Categories
Research Program

What I’m Reading

  1. What They Teach You At Harvard Business School by Philip Delves Broughton (New York: Penguin, 2009). I first read this book about 15 years ago when I was in Swinburne University’s strategic foresight program, and it was originally titled Ahead of the Curve. Revisiting it I am picking up far more about Harvard Business School’s dynamics and the MBA curriculum.
  2. At Our Wits’ End: Why We’re Becoming Less Intelligent and What It Means for the Future (Exeter, England: Imprint Academic, 2018). Dutton is editor of the controversial journal Mankind Quarterley and Woodley of Menie has emerged as an influential Life History theorist. Reading this book – and the accompanying journal articles in Intelligence – is giving me a good primer on Data and Decisions skills, and the background debates to the Alt-Right’s emergence.
  3. Managerial Economics: A Game Theoretic Approach by Timothy C.G. Fisher and Robert G. Waschik (New York and London: Routledge, 2002). One of the things that emerged from my PhD‘s working notes was that I needed to study more game theory. This is a good primer on both game theory and managerial economics – the latter the ‘killer app’ of managerial decision-making.
  4. Q: In This World Perfection Is Everything by Christina Dalcher (London: HQ Fiction, 2020). A return to eugenics and social stratification are two motivational drivers of Alt-Right metapolitical thinking. Dalcher’s novel is both a sign that Handmaid’s Tale-style dystopian fiction is popular with both publishers and readers, and that Alt-Right thinking may ‘cross the chasm’ to diffuse from a political subculture into mainstream thinking.
  5. The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future by Jeff Booth (Stanley Press, 2020). Deflation was a key macroeconomic driver of Japan’s ‘lost decades’ and it has also influenced contemporary debates about the post-COVID-19 world. Booth argues that deflation and the falling price of technology infrastructure hold the key to future prosperity. One implication of this is that cost structures are going to fall in price. This was the promise 20-25 years ago of the Dotcom era.
Categories
Research Program

What I’m Reading

Computational Thinking by Peter J. Denning and Matti Tedre (Boston, MA: The MIT Press, 2019). In 2004-07, I was a research assistant in the Smart Internet Technology Cooperative Research Centre. One of my biggest discoveries was the computer science literature on computational thinking. I am revisiting this for post PhD research using computational social science methods: creating larger data sets from my PhD framework. This is a useful guide and part of an excellent MIT Press series on foundational concepts for contemporary digital practices.

Understanding Criminal Networks: A Research Guide by Gisela Bichler (Oakland, California: University of California Press, 2019). In my PhD, I looked at the meso-level of strategic subcultures in terrorist organisations. I scoped some future possible research using Bayesian methods. I could also have considered the meso-level insights of Social Network Analysis: Bichler’s guide has some excellent sections on data collection, networked criminology theory, and presenting research to policymakers.

J. Philippe Rushton: A Life History Perspective by Edward Dutton (Oulu, Finland: Thomas Edward Press, 2018). Rushton was a controversial Canadian professor whose life history analysis of human behaviour has influenced the Alt-Right’s ‘race realism’. Independent researcher Dutton provides an analysis of Rushton’s research and his life in terms of r/K selection theory and Differential-K sociobiology, and finds both genius and major ethical lapses. I note in particular that Rushton cherry-picked his data and engaged in serious research misconduct with the Pioneer Fund due to a lack of internal controls.

Nemesis: The Jouvenelian vs. the Liberal Model of Human Orders by C.A. Bond (Perth, Australia: Imperium Press, 2019). There’s now already a collection of books on the Alt-Right neoreactionary political subculture. It’s rarer to find books by Alt-Right theoreticians themselves. C.A. Bond uses Bertrand de Jouvenal’s work – who I first came across in Swinburne University’s former Masters program on strategic foresight in 2002 – to critique the international liberal order and its institutions. This is a useful book for macrohistory thinkers who want to understand contemporary neoreactionist perspectives, and the mobilisation of protesters in the United States against COVID-19 lockdowns.