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The Hidden ConnectionsThe Hidden Connections by Fritjof Capra
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this book the author compares how networking is a fundamental nature at all levels. He starts with how the single cell lifeforms evolved to complex cell lifeforms by forming communities which could grow in its own way internally while exchanging and getting external stimulus too.
He describes these external stimulus bring in a change in the community and this change may lead to a stable community with some changes from the earlier one, or may lead to the destruction of the community.
He compares these lifeforms to human communities and how these interact with each other and how these mutate to change its culture.
He talks about how corporates are similar communities and goes onto to say only corporates which are “living corporates” will survive. He says that we have tended to control things top down because of the success it yielded us during the industrial revolution when manufacturing was the key industry and if somebody at the top figured out how to manufacture the required goods in a very efficient way then that would give the organization more profits.
He argues how this cannot work in today’s organization which have become more knowledge centric and unless the management starts hearing the talks and whispers and feedback from the community lower down the pecking order in the corporate hierarchy companies will start folding up.
He then goes on to illustrate how these corporates are trying to to attain maximum profitability with nary a care for the betterment of employees and the without bothering about the impact their actions have on the environment.
He describes how the WTO was envisaged to be used by the big corporates and developed countries to exploit the developing countries which are rich in resources required by the developed countries. He quotes Vandana Shiva‘s (an ecologist) repeatedly “The Developed countries will get the resources and the Developing countries will end up getting polluted”.
He also describes how the big companies tried to hijack agriculture by promoting Genetically Modified good. He gives a passionate argument as to why these companies have no clue of how these GM food will impact the health of the ecosystem. He argues that these should be discouraged.
He goes on to say how different NGOs have sprung up the world over and are fighting these power and money hungry organizations. He gives example of how the internet was used to undermine the WTO pact in Seattle and sees hope for humans in the form of these NGOs which are dedicated to preserving the natural order.
He also illustrates how we were fortunate enough to have “Open Source” software which ensured that the Human Genome mapping was done in the Open Source world rather than by some corporate which was aiming to patent and lock up the whole thing.
All in all a very good book and an eyeopener (atleast for me especially with respect to GM food, WTO and genome mapping). Although some may see this book as an harbinger of doom, the author has illustrated how the incidents, set in motion by one set of community, that could have lead to catastrophes were prevented by other communities.

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