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Bradley W. Bloch

Entries by Bradley W. Bloch

Tiger Mothers, Networked Fathers and Organization Kids

(6) Comments | Posted January 20, 2011 | 10:00 PM

A visceral understanding of the importance of social networks infuses much of David Brooks' writing, so it's no surprise that he was able to pinpoint a vulnerable crease in the armor of Tiger Mother Amy Chua:

Practicing a piece of music for four hours requires focused attention, but...
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Bipartisan Seating at the State of the Union? Why Stop There?

(12) Comments | Posted January 14, 2011 | 12:11 PM

In the wake of the Tucson shootings, Third Way, the Democratic centrist group, has offered what it calls three "small suggestions" toward increasing the civility of political discourse:

  1. Mixed (bipartisan) seating at the State of the Union address, to avoid the spectacle of one side jumping up to...
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How Is Leaking Like Getting a Job?

(0) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 3:00 PM

Noam Scheiber has a much-read piece at The New Republic positing that WikiLeaks "will be the death of big business and big government." In short, the thesis is that in the age of WikiLeaks, everyone is a potential leaker, and the larger the company or government agency, the...

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Can Obama Get His Networking Groove Back?

(34) Comments | Posted December 30, 2010 | 12:37 PM

Both The New York Times and The Washington Post used President Obama's departure for Hawaii as occasion to suggest that the president will be entering the second half of his term with a greater focus on the human side of governing. That this speculation seems to...

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Zell's Tribune and the Hidden Costs of Bad Management

(3) Comments | Posted October 27, 2010 | 11:18 AM

On Friday, Sam Zell finally talked Randy Michaels, the former disc jockey he named to run Tribune Company, into stepping down. By now, of course, the story is well known of how Michaels and his crew -- a traffic reporter who became the manager of the Tribune's storied...

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Yalie Perplexed by Anti-Yale Sentiment

(11) Comments | Posted October 12, 2010 | 3:30 PM

Anne Applebaum, writing in Slate, raises an important paradox: Why is there a rising tide of resentment toward Ivy League elites, given the role that Ivy League institutions have played for decades in driving the engine of meritocracy and upward mobility? Isn't the Obama Administration filled with graduates...

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Helpful Advice for Rhodes Scholars (For the Rest of Us, Maybe Not So Much)

(4) Comments | Posted August 10, 2010 | 12:29 PM

What hath meritocracy wrought? For like all utopias, it has brought consequences its planners did not foresee. The WASP aristocracy may be on the wane (with Elena Kagan's swearing-in, the Supreme Court is now without a Protestant), but it is being been replaced by what The New York...

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Spending Our Cognitive Surplus

(1) Comments | Posted July 27, 2010 | 11:15 AM

For the large swath of humanity that lives in modern industrial societies, the great existential question is simply this: What are we to do with our free time? For as busy as we think we are, we are nowhere as busy as people were before labor laws, or when they...

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Want a SCOTUS seat? Plan in High School, Before It's Too Late

(2) Comments | Posted May 12, 2010 | 12:28 PM

As David Bernstein was quick to point out on the Volokh Conspiracy, Elena Kagan's confirmation will give us a High Court filled exclusively with Harvard and Yale Law School graduates:

I know that Harvard and Yale attract a disproportionate percentage of America's talented youth, but still, isn't this...
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Saddam's Social Network Not So Foreign

(2) Comments | Posted March 5, 2010 | 11:15 AM

In the period after Baghdad's fall, the U.S. military commanders overseeing Saddam's hometown of Tikrit realized that Saddam was most likely hiding in the area-and that he and an inner circle of bodyguards and others were directing the increasingly effective insurgency. A small group of farsighted military leaders realized that...

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How Much Does Your Network Weigh?

(0) Comments | Posted January 4, 2010 | 10:51 AM

"How much does your life weigh?" This is what Ryan Bingham, George Clooney's character in Up in the Air, asks in the motivational talks he gives when he's not flying around the country firing people as a corporate downsizing consultant. He asks us to imagine putting everything we own, from...

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Mining Geithner's Daybook

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2009 | 1:06 AM

As the Obama administration continues its efforts to stabilize the financial system, the question of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's relationship to Wall Street keeps reemerging. Is he too close to the bankers over which he now has to ride herd? As head of the New York Federal Reserve, was he...

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How to Succeed in the Networked Century

(0) Comments | Posted February 20, 2009 | 9:12 AM

A large part of the reason Barack Obama defeated Hillary Clinton in last year's Democratic primary can be reduced to the fact that he mobilized his bottom-up network better than she mobilized her top-down one. So it was notable that even before formally taking over the State Department, Clinton named...

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Madoff, Merkin and the Epidemiology of Fraud

(5) Comments | Posted January 7, 2009 | 11:18 AM

In 1854, John Snow, a British physician, turned his attention to an outbreak of cholera along Broad Street in London. Investigating the area where the outbreak was taking place, he noticed that the afflicted homes were clustered around a particular well. Although it was commonly believed that cholera was the...

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Our Blagojevich, Ourselves

(2) Comments | Posted December 17, 2008 | 2:30 PM

The initial outrage over Rod Blagojevich's blatant attempts to sell Barack Obama's Senate seat has predictably moved into its second phase: Perhaps he's guilty of nothing more than politics as usual, merely taking to an uncouth extreme the sort of horse-trading and quid quo pro that has always been at...

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Washington Network Watch: Learning from Bill

(0) Comments | Posted December 9, 2008 | 3:26 PM

It isn't clear yet exactly how much Bill Clinton will have to curtail his involvement in the Clinton Global Initiative as a result of Hillary's nomination to be Secretary of State. It's certainly no surprise that Bill would agree to whatever was necessary to further Hillary's trajectory. But there is...

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Washington Network Watch: Daschle's (Near) Dozen

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2008 | 10:11 PM

The news that Tom Daschle will be nominated to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services is an interesting development for those tracking the shape of the new administration. Daschle alumni constitute their own cluster of critical mass within the Obama network; at least nine senior campaign advisers, many...

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How to Win the Nobel Prize in Literature

(3) Comments | Posted October 8, 2008 | 11:44 AM

In the next few days, a writer will be elevated into the literary pantheon by the Swedish Academy, which will bestow upon him or her the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature. The selection will most likely set off a flurry of commentary by the literati as well as handwringing by...

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All the President's Networks

(1) Comments | Posted September 22, 2008 | 11:06 AM

It turns out that the easiest way to be in the inner circle of Alaska state government is to have been a high school classmate of Sarah Palin. As a result, a former real estate agent ended up heading the State Division of Agriculture, a Mailboxes Etc. franchisee was...

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