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S. Hemingway (Knebworth)
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Dictator's Handbook by Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Smith, Alistair ( 2012 )
Dictator's Handbook by Bueno de Mesquita, Bruce, Smith, Alistair ( 2012 )

5.0 out of 5 stars You will see politics, and the world, through new eyes, after reading this book, 11 Jun. 2016
This is an astonishing book. It gets away from a binary classification of regimes into dictatorships and democracies, and replaces it by placing governments on a scale based on the coalitions of 'essentials' that need to be happy to gain, and keep power.

Once this way of looking at regimes is introduced, the behaviour of large coalition regimes, vs small coalition ones, becomes explicable in terms of the incentives facing the elected person or group. Living in a democracy, we tend to take it for granted that governments will make policy to grow the economy. In fact this makes sense, in terms of retaining power, only in large-coalition democracies. Suddenly, regimes like Zimbabwe and North Korea, where the ordinary population is reduced to starvation, but the dictator holds on to power indefinitely, make sense.

The approach is show to have explanatory power in fields not thought of as the domain of the political scientist: boards of listed companies. The account of Carly Fiorina's tenure at HP is a lot better than any I've seen in the FT or the Economist.

I strongly urge you to read this. You will never see the world in the same way again.


Geox Snake Moccassins, Men Mocassins, Black (Black), 9 UK (43 EU)
Geox Snake Moccassins, Men Mocassins, Black (Black), 9 UK (43 EU)
Price: £70.90

5.0 out of 5 stars Just feels like a slipper., 4 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Fab shoe.


Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?
Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?
by Philip E. Tetlock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £19.96

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the Page Turner That I'd Hoped For, 4 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book presents some amazing results. Essentially, what it proves is that, in the area of political prediction, experience, eminence and in-depth knowledge are of essentially no value. This parallels in a way the now hardly disputed result that highly-paid investment managers almost never, over the long run, beat the market.

Most academics with an interesting, new theory like this write two books. A magnum opus stuffed with references and experimental detail for the academic community, and another, shorter, more easily digestible work for the lay reader. This is what Bruce Bueno de Mesquita did for "The Logic of Political Survival" when he wrote "The Dictator's Handbook". Sadly Tetlock has failed to come out with the second type of book, so we are left to wade through a fairly dry academic tome which, while having its moments, is a bit too footnote heavy for me.

I urge you to skim through this, maybe using a library copy, but I would counsel against buying it, unless you are of an academic cast of mind.


Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Case, Saddle Tan - fits all Paperwhite generations
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Case, Saddle Tan - fits all Paperwhite generations
Price: £29.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Item - Well Worth the Money, 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a lovely item. A bit expensive, true, but a really well made, functional cover. I just love the way my Kindle turns on whenever I open the cover, as if by magic. (It's all done with magnets, I understand.)


TeckNet® PowerZen Mini S1 3200mAh USB External Battery Pack, Mobile Phone Portable Battery Charger with BLUETEK™ for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets
TeckNet® PowerZen Mini S1 3200mAh USB External Battery Pack, Mobile Phone Portable Battery Charger with BLUETEK™ for Apple iPhone 6 Plus 5S 5C 5 4S, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S5 S4 Note, Nexus, HTC, Motorola, Nokia, PS Vita, Gopro, more Phones and Tablets
Offered by Hippidion.Store
Price: £8.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Only Average as a Flashlight, 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bit big and button to use flashlight confusing. Who wants to have to go through an SOS flashing sequence just to turn the thing off.

If you want to use this principally as a light source there are better options out there. I have no doubt it performs fine as a battery pack.


Sony SBH-80 Stereo Bluetooth Headset
Sony SBH-80 Stereo Bluetooth Headset
Offered by FoneM8store
Price: £56.44

5.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable Headset, Easy to Use, 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These work excellently with an iPhone without any stuttering.

Battery life doesn't seem that wonderful, but certainly enough for a three or four hours of general use.

There is a tiny coloured LED which indicates the mode. I think there is some kind of warning when the battery is running low.

There is a little vibration device which does send various bits of user feedback, which I'd understand better if I read any of the instructions. Generally basic operation is so intuitive I didn't ever feel sufficient need to read the manual!

Pairing etc. all worked like a dream.


Lenovo H530s SFF Desktop (Black) - (Intel Core i7-4790 3.60 GHz, 12 GB RAM, 1 TB+ 8GB SSHD, Integrated Graphics, DVDRW, Wi-Fi , Windows 8.1)
Lenovo H530s SFF Desktop (Black) - (Intel Core i7-4790 3.60 GHz, 12 GB RAM, 1 TB+ 8GB SSHD, Integrated Graphics, DVDRW, Wi-Fi , Windows 8.1)

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Windows 8 PC, 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I bought this thinking it was pre-installed with Windows 7 for some reason. It comes with Windows 8.

It has good wireless, which is another benefit as I set it up away from my ethernet socket.

I bought this for my wife who was complaining that her (recentl) 8GB RAM dual-core desktop was too slow. So far so good (apart from a few niggles with Windows 8, which is nothing to with this PC specifically).

The hybrid hard disk performs very well.


Deuter AC Lite 18 Backpack - Ocean Midnight, 53x30x19 cm
Deuter AC Lite 18 Backpack - Ocean Midnight, 53x30x19 cm

5.0 out of 5 stars High quality comfortable rucksack., 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Deuter AC Lite 18 Backpack (Misc.)
Pretty good as a day-sack. Confortable and survived light rain without needing to use the built-in waterproof cover. Certainly better than the frame-free day sack I'd previously used. Slightly bulky (because of the frame) to use for commuting.


In Car Holder for Apple Iphone 6 / 6 Plus / 5 / 4 / 4s / 3G / 3 and IPOD series 2015 Model
In Car Holder for Apple Iphone 6 / 6 Plus / 5 / 4 / 4s / 3G / 3 and IPOD series 2015 Model
Offered by Best Digital Market
Price: £12.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Decent gadget that does the job., 30 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This iphone holder has not changed my life, but it works as advertised and is a very good price. I can imagine a better looking clip, but it grips the phone tight, which is the point of the exercise.


The Rise of the Meritocracy,1870-2033: an Essay on Education and Equality
The Rise of the Meritocracy,1870-2033: an Essay on Education and Equality
by Michael Young
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Misunderstood Masterpiece, 11 Sept. 2014
Michael Young points out that once status, income and wealth accrue to those who merit those rewards, sympathy for the poor will evaporate and society will become a much harsher place. As other reviewers have pointed out, most politicians seem never to have got past the front cover of this book and misinterpret it totally.

I was fascinated to read Mises' book 'The Anti-Capitalist Mentality' which follows almost exactly the logic of this one but comes to an opposite conclusion, based on the premiss that capitalism itself depends on a meritocratic system of reward, and only capitalism can continue to produce material well-being.

You pays your money and you takes your choice. In the case of the Kindle editions, very little money indeed.


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