Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Cow tipping point

What is cow tipping?

It is a strange fact of nature that cows sleep standing up. Several theories have been proposed as to why this is so, but the prevailing idea is that sleeping upright is an evolved defense mechanism that provides the cow with a better opportunity to escape predators. Whatever the reason, you can use this natural anomaly for your recreational pleasure!

Cow tipping is a tradition among rural youths that has been around since humans first domesticated the bovine species. The practice is a great way to increase self-confidence at an early age.

What is a Tipping Point?

It's a concept that recognises a new way of understanding why change often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does.
It's that ideas and behavior sometimes behave just like outbreaks of infectious disease. They are a social and cultural epidemic.

Epidemics behave in a very unusual and counterintuitive way.
The argument is that it is also the way that change often happens in the rest of the world. Things can happen all at once, and little changes can make a huge difference. As human beings, we always expect everyday change to happen slowly and steadily, and for there to be some relationship between cause and effect. And when there isn't we're surprised.

Epidemiologists have a strikingly different way of looking at the world. They don't share the assumptions the rest of us have about how and why change happens. The word "Tipping Point", for example, comes from the world of epidemiology. It's the name given to that moment in an epidemic when a virus reaches critical mass.
Wouldn't it be cool to look for Tipping Points in government, or in social policy?

Perhaps I could upend all the cows - Head Coach, Coach and LLL (who do sleep standing up) at TEAM SAG and effect a change.