On the use and abuse of Technology and its Management from the perspective of an academic at UCL specialising in Project Management, Systems Engineering and Space Science/Technology.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Tipping Point reached

I am behind the curve, possibly, but I finally got round to picking up a copy of The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell (link Amazon.co.uk). This looks interesting from a variety of perspectives: social theory, project organisation, bottom-up behaviour etc etc. Even more interesting is the thought that one may be able to engineer and exploit -- for good, of course! -- such phenomena.

I go forewarned, thanks to this amazon reviewer:
The chapters on context and the case studies are the most interesting. He does a particularly good job in demonstrating how very small changes in environment (context) can have a profound impact. He provides the best and most convincing explanation I have read of why New York's 'no broken windows' zero tolerance policing approach worked. The case studies of smoking (smoking isn't cool, smokers, or rather people with a strong disposition to smoke, are), Micronesian suicides and the law of 150 are very interesting.Overall, it is worth reading (providing you are not too cynical or too familiar with the subject areas that he draws on) and it does provide a number of good conversation topics - I just wish that either he was more familiar with Occam or had a better editor.

2 comments:

Psybertron said...

Matt,

I gave Tipping Point a very bad review I'm afraid - not enough new, and too much hype. Like the Amazon review you quote - he needed and editor and an appreciation of Occam to filter out the dross.

Ian

Psybertron said...

BTW what happened between October 2004 and April 2005 !!