Review: Nation on the Take – How Big Money Corrupts Our Democracy

Categories: 4 Star,Democracy
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Wendell Potter and Nick Penniman

4 Stars New Material on One Old Issue — Neglects the Other Eleven Electoral Reform Issues

There is new material in this book, the authors are passionate, informed, and articulate, and they raise an issue that is of vital importance. However, and I list ten other books below to make the point, this is not a new issue, nor is it the whole issue. There are twelve separate electoral reforms that must be implemented together, in a single simultaneous Electoral Reform Act, if we are to restore integrity to how we elect our representatives (at all three levels — the authors excel at showing how state and local initiatives are changing the fund-raising dynamic).

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May 12

Review: Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy – The Many Faces of Anonymous

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Gabriella Coleman

Anonymous is almost certainly not what you think it is. You have to live it to understand it, its implications, its functioning, and its place in society. Gabrielle Coleman lived it, as a fully disclosed academic anthropologist. This is her story as much as theirs.

The structure of Anonymous is like the structure of the internet: multiple channels, multiple entry points, self healing patches, and lots of redundancy. (Also lots of swearing, lots of personal attacks, and lots of suspicions. Testosterone is involved.) This enables a totally flat organization to achieve in minutes what giant corporations and government take years to effect. The exhilaration, the joy, the satisfaction participants savor is incomparable. Anonymous is far more than a labor of love; it is idealists executing on their dreams. Everyone should be jealous.

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Feb 1

Review: The Obstacle is the Way

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Ryan Holiday

4.0 out of 5 stars World-Class Integration with Some Flaws, July 2, 2015

This is a brilliantly executed formula book. It was given to me as a gift during a recent trip to Tampa, Florida, and I read it on the airplane flying back — so I do recommend it as a 2 hour airplane read.

The author, whom I know personally and whose book Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator I consider the superior original work — I gave it a rave review and met the author as a result, has done a superb job of combining an original foundation from several ancient philosophers with modern biographies of success, to create a distilled self-help book that focuses on perception, action, and will as the three things that anyone can control in the face of adversity.

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Jul 3