Review: Other Inconvenient Truths Beyond Global Warming

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Alan F. Rozich

5.0 out of 5 stars HUGELY Valuable Book with Color Photographs, Embedded Yellow Highlights, March 16, 2014

This is one of the most useful, most intelligent, best presented and most timely books I have ever held in my hands. I am astonished by the affordable price in relation to both the substance and the cosmetics of the book. This is a focused holistic book that is a joy to read — easy to read — and it offers the single best text I have found for both graduate and undergraduate reading, and book clubs as well as government employees struggling to understand the lies and mis-representations of those seeking to avoid or undermine regulatory oversight.

The print size and use of white space is complemented by something I have never seen in a mass market paperback, full color photographs, full color diagrams, and the selective use of yellow highlighting embedded across the book.

This is a book steeped in integral consciousness, with a clear understanding and articulation of the fact that global warming is a symptom, not a root cause, and that global warming is but one of multiple inconvenient truth, all of which much be understood as a whole.

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Mar 16

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): The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy: The Revolution in Higher Education

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Charles Hugh Smith

Publisher’s Overview: With the soaring cost of higher education, has the value a college degree been turned upside down. College tuition and fees are up 1000% since 1980. Half of all recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed, revealing a deep disconnect between higher education and the job market. It is no surprise everyone is asking: Where is the return on investment? Is the assumption that higher education returns greater prosperity no longer true? And if this is the case, how does this impact you, your children and grandchildren? We must thoroughly understand the twin revolutions now fundamentally changing our world: The true cost of higher education and an economy that seems to re-shape itself minute to minute. The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy clearly describes the underlying dynamics at work – and, more importantly, lays out a new low-cost model for higher education: how digital technology is enabling a revolution in higher education that dramatically lowers costs while expanding the opportunities for students of all ages. The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy provides clarity and optimism in a period of the greatest change our educational systems and society have seen. The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy offers everyone the tools needed to prosper in the Emerging Economy.

Smith has the genius to find the words to distill observations which become clear to all when he reduces them to the succinct text that others seem not to have managed.

Smith opens with the observation that education is a dinosaur of an industry. It is delivered the same way it was in Aristotle’s day, by assembling the students in the physical presence of a teacher. That was necessary when there were no books, and when books were too expensive for individuals to own. The reason that the situation perpetuates itself has more to do with the rich benefits which accrue to teachers and administrators in the University itself rather than any benefits to the students.

Education is a protected cartel. The right to accreditation is controlled by the state, and it is doled out to institutions which conform to the traditional mold. All participants in the industry have an interest in and its perpetuation, except students. Students are powerless and not very well informed, so the system continues as it is.

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Oct 9

Review: The Media Ecosystem — What Ecology Can Teach Us About Responsible Media Practice

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Antonio Lopez

5.0 out of 5 stars A unique and timely integrative overview with many original insights, August 22, 2013

I received this book as a gift, and am glad that I did as I normally would not have noticed it, bought it, or reviewed it. I hope my review will inspire others to buy the book, and if not, provide a summary of some of the highlights that I consider quite timely, original, and useful.

This is a manifesto of sorts, on CRITICAL INFORMATION, or stated another way, on public decision-support needs and the urgency of restoring both integrity (tell the truth) and holistic soundness (report on everything, and on the cause and effect cost and consequences of everything in relation to everything). Of course modern media fails this test, and the author should be credited with providing a manifesto and high-level handbook of how we might proceed.

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Aug 22

Worth a Look: Books by Folk-Hero Farmer Joel Salatin

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Drawing upon 40 years’ experience as an ecological farmer and marketer, Joel Salatin explains with humor and passion why Americans do not have the freedom to choose the food they purchase and eat. From child labor regulations to food inspection, bureaucrats provide themselves sole discretion over what food is available in the local marketplace. Their system favors industrial, global corporate food systems and discourages community-based food commerce, resulting in homogenized selection, mediocre quality, and exposure to non-organic farming practices. Salatin’s expert insight explains why local food is expensive and difficult to find and will illuminate for the reader a deeper understanding of the industrial food complex.

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From farmer Joel Salatin’s point of view, life in the 21st century just ain’t normal. In FOLKS, THIS AIN’T NORMAL, he discusses how far removed we are from the simple, sustainable joy that comes from living close to the land and the people we love. Salatin has many thoughts on what normal is and shares practical and philosophical ideas for changing our lives in small ways that have big impact.  Salatin, hailed by the New York Times as “Virginia’s most multifaceted agrarian since Thomas Jefferson [and] the high priest of the pasture” and profiled in the Academy Award nominated documentary Food, Inc. and the bestselling book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, understands what food should be: Wholesome, seasonal, raised naturally, procured locally, prepared lovingly, and eaten with a profound reverence for the circle of life. And his message doesn’t stop there. From child-rearing, to creating quality family time, to respecting the environment, Salatin writes with a wicked sense of humor and true storyteller’s knack for the revealing anecdote.

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Jul 3

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 Turning Point: Science, Society, and the Rising Culture (1984)

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Frank Capra

5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant and important book. July 30, 1999

A Customer

It’s all here. Everything we ever needed to know to begin to change our world and ourselves. Totally brilliant. Many years in the making, this book covers a very wide spectrum of knowledge and is fascinating all the way through. Like The Tao of Physics, this book looks toward a world view that encompasses a balance of science and spirit. Capra is also not shy about deconstructing or critisizing popular economic and political mythology, which may disturb some readers, but he has the benefit of input from some of the greatest minds of our time and his analysis is unassailable. Female readers will probably appreciate his sensitivity and balanced approach to feminist perspectives as he discusses what’s wrong with our world and what we can do to change things.My experience was that I read his other book “Uncommon Wisdom” first, which was in large part about Capra’s experiences leading up to the writing of The Turning Point with the people and minds that inspired and enlightened him. Reading that first made all of The Turning Point flow even smoother. But Uncommon Wisdom is getting hard to find, so don’t quibble. Read Turning Point no matter what! It is still 100% relevant to today and comes from a man who has been at the forefront of cutting edge thinking since the 1960s.

This book is filled with Capra’s take on insights obtained over the years from people like Werner Heisenberg, E.F. Schumacher, J. Krishnamurti, Hazel Henderson, Gregory Bateson, Pitirim Sorokin, Stanislav Grof, Margaret Locke, R.D. Laing, David Bohm, Adrienne Rich, Lyn Margulis, and many others. With The Turning Point, you’re getting into the thoughts of a whole lot of brilliant thinkers, both male and female, that Capra has known personally or studied thoroughly.

All of Capra’s books are fascinating. Check out “The Web of Life” which is another 5 star book in my opinion.

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

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

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Feb 25

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: Designing a World that Works For All: Solutions & Strategies for Meeting the World’s Needs

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Medard Gabel

5.0 out of 5 stars Revolutionary Sequel, Second Book in Series,October 30, 2012

This is the second book in the series, the first was Designing a World That Works for All: How the Youth of the World are Creating Real-World Solutions for the UN Millenium Development Goals and Beyond. They are different books, not the same book. This book brings in new perspectives and new initiatives from the design labs that occurred after the first book was published.

I have known Medard Gabel for close to a decade, and while disclosing that he is one of the contributors to the non-profit Earth Intelligence Network that I funded when I had money, I consider him, as the co-creator with Buckminster Fuller of the analog World Game, and as the designer of both the digital Earth Dashboard for the UN and the digital EarthGame for all of us, to be in a class of his own. He is unique.

Medard Gabel is modest–the blurbs do not do justice to him or his work or the incredibly talented and imaginative individuals (not just youth, but mid-career professionals) that he attracts to this calling.

I have participated in two of his design labs and recommend them to one an all. Everyone enters with their own issue area (urban planning, energy, whatever) and halfway through they experience the “aha” moment (epiphany for Republicans)–everything is connected and NOTHING can be planned, programmed, budgeted, or executed without integrating everything.

As Russell Ackoff likes to say, what is good for one part of the system might be very bad for all the other parts. Comprehensive architecture and prime design–all threats, all policies, all demographics–are the future.

Other high-level books that I recommend with this one are:

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Oct 30

Review: Waging Nonviolent Struggle – 20th Century Practice And 21st Century Potential

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Gene Sharp

5.0 out of 5 stars Foundation Work Not Yet Appreciated,August 28, 2012

In 1992 I was the second-ranking civilian in Marine Corps intelligence, and with the support of the Marine Corps, sought to get National Intelligence Topics moved from denied areas that were few in number and declining in importance, toward “low-intensity” threats and conditions in the Third World. The Marine Corps also tried to shift the US intelligence collection system from “priority driven” (collect over and over on the same limited set of targets) to “gap driven” (do a first pass on everything, then start over focusing on gaps). I’ve been thinking for a very long time about the deficiencies in US diplomatic, information, military, and economic (DIME) predispositions, bias, capabilities, and Achilles heels. I had more or less given up on the US Government specifically ever coming to its senses, when a bolt of lighting came out of the blue — Admiral James Stavrides, Supreme Commander for NATO, gave a TED talk about “open source security.” That is code for a complex range of things called Operations Other Than War (OOTW), Stabilization & Reconstruction (S&R), Public Diplomacy, and International Assistance, among other things. The US stinks at all of them, in part because we do not have a Whole of Government strategy, operations, intelligence, and logistics approach to anything — stovepipes, each badly managed and crossing wires, seem to be the standard.  The “M” in the Office of Management and Budget is not just silent, it is non-existent.

While I have read many other books relevant to the ideal of creating a prosperous world at peace, a world that works for all, this book was recommended to me as a starting point for avanced thinking in non-violent peace and prosperity operations, as I like to think of them, along with the author’s previous work, The politics of nonviolent action (Extending horizons books).

This is a practical book with very specific case studies and very specific itemizations (198 of them) that may replicate some of the author’s earlier work, but easily make this one book a stand-alone reference work for advanced studies by diplomats, warriors, and policy wonks long isolated from the real world. This book is not a replacement for Howard Zinn’s A Power Governments Cannot Suppress or Jonathan Schell’s The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People. The three go well together.

For the grand strategic view I would suggest Philip Allott’s The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State; at the operational level, Mark Palmer’s Breaking the Real Axis of Evil: How to Oust the World’s Last Dictators by 2025, and at the tactical level, Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail (BK Currents (Paperback)).

This is a multi-purpose volume. One can skip the case studies and ingest the beginning and the end, which is what I did, or one can use the volume as a distributed reading and research exercise–if I were using it each case study would be the foundation for a student paper on what never happened — the obliviousness of the UN, NATO, the US, etcetera, to the non-violent intervention points and the importance of NOT persisting with support to dictators and foreign military sales. As an aside, the dirty little secret of the CIA is that they are never serious about deposing evil, they just like to toy with dissidents on the margins — the best documentary on this long-standing fact is Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times.

I value the book for the brevity of its main point: non-violent power is real and practical and has many manifestations (most of them not really known to me in a coherent scheme before reading this book). State power is context dependent, and much — *much* — more subject to public will than most realize.

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Aug 28