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Amazon Customer "Adhib" (London, UK)

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The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 3)
The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur Book 3)
Price: £4.99

10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sufficiently advanced technology, 3 Oct. 2012
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When engineering, computing and virtual reality become sufficiently advanced, perhaps it makes most sense to experience them as magical. This lyrical sequel to the Quantum Thief (which *must* be read first) continues to challenge and stretch the reader with extreme leaps of imagination into realms where bare code and human consciousness merge, opening up strange new realms of physics, both material and social.

The core character, an archetypal Loki figure known as Jean Le Flambeur, is a charming thief and trickster, a more urbane and fundamentally funnier reprise of Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat, plummeting irrepressibly through solar system and virtual universe, and a nested set of certain death traps, to confound the complacent powers-that-be and thrill and delight the reader. A parting note in the Epilogue from this admirable rogue is a gem worth working up to - very, very funny.

The inventiveness of the scenery, the subtlety of the cultural palette, the humane characterisations and the depth of literary reference that Rajaniemi brings to bear on this story takes it to a different level than your standard high octane SF thriller, to rival the finest zoku jewel. Profound and exciting work.


Vestige
Vestige

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave first step as a promising storyteller, 3 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Vestige (Kindle Edition)
Three very different people adrift together at the edge of the solar system, with no hope of retrieval, facing a long and pointless fall into the oort cloud and certain death. But something's about to happen that puts their own epic tragedy into a much larger perspective ... An ambitious premise, developed with energy and imagination, and (hallmark of any decent sci-fi) a clear delight for exploring some of the basic human questions in a well drawn and unfamiliar setting - some fascinating characterisation, good pace and a confident narrative style with just a couple of tiny bumps. I consumed it between reading Altered Carbon and now Hyperion, and in that company it gave a good reckoning. So: a very neat package for a first outing. Buy it before it gets a sensible price tag.


Sharing Information with Employees
Sharing Information with Employees
by Alexander R Heron
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars For internal communicators, a golden oldie, 3 Oct. 2011
A labour relations officer at a chain of Californian paper mills in the 1930s, and sometime visiting professor at Stanford, Heron's 1942 book is the first to focus entirely on what would come to be known as "internal communications": the challenge of sharing information internally to make a big organisation of individual workers move as one in the intended direction.

The historical contrast between his time and ours is fascinating, even though it dates the book and many of its conclusions - for example, there's a chapter dedicated to the 'duty of care' the corporation owes to a man once he has given it his best years (roughly, up to his 40th birthday!). It's at one moment quaint, then in the next moment terrifying to read about conditions, taken for granted at that point in history, which are so unthinkable today.

Heron was clearly a close observer of what works and what causes friction, in daily industrial practice. He tackles some perennial workplace issues with insight and sensitivity for the needs of employees, of line managers and of leaders, and at least some of those observations will strike a chord with practitioners of organisational communication today. He even calls out leaders who rely over much on the tannoy, in an early echo of the modern practitioner's gripe about the 'fire and forget' broadcast comms their C-suite seem addicted to.

An underappreciated part of the text deals with 'understanding units' - a concept from the deep that might form the basis of a whole new tqm-type approach.

In short, a hard-to-find gem that repays the effort of tracking down. I got my copy via bibliophile dot net, by the way.


Political Theory of Recognition: A Critical Introduction
Political Theory of Recognition: A Critical Introduction
by Simon Thompson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £17.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful round-up for the lay reader, 6 Sept. 2010
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If you've come across one of the three theorists of 'recognition' Thompson focuses on, and are in need of a sense of how they sit with the rest of contemporary critical theory, this could well be what you need. Likewise, if you know nothing about this new strand in political theory, it might be an excellent introduction to the space.

It's a decent, wide-ranging summary of the key features of their three takes on the topic, exploring some interesting challenges and testing each approach to recognition against them.

That said, I wasn't convinced that Thompson fully grasps the historical roots and political traditions that Honneth is building on (from my own reading of him). To my mind, Honneth owes nothing to the more mainstream politics of identity, despite the two sometimes appearing to use terms in common. This gave me a concern that his representation of the others (with whom I'm unfamiliar) might be similarly constrained. Still, as the subtitle says, it's an introduction - as long as that's born in mind, it shouldn't mislead.


Disrespect: The Normative Foundations of Critical Theory
Disrespect: The Normative Foundations of Critical Theory
by Prof Axel Honneth
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intricate but essential reading, 3 Aug. 2010
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Honneth's 'Struggle for Recognition' was a masterpiece of sociology - if you haven't encountered either of these two texts, SfR is where you might want to begin. Honneth fairly powerfully establishes the relationship of recognition (in three distinct flavours) as the basic social unit, in a way that is potentially liberating for social critique.

With Disrespect, Honneth surveys the wider socio-philosophical landscape and the history of such theory, shedding new light on the normative gaps disabling contemporary critical theory, to position his recognition thesis as the logical heir of Hegel and Habermas. It's another dramatic intervention from an original and inspiring mind - one which cuts its own, subtle path, regardless of the historical trend towards simplistic or naturalistic accounts of the human condition. Honneth locates a very interesting set of implications in the role played by the experience of "labour" in realising the third component of recognition.

The translation allows a sense of Honneth's very German style of argumentation to come through, like the construction of a wristwatch - meticuluous, complex, mechanical, relentless. If you're not afraid to re-read the occasional paragraph, and you have a fair grasp of the main terms in play, it does repay the effort.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 4, 2015 12:28 PM GMT


LEADING PEOPLE TO  BE HIGHLY MOTIVATED AND COMMITTED
LEADING PEOPLE TO BE HIGHLY MOTIVATED AND COMMITTED
by Bennet S. Simonton
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, but possibly useful, 15 Mar. 2010
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This is vanity-publishing, business style, and it shows in many ways. So while the editing has been hit-and-miss, the voice of a business leader comes through quite strongly, which has its upsides. And what he wants to share in terms of his experience has some validity (it corresponds with some fairly substantial research, of which he seems mostly innocent).

So for all its lack of polish, I'd say this is potentially an interesting source to use if you're struggling to budge a fairly macho leadership culture towards one that's more alert to the science of engagement, without requiring them to listen to any science. For other purposes, you're probably better off with Smythe's CEO: Chief Engagement Officer, or MacLeod's Extra Mile.


The CEO: Chief Engagement Officer: Turning Hierarchy Upside Down to Drive Performance
The CEO: Chief Engagement Officer: Turning Hierarchy Upside Down to Drive Performance
by John Smythe
Edition: Paperback
Price: £30.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If John's right, you're gonna need more than PR skills ...!, 23 Feb. 2010
As other reviewers have established, there's little denying the value of John Smythe's challenge to OD and IC types, to take a step back and redefine how we approach the current 'employee engagement' fad. What's to make this different from 80's talk of employee commitment, or even 60's talk of 'work ethic' challenges? The answer is both plain to see (to lead, start by listening) and nails-scratching-on-a-blackboard difficult to listen to, if you're conscious of the implications *for an existing hierarchy*.

So read it. Get tooled-up with the certainty Smythe brings from his long experience in this domain (google Smythe Dorward Lambert for a sense of that) and the kind of deep access a McKinsey research fellowship affords ... that this is the correct approach. Then take a deep breath, and a careful look at how power works in your current organization, and learn to think small: you're going to have to begin this in places so insignificant no-one upstairs notices what you're up to, until the success that results is irrepressible ...

Just don't think you can put this book down and carry on as normal, once you've begun. Don't say you weren't warned!


Spiderman Theme Song
Spiderman Theme Song

5.0 out of 5 stars Brief but to the point, 1 Sept. 2009
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Wanted this as one of a set of tracks to prime my 5-yr old's first MP3 player (5th birthday present). One of my better selections!


Siemens Gigaset HC450 Door Entry Telephone System
Siemens Gigaset HC450 Door Entry Telephone System

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost excellent, 23 July 2009
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This item was the greatest answer to a problem posed by working in a garden office - answering the doorbell before the courier stomps off. It looks great, buttons glowing gently at night, connects nicely to the phone system, and the sound quality is A1.

Two bumps in an otherwise perfect experience: (a) not thrilled by the slightly silly tone choices [hey, Siemens, the clue's in the name: Door *Bell*] and (b) if you're not a complete geek you'll need to give a fair bit of thought to wiring it up ... took me quite a while to get my head around how the connection to my existing doorbell works, not knowing in advance what "zero potential" means ...

That said - BUY!


Enemies of Hope: A Critique of Contemporary Pessimism, Irrationalism, Anti-humanism and the Counter-enlightenment
Enemies of Hope: A Critique of Contemporary Pessimism, Irrationalism, Anti-humanism and the Counter-enlightenment
by Raymond (Professor of Geriatric Tallis
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £116.00

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eccentric gem, 9 Mar. 2009
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Tallis begins this treatise writing what he intended to be a brief dismissal of a piece of psuedo-anthropological romantic nonsense. But once he hit his stride, there was no turning back.

This is philosophy as it used to be written, by the likes of Hume or Paine: passionate, erudite, bold, with both fine argumentation and daringly broad brushstrokes. Tallis charges against the massed cannon of the neo-Feudalists without taking care to cover his flanks, a sort of rationalist one-man Light Brigade. For those of us who notice and deplore a misanthropic streak at the heart of post-Cold War culture, it's a magnificent spectacle (and for this reader, Tallis points out possibly the funniest intellectual pratfall of our period with his notion of "Falling into the Ha-Ha" - worth the read just for this).

For those on the other end of the cannon, the solitary nature of his attack makes him relatively easy to dismiss. Like many of his forerunners in philosophy, his ideas seem unable to gain purchase on the contemporary debate they are fired by, and ought to set alight. As a result, he comes across as a bit of an eccentric, in these times - which I'd argue is more an indictment of us than of him.


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