ThoughtStorms Wiki

A major theme of this wiki is the conflict between networks and hierarchies.

There are many pages :

And various discussions comparing the two

  • IsNotATree - Dangers of trying to squash things into "tree" shape when they don't go

There can be intermediate positions

The political / economic dimension

  • OnMarkets links many pages about markets, highlighting virtues and criticisms. (Where markets are considered exemplars of network organization)
  • While DecentralizedLeft talks about the ways that the left does embrace network, rather than hierarchical 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.

  • Finally hierarchy can emerge in networks : PowerLaws / WealthHappens . So we need to understand the dangers of spontaneous / accidental hierarchy as well as institutional.

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

ValdisKrebs :

CategoryHierarchy, CategoryNetworks, CategoryPolitics