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Keith Appleyard "kapple999" (Brighton, UK)
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Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime and Militancy (Consumer One-Off)
Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime and Militancy (Consumer One-Off)
by John Arquilla
Edition: Paperback
Price: 15.50

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting pot pourri of articles on an important topic, 9 Jan 2004
There is a wide variance between the 11 contributing authors.
Some of them give stimulating eye witness accounts of events in Seattle, or detailed case studies of criminal activities from around the globe.
Then we get others who just give you their opinion on an issue, expressed so academically that with one of them I was desperately looking for any indication of form of who / what / where / when that might have contributed to the development of their ideas.
So for those who cited the evidence - 4 or even 5 stars - but for those who gave rather sterile theoretical opinions - 2 stars.
And what a shame there was no Index.


Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web
Small Pieces Loosely Joined: A Unified Theory of the Web
by Weinberger
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.11

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn�t tell me anything I didn�t already know, 4 Jan 2004
A confusing little book - from all the hype you'd think there was some earth-shattering discovery enclosed therein.
But this was just a collection of little essays about the web, the contents of which would be so plainly obvious to every 12 year-old I know. Yet for an over-40 who'd never used the Web, they wouldn't understand it either. So who is the target audience?
It doesn't even merit being considered as "Your Introduction to WWW". Very disappointing.


Thinking about Mathematics: The Philosophy of Mathematics
Thinking about Mathematics: The Philosophy of Mathematics
by Stewart Shapiro
Edition: Paperback
Price: 21.36

8 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to the philosophy of mathematics, 1 Jan 2004
I finished my Maths degree in 1975, so I confess that many of the more recent developments (references are made right up to 1997) were not always comprehensible to me, but I still got enjoyment out of dipping through this book.
If these 2 examples don't spark any interest for you in the discussion that followed, then this book is not for you :
Kant : The concept expressed by the English word 'triangle' contains the concept of being 'three-angled'. Does it also contain the concept of 'three-sided'? The German word for 'triangle' is 'Dreieck', or 'three-cornered'. Presumably, that concept includes 'three-angled', but, again, does it include 'three-sided'?
Formalism : Consider the equation 0=0. If you print this out, you cannot say that the equation says that the leftmost hunk of ink shaped like an oval is identical to the rightmost hunk of ink also shaped like an oval. Clearly, those are two different hunks of ink.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 10, 2010 11:29 AM GMT


The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First
The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First
by Jeffrey Pfeffer
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Explains the importance of putting people before profits, 1 Jan 2004
This book is very well researched, although perhaps over-long in some parts.
The underlying message is that "do you see people as labour costs to be reduced or eliminated, or do you see your people as the only thing that differentiates you from your competition?"
I did find it quite satisfyingly radical for a US author to actually recommend that US Managers need to look overseas, as in this quote :
"One might be well-served to spend more time outside of the United States ... What has come to be taken as 'good management practice' in the United States is very, very culturally specific to the United States. Managing in a different way may require developing a broader world view ..."
I can related to that, given that I work for a US Fortune 500 Company.
The Case Studies cover a broad range of Industries such as Automobile, Banking, Steel, Clothing, Semiconductors, Retailing, Oil Refining, Energy, Airlines; and Geographical coverage includes not only North America, but quite a number of Countries in Europe & Asia.
A Chapter dedicated to Unions but yet not to Union-bashing is a pleasant change.
All in all, an interesting book that I wish more CEO's & HR Officers would read to see the alternatives to boom-and-bust downsizing & outsourcing.


Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer
Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer
by Michael White
Edition: Paperback
Price: 14.99

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best biography of Newton I’ve read to date, 31 Dec 2003
I've read other biographies of Sir Isaac Newton, and this is the best. As the title suggests, there is an emphasis on his interest in Alchemy.
I worried (unnecessarily as it turned out) that other aspects of his life would be neglected. But his time at the Royal Mint, and his clashes with Huygens, Hooke, Leibniz etc are well covered.
The only disappointment for some readers might be that this is not an overtly scientific/mathematical biography - there are no formulae : so if you want to know that little more detail about Newton's discoveries, such as the Laws of Motion, Laws of Gravity, and Differential Calculus, you won't see any of that in here. In fact the word 'Gravity' (perhaps his most famous discovery) doesn’t even appear in the Index (although the 'Apple' does).


The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea (Universal History)
The Company: A Short History of a Revolutionary Idea (Universal History)
by John Micklethwait
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book � just the right length - 4.5 stars, 31 Dec 2003
This book is nicely researched and well presented- not too long (as in padded out) and not too short (despite its title).
I finally understood the origin of the US term 'Trust' as in 'Anti-trust'.
It was also interesting to see the role the Railways had played in causing the Company to evolve, from the limited-time partnerships of the Sailing Ships to the 'ownership' by the Pension Funds.
Only one irritation - the sub-editor must have been asleep reviewing the proofs. Each page contains genuine hyphenated terms such as 'joint-stock' and 'Anglo-Saxon', but there are rogue hyphenations such as in 'chap-ter', 'Car-negie', 'custom-ers', 'Gas-kell', and you keep having to re-read them to see what they mean? I found them in 5 different chapters, so its not as if only one piece of text was added/removed and threw out the pagination?


Empire State
Empire State
by Henry Porter
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confusing - not great but not rubbish either, 30 Dec 2003
This review is from: Empire State (Hardcover)
This is the first book by Henry Porter that I've read. I selected it on impulse, based upon favourable reviews in the Press.
It kept my attention throughout, but as other reviewers have said, the ending (not to give the game away) was a damp squib.
All in all this was an up-and-down book - great in parts, then poor in others.
One of the earlier reviewers mentioned maps & charts at the end - but my (hardback) edition didn't have any?
I might look out for one of Porters earlier works, but this one certainly didn't bring him up into the Clancy or Higgins league.


The One Minute Apology: A Powerful Way to Make Things Better
The One Minute Apology: A Powerful Way to Make Things Better
by Ken Blanchard
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should learn how to say Sorry and mean it, 27 Dec 2003
I read the One Minute Manager series when they started 20 years ago, and didn't like the format because I couldn't relate to a Manager who was instantly available & accessible. I was accustomed to having to wait hours, and more typically days, to speak to my manager – by which time the matter had either gone away or I'd sorted it myself anyway.
Then when I was in my 40's I found myself in the position that I could be a One-Minute Manager myself, and worklife became fun. So now I find myself re-reading the One-Minute Manager series with a new perspective on worklife.
Now, why did they write this one on "Apology" – did the concept begin before or after the latest round of scandals in US business? Either way, it is trying to set a new moral high tone for those CEO's etc who have become as arrogant as the Roman Emperors of 2,000 years ago?
This little book provides the antidote – but unfortunately can't force such people to recognise that they have made a mistake in the first place, and owe an apology. No book can do that. Only the Board, Stockholders and the Legal system – but the latter tends to constrain them not to say 'Sorry' to anyone!
Oh, and it applies just as well to your personal/family life as well!


The Five Faces of Genius: The Skills to Master Ideas at Work
The Five Faces of Genius: The Skills to Master Ideas at Work
by Annette Moser-Wellman
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspectives on creative thinking styles, 27 Dec 2003
This book starts off a quick précis of the 5 faces : Seer, Observer, Alchemist, Fool, Sage. Then it gives a self-assessment of which Styles you are currently using. I scored highest on Fool & Observer, and lowest on Sage.
As I read through the book, I was disillusioned as to its worth. But when I got to Fool, I thought "that's me exactly". So I looked back at the earlier chapters, and thought maybe the questions & examples were not as appropriate as they might have been?
Anyway, I began to appreciate the book more. Certainly the latter sections on how to apply the 5 different styles at work, and the strengths & weaknesses of teams who find themselves with & without all these players, were of more use than the theorising.
There are other books offering rival schemas, but I think this one is as good as any of the others, and easier to read.


The Five Faces of Genius
The Five Faces of Genius
by Annette Moser-Wellman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.76

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting perspectives on creative thinking styles, 27 Dec 2003
This book starts off a quick précis of the 5 faces : Seer, Observer, Alchemist, Fool, Sage. Then it gives a self-assessment of which Styles you are currently using. I scored highest on Fool & Observer, and lowest on Sage.
As I read through the book, I was disillusioned as to its worth. But when I got to Fool, I thought "that's me exactly". So I looked back at the earlier chapters, and thought maybe the questions & examples were not as appropriate as they might have been?
Anyway, I began to appreciate the book more. Certainly the latter sections on how to apply the 5 different styles at work, and the strengths & weaknesses of teams who find themselves with & without all these players, were of more use than the theorising.
There are other books offering rival schemas, but I think this one is as good as any of the others, and easier to read.


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