Saturday, September 23, 2006

Recent Influences

Book: Non-Fiction
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Full of facinating facts on how change works and how to make change...how to create social epidemics...a handbook for change.

How Little Things can Make a Difference, his title continues - and encourages us to start positive social epidemics of our own.

It asks questions like:

Why do teens smoke in greater and greater numbers, when every single person in the country knows that cigarettes kill?

Why is word-of-mouth so powerful?

What makes TV shows like Sesame Street & Blues Clues so good at teaching kids how to read?

The title The Tipping Point comes from the study of epidemics where at some stage the epidemic in question reaches its critical mass. For Aids it was 1982 where it tipped from a rare disease affecting a few to a worldwide epidemic. Similar applies to New York's unbelievably high crime/murder rate which tipped and fell in the mid 1990s. The same tipping point is described in areas from suicide to cigarette smoking to mass shootings to literacy to general attitude change.

If you want a message spread or a concept 'sold', this is the book for you.

Love it and looking forward to studying it more closely and starting some positive epidemics.

Book: Fiction
Paula Spencer by Roddy Doyle

I read the earlier novel about this character called The Woman Who Walked into Doors about the prison that a violent relationship can create in someones mind and I was keen to read about what happened to this woman if she managed to escape her prison of mind.

As the Guardian puts it:

If the first novel deals with the vicissitudes of mind, fantasy and delusion that allowed her to remain in a violent relationship, the sequel deals with the forensic process of recovery.

The book gave me a sense of hope for the seemingly hopeless, for the vulnerable who seem to be caught up in the circumstances both outside their control and at the same time seemingly of their own making. And wakes me up to the difficulties with which any addict gets up every morning and faces the world and how I should be thankful that my load in life is so light.

Film: Documentary
An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore

Reviews all over are predominantly great...as is my review. For those of us who are already converted to the cause and understand the importance of Global Warming issues it has lots to teach us and for the unconverted it has lots to teach you too.

The documentary took us on tour with Al Gore to Universities and Conferences where he speaks and shows slide shows in an effort to spread the word about the effects of Climate Change and how we might stop it. He takes us through his personal life to give examples of how problems can be over come, tragedy dealt with and how difficulties in life can teach us how to cope and mistakes how to do better in future.

The film is strangely 'entertaining' - I laughed and cried, it was a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, which I wasn't ready for considering it was a documentary on Global Warming.

It is worth seeing - it makes a lot of sense and will help us all to make better informed decisions. If you haven't seen it - see it... I'd go again if you want company.

BTW Check out the big STOP CLIMATE CHAOS event on November 4th from 1-3 at Trafagar Square.

2 Comments:

At 25/9/06 9:03 pm, Blogger Sarah said...

i'm STILL only a 1/3 of the way through 'the lovely bones'..but as soon as i finish i want to read the tipping point.

and i am defiantly going to see that film, and i will drag loads of people along with me so they can all be educated on how to save the planet!

 
At 25/9/06 11:37 pm, Blogger Thomas said...

cIo ag n

 

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