Book of the Month (October): Civilization – The West and the Rest, by Niall Ferguson, Penguin Press, 2011. A must read! Thoroughly entertaining and insightful look at the “killer applications” that explain why the west has dominated modern history. Ferguson is my favorite author (I admit) and this book is another great example why. He looks at 6 “killer apps”, competition, science, property, medicine, consumption and work, from a historical perspective to see how they influenced the modern world – i.e. today. It is quite simply fascinating to discover why the west made it, even though in years past, the east dominated. The book concludes with a discussion about how should the west preserve its current position, if indeed it can. This results in an uplifting and even politically incorrect perspective that should be heard and discussed widely. With the current “anti capitalist” movement in the ascendancy, it would be good to counter their misunderstanding for where money and growth actually comes from. Get the book, and/or watch the TV Series. Awesome. Very recommended 10 out of 10.
The bad news is that I tried to get Niall Ferguson to be one of our key note speakers at our upcoming MDM Summit in March next year. I thought that his research would be really interesting (compared to classic on-topic speaker). It turns out he charges a small fortune for what is, in reality, a niche topic. I was so hoping that we could all enjoy his uplifting conclusions of his latest research, with respect to global competitiveness, but alas it seems we won’t be able too. Shame.
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