LOVE YOUR LITTLE PLATOON

Love where you live. Love your neighbors. Introduce them. Be rooted in your community. Root for the home team. Flaunt your regionalisms. Sell your idiosyncrasies. Uphold the social contract. Pay it forward. Think globally–adopt best-practices–act locally.

Ethics aside, consider the advantages. First, it may make you happier [Shank and Beasley]. Second, it may reward you with multiplier effects, since the people you meet are more likely to know each other, gossip about and look out for each other [Putnam]. (Put differently, information can cascade through a mesh [Easeley and Kleinberg], less so through a hub and spokes.) Thirdly, you are more likely to have an impact locally, as you know the lay of the land and will have an easier time organizing. And finally, in a globalized, homogenizing, and inter-connected world, being particular may be a competitive advantage [Anderson, Brooks, Godin].

Heed Edmund Burke:

To be attached to the subdivisions, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections.

 

References and further reading:

Chris Anderson. 2006. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. New York: Hyperion.

Brynjolfsson, Hu, Smith. 2010. The Longer Tail: The Changing Shape of Amazon’s Sales Distribution Curve.

David Brooks. 2012-06-25. The Power of the Particular. NYT

David Easley & Jon Kleinberg. 2010. Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World

Chrystia Freeland. 2011-02. The Rise of the New Global Elite. TheAtlantic

Seth Godin. Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable

Stephen Marche. 2012-05. Is Facebook Making Us Lonely? The Atlantic

Charlie O’Donnell. 2013-06-17. Making the NYC Community Smaller

Robert D. Putnam. 2000. Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Ian Ritchie. 2001-09-27. Scotland must rise to the challenge of self-belief

M. Shank and F. Beasley. 1998. “Fan or Fanatic: Refining a Measure of Sports Involvement.Journal of Sport Behavior 21:435.

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