I’ve been reading for a week to clear twelve water books for shipping before I leave Guatemala, this is next to last and perhaps the most valuable of the lot in terms for actually doing something useful in the future. The last, The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water I will look at tomorrow, but I already do not recommend it for two reasons: its utterly outrageous price, and its narrow focus on the law in isolation from all else. This book is the “capstone” book in my twelve book program, and I will rate it as 6 Star and Beyond at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, where you can see all my reviews on water books with one click.
QUOTE (3): One motive for writing this book is to examine the stark disconnect between the [corporate/UN] forum’s blueprint for forging a global water regime and the contentious politics surrounding water all around the world.
QUOTE (5): We have been witnessing the development, proliferation, and growing embeddedness of rules, roles, and practices that shape water-related policy decisions and political struggles all over the world.
QUOTE (7): Unlike most conventional international environmental regimes, these emerging institutions have found a way to incorporate more pluralistic understandings of authority, more flexible conceptions of territorial sovereignty, and more heterogeneous ways of knowing about problems and solutions.
HERE I WANT TO STRESS: HYBRID COALTIONS & INFORMATION-SHARING. This is the consistent theme I have seen over the past 12 books. It CAN be done by multiple stake-holders who come together to share information and make-sense together–it is TRUE COST information, and completely truthful information about all concerns and interests, that makes trust and consensus possible.
QUOTE (10): Global environmental problems result from the poor fit between national borders, and a planetary ecology that ignores those borders.
HERE I WANT TO STRESS: There’s only one person I have read who has it right and that is Phillip Allot out of Cambridge. See my review of his brilliant book, The Health of Nations: Society and Law beyond the State. The artificial boundaries imposed by the colonial powers should not be allowed to stand. It’s time for the tribes to come back to the fore and do three things: exile dictators; nationalize colonized property including land and water; and kick IMF, WTO, and World Bank out of town.
The author is way ahead in both his ethics and his intellect in understanding that stupid predatory laws and treaties will not stand the test of time. We are all now moving at Internet speed. He specifies that instead of laws or treaties, what hybrid groups must construct are “a bundle of common understandings, shared expectations, and cooperative norms.” That is precisely what Stewart Brand, Howard Rheingold, Art Kleiner, Harrison Owen, Peggy Holman, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tom Atlee, and Jim Rough, among many others, have been developing for the past three decades. It’s called Conscious Evolution. See all those books easily at Phi Beta Iota.
The author backs into systems thinking with a discussion of how local systems in the aggregate comprise a global system that no one regime can control. Normally I would go “duh” but in the context of this book and the other discussion the author provides, that’s not the right answer. He’s on to a serious approach to the most serious problem we all face, and this book merits a full reading. Of course, one should also reach across Buckminster Fuller, Medard Gabel, Russell Ackoff, and the late John N. Warfield. They wrote the book on how to do this, along with Richard Falk and many others in the 1970’s, the difference is that now people are starting to realize they were right and SHOULD have been listened to.
The author deconstructs and reconstructs the three core themes of knowledge (what Earth Intelligence Network calls public intelligence), territoriality, and authority. In all three instances, intelligence and ethics play huge roles. He devotes a chapter to the destabilization of knowledge (not “owned” by anyone), the hybridization (his word, very important) of authority, and the deterritorialization of nature (or recognition of reality 101).
Throughout the book I see clear evidence that the author is current with ecological economics, true cost, cradle to cradle, and the many other green to gold ideas, and what he is bringing into play here is a theory of gaming–of institutionalizing roles that states have ignored, or blending hybrid alliances, etcetera.
I am pressing ahead to the conclusion but see throughout the book a connection between legitimacy and shared knowledge or knowledge agreed to be in common, i.e. valid. This is hugely important and applies to every aspect of water governance. See Max Manwaring’s edited work, Environmental Security and Global Stability: Problems and Responses.
In his concluding chapter, alone worth the price of the book and naturally “cutting to the chase,” the author addresses:
01 Acknowledging social conflict associated with environmental issues, rather than papering over it (IPCC) or mis-labeling it as ethnic conflict (India et al)
02 Establishing a global dispute resolution authority. While the International Tribunals are by no means the right model, I can clearly see how a hybrid regional organization that is intelligence (decision-support) driven could allow the UN and others to “Deliver As One” while addressing all ten threats across all twelve policies regardless of who is paying or doing what. INTELLIGENCE IS THE KEY–PUBLIC INTELLIGENCE.
03 Citing Ronnie Lipschutz, he describes an emergent system that sounds to me like Panarchy–everyone has a voice, all of the complexities are brought forward, diversity and respect and dignity are paramount. The Native Americans called this “seventh generation thinking.”
In his concluding two pages he brings up the term “politics by other means” and I find that absolutely fascinating. To me it means a rejection of the two-party or one-party tyranny’s that subvert so many countries, and the emergence of participatory budgeting and Open Everything (see my brief by that title at Phi Beta Iota). He diplomatically slams political science for equating regimes, institutiions, and states, and generally calls for a broadening of the governance model to include all humans with access to all information all the time. I’m putting the last bit in, but we are clearly on the same track.
I cannot do this book justice in the time I have. It is a graduate level text that precocious under-graduates could handle, and it is continuing education for under-imaginative policy and political and economic leaders. It could easily be read multiple times, but I will content myself with concluding that this author is one mind that cannot be ignored.
First off, am really starting to pay attention to Right Livelihood, the Alternative Nobel that seems to avoid really big mistakes that have characterized the Nobel Peace Prize in recent decades (Kissinger to Obama). I first learned of this award when Herman Daly, conceptualizer of Ecological Economics, spoke at one of my conferences, and now I am going to look into this and post a listing of recipients at Phi Beta Iota, where all my reviews can be easily exploited across 98 distinct categories, something not possible here at Amazon.
This is one of twelve books on Water that I have read or am reading, expecting to get through all of them in the near term.
In comparison to the other works, this is the single best book when considering content, visuals, and price. This is the one book to buy if you want just one book and for that reason it is the only 6 in the lot, although Marq de Villier’s book, the last one listed below, is in that group as well as the first book to really put it all together. Here are ten other books, reviews for all of which will be posted here at Amazon and at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog where you can access all my reviews on books about water with one click.
It is a real shame the publisher has not posted the table of contents, which I find to be one of the most holistic and useful I have seen in a very long time, and/or used Inside the Book capabilities that Amazon makes so easily available.
I was about to buy this book when I noticed the price–$189. This is, once again, a situation where the authors have to think clearly when arranging for publication. News flash: you can still publish and be listed on Amazon, get the publication credit, and NOT be a prisoner to a greedy publisher out of touch with the information society. It is not enough to be published–one must be published in a manner that makes the knowledge accessible to all others, not “locked down” by publisher over-pricing.
Springer is offering it for $139, and Barnes & Noble is offering it for $103.
An online version is offered but Springer site is not at all friendly and there is no obvious price-checkout option for guests.
This book should be selling for no more than $49.00. I am adding it to my Amazon list of outrageously priced books antithetical to the needs of society.
DO NOT READ THIS BOOK without first looking at the web site WorldIsOpen.com, and more specifically, the only part of the website that I found to be essential, the sixteen pages of links to every online resource mentioned in the book. Had I done this first, I could have cut my note-taking time in half. As it is, I have created a sixteen page alphabetized list of all the references, and include that in my more robust review of this book at Phi Beta Iota, the Public Intelligence Blog, where I can do things (such as link to my other 80+ education book reviews and include non-Amazon links) that Amazon simply will not allow.
BUY THIS BOOK. It is in my view an essential foundation for any university as well as any lower school or continuing education and training program that desires to increase its effectiveness by a thousand fold while also increasing its global reach by a million fold.
Recommended by Dr. Kent Myers. Eleveated by Phi Beta Iota to 6 Stars and Beyond because this book is much more readable than Wealth of Networks and captures the essence for the general reader in a manner more likely to accelerate understanding and transformation.
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended as THE book to understand the fundamentals of social media collaboration
Clay Shirky captured the ethos of social media with his bookHere comes everybody. He follows that book up with one that concentrates on the fundamentals of turning our cognitive surplus into value. Cognitive Surplus provides a compelling and clear description of the fundamentals of social media and collaboration as well providing principles that are guiding developments and innovation in this space.
There are many books out there that either describe the social media phenomenon or profess to provide a `recipe’ for success. Neither of these approaches can provide you with the insight needed to effectively experiment and deploy social media for the simple reason that social media is changing too fast.
The book is organized into seven chapters that outline a complete way of thinking about social media.
In combination with the other books that I am reading this week, the first by David Perkins,Making Learning Whole, the second by Curtis Bonk, The World is Open: How Web Technology is Revolutionizing Education, this book I have read in galley form, by Dr. Kent C. Myers [strategist and process historian, a disciple of Russell L. Ackoff] with contributed chapters from a number of other individuals, gives me hope. This is an extraordinarily diplomatic and measured book, a book that can nudge even the most recalcitrant of know-it-all stake-holders toward the “aha” experience that what they are doing [doing the wrong things righter] is NOT WORKING and maybe, just maybe, they should try Reflexive Practice (or at least begin to hire people that think this way). This is *the* book that could-should lead to the first-ever Secretary General of Education, Intelligence, & Research….IMHO. The Smart Nation Act: Public Intelligence in the Public Interest, done with Congressman Rob Simmons (R-CT-02) was a proponency book. This book by Dr. Myers et al is a praxis book absolutely up there with the other 6 Star and beyond books that I recommend. As soon as I receive a printed copy, I will publish a detailed review.
AMAZON HAS THE BOOK ON SALE, $30 off from the list price of $95. As opposed as I am to the doubling of book prices, this is one book that is easily worth $65, and it is the one book I will be interested in discussing with all comers when I return to NCA in September.
Blurbs at Amazon
“An important book which illuminates, with practical and readable lessons, the path to top performance.”—Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business, University of Southern California and author of Still Surprised: A Memoir of a Life in Leadership
“A quiet but powerful critique of professions and professional education, with a glimpse of how experts could participate in open and engaged dialogue and actually help us adapt our way through today’s crisis.” —Carol R. Hunter, Associate University Librarian, University of Virginia