• A Direction in the Chaos

    Coffee With Doc: Stalking Dinner (Video 4 minutes) Whether called “free market,” globalization,” neo-liberalism, or something else, the West’s prevailing business and economic system is sputtering. A totally new social contract will have to displace it because the present system appears incapable of meeting our needs in the 21st century. The old system featured conflict […]

  • Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

    Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason Mason is an experienced British writer and TV news editor covering economics and public policy. His future vision fuses artificial intelligence, automation, environmental problems, and wonky strategies to cure our global economic mess. Having seen policy made in central government sausage grinders, he pulls few punches. […]

  • Re-Balancing Ourselves

    Coffee With Doc: Re-Balancing Ourselves Previous posts referred to a broad swath of environmental degradation undermining our consumptive way of life. Issues are global, but vary by location. Some of us don’t want to accept that this is happening; others are engaged in so many little initiatives that no one can know of them all. […]

  • Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Harari and Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care by Gilbert Welch

    Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Harari Yuval Noah Harari is a professor of history in The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a secular Jew. That’s important because he spends part of the book on the rift between science and religions, and he’s a neutral observer. Along the way he dribbles in […]

  • Can We Make Human Progress?

    Even economists are beginning to see that the current economic system is flawed. Most want to fix it, like Jared Bernstein who advocates re-priming growth, but distributing it more equally, which he calls “reconnection.” Arguments about fairness captivate us more than ecological crises that seem more abstract, so they dominate attention. They want to overhaul […]

  • Surviving the Future by David Fleming and Shaun Chamberlin, The Inevitable by Kevin Kelly, and From Uneconomic Growth to a Steady State Economy by Herman Daly

    Three short reviews of fairly dense books. Surviving the Future by David Fleming and Shaun Chamberlin David Fleming worked on the basis for this book for 30 years. Hardly known in the U.S., in the UK Fleming obtained a PhD in economics, was an environmental activist; at one time secretary for the Green Party, the founder of […]

  • Coffee With Doc: Adopting Compression Thinking

    Compression at the Octane Coffee Shop

    Coffee With Doc: Adopting Compression Thinking (video and blog) Last Saturday, we went to Maria Morgan’s coffee shop. Maria asked about Compression and Compression Thinking. She had not heard of it before. I asked about her coffee shop business. I knew nothing about it except that her coffee was exceptionally good. So we took Compression […]

  • NOW - The Physics of Time by Richard A. Muller

    NOW – The Physics of Time by Richard A. Muller

    NOW – The Physics of Time by Richard A. Muller Muller is professor of physics at Berkeley, best known recently as a skeptic investigating global warming, reluctantly concluding that the evidence points to it – with reservations, of course. However, his book, Now, is a review of physics leading to Muller’s hypothesis that since time […]

  • Coffee With Doc: Thinking Outside the System

    Learning to Escape Eroom’s Law

    One indicator that we need a very different concept of what we call business is Eroom’s Law, a buzzword from the world of pharmaceutical drug development. Erooms’s Law is that the increasing complexity of a system inexorably keeps driving costs up. It’s Moore’s Law backwards, and Moore’s Law is that computing speed of an integrated […]

  • A Prescription for Change by Michael Kinch

    In this newly released book, Michael Kinch begins with the history of drug development from ancient times up to 2016. He’s qualified. Kinch is a knowledgeable insider in drug development, biotech, and in university research, with experience in both the scientific and the business sides of all these institutions. Major themes are fast mutation and […]

  • Frames and Framing

    In the sense of psychology and communications, George Lakoff coined the term, “framing.” A framework is a belief, or a set of them, by which people interpret their world. We all have multiple frameworks; they need not be logically consistent. Framing is communicating an idea so that it fits into a framework already fixed in […]

  • Four Futures: Life After Capitalism, by Peter Frase

    Frase is a writer for Jacobin, a left-wing political magazine that sponsored his book. Left wing polemics being predictable, this book seemed of little interest until spotting a couple of reviews by other authors saying that it was mind opening. Critics complained that the book left too many unanswered questions. However, raising questions was the […]