Posted by TheFallen on March 16, 2002
In Reply to: More about "Bellwether" posted by R. Berg on March 16, 2002
: : : : : : TIPPING POINT -- ".major changes in our society so often happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Ideas, behavior, messages, and products, he (Malcolm Gladwell) argues, often spread like outbreaks of infectious disease. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point." Summary from the dustjacket of "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 2000.
: : : : : The tipping point of a cow is her back haunch.
: : : : I've heard that cow-tipping is a "sport." But it isn't one that I ever tried.
: : :
: : : More sport than "a sport" - usually for the inebriated. I have not done this myself, though I have seen it done. Apparently it helps if the cow is asleep.
: : The tipping point is a central concept in a wonderful book, "Bellwether," by Connie Willis.
: For those who want more detail, I'll add that "Bellwether" is a comic novel in the fantasy genre, involving a bewildered sociologist, a weirdly bureaucratic research organization, and a small flock of sheep. With a formula like that, you can't go wrong.
Speaking of comic fantasy, I'll here put in my tuppence worth and commend Terry Pratchett to one and all. He does for Tolkien et al. what Douglas Adams (RIP) did for Arthur C. Clarke.