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James Brody
June 23rd, 2005, 07:17 AM
"We're all Wal-Mart's Bitches"

So states John Dicker in his provocative book. There are parallels and analogies with things I've said elsewhere for the past few years. For example, remove enough calories and the molecules in a gas start to behave as one. Such things are called Bose-Einstein condensates. We find a similar effect in cases of psychopathology when injuries, illness, or failing resources allow the domination of one idea over all competing ones. As in the case of the Weimar Republic and the Nazis, human organizations that produce "winner-take-all" events wherein one organization dominates and the other goes extinct. John Dicker reveals the details of these changes in "The United States of Wal-Mart (Tarcher-Penguin, 2005, about $12 in paper).
Whether you're into statistical physics or sociology, Dicker's book reads well. He describes functional relationships that we can find wherever we find emergent networks.

James Brody