Review: Explosive Growth – A Few Things I Learned While Growing To 100 Million Users – And Losing $78 Million

5 Star, Information Technology, Intelligence (Public), Intelligence (Wealth of Networks)
Amazon Page

Cliff Lerner

5 Star Combines Lessons with Reading Recommendations

I’m starting to think about how to spend $200M to create an alternative to #GoogleGestapo that connects the President to 200 million eligible voters, and this book jumped to the top of the pile.

It is a fast pleasant read and it delivers both the expected lessons and an unexpected bonus, a very fine integrated list of books he read and gathered lessons from. I’ve read most of them but it was — for those who do not read as much as I do — a fine added value.

Here are a few items that stood out:

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Review: Life After Google – The Fall Of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy by George Gilder

3 Star, Information Society, Information Technology
Amazon Page

George Gilder

3 Stars Fad Book Limited Value

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.

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Review: When Google Met WikiLeaks

6 Star Special, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Change & Innovation, Civil Society, Complexity & Resilience, Consciousness & Social IQ, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Culture, Research, Democracy, Economics, Education (General), Future, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Public), Misinformation & Propaganda, Politics, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Priorities, Public Administration, Secrecy & Politics of Secrecy, True Cost & Toxicity, Truth & Reconciliation, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page

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.

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Stephen E. Arnold: Dark Web Notebook — Core Reference

5 Star, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, IO Impotency
Book Page

Stephen E Arnold: Dark Web Use Expected to Increase

Author predicts filtering and other restrictions on the open Internet will push more users toward secret encrypted platforms

Despite stepped-up efforts by federal and local law enforcement agencies, the Dark Web and the contraband markets that thrive there will continue to grow in the coming years. That’s the conclusion shared by author and consultant Stephen E Arnold in his new book Dark Web Notebook, a practical guide for law enforcement, intelligence, and corporate security personnel.

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Worth a Look: Parag Khanna on Technocracy & Democracy in America (Not Good Enough)

5 Star, America (Founders, Current Situation), Democracy, Information Society, Information Technology, Worth A Look
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American democracy just isn’t good enough anymore. A costly election has done more to divide American society than unite it, while trust in government–and democracy itself–is plummeting. But there are better systems out there, and America would be wise to learn from them.

In this provocative manifesto, globalization scholar Parag Khanna tours cutting-edge nations from Switzerland to Singapore to reveal the inner workings that allow them that lead the way in managing the volatility of a fast-changing world while delivering superior welfare and prosperity for their citizens.

The ideal form of government for the complex 21st century is what Khanna calls a “direct technocracy,” one led by experts but perpetually consulting the people through a combination of democracy and data.

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Review: The Seventh Sense: Power, Fortune, and Survival in the Age of Networks

3 Star, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Joshua Cooper Ramo

3.0 out of 5 stars Over-Sold, Dated, Shallow, Not At All Inspiring

Do not trust jacket blurbs from celebrities — most of these blurbs are written without ever reading the book, a form of corruption.

See Instead (a 6 Star Book): Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization

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?

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Worth a Look: The Internet is Not the Answer

5 Star, Information Society, Information Technology
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

The Internet Is Not the Answer, by longtime Internet skeptic Andrew Keen, offers a comprehensive look at what the Internet is doing to our lives. The book traces the technological and economic history of the Internet, from its founding in the 1960s through the rise of big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity. Startling and important, The Internet Is Not the Answer is a big-picture look at what the Internet is doing to our society and an investigation of what we can do to try to make sure the decisions we are making about the reconfiguring of our world do not lead to unpleasant, unforeseen aftershocks.

Review: Hacker Hoaxer Whistleblower Spy – The Many Faces of Anonymous

4 Star, Democracy, Information Operations, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Wealth of Networks)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Gabriella Coleman

Anonymous is almost certainly not what you think it is. You have to live it to understand it, its implications, its functioning, and its place in society. Gabrielle Coleman lived it, as a fully disclosed academic anthropologist. This is her story as much as theirs.

The structure of Anonymous is like the structure of the internet: multiple channels, multiple entry points, self healing patches, and lots of redundancy. (Also lots of swearing, lots of personal attacks, and lots of suspicions. Testosterone is involved.) This enables a totally flat organization to achieve in minutes what giant corporations and government take years to effect. The exhilaration, the joy, the satisfaction participants savor is incomparable. Anonymous is far more than a labor of love; it is idealists executing on their dreams. Everyone should be jealous.

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Review (Guest): Revolution 2.0 The Power of the People Is Greater Than the People in Power A Memoir

5 Star, Civil Society, Democracy, Information Society, Information Technology, Intelligence (Public), Peace, Poverty, & Middle Class, Politics, Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Wael Ghonim

5.0 out of 5 stars The true origins of the Egyptian revolution . a must read now more than ever, May 5, 2012

By Wessam ElmeligiSee all my reviews

Wael Ghonim has become an iconic figure of the Egyptian revolution since he anonymously started the Facebook Page, “We are All Khalid Said,” criticizing police brutality in Egypt after young activist Khalid Said was beaten to death in broad daylight by the police in Alexandria for posting a video on police corruption on the internet. In the first few days of the revolution, Ghonim was kidnapped by plainclothes policeman but released later. He appeared on a talk show at a time when the protests were reaching a dead end. Instead of delivering a fiery speech full of revolutionary fervor as expected, he wept and apologized publicly to the parents of protesters who were killed during the protests, saying “don’t blame us, blame those who are power hungry.” His tearful words ignited the protests again.

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Review: The Internet in the Middle East

5 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Censorship & Denial of Access, Civil Society, Country/Regional, Democracy, Information Society, Information Technology
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Deborah Wheeler

5.0 out of 5 stars Surprising and therefore valuable, February 11, 2015

This is a solid piece of work that might normally have been a 4 but it surprised me just enough to warrant taking it to a 4. I love unconventional wisdom and seeing solid proof that conventional wisdom — in this case, “The Internet changes everything for the better” questioned.

I read this book on the same flight as I read Richard Wolff’s Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism (City Lights Open Media) and this is the second reason I will place the book at five: while the Internet does NOT change everything for the better, especially in the case of women and youth in Kuwait, it IS “occupied,” is does blur the line between the user and the producer, and it does offer a model for new forms of social and economic organization. In a strange way I could not have anticipated, these two books complement each other.

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