This is a nice straightforward read which covers a surprising amount of ground for a book this size. There's a brief introduction and analysis of systThis is a nice straightforward read which covers a surprising amount of ground for a book this size. There's a brief introduction and analysis of system dynamics, microanalytical and multilevel modelling, cellular automata, agent based modelling and genetic algorithms. The examples do a good job of showing the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. I was only interested in learning about agent-based modelling (called multi-agent modelling here), but I was pleasantly surprised to come away with a much broader understanding of how people have tried to model social situations....more
This really needs two reviews, one for the content on mindfulness, the other on the style of writing.
This is the first book on mindfulness I've read,This really needs two reviews, one for the content on mindfulness, the other on the style of writing.
This is the first book on mindfulness I've read, so I can't compare it to anything else. But I've found the practices have proved useful even in just a few weeks, I've become more aware of my environment, my emotions, and my thoughts.
The writing, on the other hand, is just awful. It comes across like a parody of two middle class parents babbling to a young child. The book is written "for busy people" and half of this babble is justifying why a "busy person" should invest in learning mindfulness. I'd have thought it fairly safe to assume anyone who had bothered to buy and start reading this was already fairly invested, and that half way in they could stop preceding every paragraph of actual content with a sales pitch as to why you should continue to be patience. The greatest irony was when I read the section where ask you to think of signs of your impatience, including perhaps "skimming over sections of this book". Well yes I was, because despite all this fantastical wonderful mindfulness malarkey which is going to make me ohsohappywhenivecometoacceptlifeas it is (note: this is just a tiny sample of the agony-inducing style of prose you will have to endure), I couldn't sit through the drivel.
3 stars because the mindfulness proved useful once I extracted it from the apologies for the "busy people". But I'd strongly suggest looking at the other top rated mindfulness books if the subject appeals to you, unless you really believe you can endure the presentation. (I've ordered a copy of Wherever You Go, There You Are for another perspective.)...more
I very rarely give up on books but about half way through I just couldn't face any more. I was reading the short chapters at a painful pace of only abI very rarely give up on books but about half way through I just couldn't face any more. I was reading the short chapters at a painful pace of only about one a day. I found it very hard to learn anything from this book. The language is either imprecise or overly complicated and I was often left wondering whether I'd read anything at all. In the 100 pages I struggled through I don't remember a single thing I think will help my bouldering. I'm giving it 2 stars not 1 to give it the benefit of the doubt that I might just be too stupid or too uneducated to understand it....more
I started reading this because while working on a small app using Event Sourcing, I realised I was building an increasingly complex messaging system aI started reading this because while working on a small app using Event Sourcing, I realised I was building an increasingly complex messaging system and rediscovering a lot of design decisions I knew must have already been resolved. My interest isn't in integration at all, but software built using messaging internally.
This is a long book but surprisingly easy to read, and engaging enough to read cover-to-cover. It works up from fundamental primitives like Message, Message Endpoint and Message Channel, to fairly detailed, complex examples, like component failover controlled and monitored with messaging from a central management console.
I now have a much clearer understanding of messaging patterns, which when I read documentation for modern messaging systems (eg RabbitMQ), I can immediately see the design decisions that were made and the alternatives that exist.
I've known about this book for almost a decade, and I regret not reading it sooner. It basically describes OOP applied to software architecture, and there are many solutions to old projects I could have designed better if I'd recognised this from the patterns in this book. I highly recommend this to anyone working on a system with more than one non-trivial component, ie anything more complex than a basic CRUD webapp....more
I read this in under an hour before going to sleep. Really simple guide to doing handstands, handstand walks and handstand push-ups. It's got some exeI read this in under an hour before going to sleep. Really simple guide to doing handstands, handstand walks and handstand push-ups. It's got some exercise progressions and tips on how to learn and improve from your failures. I was going to start training these in the gym, but now I've read this I'm going to start doing them at home instead....more
I've needed to learn SPARQL for a current project and I've found this an extremely helpful guide. It's very clearly written, easy to follow, and has mI've needed to learn SPARQL for a current project and I've found this an extremely helpful guide. It's very clearly written, easy to follow, and has many useful examples. While it's mainly about the SPARQL query language, it takes a few interesting excursions into other semantic web / linked data topics such as RDFS, OWL and common vocabularies / ontologies in use. It's a little slow going in places as he often spells out what seems to be the bleeding obvious, but my impression is that the book is designed to be accessible to all moderately technical people and not just experienced developers....more
This is the most comprehensive and useful resource I've found on bouldering. I've managed to fill a page and a half of A4 with practical steps to takeThis is the most comprehensive and useful resource I've found on bouldering. I've managed to fill a page and a half of A4 with practical steps to take in my training. The book is really detailed and has many diagrams and photo sequences to illustrate points. John Sherman writes in a really funny way too, he's brash and at times his ego could fill my climbing centre, but he's also got a lot of humility in the right places and shows a lot of respect for other people's personal styles. Possibly my favourite quote: "Chances are half of you readers skipped all that nancy footwork chatter and turned right to the glory pages. Yep, this is where we discuss how to use your hands and arms and impress the hell out of folks when your feet cut loose and you stay attached to the rock by the merest of handholds and the most massive of biceps."...more
This thing is completely off its tree. The short one page stories/fables range from occasionally insightful and illuminating to downright loopy. (TheThis thing is completely off its tree. The short one page stories/fables range from occasionally insightful and illuminating to downright loopy. (The Cow? What is going on with The Cow?!) I also can't help but read some of them as Sufis displaying the same arrogance they disdain "the scholars" for, especially the circular logic justifying how great the Sufis really are.
I think this is about as much Islamic mysticism as I need for the moment, thank you....more
I bought this to give me a bit more of an overview on bouldering after taking a beginner's course.
I've learnt a lot from this, although I felt a bit pI bought this to give me a bit more of an overview on bouldering after taking a beginner's course.
I've learnt a lot from this, although I felt a bit plunged in the deep end. The author seems to assume readers will be experienced in some other form of climbing. If you're not, I highly recommend looking in the glossary as soon as you find an unfamiliar word. Content wise, it's covered everything I could have asked for: equipment, movement, training techniques, safety etc.
Another reviewer commented that the movement section is weak, and suggested this is because it's inherently hard to describe in words. Based on my experience of martial arts, I agree with this explanation. There's enough in here to make me investigate moves and holds I wasn't aware of before, which is all I would ask.
Peter Beal gives advice to approach bouldering in a calm, balanced way. Everywhere he mentions the need to push yourself he warns against doing things carelessly, or for ego or show. A few times I felt I was reading a book on tai chi, until he made the comparison himself at the end.
The writing is terse and covers each point simply before moving on to the next. It's an easy, enjoyable, uplifting read. I can't comment on the technical content because I'm so inexperienced, but it has motivated me to practise bouldering even more....more
The book concludes: "You knew it all the time. There is probably nothing in this book that you did not already know at some level of your experience."The book concludes: "You knew it all the time. There is probably nothing in this book that you did not already know at some level of your experience." To a large extent, this is true. The main concept behind "principled negotiation" is that the best, mutually beneficial agreements come from understanding why each side wants what they want, then looking for common goals and creative ways to satisfy both sides. This I know from the Conflict Resolution Diagram thinking tool from Theory of Constraints. Another key point is that the biggest source of negotiation power comes from what each side's alternatives are. This I know from economics (in the Austrian sense of the word): if you have needs to meet, you'll try to use your time and resources efficiently to get them, whether that be investing in negotiating a given deal or taking an alternative.
But Getting to Yes puts these ideas in a simple, accessible way, with clear explanations and credible examples. It hasn't had as much impact on me as eg the things I mention above, but it's let me consolidate and reframe some skills I already have, and I've extracted a framework/checklist which I'll apply to future negotiation situations I find myself in. (So it's simplistic to say I "knew" these things, as I now see situations where I failed to apply them because I didn't have the frame this book presents.) The description of BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) is really important. It explains why being "powerful" (rich, of high status etc) is probably not that important: what matters is what each side's alternative is if the other decides they don't want to play. My favourite story is about a town council that got a manufacturing firm to agree to a tax hike from $300k to $2.3m, and is a sobering reminder to not paint yourself into a corner.
Because its so short and straightforward, I recommend it to anyone who has any even moderate negotiations to make - taking a job, buying a car, renting a flat etc. It's not about hardball negotiating "to win"; it's a quick way to learn how to see what a "fair" agreement might be, and whether you'd be better off taking another option altogether....more