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Holism and cooperation

05 Dec 2011   complexity  cooperation  holism  philosophy 
It seems as though I tend to only really gain insight into things that I've read quite some time after I've finished reading them, after I've had some time to chew on them and reflect their content against my existing mental frameworks. Mulling over SuperCooperators by Martin Nowak, it dawned on ... Read more

The trouble with systems

We have this tendency to want to make our lives easier - perhaps this is a built-in biological mechanism to conserve energy? So we've been constructing systems for ages now: all the way from cars to supercomputers to money- making "systems" that we call organisations. Many people who give advice ... Read more

The battle against the ANC?

23 Nov 2011   corruption  politics  power  social influence 
After having passed the "secrecy bill" through parliament yesterday, and with the Mac Maharaj fiasco, a whole range of ridiculing, "naming-and-shaming", gossip-like articles and public comments/jokes have been popping up: "Black Tuesday": There's more where that came from Evading the questions ... Read more

Validity - a tale of disillusionment

In digging around for different people's understandings of social constructionist philosophy for my thesis, I discovered this great journal article by Steinar Kvale (1995) entitled The social construction of validity. What I was trying to do in my thesis was get back to some of our fundamental ... Read more

Business, complexity and emergence

14 Nov 2011   business  complexity  emergence  philosophy 
In trying to understand business in new ways, it seems as though a variety of authors (academic and non-academic) have been trying to apply perspectives from a relatively new "branch" of science that is still busy taking shape: that of emergence. The concept of emergence comes from a variety of ... Read more

Power, and business

Keltner, Van Kleef, Chen and Kraus wrote a really interesting paper in 2008 on social power entitled A reciprocal influence model of social power, and I think that, against the backdrop of emergence and complexity theory and social influence theory, we're only beginning to scratch the surface as ... Read more

Mind, self and society

I suppose tons of work has been done in coming to an understanding of the development of language, individuality and society, but I would like to describe here the views of an American philosopher, sociologist and psychologist named George Herbert Mead. His most prominent work was a piece of the ... Read more

Blanket terms - hiding the truth

09 Nov 2011   philosophy  postmodernism  process 
The definition of a "blanket term" from Wiktionary: A word or phrase that is used to describe multiple groups of related things. The degree of relation may vary. Blanket terms often trade specificity for ease-of-use; in other words, a blanket term by itself gives little detail about the things ... Read more

Reality as process

08 Nov 2011   philosophy  process 
In doing some background reading for my thesis, a friend of mine gave me a book by David Bohm entitled "Wholeness and the Implicate Order". Esoteric? Definitely. Difficult to read? Incredibly. Worth the effort? Absolutely. Bohm, as per the Wikipedia entry, was quite an impressive physicist. The ... Read more

Fear and separation

09 Aug 2011   branding  conversations  fear  marketing  racism 
What an interesting experience we had this past weekend travelling to Alexandra in Johannesburg ("Alex" for short) for our Building Brands elective - our task, after being split up into small groups of 4 to 5 people, was to perform in-depth, qualitative interviews with 3 people, each of ... Read more
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