I liked: Ronson's sense of humour and compassion. The end sections where he talks to people in jail, and the conclusions you can draw from these. ShamI liked: Ronson's sense of humour and compassion. The end sections where he talks to people in jail, and the conclusions you can draw from these. Shaming doesn't change behaviour for the better, even though it feels like it should. People who shame others are just continuing what's been done to them.
I didn't like: filler chapter about the Radical Honesty group; Ronson taking Hank's version of events at face value while he was skeptical of Mike Daisey and Jonah Lehrer; thinking 4channers would have anything useful to say.
Found problematic: the lack of 2 important questions. Firstly, how have the types of "wrongdoing" people get publicly shamed for changed over the centuries? Seemed like a difference but he glanced past it so I don't know. Secondly, how does people's original status in society affect their resilience to shaming? Ronson just ignores all power imbalances when considering the results. And how that might impact his conclusion...
And yet I'll definitely read more of his books. Just maybe with a grain of salt next time....more
Everything you need to know about making your designs work for people who are colour-blind or with mild vision impairments. Process, tools, and tips,Everything you need to know about making your designs work for people who are colour-blind or with mild vision impairments. Process, tools, and tips, with a bit of vision science. Like all the Pocket Guides, it gets straight to the point and there's no filler....more
Fascinating stuff. Interviews with survivors and rescuers from many different types of disasters (9/11, hostage-taking at a South American embassy, plFascinating stuff. Interviews with survivors and rescuers from many different types of disasters (9/11, hostage-taking at a South American embassy, plane crashes, nightclub fires, etc) put into context with the available research on how people behave in an emergency situation.
It's not great bedtime reading (especially the first section on denial, geez that was a rough read), but it might save your life. On the recommendations from this book, I'm making plans for how I'll deal with emergencies.
My only disappointment is shared by the author - that there isn't *more* research, more action being taken on what is already known. Authorities don't like the conclusions of the research because it would mean more costs, more dealing with messy and complicated human behaviour instead of nice spreadsheets and theoretical actions.
Be polite to the people around you; make plans and practice them; make sure you have a working smoke detector. The more prepared you are, the greater your chances of survival should the worst happen....more
A rare 2.5 star rating from me. The good bits were excellent, the other bits were disappointing.
Good: the plot related to the Excession itself. The sA rare 2.5 star rating from me. The good bits were excellent, the other bits were disappointing.
Good: the plot related to the Excession itself. The ship Mind conspiracy and backchannels were fun; the little drone from the Zetetic Elench doing everything in it's power to get the word out was amazing. Grey Area (Meatfucker), Sleeper Service, and Killing Time are my new favourite Minds.
Other: pretty much everything to do with the humans. Dated gender stereotypes and then finding out the plot has very little to do with anything else. Ugh. Banks can do better than this....more
What a fun book. The Jazz Age New York setting gives lots of opportunity for variety. The plot races along so you don't have time to figure it out tooWhat a fun book. The Jazz Age New York setting gives lots of opportunity for variety. The plot races along so you don't have time to figure it out too far ahead of our main character. There's plenty of kissing and punch-ups to keep things lively. The politics was about as subtle as a hammer, but this fits in with the main character's personality perfectly and I enjoyed that the differences in status between characters weren't just brushed aside. Recommended as light entertainment for people who don't want to switch off their brains....more
A beautifully-written cry from the heart. Garner intended to write a balanced true-crime story, but the killer and her family would not discuss it witA beautifully-written cry from the heart. Garner intended to write a balanced true-crime story, but the killer and her family would not discuss it with her. So it became a book about Joe Cinque and the family he left behind. Most crime stories focus more on the perpetrators than the victims. Garner ends up bringing a much-needed balance to the genre, even if not to this specific event.
However, she introduces difficult questions without following them up. What is 'diminished responsibility' really? Why does the gap between morality and the law exist? Who has a duty of care? She dismisses the DSM and mental health experts in the case without explaining why. It's not that she needs to have all the answers, but her entirely justified criticisms could be so much more powerful if she provided any support for them.
She mentioned reading Eichmann in Jerusalem as part of her research, which I finished a little while ago. Arendt's dogged determination to interrogate the ethics of the international legal system is not a fair comparison to Garner's focus on a family crime. But it didn't occur to me to make the comparison until she brought it up!
That said, Garner did well to interview the trial judge, a rare POV in this genre. His reasonings (the ones she gets copies of) are available online and make interesting companion reading.
Overall this is a powerful book and a must for true-crime readers. It just left me wanting more....more
Compelling and difficult. Arendt doesn't just report on Eichmann's trial, but on the legal and philosophical ramifications of crimes committed on a glCompelling and difficult. Arendt doesn't just report on Eichmann's trial, but on the legal and philosophical ramifications of crimes committed on a global scale. Who is responsible for trying the criminals - the victors, the victims, the bystanders? Who is responsible for the crimes - the psycho at the top, the lawyers providing cover, the bureaucracy, the collaborators? What is the purpose of a trial, and how does the justice system cope with unprecedented situations?
To do enormous evil requires more than just one person, it requires an organisation. Arendt is also interested in how someone becomes part of such a group, how they are persuaded to suppress their conscience. Based on her writing here, I believe it's partly to do with being raised to value obedience and conformity rather than curiosity and free thought, and then being put in a community slowly ratcheting itself towards greater and greater atrocities.
I was very interested in what she wrote about Denmark, where the citizens (although averagely racist, like most people) refused to comply with the Nazis, so much so that eventually even the German army and many of the Nazi officials posted there refused to carry out Hitler's orders. It was the opposite of what happened in Germany. It points the way through the problem of Eichmann-types: we mustn't allow even small injustices, because they become the base for greater ones. We don't need to be perfect, but we do need to be vigilant and persistent.
Most of the claims against Arendt and this book are tone arguments: people can't argue with the facts, so they take exception to the way she spoke about them. She scorns the prosecution for over-extending their case, when the truth is enough to condemn Eichmann to death. She doesn't bother much with the weak excuses put forward by the defense, mostly rehashes from Nuremberg. She has no patience for the German citizens who claim they didn't know; she simply presents the evidence which proves them wrong. As for the Jewish leaders who assisted the Nazis, she actually doesn't give much opinion about them, just states the facts without including their justifications. Telling, but restrained given how acerbic she is about everyone else.
I know the banality of evil is the quote that everyone takes from this book; but the one that got me was this:
For the lesson of such stories is simple and within everybody's grasp. Politically speaking, it is that under conditions of terror, most people will comply but some people will not, just as the lesson of the countries to which the Final Solution was proposed is that "it could happen" in most places but it did not happen everywhere. Humanly speaking, no more is required, and no more can reasonably be asked, for this planet to remain a place fit for human habitation.
I enjoyed this collection of essays about pop culture and politics from a black/feminist/US perspective. Gay came highly recommended by other writersI enjoyed this collection of essays about pop culture and politics from a black/feminist/US perspective. Gay came highly recommended by other writers I like and I'm trying to read from a more diverse set of authors this year.
For me it was a fresh point of view on issues I've discussed with my feminist friends. Although the essay on The Hunger Games was wrenching, it perfectly explains why we need books like it for teen girls. I could identify so well with the Scrabble essay too. I expected to feel uncomfortable in the section on race, but Gay's honest yet compassionate opinions made it worthwhile. And we agree about Tarantino! I only wish she had pointed out more examples of writing she likes on race issues so I could expand my reading.
I think she's wrong when she says that real stories about abortion (or any similar political issue) won't help, or trigger warnings aren't useful. But I love the way she confidently states her opinions without hedging or apologies, then gives the reader room to disagree.
If you don't like bloggy, personal styles or pop culture, then this book won't change your mind. But my own bad feminism is rooted in the personal, not the academic, so it suited me just fine....more
A quick summary of the most common arguments against the existence of gods, and their rebuttals. A little repetitive, but that's the faShort and sweet
A quick summary of the most common arguments against the existence of gods, and their rebuttals. A little repetitive, but that's the fault of theists, not the author. Recommended for anyone who would like to better understand the atheists in their life....more
Gawande tells how he was part of a team to write and test a surgery checklist, with great stories from his medical experience and fEngaging and useful
Gawande tells how he was part of a team to write and test a surgery checklist, with great stories from his medical experience and from the aviation, finance and construction industries. "Manifesto" isn't the right word, but he is persuasive on the benefits of using a checklist to prevent routine and dangerous mistakes in complex situations which frees up your mind to focus on the unique factors present.
What I didn't expect was his emphasis on distributing power among teams, and including communication points to allow people to work together better. It's all very democratic and empowering!...more