Category Archives: Conflict Book Reviews

The best books to help you understand and navigate conflict

The Conservative Paradox: Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (1896-1957)

Having read much about societal collapse including Jared Diamond’s fine book “Collapse”, I wonder if all civilizations are brought down by what I call the Conservative Paradox. The very movement or school of thought that attempts to preserve society, that … Continue reading

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Colonel John Boyd’s (1927-97) The OODA Loop

Thanks to our correspondent Kakatoa for pointing out the link between Double Loop Learning and the OODA Loop of Colonel Boyd: here is the latter: from Wikipedia: The OODA loop has become an important concept in litigation, business, law enforcement … Continue reading

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Blessed are the Peace Makers: Seamus Mallon (1936-2020)

From UK Tortoise News Feed: The most under-noted news of last week was the death of Seamus Mallon the 83 year-old former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland and deputy leader of the SDLP – the moderate nationalist party. He … Continue reading

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Double Loop Learning: Chris Argyris

I am always fascinated by the failure of businesses, of armies and recently of political parties to learn from their mistakes. Of course they have to admit them first and this requires that they among other things scrutinize their assumptions. … Continue reading

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Aristotle on Inequality

“The best constitution is one controlled by a numerous middle class which stands between the rich and the poor. For those who possess the goods of fortune in moderation find it “easiest to obey the rule of reason” (Politics IV.11.1295b4–6). … Continue reading

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Some Good News

Some good news: insecticide treated mosquito nets distributed for free by aid programs saved 450 million lives from Malaria in the period 2000-15 according to Nature as cited in “Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo”: … Continue reading

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Orwell versus Huxley: John Lanchester

Good piece in UK Financial Times: insightful Orwell v Huxley: whose dystopia are we living in today? John Lanchester on how Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four capture the age of Facebook and Trump  The modern world looks to many … Continue reading

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The Price of Populism: Martin Wolf

Been silent recently: democracy dies in the noise. Some signal in the noise: FT Books Essay Economics books  Add to myFT The price of populism. Anti-elitism threatens liberal democracy and capitalism. Martin Wolf asks: Is reform the answer? Populist forces … Continue reading

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The Medium is the Message: Historical Impact of New Technologies

New media are usually haled as a major step in the spreading of enlightenment and knowledge. However: In 1487 two Dominican Friars Heinrich Kramer and Jakob Sprenger published “Malleus Malificarum”, (Hammer of the Witches) the definitive treatise on why someone … Continue reading

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Twelve Rules for Life as an Alternative to Jordan Peterson’s

 Conservative Canadian academic psychologist Jordan Peterson (1962-) is currently all the rage, especially, apparently among resentful young men. I don’t know any of the latter so I will take peoples’ word for it. His You Tube talks have gone viral … Continue reading

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