13 Oct 2010

Bleg: Help with Glossary for End of Abundance?

Hi Everyone,

Here's a progress report on The End of Abundance:

UC Press has my manuscript out for review by a few academics (to make sure that I am not making any foolish statements). These reviewers will decide if the book is worthwhile and suggest corrections and clarifications. Assuming that they give a thumbs up, I will make corrections before the manuscript goes to members of the UCP editorial board for review in early December. If they give the book a thumbs up, then it will go into production in early January. Yay!

So while I am waiting, I am working on some peripheral aspects of the book. One of them is the Glossary.

What I am hoping is that some of you will be interested enough to take a look at this draft [DOC] and make suggestions for improvements and clarifications. If you make changes, please TURN ON "Track Changes" and save the document before you send it to me.

I realize that it's not easy to read a glossary without the original text, but it should be possible to check your understanding of words against my definitions, to make sure that I am getting the essence of these ideas.

The tricky part, which I explain in the DOC, is how to deal with words/jargon that are used more than once (should I highlight later uses?) or only once (don't put them in the glossary, but do put them in the index?). Any suggestions welcomed!

Oh, and here are a few definitions to whet your appetite:

Acequias: Communal water management districts with semi-formal rules on water allocation and communal maintenance of common infrastructure.

Appropriative rights: The right to divert water from a source for use elsewhere. Often defined by priority (“first in time, first in right"), a quantity (“x units of flow at this diversion point"), and the requirement of continued use (“use it or lose it").

Aquifer: An underground pool of water that’s naturally recharged by surface water.

Asymmetric information: One person knowing more than another. In principal-agent situations, the principal knows less than the agent about the agent’s skill and/or effort, problems of “adverse selection" and “moral hazard," respectively.

Baptists and Bootleggers: An unholy alliance that combines moral righteousness with selfish greed to stop a reform (or enact a “reform") that would benefit degenerates (to the Baptists) and/or the competition (to the bootleggers). Thus, you may see a B&B coalition of environmentalists and corn-processors supporting a law that requires corn ethanol to be blended into gasoline.

[and so on...]