"People often ask me about my research techniques. You would think this would be a relatively straightforward question, but the truth is that I have to keep changing my answer, because my techniques are constantly shifting as new forms of search or discovery become possible. Right now, I'm in that thrilling stage of writing-while-still-researching my next book, and I just went through a little episode of discovery that I think might be worth mapping out, as a case study of how ideas come into being, at least in my little corner of the world.
The subject matter of the book is not all that important here, but suffice it to say that I am currently working on an introductory bit that contrasts old, bureaucratic models of state organization with some new network structures that are currently on the rise. So my mind has been primed for anything that seems thematically relevant to those topics.
This particular thread begins with a random encounter on Twitter: checking out my @ mentions a few weeks ago (vanity will get you everywhere), I stumbled across someone mentioning my book to a friend, and also recommending something called 'Seeing Like A State.' (I can't track down this tweet, so can't give proper credit here.) I wasn't fully sure what 'Seeing Like A State' was, but it sounded up my alley, so a quick Amazon search revealed that it was, in fact, a very promising-sounding book written by James C. Scott, about the methods of state organization and control in modern history, and so within a matter of minutes, I was reading it on the Kindle iPad app. (I'm sure it is mentioned in many books that I've read already, but somehow I had missed it over the years.)"
Read the rest of the post here: http://goo.gl/xSiJ4