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Featured Book Reviews
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The Checklist Manifesto

How to Get Things Right.
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Deep Sea and Foreign Going

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Passions Within Reason

The Strategic Role of the Emotions
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The End of Men

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The Checklist Manifesto
Feature The Checklist Manifesto
How to Get Things Right.

Atul Gawande's title may have been a gamble in respect of this book's success, because as he says on page 173 "We don't like checklists". Not (just) because they are not much fun, but because someone whose skill lies in performing complex or difficult tasks probably also regards them as... Read more
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20th August 2015 07:26 PM by Gord_in_Toronto Go to last post
 
Passions Within Reason
Feature Passions Within Reason
The Strategic Role of the Emotions

Evidence abounds of the existence of behaviour which is contrary to material best interest, stuff that one would be better off not doing, either altruistic or all-round destructive, and sometimes described as irrational. Such behaviour is sufficiently common that few are surprised by it. And... Read more
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17th August 2015 05:18 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
The End of Men
Feature The End of Men

The future is very female according to Hanna Rosin. And so is the present too, more than is generally appreciated. She claims to be neither feminist (for trumpeting women over men) not anti-feminist (for suggesting the struggle for equality is over), but her choice of title will ensure that... Read more
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12th August 2015 07:14 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
Deep Sea and Foreign Going
Feature Deep Sea and Foreign Going

Container ships are the "invisible industry that brings you 90% of everything"--a reference to the fraction of trade that moves by sea. Rose George, a writer and journalist, became the last officially allowed passenger on a British flagged merchant vessel of Maersk, a Danish company whose... Read more
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12th August 2015 07:08 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
How The West Was Lost
How The West Was Lost
Fifty Years of Economic Folly--And the Stark Choices Ahead

Dambisa Moyo's book is about economics, specifically growth, and is adorned with brush strokes that paint a rising China (followed by the other three BRIC countries, Brazil, Russia, India) overtaking the west (or just the US) in size, clout, and several kinds of agenda-setting.... Read more
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31st July 2015 09:50 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
Seeing What Others Don't
Seeing What Others Don't
The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

The world is a competitive place. Species perish, organisations fail, and stuff kills folks. On the upside, some people excel, some firms flourish, and societies make permanent advancements. Examining part of how the latter side happens is the quest of Gary Klein, a research... Read more
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13th June 2015 12:00 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
My review of Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus"
My review of Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus"

Hi all. It's been a while since I posted here last. I've completed a review of Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Jesus" and put it on my website here: http://members.optusnet.com.au/gakuseidon/Carrier_OHJ_Review.html I've given a short extract of my review below. Any... Read more
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24th May 2015 09:22 PM by GDon Go to last post
 
Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale
Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale
The Moral Limits of Markets

The sub-title that Debra Satz, a professor of ethics at Stanford, gave to this was copied by Michael Sandel, similarly employed at Harvard, in "What Money Can't Buy" a year or so later. Your reviewer loved the latter, and this steered her to the present volume, which is more encompassing... Read more
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29th March 2015 06:34 PM by gilius Go to last post
 
How to Predict the Unpredictable
How to Predict the Unpredictable
The Art of Outsmarting Almost Everyone

There is a spoiler at the end of the prologue to this, which is that humans are predictable when they try to be random. Though, this reviewer was more intrigued in the opener to learn of Claude Shannon's 'Ultimate Machine', which she swiftly you-tubed. She's a fan of that already. Anyway,... Read more
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25th January 2015 09:55 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
Honey Money
Honey Money

Catherine Hakim, a British social scientist, refers to "erotic capital" as the fourth personal asset. The first three are economic capital (money, wealth), human capital (expertise, education, intelligence) and social capital (slightly ill-defined networking and influencing capability,... Read more
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22nd January 2015 06:03 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)
Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)

More than a bit reminiscent of "Being Wrong" (by Kathryn Schultz) to this reviewer, but predating it by a while, this book offers a theory for why mistakes get not just made but entrenched. Or rather, the incidence of mistake itself is not much touched, as if it were a random outcome. But... Read more
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22nd January 2015 05:51 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
The Art of Choosing
The Art of Choosing

Sheena Iyengar has been studying choice for over a decade, and gets to do it at an Ivy League business school. Your reviewer didn't know this before she bought the book. She would have chosen it anyway. Which gets to the start of several well-researched aspects of the subject at... Read more
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4th January 2015 02:44 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
Obliquity
Obliquity
Why our goals are best reached indirectly

Obliquity tries to be a bit bigger than it really is, though actually it is up-front about this. In the acknowledgements, John Kay informs the reader it was a newspaper article later fluffed out into a book. This stayed with your reviewer as she leafed through twenty odd chapters, few of... Read more
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4th January 2015 02:41 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
How Much Is Enough?
How Much Is Enough?
Money and the Good Life

This is a book that seeks to unmask neoclassical economics as an imposter: the study of the allocation of scarce resources is uprooted by the Skidelskys--in their manifesto to switch out scarcity for abundance. (It's a perception thing, don't you know). At the same time, modern liberalism... Read more
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4th January 2015 02:39 AM by Francesca R Go to last post
 
The Prize
The Prize
The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power

Daniel Yergin takes the reader from the hills of Pennsylvania to the Persian Gulf and Alaska in oil's journey from providing kerosene lamps to its displacement as the critical energy source for industrial age man. (Aka Hydrocarbon Man).
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18th November 2014 10:48 PM by Darth Rotor Go to last post
 
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