This is a crap book that I should have been smart enough to not buy but I overlooked the author’s dubious credentials as a New York Times editor — the “pay to play” standard in the fake news Mainstream Media (MSM).
There is nothing really useful in this book, which paints a generally rosy picture of the New York Time and Washington Post “adapting” (they have not, they are both shit newspapers that cannot be trusted to tell the truth, both are shills for the Deep State and their propaganda line controlled by bribed or blackmailed editors and tame journalists) and a largely unsatisfactory look at VICE and BuzzFeed, both of which shit for different reasons.
I gave up on this book after 100 pages (it is 320 pages long). I normally do not waste time writing negative reviews but in this instance think it appropriate to mention that I found it wanting.
The first third, on Google, is so far-fetched in its effusive praise and its articulation of the Google this and Google that I could not get the image out of my head: George Gilder kissing Eric Schmidt’s ass. Over and over and over again.
Niall Ferguson is neither Will Durant nor John Lewis Gaddis. He is far removed from Howard Zinn. He is, in effect, an intelligent idiot, a courtesan historian. While the book’s intent may remind one of Eric S. Raymond’s classic essay on “The Cathedral or the Bazaar,” or the book by Thomas L. Friedman, The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, the author – while spectacularly qualified in conventional, which is to say, “approved thinking,” – offers so many false notes in this book in relation to what I know to be true, that I consider this book largely worthless.
Ramo’s intent is to sensitize us to changes we are living through as highly connected networks come to dominate nearly every aspect of society. He does not presume to tell us how it will all turn out, only that institutions will be thoroughly reshaped under relentless pressures. He offers hints of the posture one might develop to make the most of the situation we are in, but there are no guarantees. So while the reader might enjoy the reassurance of a conclusive diagnosis and a sure-fire strategy for success, as so many business books offer, Ramos feels that it would be unwise to offer that sort of satisfaction. His premise is correct, but the alternative satisfaction — of wisdom — sets a high bar. Does he deliver?
3.0 out of 5 starsFrom the Person Who Helped Cheney Lie Us Into a $4 Trillion War, April 7, 2015
The author of this book almost single-handedly helped Dick Cheney lie the US public into a $4 trillion dollar war, the New York Times managers then lacking in integrity — these are the same people that covered up rendition and torture and mass surveillance by NSA at opportune times, so as to “help” a favored President living by Henry Kissinger’s motto, “The illegal we do immediately, the unconstitutional takes a little longer.”
I certainly recommend the book, at the very low price that is consistent with this book’s lack of depth — like looking insider the mind of a worm, everyone should do this at least once.
… the accurate part is not very useful and the useful part is not very accurate. Allow me to explain by beginning with the accurate part of the book first.
Using his considerable experiences and his legal skills as an activist, the reader will discover here that Mr. Nader is a walking encyclopedia of details on the activist ways of organizing. Here, to our great benefit, he has shared with us his invaluable multi-talented and multilayered experiences, which arguably, as useful as they may be to a properly constructed theory, in practice, were largely failures during his generation (and spectacularly so in the case of his presidential runs).
The author of this book, Robert Steele, has been a dedicated and patriotic advocate of reforming the U.S. Intelligence Community for over thirty years without noticeable success. Now he has taken on a bigger and much more important cause, reform of the U.S. Electoral System to restore real Democracy in this country. This book is the first salvo of that effort.
3.0 out of 5 starsA poor thesis, rotten sources, with no quality control in the literature review, January 27, 2015
This is a hugely disappointing book. It reads like a graduate thesis badly overseen (with zero in the way of serious literature search). While the author has some experience in the foreign service (perhaps in the clandestine service) and as an action officer and minor manager in the Pentagon bureaucracy responsible for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict, he knows little about intelligence in all its complexity, less about the information revolution, and nothing at all across 80% of the relevant literatures he fails to discover or cite.
3.0 out of 5 starsNever Mind the Total Cost Terminal Society, April 13, 2014
Books like this would make me crazy if I took them seriously. This is a fad book for shallow minds that have no clue about holistic analytics, true cost economics, or anything remotely resembling the humanities (which is to say, the preservation of the good from one generation to the next). This book is the singularity cult on crack. Buy the book, by all means, to understand how seriously stupid is now in vogue.
There are some clever (which is to say, fad of the day) observations in this book but they vary from wrong (MOOCs have a 4% completion rate and are absolutely useless to 90% or more of the five billion poor who do not have the time to do MOOCs) to incomplete — who crowd sources against corruption and waste? Part of the answer is in this book, but no more than 20%. I’ve raised the book from one to three stars on a second pass, but I am still irritated.
The one place where Rifkin and I are 100% in harmony is on free energy…but he pulls his punches. Free energy is here now but the “system” is intent on keeping energy expensive and the 99% in rentier status. To truly understand the alternative energies now in hand, there is no book available, but if you search for Sepp Hasslberger @ Phi Beta Iota you will be on the bleeding edge of intelligence with integrity on this one topic that is so vital to all of us.
Marginal Cost is the cost at scale after all the FIXED COSTS (little things like water, fuel, child labor, tax avoidance, imposed disease) have been “accounted for.” The problem with Rifkin’s book, which would be a great riff at a late night show where everyone is smashed beyond cognition, is that it discounts reality by 99%. This book is the epitome of what Dr. Russell Ackoff would call “doing the wrong things righter instead of the right thing.