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Immortality: The Quest To Live Forever and How It Drives Civilisation
Immortality: The Quest To Live Forever and How It Drives Civilisation
by Stephen Cave
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.19

1.0 out of 5 stars A very poor, badly presented book, 29 Jan. 2015
This is a remarkably poor book considering it is written by a contemporary 'philosopher- journalist' with a PhD in Metaphysics. Admittedly it has to perhaps be accepted more an exercise in journalism than anything else, and there's nothing inherently wrong with that approach, but the subject he is covering is more complex and worthy of deeper thought and consideration than he gives it in the 300-odd pages here, and if you are looking for a considered, intellectual analysis of the concept of Immortality within the human psyche and it's culture, you won't find it here.

He approaches the subject from a firmly secular, materialistically rooted position which again is fair enough if that is the base of his ideological worldview, but as so often with writers wedded to the metaphysical ideology of materialism he promotes that ideology with sweeping statements and a dismissal of alternative views with amateur blandishments- or when the going gets particularly tough- ignoring outright the scientific evidence that counters his position. To be generous this may be ignorance on the author's part, but I suspect it is more to do with a need to support his own materialist agenda than anything else. Nor can the book be excused as an exercise in journalistic polemic- Cave doesn't even seriously challenge views [and evidence] opposing his own, he just ignores it.

It has to be said the worst section in the book- and the most central one to his argument so that’s the one I’ll address specifically- has to be the 'Soul,’ because of course if there is such a state of being, the basic tenet of this book that the concept of Immortality is a cultural invention, doesn't hold up. However in 60-70 pages Cave makes so many undergraduate mistakes about the nature of the brain and consciousness, it’s quite astounding. He makes sweeping statements to dismiss the hard evidence for a dualistic nature of consciousness [developed by many eminent scientists for the best part of 125 years, particularly in the area of quantum mechanics- so the author can't claim it is all recent, kooky leftfield stuff below his intellectual radar] and a complete ignorance of the firmly scientifically rooted and empirically based studies and subsequent findings regarding reincarnation, out-of-body experiences and apparitions alone. In this he is of course in good company- Dawkins et al do exactly the same- but that’s no excuse.

I was in the end to be honest utterly staggered by his skewered, and often deeply ignorant presentation of the issue. Bear in mind for example that only 3% of natural scientists believe ESP- the existence of which shows Mind and Body are separate phenomena- is an impossibility and over half believe the evidence for it [ESP] is strong, and so a materialist Theory of Everything is far from complete, and unlike the message of this book, hardly a scientific fait accompli. Except of course, in the minds of many contemporary philosophers and psychologists, who are wedded still to now outmoded classical Newtonian physics and remain stubbornly, completely out of step with 20th and 21st century developments. Time to catch up guys.

Most of the rest of the book isn't much better and I'd be making this review much longer than it already is if I picked over all the other intellectual shortcomings apparent here, but I'll just say I was very disappointed, I had expected more. The only conclusion I can come to, reading this effort, is that the physicalist/materialist argument is on its last legs these days, as proper research, consideration of other arguments and a proper sceptical position- that is, one where healthy doubt and questioning is exercised, not dogmatic denial and wilful ignorance- seems to be now jettisoned in favour of poor journalistic presentations which this book is unfortunately a perfect example.

The plain and simple fact is that there is a wealth of solid scientific evidence that the brain does not produce consciousness but is more a conduit for it and that there is solid scientific evidence, empirically tested through the scientific method, that consciousness survives physical death and although we do not know in what shape or form that takes, it is more than reasonable from the current evidence to postulate that this is in the form of a 'soul.' Nor is this evidence gathered anecdotally by religious fanatics, but the best of it, by rational secular scientists and researchers. Reading this book however, you wouldn't get even a hint of the existence of that evidence. The concept of ‘immortality’ is therefore much more than a mere cultural construct. So if dear reader you have got this far in this review, look further than the severe limitations of this very slight book, and discover more, because there's a wealth of proper, counter evidence out there.


Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization
Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How It Drives Civilization
by Stephen Cave
Edition: Hardcover

1.0 out of 5 stars A remarkably poor book, 28 Jan. 2015
This is a remarkably poor book considering it is written by a contemporary philosopher with a PhD in Metaphysics.It's more an exercise in journalism than anything else, and there's nothing wrong with that, but the subject he is covering is more complex and worthy of deeper thought and consideration than he gives it in the 300-odd pages here.

He approaches the subject from a firmly secular, materialistically rooted position which is fair enough, but as so often with writers wedded to the metaphysical ideology of materialism he promotes that ideology with sweeping statements and a dismissal of alternative views with amateur blandishments, or when the going gets particularly tough, ignoring outright the scientific evidence that counters his position. To be generous this may be ignorance on the author's part, but I suspect it is more to do with a need to support his own materialist agenda more than anything else.

It has to be said the worst Part has to the 'Soul' one, where in 60-70 pages Cave makes so many undergraduate mistakes about the nature of the brain and consciousness, so many sweeping statements to dismiss the hard evidence for a dualistic nature of consciousness [developed by many eminent scientists for the best part of 125 years, particularly in the area of quantum mechanics- so the author can't claim it is all recent leftfield stuff below his intellectual radar] and a complete ignorance of the scientifically rooted and empirically based studies and subsequent findings regarding apparitions, reincarnation and out-of-body experiences alone, I was in the end to be honest utterly staggered by his skewered presentation of the issue.

Most of the rest of the book isn't much better and I must say I was very disappointed, I had expected more. The only conclusion I can come to, reading this effort, is that the physicalist/materialist argument is on it's last legs these days, as proper research, consideration of other arguments and a proper sceptical position- that is, one where healthy doubt is exercised, not dogmatic denial- seems to be now jettisoned in favour of poor journalistic presentations such as this book.


GoPro Cameras For Dummies
GoPro Cameras For Dummies
by John Carucci
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.58

4.0 out of 5 stars Well structured and illustrated in full colour- pretty much everything you need to know about the GoPro, 28 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
GoPro Cameras have become the in-thing of late and this Dummies book is probably the best and most comprehensive guide this type of camera I've seen to date.

Well structured and illustrated in full colour everything you need to know in terms of technicals and operational techniques are covered from still shots through to movie making. one of the main advantages of the GoPro is of course that you can do many things with it you simply can't with a conventional model, so you need to think out of the box much more to explore it's full potential, and this book certainly gives you plenty of guidance and ideas to do just that.


Air Wick Freshmatic Max Refill Lush Hideaways 250 ml (Pack of 4)
Air Wick Freshmatic Max Refill Lush Hideaways 250 ml (Pack of 4)
Price: £19.96

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent air freshener with a clean, fresh scents, 28 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very good air freshener with a clean, fresh aroma that alternates between three equally pleasant scents. They are actually quite 'natural' smelling and not as chemical as some and being able to set the level the dispenser works at is useful. Personally find this scent range good for the conservatory, hallway or bathroom. The only downside is the dispenser itself- it can be hung on the wall if wanted, a definite plus, but the plastic is a bit 'cheap' and it looks rather utilitarian, so it's probably more appropriate in more functional parts of the house, or an office. Otherwise pleased with it.


Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want (Strategyzer)
by Alexander Osterwalder
Edition: Paperback
Price: £16.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful and energetically presented book, 27 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
One can't help but feel a little jaded these days when you pick up a books in the Business genre- the standard liberal economic model has been peddled to death [soon probably, it's own death] and there is loads of mediocrity around masquerading as 'contemporary thought'- but this handbook is actually a breath of fresh air and in my opinion well worth a look.

Put together by an international quintet of authors this is a very useful and energetically presented book which nonetheless never once sacrifices detail and in-depth analysis and description for 'accessibility.' Over half of the writing team are involved directly in the creative industries and this shows- the book is more graphic than text led often with bullet-pointed lists and clear, annotated diagrams taking the lead over any sustained narrative. And... it works! The book is a beautiful piece of design in it's own right but it's content- focused on creating products/services from the very first conceptualisation to final, marketable design- is spot-on, clearly presented and comprehensive in its coverage and overall structure. Nice.


IPOW Extendable Self-portrait Wireless Bluetooth Remote Camera Shooting Shutter Monopod Selfie Handheld Stick Pole with Mount Holder specially designed for Iphone 6 5s 5c 5 4s 4 Samsung Galaxy Mobile Cell Phone,Black
IPOW Extendable Self-portrait Wireless Bluetooth Remote Camera Shooting Shutter Monopod Selfie Handheld Stick Pole with Mount Holder specially designed for Iphone 6 5s 5c 5 4s 4 Samsung Galaxy Mobile Cell Phone,Black
Offered by soaiy
Price: £17.98

4.0 out of 5 stars Great product- very useful, 26 Jan. 2015
What a surprisingly useful and decently made bit of kit. Your phone/camera fits easily and securely to the holder on the extendable arm [if you use the orange clamp, very important] and then connect it up and selfies are a piece of cake. The bluetooth connection is simple and quick to achieve too. The phone in it's clamp can be orientated to a wide range of positions and I really like the remote function of the stick- put your phone/camera up to 10m away and the stick, when connected by Bluetooth, acts as a remote shutter button! Brilliant. Although provided by manufacturer free of charge for a fair review, i'd also say it's pretty good value too at it's current price. Great product.


Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Vanish Gold for Whites Oxi Action Stain Remover Powder 1.41 kg
Offered by Golden Wheel
Price: £13.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very effective, good sized pack, 26 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very good stain removing product. Vanish is always dependable and Oxi Action for whites is no exception. We've used it on bed linen and towels and the improvement on other products we've used is noticeable. Good sized pack as well that will last a decent length of time, as the quality of the cleaner means you can use it sparingly. Good stuff.


Igenix Portable Dehumidifier, 12 Litre, 180 Watt
Igenix Portable Dehumidifier, 12 Litre, 180 Watt
Price: £134.03

5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal if you have nagging condensation problems, 26 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Some properties can be over-insulated these days and ours is- great for heat conservation but not so good for condensation problems particularity in bedrooms in the winter. I've used smaller dehumidifiers before with some results but this is the real McCoy- a heavy duty dehumidifier that says it can cope with a three bedroomed house which on it's performance so far I can believe.

As I said our main problem is in two bedrooms though and here it is doing the job admirably. The amount of water that collects is quite incredible and when you first use it, make sure you keep an eye on the reservoir as it will probably fill with this appliance much quicker than you'd expect. It's also useful for drying clothes too- it just sucks the moisture out.

maybe a bit noisy but there again we are dealing with a serious dehumidifying unit here and you shouldn't need to use it at night or such like. Seems pretty econonical to run too. Difficult to find any serious fault to be honest. Ideal if you have nagging condensation problems.


How to Perform Clinical Procedures: for Medical Students and Junior Doctors
How to Perform Clinical Procedures: for Medical Students and Junior Doctors
by Matthew Stephenson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £64.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A very comprehensive and successful point of continual reference, 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Excellent text and DVD combo which is ideal for medical students in particular, as you get visuals of procedures as well as descriptive text. The text and visuals are clearly presented but not at the expense of necessary detail. The book and DVDs are also packaged in one neat volume of a reasonable size which makes them relatively easy to transport about and keep together.

Pretty much every aspect of clinical procedures is covered here and it is on the whole I would say, indispensable for the training and newly qualified, practising clinician. A very comprehensive and successful point of continual reference.


AATU 80/20 Chicken Dog Food, 1.5 Kg
AATU 80/20 Chicken Dog Food, 1.5 Kg
Price: £14.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Very high quality dry dog food that is 80% chicken, 25 Jan. 2015
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Very high quality dry dog food that is 80% chicken and with a whole host of other additives bunged to make what looks like a very nutrious mix. You of course pay for it, but the quality and nutritional value is obvious. I've mixed it with some other more basic food and it's gone down a treat- in fact our small dog returns to the bag for a good sniff which is always a good sign. It come in a handy resealable bag too to keep the product fresh. No complaints from the dogs, so I'm happy enough too. worth a try.


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