198 pages


5.5 x 8.25 inches

ARB Press

ISBN 978-1-7346825-0-2

Available wherever books are sold.

The Power Conundrum is an investigation of the patterns and processes that lead to and explain the human-created world we see around us. It examines the logic at work in our social systems and traces the path from individually motivated humans to the outcomes we collectively produce. The book’s chapters form an arc from theory on how society works, to a survey of key cultural dynamics, to the logic that underlies social change itself. Positive and constructive in tone, The Power Conundrum nevertheless begins with a sober assessment of the degraded state of democracy in the United States and elsewhere in much of the West.

“Humanity is currently way out on a limb. We are gambling with our greatest gifts and treasures: those of liberty, sound health, a vibrant natural world, and the chance to be proud of the legacy we leave to our descendants. Some of us are running roughshod over this beautiful planet, and others are letting it happen. Timeless themes of stewardship, reverence, and caring are losing out to extraction, plunder, and disregard. There are a number of absolute dead ends that we could face, and there are many more scenarios in which the quality of living on Earth just degrades. These trends are well chronicled. The only point to now add is that a large amount of change is needed in a short amount of time if we are to retain some of the best that life here has to offer. Urgency, blessedly, has the potential to sharpen awareness, hone our thinking, and reorder priorities and resources toward overcoming obstacles.”

 — Chapter 5, The Power Conundrum

Table of Contents:

Chapter One: The Logic of Social Systems
Chapter Two: Dynamics That Shape Society
1) – The Power Conundrum
2) – Changing the Playing Field
3) – Ethics and Winners
4) – Persuasion and Manipulation
5) – Secrecy and Dissembling
6) – Cooperation
7) – Technology
8) – Psychology and Circumstance
9) – Accountability
10) – Asymmetries
11) – Enculturation
Chapter Three: Triangulating Where We Stand
Chapter Four: Nuts, Bolts, and Social Change
Chapter Five: Getting There From Here