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Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual to Changing the World Paperback – July 18, 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Rick Falkvinge is an IT entrepreneur recognized by Foreign Policy Magazine as a Top 100 Global Thinker and nominated by TIME Magazine as one of the world's 100 most influential people. This is a testament to the swarm organization methodologies he developed to beat the competition in the European Elections of 2009, while being constrained to less than one per cent of the competition's budget.

Mr. Falkvinge is known for founding the first Pirate Party and leading it into the European Parliament, and is currently a political evangelist for his ideas of freedoms of speech and expression. In particular, he stresses how industrial interests of the 1900s are fighting the net’s core values, the ability for everybody to publish their ideas and creations, and how these industries drive us towards a Big Brother society.

When not making policy, keynoting about cost-effective management, or exploring technical subjects in detail, Mr. Falkvinge can usually be seen cooking, sampling a scotch whisky, or riding a fast motorcycle.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 18, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463533152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463533151
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rick Falkvinge has long been one of my favorite writers on the Web. So when I heard he was writing a book I was quite excited. And my expectations were met - and actually surpassed - once I dove in to this book. In a world that at times seems impervious to real change, one that manipulates the masses into accepting false change for a real, systemic overhaul, Falkvinge's Swarmwise is a game-changing treatise on how we the people, in numbers small or large, can organize to make our communities, our countries, and eventually our world better. This is a manual for grassroots organizing that excels at breaking the big picture down and leading each of us, step by step, toward the goals we hope for. From organizing, to shaping the vision, to publicizing, and beyond, Falkvinge has given us the blueprint for the 21st Century renaissance. If this book does not motivate you to become an agent of change, nothing will.
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EDIT of 19 AUG 2013: Finish book, adding my new remarks at the top, dropping the preliminary review to the end.

EDIT OF 13 AUG 2013: I have a 17 hour aviation trip coming up Friday-Saturday, will try to get the detailed review posted sometime in the days after I reach my destination. I regard this book as one of a half dozen essentials for hybrid public governance in the 21st Century -- for participatory panarchy in which the public achieves consensus using collective intelligence methods that leverage ethical evidence-based decision-support that is transparent, truthful, and that produces TRUST as the "glue" for holistic ecologically and socially sound decision-making.

- - - - -

My last comment first: this book ends beautifully, and I am personally deeply inspired. Rickard Falkvinge has been and will continue to be a change agent, and this book is a form of persistent, ubiquitous sharing of insight that could help accelerate and broaden the emergent public bottom up demands for clarity, diversity, integrity, and sustainability.

Perhaps the biggest counter-intuitive lessons from this book is that swarms wants and need focused leadership that can provide a structure -- an architecture and easy to grasp prioritization of effort. Swarms are the opposite of bureaucracies -- agile, inclusive, transparent -- but they still need structure setting and goal/task definition if they are to be effective [witness Occupy versus the Pirate Party for a study in ineffectiveness versus tangible results]. HOWEVER, the author makes it clear that "leaders" of a swarm are more janitorial than managerial in nature. There is ample humility in this book.

Magic numbers are 7, 30, 150 -- a squad, a platoon, a company.
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Falkvinge backs up his ideas with experience from creating the Swedish Pirate Party. He describes a hybrid style, in between ordinary volunteer organizations (slow, boring, expensive) and chaotic mobs like Anonymous and Occupy Wall Street that aims for speed and fun on a shoestring budget, yet still focused and effective. He writes with some humour and style, making the book both useful and a pleasure.
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This book is very informative and really walks the reader through Falkvinge's experience both with mobilizing like-minded constituents and his previous military officer days. He really lets you learn from his successes and mistakes; walking you through the easy parts and navigating the troubling areas. Great book and very pertinent in this time of political unrest.
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