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Welcome to Unsolicited Feedback: reviews and opinions that no one ever asked for.


Why Nations Fail

Why are some countries rich and others poor? Why, despite the passage of nearly two hundred years since the Industrial Revolution, are some countries still struggling to provide basic necessities while others indulge in conspicuous consumption? Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty attempts to answer this…

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How I Became a Tree

Sumana Roy wants to become a tree. There are many reasons for this but perhaps most important is that she’s tired of the pace of modern life, the way we’re regimented by schedules and clocks and calendars. She wants to escape the feeling of being “bulldozed by time.”  She fantasizes…

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The Scout Mindset

It seems like every few months there’s another book published about how we can think better, think more clearly, think more long term, or just think again. Judging from the level of discourse here in the US, it doesn’t appear to be doing much good. I wonder if these sorts…

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Twitter and Tear Gas

The brutal murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer on May 25, 2020 sparked widespread protest across the US. In Seattle, where I live, demonstrations centered in an area called Capitol Hill. For nearly a month protesters occupied about six city blocks and a large downtown park in…

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Finding the Mother Tree

I’m not much of a hiker or outdoors person, but I’ve done enough walking through the forests of the Pacific Northwest to appreciate their beauty and complexity. I kind of knew, in a vague abstract way, that the trees and the wildlife were connected in a whole ecosystem. Finding the…

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Invisible Women

I strongly recommend Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men to half the people of the world – the male half. Women may not need to read this book as much because they are, unfortunately, living it. The main idea of Invisible Women is that our male-dominated…

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