Profile for Michael Griswold > Reviews

Browse

Michael Griswold's Profile

Customer Reviews: 457
Top Reviewer Ranking: 7,544
Helpful Votes: 669




Community Features
Review Discussion Boards
Top Reviewers

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Your Profile.

Reviews Written by
Michael Griswold "Michael Griswold" RSS Feed (Rockford, USA)
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Show:  
Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection
The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection
by Michael Harris
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.78
36 used & new from $16.38

4.0 out of 5 stars Attack of the Technological Zombies or Not, August 21, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Walking into the End of Absence by Michael Harris, I was anticipating another popular critique of today’s world based on always being connected via technological device that bemoans the downfall of the human race as we lose ourselves in this virtual sea of gadgets and gizmos. This downfall occurs through a loss of personal contact and human interaction where we become desensitized to the basic human condition and our base human emotions such as love, hate, anger, and fear. Thus creating a society of techno zombies that simply can’t function without our technology.

Much to my relief, Michael Harris largely avoids this trap and does not tell the reader to launch a prohibition against technology. Technology is a part of our lives that cannot really be put back in the box. I consider Harris’ message to be one of technological moderation because while it can provide us great benefit, this benefit provides a trade-off, if not outright loss at a flesh and blood human level.

This book really caused me to look at my own life, my friendships, daily interactions, etc. and much to my disappointment, I think I have some things to consider. Unfortunately, I’m writing my Master’s Thesis now, so technology is just a necessary thing right now. Still any book that makes a person think more deeply about themselves and their life in general is a winner.


Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance
Uplifting Leadership: How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance
by Andy Hargreaves
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $20.51
39 used & new from $16.39

4.0 out of 5 stars A Business Book for Everyone, August 17, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In Uplifting Leadership, the team of authors take the reader inside a number of businesses, sports teams, and communities that have achieved success because their leaders have an ability to do five things: identify and articulate an inspiring dream, that is coherently connected to what the organization was best in the past, pursue that dream without ruining the company, foster innovation and improvement, use metrics and measuring devices that matter to determine progress towards the goal, and foster a teamwork atmosphere that pulls people through change rather than pushing them through it.

I think the really good thing about this book is that while it doesn't necessary tell us anything the reader could not have intuitively guessed, the variety of organizations spotlighted is broader than other leadership books. Most people in my view are better able to identify with the small business down the street than a Fortune 500 company. In this way, this becomes a leadership book for everyone, rather than a book that touts a bunch of mega corporations and tacks on the less than believable phrase "and you can do it too" as though they suddenly remembered they have to sell books to the general public.

Uplifting Leadership is a quick read that has a little something for everyone from the conventional business type to the international sports fan that is far more practical than most conventional leadership texts.


Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo
Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo
by Anjan Sundaram
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.68
77 used & new from $8.66

4.0 out of 5 stars An author goes into the Congo and finds himself, August 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Anjan Sundaram was a young man working on an advanced degree in mathematics when he realized that he was looking for something deeper in his life. This quest led him to become a stringer and eventual journalist for the AP in one of Africa's most depressing places, the Congo where the balance between war and peace has most often been tilted towards the former. Even when the country is not warring, they have been led by a series of highly corrupt leaders more concerned with lining their own pockets than bringing economic and material benefit to their people.

Yet Sundaram does not write a book about the woes of the Congo, although there is certainly plenty of that covered in this book. This book is about real people living day to day amid the chaos of the Congo, that goes beyond the plight of refugees or human rights focused tomes. Along the way, not only does the reader get a deeper, more fulfilling portrait of the Congo itself, but they see the transformation of the author himself. A very intriguing portrait.


Consumption in China: How China's New Consumer Ideology is Shaping the Nation (China Today)
Consumption in China: How China's New Consumer Ideology is Shaping the Nation (China Today)
by LiAnne Yu
Edition: Paperback
Price: $20.19
29 used & new from $10.88

4.0 out of 5 stars Consumption Done the China Way, August 10, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
China is a very complex place caught between a somewhat open economic system and a high degree of state control. There is also a generational divide between those who came of age during the Mao era and those who have come to age in this new era of consumerism. One group knew extreme austerity while the current generation is caught between untold riches and millions of people living in poverty.

Consumerism in China is a detailed just the facts approach to the current age of Chinese consumption. I feel that the individual stories contained within this book really serve to put a human face on consumption in China, rather than offering a more economic facts and figures based approached popular in some books. The most interesting part may have been how people in the US view things like Walmart and the mall verses the Chinese perception of these places. I can’t remember EVER considering Walmart a cultural or social experience.

There is an interesting debate that can be sparked from this book however. Is China a special case of consumerism? A third way that other countries can emulate perhaps? China has a unique set of characteristics that cannot just be dropped into other countries. For one thing, the state is China is fairly strong and obviously maintains some element of control, this eliminates many regimes in the Middle East, Africa, and several within Asia and Latin America. In my view, implementing such a system most places would only make the chaos worse.

This is consumption done the China way.


Lexmark MS315dn Monochrome Printer
Lexmark MS315dn Monochrome Printer
Price: $275.38
41 used & new from $270.00

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reading is Fundamental Kids, August 9, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was prepared to thoroughly pan this printer after a fruitless morning trying to get the thing connected to my wireless network. Sometimes even graduate students forget to do the most fundamental things like read to discover that this printer IS NOT A WIRELESS Printer. Your going to need a Ethernet cable or a USB cable so that you can connect the printer to your computer or router.

It is also a conventional black and white office type printer, so it is best served for those people who have a home office or people who have a massive amount of printing to do. If one needs color printing, I encourage them to look elsewhere because having separate printers to do color and black and white seems silly.

Setup is another vital question with this printer. The question of connectivity may limit the placement of this device. I can not picture a reasonable person wanting to continually move a thirty plus pound bulky printer. It took two people a considerable amount of sliding just to get the thing out of the box. Setup [minus my inexplicable reading gaff] was fairly easy a matter of minutes.

Once we got the cable properly connected to the router which may involve wiggling the cable, the printer prints on two sides fairly quickly. I can’t speak to the 6.5 seconds that Lexmark promotes in the product description because who sits by the printer with a stopwatch? But still it prints with lightning speed. In terms of printer, I have few complaints.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 19, 2014 11:45 AM PDT


The Leap: The Science of Trust and Why It Matters
The Leap: The Science of Trust and Why It Matters
by Ulrich Boser
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.45

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Uncommon Perspective on Trust, August 7, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In order for people to get the most out of The Leap: The Science of Trust & Why it Matters, they will be required to take a leap of faith of sorts. In an America increasingly seized by cynicism and distrust towards our political leaders, corporate America, and even our own neighbors is fairly common, Ulrich Boser makes a fairly unconventional argument when he argues that human beings even in times of cynicism are hard wired to trust people. Further, trust is vital for the functioning of the institutions of civilization as we know it.

Now that Boser has outlined the stakes and the need for trust, he spends the next 173 pages writing in a very free and loose manner that strikes a middle ground between journalism and academia anecdotally about why trust matters and how to recapture it. His anecdotes feature a mix of famous people and people you might walk past every day. This gives the book a certain common touch because all levels of society are represented in the trust game. I was particularly touched by the Rwandan genocide section and the section on the people with Williams Syndrome.

It is a very brief read at less than 200 pages, yet the message contained in this book is a necessary message. By embracing cynicism, we are actually going against our human nature. Yet, cynicism hovers like a black cloud over much of the world. The Leap is a sobering reminder that mistrust is actually uncommon. Highly recommended.


The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11
by Lawrence Wright
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.83
275 used & new from $2.46

4.0 out of 5 stars The Maddening Road to 9-11, August 6, 2014
Reading Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower is like watching a movie that you’ve seen hundreds of times, you know how the story ends. Maybe even in some ways, you hope that somehow it will end differently this time, but alas, almost 2,800 people from all over the world still die and the United States begins more than a decade at war against Islamic extremists. Knowing that nothing in the central story will magically change, why should one read Lawrence Wright’s Looming Tower?

Lawrence Wright takes the reader inside both Al Qaeda as it forms and the FBI and CIA and shows us how we got to 9-11. It’s more then a dressing down of a lack of cordination between the two agencies that squandered any opportunity for prevention of the attacks. It shows us both Al Qaeda and the US Law Enforcement agencies as battles among men over ideas and plans of attack. It shows them determined, but petty and clouded by personal ambition sometimes.

This book excels because it shows the human side of a pre 9-11 world that could not envision a post 9-11 world until it was too late and the terrorists whose ambitions matured such a vision over time.


Contigo AUTOSEAL Pitcher Set with Infuser Stick and Ice Core, 72-Ounce
Contigo AUTOSEAL Pitcher Set with Infuser Stick and Ice Core, 72-Ounce
Price: $29.55
5 used & new from $26.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Great Concentrated Orange Juice Test, August 6, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In order to test my Contigo pitcher, I mixed up a can of orange juice from concentrate in my kitchen. The good news is that the opening to the pitcher is fairly wide, this means that one does not need to have the aim of an Olympic biathlete at the shooting range. Having a wide opening made it really easy to scoop the material from the canister into the pitcher. The tight seal also worked as advertised when it came time to shake and stirr the water and orange juice concentrate mixture together. I did not end up wearing any of it.

Now for stuff that may be less than appealing or may take some time to get used to. First, getting the quick realease to well realease may be difficult for people with fine motor issues as it is really a two handed job. It will release, but not without major effort. Also getting the pitcher into a proper or comfortable position for your individual pouring needs may be a challenge, particularly if you have smaller hands because it could be difficult to angle to pour something out. I hope I’m safe in assuming that no one wants to wear the contents of their pitcher. This is a problem that I fully expect to alleviate with a great deal of trial and error.

Nice pitcher that really takes some getting used to.


Remington RM2560 Rustler 17-Inch 25cc 2-Cycle Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer with QuickStart Technology
Remington RM2560 Rustler 17-Inch 25cc 2-Cycle Straight Shaft Gas Trimmer with QuickStart Technology
Price: $99.99
7 used & new from $99.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Adventures with a Gas Trimmer, July 29, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This trimmer works fairly well in certain situations. This trimmer is really good for big weeds and smaller brush. It cuts through that lawn matter within seconds. When one gets into situations where they have smaller grass or smaller areas, it becomes more of a fifty-fifty proposition (some of it cut and some of it did not.)

Moving to some of the more technical aspects, this trimmer is somewhat heavy, so I would not recommend it for people who lack upper body strength or disabled persons who may lack muscle control. Further, because the trimmer is gas-powered it makes a lot of noise that can be rather jarring to the unsuspecting ear. On the bright side, start up out of the box is fairly easy providing one has properly read the instructions. There’s no three hour struggle that one sees with some lawn equipment on the market.

I really liked the ease of use and I think that most people will find it useful provided they don’t live somewhere with stubborn little patches of grass.


AT-A-GLANCE 2014-2016 Academic Year Camille 2-Year Monthly Pocket Planner, 3.62 x 6.17 Inch Page Size (100-021A)
AT-A-GLANCE 2014-2016 Academic Year Camille 2-Year Monthly Pocket Planner, 3.62 x 6.17 Inch Page Size (100-021A)
Price: $10.99
2 used & new from $10.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It sure is purdy, July 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The two year at a glance planner features a laminated cover with pretty purple flowers. It’s compact size makes it ideal to fit inside a shirt pocket, assuming that you wear shirts with pockets. In theory, the planner covers a two year period from 2014-2016 one month at a time. However, the postage stamp space provided for each day means that people with Godzilla like handwriting like me could have difficulty using this planner. Another positive, a much more realistic space for contacts is located in the back. Bottom line: It is compact, which is both good and bad. Good for portability, Bad for anybody not use to writing in the space of a postage stamp.


Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20