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Mike Love's Genealogy of Influence

Boing Boing reports that Institute for the Future researcher Mike Love has developed a Google "hack" that gives a graphical visualisation of Western key intelligentsia and their influence as a citation network. Love has a blog on the Genealogy of Influence project, its theories and practices.

Love's project would have interesting results if applied to the Futures Studies and Strategic Foresight fields. To-date the major integrative project that has done this is the multi-volume Knowledge Base of Futures Studies (KBFS) spearheaded by Richard Slaughter, now in its third edition with 80 new papers. Joseph Coates and Jennifer Jarratt's book What Futurists Believe (World Future Society, Washington DC, 1989) preceded KBFS yet mainly reflected the North American tradition of "pragmatic" futures, science and technology exemplified by the World Future Society. The major "genealogical" theory in Futures Studies is Sohail Inayatullah's interpretation of P.R. Sarkar's change cycle and macrohistory as the "search for patterns of change in social systems over long time periods", in which the "vipra" or intellectual class has a pivotal and relational role.

If Slaughter's scope and Inayatullah's theoretical framework became the basis for a "Genealogy of Influence"-type project on contemporary futurists, the results could be very interesting . . .


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