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Gibbs "dschubba" (Bristol, UK)

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Earthling
Earthling
by Tony Daniel
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars flawed but fascinating, 23 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Earthling (Hardcover)
This story attempts a long view for humanity, without the usual triumphalism, and with unusual adversaries. As urban civilization collapses assorted tribes emerge: some, the foresters, retain a high biological technology, but ferociously insist that none of their number breed (so they are constantly recruited as infants from neighbouring tribes); others play out brutal versions of American football, with their slaves; others have still more brutal ways of restricting population growth. All through this future a remnant mining machine gradually improves in artificial intelligence, just in time to encounter and make sense of the long slow thoughts of the tectonic plates below us, and a very strange invasion from outside. It's flawed: lacking in sympathetic character development, and with far too many ideas jostling for position. But it doesn't deserve the poor ratings from amazon.com! At least it sticks in the mind - even the bits that I'd really rather didn't!


THE ETRUSCANS BEGIN TO SPEAK.
THE ETRUSCANS BEGIN TO SPEAK.
by Zacharie. Mayani
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Witty but Probably Wrong, 16 Feb. 2012
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A witty and learned story, but entirely unconvincing: it's a book of interest only to someone investigating the differing stories about Etruscans, or the uses to which poor etymologies can be put, not anyone who wants to know about the Etruscans themselves.


Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 ( 3G & WiFi, 32GB, Black) - UK Version
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 ( 3G & WiFi, 32GB, Black) - UK Version

4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful - but some things missing!, 16 Feb. 2012
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I had hesitated long before buying this. It's a beautiful piece, fairly easily managed. The two things worth mentioning though are (a) the documentation accompanying the Tab helps to get the thing turned on and charged, but is useless after that: I've since acquired the Galaxy Tab for Dummies book, though I had worked out much of the simpler stuff (it helps to have had an Android smartphone before); (b) there is no accompanying SIM card: of course, any such card would need to be linked to some service provider whether on a contract or Pay-as-you-go, but it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect one to be supplied along with the 3G model(as some high street retailers do) - and indeed the documentation speaks at once of inserting the SIM card in the Tab. Just for once I've not had a satisfactory answer from Amazon on this point, and I haven't yet settled where to get the card. But overall, it's a toy and even a professional asset that I'm glad to have!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 16, 2012 5:58 PM GMT


Plato and the Talmud
Plato and the Talmud
by Jacob Howland
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £67.00

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 26 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Plato and the Talmud (Hardcover)
I'd really wanted to like this. It's certainly time that the Talmud was introduced to those who read mainstream modern philosophy. Rabbinical arguments and disagreements about the proper interpretation of the Torah are often fun and illuminating. But Howland's discussion of the Platonic dialogues (especially Euthyphro)is flawed (he reads the unfortunate Euthyphro as motivated entirely by resentment of his father (though he is doing exactly what Socrates, in other dialogues, advises in seeking to have his father tried for manslaughter), and garbles the actual arguments), he does little to make the Talmudic arguments convincing, and doesn't offer any convincing reasons for using Talmudic methods in interpreting Plato (or arguing philosophically). The discussion of the Talmud is in general far too allusive, and sometimes gives inadequate, or even mistaken, references. Hyam Maccoby's book is a better introduction. A pity.


Many Dimensions
Many Dimensions

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual Thrillers, 9 April 2011
This review is from: Many Dimensions (Kindle Edition)
Admittedly, Williams was still learning his trade when he wrote this one, but it deserves better than the negative reviews. The plot concerns the problem of how to deal with an object that grants wishes, but with real costs to the social order, and which - by older and saner standards should not be used like that at all. The story is also about the transformation of an ordinary young woman (a legal secretary) into something like a saint, the well-merited end of a villainous scientist, and sketches of other familiar characters who try to deal with the object. Williams wrote "magic realism" before the thing was fashionable, but he was also writing serious spiritual texts.


Humble contributions to a British Plutarch [lives of 7 distinguished men,
Humble contributions to a British Plutarch [lives of 7 distinguished men,

3.0 out of 5 stars Messy, 8 Feb. 2011
A poorly formatted version of a collection of brief biographies, early 19th century. The subjects are Sir John Cheke, Sir Philip Sidney, Colonel John Hutchinson, Richard Bentley, George Berkeley, Sir William Jones and Viscount Nelson. An odd selection!


The works of George Berkeley, Volume 1The Works of George Berkeley, George
The works of George Berkeley, Volume 1The Works of George Berkeley, George

3.0 out of 5 stars Messy, 8 Feb. 2011
A poorly formatted version of an old edition, containing the Three Dialogues, the Essay on a New Theory of Vision, and Alciphron, together with some letters and a brief biography of Berkeley.


The Works of George Berkeley
The Works of George Berkeley
Price: £0.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete Collection!, 8 Feb. 2011
Just to say that this volume consists only of the Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, The Querist (which is on economics), the Three Dialogues, and the Treatise on the Principles of Knowledge. This is a very small, and rather odd, selection from all of Berkeley's works. There are no direct links to distinct chapters of the four works.


Incredisoles - Gel insoles - Size 5 - 6 (EU 38-39)
Incredisoles - Gel insoles - Size 5 - 6 (EU 38-39)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars comfort, 29 July 2010
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They are judged very comfortable, and have helped the wearer's back a lot. An excellent buy


The Jew of Linz: Wittgenstein, Hitler and Their Secret Battle for the Mind
The Jew of Linz: Wittgenstein, Hitler and Their Secret Battle for the Mind
by Kimberley Cornish
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars better on the philosophy, 21 Jun. 2010
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The hype about Cornish's historical suggestions (that Hitler found his schoolmate Wittgenstein really annoying, and that Wittgenstein grew up to be the major recruiter of Communist spies in Cambridge) have somewhat obscured the interesting interpretation of Wittgenstein's own philosophy (the "no-ownership" theory of consciousness) and the perversion of it in Nazi ideology. Cornish makes clear that the philosophy is politically and ethically relevant. It's not unconvincing as an account of Wittgenstein, and - to me - very unconvincing as an account of consciousness! Well worth reading, even if only for material with which to annoy Wittgensteinians.


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