The square and the tower epub
The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook by Niall FergusonMost history is hierarchical: its about emperors, presidents, prime ministers and field marshals. Its about states, armies and corporations. Its about orders from on high. Even history from below is often about trade unions and workers parties. But what if thats simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?
The 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks. However, in The Square and the Tower, Niall Ferguson argues that networks have always been with us, from the structure of the brain to the food chain, from the family tree to freemasonry. Throughout history, hierarchies housed in high towers have claimed to rule, but often real power has resided in the networks in the town square below. For it is networks that tend to innovate. And it is through networks that revolutionary ideas can contagiously spread. Just because conspiracy theorists like to fantasize about such networks doesnt mean they are not real.
From the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissance, from the founding fathers to Facebook, The Square and the Tower tells the story of the rise, fall and rise of networks, and shows how network theory--concepts such as clustering, degrees of separation, weak ties, contagions and phase transitions--can transform our understanding of both the past and the present.
Just as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective, so The Square and the Tower does the same for Silicon Valley. And it offers a bold prediction about which hierarchies will withstand this latest wave of network disruption--and which will be toppled.
Ferguson N. The Square and the Tower: Networks, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power
Search this site. Symptoms of decline are all around us today: slowing growth, crushing debts, increasing inequality, aging populations, antisocial behavior. But what exactly has gone wrong? The answer, Niall Ferguson argues in The Great Degeneration, is that our institutions—the intricate frameworks within which a society can flourish or fail—are degenerating. With characteristic verve and historical insight, Ferguson analyzes the causes of this stagnation and its profound consequences for the future of the West. The Great Degeneration is an incisive indictment of an era of negligence and complacency—and to arrest the breakdown of our civilization, Ferguson warns, will take heroic leadership and radical reform. A Concise History of U.
Niall Ferguson is not the kind of historian who suffers from understatement. He writes big, muscular books with high-concept ideas that target current concerns through the prism of the past. They are pull-yourself-together warnings to the present by way of arresting historical precedent. In The Great Degeneration he describes the collapse of the institutions on which the west made its success. This often seems a distinction without a great — or great enough — difference. Most networks are hierarchical, after all, and there are few hierarchies that are not in some sense part of a wider network.