A major theme of this wiki is the conflict between networks and hierarchies.
There are many pages :
And various discussions comparing the two
- HierarchiesBeatNetworks - it doesn't always go networks' way
- IsNotATree - Dangers of trying to squash things into "tree" shape when they don't go
There can be intermediate positions
- eg. LocalIndexes
The political / economic dimension
- OnMarkets links many pages about markets, highlighting virtues and criticisms. (Where markets are considered exemplars of network organization)
- NationState talks about the state (exemplar of hierarchy) and NationState/UnderAttack talks about threats
- LeftAndRightAndScale considers an ethical defence of the left's criticism of markets.
- While DecentralizedLeft talks about the ways that the left does embrace network, rather than hierarchical organization.
- Pages linked from NetoCracy / NetworkSociety talk about the potential new ways of network organization.
Beware of oversimplification
- Sometimes people like to assume there's just a dichotomy between networks / markets and hierarchies of force. But ...
** In MoneyInAnUnequalWorld, anthropologist KeithHart identifies economic life as a combination of three forces : Markets, Tribal authority (hierarchy) and social networks.
** I think there are at least four TypesOfPower which are used to hold together organizations and practices.
- And there are different TypesOfHierarchy. Which are we dealing with?
- Finally hierarchy can emerge in networks : PowerLaws / WealthHappens . So we need to understand the dangers of spontaneous / accidental hierarchy as well as institutional.
- Hierarhical power enslaves, markets liberate : http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumblingandmumbling/2006/04/howpowerensla.html
There's some related ideas at
: thanks David. And welcome to ThoughtStorms. Feel free to introduce yourself on a homepage here, wander around, find things to disagree with and ArgueAgainstMe :-) – PhilJones
CategoryHierarchy, CategoryNetworks, CategoryPolitics