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ACADEMIC-STUDY-MAGIC  March 2008

ACADEMIC-STUDY-MAGIC March 2008

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Subject:

Re: Some help wanted on the decline of priesthoods

From:

"grant b, sun reporter" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Society for The Academic Study of Magic <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 Mar 2008 12:31:27 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (127 lines)

I'm nearly positive Malcolm Gladwell (he of The
Tipping Point) has written on this subject,
possibly in the context of "granularization" (as
used here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granular#In_computing
) 

There may also be something useful in the sources
(or, indeed, the article itself) over here: 
http://tiny.cc/rC7fZ

Seems to overlap with a lot of sociological
things, too....



--- Alan Pritchard <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> This is a bit of a ramble, but you are such a
> wide-ranging academic group &
> it does slightly impinge on aspects of the
> topic
> 
> I was talking to my son the other day who is
> doing a PhD on the history of
> the photographic industry in the UK, 1837-1914,
> and looking at a poster he
> has done. His comments on Kodak & the rise of
> popular photography started me
> thinking and talking about what I said was the
> 'democratisation of
> technology' or what I am now thinking of as the
> 'decline of priesthoods'
> Unfortunately he has now asked me for
> references. I wish I had kept my mouth
> shut!
> 
> Examples seems to abound in all areas of
> society, the common feature being
> the decline of a priesthood that controlled
> access to something and the rise
> of direct access by individuals. Examples:
> 
> Protestantism with the move from the Catholic
> priesthood controlling access
> to God to each individual with their bible
> having direct personal access to
> God
> 
> Photography. At one time you had to go to a
> professional photographer and
> have your photo taken. Kodak put the power of
> taking photos in the hands of
> the people.
> 
> Computers. The rise of the PC in the the '80s
> onwards took (some) power away
> away from the IT Department to controlled
> access to mainframes and the
> programs that ran on them to individual
> departments who could run Lotus or
> dBase and get the programs that would meet
> their own needs. I can remember
> that there were discussions in the popular
> computer press of the time
> debating just this issue. This is the area that
> I am most familiar with.
> 
> Wikipedia. Move away from the formal
> encyclopedias with very controlled
> access to a more popular, democratic approach
> to encyclopedias.
> 
> One can also consider it as a move from the
> passive to the active - from
> having things done to you or for you to doing
> them oneself. Having ones
> photo taken to taking them oneself. Or, asking
> someone to write a program
> for you to writing a spreadsheet or database
> oneself. Once this happens the
> priesthood loses control of the temple and a
> 'thousand flowers bloom'
> (Protestantism or uncoordinated computer
> program).
> 
> Now, either this idea is very obvious and there
> is lots of literature on it,
> or else it is so original that *I* should be
> doing a PhD!!!
> 
> I'm more inclined to think the former, but I do
> not have access to a decent
> library to try to find anything.
> 
> So the question is are there any books or
> papers on this topic treating it
> in an eclectic fashion - drawing on examples
> from a wide range of social and
> technological fields, bringing the idea
> together?
> 
> Did Tawney's book (*Religion and the rise of
> capitalism*) cover this aspect
> at all. I read it around 1960 when I was at
> university, but don't remember
> any thing from it.
> 
> Any leads would be appreciated, and thank you
> for your indulgence. I hope it
> is not to much OT.
> 
> Alan
> 
> -- 
> Best wishes
> Alan Pritchard MPhil FCLIP MBCS
> Tel: +44 (0)1202 417477
> 


-------------
grant's words: http://www.flyingfists.org

grant's music: http://grantimatter.com/, http://guildofscientifictroubadours.com

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