Tuesday, December 12, 2017



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Naturopath discusses hidden toxins in our lives and how to be rid of them

Posted by Elena del Valle on December 1, 2017

The Toxin Solution

The Toxin Solution


Photo: Joseph Pizzorno

We are surrounded by invisible toxins that are making us chronically sick. They are in the food we eat, our tap water, household cleaning products and health and beauty aids. “They damage every aspect of our physiological function and play a role in virtually all diseases.” So says Josepth Pizzorno, N.D.

After years of research and clinical work in the medical field and nine months of writing he published The Toxin Solution: How Hidden Poisons in the Air, Water, Food, and Products We Use Are Destroying Our Health--and what we can do to fix it (HarperOne, $15.99) this year.

In his 280-page hardcover book with lengthy end references, written for a broad audience, he explains how toxins have permeated our lives and proposes a nine week detox program. The book is divided into eight chapters and eight appendices. He explains that toxins are not the only cause of illness, but that they magnify existing issues. They are linked to all chronic diseases such as cancer, dementia, diabetes, and heart disease, he says.

When asked if the average person may affect change to maximize their chances of getting rid of or not be affected by the toxins, he replied by email, “Yes. Paying attention can eliminate 90% of toxins.”

Readers following his eight week plan and a bonus week at the end, he says, may learn how to avoid toxins, boost their defenses by strengthening their detox organs such as the gut, kidneys and liver; and help their bodies excrete and release toxins and repair toxin damage. For example, in the chapter Clean Up Your Gut he discusses nonsteroidal anti-inflamatory drugs, alcohol, high fructose corn syrup and shares information on the correlation between soft-drink consumption and fatty liver disease.

To a question about the source of greatest concern when it comes to toxins the author said, “The surprising answer is arsenic. #1 according to the CDC, which I have independently confirmed looking at a lot of research.”

In the book he says that the average person's detox capacity is severely diminished by the time he or she reaches old age. When asked about the best way to stay ahead of that issue he replied, “Avoiding toxins. Yes, simplistic, but they poison the actual systems we use to get rid of them. Also, optimizing nutritional status helps protect the detox enzymes by helping them work better and be less susceptible to toxin damage.” When asked if there is a facility or retreat he recommends for people unable or unwilling to follow the detox regimen he proposes he replied, “True North. healthpromoting.com/”

Pizzorno is a leading authority on science-based natural and integrative medicine. He founded and served twenty-two years as president of Bastyr University, among the country’s first and largest fully accredited universities of natural medicine. He is the coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and Textbook of Natural Medicine. He is a founder and board member of the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder and editor in chief of Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, a peer-reviewed journal in integrative medicine. He travels world-wide, consulting, lecturing, and promoting science-based natural medicine.


The Toxin Solution

Click to buy The Toxin Solution




Executive addresses top 100 brand adoption, loyalty

Posted by Elena del Valle on October 12, 2017

The Participation Game

The Participation Game

 

Photos: Norty Cohen

Old style advertising has become an act of indecent exposure, that is out of touch with Millennial consumers and indicates the degree of desperation of the advertising brand. That is what Norty Cohen, chief executive officer, Moosylvania, believes after examining the replies of paid mobile survey respondents aged between 17 and 37. In his first book, the product of two years of labor, he outlines his thoughts on the subject.

The Participation Game How The Top 100 Brands Build Loyalty in A Skeptical World (Ideapress Publishing, $24.95), was published this year for marketers “hoping to reach millennial consumers - which is a broad 20 year demographic, born in 1980 to present.” The 226-page softcover book is divided into nine chapters with limited text, some black and white photos, varied font sizes and types, and graphic design elements. 

When asked what promoted him to write a book he said by email via his publicist, “Yes - the process of writing a non-fiction book was enlightening. It starts with a thesis that can be supported in a compelling and differentiating style. Since our inception in 2003, we have served clients with both an integrated marketing agency and a research facility. Originally, we used our research tools to answer the questions we needed to better serve our clients. Once we had traction, we decided to share it with a larger audience.

The success has been that we have been able to bring our clients through a logical thought process of how to use the research we conducted over a 5 year period.

We believe there is a continued gap in understanding the deliverable of messaging. Consumers have learned to curate messages out of their life. They are their own marketers. They are in control. Media has always worked from the concept of delivery. We must now look at our connectivity with consumers as a partnership that is a living, breathing entity.”

Norty Cohen, author, The Participation Game

When asked which market segments the respondents represent Cohen said, “We worked hard to get a diversified base both demographically and geographically. All surveys were mobile only. The age segments from this year's report were in 10 year increments, 17-27 and 28-37 years old. Some years we broke it into 5 year segments but we kept it the totals and measurement even.”

The first part of the Top 100 List 2013-2017 is filled with easy to recognize company names beginning with Apple. Next in descending order are Nike, Samsung, Target, Amazon, Sony, Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Coke and Google. Because some brands tied there are more than 100 brands on the list. The last names, also in descending order, are REI, Mazda, Carter's, Publix, Anheuser Busch and YouTube (tied), Urban Decay, Anthropologie, Subway, Johnson & Johnson & PG (tied), Guess, and Ross.

“Our research show that consumers choose to participate in brands, they do not consume advertising,” he said when asked how and why consumers adopt brands. “We found that word of mouth from friends and family, on line word of mouth, infleencers (influencers) and written reviews are 2.5 more likely to encourage brand adoption that TV, Facebook and You Tube ads combined. Consumers create the exponential reach that makes them a dominant force.”

To what is the take away for a non profit or small company on a shoestring budget - how can they develop brand recognition? he replied, “Ultimately it comes down to delivering great ideas that get consumers motivated to share with their friends. It's not about your target market. It's about your target's market.”


The Participation Game

Click to buy The Participation Game


Professors discuss creative thinking

Posted by Elena del Valle on October 5, 2017

The Eureka Factor

The Eureka Factor

Photos: Random House, John Kounios

There are two types of thinking, procedural and insightful, each one with its own characteristics. So say Mark Beeman, Ph.D. and John Kounios, Ph.D., psychology professors who have researched human thinking processes for more than a decade, in The Eureka Factor Aha Moments, Creative Insight and The Brain (Random House, $28).

In the 274-page hardcover book, published in 2015 and divided into 14 chapters, they outline their findings and theories about both, focusing on creative or insightful thinking. To study the brain under controlled circumstances (in the lab) the authors relied in part on remote associates problems, which may be solved using either type of thinking. Publishing their book took five years.

“The target audience is everybody,” said Kounios by email when asked about the primary target audience for the book (although Beeman replied to emails he was unavailable to answer questions for this note for personal reasons). “People in business, the arts, education, the military, etc., are all interested in creativity and its enhancement. So we tried to make the book accessible and inspirational. We also tried to make is useful for psychologists and neuroscientists by including references and technical explanations in the endnotes.”

Your mood affects your thinking; watch a feel good movie and you might stimulate your creative side, the authors say. But, on the other hand, you can't remain on a constant loop of creative thinking. Watch the news or a horror movie to change your mood and your style of thinking too, they explain.

If someone is working on a problem, is it accurate to assume that relaxing and being in a good mood is likely to prompt insightful thinking? “Yes, this is one of those indirect ways of facilitating insights,” Kounios said. “When you are in a positive mood and relaxed, this literally expands the scope of thought to allow you to consider remote associations – crazy, long-shot ideas – that are the stuff of creativity. But when you are anxious, you have mental tunnel vision. You focus on the immediate, straightforward, and obvious. That facilitates deliberate, analytical, Type-2 thinking, but it squashes creative insight.”

Why do the types of thinking matter? Because many of us seek to control or at least learn how to stimulate our creative abilities in order to be inventive and think out of the box at work being aware of the factors that influence our style of thinking is a first type in that direction, the authors say. They point out that your surroundings also matter. Outdoor colors such as blue and green are helpful to promote insightful thinking, but red has the opposite effect.

When asked if mental training works Kounios replied, “When you ask if mental training works, I assume that you mean does it work to increase creativity. The answer is yes and no. Mental training can teach you strategies that you can use to come up with creative solutions to problems. But these strategies probably won’t make you a creative person. Cognitive psychologists distinguish between two types of thinking. Type 1 thinking is unconscious and associative. You can’t easily affect it. Type 2 thinking is conscious, deliberate, and methodical. You can be trained to learn Type-2 mental strategies, but you can’t learn Type-1 strategies because there aren’t any. Your unconscious mind doesn’t care about your strategies, deadlines, etc. It does its own thing. Aha moments, what psychologists call “insights,” are unconscious creative processes that suddenly burst into awareness. So, insights are the product of Type-1 thinking that can’t be directly influenced. However, you can sometimes use Type-2 strategies to come up with ideas. The limitation with Type-2 strategies is that they only work when you deliberately use them. When you aren’t deliberately using them, they don’t work. However, you can have a Type-1 insight anytime and anywhere, for example, while daydreaming in the shower. And these aha moments sometimes give you the answer to a problem that you didn’t even know that you had, a problem that you weren’t previously aware of. Training won’t teach you to have such aha moments, but there are indirect ways to influence your unconscious mind to have more of them.”

John Kounios, Ph.D. co-author, The Eureka Factor

John Kounios, Ph.D. co-author, The Eureka Factor

“The best way is to unleash unconscious, Type-1 thinking,” Kounios said when asked what is the best way to increase creative thinking. “This is involves expanding attention and the scope of thought. To do this, get yourself in a positive mood, be in a large physical space that will allow your attention to expand such as a large room with high ceilings or outdoors; isolate yourself from demands (i.e., be alone and turn off your phone) and things that grab your attention because those your scope of thought; and get lots of sleep because during sleep the brain purges useless information and enhances potentially useful details and associations. Of course, sleep also improves your mood. The important point is to allocate blocks of time in which you are alone, relaxed, expansive, and in a good mood. Then pick a topic and let your ideas flow freely without forcing them into particular directions. This is how many great ideas occur.”

Kounios is in the early stages of a new title that looks at creativity from a broad perspective and features new research. Since The Eureka Factor was published there have been new findings.

When asked about them the author said, “Yes, several new findings which will be published in the coming months. I’ll mention just one that was recently published. We looked at peoples’ solutions to four different types of puzzles. For all of these puzzle types, when people offer a solution that they say that they got by a sudden insight, it is more likely to be correct compared to solutions that they say they derived methodically and analytically. It seems that when a person is thinking analytically, they tend to get sloppy or rush or not check their thinking, so they make mistakes. But the unconscious thinking that results in insights can’t be rushed – it occurs in its own time and yields an answer when it is complete. This means that it is more likely to be correct. That’s why genuine aha moments – ideas that suddenly pop into awareness and seem striking and obvious – are more likely to be correct than ideas that are the product of deliberate, logical thought.”

At the time of publication Beeman was professor of psychology of Northwestern University, and Kounios was professor of psychology and director of the doctoral program at Applied Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Drexel University.


The Eureka Factor

Click to buy The Eureka Factor


Corporate trainer shares her ideas on influence

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 31, 2017

Influence Redefined

Influence Redefined

Photos: Stacey Hanke

After 25 years of experience teaching others how to communicate Stacey Hanke is convinced 95 percent of leaders are less influential than they think they are. It is called Illusory Superiority or the Above Average Effect when people judge themselves better than average, she says in Influence Redefined Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, Monday to Monday (Greenleaf, $23.95).

In the 251-page hardcover book published this year for leaders, directors to C-suite, and sales professionals Hanke outlines what she believes are the issues leaders face in today's highly digital business environment. She says the classic definition of influence is outdated, emphasizing that if a leader's audience isn't paying attention to him or her she or he can't influence them.

When asked what prompted her to write the book now, the author replied by email via her publicist, “After partnering with leaders over the past 15 years to help them enhance their influence, the same challenges came up. Most individuals believe they are more influential than they really are. I have a passion to increase leaders awareness of how their listeners perceive them rather than what they believe to be true. To give leaders practical and immediate how to’s for growing their influence Monday to Monday®. Why now – because we are living in a new world of work called noise. 24/7 every day we are receiving messages. Therefore it is more difficult than ever before to stand out from the noise, to be memorable and to influence Monday to Monday.”

The book is divided into 12 chapters in three main parts: Influence Redefined, The Drivers of Influence and The Elements of Influence. At the end of the chapters there is a bullet point summary followed by recommended action steps.

Stacey Hanke, author, Influence Redefined

Stacey Hanke, author, Influence Redefined

From idea the publication it took her 3.5 years to publish the book. She explained, “I wanted to make sure I had the keys to why some individuals are more influential. I wanted to take the time to do the research and to interview top influencers. Narrowing down all of the content and ideas I had for writing the book was the greatest challenge. The greatest reward has been the positive feedback I receive from my readers!”

“Influence means your body language and messaging are consistent Monday to Monday,” she said when asked to define the term. “The second part of this definition is moving people to take action long after the interaction has occurred.”

When asked what factors affect people's influence most she said, “Body language being consistent with message, consistency – no one ever needs to guess who is going to show up, adaptability – being able to adapt your message on the fly to meet your listeners expectations without ever skipping a beat, impact – having impact on your listener that makes you and your message memorable and un-resistible to act on your recommendations.”

In response to a question about the impact of gender, age, race bias, socio-economic characteristics on influence, she replied, “Influence is a choice. Anyone can have influence Monday to Monday® if they’re willing to do the work, be consistent and never stop learning.”


Influence Redefined

Click to buy Influence Redefined


Retirement expert shares advice in short easy to read book

Posted by Elena del Valle on August 17, 2017

How To Retire with Enough Money

How To Retire with Enough Money

Photo: Workman Publishing

Are decisions about retirement on your mind? How much should you save? Where should you keep your money? Should you rely on an investment specialist? In How To Retire With Enough Money and How To Know What Enough Is (Workman Publishing, $12.95) retirement expert Teresa Ghilarducci (see Listen to podcast with Teresa Ghilarducci, author, How To Retire With Enough Money about her book) outlines what she considers the essential facts to prepare readers financially for the final years of their life.

“I wrote How To Retire With Enough Money because I found too many people were racked by guilt and shame because they didn't have enough savings to retire,” the economist said by email. “But it's not their fault entirely, the system is stacked against most people's retirement savings. I wanted to empower people to overcome the forces barring them from having enough money in retirement.”

The 128-page easy to read hardcover book was published in 2015 and is divided into six chapters: Facing the Facts; Bringing Your Picture into Focus; Working; Saving, Spending and Debt; Investing and Allocation; and Voting and Civic Involvement. Described on the back cover as a having "just financial common sense that's guaranteed to work," the book offers a positive and succinct approach to retirement. The author favors downsizing before retirement and offers strategies to cut back on spending. She strongly advises against relying on a financial advisor and urges readers to relocate their assets to low-cost index funds.

When asked how she would measure the success of her book she replied: “I will know I succeeded if people reading this How To Retire With Enough Money lowered their investment fees, fired their "guy" (the conflicted advisor), saved at least ten percent of their income by reducing debt and increasing their savings, and kept a monthly budget. Keeping a monthly budget is the key, the trailhead, to the path to financial empowerment.” When asked if the book was sponsored in any way she replied, “I received no money or benefit from any firm mentioned in the book. (I praise Vanguard from genuine regard and respect.).”

Teresa Ghilarducci, author, How To Retire with Enough Money

Teresa Ghilarducci, author, How To Retire with Enough Money

The book required three years of work. She wrote it for workers of all ages. The author emphasized that saving at younger ages is a lot less painful than waiting to catch up; and that a person reaches the same financial goal by saving a much smaller share of their income if they start in their 20s rather than their 40s.

Regarding retirement issues, the author said, “The greatest obstacle to retirement saving is that most employers don't offer a way for people to save at the workplace and when they do the law allows people to withdraw their money before retirement. Also federal government subsidies, in the form of tax breaks, favor the wealthy.”

About the challenges she faced when she set out to write the book she said, “One small challenge was convincing my publisher that I didn't want to make people rich, I wanted people to have enough. (It wasn't that hard, the publisher was fantastic and taught me a lot.) The main challenge was to write the book so I didn't scold the reader like other financial books tend to do. The last thing anyone needs is yet another book that simply says, save more, and if you don't it's your fault.”

“I am developing an interactive space on our Retirement Equity Lab (ReLab) website where I answer questions from anyone. And my follow-on book is coming out in January, coauthored by Tony James, about what the government can do to save retirement (Columbia University Press),” she said.

Ghilarducci is an expert on retirement, pensions, and personal savings, and the Bernard L. and Irene Schwartz Chair in Economic Policy Analysis at The New School for Social Research. She has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley and taught previously at the University of Notre Dame.


How To Retire with Enough Money

Click to buy How to Retire with Enough Money


Functional medicine physician, writer share ideas on wellness

Posted by Elena del Valle on July 20, 2017

The New Health Rules

The New Health Rules

 

Photos: Artisan, Timothy White, Brad Hamilton

As our country's population ages and the average age nears 80 many in their golden years are concerned about quality of life. Young and old are taking account of their health habits, seeking to live not just longer, but healthier lives. At the same time, there is so much conflicting health and nutrition information floating around it is challenging to know what to believe. Toward that end an integrative medicine doctor and a writer teamed up to share their ideas about wellness in a book that strives to provide short and easy to read health rules.

For people who want a minimum of reading they provide short descriptions, many single paragraphs, without ambiguity paired with full page color photos. Each one stands alone in The New Health Rules Simple Changes to Achieve Whole-Body Wellness (Artisan, $14.95), a 224-page softcover book by Frank Lipman, M.D. and Danielle Claro published in 2014.

The book, a New York Times bestseller, is divided into six sections: Introduction, Eating, Moving, Boosting, Healing and Living. The authors were unavailable to reply to questions submitted by email more than two weeks in advance to the book's publishing company.

Frank Lipman, M.D., co-author, The New Health Rules

Frank Lipman, M.D., co-author, The New Health Rules

In the book, the authors discuss a wide range of wellness topics. For example, in the Living section they recommend readers make sure to drink clean water (they explain that the substances added to tap water such as chlorine and fluoride are bad for the hormonal system). Other recommendations include meditation; walking outside instead of on a treadmill whenever possible; eating grass fed beef, if you eat beef; eating real food (plant foods that require refrigeration); and eating gluten free (most people are mildly sensitive and some highly sensitive, the authors say) non packaged foods.

Danielle Claroco-author, The New Health Rules

Danielle Claro, co-author, The New Health Rules

Lipman, according to his biography, is physician to many celebrities such as Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Donna Karan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Maggie Gyllenhaal among others. He is also an international speaker on health and wellness. Claro, deputy editor, Real Simple, is a writer, former professional dancer and yogi. She has written two New York Times bestsellers and launched an indie lifestyle magazine, according to her biography.


The New Health Rules

Click to buy The New Health Rules


Analytics specialists discuss profit oriented data strategies

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 29, 2017

Monetizing Your Data

Monetizing Your Data

Photos: Andrew Roman Wells, Kathy Williams Chiang

The more advanced our technology becomes the more data managers can gather and store. But once they have it what can they do with it? What should they do to gain an advantage for their business and how should they do it? Managers wondering what to do with all the data their company gathers on customers and prospective customers may be interested in a new book that addresses many data use related questions, Monetizing Your Data: A Guide to Turning Data into Profit-Driving Strategies and Solutions (Wiley, $49.95) by analytics specialists Andrew Roman Wells and Kathy Williams Chiang.

Kathy Chiang, author, Monetizing Your Data

Kathy Chiang, author, Monetizing Your Data

“The target audience for the book primarily includes entry-level to mid-level managers in medium to large sized businesses working in the areas of business analysis, marketing analytics, data science, business intelligence, strategy and business planning,” the authors replied by email via their publishing company when asked about potential readers.

The 344-page hardcover book published March of this year was written in an academic style with tables and charts. It is divided into six main sections titled as follows: Introduction, Decision Analysis, Monetization Strategy, Agile Analysis, Enablement, and Case Study. The authors promise a step-by-step process, Decision Architecture Methodology, to monetize data assets. The authors begin with an explanation of the analytical cycle, striving to guide readers through the process of developing practical strategies. They offer templates, checklists, and examples in a companion website, monetizingyourdata.com.

The biggest challenge to writing and publishing their book, which required 18 months from idea to publication, was that, “Because we are both active practitioners in the field, finding quality time to write and collaborate was a big challenge.” They declined to answer a question about the legal and ethical issues related to monetizing data. 

Andrew Wells, author, Monetizing Your Data

Andrew Wells, author, Monetizing Your Data

“Data is the transactional record of the activity of the business,” the authors replied when asked for a definition of data as it relates to their book. “It captures both internal business activity, such as production of products and services, and external activity such as customer orders, reviews, complaints. It can come in many different forms such as a number, a date, a word, a paragraph, a recorded message, or even an entire document.”

When asked if the data they refer to in the book is different from Big Data, they said, “Big Data at this time does not have a consensus definition but the term is generally used to refer to unstructured data such as social media posts and/or highly granular transactional data of the business characterized by large volume, high velocity and broad variety. The data we speak of in the book covers all types of business data from large to small, such as traditional business reporting metrics such as may be found in financial reporting, customer survey data found in market research, and the large volumes of transactional data that can be thought of as Big Data.”

According to his biography, Wells, chief executive officer, Aspirent, a management-consulting firm focused on analytics, has extensive experience building Analytical Solutions. He also has experience as a hands-on consultant. In Silicon Valley, he worked on customer analytics and the use of predictive methods to drive performance for two start-ups. Wells has also held executive roles as director of Business Intelligence at Capital One and consulted for Coca-Cola, IHG, The Home Depot, Capital One, Wells Fargo, HP, Time Warner, Merrill Lynch, and Applied Materials.

Chiang has expertise in guided analytics, analytic data mart development and business planning. Prior to her current position as vice president, Business Insights, Wunderman Data Management, she consulted with Aspirent on numerous analytic projects for several multinational clients including IHG and Coca-Cola. She has worked for Telecommunications Systems of Trinidad and Tobago, Acuity Brands Lighting, BellSouth International and Portman Overseas.


Monetizing Your Data

Click to buy Monetizing Your Data


Authors, Whole Foods Market co-founder collaborate in healthy eating book

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 18, 2017

The Whole Foods Diet

The Whole Foods Diet

Photos: Whole Foods Market, Grand Central Life & Style

John Mackey, co-founder and chief executive officer, Whole Foods Market joined forces with Alona Pulde, M.D. and Matthew Lederman, M.D., the latter two known for their Forks Over Knives film and books, to publish The Whole Foods Diet The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity (Grand Central Life & Style, $28). The 336-page hardcover book, published this year, features the Whole Foods Market logo on the cover next to Mackey's name.

Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD, co-authors, The Whole Foods Diet

Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD, co-authors, The Whole Foods Diet

The book is divided into three parts and 15 chapters. Following an introduction by Mackey the authors speak mostly (a final chapter also is in Mackey's voice) with a single voice, starting with an introductory section on diet and health. A second section outlines their ideas about food and their food group preferences. The remaining two chapters are dedicated to a 28-day meal plan. According to a representative from their publisher, the authors were too busy to respond to questions by email.

Although all three are vegan, they believe a diet consisting of 90 percent vegetables is healthy. Their approach to health begins with eight main food groups: Whole grains and starchy vegetables, beans and legumes, berries, other fruit, cruciferous vegetables, leafy greens, nonstarchy vegetables, and nuts and seeds. The authors dedicate an entire chapter to the groups and their beliefs about each. They dedicate another entire chapter to the ethics of being vegan.

John Mackey, co-author, The Whole Foods Diet

Mackey is co-author of Conscious Capitalism. Pulde is a board-certified practitioner of acupuncture and Oriental and family medicine. Lederman is a board-certified internal medicine physician. Pulde and Lederman were featured in Forks Over Knives and co-authored the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan.


The Whole Foods Diet

Click to buy The Whole Foods Diet


Author examines issues of privacy and safety

Posted by Elena del Valle on May 11, 2017

American Surveillance

American Surveillance

Photo: The University of Wisconsin Press

In American Surveillance Intelligence, Privacy, and the Fourth Amendment (University of Wisconsin Press, $44.95) Anthony Gregory explores the competitive interests of the United States government's desire for unfettered access to information about its citizens and their right to privacy from undue intrusion. He begins by examining the country's history in that regard all the way to our Founding Fathers. In this era of increasingly effective technological tools and broadening laws that facilitate a growing number of personal data breaches he concludes that the book asks more questions than it answers.

When asked what inspired him to write the book the author replied by email, “For over a decade I researched civil liberties issues for the Independent Institute, and so this book fit into that larger project. I’d been intrigued by surveillance issues since the war on terror began. Even before that I considered foreign relations and such domestic policies as the drug war to have an affinity in consequences invited more exploration.”

The hardcover 263-page book was published in 2016 in collaboration with the Independent Institute. It is written in an academic style divided into an Introduction, a Conclusion, an Epilogue and nine chapters: Reconnoitering the Frontier, 1775-1899; Foreign Influences, 1900-1945; Espionage and Subversion, 1946-1978; Calm Before the Storm, 1979-2000; The Total Information Idea, 2001-2015; Unreasonable Searches; Fourth Amendment Mirage; Enforcement Problems; and The Privacy Question. It also includes copious end notes and references.

“The main goal was to look at the intersecting issues of security intelligence and privacy rights with fresh eyes,” he said. “These are big questions with correspondingly huge literatures, and I wanted to deliver a contribution that made sense of it all, both providing a balanced analytical approach to multiple complex topics and revealing the more radical implications of what many self-described moderates on both sides of policy controversies advocate.

“I hoped it would reach both scholarly specialists and generalists as well as lay audiences concerned about policy,” he said when asked who was the target audience for the book. “It serves to curate a lot of different literatures and so can be a starting point for many different types of readers. Those in policy seeking simple answers might not find them here, but they will find some material that I hope will enhance their understanding." In response to questions about the greatest challenge the book posed, he said: "I suppose the biggest challenge was maintaining analytical balance, and satisfying peer reviewers with different perspectives while maintaining an editorially sufficient thesis. I was surprised by many little factual discoveries on the way. I was most pleasantly surprised that some of the scholars on privacy and intelligence I had most admired found the work worthwhile!"

When asked if he found that the violation of privacy rights of Americans was justified by the safety concerns, he replied: “I try to keep some distance between my academic writing and my ideological commitments, but it’s not always possible. I think privacy advocates understate how strong the consequentialist case can be against their cause. But my view on the rightness or wrongness government surveillance is not primarily rooted in consequentialism. That’s why I think it’s more of a cultural question—not even a matter of legal rights—when we talk about privacy and surveillance. And once you know where you stand on that, you have to see what kinds of other government powers correspond to the degree of privacy you want. That often kicks the question to foreign policy or law enforcement, where sometimes measures taken do not even achieve the stated goals on their own terms. So this is a rather big question.”

Gregory is the author of The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror, winner of the PROSE Book Award for legal studies. He is a fellow of the Independent Institute in Oakland, California.


American Surveillance

Click to buy American Surveillance


Business professor shares theories about effective leadership

Posted by Elena del Valle on April 27, 2017

Precise Leaders Get Results

Precise Leaders Get Results

Photos: Paul B. Thornton

In Precise Leaders Get Results! (Motivational Press, $19.95) Paul B. Thornton, professor of business administration at Springfield Technical Community College, discusses his leadership ideas. His new book was written for “parents, teachers, coaches, team leaders, project managers, managers, and leaders at all levels in every type of organization.”

He begins by distinguishing between managers and leaders. Managers, he says, see themselves as preservers of the status quo. They work to achieve organizational goals whereas leaders, who by definition seek growth and improvement, promote changes to improve the status quo at all levels. There are many kinds of change and varying approaches to leadership, but what all leaders share is the desire to make a difference. Why do these issues matter? Because in the past managing employees was enough, he says, but today's companies require managers to also be leaders.

When asked how the book came about Thornton replied by email via his publicist, “One of the courses I teach at Springfield Technical Community College is principles of leadership. For the past three years, I have used a workbook that contained many of the concepts in my published book, Precise Leaders Get Results. After each semester, I would add new material, reorganize parts, and teak the content in my workbook. I like to think that after each set of changes, the material became more focused and better organized. Overtime this workbook became my manuscript. So the short answer is it took me about three years to go from idea to publication.”

The 190-page softcover book was published in 2016 and is divided into 22 brief and easy to read chapters. Each chapter concludes with a short summary and discussion points.

“'Get results' means that as a leader you successfully influence people to make positive changes,” the author said when asked about the book title. “Results—the right changes actually happen. The changes improve the situation.”

Paul B. Thornton, author, Precise Leaders Get Results

Paul B. Thornton, author, Precise Leaders Get Results

In response to a question about why he decided to write a book about leadership he replied, “Countless change efforts are underway at this very moment all over the world. Despite good intentions, many of these efforts will fail. Various reports and studies have found that 60 to 70 percent of the change initiatives don’t produce the desired results? Why? I find some leaders never get precise in answering three basic questions: Who needs to change (target and secondary groups)? What specific changes are required? Are people able and motived to make the required changes? What resources are needed?
Who will lead the implementation? I’m inspired to help leaders get precise in answering these questions so they will achieve the results they desire.”
 
Thornton, who has authored 15 books on management and leadership, is also a trainer and speaker. He has conducted management and leadership programs for Palmer Foundry, UMass Medical School, Mercy Health Systems, Kuwait Oil Corp., Human Services Forum, Sunshine Village and United Technologies Corp. According to his biography, through his coaching, seminars and courses, he has helped more than 10,000 people become more effective managers and leaders.


Precise Leaders Get Results

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