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January 07, 2009


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While we're at it, it looks like he could use some new cover art as well...

You could say that is just semantics. But this is a scholarly book and semantics are everything.

One could say the same for the cover image if we replace the word semantics with semiotics. The solitary subject appears in opposition to how we traditionally view a leader of a cultural movement. Oh well. A couple misses in Seth's greater body of hits.


I would only say that we probably shouldn't discount the notion of the other, as well. While the Obama and Wikipedia movements weren't necessarily tribe-like in the sense that they were divisive, i would say that they were very much, maybe not defined, but influenced by an enemy that forced the community to not only become more close-knit, but to grow as well.

For example, the Wikipedia movement had to hear from media-types, a section of academics, etc. who scoffed at the concept and questioned their reliability. For Obama, of course there was Hillary & John Mccain, but also millions of parents who didn't think their kids would actually care enough to make it to the polls. Same goes for macs. Is it an open movement basking in fandom at Macworld, or a product of the anti-pc creative class? Or just a little bit of both?

I guess my point is that it's probably somewhere in the middle. Obviously things like openness and inclusiveness are important elements if the goal is to create a cultural brushfire. But while the defense against the other might not be the match, it could be the gas.

Keep up the great stuff, by the way. Love the blog.

Scott Crawford

Spot on.

The divisiveness issue is huge, and has gnawed at my gut since the book came out and people started clamoring about whether or not they were leaders and who would be counted as their band of followers.

First image that came to mind was Lord of the Flies (cue sfx: flies buzzing in and out of rotting corpse).

We may be free agents, roaming nomads, occasionally banding together for mutual benefit of the larger clan/group/guild, but that's far different than what seems espoused in Tribes and, unfortunately, appears to be playing out in some corners on places like Twitter, with all the focus on rank and authority and influence. Odd, transparently egotistical stuff.


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