Re: [unrev-II] Books

From: Jack Park (
Date: Wed Apr 04 2001 - 06:40:14 PDT

  • Next message: "[unrev-II] FW: MIT posting all their course material"


    What a timely post. Just this morning, while driving in to work, I
    listened to the President of the United States say that he was not
    interested in the global clean air game because: it would cost too much,
    and because the game isn't enforced on developing nations. My Gawd! That
    coming from the big cheese of the biggest (whatever that means) nation on
    earth. Reminds me of my kids: "It's not my turn!"

    In a somewhat dark scenario, I am thinking of some adults and some children
    all in a boat with paddles, out in a river that appears to be headed for an
    enormous waterfall (Niagra falls?), and there's this one big jerk sitting
    there refusing to paddle because the kids aren't required to paddle
    too. Semper Clax.


    At 09:26 AM 4/4/2001 -0400, you wrote:
    >Living in the sticks, I try to find in visits to the city an opportunity to
    >browse a bookstore shelf or two. So again the day before yesterday.
    >To my great surprise I ran into a book by Dertouzos of MIT's Lab for
    >Science called "The Unfinished Revolution." No mention of Doug in that. Why
    >someone who does not really need coattails uses them anyway is beyond me.
    >find it hard to believe he wasn't aware of the label as associated with
    >Also, and far more importantly, I bought a book by Maurice Strong named
    >on Earth are we going?" Strong became president of Power Corporation at
    >age 29,
    >Undersecretary of the United Nations at 40. He was Secretary-General of
    >the UN
    >Rio Conference on Environment and Development and senior advisor to the
    >Bank. Recently, he was in charge of Ontario Hydro and, of course, fully
    >conversant with atomic energy issues. His book makes scary reading about
    >NEAR future (20-30-year horizon) of the Earth and its people. First chapter
    >about the state of affairs in 30 years if we carry on with business as
    >He has strong words for/about corporate executives. Quote:
    >"An enormous factory turning out consumer electronics is accused of
    >poisoning a
    >nearby river. At a weepy press conference, the chief executive protests.
    >He has
    >children who love camping, cherish the forests - why would he destroy the
    >world of his inheritors? He had to protect the company's quarterly
    >his employees' jobs. He was just doing his job."
    >To put that and kindred professions of impotence in context: A "special"
    >in The
    >Economist ofr March 17 about corporate leadership ("Churning at the top",

    >). And further the final chapter of a book, "Remembering," by Eric Kierans
    >(formerly cabinet minister in Canadian federal and Quebec provincial
    >governments, professor of economics at McGill U., president of the Canadian
    >and Montreal Stock Exchanges) also about deterioration of mores in the
    >executive suite. Writes he that the political power (essentially
    >is pushed aside by economic power (essentialy non-democratic) and, hence,
    >we are headed for either chaos or fascism.
    >I wonder to what extent the present economic downturn (and all that
    >cash floating around) will affect corporate thinking, and, hence,
    >thinking. Is this a warning of another form of climate change, inm the
    >economic/social climate? Might it precipitate a really hard look at
    >and responsibilty - in all niches, at all levels of society?
    >Strong, in effect, foresees a mixture of both within a few decades. Trying
    >be an optimist, he does provide a list of suggestions, but like any other
    >environmentalist he has been attacked for being too pessimistic. (Well, he
    >wouldn't have written the book if he were, now would he?)
    >People familiar with Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines" might
    >Strong and Kurzweil's expectations for the next couple of decennia. It
    >seems to
    >me realistic, given their backgrounds, to put much more weight on Strong's
    >opinions than on Kurzweil's. It also seems to proper that Doug's Unfinished
    >Revolution - and indeed all forms of computerized enhancement - be
    >for applicability in the Strong scenario. What problems will it address?
    >efficiently? In what timeframe?
    >P.S. The book by Maurice Strong, which I consider "must reading" in the
    >of Doug's work, is published by Vintage Canada (a division of Random
    >The price should be about US$16.

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