5 Stars – Utterly brilliant insights and data, but publisher should have invested in graphics to match
Parag Khanna is for me the single best observer and reporter on the substance of Asia which he takes great pains to point out is not just China (a third of Asia’s population) but includes particularly vast swaths of Russia, India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia including Indonesia and Australia, and Turkey.
For those who do not know this, Governing the Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action earned Elinor Ostrom a Nobel Peace Prize in Economics. This book, by the author of Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable is of that caliber. A later book,, Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life is easier to read — if you have time for only one go with the latter.
The core message of this book is that you cannot predict or control high impact low probability events, but you can downsize, localize, you can decentralize, and in so doing make much of the ecology “antifragile.”
Some books are so far out of my personal ability to digest in detail that I very rapidly convert to my scanning mode with one big question that I ask on every page: does this book and its author pass the smell test with me, and would I, if President, want to trust this author to help implement his ideas without necessarily understanding them in detail?
Not only is the answer for this book and this author a resounding YES, but on pages 31-32 I have a note, “Holy Shit! Could DT be doing all this?” Those two pages outline ten great deals that Donald Trump could be pursuing: peace, jobs, sound-money, Glass-Steagall, federalist, regulatory, liberty, health-care, fiscal, and governance.
It has been very distressful for me, as a professional intelligence officer committed to truth and transparency, to find so many of my colleagues absolutely livid – constipated with anger, impotent in every sense of the word – when confronted with the success off WikiLeaks.
Julian Assange is the epitome of truth, transparency, and trust, the sub-title of The Open Source Everything Manifesto that places Julian and the good works of his thousands of volunteers in context. The post-Western, post-Google Internet begins and ends, in my view, with Julian Assange, myself, William Binney, and John McAfee. The WikiLeaks “model” – while it can be broadened and scaled up – is the perfect manifestation of what Tom Atlee has called The Tao of Democracy. WikiLeaks is Collective Intelligence in its purest form: no barriers, no lies.
I received a PDF copy from the author, with whom I share many concerns about and hopes for the Trump Presidency, and am truly delighted with all that he has done. As a former spy who also co-created the Marine Corps Intelligence Intelligence Activity and went on to found the Open Source Intelligence discipline, I deal every day with complex nuanced topics that I find very difficult to explain to normal people.
This author has done a BRILLIANT job, a PATRIOTIC job, a LIFE-ENHANCING and GOD-BLESSED job, of laying out both the threats to the Trump Presidency and to America, and the threats and possibilities for resurrecting America and saving it from the Deep State I know so well.
I met the author of this book in Norway, when he interviewed me for Ny Tid (Modern Times) in relation to my nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, an interview that is on YouTube in multiple channels. I absolutely respect his combination of intelligence and integrity, and in any hearing that pits him against the Deep State, I would absolutely believe him and challenge the Deep State. This is his manifesto.
At 479 pages, with a fourteen page table of contents (Kindle users will love this, it is the deepest most specific table of contents I have ever seen in a business, economics, ethics, libertarian, or political book), this book is both a bargain at cost per page and a brilliant provocation with brain-bombs left and right.
God Bless Donald Trump — for all of Trump’s failings as he rolls over and plays dead for the Deep State (with a reported promise of no less than $20B for playing his role) — we are indebted to Donald Trump for doing in 120 days what so many of us, including the Libertarian Party of which I am a member, have failed to do in a quarter century: made the Deep State a topic of common conversation. The mainstream “fake news” media can no longer repress this topic, it is mainstream.
The People’s Army – the Continental Army rooted in home-spun militias – was formed and fought and won a war before the U.S. Constitution was written and signed in 1787. The Constitution – and the Republic – exist because the People’s Army, the Continental Army led by George Washington – leveraged the twin advantages of a righteous cause and home court to eject what was then the greatest imperial power on the planet. Of the 55 men attending the Constitutional Convention, at least 29 served in the Continental Army, most of them in positions of command. Understanding the relationship between the people from whom the early militias were drawn, the Army, and the Constitution, is essential to evaluating where we fall short today.
This book makes the jump from 5 stars (generally I don’t bother to review a book if it is not a four or five star read) to 6 stars — my top ten percent — because of the combination of Questions Asked, glorious color graphics, and the total holistic nature of the book — this is easily a PhD thesis in holistic analytics, true cost economics, and open source everything engineering. Indeed, this book could be used as a first-year reference across any humanities and science domain, they would be the better for it.