VIDEOS: David Brooks The Social Animal

Civil Society, Cultural Intelligence
Amazon Page

Phi Beta Iota: The videos are vastly better than the book at cutting to the chase.  In our view his subtitle was poorly chosen–this is not about love, it is about trust and emotional or spiritual intuition.  On that point, as a supporting note, see our review of The Hidden Wealth of Nations as well as our review of Pedagogy of Freedom–Ethics, Democracy, and Civic Courage.


David Brooks: The social animal (TED)

David Brooks: “Social Animal”? (CBS)

From THE SOCIAL ANIMAL by David Brooks (Animation)

See Also:

Economics of Happiness: Going Local

Reference: Happiness Ten Precepts

Reference: Trust and Networks

Journal: Statecraft, Soulcraft, & Well-Being

Review: Making Learning Whole–How Seven Principles of Teaching can Transform Education

Review (Guest): Cognitive Surplus–Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

Review: Reality Is Broken–Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Review: Building Social Business–The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs

What Presidents Don’t Know About Education Plus RECAP of 6 Star Plus Books Relevant to Creating a Smart Nation with a Strategic Narrative that WORKS

Journal: Brooks on Assange, Others on Brooks

04 Education, 07 Other Atrocities, 10 Security, 11 Society, Civil Society, Collective Intelligence, Corporations, Corruption, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, Government, IO Sense-Making, Journalism/Free-Press/Censorship, Military, Misinformation & Propaganda, Money, Banks & Concentrated Wealth, Officers Call, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests, Privacy, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy

EDIT of 5 Dec 2010 to add commentaries by various others.

David Brooks

Op-Ed Columnist

The Fragile Community


Published: November 29, 2010

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, had moved 37 times by the time he reached his 14th birthday. His mother didn’t enroll him in the local schools because, as Raffi Khatchadourian wrote in a New Yorker profile, she feared “that formal education would inculcate an unhealthy respect for authority.”

. . . . . . .

She needn’t have worried. As a young computer hacker, he formed a group called International Subversives. As an adult, he wrote “Conspiracy as Governance,” a pseudo-intellectual online diatribe. He talks of vast “patronage networks” that constrain the human spirit.

Far from respecting authority, Assange seems to be an old-fashioned anarchist who believes that all ruling institutions are corrupt and public pronouncements are lies.

Read the rest of this revealing assessment….

Phi Beta Iota: We like David Brooks.  He’s less submissive than David Ignatius, less pretentious than Fareed Zakaria, and generally has something interesting to say.  In this piece, most revealingly, he displays his limitations to the fullest.  We are quite certain that David Brooks means well, but the depth of his naivete in this piece is nothing short of astonishing.  The below lists of lists of book reviews will suffice to demonstrate that David Brooks is not as well-read as he needs to be, not as intellectual as he pretends to be, and not at all accurate in his assessment of Julian Assange.  We share with Steven Aftergood of Federation of American Scientists (FAS) concerns about Assange’s judgment in releasing some materials that are gratuitous invasions of rightful privacy, but we also believe that Assange is finding his groove, and the recent cover story in Forbes captures that essence.  WikiLeaks is an antidote to corporate fascism and elective Empire run amok.  It meets a need.

Other Commentaries on the Same Article:

Continue reading “Journal: Brooks on Assange, Others on Brooks”

Reference: Network Nation, National Greatness

About the Idea, Collaboration Zones, Communities of Practice, InfoOps (IO), IO Mapping, Methods & Process
David Brooks
National Greatness Agenda

We now need a movement transcendent of partisan cliques and organized around a broad revitalization agenda and love of country. November 12, 2010

The Crossroads Nation

From Bill Clinton’s bridge to the 21st century to President Obama’s new foundation, the next American century is often described vaguely. Here’s why.   November 9, 2010

Phi Beta Iota: In a very generic sense, what David Brooks proposes is perfectly aligned with the concept of a Smart Nation and the need to nurture a World Brain and Global Game.

Journal: Statecraft, Soulcraft, & Well-Being

David Brooks

Op-Ed Columnist

The Sandra Bullock Trade

Two things happened to Sandra Bullock this month. First, she won an Academy Award for best actress. Then came the news reports claiming that her husband is an adulterous jerk. So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?

. . . . . . .

If the relationship between money and well-being is complicated, the correspondence between personal relationships and happiness is not. The daily activities most associated with happiness are sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others. The daily activity most injurious to happiness is commuting. According to one study, joining a group that meets even just once a month produces the same happiness gain as doubling your income. According to another, being married produces a psychic gain equivalent to more than $100,000 a year.

Full Story Online

If you want to find a good place to live, just ask people if they trust their neighbors. Levels of social trust vary enormously, but countries with high social trust have happier people, better health, more efficient government, more economic growth, and less fear of crime (regardless of whether actual crime rates are increasing or decreasing).

See also:

Amazon Page: The Hidden Wealth of Nations

Amazon Page: The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being

Review: Statecraft as Soulcraft

Review: The Power of the Powerless–Citizens Against the State in Central-Eastern Europe

Review: World Out of Balance–International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy

4 Star, Country/Regional, Diplomacy, Economics, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Military & Pentagon Power, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Security (Including Immigration), United Nations & NGOs
Amazon Page

4.0 out of 5 stars Erudite, Itself Out of Balance, Secoond Tier Reading

January 8, 2010

Stephen Brooks and William Wohlforth

This is one of three books I bought to reflect on the same generic topic, the other two are Power & Responsibility: Building International Order in an Era of Transnational Threat and To Lead the World: American Strategy after the Bush Doctrine, which I will read and review this week-end.

It is a substantive contribution, important, but second tier in terms of clarity and utlity and comprehensiveness.

The authors do a fine job of setting the stage for why this book matters in relation to policy, putting forth three overarching questions worth quoting:

1. Can the United States sustain an expansive range of security commitments around the globe?

2. Is the United States well positioned to reshape the international system to better advance its security interests?

3. What are the general costs of unilateralism?

I have mixed feelings about this book for three reasons:

Continue reading “Review: World Out of Balance–International Relations and the Challenge of American Primacy”

Journal: Chuck Spinney Sends on Will & Wont

Analysis, Ethics
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

My good friend Werther had this to say about David Brookes’ op-ed, “The Tenacity Question,” in the 29 October 09 of the New York Times, which argued that the solution to Afghanistan was a simple question of mustering willpower.

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Sola Fide

“The sleep of reason breeds monsters.”
Francisco Goya

By Werther*

As yet more evidence for why the newspaper industry is in an apparently terminal decline, yesterday the New York Times published neoconservative columnist David Brooks’ justification for more quagmire in Afghanistan.

There are so many things wrong with his reasoning that we can only skim the surface.

Continue reading “Journal: Chuck Spinney Sends on Will & Wont”