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S Gleadall (UK)
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Medicine for the Soul
Medicine for the Soul
Price: £7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Superb follow-up to Town and Country, 7 Jan. 2015
Excellent album. Top quality musicianship and production again from the Vagaband. Whilst the sound is unmistakably Americana, the songwriting has a strong undercurrent of classic British pop/rock melody and harmony. I picked up echoes of vintage Elton John, Pink Floyd, Beatles and even Radiohead in some of the tunes and chord progressions.

The lyric writing is once again spot on; obviously rooted in the traditions of the genre (think drink, working, fortune and misfortune), but somehow avoids ever lapsing into cliché.

Tough to pick a favourite track. Several contenders for the best. Of the upbeat numbers, Gabrielle will have you looking up their touring schedule; must be a riot live. Lifted, Black Sheep and Roll Thunder are also highlights for me. And the album closes superbly; A Different Drum intros with a delicious guitar lead which then rolls into a soaring and dreamy anthem of a track.


Music Tech: An A to Z
Music Tech: An A to Z
Price: £2.98

5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely useful and well-written guide, 20 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This book gives clear explanations of essential terms in music and music technology. The definitions are easy to understand and don't seem to presume any prior knowledge. The graphics and images are also helpful.

Also good for revision, just to flick through and test yourself.


Computability and Logic Fifth Edition
Computability and Logic Fifth Edition
by George S. Boolos
Edition: Paperback
Price: £23.39

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dry but effective., 13 Jan. 2011
Tough to get in a frenzy about this one, despite the 5 stars. The subject matter is theoretical and abstract in the extreme, but I found myself able to follow the main lines. I imagine this would take a student of the philosophy of mathematics quite some way; at least to Godel's proof of incompleteness. I found the sections on computability and Turing also manageable.

Not exactly sun lounger reading, but serves its purpose precisely as it should.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Market, a philosophy of finance introduction.


This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession
This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession
by Daniel J. Levitin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Covers a lot of ground in an interesting, readable manner, 13 Jan. 2011
I enjoyed this. I learnt quite a lot, even though my music theory is reasonably good already. The physics of sound and audio was relatively new to me and presented in an easy enough way. There seem to be the usual criticisms of a popular effort not been academic enough for certain tastes, but, as ever, that is clearly not the author's intention. If you have a passion or even a passing interest in neuroscience and music then this will be a rewarding read.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets, an introduction to the philosophy of finance.


The Origin Of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics
The Origin Of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics
by Eric Beinhocker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good, some not so good, 7 Jan. 2011
Firstly, I enjoyed this book. It's lengthy but never dull. And some of the experiments and examples drawn from evolutionary biology and complex systems analysis are really interesting (if not a little familiar, if you've read anything in this area elsewhere). This is a popular work, not an academic work.

The broad thrust of the book is that economics needs to update itself (and rid itself of erroneous assumptions) and take a look at what evolutionary theory, behavioural science and complexity theory has to offer. The case made in favour of this all sounds plausible. Although no doubt this also sounded plausible, mutatis mutandis, when economists in the early 19th century said they needed to dispense with the biologically-influenced economic theory of the 18th century and replace it with theory borrowed from the new findings of thermo-dynamic physics. 50 years from now someone will probably be writing about how economics needs to dispense with all this behavioural nonsense and start learning from the new science of xxx.

This book is a good place for social scientists to get ideas about areas of science they may not have studied before. I think the later chapters where the author tries to apply some of the 'new' economic thinking to management practice are less successful. My feeling is that the new theories are not yet sufficiently developed for this.

After finishing this book, I would have given it 4/5 at the time. But I'm less impressed as time has passed and I've read other works in and around the subject. This is a good introduction to some interesting ideas and well written. But not a masterpiece.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets, an introduction to the philosophy of finance


The Reasons of Love
The Reasons of Love
by Harry G. Frankfurt
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully and persuasively written, 5 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Reasons of Love (Paperback)
I really enjoyed Frankfurt's prose here. It was very easy going with no loss of exposition. I broadly concur with his conclusions, but that's by the by. I also enjoyed the fact that it was so concise. At only 100 pages, this is not a back-breaking tome on virtue ethics. Rather, he makes his point economically and elegantly. I've always liked Frankfurt's metaphysics regarding personal identity and also his thoughts on boredom. The Reasons of Love shows a master of his craft at work.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets


Anabasis: 3 (Loeb Classical Library)
Anabasis: 3 (Loeb Classical Library)
by Xenophon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.95

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good translation of a very interesting work, 3 Jan. 2011
Xenophon's Anabasis really is a good read. It's basically an adventure story from Xenophon's perspective. He joins a military campaign (primarily for the experience and to observe) but they are routed very early on. As all those in charge fall by the wayside, killed or captured, Xenophon is catapulted into authority and given responsibility for marching the thousands of surviving men home to Greece, through hostile and unknown territory.

Apart from being a great adventure story, this was a superb insight into life in this part of the world circa 2500 years ago. For example, the extraordinary reliance on the prognostication of animal sacrifices (as to whether they should leave or stay put for example) are almost shocking to a modern, post-Enlightenment eye (especially given that this was an age famed for its use of reason). Also surprising for example was the ignorance regarding territory, geographically relatively nearby. As a historical record of the events, presumably a pinch of salt is required (every man is a hero in his own diary and all that).

The Loeb edition obviously includes the original Greek script alongside the translation, which only adds to the experience and sense of propinquity even for the illiterati (of which I am one).

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 2, 2014 10:40 AM GMT


Godel's Proof
Godel's Proof
by Ernest Nagel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cling on by your mental fingertips, 30 Dec. 2010
This review is from: Godel's Proof (Hardcover)
I read this cover to cover in one go and required painkillers at the end; I presume I was using parts of my grey matter that rarely get such a workout! The authors translate Godel's paper into something that it is possible to follow; this is no mean feat. The original paper is pretty inaccessible to the layman, but this book is achievable if you are of a certain mental persuasion. The material is, by its very nature, intensely abstract.

But if you can make it to the end and have followed even the gist of the proof, you will feel tremendously enriched. This book is a brilliant work that allows the reader to understand one of the most important intellectual achievements of the 20th century.

An exceptionally challenging but rewarding piece that I recommend highly.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets


The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World
by Niall Ferguson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable, descent popular history, 23 Dec. 2010
Popular history must inform and entertain, and this volume does both. The pace is brisk and the demarcation of the subject matter, for example into sovereign debt, equities, home ownership, welfare states etc. provides momentum and facilitates better recall. In other words, it prevents boredom setting in and you remember what you've read more than is often the case with history books (speaking for myself of course!).

I think this works well as a very broad-brush history of money and finance.

S Gleadall - author of The Metaphysics of Markets

The Metaphysics of Markets


The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward
The (Mis)Behaviour of Markets: A Fractal View of Risk, Ruin and Reward
by Benoit B. Mandelbrot
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.79

4.0 out of 5 stars But how do I apply this?, 20 Dec. 2010
Well written and a good summary of economic/financial theory and its now-familiar flaws.

Regarding the fractal theory, I was left thinking "Wow! This really makes sense and fits the data!". The arguments are persuasive that financial time series over varying time scales might well be described neatly by fractals.

BUT...it's not clear to me where this leads. It seems to be a tidy, shorthand descriptive device. But I couldn't see any meaningful applicability with respect to explanation or prediction.

Perhaps it is telling that fractal theory is the branch of mathematics seemingly most beloved of artists. Some beautiful graphical depictions have been created algorithmically by fractal engines. But as to the usefulness of the theory at this point in time, I was left unconvinced.

Nevertheless an enjoyable book in many respects which I would recommend.

S Gleadall - [...]


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