Tunisia Teaching Gladwell

Perhaps the most dismissive part of of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Small Change: Why the Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted,” article was the closure: “A networked, weak-tie world is good at things like helping Wall Streeters get phones back from teen-age girls. Viva la revoluciĆ³n.” Tunisia’s recent revolution demonstrates that social media can be a powerful tool purposed by revolutionaries for change. And in doing so, Tunisia teaches the Malcolm Gladwells of the world a lesson or two. Gladwell’s conclusion found its basis in the weak ties theory from The Tipping Point, and lack of hierarchies in social networks. But Gladwell’s absolutist view of social change and activism online failed to grasp that it’s not the media that causes revolutions. Social media […]

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A New Petition to Support the Bat Nha Monastics

Above: Sister Chan Khong and I talk to Brother Phap Tu on Skype Remember that petition to save Bat Nha that you helped me with last summer? Well it garnered 7,000 signatures and actually attracted the attention and help of Senators Kerry and Boxer. While the monastics were forced out of Bat Nha, political pressure eased until after Kerry’s November 9 visit to Viet Nam. Unfortunately, since then things have taken a turn for the worse (see the Save Bat Nha site for updates). Under severe harassment and pressure to leave, which has become violent on occasion (see Phap Tu’s story below), the monastics have an uncertain refuge at Phuoc Hue temple, Bao Loc. With the EU also weighing in, […]

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A New Novel from Geoff Livingston

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