Bruce J. Carter, Ph.D., and Douglas Winslow Cooper, Ph.D.’s “Water Wars: Sharing the Colorado River.” Water scarcity in the Western United States is a huge threat and future availability of adequate water supplies is in doubt. In this independently funded study, the authors address the future of the world’s supplies of clean water, exploring in depth the U.S.A.’s Colorado River Basin, where a variety of approaches have been used and proposed to manage provision and allocation of the Colorado River water. Traditional approaches and policy options are discussed along with the use of Bayes’s theorem, a mathematical approach to predicting droughts and floods.
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OP: Tell us a little bit about Handbook for True Democracy: How the Grassroots Can Create a Nation Of, By and For All the People Through the Evolution of Individual and Organizational Behavior. What is it about?
John: It’s about American political transformation from oligarchy to true democracy. True democracy is not just a set of laws and a government structure it’s a collective consciousness. The collective consciousness of true democracy arises out of human nature when called forth by group psychology and the social constructs and cultural artifacts of a nation. The appropriate collective consciousness for an effective democracy (a true democracy) is one that yields culture and process that manages human diversity in equitable ways. But group psychology and the social constructs of a nation can serve as countervailing forces to effective democracy as well. To the extent that such elements create consciousness focused on producing inequity and perpetuating the conflicts that arise out of human diversity, the public consciousness needed for true democracy is lost. Corporate oligarchy is the leading instigator of group psychology, social constructs and cultural artifacts that threaten democracy. Consequently, this book is about true democracy vs. corporate oligarchy. In the book I explore this ongoing struggle over power where the winner will control the foreseeable future of civilization. Power in its most naked form is control of energy-the energy that powers our cars, homes and militaries but more importantly the energy that we human beings represent. To control the energy that we humans represent one must control human consciousness. To control human conscious, one must control the four pillars of power-control of information, control of leadership, control of economics and control of organization. So, the question is who shall control these pillars of power for the foreseeable future-will it be corporate oligarchy or We The People? The answer to that question is found in the emerging evolution of human psychology and behavior. Human psychology and behavior will either evolve toward greater democracy or greater totalitarianism. This book is about how we the everyday man, woman and child can pursue the former. It is about how each one of us can contribute to creating a true democracy.
OP: Why did you decide to write this story?
John: The simplest way to explain why I wrote this book is to reference our current state of affairs as a nation. We The People are moving closer to a violent and deadly chasm. The chasm is over our worldviews. One position offers a psychological outlook that could be described as centered on an “I, Me, Mine” worldview. The opposing position strives to impose an “Us, We, Ours” worldview. True democracy brings balance to these divergent views because it is designed to manage human diversity in equitable ways. True democracy pursues this balance through prioritizing win-win propositions over zero-sum approaches. It achieves this balance through a specific style of leadership, structure and process as well as individual initiative. The United States is at a crossroads. It is paramount that the people become aware that there are alternative worldviews that offer balance to our thinking before our divisions completely destroy our republic.
OP: How did you get your book published?
John: I published it through Outskirts Press.
OP: What types of readers would be interested in this story?
John: Handbook for True Democracy will be of interest to anyone pursuing a greater understanding of the underlying reasons for the turmoil occurring in our nation, especially those who feel an obligation to do something constructive about it. This includes readers of social philosophy; individuals open to personal wellness and intrigued with practical ways to oppose corporate influence through actions compatible with their daily lives; leaders within civil society committed to equity, participation, and socially responsible organizations; and scholars and educators interested in the roles of evolutionary psychology and national culture in understanding the dilemmas of society and/or the role of the nonprofit sector in addressing these dilemmas.
OP: What is special about your book?
John: Encapsulated in the pages of this book are the great underlying questions (and potential answers) that we as a society are struggling with at this very moment-Trump and the death of democracy, socialism vs. capitalism, political divisions based on identity, our health and even the future of our economy. What is special is that this book relates these issues to humanity’s ongoing psychological evolution and then helps establish how that evolution could lead to a national culture that supports true democracy.
OP: What differentiates it from other books in the same category?
John: Where Handbook for True Democracy differs is that it places themes championed in the books listed below squarely in the context of America’s political divide and then interweaves them into a comprehensive worldview pertinent to current efforts to achieve authentic democracy in the United States. Titles that explore subject matter that relate to Handbook for True Democracy include The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins; The Evolution of the Mind by Robert Townsend; Not by Genes Alone by Richerson and Boyd; The Age of Empathy by Franz De Waal; Personal and Planetary Wellness by Marilyn Cornelius; Nonprofit Management: A Social Justice Approach by Elaine P. Congress; and Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind by Geert Hofslede. Books and researchers on these subjects paved the way for much of the conceptual framework found in Handbook for True Democracy. Some of these books explore how organizations shape us, others explore how our wellness and grassroots organizations can shape the world we live in. Others explain how evolutionary processes shape the values, norms, and assumptions of humanity and therefore our society.
OP: Have you published any other books?
John: Yes. Organizational Culture for Successful Democracy: Participatory Nonprofits That Advance Their Missions, Build Political Community and Initiate the Evolution of Society, POCD Publishing (2013) – Examines how organizational culture in nonprofit organizations can establish highly efficient and effective democratic movements; Characteristics Associated with Not-for-Profits that Successfully Involve Clients in Shaping Their Programs, ProQuest (2009) – Examines performance management, internal and external community building, organizational ethics and entrepreneurship/innovation in the context of participatory organizational behavior and development in public service nonprofit organizations; Way to the River Source, COMPAS (1997) – A training handbook on diversity, community building and parent involvement in schools. Co-authored by Judith Katz.
OP: Do you plan to publish more?
John: It’s likely that I will.
OP: Thanks for your time, John! We look forward to learning more about you as you visit other bloggers!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John G. Mentzos earned his Ph.D in Organizational Behavior and Development from the Union Institute. For more than 25 years he has consulted with leaders in non-profit management, government, foundations, business, education, human services and religion. His work has focused on grassroots efforts to build community, develop youth, address social injustice and advocate for the arts at the local, state and national levels.
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Thomas J. Dougherty, PhD’s “The Circuitous Route by a Group of Novices to a New FDA Approved Cancer Therapy.” When Dougherty first began as a cancer researcher at one of the top cancer centers in the country, he learned that light causes cells to die. Has anyone tried to use lasers this way to treat cancer in patients? Thus began the new treatment described in this book – Photodynamic Therapy – now an accepted way to treat certain cancers without many of the side effects of current treatment. Not known were the ups and downs of the 20-year route to FDA approval.