April 18, 2018

Wait Just a Minute: Niall Ferguson

In just 60 seconds, Niall Ferguson, historian and political commentator, answers questions on networks, hierarchies, and Facebook. Watch the full talk on his new book, The Square and the Tower.

What is network vs hierarchy?

There are two kinds of structure. There's a network. You all know what that is. Hierarchy is when there is somebody in charge. It's like a pyramid. And there's a top-down command structure. That's what an army is like. The Square and the Tower is about how all of history is about the interplay between networks and hierarchies.

Who makes better leaders?

Network people are terrible leaders. If you want to fight a war, get a hierarchical person to lead. Network people take all kinds of time to figure out what the consensus is, whereas hierarchy people say, this is the plan, let's do it.

Computer is to printing press as Facebook is to __________?

Nothing, because in the age of the printing press, social networks weren't designed to make money by selling your data to advertisers.

Who are you dying to debate?

I'd quite like to pick a fight with Karl Marx, because Karl Marx misled a huge number of people. And that led to hundreds of millions of deaths.

About

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. We convene leading global voices and conduct independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is an independent, nonpartisan organization. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion in blog posts are the sole responsibility of the individual author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Council.

Archive








| By Ian Klaus

Did the UNSG Say “Revolution”?

While there is nothing convenient about 2020, the upcoming Pritzker Forum on Global Cities has been helpfully anticipated by a series of publications that speak to the high stakes currently in play in cities around the world and the urgent need - from the perspective of both efficacy and equity - to adapt governance practices.








| By Laurence Ralph, Thomas Abt, Brian Hanson

Deep Dish: Police Reform Lessons from Around the World

Princeton University’s Laurence Ralph and the Council on Criminal Justice’s Thomas Abt join Deep Dish to explain why police brutality is not a uniquely American phenomenon and argue the strongest examples of successful police reform come from outside the United States.