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Conall Boyle "Snodgrass" (Margam, South Wales)

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Under the Mask of Phillanthropy
Under the Mask of Phillanthropy
by Michael Barker
Edition: Paperback
Price: £13.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious waffle., 24 Jun. 2017
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Tedious and long-winded. The author starts with the view that any philanthropy is motivated by evil intent.

Piling up 500 pages of examples and hefty quotes from other authors does not make it any more convincing. It is entirely US-centric, so mostly irrelevant to UK or anywhere else.

There is a good (short, pithy) book waiting to be written about the way the uber-rich try to control society. This is NOT it.

BTW it is also badly laid out and bound. I had pages falling out.


Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy
Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy
by Karl Widerquist
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £80.00

5.0 out of 5 stars The authors make an excellent justification for a full BI, 13 May 2017
A splendid book, which knocks down the clever arguments made for conservatism.

The authors make an excellent justification for a full BI. They don't answer the perennial question of How Do We Pay for BI?

There are several hints in the text that the justification for private property also carries an obligation--to pay back the common-wealth. In a nutshell, BI funded by Land Value Taxation.

Widerquist and McCall are planning a second volume where I am sure this will be explained.

Political philosophy can be dull. This book is an eye-opener and well worth the effort.


The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being
The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being
by William Davies
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very little about Cameron's fatuous National Happiness Index. OK so industry wants you to look ..., 17 Nov. 2016
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NOT a description of the current 'Happiness Industry' rather a very long-winded trawl through ancient philosophical ideas. Very little about Cameron's fatuous National Happiness Index. OK so industry wants you to look happy, especially if you are customer-facing. Well who'd of thunk it?

As with all of these 'point-and-sigh' critiques, it presents no alternative, just a few tantalising glimpses of what might make things better.

Philosophers quoting other philosophers -- what a load of intellectual self-amusement (wink! wink!)


Money: The Unauthorised Biography
Money: The Unauthorised Biography
by Felix Martin
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A rebuttal to the Clever Fools, 14 Aug. 2016
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Brilliantly shows how the "clever fools" duped themselves through wish-fulfilment that Money could be an objective thing. Beware of these clever fools, usually academic philosophers, telling us that they know, because their logical faculties are so massive.

Give me a grafter like Bagehot anytime.

Pity he couldn't give a mention to Zarlenga (Lost Science of Money) or Steve Keen or Positive Money


Digital LCD Car Dashboard Desk Date Time Calendar Clock
Digital LCD Car Dashboard Desk Date Time Calendar Clock
Offered by Trend Mall
Price: £1.86

5.0 out of 5 stars quite easy to use and at the price it's an absolute ..., 11 Oct. 2015
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A lovely little clock, quite easy to use and at the price it's an absolute steal!


PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future
PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future
by Paul Mason
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad he introduced Basic Income as a solution to our ..., 11 Oct. 2015
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Over-hyped. Too much marxist history and theory.

I'm glad he introduced Basic Income as a solution to our present ills, but a mere two pages is woefully inadequate to explain how this will transition our society to a better future.


The Rise of the Robots - Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment
The Rise of the Robots - Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment
by Martin Ford
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars You will learn a great deal about the advances in 'robotic' technology, 11 Oct. 2015
You will learn a great deal about the advances in 'robotic' technology, and the book is worth it for this alone. Good technical stuff.

But the author extrapolates this to a dystopian future where jobs will become de-skilled, even middle class jobs. They will also become fewer. Meanwhile the 1% who own the robots will continue to thrive, and increasingly withdraw behind their robotic surveillance and security. A reference to the film 'Elysium' sent me off to buy it. Good thoughtful stuff, and it shows just what our future might be like.

But hey! Haven't we been here before? Back in the 1960s we were told that automation would lead to a 3 day work week for us all with vast leisure opportunities. And yet there are far more of the population in a job, including far more women. Huge armies of students and the disabled are also in job-related roles, either preparing for jobs or being unable to perform adequetely for a job. And the jobs themselves are still 5-days a week, the hours are often longer than before.

Is this time really so completely different that massive jobs wipeout will happen, like never before? The System or economy if you prefer, has found massive numbers of new jobs in finance, teaching, medicine, caring not forgetting the reliable standby of security, prisons, officials, etc. However much the robots replace hedge fund managers, teachers through MOOCs, doctors and nurses, there will always be 'security' to employ the toiling masses.

I feel that the author Martin Ford appreciated that the job-system will continually re-invent itself unless Something Is Done. I am delighted that he advocates that as well as income from a job, we should all receive a Basic Income. (BI)

Now I have been at the forefront of the Basic Income movement for 30 years, and I welcome support from any quarter. But Ford's advocacy of BI is marred somewhat by his calling it Guaranteed Minimum BI -- not the same thing at all. He further muddies the case by proposing that BI be dependent on attending education, and/or performing community service.


Life After the State
Life After the State
by Dominic Frisby
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Clever schoolboy fantasy, 17 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Life After the State (Paperback)
Yes very amusing! Actually it's a kind of clever schoolboy Ayn Rand fantasy work. Frisby's biggest fantasy is that the Free Market is the answer to everything.

Still he's done his research, and his critique of the nationalised health-care, education and above all money systems are well-directed. His solutions are so sketchy and impractical as to be worthless.

He's a comedian, so read it for amusement. His endorsement by a UKIP MP suggests he might be the go-to economist for that other comedian Farage. And we all know what happens to political jokes? They get elected.

[and if I was to put my money where my mouth is: For critique of the healthcare, education and employment systems, you should read Ivan Ilitch. For useful Money Reform visit PositiveMoney. For insights into how the economy really works read Galbraith, who still gives us a better understanding of corporate capitalism than all the 'didn't see it coming' idiots-savant at LSE.]
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 10, 2015 2:43 PM BST


The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914
by Christopher Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Pig-headed politicians led their people into entirely avoidable destruction, 21 Aug. 2014
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A long book which goes into much detail, but gives a wealth of understanding how the greatest avoidable catastrophe overtook Europe.


Thomas Malthus and the Making of the Modern World
Thomas Malthus and the Making of the Modern World
by Prof Alan Macfarlane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £6.55

5.0 out of 5 stars Why population is the only question that matters, 21 Aug. 2014
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Again and again, Malthus is shown to be, not the villain, but a wise head. Highly significant in the current global warming debate. No amount of multiple bin recycling will help dodge the big issue: too many consumers, all of whom deserve a decent standard of living.


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