[Springboard] Outliers study session 3. Great study, see you next time -- What about a next book?

James Wiegel jfwiegel at yahoo.com
Wed May 27 21:36:30 EDT 2009

Anyone interested in studying THE BIG SORT?

THE BIG SORT (Houghton Mifflin, May 7,
2008) is the landmark story of how America came to be a country of
swelling cultural division, economic separation, and political polarization.

Going far beyond
the simplistic red state/blue state divide, journalist Bill Bishop (in collaboration with sociologist and
statistician Robert Cushing) marshals original data and incisive reporting to
show how Americans have sorted themselves geographically, economically, and
politically into like-minded communities over the last three decades. 

Homogeneity may be
a perk of the unprecedented choice our society offers—but it also breeds
economic inequality, cultural misunderstanding, political extremism, and
legislative gridlock. This is the story of our times, and its reality poses a
profound threat to democracy, but no one before now has seemed to notice, let
alone been able to describe, its causes and consequences. 

The nation we live
in—our culture, economy, neighborhoods, and churches—has been sculpted by the
Big Sort over the past thirty years: 

did zip codes become as useful to political activists as to mail carriers? In
the relatively new cultural dynamics of political segregation, Bishop discerns
a troubling transformation of American life. Complex and surprising, the story
of that transformation will confound readers who suppose that recent decades
have made American society both more diverse and more tolerant. Pinpointing
1965 as the year when events in Vietnam,
Washington, and Watts
delivered body blows to traditional social institutions, Bishop recounts how
Americans who had severed ties to community, faith, and family forged new
affiliations based on lifestyle preferences. The resulting social realignment
has segmented the nation into groupthink communities, fostering political
smugness and polarization. The much-noted cartography of Red and Blue states,
as Bishop shows, actually distorts the reality of a deeply Blue archipelago of
urban islands surrounded by a starkly Red rural sea. Bishop worries about the
future of democratic discourse as more and more Americans live, work, and
worship surrounded by people who echo their own views. A raft of social-science
research underscores the growing difficulty of bipartisan compromise in a
balkanized country where politicians win office by satisfying their most
radical constituents. A book posing hard questions for readers across the
political spectrum.

Bryce Christensen
Jim Wiegel

If anyone tells you something strange about the world, something you had never heard before, do not laugh but listen attentively; make him repeat it, make him explain it; no doubt there is something there worth taking hold of.  --  Georges Duhamel.

401 North Beverly Way   

Tolleson, Arizona 85353-2401

+1  623-936-8671

+1  623-363-3277

   jfwiegel at yahoo.com


--- On 

Wed, 5/27/09, Robert Rafos <rafos at sympatico.ca> wrote:

From: Robert Rafos <rafos at sympatico.ca>
Subject: [Springboard] Outliers study session 3.
To: "Springboard Dialogue" <springboard at wedgeblade.net>
Date: Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 12:24 PM

Tonight at 6:00 P.M. Mountain time continues the study of Outliers, Chapters 6 and 7.
Dial in Number is: 269-320-8400
Access code is: 881373#
Chart attached
Bob Rafos

"Remember the trail, for if you don't know the way you have come, you will be lost."  -  Grandfather Albert, a Sicangu Lakota.
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