miércoles, 20 de julio de 2011

Empathic review of thoughts in crisis

My personal review about "The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis" of J. Rifkin.

This kind of books shows an ideal future built on top of personal best wishes and at the same time many of the risks that will make imposible to reach that future. Unfortunatelly the book doesn't contain any tactics to reach the described future. The book seems to feed the readers' fear to drive them to certain opinions.

Mr Rifkin merges together data coming from different sources but he is unable to create a logical narration supporting the tittle of the book. Nonetheless, the bibliography included seems to be more solid.

All the long Mr. Rifkin affirms one thing and its contrary, seemingly trying to make feel everyone happy. To make everything worse, he follows approaches of postmodernism and deconstructivism, which have showed so interesting in many areas but not in the social and political sciences.

Finally Mr. Rifkin tends to reach global conclusion from local data (1st world). Even with this data, sometimes he omites lateral effect still under study. However, the book contains interesting references to issues such as mirror neurons or entropy of the civilization.

My final recomendation is don't waste your time reading this book, just go to the biblography. Here you have some of the title I choosed for my amazon wish list:
  • In the Servitude of Power: Energy and Civilization Through the Ages. Jean-Claude Debeir.
  • The Age of Capital 1848-1875.  E. J. Hobsbawm
  • The Age of Revolution: Europe, 1789-1848. E. J. Hobsbawm
  • Philosophy of Money. Georg Simmel.
  • Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context, and Practice. Steven Vertovec.
  • Global Tourism by William F. Theobald.
  • Cooperation and competition: theory and research by David W Johnson,
  • Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard.
  • Collaborative Learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge by Kenneth A. Bruffee.
  • The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher by Lewis Thomas.
  • The Ages of Gaia: A Biography of Our Living Earth by James Lovelock.
  • The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems by Fritjof Capra.
  • Sociology by Anthony Giddens.
And to end, nice thoughts extracted from Abraham H. Maslow in The Psychology of the Science: A Renaissance (1966):

"Me gustaría, no obstante, suscitar la pregunta más radical de todas: ¿es posible conceptualizar todas las ciencias y todo el conocimiento como resultantes de una interrelación amorosa entre conocedor y conocido?¿Cuál serían las ventajas de establecer esta epistemología junto a la que ahora reina en la "ciencia objetiva"?¿Podemos utilizar ambas de forma simultanea?

Yo mismo siento que podemos y debemos emplear ambas epistemologías en función de lo que la situación exija. No las concibo como [...] contradictorias, sino como epistemologías que se enriquecen mutuamente."

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