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The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans
The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans
by Mark Lynas
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.13
70 used & new from $3.88

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A lot of numbers but came across as contrived and pedantic, November 10, 2011
I have enjoyed reading Lynas earlier book, Six Degrees, which he has, in fact, in his new book debunked some of his earlier conclusion after uncovering facts that his earlier book has omitted.

On the whole, his being the climate advisor to a small country seemed to have transformed and biased his views from those typical of an environmentalist to those of a politician or at least a climate advisor to a president. That is, from one of unwavering ideal and principles to the other more compromising and economically orientated world view.

As noted already by another reviewer, we know very well that EXCESS is what caused a lot of the problems we faced today. Being more productive in making resources available without keeping tab of world affluence and population growth is like increasing the rate of water flow in a tank that is growing at faster rate. How much is the earth, which is a closed system, able to handle infinite growth?

At some point, Nature and Necessity will rectify the problem to reduce the population size. Economics may have provide temporary motivation to change while we still can but without the real impetus to make good the greenhouse effect ours and previous generations have created, the outcome will always be lacking as it would stop short once devoid of comparative economic benefits, e.g. the continuance of plastic production as it is a cheap material.

There are also a lot of other issues related to global warming that tend to be omitted and was. Issues like basic human rights to live at a minimum standard that the current technology can afford, infant mortality in developing and underdeveloped countries, economic losses and loss of lives following increasing natural catastrophes as a result of global warming, fundamentals of the current economic system which is causing a wide wage-divide, etc.

In these respects, I generally find the book contrived and even bigoted at some point where rather pedantic (and cliched) views were forcefully phrased to pass off as urgent mandates. While I deeply admire the Lynas who wrote Six Degrees with sincere conviction. I am not sure I am convinced by someone who has to publish a book to rectify his earlier works. It does make me wonder if he had been thorough with his research this time round and would not warrant yet another book to adjust to the conventional wisdom.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 6, 2013 2:25 PM PST

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven D. Levitt
Edition: Hardcover
1204 used & new from $0.01

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book without a theme, October 25, 2006
This is a fascinating book, both entertaining and informative. Levitt is truly a genius at work.

The underlying challenge in economics is that what seems obvious on hindsight is not always easy to see head-on. It takes hardwork and a flash of brilliant insight to sift through the data to find the right patterns, and then more work to validate the hypotheses before a simple model could be found. This book shows examples of how events at work in the real world can influenced each other.

The butterfly effect however illustrates causation leading to the next level events but not downstream, consequential outcome. For example, take the controversial issue of legalised abortion leading to lower crime rates in the 90's. Lower crime rates does not mean that it makes a better world beyond the 90's. The future will pan out differently for certain. But it could be for better or for the worse. As Levitt has acknowledged with the examples of Fryer and Kaczynski.

Worth a read for anyone who is serious about understanding how a system, including the real world, really works.

The Attention Economy : Understanding the New Currency of Business
The Attention Economy : Understanding the New Currency of Business
by Thomas H. Davenport
Edition: Hardcover
81 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a magazine, April 4, 2006
The book reads like a magazine with a lot of anecdotes, which is a direct credit to its authors who are trying to make a textbook readable and capture the attention of mgmt audience with the baby face on its cover. Perhaps this has given the impression that it's not a serious book. But it is.

As we get deluged with more information each day, each piece of information is fighting for our attention. An example would be the recent reverse trend by companies to have precise "smartbomb" placement of ads targeted at specific audience rather than pay-per-click ads in websites. The attention on Attention Management would increase in the next decade ahead. Already, organisations are talking about employee engagement instead of staff satisfaction to measure productivity and workplace morale.

Good read for management, marketeers, KM, OD and comms practitioners. Don's miss the AttentionScape in the book :)

Cultivating Communities of Practice
Cultivating Communities of Practice
by Etienne Wenger
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $24.43
123 used & new from $7.10

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good book but not for everyone, April 3, 2006
The authors have done an impressive work collecting best practices from industries. The book is a good textbook for all KM and OD practitioners to consider in learning about CoP. However, as one of the reviewers have noted, it does not tell you the steps in nurturing a CoP since human behaviours differ among (as well as WITHIN) organisations. The book does however provide a clear definition of how a working CoP would look like.

Readers who are keen on KM should read other works on social network to complement the learning. At the heart of any CoP is social dynamics. Understanding that will help to create CoP that is sustainable and useful to the organisation.

How to Teach Your Baby Math (More Gentle Revolution)
How to Teach Your Baby Math (More Gentle Revolution)
by Glenn Doman
Edition: Paperback
65 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One insightful point, too many words, March 20, 2002
The Doman's have an excellent tried-and-tested technique to teach beginner level mathematics to young minds. It rides on the insight that most educational institution today teach mathematics in an encoded form, i.e. using symbols such as 4,21,107 instead of an actual representation of the number itself, e.g. 2 dots, 13 dots ... Good reference for parents who are eager to give their kids a proper headstart in the lifelong learning journey. Some repetition throughout the book which tends to get a bit long-winded at times. To give you an idea ... while the book is some 200 pages long, I finished the book within an hour. I will still recommend parents to buy it for the technique taught.

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