A confession: I visited the Great Barrier Reef a couple of years ago and it was the most stunning experience of my life. The beauty, intricacy, diversity, were amazing. The experience of immersion in this underwater world was and is vivid – literally alive. But I felt profoundly uneasy participating iin the industrial system that … Continue reading How to deviate from climate change destruction – the case of the Great Barrier Reef
Month: September 2009
Why Psychology fails to explain the Global Financial Crisis
Listening to Australian historian Robert Mann's recent lecture at the Melbourne Writers' Festival on whether neo-liberalism has a future, I was struck by the deficiency of the rush to psychological explanation. In seeking to analyse the supposed inadequacies of the free-market ideology, there is an increasing tendency to rely on psychology as the master discipline, … Continue reading Why Psychology fails to explain the Global Financial Crisis
The Social Sciences – two ways of looking at a chess board
At Crooked Timber there's a nice reference to Italo Calvino's great book Invisible Cities, in which there's an allusion to the different ways we try to make sense of the world.
Why do we disagree about Climate Change?
In his foreword to a recent collection on the social construction of climate change, Nicholas Onuf writes: 'As a social constructon, climate change is no one thing. Instead it is an ensemble of constitutive processes, yielding an ever changing panoply of agents and insitutions, fixed in place only for the moment.' Mary E Pettenger (ed) … Continue reading Why do we disagree about Climate Change?
The decline and fall of declining and falling
Edward Gibbon made a famous claim in chapter 3 of The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that “If a man were called to fix the period in the history of the world, during which the condition of the human race was most happy and prosperous, he would, without hesitation, name … Continue reading The decline and fall of declining and falling
How Non-profits can benefit from Twitter
Marketing blogger Seth Godin has expressed his dismay that non-profit organisations don’t appear in the top 100 Twitter users. He thinks this is a tragic lost opportunity for marketing and he may be right. After all, we can guess that Twitter is working fine for the likes of Ashton Kucher, Britney Spears and Perez Hilton … Continue reading How Non-profits can benefit from Twitter
Accountability is the problem, now what’s the solution?
Individualist social organisation operates on the assumption that accountability structures and measures are the problem, not the solution. They act as a brake on the forward momentum of heroic risk. Who dares wins. The only accountability required is clearly success or failure in the market. Accountability is an obstacle to success that needs to be … Continue reading Accountability is the problem, now what’s the solution?
How to choose the best online citation tools
Just as I finally get used to loving Zotero, it looks like Mendeley is set to claim my heart. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, these are on-line citation tools for academic research and writing. They use various different methods for collecting and manipulating metadata relating to books, journals, papers and websites – … Continue reading How to choose the best online citation tools
Is Grid-Group cultural theory really a theory?
It was a trick of course. Yesterday I used Grid-Group cultural theory to ‘predict’ the Fatalist viewpoint of Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan. But like the magician who successfully predicted the lottery numbers, it’s more about sleight of hand than about actual magic… Despite the name, cultural theory isn’t really a theory at … Continue reading Is Grid-Group cultural theory really a theory?
For my next trick I will try to understand Nicholas Taleb
The writer/trader/professor Nicholas Taleb has been puzzling a number of commentators recently and Grid-group Cultural theory also provides a clear context for his approach: he is a Fatalist activist who is looking for a political constituency that understands Fatalism. The British Conservative Party may well not be it. From the Cultural Theory perspective, Taleb has … Continue reading For my next trick I will try to understand Nicholas Taleb