Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Cluster Effect: The Big Sort


Another good and relevant read is Bob Bishop's new title The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. I was especially interested in this book after developing an active interest in the notion of how, where, and why like-minded individuals cluster. The work of Richard Florida on the topic has been a favorite thing to ponder but one of the questions I remember asking after reading his Who's Your City was if there were any studies that actually dwelt on the negative effects of clustering.
The premise of Bishop's book is just that and, in my mind, it's what makes this not only a good read but also a relevant one. It makes one think of one's immediate community, how one relates to it, and why it looks and is the way it is.
Another reason why this is a relevant book is because it raises a question about which most of us do think quite a bit about, i.e.: Where to live?
A bit from the book says, "The lesson for politics and culture is pretty clear. It doesn't matter if you're a frat boy, a French high school student, a petty criminal, or a federal appeals court judge. Mixed company moderates; like-minded company polarizes. Heterogeneous communities restrain group excesses; homogeneous communities march toward extremes."
I recommend this. Informative and thought-provoking.
graph per amazon

3 comments:

John said...

I did think of the homogeneity factor after reading Florida, so this is going to be a good read.... thx.

Mary said...

Mixed company moderates..... I'd agree with that. Funny that, eh?

JJ said...

Yup. Just ordered it. What else have you been reading? Any new reviews coming up? Not that you haven't reviewed enough, of course..... ::))