For a journalist, Michael Rank's written English is pretty poor, though that unfortunately is pretty much the state of journalism today. The most eg
For a journalist, Michael Rank's written English is pretty poor, though that unfortunately is pretty much the state of journalism today. The most egregious error being that Muhammed "taught his followers the major tenants of the religion." "Tenets", dammit! He's also inconsistent in the use of the prophet's name. The cover says "From Muhammed to Burj Khalifa…" while the title page gives: "From Muhammad…"
I'm uncomfortable about the way he addresses Islam in places. Why does Rank use deliberately provocative language like "After claiming to receive a prophecy from God", when talking about Muhammed? "After receiving a prophecy…" would be palatable to Muslims and non-believers alike. Or, "he also stated that pagans and unbelievers cannot approach the Sacred Mosque, a statement which the Saudi Arabian Grand Mufti used in March 2012 as a pretext to call for all churches in the Arabian peninsula to be bulldozed." Given that he doesn't explain this statement at all, it merely appears intended to show the irrationality of Islam.
Still, this book does almost exactly what it promises: "By the end you will know as much about the Middle East as you would after a year-long college course [and] sound highly knowledgeable about world affairs to your friends and associates." The first claim is arguable — I learned more about the Middle East in High School history — but the second is certainly true!
Probably my favorite book about the use of English. Fowler/Gowers explain English usage in ways that would make my high school teachers squirm, and vaProbably my favorite book about the use of English. Fowler/Gowers explain English usage in ways that would make my high school teachers squirm, and validate many of my own biases!...more
Not terribly surprisingly, Hare references the latter two (quite frequently) and Coren gives this book a glowing review on the cover (I'm a little surprised that he didn't get referenced in the text - though he might be in the bibliography, but The Intelligence of Dogsis pretty much a pop-science book, short on the real science.
I was a bit dismissive of this book when I first heard of it, because it sounded like he was covering a lot of the stuff from Coppinger, but I got over it because, first, he clearly respects Coppinger, and second because he doesn't come across as a know-it-all scientist at all. One of the things I really loved was that after first telling his faculty advisor (talking about the amazing things that infant humans could do) "I think my dog can do that", and going ahead to show that his dog could do that, he proceeded to give us all the dead-end research he did: "so we hypothesized that it was this, and that was wrong..."
The only down side is that, despite the title ... my current dog is not smarter than I think. She's unfortunately been damaged beyond repair by a previous owner. On the positive side, I'm pretty sure the cat isn't as smart as he thinks!...more
It's not, as advertised, about developing Android "apps", it's about developing Mobile websites. Not an obvious differencWell that was disappointing.
It's not, as advertised, about developing Android "apps", it's about developing Mobile websites. Not an obvious difference to many end-users, but a huge difference to the target audience for this little book....more
Now, I'm not surprised by that. She's a rescued dog, who was clearly never socialized with other dogs, poorly socialized with people,My dog is broken.
Now, I'm not surprised by that. She's a rescued dog, who was clearly never socialized with other dogs, poorly socialized with people, and spent at least six months living off the land before she was caught and finally ended up in my care. But I was a bit surprised by how much the examples in this book were underlined by how different my dog is from the ones Horowitz has observed.
My Bella doesn't play. She doesn't know how to react among other dogs (and yet she has little trouble with our cat, who is mean to her). She clearly connects with my wife and me, yet I can't quite feel she's "bonded".
I've had many dogs - over thirty+ years of dog ownership (with as many as three dogs at a time during), and behaviours described by Horowitz were obvious in almost all of them, and it's quite clear from her descriptions of the causes of these behaviours in what way my poor Bella was broken.
What disappointed me in this book was the lack of depth in most of her analysis. Early on she claims that dogs, unlike wolves, don't form packs to hunt cooperatively. I'm not going to try to argue that dog packs are the same, or even very similar, to wolf packs, but anybody who's lived in a small northern town should be familiar with free-running dog packs (frequently house dogs who go home for breakfast) that cooperatively hunt game as large as deer.
Much later, she introduces Thomas Nagel who asked "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?", shortly after it became apparent that bats "see" via echolocation. Horowitz makes a big deal about how important that is - that we really can't ever understand another species - and yet, in recent years, we dohave people who "see" via echolocation: see Daniel Kish; and we have cameras that convert video to audio-scans where the user eventually learns to see - the brain even converts the signals to images! So, are we so different from bats? I'd love to know what Nagel thinks about that - and if something as different as seeing via echolocation is not enough to differentiate us from another species, maybe dogs are pretty similar to us after all....more
I must confess, Jock was the father of a close friend, so my review is highly biased.
Jock was a scientist by profession, and while I imagine he wroteI must confess, Jock was the father of a close friend, so my review is highly biased.
Jock was a scientist by profession, and while I imagine he wrote for journals, he wasn't a writer for the popular press, nevertheless he was a story teller, and Tangled Tongue is his story of living with a stutter, and how he overcame it - and didn't. It's a fascinating story of what was known at the time about stuttering, and the many techniques — some successful, some not — that Jock and others have used to surmount their handicap....more
This was Kevin D. Mitnick's "get even" book. The sole reason for writing it seems to have been to name everybody who ever did him a bad turn.
The hackThis was Kevin D. Mitnick's "get even" book. The sole reason for writing it seems to have been to name everybody who ever did him a bad turn.
The hacking, and particularly the social engineering, is fascinating, but the character is a louse. He seems to think that just because he didn't intend to make a profit from his hacking, he should be treated as innocent. I'm sorry: like many smart people who go to jail, he spent a good bit of his time learning the law. He knew when he was hacking exactly what laws he was breaking and what the penalties could be. If there hadn't been penalties, he probably wouldn't have found the hacking interesting enough. So don't expect sympathy from us when you finally got caught, and don't expect us to agree with you when your co-conspirators turn out to be spying on your for the FBI....more