A repository for future bout topic ideas, book suggestions, etc. Use the “Leave a Reply” box below to submit comments to this page.

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11 Responses to “Future Topics”

  1. 1 Dave K. May 9, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Per Mike’s Fight Club anthology:

    Topic: China

    Book: The Chinese Century: The Rising Chinese Economy and Its Impact on the Global Economy, the Balance of Power, and Your Job by Oded Shankar

  2. 2 tbone24oz May 24, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    Can’t wait for our fight in 2 weeks…. lot’s to talk about healthcare system. However, assuming I’m the next host of the club, I wanted to collect your input regarding the next book. The topic will be about the condition of the education system. I found several books that deal with specific issues like college acceptance or high school challenges. But what I really want is a book that provides an overview of ALL the issues in the education system. That will include topics like: public vs. private schools, price of higher education, no-child-left-behind, vouchers and of course a comparison of our students’ performance to other countries and why.
    Any recommendations for a book will be highly appreciated.

  3. 3 Dave K. May 29, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Great idea for a subject, t-bone! No idea on a book, however… good luck with that 😛

    I just wanted to point out a book that has been receiving some raving press in a podcast I frequent. It’s a book that I started reading right before we started this Fight Club and I haven’t had a chance to return to finish it. And although it is technically a non-fiction book (it’s an auto-biography), it reads like a novel chock full of international espionage and intrigue. It might be a good cross-over book if we’re thinking about venturing into the *gasp!* fiction sector.

    And, the book? Confessions of an Economic Hitman

    It’s also available as an unabridged audio book from Audible.com

  4. 4 bobbyjones May 29, 2007 at 1:18 pm

    The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900


  5. 6 bobbyjones May 29, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World

    With an appreciation of the technical ingenuity, human drama and cultural impact of the electrical grid, physicist and playwright Schewe illuminates how electricity has catalyzed both the best and worst of modernity since Thomas Edison devised the first electrical network in 1882. Even as the grid delivered light and mechanization, foremost minds like Westinghouse, Tesla and Insull continued to refine it, creating a society totally dependent on its invisible wonders. In the 1965 Northeast blackout, for example, New York shut down for lack of a product that barely existed half a century before. The grid’s complexity demands predictability, Schewe shows, but even a minor short circuit can trigger a systemwide avalanche. Peppering his narrative with quotations from cultural critics Lewis Mumford and Henry David Thoreau, he argues that, economically, “we can’t afford to throw away two-thirds” of energy as waste, and explains how nuclear and renewable resources can reduce pollution. Schewe also explores how Africa and Asia’s dearth of electricity affects the participation of impoverished people in society. Though the final chapter on how astronauts took energy with them to the moon seems unnecessary, overall Schewe crafts an entertaining narrative with enlightening scientific and historical detail.


  6. 7 Matt H. May 29, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    “The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900” … Coming from Bobby… the same guy who suggested that we do away with currency all together (as the root of all evil) and go back to barter trading?

  7. 8 bobbyjones May 31, 2007 at 7:27 am

    I don’t see how that’s relevant Mr. Nolte. If you want to open that can of worms, let’s read this:

    Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity

    “In our lifetimes, humans passed a remarkable milestone. Most people now live in a capitalist economy. This is not, however, the end of history. As the authors of this path breaking book show, there are several distinctly different types of capitalism and it takes a mixture of two of these types to get all the economic, social, and political benefits that capitalism affords.”-Paul M. Romer, STANCO 25 Professor of Economics in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University


  8. 9 bobbyjones June 12, 2007 at 10:36 am

    The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

    Chris Anderson is editor-in-chief of Wired magazine and the author of The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More.

    Four hundred years ago, Francis Bacon warned that our minds are wired to deceive us. “Beware the fallacies into which undisciplined thinkers most easily fall–they are the real distorting prisms of human nature.” Chief among them: “Assuming more order than exists in chaotic nature.” Now consider the typical stock market report: “Today investors bid shares down out of concern over Iranian oil production.” Sigh. We’re still doing it.

    Our brains are wired for narrative, not statistical uncertainty. And so we tell ourselves simple stories to explain complex thing we don’t–and, most importantly, can’t–know. The truth is that we have no idea why stock markets go up or down on any given day, and whatever reason we give is sure to be grossly simplified, if not flat out wrong.

    Nassim Nicholas Taleb first made this argument in Fooled by Randomness, an engaging look at the history and reasons for our predilection for self-deception when it comes to statistics. Now, in The Black Swan: the Impact of the Highly Improbable, he focuses on that most dismal of sciences, predicting the future. Forecasting is not just at the heart of Wall Street, but it’s something each of us does every time we make an insurance payment or strap on a seat belt.

    The problem, Nassim explains, is that we place too much weight on the odds that past events will repeat (diligently trying to follow the path of the “millionaire next door,” when unrepeatable chance is a better explanation). Instead, the really important events are rare and unpredictable. He calls them Black Swans, which is a reference to a 17th century philosophical thought experiment. In Europe all anyone had ever seen were white swans; indeed, “all swans are white” had long been used as the standard example of a scientific truth. So what was the chance of seeing a black one? Impossible to calculate, or at least they were until 1697, when explorers found Cygnus atratus in Australia.

    Nassim argues that most of the really big events in our world are rare and unpredictable, and thus trying to extract generalizable stories to explain them may be emotionally satisfying, but it’s practically useless. September 11th is one such example, and stock market crashes are another. Or, as he puts it, “History does not crawl, it jumps.” Our assumptions grow out of the bell-curve predictability of what he calls “Mediocristan,” while our world is really shaped by the wild powerlaw swings of “Extremistan.”

    In full disclosure, I’m a long admirer of Taleb’s work and a few of my comments on drafts found their way into the book. I, too, look at the world through the powerlaw lens, and I too find that it reveals how many of our assumptions are wrong. But Taleb takes this to a new level with a delightful romp through history, economics, and the frailties of human nature. –Chris Anderson


  9. 11 Bill B. June 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I want to read “We Are Anonymous” by Parmy Olson.

    Ready… Fight!

    Bill B.

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