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Hirschman, A.O.: The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism before Its Triumph (Paperback and eBook) | Princeton University Press
"In this volume, Albert Hirschman reconstructs the intellectual climate of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to illuminate the intricate ideological transformation that occurred, wherein the pursuit of material interests--so long condemned as the deadly sin of avarice--was assigned the role of containing the unruly and destructive passions of man. Hirschman here offers a new interpretation for the rise of capitalism, one that emphasizes the continuities between old and new, in contrast to the assumption of a sharp break that is a common feature of both Marxian and Weberian thinking. Among the insights presented here is the ironical finding that capitalism was originally supposed to accomplish exactly what was soon denounced as its worst feature: the repression of the passions in favor of the "harmless," if one-dimensional, interests of commercial life. To portray this lengthy ideological change as an endogenous process, Hirschman draws on the writings of a large number of thinkers, including Montesquieu, Sir James Steuart, and Adam Smith."
book  publisher  history  economics  capitalism  ideas 
october 2017 by tsuomela
A parallel to Popper's three worlds may be found.
memes  dreams  themes  ideas  diffusion  sharing 
december 2015 by tsuomela
Aeon Magazine – the digital magazine of ideas and culture
"Aeon is an online magazine about nature, culture and ideas. We launched in London in September 2012, championing bold thinking and fine writing. Every weekday we publish a long-form essay, free to all."
magazine  online  science  culture  ideas 
october 2013 by tsuomela
Atul Gawande: How Do Good Ideas Spread? : The New Yorker
"In our era of electronic communications, we’ve come to expect that important innovations will spread quickly. Plenty do: think of in-vitro fertilization, genomics, and communications technologies themselves. But there’s an equally long list of vital innovations that have failed to catch on. The puzzle is why."
innovation  diffusion  ideas  novelty  communication  p2p 
august 2013 by tsuomela
The Quiet Realization of Ivan Illich's Ideas in the Contemporary Commons Movement | David Bollier
"You could say that the commons constitutes the great invisible sector of the economy and human society.  Or as Illich would have put it, the commons is vernacular culture at work.  It’s important to stress that the commons is not a resource.  It’s a resource plus a community plus that community’s particular rules and norms for managing the resource.  You could say that the commons is a socio-ecological-political-cultural paradigm and worldview."
commons  value  education  ideas 
august 2013 by tsuomela
Read This: Powering the Dream - Boing Boing
"Energy isn't just what it is. Energy is what we have decided we want it to be. Sometimes, that fact leads us to make good decisions. Sometimes, it leads us into horrible mistakes. More often, we get a little of both at the same time. But we can't plan out the future of energy without taking a good, hard look how our beliefs and cultural ideas have created its past. We have to come to terms with the fact that our decisions about energy aren't guided by pure economics or pure science, and never have been. If we ignore that, then we're doomed to keep making sloppy choices, or become frozen in a standoff of ideologies disguised as fact—and neither is something we can afford to do right now.

Human society—American society—is reflected in the infrastructures it builds, Madrigal writes. Powering the Dream is a book that makes that fact abundantly clear. "
book  review  energy  technology  ideology  ideas  infrastructure 
july 2012 by tsuomela
Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas
"This phenomenon is one of the most important things you can understand about startups. You'd expect big startup ideas to be attractive, but actually they tend to repel you. And that has a bunch of consequences. It means these ideas are invisible to most people who try to think of startup ideas, because their subconscious filters them out. Even the most ambitious people are probably best off approaching them obliquely."
business  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  startup  ideas  inspiration 
april 2012 by tsuomela
Five Darwinian/Posthumanist Theses « Larval Subjects .
"It’s no exaggeration to suggest that Darwin’s account of speciation is the most revolutionary idea in the last two hundred years. In claiming this, I am not original, for this is also the thesis of Dennett in Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. I will never have words fine enough to capture the greatness of Darwin, but nonetheless it is important to at least attempt the articulation of what is so revolutionary in his thought." Annotated link
evolution  ideas  object-oriented-ontology  objects  intellectual  history 
april 2012 by tsuomela
PopTech : Duncan Watts - Social contagion: What do we really know?
"Again, we don’t know for sure, but we suspect that the analogy with biological disease is badly flawed. For example, whereas it is probably true that most people are susceptible to HIV, our susceptibility to any particular idea, product, musical artists, etc. varies tremendously, depending on our tastes, backgrounds, and circumstances. Unlike for influenza, to which you’re either exposed or not exposed, even the ideas you do encounter have to compete for attention with everything else that you’re exposed to. And unlike models of disease, which assume that disease spreads exclusively from person to person, information can be disseminated by the media and advertising as well as by word of mouth.

All of these differences, along with many others, could dramatically alter the prospects for social epidemics, as well as introduce other mechanisms entirely by which social change can come about, yet models of social influence reflect very little of this added complexity"
social-contagion  ideas  networks  influence  persuasion  society  epidemics  via:cshalizi 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Adam Smith and the Invisible Hand: From Metaphor to Myth · Econ Journal Watch: Adam Smith, invisible hand, metaphor
"Adam Smith and the ‘invisible hand’ are nearly synonymous in modern economic thinking. Adam Smith is strongly associated with the invisible hand, understood as a general rule that people in realising their self-interests unintentionally benefit the public good. The attribution to Smith is challengeable. Adam Smith’s use of the metaphor was much more modest
people(AdamSmith)  history  economics  ideology  invisible  metaphor  ideas 
march 2012 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias : Dear Young Eccentric
"Think of it this way. When some folks go out of their way to show off their defiance and rebellion, others go out of their way to publicly squash such rebellion, to assert their dominance. But if you are not overtly rebellious, you can get away with a lot of abstract idea rebellion — few folks will even notice such deviations, and fewer still will care. So, ask yourself, do you want to look like a rebel, or do you want to be a rebel?"
rebellion  weird  ideas  eccentricity  creativity  novelty  behavior 
january 2012 by tsuomela
Finding Your Next Big (Adjacent) Idea - James L. McQuivey - Harvard Business Review
To get this right, you have to think right. The idea of adjacent possibilities started with evolutionary biologist Stuart Kauffman, who used it to explain how such powerful biological innovations as sight and flight came into being. More recently, Steven Johnson, in Where Good Ideas Come From, showed that it's also applicable to science, culture, and technology. The core of the idea: People arrive at the best new ideas when they combine prior (adjacent) ideas in new ways. Most combinations fail
creativity  innovation  business  ideas  adjacent  possibility 
september 2011 by tsuomela
I Love You but You're Going to Hell
"The goal is not to convert people to the other side. Rather, it is to overcome the mutual bewilderment and demonization that can happen when each side hears the arguments of the other. It is to get over the kind of assumption that anyone who holds those other positions must be stupid or evil."
weblog-individual  ideas  history  intellectual  conflict  culture-war  understanding 
august 2011 by tsuomela
markets as… «
"OK, this is admittedly very, very loose — but here are some different characterizations of markets, sort of a rough and naive meta-taxonomy of markets:"
markets  metaphor  list  ideas 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Adaptation « Easily Distracted
"Another concept that I haven’t tried yet but which seems like a natural possibility is guiding students through the preparatory work that an author or producer might do if they were adapting a body of knowledge, a setting or a story for some kind of media besides scholarly publication. Say, what kinds of researched knowledge you might need if you were going to write a script, make costumes, find locations, fine-tune dialogue, craft audio, and so on for a film working with a particular historical setting. "
teaching  adaptation  pedagogy  ideas 
april 2011 by tsuomela
Organic Startup Ideas
"So if you want to come up with organic startup ideas, I'd encourage you to focus more on the idea part and less on the startup part. Just fix things that seem broken, regardless of whether it seems like the problem is important enough to build a company on. If you keep pursuing such threads it would be hard not to end up making something of value to a lot of people, and when you do, surprise, you've got a company."
business  startup  ideas 
april 2011 by tsuomela
The SF Site: SF Masterworks Reviews Archive
Short reviews of the Orion SF Masterworks series of books.
sf  fiction  lists  publisher  book-club  ideas 
january 2011 by tsuomela
The Smart Set
The Smart Set is an online magazine covering culture and ideas, arts and science, global and national affairs — everything from literature to shopping, medicine to sports, philosophy to food. The Smart Set strives to present big ideas on the small, the not-so-small, and the everyday.
online  magazine  literature  ideas  culture  arts  science  writing 
january 2011 by tsuomela
All Our Ideas - A Suggestion Box for the Digital Age
"All Our Ideas is a platform that enables groups to collect and prioritize ideas in a transparent, democratic, and bottom-up way. It’s a suggestion box for the digital age."
collaboration  ideas  crowdsourcing  tool  polling  internet  web2.0 
january 2011 by tsuomela
Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors.

We believe that...

• A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
• A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.
crowdsourcing  funding  creativity  business  community  ideas  projects  social 
october 2010 by tsuomela
Forget Brainstorming - Newsweek
What you think you know about fostering creativity is wrong. A look at what really works.
creativity  innovation  brainstorming  education  ideas  psychology 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Front Page | Institute for New Economic Thinking
The Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) is an organization created to promote changes in economic theory and practice through conferences, research grants, joint ventures with academic and research institutions and other education initiatives. The Institute seeks to create an environment nourished by open discourse and empower the next generation of scholars with the necessary support to accelerate and advance new and important thinking on economic issues.
economics  institutes  research  finance  politics  ideas 
july 2010 by tsuomela
Big-Tent Problems « Easily Distracted
So here’s one thing I was thinking about: what intellectual issues and questions by their nature require discussion between a very heterogenous group of disciplines and intellects for innovative solutions or some kind of forward motion to emerge?

Almost any problem or question could probably benefit from having more than one perspective or angle devoted to it, but for many academic questions or policy problems, the natural range of useful contributions ought to be fairly narrow....I’m focused here just on intellectual and applied problems where heterogeneity in methods, bodies of knowledge and perspective are a requirement for progress. A few examples, and I’d be glad to hear of more along these lines: SETI, artificial intelligence, economic development, education, cultural creation
dialogue  problem-solving  diversity  ideas  idea-generation 
june 2010 by tsuomela
n+1: On Your Marx
The motor of accumulation has been sputtering for nearly four decades, and its coughs can be heard again now that the roar of combusting paper wealth is dying down. This doesn’t mean capitalism or even growth is at an end. Economists of all kinds have pinned their hopes on the transformation of laboring and saving Chinese into hardy consumers. In any case, the US consumer—a ravening appetite in a paper house—appears to be finished as the world’s buyer of last resort. It would add a nice dialectical twist to the future history of our period if it could be said that, around the time the post-Maoist Chinese took up shopping, the post-bubble Americans turned to studying Marx.
economics  recession  marxism  marx  karl  ideas  history  left 
june 2010 by tsuomela
Hope — Crooked Timber
The bigger point for me is that after decades in which the left has been on the defensive, it’s time for a politics of hope. We need hope to mobilise a positive alternative to the fear, anger and tribalism on offer from the right. Centrist pragmatism provides nothing to match the enthusiasm that can be driven by fear and anger, as we have seen.
politics  philosophy  ideas  future  hope  liberal  liberalism  inequality  poverty 
april 2010 by tsuomela
After the dead horses — Crooked Timber
We’ve had a fair bit of fun here lately, pointing out the silliness of those who are supposed to be the intellectual leaders of the right, in its libertarian, neoconservative and Republican tribalist versions. But, as quite a few commenters have pointed out (one using the same, maybe Oz-specific, phrase that occurred to me) the exercise does seem to savor a bit of flogging dead horses.

It seems to me necessary to go beyond this, which was one reason for my post on hope the other day. To make progress, we need to reassess where we stand and then think about where to go next. T
conservatism  politics  philosophy  libertarian  ideas  future  hope 
april 2010 by tsuomela
Measure for Measure - The Boston Globe
Literary criticism could be one of our best tools for understanding the human condition. But first, it needs a radical change: embracing science
literature  criticism  critical-theory  theory  science  two-cultures  culture  ideas 
february 2010 by tsuomela
The Daily Monthly
The Daily Monthly is Dave Munger's multi-layered exploration of ideas and issues affecting all of us today.
One post per day, one topic per month
weblog-individual  journalism  ideas  genre 
february 2010 by tsuomela
American Exceptionalism Strikes Again | Angry Bear
Comments on an graph comparing international health-care outcomes based on cost, doctors visits, etc. Puts a lot of information into a unique graph.
health-care  medicine  reform  visualization  graphics  information  statistics  international  comparison  design  ideas  inspiration 
december 2009 by tsuomela
Idea Index | The Buckminster Fuller Challenge
The Idea Index serves as a tool to educate, network, and help solve problems. As an educational tool, the Index is full of hopeful, exciting ideas and solutions to pressing problems. As a networking tool, the Index allows site visitors to contact the project leaders, leave a constructive and/or encouraging comment and connect with one another. It presents a fully searchable database of socially-responsible initiatives, in all stages of development, in need of further funding and support.
design  sustainability  technology  innovation  ideas  environment  science  resources  contest  futurism  future  fuller  buckminster  visionary 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Tracing information flow on a global scale using Internet chain-letter data — PNAS
Although information, news, and opinions continuously circulate in the worldwide social network, the actual mechanics of how any single piece of information spreads on a global scale have been a mystery. Here, we trace such information-spreading processes at a person-by-person level using methods to reconstruct the propagation of massively circulated Internet chain letters. We find that rather than fanning out widely, reaching many people in very few steps according to “small-world” principles, the progress of these chain letters proceeds in a narrow but very deep tree-like pattern, continuing for several hundred steps. This suggests a new and more complex picture for the spread of information through a social network. We describe a probabilistic model based on network clustering and asynchronous response times that produces trees with this characteristic structure on social-network data.
information-cascade  information-science  information  communication  email  dissemination  viral  networks  network-analysis  ideas  rumor  internet  circulation  epidemics  diffusion  research  paper  probability  model  social-networks 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Chain letters reveal surprising circulation patterns
Contrary to predictions that large-scale information spreads exponentially, like an explosive epidemic, the researchers found that the letter did not reach a large number of individuals in a few steps. Rather, it took hundreds of steps of people forwarding the e-mail on to reach the 20,000 who signed the found copies.
information-cascade  information-science  information  communication  email  dissemination  viral  networks  network-analysis  ideas  rumor  internet  circulation  epidemics  diffusion 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Searching for Value in Ludicrous Ideas - Allison Arieff Blog -
That’s why I am so enamored with the work of inventor/author/cartoonist/former urban planner Steven M. Johnson, a sort of R. Crumb meets R. Buckminster Fuller. Johnson is a former urban planner, and his work tends toward the nodes where social issues intersect with design and urban planning issues.

In discussing his often fantastical, sometimes silly, sometimes visionary concepts, he has said, “If I could use two words to describe what it is that I enjoy it is that I love to be sneakily outrageous . . . [It may be that] I have decided an idea has no practical worth and would never be likely to be adopted seriously (like most of my ideas), but I like it anyway.”
design  invention  ideas  idea-generation  drawing 
may 2009 by tsuomela
What's Next - 10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now - TIME
# Jobs Are the New Assets
# Recycling the Suburbs
# The New Calvinism
# Reinstating The Interstate
# Amortality
# Africa: Open for Business
# The Rent-a-Country
# Biobanks
# Survival Stores
# Ecological Intelligence
future  predictions  ideas 
march 2009 by tsuomela
Overcoming Bias: A New Day
Sometime in the next week - January 1st if you have that available, or maybe January 3rd or 4th if the weekend is more convenient - I suggest you hold a New Day, where you don't do anything old.

Don't read any book you've read before. Don't read any author you've read before. Don't visit any website you've visited before. Don't play any game you've played before. Don't listen to familiar music that you already know you'll like. If you go on a walk, walk along a new path even if you have to drive to a different part of the city for your walk. Don't go to any restaurant you've been to before, order a dish that you haven't had before. Talk to new people (even if you have to find them in an IRC channel) about something you don't spend much time discussing.
inspiration  novelty  ideals  ideas 
january 2009 by tsuomela
Let there be markets: The evangelical roots of economics—By Gordon Bigelow (Harper's Magazine)
Neoclassical economics tends to downplay the importance of human institutions, seeing instead a system of flows and exchanges that are governed by an inherent equilibrium. Predicated on the belief that markets operate in a scientifically knowable fashion, it sees them as self-regulating mathematical miracles, as delicate ecosystems best left alone.

If there is a whiff of creationism around this idea, it is no accident. By the time the term “economics” first emerged, in the 1870s, it was evangelical Christianity that had done the most to spur the field on toward its pres ent scientific self-certainty.
economics  religion  propaganda  history  ideas  evangelical 
october 2008 by tsuomela
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