to respond to complex systems unrolling in unpredictable and Complexity, Coherence, Contingency 119 uncertain majesty. In short, in a complex world, the intelligible and the rational may often conflict; Level III rationality-a capacity to link cognition to desired outcomes in the world via action-can only emerge from a commitment to confronting and working with (we would say "managing," but it isn't clear that we can actually do that in any strong sense with such complex and powerful systems) that which is incomprehensible.
., the Enlightenment commitment to rational action based on evidence and induction) work well at Level I, and fairly well at Level II, where the connections among goals, technologies, and social and cultural context are often visible. 122 Chapter 6 At Level III, however, all worldviews, even the most privileged, such as the science discourse and liberal democracy, are partial, and a failure to explore different worldviews and identify appropriate options can rapidly become ineffective or even fatal. So long as the Greenland weather behaved like European weather, the Christian and European cultural worldview served the settlers well: they were in a Level I and Level II world. But when climate changed, they were thrown into a Level III situation-highly unpredictable and contingent-and failed to adjust. The intellectual confusion that occurs when one applies Level I and Level II coherent worldviews to a Level III condition is quite evident today in the climate-change arena and in the infatuation with "carbon footprints."lo For example, a professor writing in the Medical Journal of Australia recently called on the Australian government to impose a carbon charge of $5,000 on every birth, to charge annual carbon fees of $800 per child, and to provide a carbon credit for sterilization. 11 Articles in New Scientist have suggested that obesity is mostly a problem because of the additional carbon load it imposes on the environment,12 that a major social cost of divorce is the additional carbon burden resulting from splitting up families, and that pets should be should be eliminated because of their carbon footprints ("Man's best friend, it turns out, is the planet's enemy").13 A recent study from the Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Development argues that males have a disproportionately larger impact on global warming. 14 ("Women cause considerably fewer carbon dioxide emissions than men, and thus considerably less climate change.")
The continual temptation offered by the Enlightenment is to escape this dilemma through resort to ideas and ideals of progress, especially the expansion of knowledge about our world. Yet, as we have emphasized, the cognitive networks we inhabit, and the systems we are seeking to understand, are not out there waiting to be revealed in ever more detail; they are created by the very queries we pose to the system, and the very cognitive network within which we gather data and process knowledge. Any framework or model that can be understood, and that is based on a coherent worldview, is by definition at best only a partial truth. Once could almost say "If you can understand it, it isn't True; and if it is True, you can't understand it." Meaning, truth, and values, therefore, do not arise from first principles; they are functions of the state of the cognitive network-of our ordering of information and knowledge-and thus are contingent and continually regenerated in a reflexive dialog between cognitive systems posing queries to, and thus generating configurations of, external complex systems.
The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction by Mark Lilla
Berlin Wall, coherent worldview, creative destruction, George Santayana, illegal immigration, Isaac Newton, liberation theology, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, urban planning, women in the workforce
And once again, after five centuries, things settled down, and today there is a new moral-political orthodoxy we can call individualism. Though it lacks theological trappings, it actually owes a great deal to Jesus, who was a libertarian avant la lettre prophesying the final triumph of the individual soul and its inner experience over the domination of traditional communal bonds and illegitimate religious authority. The new orthodoxy brought a perfectly coherent worldview that makes sense of the human condition (we are bodies that are born and die alone), of what lies beyond (nothing), and of what we need to be happy (carpe diem). And it also, not insignificantly, keeps the peace, since war is bad for business. The new catechism has not reached everyone, and resistance in certain regions is strong and sometimes armed. But if these retrogrades do not convert, their children or grandchildren eventually will.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Abraham Verghese
Stanford launched a search for a position that fit my interests exactly, for a neurosurgeon-neuroscientist focused on techniques of neural modulation. One of my junior residents came up to me and said, “I just heard from the bosses—if they hire you, you’re going to be my faculty mentor!” “Shhhh,” I said. “Don’t jinx it.” It felt to me as if the individual strands of biology, morality, life, and death were finally beginning to weave themselves into, if not a perfect moral system, a coherent worldview and a sense of my place in it. Doctors in highly charged fields met patients at inflected moments, the most authentic moments, where life and identity were under threat; their duty included learning what made that particular patient’s life worth living, and planning to save those things if possible—or to allow the peace of death if not. Such power required deep responsibility, sharing in guilt and recrimination.
My Start-Up Life: What A by Ben Casnocha, Marc Benioff
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business process, call centre, coherent worldview, creative destruction, David Brooks, don't be evil, fear of failure, hiring and firing, index fund, informal economy, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Lao Tzu, Menlo Park, Paul Graham, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sand Hill Road, side project, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, superconnector, technology bubble, traffic fines, Year of Magical Thinking
This business model, coupled with my own experiences dealing with slow government bureaucracies, set off a spark. 18 THE FIRST AXIOM OF BUSINESS 19 Brainstorm: The Fringe-Thoughts List: Where Most Great Ideas Develop Random ideas, quotes, people I need to talk to, a funny conversation overheard at the table next to me at my favorite café down the street, a book recommendation from a review in the paper, a gift idea, a potential blog post, a short-term task, a long-term project, and most important . . . new business ideas! Each day dozens of fringe thoughts enter our brain. They may or may not be relevant to our main work. They materialize in various stages of development. I try to capture, record, review, refine, and publish (on my blog) as many of these fringe thoughts as I can. Besides making you a better conversationalist, organizing your fringe thoughts is one way toward a more intellectually coherent worldview. Among the various repositories and lists for such thoughts should be “New Business Ideas.” Each time you see something that could be done better, write it down on this list. Don’t be careful. Recording fringe thoughts is an exercise in creativity, and research shows that the minute we try to add a filter to our thinking—for coherence, approval, or completeness— is the minute the ideas tap goes cold.
Only Americans Burn in Hell by Jarett Kobek
AltaVista, coherent worldview, corporate governance, crony capitalism, Donald Trump, East Village, ghettoisation, Google Chrome, haute couture, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, Jeff Bezos, mandelbrot fractal, MITM: man-in-the-middle, pre–internet, sexual politics, Skype, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996
He suggests there’s a cover-up of Hillary Clinton’s lovers, with the implication being that there’s scores of women who’ve had the former Secretary of State’s tongue in their birth canals. He says that Clinton is old and sick and that there’s a cover-up about her impending death. He claims there are 80 million illegal immigrants living in the US. Things are different than back in 1997 AD. The coherent worldview has changed and encompassed some very dubious thoughts. There’s an edge in this interview that’s nowhere to be seen in the early days. This is a person who knows that he’ll never be understood. While Michael Kinsley sneered at Drudge for an hour in 1997 AD, he was wrapped in a delusion about the nature of his job. He thought that he was a person who offered the world a valuable service, but actually, all he did was lure people into looking at advertisements.
Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency by Joshua Green
4chan, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bernie Sanders, business climate, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, coherent worldview, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate raider, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, Fractional reserve banking, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, liberation theology, low skilled workers, Nate Silver, Nelson Mandela, nuclear winter, obamacare, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, quantitative hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, speech recognition, urban planning
“I remember telling Steve, ‘We’re going to rage against the machine,’” said Nunberg. “And Steve just loved it. I still remember his reply. He goes, ‘That’s amazing, brother.’” Although neither of them could have had any inkling of where they would end up, Bannon would provide Trump with two great services in the years ahead—services without which Trump probably wouldn’t be president. First, he supplied Trump with a fully formed, internally coherent worldview that accommodated Trump’s own feelings about trade and foreign threats, what Trump eventually dubbed “America first” nationalism. One aspect in particular that preoccupied Bannon—the menace of illegal immigration—was something Trump would use to galvanize his supporters from the moment he descended the Trump Tower escalator on June 16, 2015, to declare his candidacy. By then, Bannon had left banking and Hollywood to take over the combative right-wing populist website Breitbart News after the death of its founder, Andrew Breitbart, in 2012.
Reaching for Utopia: Making Sense of an Age of Upheaval by Jason Cowley
anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, coherent worldview, Corn Laws, corporate governance, crony capitalism, David Brooks, deindustrialization, deskilling, Donald Trump, Etonian, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, illegal immigration, liberal world order, Neil Kinnock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, old-boy network, open borders, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Right to Buy, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, University of East Anglia
It was emblematic that, when May sacked George Osborne at the start of her premiership, she told him to get to know the party better. The vote for Brexit has unlocked possibilities for her and created an opportunity, she believes, for a new political economy. It was Brexit that opened the door of 10 Downing Street to her, not least because the alternatives – Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom, Michael Gove – were so wayward and divisive. Unlike Johnson, who seems to have no consistent or coherent world-view, May believes in an interventionist, even moral, state. ‘The key thing about her is her belief in the efficacy and, so to speak, compensatory function of the state, the important positive functions – you might even say the moral functions of the state,’ said the philosopher John Gray. * * * When I visited Theresa May one morning in her office in Downing Street, we discussed her trip to Davos, Switzerland, in January 2017.
Everything Is Obvious: *Once You Know the Answer by Duncan J. Watts
active measures, affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Black Swan, business cycle, butterfly effect, Carmen Reinhart, Cass Sunstein, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, East Village, easy for humans, difficult for computers, edge city, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, framing effect, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, high batting average, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, industrial cluster, interest rate swap, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, lake wobegon effect, Laplace demon, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, medical malpractice, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, Network effects, oil shock, packet switching, pattern recognition, performance metric, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, prediction markets, pre–internet, RAND corporation, random walk, RFID, school choice, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, supply-chain management, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, ultimatum game, urban planning, Vincenzo Peruggia: Mona Lisa, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, X Prize
So if something that seemed so obvious turned out to be wrong, what else that we believe to be self-evident now will seem wrong to us in the future? Once we start to examine our own beliefs, in fact, it becomes increasingly unclear even how the various beliefs we espouse at any given time fit together. Most people, for example, consider their own views about politics to be derived from a single coherent worldview: “I’m a moderate liberal” or “I’m a diehard conservative,” and so on. If that were true, however, then one would expect that people who identify as liberals would tend to espouse the “liberal” perspective on most matters, and that conservatives would espouse a consistently different view. Yet research finds that regardless of whether people identify themselves as liberals or conservatives, what they think about any one issue, like, say, abortion, has relatively little relation to what they believe about other issues, such as the death penalty or illegal immigration.
The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, assortative mating, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, central bank independence, centre right, coherent worldview, corporate governance, credit crunch, deglobalization, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, falling living standards, first-past-the-post, gender pay gap, gig economy, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, market friction, mass immigration, mittelstand, Neil Kinnock, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, North Sea oil, obamacare, old-boy network, open borders, Peter Singer: altruism, post-industrial society, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, shareholder value, Skype, Sloane Ranger, stem cell, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, upwardly mobile, wages for housework, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, World Values Survey
They are usually strongly concerned with social justice and unfairness, and also suspicious of appeals to religion, tradition or human nature to justify any departure from equal treatment—differences between men and women, for example, are regarded as almost entirely cultural rather than biological. This is also what some people call the secular liberal baby boomer worldview in particularly pure form—and it is in many ways an attractive and coherent worldview. It is also, for historical reasons to do with empire and post-imperial guilt, unusually ingrained in the British cultural and political elite—the default position in much of higher education and significant parts of the media. But it is very unlikely ever to become a majority worldview. Most traditional societies are ‘sociocentric’, meaning they place the needs of groups and institutions first.
The Road to Character by David Brooks
Cass Sunstein, coherent worldview, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, follow your passion, George Santayana, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, New Journalism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, Snapchat, Steve Jobs, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile
The familiar picture we have of Johnson comes from Boswell’s magisterial Life of Johnson. Boswell was an epicurean and an acolyte and knew Johnson only in his old age. Boswell’s Johnson is anything but wretched. He is joyful, witty, complete, and compelling. In Boswell’s account we find a man who has achieved some integration. But this was a construction. Through writing and mental effort he constructed a coherent worldview. He brought himself to some coherence without simplification. He became trustworthy and dependable. Johnson also used his writing to try to serve and elevate his readers. “It is always a writer’s duty to make the world better,” Johnson once wrote, and by maturity he had found a way. Humanism How did he do this? Well, he did not do it alone any more than any of us does. Much of our character talk today is individualistic, like all our talk, but character is formed in community.
The Confidence Game: The Psychology of the Con and Why We Fall for It Every Time by Maria Konnikova
attribution theory, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Cass Sunstein, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, endowment effect, epigenetics, hindsight bias, lake wobegon effect, lateral thinking, libertarian paternalism, Milgram experiment, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, post-work, publish or perish, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, side project, Skype, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, tulip mania, Walter Mischel
And the reason it happens—and often happens to the most intelligent of people (note, Sullivan would say, the typical cult recruit: young, smart, sophisticated, savvy)—is that human nature is wired toward creating meaning out of meaninglessness, embracing belief over doubt. “There are certain essential things we all have in common,” Sullivan said. “There’s a deep desire for faith, there’s a deep desire to feel there’s someone up there who really cares about what’s going on and intervenes in our life. There’s a desire to have a coherent worldview: there’s a rhyme and reason for everything we do, and all the terrible things that happen to people—people die, children get leukemia—there’s some reason for it. And here’s this guru who says, ‘I know exactly the reason.’” It’s the reason behind all cons, from the smallest to these, the deepest. It is our need to hold on to belief, to meaning—logic be damned—that continues to fuel the great cons of the world, even as their contours shift with the times.
March of the Lemmings: Brexit in Print and Performance 2016–2019 by Stewart Lee
Presumably you remember it from the playground, where Gove-like figures peeped over bullies’ shoulders, urging them to violence from a position of cowardly safety, the Richard Hammond/Jeremy Clarkson dynamic, an eternal archetype, replayed in Trump’s golden office, framed Playboy covers reflected in the smeared lenses of Gove’s steamed-up spectacles. Is it just me or is it hot in here? Gove may be a slave but he is not an idiot. He knows there is no point setting any store by anything Trump says. Trump’s comments do not add up to any coherent worldview. Each emerges in the moment, suitable for that second, and that second alone. In his Gove interview Trump said he hoped to scale down his nuclear arsenal. But as recently as 22 December, in his famous ‘Let It Be an Arms Race’ series of 140-character treatises, Trump declared: ‘The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability.’ Trump’s inaccurate pronouncements about NATO member states’ financial contributions and the ‘illegal’ status of refugees in Germany were accepted and transcribed unchallenged by Gove.
Men Who Hate Women: From Incels to Pickup Artists, the Truth About Extreme Misogyny and How It Affects Us All by Laura Bates
4chan, Ada Lovelace, Boris Johnson, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, Dominic Cummings, Donald Trump, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, gender pay gap, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, off grid, recommendation engine, ride hailing / ride sharing, Snapchat, young professional
I became used to seeing women referred to as foids, barely registered the incitements to initiate misogynistic massacres, skimmed over posts about rape, because they were just so common. Finally, one day, I read a post about giving a foid the violence she deserved, in order to avoid being cucked, and I realised that I understood every word. In short, I got used to it. Or, rather, Alex did. The sense of a coherent worldview and a shared language may be deeply appealing to those who hold extreme prejudices but don’t feel able to express them offline in face-to-face conversations, warns Dr Sugiura, who has studied incel and other manosphere communities. These forms of hatred, she notes, have long pre-dated the internet, but: Online communities and virtual platforms provide the means for these ideas to take shape, take hold and spread.
Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mass incarceration, money market fund, mutually assured destruction, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, single-payer health, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen
By fostering an illusion among the powerless classes that the party can make their interests a priority, it pacifies and thereby defines the style of an opposition party in an inverted totalitarian system. In the process it demonstrates the superior cost-effectiveness of inverted totalitarianism over the crude classic versions. This underscores the contribution of the “public ideology” being promoted by elected Republicans and pseudoconservative ideologues. Although ideologies profess consistency and boast of their coherent “worldview,” there is typically a suppressed, or downplayed subtext in the message. The suppressed component of the prevailing ideology is the political status of corporate power. While the public ideology celebrates economics in the form of “entrepreneurship,” “small start-ups,” and “free enterprise,” it ignores the political significance and power of the corporation. The public ideology of conservatives boasts of their commitment to reducing governmental power; hence the mantras of archaism: returning to “the original Constitution,” ending “social engineering,” and demanding no taxation—even with representation.
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom by Jonathan Haidt
coherent worldview, crack epidemic, delayed gratification, feminist movement, hedonic treadmill, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Peter Singer: altruism, PIHKAL and TIHKAL, placebo effect, prisoner's dilemma, Ralph Waldo Emerson, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), social intelligence, stem cell, telemarketer, the scientific method, twin studies, ultimatum game, Walter Mischel, zero-sum game
Their world was unaligned, and they could not b e c o m e vitally engaged in the larger but ignoble mission of gaining market share at any cost. . . C R O S S - L E V E L C O H E R E N C E T h e word "coherence" literally means holding or sticking together, but it is usually used to refer to a system, an idea, or a worldview whose parts fit together in a consistent and efficient way. Coherent things work well: A coherent worldview can explain almost anything, while an incoherent worldview is hobbled by internal contradictions. A coherent profession, such as genetics, can get on with the business of genetics, while an incoherent profession, like journalism, s p e n d s a lot of time on self-analysis and self-criticism.33 Most people know there's a problem, but they can't agree on what to do about it. Whenever a system can be analyzed at multiple levels, a special kind of coherence occurs when the levels m e s h and mutually interlock.
Strategy: A History by Lawrence Freedman
Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Black Swan, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, centre right, Charles Lindbergh, circulation of elites, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, complexity theory, conceptual framework, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, defense in depth, desegregation, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, endowment effect, Ford paid five dollars a day, framing effect, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, information retrieval, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, lateral thinking, linear programming, loose coupling, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, mental accounting, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Nash equilibrium, Nelson Mandela, Norbert Wiener, Norman Mailer, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, performance metric, Philip Mirowski, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Richard Thaler, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, shareholder value, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Davenport, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Torches of Freedom, Toyota Production System, transaction costs, ultimatum game, unemployed young men, Upton Sinclair, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game
Bernays’s contribution was to demonstrate that the impulses need not only be to shape thinking about underlying political ideologies but also to frame more specific issues. During the course of the political struggles of the 1950s and 1960s over race and war, strategies came to focus increasingly on how to create the right impression. The totalitarian ideologies of Communism and Nazism attempted to demonstrate in practice the suggestibility of the broad masses to political formulas devised by a privileged elite. They sought deliberately to insert coherent worldviews into the consciousness of whole populations and enforce their dictates, sliding over the evident anomalies and inconsistencies and gaps that developed with lived experience. Their success, moreover, owed much to the fearful consequences of any shows of dissent, doubt, or deviation from the party line. Once the coercive spell was broken, the underlying ideas struggled to survive on their own.
As the movement faced difficulty in getting their views accepted as suitable for textbooks, the demand had to be watered down to evolution being taught as a contested and controversial theory whose rightness should not be taken for granted, especially when other compelling theories were available as alternatives. In the end, the December 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District court case decided against intelligent design on the grounds that it was insufficiently distinctive from creationism to deserve a place on the science curriculum.19 The case demonstrates the difficulty with the “paradigm” paradigm. Neither evolution nor intelligent design referred to fully coherent world-views. Among evolutionary biologists there were substantial differences but no sense of crisis: evolution was accepted as a powerful theory that kept on pointing researchers in fruitful directions. In Kuhn’s terms, within the dominant matrix there were still a number of exemplary paradigms under challenge. Nor did intelligent design base its case on anomalous experimental evidence. Its own paradigm did not stand up to scientific scrutiny.
The Divided Nation: A History of Germany, 1918-1990 by Mary Fulbrook
Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, coherent worldview, collective bargaining, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, joint-stock company, land reform, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, open borders, Peace of Westphalia, Sinatra Doctrine, union organizing, unorthodox policies
We shall look at each of these in more detail in a moment, but it is worth introducing the range covered by the terms dissent (disagreement with prevailing orthodoxy) and opposition (working actively to transform the situation). From the actually rather limited June Uprising of 1953 until the upheavals of 1989, there were no mass protests which might Page 267 warrant the term 'opposition'. There were individuals opposing Ulbricht's and Honecker's policies from within, although these posed little serious challenge from the late 1950s to the 1980S; there were also expressions of a range of coherent world-views which differed explicitly from official Marxist-Leninist ideology and which might be categorized as 'dissent' in one form or another. These views included the humanistic Marxism of a number of intellectuals pursuing what has been called the tradition of the 'Third Way'; the religious views of the relatively large number of practising Protestants and the smaller group of Catholics living in the GDR; and, eventually, the diffuse but unorthodox views of a growing number of peace activists, environmentalists, and adherents of an 'alternative' culture in the 1980s.
In Pursuit of Privilege: A History of New York City's Upper Class and the Making of a Metropolis by Clifton Hood
affirmative action, British Empire, coherent worldview, David Brooks, death of newspapers, deindustrialization, family office, Golden Gate Park, Google Earth, jitney, mass immigration, new economy, New Urbanism, P = NP, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Scientific racism, selection bias, Steven Levy, The Great Good Place, Thorstein Veblen, trade route, urban planning, We are the 99%, white flight
In so doing, they restored a bipolar and hierarchical opposition between the haves and have-nots that had not existed since the eighteenth-century dichotomy between polite and impolite society had eroded earlier in the nineteenth century under pressure of rapid urban growth, the expansion of the wealth and size of the upper class, and the appearance of a middle class. Together with a set of ideas about urban leadership, economic development, poverty, and immigration that had been around for several decades but that until now had never coalesced into a coherent worldview, the memory of the draft riots cemented the emergence of a moral community that was led by the upper class but encompassed the middle class and respectable workers. The upper class emerged from the Civil War with two intertwined roles: as the bulwark against the social volcano and as agents of a paternalistic society that would give the lower orders enough of the rudiments of civilization to defang them.
This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein
1960s counterculture, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, British Empire, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, cognitive dissonance, coherent worldview, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, crony capitalism, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, different worldview, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, energy security, energy transition, equal pay for equal work, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, financial deregulation, food miles, Food sovereignty, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, ice-free Arctic, immigration reform, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jones Act, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, market fundamentalism, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, new economy, Nixon shock, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, open borders, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, post-oil, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rana Plaza, renewable energy transition, Ronald Reagan, smart grid, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, Ted Kaczynski, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, wages for housework, walkable city, Washington Consensus, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks
Because what is overwhelming about the climate challenge is that it requires breaking so many rules at once—rules written into national laws and trade agreements, as well as powerful unwritten rules that tell us that no government can increase taxes and stay in power, or say no to major investments no matter how damaging, or plan to gradually contract those parts of our economies that endanger us all. And yet each of those rules emerged out of the same, coherent worldview. If that worldview is delegitimized, then all of the rules within it become much weaker and more vulnerable. This is another lesson from social movement history across the political spectrum: when fundamental change does come, it’s generally not in legislative dribs and drabs spread out evenly over decades. Rather it comes in spasms of rapid-fire lawmaking, with one breakthrough after another.
Fall; Or, Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson
Ada Lovelace, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, back-to-the-land, bitcoin, blockchain, cloud computing, coherent worldview, computer vision, crossover SUV, cryptocurrency, defense in depth, demographic transition, distributed ledger, drone strike, easy for humans, difficult for computers, game design, index fund, Jaron Lanier, life extension, microbiome, Network effects, off grid, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, planetary scale, ride hailing / ride sharing, sensible shoes, short selling, Silicon Valley, telepresence, telepresence robot, telerobotics, The Hackers Conference, Turing test, Works Progress Administration
“Well, you know, let’s say, for example, you’re trying to sell a tribe of Bronze Age shepherds on monotheism . . . you begin with, ‘Okay, chaps, there’s lots of different gods, but if you go all in with this one particular god, you’re signing on to a winning squad, you’re going to defeat the other tribes and control more grazing land.’ Which works, because they have an orderly sheep-based economy in which the rules of the game are clear and everyone can agree on basic ideas such as ‘If our animals eat more grass we have a better time of it.’ But those people, the people across the river, are in a very unsettled state and nothing really makes sense to them, and so trying to get them to buy into a coherent worldview of any sort is a mug’s game.” Julian translated: “Bronze Age shepherds may have been just one step above cavemen, but at least they were reality based.” “Very much so,” Enoch agreed. “And that goes on being more or less true for quite a while. Now, theater, and later movies, eventually get us into the realm of shared hallucinations. But those are neatly boxed in both space and time, and there’s a bit of ceremony to them.