Kill Your Status Quo

All my reviews


  • I give stars based on the author's fulfillment of the promises made on the cover.
  • I am also biased in my reviews to the extent that they reflect my knowledge when I write them.
  • I may be a tougher reviewer over time, but I try to review for readers who may not have read any/all of these books -- let alone worked on water issues for years!
  • I am reviewing books and ideas, not people. Authors shouldn't get offended, but they do!

You can sort columns in this table (click on headings)

2018-07Doughnut Economics****Yes, seek the middle ground, but how?Book
2018-06The Economy of Cities*****Cities drive innovation and prosperityBook
2018-05The Lorax*****Nature weeps at our greedFilm
2018-04The Cartoon Introduction to Macroeconomics*****There's more macro out there than you know!Book
2018-04Routledge Handbook of Water Economics and Institutions****Not enough on institutionsBook
2018-04Sapiens****How we got started, but not where we're goingBook
2018-03Future Crimes*****Yes, you should be paranoid of hackers and data abuseBook
2018-02Overview*****Beautiful images of our impacts on EarthBook
2018-02The Cartoon Introduction to Microeconomics*****Easy way to understand important ideasBook
2018-022047: Short Stories from Our Common Future****A collection of future viewsBook
2018-01Brokerage and closure***How network(er)s create valueBook
2018-01Digital Gold: Bitcoin, the Inside Story*****The foundation storyBook
2017-11Price of Thirst****Water services are affordable but policies failBook
2017-10Merchants of Doubt*****Lying to sell you cigarettes and oilFilm
2017-10An Inconvenient Truth*****Gore was right.Film
2017-09The Fog of War*****The reality ofthe Cold WarFilm
2017-09The Pirate Organization**A sexy name buried under intellectual drossBook
2017-08In Our Hands****A 2006 libertarian discussion of Basic IncomeBook
2017-08Water Capitalism**A libertarian screed in favor of private oceansBook
2017-08Reinventing the Bazaar*****A nice overview of market economicsBook
2017-08The Great Surge****A primer on development economicsBook
2017-07Development Projects Observed*****Meet local (not bureaucratic) needsBook
2017-06Deep Web*****Markets > GovernmentFilm
2017-062052: A Global Forecast for the Next 40 Years*****It's not looking goodBook
2017-02Weapons of math destruction****Your data used against youBook
2017-02Facebookistan*****You're a citizen without rightsFilm
2017-01Economics: The User's Guide***Not very useful.Book
2017-01Where will we go*****Photo essay of people already experiencing climate changeBook
2017-01Freakonomics***Read elsewhere to think like an economistBook
2016-12Before the Flood*****DiCaprio previews our climate disasterFilm
2016-12How to Start a Business & Ignite Your Life*****Startups succeed with teamworkBook
2016-11HyperNormalization*****Algorithms help us deceive ourselvesFilm
2016-10Dark Age Ahead*****Communities must protect themselvesBook
2016-10Water Integrity Global Outlook****Bureaucracy can't solve corruptionBook
2016-09Oriental Despotism****Control water, control peopleBook
2016-04Introduction to Water in California*****First learn, then act.Book
2016-03Poverty Inc****Stop patronizing the poor!Film
2016-02Cowspiracy****Price in those externalties!Film
2016-01Dolan's Microeconomics****Good discussion, missing internationalizationBook
2016-01McMafia*****They're EVERYWHERE (the government fails)Book
2015-11That Sugar Film *****Put DOWN the soda (and juice!)Film
2015-10Who Gets What -- and Why *****How markets REALLY workBook
2015-09Water Knife *****American Southwest water conflict scifiBook
2015-08The Thing Itself ****Those with power abuse itBook
2015-06Windfall *****Who is making money on climate change?Book
2015-06Rain *****It's all around us, affecting our lives, but do you see it?Book
2015-05Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change *****Brilliant, balanced and funnyBook
2015-04Hipster Business Models ***Interesting stories, not so many modelsBook
2015-04Under the Dome *****An investigating of the corruption driving China's pollutionFilm
2015-01Ivory Tower ****Expensive universities may not be worth itFilm
2014-11Business Adventures ****Interesting, still-relevant, stories from the 60sBook
2014-10Price of Thirst **Baseless, anti-capitalist non-sequitursBook
2014-10Armchair Economist ****A varied and insightful application of economics to lifeBook
2014-09Cooked *****A lovely book on food, the ways we prepare it and how it binds us togetherBook
2014-08IBNet Blue Book *****Understand and compare utility performanceBook
2014-07Quest ****Good overview of many energy sourcesBook
2014-07Thinking Fast and Slow ****psychology economists everyone should knowBook
2014-07Starfish and the Spider **BoringBook
2014-07Lost Rivers ***See sewers and buried riversFilm
2014-05Last Call at the Oasis ****We're drying out!Film
2013-11Down the Drain *****Water and policy fail in CanadaBook
2013-10Big Men *****Interesting insights to oil exploration in NigeriaFilm
2013-09LifeStraw review Works!Gear
2013-07Two Cheers for Anarchism *****More People, less StateBook
2013-06When the Levees Broke *****A documentary of government failures surrounding KatrinaFilm
2013-05Investing in Water for a Green Economy ***Uneven and incompleteBook
2013-05Water Trading and Global Water Scarcity *****Theory, data, reforms, case studiesBook
2013-02Madmen, Intellectuals and Academic Scribblers *****Diagnosing policy failure and changeBook
2013-01Nile River Basin ***Incomplete information, but better than nothing?Book
2013-01(Honest) Truth About Dishonesty *****Ariely on how we lie to ourselvesBook
2013-01Megaprojects and Risk *****How to build infrastructure with fewer mistakesBook
2012-12Drinking Water (A History) ****An interesting illumination of how we've lived with waterBook
2012-11Land Grabbers ****Good stories on land grabs, but occasionally too polemicBook
2012-08Watershed Movie **More opinion than expertiseFilm
2012-06When the rivers run dry *****Great overview of the impacts of water shortageBook
2012-06Third Industrial Revolution **Look at me waste of timeBook
2012-04Death and Life of Great American Cities*****Social evolution and planner failureBook
2012-02Predictably Irrational *****How we (imperfectly) process information and make decisionsBook
2012-01Blue Revolution *****Excellent examples and themeBook
2011-12There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch *****environmental economics textBook
2011-10Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind ****An archaeologist's exploration (see Water)Book
2011-09Water Follies *****Exploring the mismanagement of groundwater in the USBook
2011-09Water: Asia's New Battleground **ConfusedBook
2011-09Rango *****Ridiculous, funny and lots of "dry" humorFilm
2011-08Company of Strangers *****How and why humans cooperateBook
2011-08Know your H2O ****A fun way to understand water flowsFilm
2011-07Big Thirst ****Snappy writing, sometimes sloppy [read this]Book
2011-07Future of Water ****A look into the future but uneven qualityBook
2011-05Arabian Sands *****Culture changes slowly, and this book is still relevant, 50 years laterBook
2011-04Inside Job*****Crony capitalism sucks.Film
2011-03King of California *****How subsidized agribusiness destroyed the environmentBook
2011-03Origins of Virtue *****Similar to Moral Sense, but snappier (if slightly over-optimistic)Book
2011-02Company: A History *****A social construct that's served us wellBook
2011-01Government Failure and Over-Government ****Essays that presaged ThatcherBook
2010-12Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization ****Excellent (see Elixir)Book
2010-12Silent Spring *****book that (deservedly) launched modern environmentalismBook
2010-12Gasland ****Cheap gas may not be so cheapFilm
2010-11You Don't Have to Wear Hemp Underwear *Even bigger waste of time.Book
2010-08Running Out of Water ***Verges on boringBook
2010-08Prize *****Brilliant history of the oil industryBook
2010-08Value of Nothing **Anti-capitalist, illogical ideological rantBook
2010-07Appeal *****A John Grisham novel on how power and money destroy the environmentBook
2010-07Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI *****From thugs to professionalsBook
2010-07Calculus of Consent *****A classic discussion of laws in a just societyBook
2010-07Using the Steripen to purify water Works!Gear
2010-06Dead Pool *****Updating Cadillac Desert on mismanaged infrastructureBook
2010-06Crude World *****An update on Prize that discusses politics and corruptionBook
2010-06Limits to Growth *****Still relevant 40 years laterBook
2010-06Moral Sense ****So much (too much?) interesting discussion of our moral evolutionBook
2010-05Collapse *****A good history of sustainability (but perhaps flawed?)Book
2010-04Food Inc *****More filling, tastes crap, destroys communities and the environmentFilm
2010-02Governing the Tap ****A detailed look into water management districts in the USBook
2010-02Investigating the Russian Mafia *****Good background for understanding Putin's RussiaBook
2010-02King Leopold's Ghost *****horrors of Belgian colonialism in the CongoBook
2010-01Fast Food Nation *****Eat out sometimes, but prepare your own foodBook
2010-01Weapons of the Weak ****A long, perceptive narrative of village developmentBook
2009-12Water and the California Dream *****Excellent history of disastrous policiesBook
2009-12Liquid Assets ****A deep look at water mismanagement in the Middle EastBook
2009-10Aqua Shock *A waste of paper (or electrons)Book
2009-10Prophet of Innovation *****Biography of Joseph ("Creative Destruction") SchumpeterBook
2009-10Say Everything ****rise of blogging (and why I do it)Book
2009-08Heart of Dryness *****Botswana's Bushmen fight to live in the desertBook
2009-08Economic Naturalist ****economics of everyday lifeBook
2009-08Organization of Inquiry ****How academic SHOULD do researchBook
2009-08Home Water Testing kit Works? ClumsyGear
2009-07Rivers of Gold ****Some case studies of water markets in the western USBook
2009-07Small is Beautiful *****An early -- and still relevant -- book on sustainable economicsBook
2009-06Last Lecture *****THIS is passionate teachingBook
2009-05Unquenchable ****Good examples but perhaps too manyBook
2009-05(anything from) Food and Water Watch **Their bias interferes with their logicBook
2009-04Water for Sale *****Why private water companies can help the poorBook
2009-04Black Swan *****Watch out for the unexpected!Book
2009-01Priests and Programmers *****Amazing description of traditional irrigation in BaliBook
2008-11Economic Gangsters ***Pop development economicsBook
2008-10Take Me to the Source *****A nice wander around the way we live with waterBook
2008-10FLOW **Unbalanced propagandaFilm