Uneven. The company profiles are interesting, if sometimes sparse on details, and present views into a more democratic form of corporation.
They’re constantly broken up by vague premonitions of disaster, though, a new kind of Malthusian faith that we’re stretching the Earth to its limits.
No evidence is marshaled in support of this belief, and the effect is to weaken the author’s otherwise well-made argument: that the current way of organizing corporations is not the only way, and some of the alternatives are better.
Despite the hand-wavy references to mysticism and quantum physics, I learned:
- The John Lewis Partnership in the UK is its largest department store chain, and is entirely employee-owned, with an elected employees’ council that governs the company alongside the Board of Directors
- The Bank of North Dakota is state-owned (!), the only one in the US
- Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in Economics for her work proving that the “tragedy of the commons” is not inevitable, and can be avoided while preserving the commons as community property.
Brilliant. Wallace’s writing is as lean and focused as ever, keeping the action moving and the laughs coming.
Three things I learned about writing:
- Background action can be sped up, to keep focus on foreground.
- It’s ok to stand up and cheer for your characters once in a while. It gives readers permission to cheer for them, as well.
- Seeing the consequences of a weird event (transformation, spell effect, etc) before seeing the event itself can make its eventual description less confusing and more interesting.
Wife and I are heading off to WorldCon today!
It’s in Kansas City this year, which is only a 4.5 hour drive for us. For once, no plane tickets to buy 🙂
This’ll be our first WorldCon, so I’m both excited and nervous. A lot of our friends will be there, but so will many — ye gods, so many — of the authors I admire. I’m going to try to keep my squee to an acceptable level.
Also, thanks to the efforts of Tanya Washburn and the Accessibility Committee, there’s going to be multiple ASL-interpreted events! The Masquerade, all Business Meetings, the Hugo Awards Ceremony, and the Paul and Storm Concert will all be accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing.
They’ve even arranged for a personal interpreter for my wife for one day of the Con, so she can enjoy that day’s panels as much as anyone else.
It’s going to make a huge difference in my wife’s independence during, and participation in, the Con. The Accessibility Committee has been very responsive and welcoming, and I’m quite thankful for their efforts.