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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Strange, pseudo-religious book where linearity is the devil, 8 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: No Straight Lines (Kindle Edition)
The future of capitalism / economics / how we live is a fascinating topic. I'm hugely interested in people who take steps in this most difficult area - to start on a positive tone a great example is the Ellen MacArthur foundation.

According to the 'about the author section', Alan lectures at Judge and Said business schools, and is 'a great distiller of complex arguments into their most salient points'.

So this book promises a lot - a great topic and a seemingly great author. Yet what the book delivers is meaningless in the truest sense of the word.

I'm not saying the author is wrong. It's worse than that - I can't argue for or against the author as it's completely unclear what he is arguing. Even what topic he is on jumps all over the place, including lofty economic theorem and how the future of digital technology will affect us. And it's far less clear what it is he's proposing to better it with.

Where you want definition and clarity, you get long circular sentences. Where you want evidence, you get half-argued stories. It's not that the topic is big, or that the arguments are complex - if you can't make yourself clear it's because you do not know what you are saying.

Random examples are mentioned without supporting evidence or valid conclusion. Ones that spring to mind:
+ The connection between hospital management targets (presumably 'linear' thinking though it's never defined exactly what this means) and outbreaks of MRSA is potentially fascinating, but not backed up by any data or evidence, so why include?
+ A chapter begins with the tale of a chap stating Harry Potter is rubbish before realising he had been listening to a narrated version with his iPod on shuffle, and he could not fathom what a shuffle function would be for. Really? So what?
+ An example given as to how open-sourced business models can localise and share profits cites a car manufacturer... which when you look at their website sells cars for $100k. Fantastic, maybe there is something in this, but how is this applicable to the 99% of the world who don't live or work in such niche areas of wealth?

The writing is rambling and incoherent. The style has a lot in common with religious or cult books (reminds me of reading Gurdjieff or the philosophy in the last Matrix film): it promises enlightenment and throws plenty of barbs at the world, while never actually stating anything.

Really disappointing. Great topic. Really bad book.
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