Review: Swarmwise – The Tactical Manual to Changing the World

6 Star Special, Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Democracy, Information Society, Intelligence (Collective & Quantum), Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks), Leadership, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design, Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Philosophy, Politics, Priorities, Public Administration, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

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.

– – – – –

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.

Perhaps the biggest counter-intuitive lessons from this book is that swarms wants and need focused leadership that can provide a structure — an architecture and easy to grasp prioritization of effort. Swarms are the opposite of bureaucracies — agile, inclusive, transparent — but they still need structure setting and goal/task definition if they are to be effective [witness Occupy versus the Pirate Party for a study in ineffectiveness versus tangible results]. HOWEVER, the author makes it clear that “leaders” of a swarm are more janitorial than managerial in nature. There is ample humility in this book.Magic numbers are 7, 30, 150 — a squad, a platoon, a company.

BIG BIG OBSERVATION: The only “organization” that matters is the relationship between people.

Four key functions that require dedicated attention from specific individuals at each level across each regional break are Public Relations/Media; Activism; Swarmcare; and Web/Information-Sharing.

Chapter 4 Big Insight: control the vision but never the message. There is a direct cross-over between this grassroots book and the other book that I finished on the same flight, by Edgar Morin, On Complexity (Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences), in which Morin distinguishes between strategy that must be persistent and coherent and focused BUT also agile, adaptable, and responsive, versus programs that are fixed, unresponsive to change, and therefore likely to fail if they refuse to adapt. Vision and strategy are together, programs need to be like the message, defined at the grass roots level on the basis of the prevailing ground truth there.

There are for me some hugely impressive details on flyers, handling voting and organization, and other minutia of swarmwise, that I missed in the earlier chapter and see more clearly here. Buy the book. It is relevant to ANY mission area that wishes to harness the cognitive surplus and collective intelligence of any group.

QUOTE (81): “Leadership is a state of group psychology.”

Timelines are important — make the targets visible and explicit.

There is a lot of very useful explicit discussion on how to create the most useful, responsive, EFFECTIVE swarms, with emphasis on helping the swarm speed up its decision cycle, make the most of face to face interaction, and impact on others outside the swarn (e.g. some super tips on what has worked with respect to public appearances and appeals).

QUOTE (117): “The swarm is a disorganization by design.”

Have ONE vision and ONE value base. This is what keeps the group focused and coherent.

The details on managing the press release process are impressive. I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on press releases and now realize how most of my money was wasted because I did not have the knowledge this book offers. For this section alone the book is worthy of purchase by any run of the mill corporate type.

As I noted at the beginning above, the book ends beautifully and I am personally inspired. If I have any impact at all on US politics over the next twenty years, this book is in many ways the first USEFUL book I have found, with all due respect to the other books that I listed originally.

– – – – –

I have been following this books development as its chapters have been published free online (the book is also free online but I have ordered the CreateSpace printed copy and absolutely recommend purchase of the consolidated printed version).

This is a hugely important book by the founder of the global Pirate Party movement that is also coming to the USA —

I urge one and all — and especially US citizens disgusted by the two-party tyranny and the selfish egos in the four small parties and the Independent.org organization to buy and read this book, form local Pirate Party chapters, and create a nation-wide network. You can see the USA pirate pin and pirate eyepatch I had artwork developed for, by searching for Worth a Look: Pirate Party Pin and Eye Patch.

Within a week or two I will post a detailed review of this book that I already know to be excellent from having read the first six chapters online. By all means review the book via the online version, but I have bought the book in part because of its show and tell value — this is a tangible manifestation of the emergence of Epoch B and the restoration of bottom-up participatory democracy in which the wisdom of the citizens comes to the fore again — something our indigeneous forebearers understood. Pirates are about bio-mimicry, natural design, natural capitalism, dignity and respect for all, honest government, and the rule of law especially for financial terrorists like Goldman Sachs and Citi-Bank and Bank of America. Pirates are about ethical evidence-based decision-support and governance that places the public interest in the forefront, not special interests.

This is a world-changing book. Below are some of the books that paved the way for this book, but only this book brings it all together in a political action, economic action, social action manner.

See Also:
Open Space Technology: A User’s Guide
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World that Works for All
Society’s Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People
The World Cafe: Shaping Our Futures Through Conversations That Matter
Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World
Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence
Engaging Emergence: Turning Upheaval into Opportunity
Wave Rider: Leadership for High Performance in a Self-Organizing World
Empowering Public Wisdom: A Practical Vision of Citizen-Led Politics (Manifesto Series)

Best wishes to all,
Robert David STEELE Vivas
THE OPEN SOURCE EVERYTHING MANIFESTO: Transparency, Truth, & Trust (2012)

Vote and/or Comment on Review
Vote and/or Comment on Review