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(The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters

The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power

The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power review ã 103 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 suare 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 doesn't mean they are not realFrom the cults of ancient Rome to the dynasties of the Renaissan. Niall Ferguson is the author of among other works a superb history of the British Empire I came to this book with high expectations and found it a huge disappointmentIts central thesis is meant to be that networks of people who may be in themselves regarded as unimportant have played key roles in history But much of the book is actually narrative history that focuses largely on people who have long been regarded as prominent individuals rather belying the thesis A much too long introductory section about a tenth of the book explores recent understandings of network theory and uotes opinions and statements of network theorists as if they are facts Niall Ferguson contrasts hierarchies where people obey orders from above with networks which cross hierarchical and organisational boundaries The importance of networks has been a platitude of organisational theory for decadesFerguson substantially exaggerates the novelty of historians thinking about the importance of networks historians may not have used the jargon of network theory but they have recognised the significance of informal associations of people for as long as history has been written The concepts are also than familiar to anyone who has read works on cultural or economic history or the history of art literature maths science or ideas Network diagrams are interspersed in the text these merely give a pseudo scientific dimension and add little The narrative history content is often presented at a gallop with some debatable generalisations and interpretationsThe whole book read to me like far too overextended journalism albeit with some apt cautions about the influence of for example internet networking rather than a work of a serious historianA great pity Niall Ferguson has written some really excellent books Alas I do not think this is one of themWith thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me have an ARC

read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power

The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power review ã 103 Most history is hierarchical it's about emperors presidents prime ministers and field marshals It's about states armies and corporations It's about orders from on high Even history from below is often about trade unions and workers' parties But what if that's 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 changeThe 21st century has been hailed as the Age of Networks However in The Suare and the Tower Niall. This book by the always fascinating Niall Ferguson though his main product for sale is always himself analyzes capsule summaries of episodes from history in order to negatively contrast spontaneous networked action the suare with hierarchical control the tower Two theses flow from this one stated early on the other only explicitly presented at the end The first is that our networked age is not uniue in fact it is the second such age and lessons are to be gained from this including that from a historical perspective networks are too often ignored in favor of focus on hierarchies The second is that networks with actual power are mostly anarchistic poisonThere is apparently a modern academic discipline called network theory in which statisticians and sociologists spend their days creating complex graphs to illustrate connections among everything from newts to nuclear power using math to uantify the contents of those graphs Network theory forms the basis of The Suare and the Tower which is full of spidery graphs with interlocking and overlapping lines of different thickness connecting circular nodes of various sizes This is interesting enough and sometimes even illuminating It is true though that Ferguson elides a variety of definitional problems For example he does point out that a hierarchy is merely a kind of network with limited or zero lateral connection between nodes But this combined with the many different types of networks adduced and Ferguson s admission that most networks are hierarchical in some respects necessarily implies a continuum between network and hierarchy not the sharp division on which Ferguson rests the entire book Another problem is that what the actual connections that constitute a network are is never discussed At one point the author does mention friendship intermarriage and membership of clubs but there is a big difference between marriage ties on the one hand and ties of supposed friendship on the other hand The reader realizes instinctively that not all network ties are created eual A chart of the connections among China s political elite is fascinating but what do the lines mean exactly This problem goes unaddressed and unsolvedBut it s Ferguson s book and this is how he has chosen to approach the matter By his own detailed admission in the Preface Ferguson is an inveterate networker not in the sense of handing out his card to strangers at cocktail parties but in that he like his hero Henry Kissinger is extremely well connected As he admits though he has no power Almost nobody reports to him and he is a member of no relevant hierarchy Looking at the individuals he thanks and at the footnotes which seem voluminous but are mostly ibid Ferguson at least for purposes of this book circulates in exactly the network I d expect not one where I am ever invited He name checks among others Francis Fukuyama Graham Allison Anne Marie Slaughter Robert Rubin and Marc Andreesen In other words he name checks the Davoisie the neoliberal elite Certainly Steve Bannon and Michael Anton don t like any of these people In itself that means little but what Ferguson nowhere admits about networks is that they can offer their participants much but they can also be insular and limiting Not that Ferguson seems either insular or limited in fact he seems remarkably open minded in these days of ever increasing forced conformity such as with his admission that he was wrong to vote against Brexit And he s not very woke among other examples he says that he turned to writing because the academic life turned out to be rather less well remunerated than the women in my life seemed to expect Tool of the patriarchy Nonetheless the reader should probably remember that a network can be a prison as well as a keyFerguson chooses to start his discussion of networks with talk of an imaginary network the Illuminati There was a real Illuminati of course a German secret society in the late 1700s of the type favored by intellectuals of the time which attracted uite a few prominent men but was rapidly and permanently suppressed by the Bavarian government The end But of course ever since conspiracy theorists have postulated the society s continued existence ascribing to it world spanning power and putting it at the center of or as the most important node of to use network theory terms a network that rules the world I have never been attracted to conspiracy theories because they are irrational Certainly there are conspiracies but it is also certain as Benjamin Franklin said that Three can keep a secret if two of them are dead Conspiracies tightly constrained in membership and time can sometimes succeed a topic on which Machiavelli has much to say But over any significant time frame at some point some conspirator will find it profitable to betray the conspiracy if for no other reason than to clear his conscience However as Ferguson points out not only have the Illuminati and other networks including real ones such as the Freemasons never had all the power often ascribed to them the past 250 years have been a time of hierarchical dominance culminating in the mid twentieth century Our age though is the age of resurgent and newly powerful networks in the form of both secretive Muslim terror networks and what could otherwise not be different public networks embodied in businesses of great power and these networks do not play nice with the hierarchies that have dominated our world for the past two centuriesThat the Illuminati are grossly overrated is not to say that networks have not often been important In fact one of Ferguson s points is that the role of networks in history has been underappreciated because it s easier to record data about remember and write about the institutions created by hierarchies Another under addressed definitional problem is connected to this though the distinction between networks lacking power like the Rotary Club and other civil associations or Ferguson s own connections that get him access to research material and networks with power The former are unimportant in this context but what s the dividing line and what gives a network power Before we get anywhere Ferguson first spends fifty pages on technical descriptions of network theory which is both surprisingly well done and competently linked to the rest of the book and illuminating in that it clearly explains how some networks are better at accomplishing things than others uickly enough though we get to Ferguson s first major point that our networked age is the second networked age in modern history and so to cast our time as uniue is wrong and wrongheadedThe first networked age according to Ferguson followed hard on the heels of the invention and rapid spread in Europe of the printing press and lasted until the end of the eighteenth century Although in a few places Ferguson uses non Western examples in this book such as the Taiping Rebellion non Western cultures play almost no role in this book which is not surprising since they have played no important role in creating any aspect of the modern world We bounce around talking in one chapter about Benedetto Cotrugli s I never heard of him either Book of the Art of Trade to in other chapters talking about Portuguese trade network expansion Pizarro and Spanish Indian mixing and much with point counterpoint among networks and hierarchies Woven throughout this though is the outline of a subtle theme only later made explicit that networks often killPrinting led to the Reformation which led to among other horrors the Thirty Years War which the virtuous and hierarchical Peace of Westphalia finally ended Ferguson is a Westphalian to his core as will become evident Then the networked crowd and the breakdown of hierarchy led to the Terror in 1793 and it was only the hierarchical and workaholic Napoleon who finally ended the resultant anarchy The 1815 and very hierarchical Congress of Vienna kept the peace for a hundred years Here Ferguson channels Henry Kissinger as if from a fire hose and he recurs to Kissinger throughout the book he is writing the second volume of his Kissinger biography so I assume the man is on Ferguson s mind That said Ferguson does love to shoehorn into his books characters from his other books from the Rothschilds to Siegmund Warburg and he constantly drops footnotes to his own works to support his contentions all of which is a little bit jarringly circular Then to be fair Ferguson notes that bad hierarchies especially Stalin s Ferguson correctly notes that Hitler had vastly less central control than did Stalin killed a lot of people in the twentieth century at the zenith of global hierarchical control but they originated from networks and they also controlled a lot of networks though that suggests again an unclear dividing line between hierarchy and networkIn connection with the rise and success of Communism Ferguson repeatedly recurs to the network of the traitorous Cambridge Apostles a group which he snarkily calls the Homintern Ferguson slagged John Maynard Keynes a few years back for naturally not being invested in the future being an effete homosexual who was indifferent to the long run because he had no children Then he apologized although his statement was inarguably accurate and generally applicable Whether or not homosexuals are generally corrosive of society in times past when homosexuality was not widely accepted there is no doubt that being a homosexual tended to place such an individual in a position hostile to the traditional pillars of society Ferguson over says that Oxford men are muscular and heterosexual as opposed to Cambridge men who are not Sure he s talking about eighty years ago but given that he went to Oxford the reader wonders if this is all some kind of inside joke The point of discussing the Apostles of course is to contrast the pernicious effects of their network with the opposing ineffectual networks of English counterespionage as well as generally of elite Englishmen and to describe the service of the Apostles to Stalin s hierarchy Again this furthers the general but not yet made explicit theme that networks are poisonThe book takes numerous detours that bear tangentially on networks from a discussion of anti Chinese policy in nineteenth century California to a discussion of Alfred Milner s network of powerful Englishmen Onwards we go enjoying the ride although wondering where we are going We examine Axis attempts to use the networks of Islam to incite jihad against the British Empire We examine the British general Walter Walker who used networks to defeat the Indonesians in Borneo during the 1950s his methods could never be used today though given that in today s American military every time you want to kill someone you have to get a lawyer to sign off first The problem is that these vignettes each of which is interesting hang together only loosely For example there is a four and a half page chapter on The Triumph of Davos Man discussing the World Economic Forum held there in fact at this moment being held there again I was not invited The point seems to be the power of networks but actually most of the discussion is about Nelson Mandela and nationalization of industry Interesting sure but it s just not clear what the point is or how this fits in Ferguson also seems to love the evil little imp George Soros and he falsely refers to him as a refugee from Nazism in fact as a teenager Soros eagerly collaborated with the Nazis including in the seizure of goods from other Jews and only left Hungary in 1947 so if anything he was a refugee from Communism not NazismWe get network analysis of Islamic terrorism including ISIS We get an analysis of the 2008 financial crisis alleging that Lehman Brothers was allowed to fold because Dick Fuld didn t belong to the right networks What the right networks would have been for Fuld isn t specified which is odd because the answer is obvious the network centered around Goldman Sachs This lacuna is puzzling that network would make for example a perfect object of exactly the type of network analysis graph Ferguson offers throughout the book and it could be done with publicly available information My guess is that it would be incredibly informative and incredibly disturbing But not a word is said about Goldman Sachs in this entire book Another lacuna is also puzzling despite repeated mentions of the network of Donald Trump that network is similarly treated as opaue when mapping it would be extremely interesting much interesting than Alfred Milner s network certainly And finally we get detailed thoughts on Apple Google Facebook and TwitterFerguson waits until almost the very end to explicitly reveal his true feelings and his second major point he thinks that networks at least those with power are a death dealing abomination that reinforces bad hierarchies without offering anything good in return Not for him the optimism of Anne Marie Slaughter s The Chessboard and the Web a recent book that got almost zero attention when released despite the author s prominence for reasons I do not understand though perhaps Ferguson continuously referring to her will help Ferguson opens up his artillery on the new Lords of the Network And when Mark Zuckerberg says that the struggle of our time is between the forces of freedom openness and global community against the forces of authoritarianism isolationism and nationalism he seems to have forgotten just how helpful his company has been to the latter Ouch Ferguson or less sees Zuckerberg as a nasty combination of the worst aspects of Robespierre and Stalin and that s also for the most part how he sees the other companies that dominate the modern networked world In this he has a lot of commonality with Franklin Foer in World Without Mind who sees the GAFA companies as pretty much the incarnation of evil though for somewhat different reasons and I agree And they gave us Donald Trump whom Ferguson doesn t seem to like much though he doesn t spend much time attacking him merely sniffing here and there in a way that suggests he thinks an unpleasant stench is lurking somewhere nearby and Twitter along with Mark Zuckerberg is to blameThe specific companies are not the problem which would exist with other companies with different names and leaders The point is that networks whether social and Internet based or amped up with robots and artificial intelligence won t lead to human happiness and peace any than the networks of the Gutenberg era did Unless we all end up sedated in an Aldous Huxley dystopia A likely outcome is a repeat of the violent upheavals that ultimately plunged the last great Networked Age into the chaos that was the French Revolution Ferguson certainly has that Revolution on the brain The lesson of history is that trusting in networks to run the world is a recipe for anarchy at best power ends up in the hands of the Illuminati but likely it ends up in the hands of the Jacobins Those who lived through the wars of the 1790s and 1800s learned an important lesson that we would do well to re learn unless one wishes to reap one revolutionary whirlwind after another it is better to impose some kind of hierarchical order on the world and to give it some legitimacy By this he explicitly means a hierarchical order of great nation state powers not some new order of technology giants the past sunny optimism of whose leaders Ferguson brutally contrasts to their recent admissions that the now arrived future is not what they expected while he predicts yet worse to comeThe key to much of this is a uote that Ferguson offers early in the book from Francis Fukuyama hierarchical organization may be the only way in which a low trust society can be organized Most of the world has always been low trust other than a few ethnic networks and a few Western countries But the West is becoming ever lower trust we can all agree for reasons on which it is harder to agree so if it is true that hierarchy is needed in inverse proportion to trust the future is hierarchical or it is anarchic Very importantly though these will be new hierarchies Modern networks have disrupted the old hierarchies and while nation states at least relevant ones are unlikely to crumble the hierarchies within them will be almost wholly new Ferguson makes this explicit in his criticism of the administrative state which he decries as the last iteration of political hierarchy a system that spews out rules generates complexity and undermines both prosperity and stability In this analysis the rise of Trump is merely the leading edge of this turnover and the desperate attempts of neoliberal Democrats and Republicans to stuff the genie back into the bottle by using hashtags or by using the weaponized Justice Department to maintain their power are doomedFerguson ends the book by snickering at the new palaces of Facebook Google and Apple and contrasting them to the unnamed Trump Tower in New York The last two sentences of the book are On the other side of the United States however there looms a fifty eight storey building that represents an altogether different organizational tradition And no one individual in the world has a bigger say in the choice between networked anarchy and world order than the absent owner of that dark tower It seems unlikely that Ferguson does not realize the echo to Stephen King s famous novella The Dark Tower in which an evil immortal clashes with a hereditary gunpowder knight wielding revolvers forged from the metal of Excalibur with an awesome opening line The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed He perhaps does not realize though that the dark tower of that novella is actually the structure that holds together the universe and is a force only for good attacked continuously by evil But whatever Ferguson is trying to tell us about Trump Tower this overrates the impact that Trump or any one person can have in forestalling anarchy Facebook Google Apple and so on have immense power much than Trump and than the mental and moral midgets in Congress who represent the decayed political structure of end stage liberalism in the Enlightenment sense encompassing both classical liberals and progressives and the administrative state That doesn t mean the power of those companies can t be broken and new hierarchies regain relative power But Trump isn t going to do it nor will chaos among nation states demolish the Lords of the Network Something new and different is needed and I suspect this way it comes

characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson

The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power review ã 103 Ce from the founding fathers to Facebook The Suare 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 presentJust as The Ascent of Money put Wall Street into historical perspective so The Suare 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 topple. I was approved for a copy for review via NetGalleySadly this was a DNF for me at 20% I am personally not the biggest fan of non fiction works and found some of the terminology difficult to understand I did like the use of diagrams though as this made the chapters look visual Sadly I lost interest and will not be finishing


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    characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power 35 stars for fuelling debateMore polemic than history Ferguson has certainly digested a huge amount of material and tries to re cast the entire history of mankind as a constant struggle between the power of hierarchies and networks This kind of systematic binary categorisation however tends to simplify his vision as his own narrative makes clear the boundaries between a hierarchy and a network may shift dissolve and reform Russian communism

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    read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson Staggering political naivete a time when intellectual diversity is the form of diversity that seems to be least valued in universities cSome among my contemporaries pursued wealth; few achieved it without at least a period of indentured servitude usually working for a bank cImitation is indeed the sincerest form of flatt

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    characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson This book by the always fascinating Niall Ferguson though his main product for sale is always himself analyzes capsule summaries of episodes from history in order to negatively contrast spontaneous networked acti

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    read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters I am a big fan of Niall Ferguson's writing He has the gift of being able to explain a complex subject in a lively entertaining but intellectually responsible way perhaps nowhere so than in his wonderful 2008 book Money a

  5. says: read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson

    (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson is the author of among other works a superb history of the British Empire I came to this book wi

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    (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson Not very good I usually enjoy this author’s work but not this reread About the only good thing about this book is the idea of a history of social networks The organization is not goodthe chapters are too short and not in depth eno

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    read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson I was approved for a copy for review via NetGalleySadly this was a DNF for me at 20% I am personally not the biggest fan of non fiction works and found some of the terminology difficult to understand I did like the use of diagrams

  8. says: read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters

    (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson The Suare and the Tower by Niall Ferguson Networks The Suare Tower Hierarchies interestingly Ferguson points out that net

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    characters Ú eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Niall Ferguson Niall Ferguson ✓ 3 characters read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power This is a big book in many ways Niall Ferguson is a British historian who takes on complex issues In this book he attempts mostly successfully to describe the characteristics of networks and hierarchies He begins with a discussion of the Illuminati there is a lot of confusion about who the Illuminati were a small group of German int

  10. says: (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson

    (The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power) [Kindle] è Niall Ferguson read & download The Suare and the Tower Networks Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power Drawing on the best modern scholarship this book seeks to rescue the history of networks from the clutches of the conspiracy theorist

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