Review: Guinea Pig B – The 56 Year Experiment

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Buckminster Fuller

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Starting Point for Life Work of a “First Thinker”, March 21, 2014

I’ve read a number of books by Buckminster Fuller, but it was not until this one that I realized he is the only person that writes longer sentences than I do. He is also, as his daughter notes in the preface, a man who uses words with great precision, and invents words when he is certain none already exist. So many words in fact, that he has his own dictionary, Synergetics Dictionary, the Mind of Buckminster Fuller: With an Introduction and Appendices (4 Vols.).

I drew three big ideas from this slim volume:

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Mar 21

BUCKY 2.0: Buckminster Fuller at Amazon

Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller

These are listed in order of their most recent publication rather than their original publication dates as Amazon has never understood the value of including first edition dates. Dave Buck merits huge appreciation for having instigated a movement to place many of Buckminster Fuller’s works back into a visible platform such as Amazon provides….and reasonably priced as well — each of these is a public treasure. We have added, below the line, books related to Buckminster Fuller, by others. We strongly recommend use of the reviews before making any purchase. 

2010 DVD The World of Buckminster Fuller (Microcinema)

2009 Education Automation: Comprehensive Learning for Emergent Humanity (Lars Muller Publishers)

2008 Grunch of Giants (Design Science Press)

2008 Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth (Lars Muller Publishers)

2008 Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity (Lars Muller Publishers)

2005 DVD Buckminster Fuller: The Lost Interviews (UFO TV)

2004 Guinea Pig B: The 56 Year Experiment (Critical Pathpub)

 

2004 AUDIO Only Integrity Is Going To Count (Critical Pathpub)

2002 Critical Path 2nd Revised Edition (Saint Martin’s Griffin)

1992 MAP Fuller Projection Dymaxion Air-ocean World (Buckminster Fuller Institute)

1992 Cosmography: A Posthumous Scenario for the Future of Humanity (Macmillan)

1990 DVD Basic Bucky: R. Buckminster Fuller (Masters & Masterworks)

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Feb 19

Review (Guest): Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving Into Liquid War

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Pepe Escobar

5 out of 5 stars Tour de Force!

By Donald L. Conover

Tour de Force! That’s the only way to describe Pepe Escobar’s remarkable achievement with Globalistan: How the Globalized World Is Dissolving into Liquid War. In page after page, Mr. Escobar demonstrates his remarkable erudition gained in a peripatetic career, spanning the caves of Tora Bora to the slums of Sao Paolo and Mumbai; from the halls of venality to the palaces of the gluttonously wealthy; from conversations with forgotten Pentagon warlords to raps with Brazilian gang lords.

Our Neocon leaders seem to think the rest of the World is frozen in situ, waiting for them to hatch their nefarious schemes. Globalistan shows us the consequences of such a blindered [or should I say "blundered"] attitude.

Producers for the talking heads of “mainstream” media will have to have this book. It is the one volume necessary to make sense of our churning humanity in the 21st Century. A quick scan can provide the background on every crisis from Iran to “Chindia”; from Shiiteistan to the Gazprom Nation; from PetroEurostan to the Bush White House.

Escobar demonstrates why it is true that if we don’t find ways to spread our prosperity around the World, the have-nots will come and take it away from us with guns and bombs and box cutters. All of the walls and fences cannot protect the United States, Europe, and Saudi Arabia from overwhelming illegal immigration. Weapons and fences doom us, like the Texans at the Alamo. Eventually they will be overrun by 3 billion human beings living in abject poverty, but with access to the latest episodes of “24″ and “Sleeper Cell,” unless we help the Mexicans achieve their dreams of Texas in Mexico.

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Feb 9

Worth a Look: SINGAPORE Central to Great Convergence

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The twenty-first century has seen a rise in the global middle class that brings an unprecedented convergence of interests and perceptions, cultures and values. Kishore Mahbubani is optimistic. We are creating a new global civilization. Eighty-eight percent of the world’s population outside the West is rising to Western living standards, and sharing Western aspirations. Yet Mahbubani, one of the most perceptive global commentators, also warns that a new global order needs new policies and attitudes.

Policymakers all over the world must change their preconceptions and accept that we live in one world. National interests must be balanced with global interests. Power must be shared. The U.S. and Europe must cede some power. China and India, Africa and the Islamic world must be integrated. Mahbubani urges that only through these actions can we create a world that converges benignly. This timely book explains how to move forward and confront many pressing global challenges.

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Political genius is never without controversy, or without mystery. This is what makes it so interesting and so rare. Is Lee Kuan Yew the feral, authoritarian figure that Western critics claim? Or a stoic pioneer in new approaches to developing a nation—uncorrupt, modern, almost scientific?American journalist Tom Plate first interviewed the founder of modern Singapore in 1996 in a continuing back-and-forth with LKY that led to the summer of 2009, when the former prime minister agreed to sit down for two days of unprecedentedly informal but intense conversations that led to this special book. This new edition includes fascinating excerpts from prior interviews, as well as the author’s assessment of the man who goes down in history as the world’s longest-serving prime minister—and as one of the most unforgettable political figures of modern times.

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Feb 5

Review: The Price of Inequality:How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future

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Joseph Stiglitz

5.0 out of 5 stars Ethical Economist Confronts Two-Party Tyranny — Defines 70% of the Way Forward, November 26, 2013

I have admired this economist, one of a tiny handful who are not bought and paid for by the banks, for quite a long time. I’d like to see him at Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), with a Deputy Director for Management that actually has authority for Whole of Government strategy and management. Of course that would require an honest president and an honest congress, so I am not holding my breath on this one.

In passing, I ran for President as an accepted candidate for the Reform Party in 2012 — it only took six weeks to recognize that neither Occupy nor any of the other candidates (there are EIGHT accredited parties in the USA, only 2 of which are allowed to actually run for office) were in the least bit interested in a universal demand for electoral reform and a coalition cabinet. See the six big ideas at bigbatusa.org, where you will also find the author of this book listed as the ideal member of the Cabinet for the OMB function.

There are so many other excellent reviews, I am using my contribution to list his specific recommendation for economic reform, and point to a few other related books that support this extraordinary work. My comments added below are in brackets.

THE ECONOMIC REFORM AGENDA

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Nov 26

Review (Guest): Classified Woman-The Sibel Edmonds Story: A Memoir

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Sibel Edmonds

5.0 out of 5 stars Sibel Edmonds Finally Wins, April 30, 2012
By
David Swanson (Charlottesville, VA) – See all my reviews

 

This review is from: Classified Woman-The Sibel Edmonds Story: A Memoir (Paperback)

Sibel Edmonds’ new book, “Classified Woman,” is like an FBI file on the FBI, only without the incompetence.

The experiences she recounts resemble K.’s trip to the castle, as told by Franz Kafka, only without the pleasantness and humanity.

I’ve read a million reviews of nonfiction books about our government that referred to them as “page-turners” and “gripping dramas,” but I had never read a book that actually fit that description until now.

The F.B.I., the Justice Department, the White House, the Congress, the courts, the media, and the nonprofit industrial complex put Sibel Edmonds through hell. This book is her triumph over it all, and part of her contribution toward fixing the problems she uncovered and lived through.

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May 4

Review: Global Trends 2030 – Alternative Worlds [Paperback, Well Priced]

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National Intelligence Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI/NIC)

3.0 out of 5 stars $75 Billion a Year and This is the Poster Child for the Public, March 26, 2013

Certainly worth reading, along with other and generally better reports linked below, but a huge disappointment. There is nothing here actually useful to a national or corporate leader, and generally nothing new. To take one small example upfront, the so-called “disruptive technologies” are pedestrian in the extreme. My disruptive technologies are Open Source Everything (OSE) starting with OpenBTS (Base Transceiver Station) — essentially a free cell phone for every person on the planet from birth — unlimited clean water from the ocean, and free energy. My most significant concern, apart from the fact that this report persists with all of the flaws I pointed out a year ago, is the continued lack of integrity — ethics — a deep commitment to telling the truth about the FACT that government corruption is half the problem, the FACT that half of every US tax dollar is demonstrably spent on fraud, waste, or abuse. Until the National Intelligence Council is capable of telling the truth about our own worst enemy — us — it will be nothing more than an over-paid over-hyped largely useless coffee klatch.

Thoughts in passing as I go through this final report:

01 Still oblivious to rest of the world routing around the USA, e.g. CELAC (Community of Latin American States), the Asian Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Haiti joining the African Union, the 57-nation alternative global financial network adopting the Yuan and the Chinese alternative to SWIFT, and so on.

02 Still state-centric, I like the individual empowerment, but the entire report is written from a state-centric point of view and individual empowerment is a virtual footnote. Absent a proper appreciation for the persistent and pervasive corruption of government — and how a properly managed intelligence community can provide decision-support across Whole of Government strategy, policy, acquisition, and operations — this report is merely a curiosity, not a game changer. The National Intelligence Council should be producing block-busters that cannot be ignored and that provide the public as well as the President with compelling reasons to get our act together and make specific pro-active decisions in the public interest.

03 “True Cost Economics” not included. I do find a Human Resilience Index (HRI) from Sandia National Laboratories, but as is so typical of the timid reporting and flawed analytics I have come to expect from all US-based “think tanks,” there is no connection in this index to the three things that really matter: connectivity to the Internet; the eradication of corruption within governments and corporations; and the availability of free energy.

04 Sees half the big players. The report recognizes China and India as major players, is wrong to sell Russia short, and while they mention in passing, “In addition to China, India, and Brazil, regional players such as Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Turkey will become especially important to the global economy” I would have preferred a report building from the regions instead of projected outward from the USA and China with a minor in India. .And of course BRIC is now BRICS, with South Africa as the new formal member of that demographic powerhouse.

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Mar 27

Review: What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?

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Tony Juniper

5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ, gift and share — a roadmap for true cost valuation at citizen level, January 12, 2013

I have long been a fan of Herman Daly’s ecological economics and E.O. Wilson’s concept of consilience, a form of holistic analytics, and of course Buckminster Fuller and Russell Ackoff, among other systems thinkers. This book, just published, is quite extraordinary, and in the absence of a Look Inside the Book offering, one of Amazon’s best features, I want to list the chapters here and point to an online resource that provides compelling information supportive of buying this book and then sharing it or gifting it to others.

Chapter 1: The Indispensable Dirt
Chapter 2: Life from Light
Chapter 3: Eco-innovation
Chapter 4: The Pollinators
Chapter 5: Ground Control
Chapter 6: Liquid Assets
Chapter 7: Sunken Billions
Chapter 8: Ocean Planet
Chapter 9: Insurance
Chapter 10: Natural Health Service
Chapter 11: False Economy?

To get right to the web page that does NOT offer the book for free, only provides the supporting references and comments on each reference, search for:

what-has-nature-ever-done-us-sources-and-references

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Jan 12

Review: Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds – American Intelligence Agency Report on the Megatrends, Gamechangers, and Black Swans of the Future, the Rise of China, Alternative World Scenarios

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CIA National Intelligence Council

3.0 out of 5 stars Report Lauds Fracking as Energy Solution, Disappoints on Multiple Fronts, December 27, 2012

Certainly worth reading, along with other and generally better reports linked below, but a huge disappointment. There is nothing here actually useful to a national or corporate leader, and generally nothing new. To take one small example upfront, the so-called “disruptive technologies” are pedestrian in the extreme. My disruptive technologies are Open Source Everything (OSE) starting with OpenBTS (Base Transceiver Station) — essentially a free cell phone for every person on the planet from birth — unlimited clean water from the ocean, and free energy. My most significant concern, apart from the fact that this report persists with all of the flaws I pointed out a year ago, is the continued lack of integrity — ethics — a deep commitment to telling the truth about the FACT that government corruption is half the problem, the FACT that half of every US tax dollar is demonstrably spent on fraud, waste, or abuse. Until the National Intelligence Council is capable of telling the truth about our own worst enemy — us — it will be nothing more than an over-paid over-hyped largely useless coffee klatch.

Thoughts in passing as I go through this final report:

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Dec 27

Review: The Code for Global Ethics: Ten Humanist Principles

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Rodrique Tremblay

5.0 out of 5 stars Humanist Manifesto Slams Religions, Foundation for Reflection, December 22, 2012

I bought this book on the recommendation of Pierre Cloutier in Quebec, and very deliberately as the first book to read on 22 December 2012 as Epoch B begins (see graphic above with book cover).

Across the entire book are what I now call E to the 5th: Empathy, Ethics, Ecology, Education, and Evolution. The bottom line of the book is clear: abandon religions as selective (and generally exclusionary) arbiters of morality, each severely hypocritical in having one morality for insiders and another for “others” (infidels, shiksas, whatever the name, moral disengagement is the rule and genocide is often the result).

When addressing really important books, I read the notes, bibliography, and index first. The notes are a second book — these are not normal cryptic notes, each note is a short exposition, and any reading of the book is incomplete without a reading of the notes. The bibliography is extraordinary, and my attention was immediately drawn to the authors honored with three or more books being cited: Karen Armstrong, Mario Bunge, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins, A.C. Graylink, Robert Ingersoll, Immanuel Kant, Hans Kung, Paul Kurtz, John Rawls, Peter Singer, Baruch SPinoza, E. O. Wilson, and Robert Wright. Among them Kurtz, Singer, and Wright are central. Roughly 1,000 books are listed by title in the bibliography.

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Dec 22