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Anthony Gray (England)

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The Moral Landscape
The Moral Landscape
by Sam Harris
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Finally sense, 24 Jun. 2017
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This review is from: The Moral Landscape (Paperback)
I remember arguing about the truth of moral principles in my first year of a philosophy degree and being left floundering. Studying ethics to one degree or another over the following three years turned me into a moral relativist and I too have towed the line ever since even though I believe in being a moral person. This book and it's simple argument against relativism is exactly what we need. It is plainly obvious that if we take morality as a human construct to help us treat each other better then we can make true and false claims about it and verify when one attempt fails and another succeeds. This is a tremendous book by one of the most cogent thinkers of our time.


Stephen Hawking's Grand Design [Blu-ray]
Stephen Hawking's Grand Design [Blu-ray]
Dvd ~ Stephen Hawking
Offered by jim-exselecky
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but ideological relativism bothers me., 3 Jun. 2017
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An extremely approachable book. This is one of the best popular science books which explains complex subjects in a very easy to understand way. However, hawking's support of a kind of ideological relativism is difficult for me. I can't support a totalitarian view of truth but nor can I support a view that all pictures of reality are in some way valid just some more successful than others. That keeps the door ajar for mysticism and irrationality to legitimise their claims as just another, no less valid way, of viewing the world.

But overall an excellent book.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2017 12:30 AM BST


The Greatest Story Ever Told...So Far
The Greatest Story Ever Told...So Far
by Lawrence Krauss
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £13.60

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Warm and affectionate but pitched at a level higher than the average popular scheme book., 3 Jun. 2017
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This is a very thorough and entertaining book. Although I think it's pitched at a level much more scientifically literate than I am.

I enjoyed a universe from nothing but found this a much more dense read that I had to skip large parts of due to it covering subjects that are hard to conceptualise without a good scientific grounding.

But even in those sections there are moments of lovely anecdotal affection for the people and subjects he is writing about. I'd say I followed the first few chapters and the last few but glazed over for much of the mid section. Hopefully one day I'll possess the faculty to understand it better.


Agora
Agora
Dvd
Price: £3.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Should have won every oscar, 7 May 2017
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This review is from: Agora (Amazon Video)
This is an incredible film. Its also incredibly brave. This kind of film simply does not get made on this kind of scale. Also it is very historically accurate. The film is easily attacked on the basis if not being accurate. But this is true of all movies. The purpose is to entertain and make money not provide a history lesson. But this is a more accurate portrayal than most.

This is a true story. This extraordinary woman was killed by religious zealots. The dark ages quickly followed. The historical inaccuracies are quickly latched onto but inconsequential. The point remains the same regardless of the historical trivialities. Abandon your faith or waste your brief life on this planet as a fool. This film helps us as a species move beyond the primitive ideas that handcuff us. 90% of movies should be like this.


The Claim [DVD] [2001]
The Claim [DVD] [2001]
Dvd ~ Wes Bentley
Price: £5.45

5.0 out of 5 stars Please release a blu ray., 10 April 2017
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This review is from: The Claim [DVD] [2001] (DVD)
This is one of the greatest films ever made. It's criminally underrated. Absolutely beautiful in every shot. It has imagery that we'll never see again. It also has a significant message. Please please please release a blu ray. DVD does not respect this film.


The Bourne Identity (4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Download) [2002]
The Bourne Identity (4K UHD Blu-ray + Blu-ray + Digital Download) [2002]
Dvd ~ Matt Damon
Price: £24.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For hdr gents only., 1 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I love this film. In my eyes it's a perfect thriller. But this is a review of the uhd blu ray. Or rather how it plays on my set up. First up. The increase in resolution is a good upgrade from the blu ray. It does look good, obviously some images are soft and there's plenty grain. But the increase in sharpness and clarity is appreciable as is the detail in dark areas. Some areas I've always thought were poorly mastered such as the interiors on the fishing boat look a lot better. However, I've a warning for anyone without an hdr display. I bought my 4k TV at the beginning of the year knowing it wasn't hdr but figuring I cared more about the TV size and resolution than hdr, thinking that 4k content would display fine. However, it's clear 4k uhd blu rays are being mastered with hdr in mind. The result on my Samsung is that highlights are completely blown out because my TV just can't display the detail. This means the blu ray looks better. This is particularly clear in this film because there's so much snow. In the uhd blu ray it's just a white shape. In the blu ray it's full of shadow detail. No amount of playing with TV settings will change what can't be seen. It's particularly noticeable in the scene as they drive away from Zurich in the mini. The view out the window in the blu ray is nicely detailed whereas in the uhd blu ray it's just a white out. So my message is avoid uhd blu ray if you don't have an hdr display.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 19, 2017 6:03 AM GMT


Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue
Islam and the Future of Tolerance: A Dialogue
by Sam Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.95

6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Noble and pragmatic but empty., 14 Aug. 2016
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A very interesting read and I admire the pragmatism of it. Both men are very intelligent and articulate however I think the overarching thread of the book undermines it's intentions.

I have no doubt that while supporting Nawaz's aims Harris does not agree with Nawaz's underlying belief. This boils down once again to the Qur'an being open to linguistic and thematic interpretation and that no one group of Muslims should attempt to enforce their view of Islam on the rest which he calls Islamism. He believes that realization of this will lead to secularism and liberalism. But I fail to see how this is any different to the situation we have today where there are many competing different views of Islam from within.

If all interpretations are somehow valid then all Muslims will fight for their own interpration leading not to unity and tolerance but to factions and infighting. Secularism will always lead to some groups believing they aren't following the law of Allah because of interference from the state for which the punishment is hell. I don't disagree with his arguments but I disagree with his conclusions. By arguing for a secular state you're shining a light on the inadequacies of the religion. If Islam is so great then surely it would not need a secular state to moderate it.

In the end Islam is not up for discussion by Nawaz, it's still untouchable. He tries to deflect the problems inherent in religious dogma onto the spectre of Islamism and in doing so he's only creating another false enemy. What he calls Islamism I'd simply call Islam.

I think this book is noble in intention and pragmatism but probably reinforces rather than diminishes the divide in the discourse.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 9, 2017 8:26 AM GMT


Gordon of Khartoum: An Extraordinary Soldier (History Maker)
Gordon of Khartoum: An Extraordinary Soldier (History Maker)
by John Pollock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fog of war, 4 Aug. 2016
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This is a lengthy book published by a Christian publisher. As a result it concentrates a lot on the religiousity of Gordon and I think goes to great lengths to portray him in a good light. I'm left with the impression that I've been given a blinkered view of the man and little real incite into his failings. It's left me wanting to hunt out a better book rather than feeling satisfied I've read the definitive biography. Can't recommend


RAVPower 2600mAh Li-ion Battery for Samsung Galaxy S4 with NFC
RAVPower 2600mAh Li-ion Battery for Samsung Galaxy S4 with NFC
Offered by Sunvalleytek-UK
Price: £19.99

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fried my phone, 21 May 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Within several days of fitting one of these my Samsung s4 began to get some screen glitches. At first the screen was just flickering brightly. Then I started getting vertical black lines against a greenish background when the screen would stand by. Started a product return but had to go on holiday and couldn't change back to the Samsung battery before I left. Phone is now well and truly fried. Every time I try to enter an app I just get a green static. And I've tried to make couple of calls and I can hardly be heard on the other end. Garbage. Always by manufacturer batteries for expensive electronics.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Sep 1, 2016 11:52 PM BST


Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel (PS4, PS3) UK-Plug
Logitech G29 Driving Force Racing Wheel (PS4, PS3) UK-Plug
Price: £165.97

6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great wheel, disgusting corporate ethics, 29 Nov. 2015
The rrp for this wheel is disgusting at £299. Luckily I managed to buy one in a black Friday sale from curry's for £180. I sold my old driving force gt for £50. But even having to pay £130 for this infuriates me. The driving force gt was an excellent wheel. I bought and also paid about £150 for it, the only reason I bought it was because gran turismo 6 did not support my old cheap wheel. But I was very happy with the upgrade. As it was the official wheel for gt6 I thought I was sitting pretty and future proof. But lo and behold no ps4 support so ultimately I paid £150 for a wheel to play just one game, which ultimately I never got to spend that much time with any way. The attitude of both Sony and logitech to customers that bought previous wheels is disgusting. At least now I know I can play ps4 racing games but since there's just a switch on the unit to switch it between ps3 and ps4 mode it's clear some cheap way to give old wheels ps4 support must be possible. If I were reviewing the wheel itself as a new user at a price point of sub £150 I'd give it 5stars. But I can get no joy out of this product without feeling like I've basically had someone thieve £130 from my wallet.


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