Cover of The square and the tower : networks and power, from the Freemasons to  Facebook
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The square and the tower
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The square and the tower : networks and power, from the Freemasons to Facebook / Niall Ferguson.
New York : Penguin Press, 2018. xxvii, 563 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates.

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From Library Journal Reviews:

Ferguson's comprehensive history uses a new perspective. Generally speaking, history has been written by those from the hierarchical, ruling class. However, most innovation and revolution begins in the "square," where the majority of people live. Within that square are the networks and organizations that lead to change. Ferguson uses theoretical concepts, including degrees of separation and weak ties, to show that networks throughout history have been as important as powerful individuals in the tower. Secret and not-so-secret societies (such as the Illuminati and Freemasons) are discussed, as they were carriers of information when those in the tower chose which versions of history were recorded. This book also describes the historical events leading to the creation of Silicon Valley. Readers of any historical time period will relish this new lens upon which events can be viewed. VERDICT An excellent addition to any collection on the nature of networks, information flow, and secret societies.

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12 rules for life
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12 rules for life : an antidote to chaos / Jordan B. Patterson ; foreword by Norman doidge ; illustrations by Ethan Van Scriver.
Toronto : Random House Canada, 2018. xxxv, 409 pages.

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From the publisher:

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.

Humorous, surprising and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

What does the nervous system of the lowly lobster have to tell us about standing up straight (with our shoulders back) and about success in life? Why did ancient Egyptians worship the capacity to pay careful attention as the highest of gods? What dreadful paths do people tread when they become resentful, arrogant and vengeful? Dr. Peterson journeys broadly, discussing discipline, freedom, adventure and responsibility, distilling the world's wisdom into 12 practical and profound rules for life. 12 Rules for Life shatters the modern commonplaces of science, faith and human nature, while transforming and ennobling the mind and spirit of its readers.

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Balanced scorecard
step-by-step for
government and nonprofit agencies
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Balanced scorecard step-by-step for government and nonprofit agencies / Paul R. Niven.
Hoboken : J. Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008. xvii, 365 pages.

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From the publisher:

Hands-on guidelines for using the Balanced Scorecard within mission-driven organizations.

Today’s insistence on demonstrated organizational performance is not limited to private-sector corporations. Public and nonprofit agencies are also finding that, as financial resources decrease and demand for results increases, they too must institute performance goals along with programs and processes to consistently progress toward those goals.

Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step for Government and Nonprofit Agencies identifies the opportunities - and helps eliminate the obstacles - of bringing the popular and proven Balanced Scorecard approach to public and nonprofit organizations.

This results-focused and practical book provides you with

  • Fundamentals of the Balanced Scorecard concept
  • Advice on how to alter the "geography" of the balanced scorecard to fit public and nonprofit agencies
  • Techniques for developing strategy maps and Balanced Scorecards throughout your organization
  • Tools and templates to link the Balanced Scorecard with key management processes

Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step for Government and Nonprofit Agencies outlines the very real benefits of the field-proven Balanced Scorecard approach, and details how it can be tailored to the unique requirements and realities of nonprofit and public-sector organizations. Let it show you how to use the Balanced Scorecard to help your organization dramatically improve operational and fiscal effectiveness, and better meet the needs of your stakeholders.

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Cover of Who can you trust? : how technology brought us together and  why it might drive us apart
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Who can you trust?
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Who can you trust? : how technology brought us together and why it might drive us apart / Rachel Botsman.
First Edition. New York : Public Affairs, 2017. 322 pages.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

How technology is changing our attitudes toward trust. At a time when trust in institutions - Congress, the church, the media, etc. - is in great jeopardy, another form of trust is quickly becoming the glue that keeps society together. It is called distributed trust, and it involves "people trusting other people through technology," writes business consultant Botsman. Later in the book, she continues, "the rise of multi-billion-dollar companies such as Airbnb and Uber, whose success depends on trust between strangers, is a clear illustration of how trust can now travel through networks and marketplaces." In an absorbing, story-filled narrative that will leave readers with a new understanding of the phenomenon that drives life in our digital age, the author makes clear that distributed trust - a "confident relationship with the unknown" - now powers such disparate enterprises as Kickstarter and other crowdfunding sites; social media platforms; peer-to-peer lending; online education courses; and Wikipedia and other information-sharing sites. In the case of self-driving cars, we now trust "our very lives to the unseen hand of technology." Examining trust and its various types (local, institutional, distributed), Botsman explains that we have been making "trust leaps" of one kind or another for centuries; a current example is entering credit card details into an internet site for the first time. She details the mechanisms that encourage the popularity of these transactions and the stories behind the success of such companies as Jack Ma's Alibaba, where 80 percent of all goods are bought and sold online in China, whose people demand proof of trustworthiness. Other sections cover trust and money, the risk of overtrusting robots, and the importance of reputation on the darknet. As the author notes, trust is "society's most precious and fragile asset," and we should all take a "trust pause" before deciding who to put faith in. A sharp, thoughtful, sometimes-surprising account of how we build trust with strangers now.

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Cover of With faith and goodwill : 150 years of Canada-U.S. friendship
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With faith and goodwill :
150 years of
Canada-U.S. friendship
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With faith and goodwill : 150 years of Canada-U.S. friendship / edited by Arthur H. Milnes.
Toronto : Dundurn, 2017. 292 pages.

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From the publisher:

For 150 years Canada and the United States have shared something truly unique.

The countries may have the world’s longest unmilitarized border and the most prosperous free-trade arrangement in history, but what most distinguishes the Canada-U.S. relationship is neither geographic nor commercial - it’s personal. Our special relationship is the product of shared values, countless cross-border connections, and generations of combined experience. Our two countries have grown into more than just friends. We are family.

On the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary, With Faith and Goodwill celebrates the ups and downs, the vigour and variety of that family history by showcasing the words and images of prime ministers, presidents, and other dignitaries. From Sir John A. MacDonald to Donald J. Trump and including everyone from Tommy Douglas to Hillary Clinton, this beautifully designed collection of speeches and rarely seen photographs offers a privileged peek into the power politics of Canada-U.S. relations.

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Prairie rising : Indigenous youth, decolonization, and the politics of  intervention / Jaskiran Dhillon
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Ms. Prime Minister

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Ms. Prime Minister : gender, media, and leadership / Linda Trimble.
Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2017.. xii, 313 pages.

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From the publisher:

Ms. Prime Minister offers both solace and words of caution for women politicians. After closely analyzing the media coverage of former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell; two former Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark; and Australia’s 27th Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, Linda Trimble concludes that reporting both reinforces and contests unfair gender norms. News about female leaders gives undue attention to their gender identities, bodies and family lives. Yet equivalent men are also treated to evaluations of their gendered personas. And, as Trimble finds, some media accounts expose sexism and authenticate women's performances of leadership.

Ms. Prime Minister provides important insight into the news frameworks that work to deny or confer political legitimacy. It concludes with advice designed to inform the gender strategies of women who aspire to political leadership roles and the reporting techniques of the journalists who cover them.

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 Cover of The mighty Hughes : from Prairie lawyer to Western Canada's  moral compass : a biography of E.N. "Ted" Hughes
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Representation in action
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Representation in action : Canadian MPs in the constituencies / Royce Koop, Heather Bastedo, and Kelly Blidook.
Vancouver : UBC Press, 2018. xii, 235 pages.

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From Book News:

The authors challenge the idea that Canadian Members of Parliament (MPs) only take commands from party leaders and instead show the different ways they represent their constituents. They draw on observational and interview research with 11 Members of Parliament from 2012 to 2015 to illustrate their representational styles and why they develop these styles, emphasizing the themes of diversity, agency, and adaptability. They provide case studies of Leon Benoit, Tony Clement, Megan Leslie, Niki Ashton, Scott Simms, Ted Hsu, Andrew Cash, Pierre Nantel, Mike Wallace, John McKay, and Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, and include comparison of their styles.

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The aliens among us : how invasive species are transforming the  planet--and ourselves
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The knowledge illusion
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The knowledge illusion : why we never think alone / Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach.
New York : Riverhead Books, 2017. 296 pages.

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Review from Publishers Weekly Reviews:

Sloman, a professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences, and Fernbach, a cognitive scientist and professor of marketing, attempt nothing less than a takedown of widely held beliefs about intelligence and knowledge, namely the role of an individual's brain as the main center for knowledge. Using a mixture of stories and science from an array of disciplines, the authors present a compelling and entertaining examination of the gap between knowledge one thinks one has and the amount of knowledge actually held in the brain, seeking to "explain how human thinking can be so shallow and so powerful at the same time." The book starts with revelatory scholarly insights into the relationship between knowledge and the brain, finding that humans "are largely unaware of how little we understand." Sloman and Fernbach then take the reader through numerous real-life applications of their findings, such as the implications for non-experts' understanding of science, politics, and personal finances. In an increasingly polarized culture where certainty reigns supreme, a book advocating intellectual humility and recognition of the limits of understanding feels both revolutionary and necessary. The fact that it's a fun and engaging page-turner is a bonus benefit for the reader.

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The reconciliation manifesto : recovering the land, rebuilding the  economy
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The internet trap
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The internet trap : five costs of living online / Ashesh Mukherjee.
Toronto : University of Toronto Press, 2018. xx, 105 pages.

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From the publisher:

Whether we are checking emails, following friends on Facebook and Twitter, catching up on gossip from TMZ, planning holidays on TripAdvisor, arranging dates on Match.com, watching videos on Youtube, or simply browsing for deals on Amazon, the internet pervades our professional and personal environments. The internet has revolutionized our lives, but at what cost?

In The Internet Trap, Ashesh Mukherjee uses the latest research in consumer psychology to highlight five hidden costs of living online: too many temptations, too much information, too much customization, too many comparisons, and too little privacy. The book uses everyday examples to explain these costs including how surfing the internet anonymously can encourage bad behavior, using social media can make us envious and unhappy, and doing online research can devalue the product finally chosen. The book also provides actionable solutions to minimize these costs. For example, the book reveals how deciding not to choose is as important as deciding what to choose, setting up structural barriers to temptation can reduce overspending on e-commerce websites, and comparisons with others on social media websites needs to be cold rather than hot. The Internet Trap provides a new perspective on the dark side of the internet, and gives readers the tools to become smarter users of the internet.

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Stumbling giants : transforming Canada's banks for the information age
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Listening in
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Listening in : cybersecurity in an insecure age / Susan Landau.
New Haven : Yale University Press, 2017. xiv, 221 pages.

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From the publisher:

A cybersecurity expert and former Google privacy analyst’s urgent call to protect devices and networks against malicious hackers?

New technologies have provided both incredible convenience and new threats. The same kinds of digital networks that allow you to hail a ride using your smartphone let power grid operators control a country’s electricity - and these personal, corporate, and government systems are all vulnerable. In Ukraine, unknown hackers shut off electricity to nearly 230,000 people for six hours. North Korean hackers destroyed networks at Sony Pictures in retaliation for a film that mocked Kim Jong-un. And Russian cyberattackers leaked Democratic National Committee emails in an attempt to sway a U.S. presidential election.

And yet despite such documented risks, government agencies, whose investigations and surveillance are stymied by encryption, push for a weakening of protections. In this accessible and riveting read, Susan Landau makes a compelling case for the need to secure our data, explaining how we must maintain cybersecurity in an insecure age.


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