The Tipping Point

2 March 2006 at 2:21 am Leave a comment

I’ve been away visiting Ireland and so haven’t posted for a while. Didn’t get much reading done as I was criss-crossing Ireland and tracking down family members–1st, 2nd, and even 3rd cousins. Upon returning, I started to read Gladwell’s The Tipping Point today. He speaks of the viral properties of fads and trends, analyzing what causes ideas (memes!) to spread: “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread just like viruses do” (7).

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know I’m interested in tracing the flow of energy from source (sun) on its passage through matter (plants, food, nutrition-calories) and into our brains. I want to conceptualize what happens in our brains as a form of energy usage, and what happens among humans (communications) as a form of energy flow, with varying efficiency and work. With this in mind, Tipping Point becomes a very interesting source to identify what happens at the interface of two human beings. Gladwell in effect identifies the characteristics of efficient energy transfer when he speaks of “connectors” who are hubs linked to numerous contacts (via “the strength of weak ties”) and who as a result make themselves conduits for the transfer of messages. Brain activity as kinetic energy; memory as potential energy: the whitehot electric milk of brain storms. . . .


Entry filed under: books, energonomics, memes.

Metaphorical Concepts of Energy Complexity Theory and Philosophy

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