Review (Guest): Intelligence for Earth – Clarity, Diversity, Integrity & Sustainability

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5.0 out of 5.0 Stars One visionary’s way out of the Corporate Feudalism/International Conflict trap

By Herbert L Calhoun on April 1, 2014

In this book, the author, drawing extensively on his intelligence and military background, has cleanly written an easy to follow book, that outlines a careful course of action for developing a new kind of global information sharing infrastructure. To be headquartered at the UN, this new infrastructure would make it possible for every organization (and through them, everyone) on the globe to share open-source intelligence equally as a free public resource. If it is successful, this new global brain could transform our world from its current insecurity-driven and corrupt corporate dominated lose-lose, economic and conflict trap, into a much revived win-win strategy for bottom-up collective survival in a peaceful and sustainable world economy.

At least that is the theoretical hope and vision. On paper, and in principle, it is a stunningly sexy and attractive vision, one that, should it prove operationally testable and feasible, could indeed have the important side benefit and advantage of creating new bottom-up wealth, energizing the world economy and easing world tensions by reducing mistrust and fear back down to the noise level.

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Apr 21

Review (Guest): Dynamics Among Nations – The Evolution of Legitimacy and Development in Modern States

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Hilton Root

5.0 out of 5.0 Stars Complexity thinking that shifts the paradigms of international relations

By J. P. Massing on December 5, 2013

In ‘Dynamics Among Nations’, Professor Hilton Root convincingly challenges the propositions of the liberal international consensus and re-frames the prevailing conceptualisation of development by introducing complexity thinking to the fields of political economy and international relations.

I highly recommend this intellectually stimulating and excellently written book to decision makers, researchers and students – as well as to anyone who is interested in gaining an advanced and well-informed understanding of the complex realities of development and global policy.

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Apr 14

Review: Dawn of the Akshic Age – New Consciousness, Quantum Resonance, and the Future of the World

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Ervin Laszlo and Kingsley L. Dennis et al.

4.0 out of 5 stars Superb Appetizer Book — a Potpourri of Genius — Not the Main Plate, December 26, 2013

Buy and read this book for a marvelous panoramic view of the latest thinking circling around the end of the top-down scarcity model that concentrates wealth, and the emergence — sooner than most might expect — of the distributed bottom-up local to global harmonization.

This is a hybrid book — the first two thirds are written by the co-authors (Laszlo and Dennis), while the last third is a collection of eleven very short essays, each generally provocative and each providing me with at least one insight, web site, or book that I was not aware of. The book ends with recommended readings in the following categories that are a also a summary of what the book strives to cover at a very high level:

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Dec 26

Review (Guest): Scripting Intelligence – Web 3.0 Information Gathering and Processing

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Mark Watson

4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby-centric tutorials on Semantic Web, Natural Language Processing, and Large-Scale Data Storage and Processing Technologies July 4, 2009

ByTechie Evan

This four-part book is focused on programming techniques and technologies that in the author’s opinion can help next generation web applications handle data more “intelligently”. The code samples are implemented in Ruby (and a little bit of Java).

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Dec 22

Review (Guest): Algorithms of the Intelligence Web

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Haralamlos Marmanis and Dmitry Babenko

5.0 out of 5 stars A soon to be classic Algo book for improving intelligent web applications June 19, 2009

By Michael Mimo I have always had an interest in AI, machine learning, and data mining but I found the introductory books too mathematical and focused mostly on solving academic problems rather than real-world industrial problems. So, I was curious to see what this book was about.

I have read the book front-to-back (twice!) before I write this report. I started reading the electronic version a couple of months ago and read the paper print again over the weekend. This is the best practical book in machine learning that you can buy today — period. All the examples are written in Java and all algorithms are explained in plain English. The writing style is superb!

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Dec 22

Review: The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid [Updated 5tyh Anniversary Edition]

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C. K. Prahalad

5.0 out of 5 stars Nobel Prize Material-Could Transform the Planet [But Most Seem to Have Missed the Point], October 24, 2013

There are some excellent and lengthy reviews of this book so I will not repeat anything that has already been said. This book review should be read together with my review of Stuart Hart’s Capitalism at the Crossroads: Next Generation Business Strategies for a Post-Crisis World (3rd Edition) which points to several other related books, and Kenichi Ohmae’s book, The Next Global Stage: Challenges and Opportunities in Our Borderless World (paperback) All three are published by Wharton School Publishing, which has impressed me enormously with its gifted offerings.

Here’s the math that I was surprised to not see in the book: the top billion people that business focuses on are worth less than a trillion in potential sales. The bottom four billion, with less than $1000 a year in disposable income, are worth four trillion in potential sales.

In combination, Prahalad and Hart make it clear that business suffers from the same pathologies as the Central Intelligence Agency and other bureaucracies: they are in a rut.

I will end by emphasizing that I believe this author merits the Nobel Peace Prize. As the U.S. Department of Defense is now discovering, its $500 billion a year budget is being spent on a heavy metal military useful only 10% of the time. Stabilizization and reconstruction are a much more constructive form of national defense, because if we do not address poverty and instability globally, it will inevitably impact on the home front. This author has presented the most common sense case for turning business upside down. He can be credited with a paradigm shift, those shifts that Kuhn tells us come all too infrequently, but when they come, they change the world. It may take years to see this genius implemented in the real world, but he has, without question, changed the world for the better with this book, and make global prosperity a possibility.

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Oct 24

Review: On Complexity

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Edgar Morin

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 Star Foundation Work for Everything Else, August 19, 2013

This is a remarkably coherent book about the most important topic for all of us, the matter of complexity and more to the point, thinking about complexity. I certainly recommend it most strongly, along with two other books by the same author that I have reviewed:

Homeland Earth : A Manifesto for the New Millennium (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity and the Human Sciences)
Seven Complex Lessons in Education for the Future (Education on the Move)

The Foreword by Alfonso Montuori is easily the equal of the main body by Edgar Morin, and I am totally awed by the mastery demonstrated in Montuori’s synthesis and framing of Morin’s work. I venture to say that I would not have gotten as much from the main body without the structure of the Foreword.

Montuori, always drawing on Morin, emphasizes a number of core concepts that I note down:

01 We must abandon the architectural or machine metaphor that assumes a foundation or base for what is actually a complex complete whole that can be viewed from any point.

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Aug 19

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

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

Review (Guest): The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State

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David Bollier and Silke Helfrich (editors)

We are poised between an old world that no longer works and a new one struggling to be born. Surrounded by centralized hierarchies on the one hand and predatory markets on the other, people around the world are searching for alternatives. The Wealth of the Commons explains how millions of commoners have organized to defend their forests and fisheries, reinvent local food systems, organize productive online communities, reclaim public spaces, improve environmental stewardship and re-imagine the very meaning of “progress” and governance. In short, how they’ve built their commons. In 73 timely essays by a remarkable international roster of activists, academics and project leaders, this book chronicles ongoing struggles against the private com­moditization of shared resources – often known as market enclosures – while docu­menting the immense generative power of the commons. The Wealth of the Commons is about history, political change, public policy and cultural transformation on a global scale – but most of all, it’s about individual commoners taking charge of their lives and their endangered resources. “This fine collection makes clear that the idea of the Commons is fully international, and increasingly fully worked-out. If you find yourself wondering what Occupy wants, or if some other world is possible, this pragmatic, down-to-earth, and unsentimental book will provide many of the answers.” – Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and The Durable Future

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Mar 7