hedgehog对《The Social Atom》的笔记(10)

hedgehog
hedgehog (靡不有初,鲜克有终)

读过 The Social Atom

The Social Atom
  • 书名: The Social Atom
  • 作者: Mark Buchanan
  • 副标题: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheaters Get Caught, and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You
  • 页数: 256
  • 出版社: Bloomsbury USA
  • 出版年: 2007-5-29
  • 第10页
    While we may a long way from identifying strict "laws" for the human world, scientists have discovered lawlike regularities there and now recognize that such regularities in no way conflict with the existence of individual free will; we can be free individual whose actions, in combination, lead to predictable outcomes for the collective. This is much as one finds in physics, where atomic-level chaos gives way to the clockwork precision of thermodynamics or planetary motion.
    2012-07-17 02:48:25 回应
  • 第20页
    This book is about wealth, power and politics, class hatred, and racial segregation. It is about fads, fashions, and riots, spontaneous outbreaks of goodwill and trust within communities, and moods of dejection or buoyancy that sweep over financial markets. Mostly, it is about social surprise - events and changes that rise up out of nowhere to alter our lives - and why we seem to inept at perceiving their causes.
    2012-07-17 03:49:42 回应
  • 第46页
    For moust of us, the word economics means inflation and unemployment, or voices on the television droning on about consumer confidence. But economists see economics as the basic science of how people make decisions - to buy a Porsche rather than a Ford, to quit a job or start family.
    2012-07-19 03:08:29 回应
  • 第56页
    Today's blood tests for HIV are incredibly accurate. If some is HIV-positive, the test says so with 99.9 percent accuracy. If someone doesn't have HIV, the test is even better - it says so with 99.99 percent accuracy. Now, take a random person off the U.S. streets - someone who isn't an intravenous drug user, make homosexual, or otherwise known to be a high-risk candidate for having HIV - and test them for HIV. If they test positive, what's the chance they really do have the virus?
    2012-07-19 03:29:32 回应
  • 第110页
    But pattern recognition and adaption, per se, make no explicit use of other social atoms. THat we exist among others gives us opportunities we wouldn't have otherwise. By imitating - instinctively, or consciously - we find safety and security, or use others as tools or as providers of clues that help us to make our own decisions. That's not by any means always a good thing. As the philosopher Eric Hoffer once noted, "When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other ...... A society which gives unlimited freedom to the individual, more often that not attains a disconcerting sameness."
    2012-07-21 04:09:40 回应
  • 第119页
    Over the past thirty or forty years, many biologists and social theorists have come to believe that similar strategic thinking lies behind all altruism, and that altruist always aim to get something in return for their kindness; it is always selfishness in disguise. Reciprocal altruism is only one of several mechanisms that researchers have identified by which the self-interested can give something now to something later. Through acts of kindness a person can build up a useful reserve of goodwill or oligation in others. Selflesss acts help a person build a reputation as someone to be trusted, something that person can cash in on later.
    2012-07-23 04:29:40 回应
  • 第139页
    The deppest paradox of social physics may be this - we are inherently skilled at making peace for the same reasons that we are skilled at making war.
    2012-07-24 03:55:23 回应
  • 第156页
    The American historian Henry Brooks Adams once suggested that practical politics, "whatever it professes, has always been about the systematic organization of hatred." That may take things a little too far, but it touches an important point - that certain individuals can assert terrific power over human history, not because they are actually so powerful, intelligent, or charismatic as individuals, but because they are successful at manipulating social patterns.
    Again, the indiviual's power stems from the collective organization, rather than their special greatness as a person.
    2012-07-25 02:50:32 回应
  • 第165页
    Conspiratorial explanations persist because they suggest interpretations that seem safer or psychologically more acceptable; they often attribute evil doings to one's natural enemies or show how some surprising happening actually fits in with predetermined view of how the world works. When it comes to cooking up conspiratorial explanations, the human mind has no apparent limits.
    2012-07-26 03:37:52 回应
  • 第201页
    In fact, it is the philosophical spillover from religious thinking that ultimately lies behind the long-enthroned vision of man as a perfectly rational creature, set on a pedestal above the rest of nature. The same roots feed the notion that social science, in its essence, must be different from physical science; that we must carve a sharp dividing line through the world, with humanity on one side, nature on the other.
    Not the truth in whose possession any man is, or thinks he is, but the honest effort he has made to find out the truth, is what consititutes the worth of a man. For it is not through the possession but the inquiry after truth that his power expand, and in this alone consists his ever-growing perfection. - German playwright Gotthold Lessing in 1778
    2012-07-27 03:36:10 回应

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