I sat down intending to make this a five, but the two fluff reviews have to be off-set. Robert Ackoff would say this is a spectacular book about making the wrong things righter instead of the right things righter–too many lawyers and focused on improving a patent approval system that probably needs to be eradicated and the buildings and files plowed under with salt. It also lost one star because I was one of the 4,000 that actually participated in the Open Government experiment, where the legalization of marijuana triumphed and every time someone voted for my governance reform idea, a “monitor” from the partisan correctness office came in and voted against it moving it back down to zero. The author is naive to think this initiative is going anywhere without electoral reform that displaces the two-party tyranny and restores the Constitution, the Article 1 independence of an honest Congress, and integrity of the Executive at the political level. [See especially Chapter 21 in my new book that just went to the printer, INTELLIGENCE for EARTH: Clarity, Diversity, Integrity, & Sustainaabilty and is free online at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, and my earlier wire-bound book, also free online, Election 2008: Lipstick on the Pig (Substance of Governance; Legitimate Grievances; Candidates on the Issues; Balanced Budget 101; Call to Arms: Fund We Not Them; Annotated Bibliography).
Having said that, I found this book to be spectacularly informative, thoughtful, useful, with extraordinary insights and suggestions that were over-shadowed by the focus on the patent system–suggestions about the-redesign of government, for example. I recommend reading my reviews of SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa and of The Myth of Digital Democracy along with this review, the three books were read together as a set. Below are some quotes and my fly-leaf notes. This book is a foundation stone for righteous change into the future, but only that first stone.
QUOTE (xvi): Done right, it is possible now to achieve greater competence by making good information available for better governance, improve effectiveness by leveraging the available tools to engender new forms of collective action, and strengthen and deepen democracy by creating government by the people, of the people, and *with* the people.
Beyond Six Stars–Hugely Important Useful Collection
February 20, 2010
Edited by Sokari Ekine
Contributing authors include Redante Asuncion-Reed, Amanda Atwood, Ken Banks, Chrstinia Charles-Iyoha, Nathan Eagle, Sokari Ekine, Becky Faith, Joshua Goldstein, Christian Kreutz, Anil Naidoo, Berna Ngolobe, Tanya Notley, Juliana Rotich, and Bukeni Wazuri
This book will be rated 6 Stars and Beyond at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, where we can do things Amazon refuses to implement here, such as sort useful non-fiction into 98 categories, many of the categories focused on stabilization & reconstruction, pushing back against predatory immoral capitalism, and so on.
When the book was first brought to my attention it was with concern over the price. The price is fair. Indeed, the content in this book is so valuable that I would pay $45 without a second thought. I am especially pleased that the African publishers have been so very professional and assured “Look Inside the Book”–please do click on the book cover above to read the table of contents and other materials.
This is the first collection I have seen on this topic, and although I have been following cell phone and SMS activism every since I and 23 others created the Earth Intelligence Network and put forth the need for a campaign to give the five billion poor free cell phones and educate them “one cell call at a time,” other than UNICEF and Rapid SMS I was not really conscious of bottom-up initiatives and especially so those in Africa where the greatest benefits are to be found.
I strongly recommend this book as a gift for ANYONE. This is potentially a game-changing book, and since I know the depth of ignorance among government policy makers, corporate chief executives, and larger non-governmental and internaitonal organization officials, I can say with assurance that 99% of them simply do not have a clue, and this one little precious book that gives me goose-bumps as I type this, could change the world by providing “higher education” to leaders who might then do more to further the brilliant first steps documented in this book. Continue reading “Review: SMS Uprising: Mobile Activism in Africa”
This might have been a four because despite the gifted genius of the author–I use the term with admiration–the book is out of touch with two thirds or more of the relevant literature and all the non-elite movements that are doing precisely what she advocates but DISPLACING governments.
HOWEVER, the recurring theme of multinational information-sharing and information-driven harmonization grabbed me by the throat. A handful of quoted phrases, generally citing others properly end-noted:
+ European agencies “are best described as ‘information agencies.' Their job is to collect, coordination, and disseminate information needed by policymakers.
+ “Modes of regulation based on information and persuasion…”
+ “Debousee also sees the European information agencies as network creators and coordinators.”
+ “In short, the ability to provide credible information and an accompanying reputation for credibility become sources of soft power.” She acknowledged here that non-governmental organization networks are doing this now, and that government networks need to do more of this. Continue reading “Review: A New World Order”