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Matthew Marichiba RSS Feed (Santa Cruz, CA)

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Be Prepared
Be Prepared
by Jeannie Hayden
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.27
276 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong enough for a woman, but made for a man?, March 14, 2012
This review is from: Be Prepared (Paperback)
I've been reading a few pages a day over my breakfast cereal, and I've noticed my wife doing the same. I hear her chuckling to herself as she reads. We both appreciate the book a lot, warming us up with humor to the realities of soon-to-be parenting.

More than anything, I just wanted my chance to stick in a 5-star review for this book. A friend gave me a copy as a "congratulations to the new dad-to-be" gift, and now I'm constantly recommending it to others (including you, dear reader). It's a soft start to the world of baby literature with practical advice for the realities of parenthood for the new dad.

Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home 2 TB STAM2000100
Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex Home 2 TB STAM2000100
Offered by Eonline
Price: $144.95
22 used & new from $99.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy. Files disappear. No customer support. -- UPDATED, October 16, 2011
Seagate Customer Service posted in this thread offering customer service, in response to my negative review (original text below). I followed up and was able to talk with a live support agent, who determined on the phone that the unit was faulty. They processed a return and sent me a new drive, which works fine. In the process I learned that Seagate's customer service people don't read their own product help forums, and so were completely unaware of several people having my same issue with the product. That's too bad, but is a reflection of their company systems, not this particular product.

----My original post-----
Do not buy this. I have wasted hours and am ready to give up. If I could give zero stars, I would.
Many users (myself included) report an issue where all your files become invisible to your computer, making you think you've lost all your data. This is bad bad bad behavior for a backup drive. You have to jump through hoops in the administrator's panel to make files reappear. In support forums, Customer Service has failed to respond to every instance.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 21, 2011 8:20 AM PDT

Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications
Ecological Economics: Principles and Applications
by Herman E. Daly
Edition: Hardcover
61 used & new from $2.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The future of economic thinking - Great book for lay-people, policy-makers, and economists., August 19, 2009
Unusual economic times call for unusual economics book reviews, right? To this end, I am writing a review of an economics textbook. Yes, a textbook, named Ecological Economics, Principles and Applications by Herman E. Daly and Joshua Farley. As society navigates through our global economic meltdown, I keep noticing that a lot of what I read in the media is fundamentally based on the assumption of an economic return to the good times. Maybe there will be more regulations; maybe GAAP rules will be stricter; maybe we'll have fewer or more or different automobile manufacturers. But surely we'll get back to good ol' growth of the economy (and how to do it forever), won't we? Far too few writers challenge our fundamental assumptions about the economy itself-- those same assumptions we used to dig ourselves into the present financial mess, not to mention the assumptions at the root of the ecological and human-rights crises that are now a daily fixture in the news. What if some of our assumptions about the fundamental purpose and functioning of the economy were wrong? Shouldn't we fix those old assumptions before we recreate the same "good times" that resulted in our present bad times? If the planet were unable to sustain our civilization unless we get the economy right this time, wouldn't we have an ethical duty to reconsider some of those assumptions?

Enter Ecological Economics. Ecological economics (EE), as a field of study, uses the best science available about how the universe behaves, in order to envision an economy that works within the constraints of nature. Three fundamental issues are the core of EE: optimal scale of the economy, just distribution of resources, and efficient allocation. Compare this to traditional, neo-classical economics, which focuses singularly on efficient allocation via market mechanisms.

EE breaks down traditional academic silos. If there were laws of physics which scientists believed to be true under all circumstances-- say, the laws of thermodynamics --then wouldn't you expect economists to avoid negating those laws in their model of the economy? And let's say social scientists found that people do not always make rational, self-motivated decisions to maximize their happiness. Wouldn't you want economists to not assume the opposite in their model of how markets operate? EE also rightfully recognizes the economy as a subsystem within the larger ecology of the earth. This ecology certainly provides for the economy, but it also does a lot of other neat stuff. Take, for example, regulating climate and providing clean air and fresh water, for which there are no manufactured substitutes. As it turns out, much of that "other neat stuff" is not historically encompassed by the economy, nor is it amenable to efficient allocation on a market.

Ecological Economics, as a book, does a fantastic job of outlining the principles of EE. It explains the failings of old economic assumptions, and lays out a different set of assumptions grounded in science or rooted in principles of justice. The book covers its subject with appropriate humility for a new social science, an uncommon virtue among economic pontificators. It doesn't claim to have the territory fully mapped, but it is exploring in the right direction. By this time you've gathered that the book is not fiction (we'll leave the fiction writing to neo-classical economists), but it is an enjoyable read. The easy, lucid writing style belies the authors' status as professors of economics. While the book might not be the optimal read for laying on the beach, it is fine for lay-people. The book is full of examples relating the material to the real world, and I find many of the concepts immediately relevant to how I perceive reality. The content is nicely structured so you can skip over anything that gets too dense for your taste. Finally, the book is an efficient read. It is chock full of economic principles which would have taken me years of fumbling self-study to pick up on my own. The high-level sections are: An Introduction to Ecological Economics; The Containing and Sustaining Ecosystem: The Whole; Microeconomics; Macroeconomics; International Trade; and Policy.

I have heard it said that not all of the book's assertions are grounded in science or research, which is criticism I assume the authors would strive to address in future editions. On the whole, however, I find the book to be well grounded. I'll take Daly & Farley any day, compared to neo-classical economists who accept as fact the words of an 18th century moral philosopher. I have also heard the critique that Ecological Economics doesn't adequately cover the fundamentals of economics, which means a "real" student of economics would have to go back to a traditional economics text to fill in the gaps. I would reframe this critique as a misguided assumption about what students of economics must learn first. What do you imagine would happen if all budding economists were first grounded in what science knows of ecology, before internalizing the historic account of economic thinking which has brought society to our present global economic break-down? One book does not an economist make. But if it did, this is the book I would recommend. For the rest of us, Ecological Economics is a clear, useful, and enjoyable guide to turning over those old assumptions about what the economy is for and how it works.

Business Statistics I Essentials (Essentials Study Guides)
Business Statistics I Essentials (Essentials Study Guides)
by Louise J. Clark
Edition: Paperback
Price: $6.46
86 used & new from $0.01

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Error-filled and unfriendly, April 24, 2007
I might forgive the "unfriendly" part, considering this is a distilled reference to give you just the facts. However, it's unacceptable for a technical reference to be riddled with typographical errors like the 2003 edition is. Shame on Research & Education Associates.

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