Review: STOP, THIEF! The Commons, Enclosures, and Resistance

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Peter Linebaugh

5.0 out of 5 stars David Bollier’s Review is Better, This Is My Attempt, April 21, 2014

I was very impressed by David Bollier’s review of this book at his web site (look for < “Stop, Thief!” – Peter Linebaugh’s New Collection of Essays > and am encouraging him to port that excellent review here to Amazon. Indeed, after working my way through the book myself, I consider myself unable to do proper justice to this deep work that integrates history, poetry, political economy, anthropology, and sociology among other disciplines. Hence I hope others will write substantive summary reviews and I again recommend Bollier’s review above.

Three thoughts keep recurring as I went through this book of original current essays and presentations:

01 Holy Cow. This guy is DEEP and BROAD in terms of arcane as well as popular sources, delving down into little known poems, essays, public statements, etcetera. This book is the one book version of the Durant’s Story of Civilization applied to one topic, the commons.

02 Holy Cow. This is what my top political science professor was trying to explain when I was in college in 1970-1974 – yes, a half century ago — and I was just not smart enough, patient enough, to appreciate it.

03 Holy Cow. This book is not just subversive, it does a magnificent job of head slapping every politician, economists, talking head, and other pretender who presumes to talk about public welfare without for one instant understanding that wages are a form of slavery and disconnection of humanity from everything else. Lionel Tiger makes related points in The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System but this book — if you focus and do not get lost in the poetry and minutia of exemplar citation — beats the commons versus capitalism drum along every possible note on the musical scale.

Among my high-level notes:

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Apr 29

Review (Guest): Governing the Commons – The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action

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Elinor Ostrom

4.0 out of 5 stars Addressing the Collective Action Problem August 2, 2007

By Matthew P. Arsenault

Ostrom attempts to refute the belief that only through state and or market-centered controls can commonly pooled resources (CPRs) be effectively governed. Ostrom writes, “Communities of individuals have relied on institutions resembling neither the state nor the market to govern some resource systems with reasonable degrees of success over long periods of time” (p. 1). Governing the Commons sets out to discover why some groups are able to effectively govern and manage CPRs and other groups fail. She tries to identify both the internal and external factors “that can impede or enhance the capabilities of individuals to use and govern CPRs.”

The first section of the book examines both state-controlled and privatization property rights regimes, and illustrates failures in both regimes; namely, that central authorities often fail to have complete accuracy of information, have only limited monitoring capabilities, and possess a weak sanctioning reliability. As such, a centralized governing body may actually govern the commons inaccurately and make a bad situation worse. In the case of privatized property rights regimes, Ostrom illustrates two main points: 1) it assumes that property is homogenous and any division of property will be equitable; and 2) privatization will not work with non-stationary property (fisheries, for example).

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Apr 28

Review (Guest): Working Together – Collective Action, the Commons, and Multiple Methods in Practice

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Elinor Ostrom, Army R. Poteete, and Maroc A. Janssen

5.0 of 5.0 Stars An inspiration for Transdisciplinary Researchers By Herbert Gintis on June 7, 2010

This book, which is based on the several decades of research by Nobel award winning political scientist Elinor Ostrom and her talented colleages, vigorously asserts two messages with equal fervor. The first is that “it is possible for individuals to act collectively to manage shared natural resources on a sustainable basis.” (215) The second message is that the existing structure of academic disciplines in the system of higher learning deeply handicaps researchers from attaining true insights of this type. The possibility of people managing their own common pool resources through democratic and egalitarian participation was determined through research “based on field studies, laboratory and field experiments, game theory, and agent-based models,” and no discipline recognizes the legitimacy of models that span such a broad range of statistical, qualitative thick description, formal analytical and computer simulation methods.

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Apr 28

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

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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.

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Apr 28

Review (Guest): From Conflict to Creative Collaboration

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Rosa Zubizarreta

5 out of 5 stars. Really impressive – an unconventional topic, described clearly, remarkably

By Tom Atlee on March 31, 2014

Dynamic Facilitation generates a remarkably effective creative group process whose nonlinearity makes it seem very peculiar indeed.

This unusual facilitation approach – often dubbed “DF” – is built around a few deceptively simple practices like fully hearing each person, reframing conflicts as concerns, being truly open to every perspective and to the range of human emotions, and always inviting the best solutions from each and every person. I say “deceptively simple” because – like the deceptive simplicity of “following your breath” while meditating – the power of these practices comes from their persistent and courageous application. So it’s good to have a skilled Dynamic Facilitator around.

When these practices ARE applied persistently and courageously – and with empathy and faith – they produce the miracles for which Dynamic Facilitation is becoming increasingly valued. These practices transform difficult and conflicted people into creative collaborators, and thorny resistant problems and disputes into breakthrough insights and effective new directions.

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Mar 31

Review (Guest): Not-Two Is Peace

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Adi Da

5.0 of 5.0 Stars infinitely more than idealistic philosophy

By Terry Cafferty on February 25, 2009

I was initially drawn to this book by the unusual title and cover, and bought it on the basis of the many praise-filled endorsements by many different kinds of people, some of whom are known and respected from previous study. I had recently read Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest, which presents very powerful evidence that the single living being that is this entire planet (or even the entire Universe) is now exercising its total immune system to right itself. And Adi Da’s book, Not-Two Is Peace, fundamentally verifies the truth of Hawken’s claims.

The core message of this book is not limited to the literal meanings in what is written, which can easily be mistaken for more (unrealistic) idealistic humanistic philosophy. The core message of this book is in the felt reality or intuited ‘ground’, or fundamental, pre-verbal truth which it somehow mysteriously communicates.

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Mar 11

Worth a Look: Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality – Russell’s Republic Revisited

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This book has been ordered and will be reviewed shortly.  There are no guest reviews to be drawn from.

Amazon Book Description:

The difference between cause and effect seems obvious and crucial in ordinary life, yet missing from modern physics. Almost a century ago, Bertrand Russell called the law of causality ‘a relic of a bygone age’. In this important collection 13 leading scholars revisit Russell’s revolutionary conclusion, discussing one of the most significant and puzzling issues in contemporary thought.

Look over the Table of Contents.

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Jan 25

Review: Swarmwise – The Tactical Manual to Changing the World

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Rickard Falkvinge

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Authentic World-Changing Book , July 20, 2013
EDIT of 19 AUG 2013: Finish book, adding my new remarks at the top, dropping the preliminary review to the end.EDIT OF 13 AUG 2013: I have a 17 hour aviation trip coming up Friday-Saturday, will try to get the detailed review posted sometime in the days after I reach my destination. I regard this book as one of a half dozen essentials for hybrid public governance in the 21st Century — for participatory panarchy in which the public achieves consensus using collective intelligence methods that leverage ethical evidence-based decision-support that is transparent, truthful, and that produces TRUST as the “glue” for holistic ecologically and socially sound decision-making.

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My last comment first: this book ends beautifully, and I am personally deeply inspired. Rickard Falkvinge has been and will continue to be a change agent, and this book is a form of persistent, ubiquitous sharing of insight that could help accelerate and broaden the emergent public bottom up demands for clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability.

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Jul 20

Rickard Falkvinge: New Book Swarmwise Now Available

Rickard Falkvinge

Rickard Falkvinge

Book Launch: SWARMWISE

Swarm Management:  After four years of work, the leadership book Swarmwise is finally published. It is a book filled to the brim with the experience from leading the Swedish Pirate Party from zero into the European Parliament, spreading the movement to 70 countries, and most importantly, beating the competition on less than one percent of their budget – being over two orders of magnitude more cost-efficient. It is available as a paperback and a PDF, with more formats to come.

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Yesterday afternoon, I hit the “publish” button, and as of this morning, the book is available on Amazon (US, UK, DE, FR). It is also available as a PDF for free sharing (download and torrent). This is the culmination of four years of work, after I decided to write down and share my experiences with forming, leading, and winning with a swarm-style community.

The book doesn’t go into theoretical detail, psychology, or deep research papers. Rather, it is very hands-on leadership advice from pure experience – it covers everything from how you give instructions to new activists about handing out flyers in the street, up to and including how you communicate with TV stations and organize hundreds of thousands of people in a coherent swarm. Above all, it focuses on the cost-efficiency of the swarm structure, and is a tactical instruction manual for anybody who wants to dropkick their competition completely – no matter whether their game is business, social, or political.

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Jul 20

Review: Le management de l’intelligence collective – Managing Collective Intelligence – Toward a New Corporate Governance

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Olivier Zara

5.0 out of 5 stars Sensational — Free Online in English Translation — For Sale Online in French, May 28, 2013

I just read this book in the free online English translation and have very high praise for the original content, the translation, and the graphics. It is a short book, 88 pages in English, with a self-testing appendix that will reveal that most organizations are leveraging, at best, 20% of their collective intelligence potential.

As the European Union, NATO, and the USA all re-examine their fundamental premises in the aftermath of failed elective wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and all too many adventures, including a predatory attack on Libya to steal its gold, water, and oil, this book is the single best book I have found that could help the new generation of leaders in the EU, NATO, and the USA. The Cold War generals have failed for 50 years — we are long overdue for a new generation of leaders that understands the true cost of war and the fractional cost of waging peace to create a propserous world at peace.

In my own experience with Cold War flag officers, I find they understand three colors — red, yellow, and green. The new generation seems to be much more nuanced, much better read, and much more open to the reality that in war everyone loses except the bankers, and that Sun Tzu had it right centuries ago — the acme of skill is to defeat the enemy without fighting — better yet, utilize collective intelligence to achieve Non-Zero, a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for everyone.

Buy the book in French at AxioPole.com. Read the book free online in English.

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May 28