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
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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
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13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 The Lunar Society

In 1764, the Lunar Society (so named because they met for dinner on the Monday night nearest the full moon; they called themselves the "Lunatics") was formed it in Birmingham and promoted new scientific and technological ideas. The original founders included Erasmus Darwin (Charles Darwin's grandfather), William Small (Jefferson's mentor), and the industrialist Matthew Boulton. Soon the "Lunatics" included many of the great minds in Britain (including Benjamin Franklin when he visited). In Sc...
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Referred to themselves as "Lunatics" and included many famous Americans and scientists.

03 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Revolutions That Break with the Past Fail

Starting anew with a clean slate has been one of the most harmful ideas in history. It treats previous knowledge as an impediment and imagines that only present knowledge deployed in theoretical purity can make real the wondrous new vision. Thus the French Revolution of 1789, the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949 each made brave new worlds that catastrophically failed. By cutting off continuity with the slower parts of their cultures they had no fallback...
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Erasing the past is a crippling thing to do. The Founders of America built on the past in their revolution and Evolution succeeds by building on the past.