Review (Guest): Innovation Economics

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Robert D. Atkinson and Stephen J. Ezell

4.0 out of 5 stars Pragmatism, Not Ideology, Key to Remaining in Pole Position in the Innovation Race, November 4, 2012

Serge J. Van Steenkiste

Robert Atkinson and Stephen Ezell systematically challenge the ideological tenets of the dysfunctional Washington Economic Consensus that the U.S. economic elites cherish (pp. 54-56; 73-74; 78-80; 82-84; 93; 231-232; 250; 360; 363-364). Messrs. Atkinson and Ezell convincingly demonstrate that the U.S. is losing the innovation race by making the same mistakes that the United Kingdom made during its dramatic industrial decline from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. The outcome of this decline has been trifold: 1) a decline in real manufacturing output as a share of gross domestic product, 2) the emergence of chronic trade deficits, and 3) slower per capita economic growth than most comparable nations over a sustained period of time (pp. 9; 32-56; 57-84; 360).

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Aug 3

Review: Beyond Transparency – Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Brett Goldstein and Lauren Dyson (editors)

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb on Open Data, Missing Important Context And Index, July 6, 2014

This is a superb collection of individual very short contributions. Absolutely worth reading and strongly recommended for purchase and sharing.

Some take-aways:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Jul 6

Review: The Fourth Revolution – The Global Race to Reinvent the State

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge

4.0 out of 5 stars Trying to Do the Wrong Thing Righter — It’s Not the State, Stupid!, June 2, 2014

I am reading Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better, a gift from a former naval officer who shares my outrage over the US Government being 50% waste across the board. This book looks interesting but insufficient. As most of us now know, government is one of eight major action and information tribes (the other seven are academic, civil society including labor and religion, commerce especially small business, law enforcement, media, military, and non-governmental/non-profit organizations (NGO).

Trying to fix the state in isolation is a classic example of what Buckminster Fuller said we should never do (don’t try to fix a dysfunctional system, instead create a new system that displaces it) and what Russell Ackoff would label another attempt to do the wrong thing righter, instead of doing the right thing.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Jun 2

Review: The State is Out of Date – We Can Do It Better

Tags:
Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Gregory Sams

4.0 out of 5 stars Double-Spaced Essay of Value, April 30, 2014

This is an excellent double-spaced essay without notes or index, on how the state is a pathological encumberance on society, enabling all manner of waste in large part because it is incapable of dealing with the nuances of complexity. I quite agree with the author’s central premise, that 90% of what the state does and how it does it is antithetical to the peace and prosperity of society at large.

The book was first published in 1998, see the excellent comment from the author below as to its provenance and intent. My belief that this is new work, encouraged by slick mis-representative marketing including a new YouTube and no mention anywhere that this is a reprint that is 16 years old, is in error. I hold the author blameless, this was a publisher too distant from crowd ethics.

Among the best features of the book are numerous quotes from others collected by the author, and many examples from him time in the 1970′s through early 1990′s dealing with health food and natural cures.

The author’s major failing is in assuming that government is anything other than an organized crime family (the Nordic, BENELUX, and Singapore governments excepted). For the longest time I could not understand the US tax code and its purpose. One day, after considering the Tobin Tax and the efficacy of having a single Automated Payment Transaction (APT) Tax that included currency and stock transactions, I realize that the US tax code is actually a blackmail scheme. It’s purpose is not to raise revenue — witness the one trillion a year the US borrows in the name of future generations — it’s purpose is to blackmain businesses into paying for tax exemptions and loopholes, the point being that the money extorted by blackmail goes to the political campaign funds, not to the public.

I have a number of margin notations, and find much to agree with in this book, I am so dismayed with the false presentation of this book by the publisher as “new” that I am ending my review here. Watch any of the YouTube offerings to get the gist free.

A vastly more trenchant actually new book one with real homework, notes, and up to date references, is Peter Linebaugh’s Stop, Thief!: The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance (Spectre). A related book that complements both is William Easterly’s The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor, the next book that I will be reading and reviewing.

For those that would like to explore many of the themes that the author raises in his personal essay, I offer the four following lists of lists of book reviews — over 400 books sorted into over 40 categories — each easily found online with links back to all Amazon pages embedded.

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Positive Future-Oriented)

Worth a Look: Book Review Lists (Negative Status-Quo)

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Corruption 2.0

Worth a Look: Book Reviews on Democracy Lost & Found

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
INTELLIGENCE FOR EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainability (2010)

Vote and/or Comment on Review

Vote and/or Comment on Review

Comments Off
Apr 30

Review (Guest): The Open Source Everything Manifesto at Spirituality Today

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

The Open-Source Everything Manifesto by Robert David Steele

The Open-Source Everything Manifesto is a distillation of author, strategist, analyst, and reformer Robert David Steele life’s work: the transition from top-down secret command and control to a world of bottom-up, consensual, collective decision-making as a means to solve the major crises facing our world today.

The book is intended to be a catalyst for citizen dialog and deliberation, and for inspiring the continued evolution of a nation in which all citizens realize our shared aspiration of direct democracy—informed participatory democracy. Open-Source Everything is a cultural and philosophical concept that is essential to creating a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for one hundred percent of humanity.

The future of intelligence is not secret, not federal, and not expensive. It is about transparency, truth, and trust among our local to global collective. Only “open” is scalable.

As we strive to recover from the closed world corruption and secrecy that has enabled massive fraud within governments, banks, corporations, and even non-profits and universities, this timely book is a manifesto for liberation—not just open technology, but open everything.

Our Review

The term Open Source refers to universal access to a product or services core design or primary features. Without Open Source there would be no Internet in the way that we currently enjoy it for it is in digital publishing and information sharing that Open Source has been such a powerful force for change.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Apr 28

Review (Guest): I Was Blind But Now I See – Time to Be Happy

Tags:
Amazon Page

Amazon Page

James Altrucher

4.0 out of 5 starsLike a box of chocolates

By Gary North on September 23, 2011

This book reminds me of Forest Gump’s mother’s description of a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get. As with any book you read, you will forget 90% within a week; 98% within a month. So, you want to know what you should concentrate on.

If you are in the corporate world, go to page 83: “What You Need to do if You Were Hired Today.” Read to page 89. Then read it again. Then read it again. He offers 10 rules. All of them are good. If you systematically implement all of them, you will stand out as a contender. But Pareto’s 20-80 law holds true here as elsewhere. You won’t implement all of them. So, implement 20% of them. That means two. Which two? #4 and #10. (Buy the book to find out the 10 rules.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Apr 8

Review (Guest): How To Be The Luckiest Person Alive

Tags:
Amazon Page

Amazon Page

James Altucher

4.0 out of 5 stars Chance favors a prepared mind – reloaded ;-) September 3, 2011
By Sasha

After I received a copy of the e-book version of this book for free, Mr. Althucher asked if I would post a comment at Amazon.com once I had a chance to read it. I have answered affirmatively, so what follows is a general impression on the book format and a summary of my findings regarding the contents of the book.

Although the book reads fast, it is not an easy read. There’s a wealth of information and a great variety of topics; and the book is structured to read more as a collection of separate blog entries with certain repetitions (for which we are warned at the beginning of the book). All of the above makes it difficult to absorb everything at once, so re-reading is required, and the cost of this was 1 star on the rating scale.

In my view, the Daily Practice recommendations are what the book is all about. A smart play with words aside, Mr. Althucher shows us not how to be the luckiest person alive, instead he teaches us how to be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually FIT so that we will be able to recognize/create, as well as act on/follow through opportunities for bettering our lives. I put some of the recommendations to action (the physical and mental ones) and was ashamed to realize that first; I couldn’t even do 5 push-ups and second; that after relying on a calculator for my daily tasks for so long, my mental “muscle” “objected” when I tried to add two numbers in my head. Not good…

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Apr 8

Review: The Future of Intelligence – Challenges in the 21st Century

Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Isabelle Duyyesteyn, Ben de Jong, Joop van Reijn (eds)

4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Libraries Not Individuals, March 30, 2014

I know one of the editors, Ben de Jong, and am disappointed in the publisher for failing to properly present the book. Below I provide the table of contents that should have been provided by the publisher.

Foreword and acknowledgements, Michael Kowalski 1.By Way of Introduction: A Systemic Way of Looking at the Future of Intelligence, Bob de Graaff 2. The Future of Intelligence: What Are the Threats, the Challenges and the Opportunities?, Sir David Omand 3. The Future of Intelligence: Changing Threats, Evolving Methods, Gregory F. Treverton 4.Is the US Intelligence Community Anti-Intellectual?, Mark M. Lowenthal 5.The Future of the Intelligence Process: The End of the Intelligence Cycle?, Art Hulnick 6.The Future of Counterintelligence: the Twenty-First Century Challenge, Jennifer Sims 7. Analyzing International Intelligence Cooperation: Institutions or Intelligence Assemblages?, Jelle van Buuren 8. European Intelligence Cooperation, Björn Fägersten 9.Intelligence-Led Policing in Europe: Lingering between Idea and Implementation, Monica den Boer 10. The Next Hundred Years: Reflections on the Future of Intelligence, Wilhelm Agrell 11.Conclusions: It may be September 10, 2001 today George Dimitriu and Isabelle Duyvesteyn

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Mar 30

Review: Still Ours to Lead – America, Rising Powers, and the Tension Between Rivalry and Restraint

Tags:
Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Bruce Jones

4.0 out of 5 stars One Third Provocative, One Third Delusional, One Third Ignorant, March 22, 2014

I was given this book as a gift, by someone who knew I can recite from memory the ten high level threats to humanity (as identified and prioritized by the UN High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, and reported out in A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility–Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, which is also available free online as a PDF.

My first impressions were negative. On a second pass I found more to appreciate, but the most compelling impression I was left with is that Obama is Bush and the Brookings Institution has lost its moral and intellectual compass.

One Third Provocative

To the extent that good is to be found in the two-terms of the ObamaBiden Administration, this book serves as a fine guide. I wondered more than once which foreign policy position the author was applying for appointment to. Sadly, what the author offers in the way of positive must be construed by any realist grounded in international reality as a second application of lipstick on the pig, the first being when the neo-conswervatives and Wall Street successfully trotted Obama out as the savior of the two-party tyranny. [I credit the term to Theresa Amato’s Grand Illusion: The Myth of Voter Choice in a Two-Party Tyranny — it is not possible to be a serious observer of American idiocy without first understanding that there is no real difference between the extremists of the right and the extremists of the left — they are both toxic.

One Third Delusional

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Mar 22

Review: Earth – An Alien Enterprise

Tags:
Amazon Page

Amazon Page

Timothy Good

4.0 out of 5 stars Credible, Eye-Glazing, Not the Polished Brief I Expected, March 16, 2014

I have read other books on extra-terrestials, have noted with interest that governments around the world have been declassifying their archives on actual contacts with extra-terrestials, and noted with interest the mock Congressional hearings a year or so ago in which a former Candian defense minister testified to their being no fewer than five alien races in contact with our governments and also in residence on Earth in various forms.

Normally I write a summary review of a book, but I quickly gave up that idea once this book was in hand. It is a mind-glazing textual dump. While it is organized sensibly, and every bit is in my view credible and useful,

Let me start with past books that I have read and found credible, along with a few I have not but whose titles I find helpful:

Close Encounters Of The Fourth Kind: Alien Abduction, UFOs, and the Conference at M.I.T.
Disclosure : Military and Government Witnesses Reveal the Greatest Secrets in Modern History
ALIEN AGENDA: Why they came Why they stayed
Opening Minds: A Journey of Extraordinary Encounters, Crop Circles, and Resonance
Hidden Truth: Forbidden Knowledge
Vital Signs: A Complete Guide to the Crop Circle Mystery and Why It is Not a Hoax
Rule by Secrecy: The Hidden History That Connects the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Great Pyramids
Saucers, Swastikas and Psyops: A History of A Breakaway Civilization: Hidden Aerospace Technologies and Psychological Operations
Black Operations, Weapons Systems and Experiments by Extraterrestrials, Grays and Governments
Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base

Now here, from pages 397-398, is the take-away statement from this book, citing Daniel Fry, who stated that he heard this from an alien in 1949:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments Off
Mar 16