Monday, 13 December 2010

Assignment 4 - Reading and Reviewing

“Crime, Shame and Reintegration” by John Braithwaite is book I looked into which offers a perspective of crime and punishment in the US. Braithwaite believes that the current system of dealing with crime and punishment today is not effective, due to people using the shaming technique incorrectly. The book also looks into the psychology behind criminal behaviour and the reasons why people do it or in some cases do not participate. The area of the book I looked into was Chapter Two: The Dominant Theoretical Traditions. This Chapter is split up into five parts/theories: Labeling, Subcultural, Control, Opportunity and Learning.
The theory I chose to look into in more detail was “The Control Theory” because I felt it was the most interesting of the theories to read into, as it speaks more about the beginning of criminal behaviour at an early age. The main purpose of this article is to convey the reason why people react the way they do when subject to criminal activity or participating in criminal activity.  Especially in young children today, individuals are often fascinated to engage in crime to receive behavioural attention.  The key question the author is addressing is not “Why did he/she do it?”, but “Why did he/she not do it?” Humans will seek a reward after committing a crime... looking for some sort of attention, unless they are put in check early or in other ways controlled!
 The most important information I found in this article was about “social bonding” and its connection to delinquency control.  Braithwaite believes that there are four aspects of social bond: attachment, commitment, involvement and belief. They can see criminal activity linking into the social bond people or children have with their family, school and occasionally to the church. Evidence proves that if people have a strong attachment with family they are often less likely to engage in crime, especially in the attachment of juveniles with parents. The author gains this evidence from (Glueck and Glueck, 1950).  Education on the other hand, creates an ever stronger bond with criminal activity due to the point that “delinquency to be more the cause than a consequence of school attachment”.  There is a connection between poor school performance, not enjoying school, feeling less attached to school and low aspirations, that can all can lead to bad behaviour. 
Criminals themselves could even be explained by procedures like negative social labelling. Negative social labelling can be successful in dropping crime rates as it works by stigmatizing a bad name/label on the person, developing into a negative self-image. This is why it works especially well on young children who are strongly bonded to their family and school . Attachment is an essential but not a satisfactory condition for effective social control.
The main conclusion in this article is that attachment can reduce crime rates when people sufficiently make use of shaming and take into consideration the process of social control!  Reintegrative shaming works especially well in the social bonding within Culture, as it is looked so intensely at. Culture can use a powerful and immediate control against both corporate crimes as well as minor petty crimes, in preventing but also reducing crime rates.
The key concept we need to establish in this article is that there is a link between all the theories and by these concepts the author means the theory of reintegrative shaming... The author presents favourably the point of view that each theory complements each other in order to work successfully in crime reduction.

The Journal I looked into was called “Neighbourhood design and fear of crime: A social-ecological examination of the correlates of residents' fear in new suburban housing developments” by Sarah Foster, Billie Giles-Corti and Matthew Knuiman.  The study explores the connection between neighborhood design and residents’ fear of crime in suburban housing areas. Both primary reports and second hand data were collected as part of a project called: the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Project. They came to the conclusion that people feel a lot safer in a pedestrian area with a higher density and more accessible space to get to shops etc.
The article speaks about fear and how it creates anxiety and can affect someone’s mental health. For example small things such as litter, vandalism and graffiti can all heighten insecurities and prevent residents from wanting to go out into their own neighborhood and socialise. The key question the author is asking, is if housing and street design can reduce both crime and residents fear at one time. She goes about answering this question by looking into different methods such as: Individual Characteristics, Neighborhood Perceptions, Social Environment and Physical Environment to try and reduce crime and anxiety.
The RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Project created a study of the “impact of urban design on health in Perth, Western Australia. They were asked to complete a questionnaire before they moved into their new home and another two after they were relocated.  The most important information in this article and the results of the question airing were as followed:
The results confirmed some well-established associations between demographic characteristics and fear of crime: women and older adults were significantly more fearful; and participants with a university education or higher household income had lower odds of being fearful. All subsequent analyses adjusted for these demographic variables; and although not presented in the tables, the observed associations persisted.”

The main conclusion the author came to is that there is definitely a direct connection between neighborhood planning and residents fearfulness. Not only is it just one or two characteristics that provide someone to feel safe but the efficient effect of land-planning and housing design. Residents prefer areas where there is a presence of district guardians, areas which encourage people to come of their homes and into public realms and well facilitated pedestrian movement space on the streets.  Linking back to the “The Broken Windows Theory” this article is similar in suggesting that if areas of wider land space are created, the less crime that is going to be produced and the level of resident’s fearfulness is reduced. Same as if an area has the beginning of windows being broken, vandals will see this area as being a place excellent for disrupting even more and the criminal behaviour is continued.
 Fear of crime has been associated with social withdrawal, and poorer mental and physical health (Stafford 2007). The main point of view of this article and the statistical findings, support the argument that a more walkable neighborhood is a place where the residents living there feel a lot safer.

“Crime, Shame and Reintegration” and “Neighbourhood design and fear of crime: A social-ecological examination of the correlates of residents' fear in new suburban housing developments”, I feel are linked in many ways but in others contrast. The book by John Braithwaite talks about the development of crime and the psychology behind it. It closely looks into different theories used to stop crime happening... for example the very successful “Shaming” technique which links not to why he/she committed the crime but why he/she did not commit the crime. On the other hand the article “Neighbourhood design and fear of crime” looks only into the environmental factors which both can influence crime to occur and increase residents fear of crime. Although the book and article are completely different, each of them refers to mental and psychological feelings behind crime. “Crime, shame and reintegration” believes that shaming someone from a stigmatism is the way of control to reduce criminal activities at an earlier stage.
“Reintegrative shaming keeps most of us on the anti-criminal side of the tipping point most of the time” page 31
One of three authors of the article I looked at, Sarah Foster believes that if new suburban housing areas are built with the consideration of, high density street design and an overall friendlier looking environment , the less likely criminal activity and bad behaviour will occur, making the neighborhood feel at ease and comfortable living in their own homes.
Another article I shortly looked into in the last assignment was: Residents' Efforts at Neighborhood Stabilization: Facing the Challenges of Inner-City Neighborhoods by Patrick G. Donnelly and Theo J. Majka. This paper also examines the response of residents living in an inner city neighborhood and their views on the sudden increase of crime, drugs and disorderly behaviour. Rather than residents moving away from the crime, they decided to do something about it as a community. Working as a group, city officials were more likely look at their case being more serious as a target area for criminal behaviour and actions would therefore be put in place a lot quicker, to provide a more enjoyable place for residents to live.
Both articles speak as though there should always be a reason behind crime, whether this is the “social bonding” behind a person and their connection to either family, school or culture, whether the correct techniques are being put in place for shaming an individual that what they are doing is wrong, or environmental examples such as redesigning a new suburban area before it is built to get ahead of the game and stop crime before it happens, or whether you work as a team to get the issue sorted, rather than living in fear of your own neighborhood.
I feel that the areas I could look into further is the references Braithwaite has used in his book to prove the points he has spoken, behind successful shaming techniques and theories. I preferred reading “Crime, shame an reintegration” than the other article as I found it more interesting, learning about more the reason why people are committing and the ways of stopping it, rather than a neighborhood side of it. I am curious to look more into the child psychology and ways that schooling deals with bad behaviour before it gets out of control. Although Braithwaite speaks about the social bonding between and juvenile and school, I would definitely like to look into it further. After reading these articles I feel like crime has a lot more simpler reasoning behind it and if caught early, there would be a massive decrease in the mass of bad criminal behaviour today.

References Used:
Braithwaite J, (1989), Crime, Shame and Reintegration, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press
Donnelly, P.G., And Majka, T.J., 1998. Residents' Efforts at Neighborhood Stabilization: Facing the Challenges of Inner-City Neighborhoods, Sociological Forum, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.189-213.

Foster, S. Giles-Corti, B. And Knuiman, M., 2010. Neighbourhood design and fear of crime: A social-ecological examination of the correlates of residents' fear in new suburban housing developments, Health and Place 16: (6) pp. 1156-1165.
Glueck, S. And Glueck E, (1950), Unravelling Juvenile Delinquency, Nw York: The Commonwealth Fund.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Useful Websites!

Useful Websites:

Useful Textile Design Websites:

Assignment 3 - Looking up, Looking down

Assessment 3!
Design against Crime / Crime Prevention
In assignment two I looked at the chapter: The Power of Context which focuses mainly on Crime in New York City Subways. I then decided to look more into detail about how design can prevent crime and vandalism in areas. For example re-vamping council housing estates, to make a more pleasant and safer living environment for residents. This links to “The Broken Windows Theory” and how it is physiologically proven that this theory reduces crime rates.

 Braithwaite J, (1989), Crime, Shame and Reintegration, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

This book successfully links to my topic to reduce crime rates, as it focuses on the criminological theory. It looks into both professional crimes such as burglary down to the smallest of petty crime. Braithwaite believes that it is down to shaming which make some societies have higher crime rates than others. Shaming can work well in certain areas such as if you act with respect towards the offender, you can form a sort of social control over them and hopefully shame them into what they are doing is wrong.  But shaming can also be seen as counterproductive, meaning that crime problems worsening.  I think this book is very successful as I can see this theory being put into other fields.

Cook, Phillip J. And Duke, U., 2009. Crime Control in the City: A Research-Based Briefing on Public and Private Measures, Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research 11 1, pp. 53 – 79.

High crime rates in the community area create a great burden against local residents who cannot afford to move area. Tackling crime control should definitely be looked more into by policymakers. Crime includes: vandalism, graffiti, violence, theft and drugs. When these areas are tackled greater opportunities open up for the neighborhood. The journal looks into how the statistics of crime rates fluctuate all the time and how policies and services play an important role in crime prevention.

Donnelly, P.G., And Majka, T.J., 1998. Residents' Efforts at Neighborhood Stabilization: Facing the Challenges of Inner-City Neighborhoods, Sociological Forum, Vol. 13, No. 2, pp.189-213.

This paper examines the response of residents, based on the sudden increase of disorder, drugs and crime. It looks at the bravery of residents of the neighborhood and how they all grouped together in developing a stabilized plan to reduce crime in their estate. The journal encourages participation, activism and commitment of residents and proves the social movement, by successful organizations

Foster, S. Giles-Corti, B. And Knuiman, M., 2010. Neighbourhood design and fear of crime: A social-ecological examination of the correlates of residents' fear in new suburban housing developments, Health and Place 16: (6) pp. 1156-1165.
The study explores the connection between neighborhood design and residents’ fear of crime in suburban housing areas. Both primary reports and second hand data were collected as part of a project called: the RESIDential Environments (RESIDE) Project. They came to the conclusion that people feel a lot safer in a pedestrian area with a higher density and more accessible space to get to shops etc. The article speaks about fear and how it creates anxiety and can affect someone’s mental health. For example small things such as litter, vandalism and graffiti can all heighten insecurities and prevent residents from wanting to go out into their own neighborhood and socialise


Milke, M., 1997. Neatness RULES! , Alberta Report / Newsmagazine 06/30/97, Vol. 24 Issue 29, pp.11.

This paper focuses on erasing graffiti and the hopes that it reduces youth crime. Naming graffiti artists “taggers”, Milke believed that “taggers” shouldn’t be allowed to admire their work and it should be removed as soon as possible. The area of crime prevention in the journal also links back to the “Broken windows theory” - buy scrubbing areas clean of graffiti and creating a nicer environment, people will avoid making it dirty again. By doing this in New York Subways, crime rates dropped by 64%.

Paul Stollard. (1991). Crime Prevention Through Housing Design. London: New York: E & FNSpon, p.90.

This very interesting book has a lot to do with what i am looking into. It is really specifically made for architects and housing managers on designing to deter crime. Even though different estates have different problems and the ways to solve them... the process which leads to solutions being made is the same. Stollard reviews different theories to prevent crime through design. It also shows how to apply these solutions in the design process.

Straw, J., 1995. Straw and Order, New Statesman & Society 9/15/95, Vol. 8 Issue 370, pp.18.

This observation, speaks mainly of the importance of tackling crime and how that looking closely into people’s characteristics and behaviours, can prevent crime escalating into something more serious. As I am focusing on how design can reduce crime rates, this paper seemed very successful in helping me as it mentions manly examples where this has work e.g. cleaning up graffiti, unemployment, homelessness, better societies and education for youth. It also looks into the important issue of how crime is linked to politics!

Welsh, B.C., 2010. Reconceptualising public area surveillance and crime prevention: Security guards, place managers and defensible space. SECURITY JOURNAL 23 (4), pp. 299 - 319

“It is important assess the effectiveness of the full range of surveillance measures that are used to prevent crime in public places.”
CCTV and better street lighting are just some of the simple things that could be done to reduce crime rates. “Surveillance measures” also include security guards, place mangers and better street spacing. There is evidence shown in this paper that by improving these areas, crime can be reduced. This journal can really help me in my studies by reducing crime by design!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Rug tackling the issue of Global Warming

I was looking around the website when i came across this extraordinary rug, in which Mexican design collective NEL have designed for Spanish textile brand Nanimarquina.
Nanimarquina find that Global Warming today is being overshadowed by politicised discussions. It has been pushed off the front page of newspapers and people are starting to forget about climate change.

The rug has been made to show contrast. The rug is soft and comfortable compared to the topic of climate change which is a tough battle to concur (especially when people are forgetting all about it).

The rug features a felt polar bear on a small iceberg in a large sea of carpet, especially designed to show how tiny in comparison iceberg habitats are to the ocean.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

"Craft & Form of Capital " - Hamid Van Koten

Yesterday we had a lecture from Hamid Van Koten - Who is a training and consultancy at VKconsultants and Lecturer/ Researcher at Dundee University. He graduated from Glasgow school of Art with a degree in product design.

Hamid Van Koten was trying to get the message across between the difference of Art & Design and Craft.
What is Craft?
Craft started a very long time ago, back in the BC era where people would use only materials such as beads, shells and stone to create products. Pottery also was a large area of craft for example Zuni Potts.

He talked about architecture in craft and used The Angel of the North in Newcastle and The Sphinxes in both Turkey and Egypt. Were these built as pieces of Art or Architecture?

 "In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a major revival during the Renaissance. Later, the sphinx image, something very similar to the original Ancient Egyptian concept, was exported into many other cultures, albeit often interpreted quite differently due to translations of descriptions of the originals and the evolution of the concept in relation to other cultural traditions."
     - Wikipedia

I enjoyed looking at the slide of a lace chair, interior and industrial designer Marcel Wanders created using hardened lace therefore making it a hollow object.

But my favourite area of the lecture was looking at the group "Cast Off", Who are a social knitting group and encourage people to join them where ever they are. They even managed to create a whole wedding based on knit (even the confetti).
As a textile designer these parts of the lecture stood out to me most because that is what i enjoy learning about. Next week we even go onto a week of knit which I'm highly looking forward too.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Tipping Point Poster!

Here is my poster on my chosen chapted The Power of Context and how it relates to design. I found this assignment really difficult but once i got into the hang of things i feel it started to go much better:)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Friday 5.11.2010 Brainstorming

On Friday after lectures, Viv, Kirsty and I went to Braes to do some brainstorming on our chosen topic of The Tipping Point - Power of Context. I feel it was very successful and it has made me realise that i much prefer discussing idea's with other people first to help me get started on assignments, and i like hearing other people's points of view as well.

We found it difficult at first to try and relate The Power of Context in to design but once we got started the ideas starting flowing. Next I'm going to make an A2 poster of our ideas.

Friday, 5 November 2010

Friday 05.11.2010

Since going into second year textile design i have been given the great opportunity to hear from numerous well known designers and how they fit into the design business and it has really made me think that it could be me one day doing speeches to students, from where i started off.
For example today we had a lecture from jewellery and metal designer Hazel White. She completed her first degree of English and History at Edinburgh University but also graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone with a degree in Jewellery and Metal Design in 1993.
She spoke about a lot of different fields that she had looked into ranging from bling Philips and Swaroski USB pens, prayer beads, domesticating telecare and charm bracelets.

I found two areas of the talk most interesting.  The first part was about how she designed a sort of memory box mainly marketed for those who have long distance relationships with relatives e.g. people living in the Shetland Islands. In the Shetland Island most of the younger generation leave to study at universities but do not return due to the lack of job opportunities. Hazel White designed a simple wooden box that contained a built in i phone which was set up to the web page flikr. There would be small knitted cushions in the box, each resembling a different family member. When a cushion was placed onto an area in the box recent photographs come up on the i phone. This design is perfect for the elderly who want to keep contacted with family members.

The piece of information i will take away from the lecture is thee quote White spoke saying: "Design things fast, so you can move on". I often find within my textile work that the pieces i complete which are most successful are those which took least amount of time. I find that i also prefer the one's which i don't think into to much.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

29.10.2010 Brainstorming

We were told to get into groups of 4/5, to do the brainstorming assignment but my group (group C) decided it would be best to do a whole group discussion first on each chapter to get a better outlook on the book as a whole, before we split into smaller groups to talk about The Tipping Point and how it relates to design.

As i did my mind map on Chapter Four, The Power of Context (1), that will be what i will be looking into detail.. and how the power of context can relate to the industry of design.

Friday, 29 October 2010

lecture 29.10.2010

Today we had an interesting lecture from johnathon about what was the difference between good design and bad design.. The part I found most interesting was about how males and female are different.. E.g. Is it right that it should be the woman's job to stay home and look after children. He also spoke about although there isn't actually people who are always going to be lucky or unlucky but by the way people act can make them think like this. The example johnathon used that I found most convincing was about a woman who came to the conclusion that everytime a green coloured car passed her she would end up in a car accident. Instead the case being that when she did see a green car approaching she would concentrate too hard on the road ahead, and bringing on the accident herself. The other experiment was a group of girls and boys passing two balls between either people wearing : black t-shirts and white t-shirts.. We were asked to concentrate on only yhe white t-shirts and to count how many passes. By concentrating so intensely on the ball the majority of people did not notice a black haired gorilla walking straight through the group! I managed to but only because I noticed people laughing.. Although johnathon never did tell us how many passes there actually was!!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Georgina Von Etzdorf

Yesterday, we had a talk by the well known textile designer, Georgina Von Etzdorf.
I have to say it was one of the most influential speeches i have ever received and really made me think about my own designs and way's in which i could improve them.
Georgina was so ordinary and such a down to earth person, which made it easy for me to listen to her talk.

She was born in Peru but she graduated in 1977 from Camberwell School of Art. She started off in her parents garage before coming into partnership with two other designers Martin Simcock and Johnathan Docherty. They have even designed garments for The Rolling Stones, Kyle and Robbie Williams.

The Company GVE started by producing distinctive hand-printed textiles but now go onto sell everything ranging from dressing gowns, to furniture, to gloves.

I really appreciate Georgina coming to visit us at Dundee and feel absolutely privileged to have got to see a lot of her garments in person. She had definitely gave me a brighter outlook on textile design and success.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Annotated bibliography:)

·         Nov19th 1998 the Blue Revolution, New York Review of Books, 32 – 34.
Gladwell explains how unattractive subways were as they were covered in “graffiti- top to bottom, inside and out”. It provides the reader with the clear image of how easily crime could be committed in environments like that.
·         Bratton, W. (1998) Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic. New York: Random House.
Here we see Bratton describe to use how run down and dirty New York City is at that time and compares it to:  ‘... at transit version of Dante’s Inferno.’  It is used successfully to show what it was like before the “broken window’s theory” took place and cleaned up the subways.
·         Bratton, W and Andrews, W. (1999) what we’ve Learned About Policing. City Journal
Fare-beating was becoming so common it was starting to cost the transit authority millions of pounds. Not only was that but there an increase on petty crimes and violence going on down in the subways. Gladwell successfully uses the examples just to show how dangerous it could be.
·         Fletcher, G, P. (1988) A Crime of Self Defence. New York: Free Press. 
Gladwell uses this source to tell the reader what Goetz’s ordinary image looked like and a rough bit of his background information.
·         Haney, C. Banks, C. Zimbardo, P. (1973). Interpersonal Dynamics in a Simulated Prison. International Journal of Criminology and Penology
Gladwell uses this experiment as an example to show how people’s behavior can alter when an influenced environment is created. Gladwell states: “The purpose of the experiment was to try and find out why prisons are such nasty places. Was it because prisons are full of nasty people, or was it because prisons are such nasty environments that make people nasty?”
·         Kelling, G L. And Coles, C M. (1996) Fixing Broken Windows. New York: Touchstone.
Gladwell compared crime as like a fashion trend that is “contagious”. This is where the broken windows theory comes into play. If something is vandalised and left, people are more likely to damage it even more because it is uncared for and then lead to more dangerous crimes.
·         Rubin, L. (1986) Quiet Rage: Bernie Goetz in a Time of Madness. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Gladwell explains that on the express train the majority of people avoided the four teenagers sitting down because they knew they would associate trouble but when Goetz boarded he seemed to know notice them as though he was asking for trouble.

The Tipping Point Mind Map 2

Here is my second Mind Map
I chose to do it on Chapter Four - Power of Contex (1)
Bernie Goetz and the rise and fall of New York crime.

The Tipping Point Mind Map 1

Mind Map 1
(On The Whole Book)

The Tipping Point - Completed

After finally completing the Tipping Point, i have to say i did really enjoy it and i would definitely recommend it to a friend! It really got me thinking and made me realise that everything in life seemed to relate to it. We all know someone who is a connector and the one who always knows other people's business. We can all think of a fashion trend that has made us want to go out urgently and buy it because we know someone else that has it but when will that trend "tip" and the item of clothing get thrown out. We all know someone at school that started smoking young and mabye the reasons why. Everything spreads quickly when you know the right person and before u know it an epidemic has begun.
I found the stickiness chapter interesting and the comparison between children TV programme's such as "Sesame street" and "Blue's clues". When you have already watched both programmes, after reading the chapter you understand why when we were children we got bored and the experiments that proved it. For example on "Sesame street", Ed Palmer and Gerald Lesser experimented with children to find out where they were losing concentration and make small tweaks to the programme to make a children's TV programme that sticks.

Another Chapter I found compelling was Power of Context Which i decided to do my second mind map on. The tipping point concentrates on situations why causes trends to "tip" in mass popularity e.g. the rapid New York crime decline in the 1990's. The chapter focuses on ways of cleaning up the neighborhood and the story of Bernie Goetz. I feel that the "Broken Windows Theory" is a very successful theory with many advantages and proves that with an already clean neighborhood, it is more likely to remain that way.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

NHS Artwork!

I was at work at the weekend, reading a newspaper and noticed something about NHS artwork. Turns out, the husband of a dying woman who was denied life-prolonging drugs on the NHS has criticised hospital bosses for spending more than £400,000 on art.
According to the hospital, the art - which includes two three-metre tall human statues made from fibre glass and steel – will “reduce stress, speed up recovery and aid the healing process.”
A statement from Bouygues UK and Mid Essex Hospital Services said: “The project aims to contribute to the overall aim of providing excellence and effective models of care, by enhancing the environment for everyone who uses the hospital and helping to reduce stress, speed up recovery and aid the healing process.

I was outraged by what i had read! How could metal human statues cost that amount of money? when it could be going towards more important thing aka saving somebodies life!!. Yes, it may make the place more attractive from the outside but should'nt it be what's going on in the inside of the building that counts?

I'm sure there would be some artists out there who would quite happily donate some artwork to the hospital (e.g. me) and be pleased it was going towards a good cause! Or even work produced by primary school children would lighten the place up! I don't understand how human statues has any relevance to speeding up recovery.

anywaysss rant over:)

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Another thing..
We are to use our blogs to write down our feelings, design idea's, upcoming idea's, projects we are currently doing, lectures, out work, criticism , praise, thoughts, upload photographs , well..anything really!

So i suppose it has to be taken quite serious! Unlike Facebook.
But the thing is, i can't even take myself seriously ! :|
So i apologise in advance if the majority of my blog is full of nonsense!:P

The Tipping Point - Yes/No?

For our first assignment in design studies, we have been asked to read " The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. I'm going to say straight up, I'm not the biggest fan of reading books (because i normally get bored half way through)- but the more of the book i read the the more i am starting to enjoy it and understand it more. Woohoo!
I heard a lot of mixed reviews about this book before i started reading it and i have to say it took me a while to get into it, especially since it started off talking about the statistics of people with syphilis (confusing much)!. Only half way through the book and its got me thinking a lot about if i know any connectors and other tipping points going on in the world today!