25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 American and French Revolutions Led to Different Results

...the structure of a network determines its virality. As recent work by the social scientists Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler has shown, the contagiousness of a disease or an idea depends as much on a social network’s structure as on the inherent properties of the virus or meme. The history of the late eighteenth century illustrates that point well. The ideas that inspired both the American Revolution and the French Revolution were essentially the same, and both were transmitted throu...
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
Folksonomies: enlightenment history
  1  notes
25 OCT 2017 by ideonexus

 The Importance of Networks in the Enlightenment

Like the Reformation, the scientific revolution and the Enlightenment were network-driven phenomena, yet they spread faster and farther. This reflected the importance of acquaintances in correspondence networks such as Voltaire’s and Benjamin Franklin’s, communities that might otherwise have remained subdivided into national clusters. It also reflected the way that new social organizations—notably, Freemasonry—increased the connectedness of like-minded men, despite established divisio...
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
Folksonomies: networks enlightenment
  1  notes
09 JAN 2017 by ideonexus

 Distopian View Praising Second-Hand Knowledge

The first of these was the abolition of respirator. Advanced thinkers, like Vashti, had always held it foolish to visit the surface of the earth. Air-ships might be necessary, but what was the good of going out for mere curiosity and crawling along for a mile or two in a terrestrial motor? The habit was vulgar and perhaps faintly improper: it was unproductive of ideas, and had no connection with the habits that really mattered. So respirators were abolished, and with them, of course, the ter...
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30 MAY 2015 by ideonexus

 The Enlightenment Ideal Ingrained in Culture

You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other’s children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other’s children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be...
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25 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 Enlightenment as the Birth of Progress

Only in the 18th century Enlightenment did the concept of progress become widespread. Earlier, most people thought of history in terms of a fall from a past Golden Age, or perhaps repeating cycles. (If they thought of such things at all. Mostly they just worried about their next meals.) With the Industrial Revolution, progress became almost synonymous with science and technology. By the late 19th and early 20th century, we see the beginnings of modern science fiction (Verne, Wells), and prot...
Folksonomies: enlightenment progress
Folksonomies: enlightenment progress
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