This is a collection of essays. So it turned to be a mixed bag for me. A lot of these I had already seen published in Vanity Fair or Slate. Some of thThis is a collection of essays. So it turned to be a mixed bag for me. A lot of these I had already seen published in Vanity Fair or Slate. Some of the essays about erudite works of literature were too dry and boring for me, I skipped them altogether. Hitches was at his best when he doesn't like something and it takes it apart with wit and eloquence. His admiration for George Orwell makes me want to take a second look at Animal Farm and 1984 books that I read when I was an undergrad and High School. Hitchens was controversial and he seemed to have something for everyone to disagree with. You are a left winger? Guess what, Bill Clinton sucks, and the Iraqi War was totally called for. Oh so you are a right winger? Well your God is imaginary, Kissinger is a criminal and Mother Theresa was a fraud. I enjoyed the polemics. He comes across a waaaaay too creepy when he gets into the sexual stuff, like the critique of Nobakov's Lolita or the essay dedicated to Blow jobs. I am not a prude, but I felt like I needed a shower after reading that. In any case, I will miss Hitch dearly, but not for this book. ...more
This books' premise is that the conservatives have convinced blue collar workers to vote against their economic interests by selling them a culture waThis books' premise is that the conservatives have convinced blue collar workers to vote against their economic interests by selling them a culture war, by portraying liberals as waging a war against their values, therefore successfully portraying the party of elites as the party of the working man. The author has a lot of insights in the workings and motivations of conservative thought, however, he doesn't not offer any explanation as to how exactly the unregulated free market does damage to the working class. Interesting read to people into politics. Personally, I don't like reading these kind of books they always leave me emotionally charged. ...more
Overconfidence is a huge problem in any field in which prediction is involved. This book is less about what we know than about the difference betweenOverconfidence is a huge problem in any field in which prediction is involved. This book is less about what we know than about the difference between what we know what we think we know.
This Book reads a feels a lot like Freakonomics, where the whole is a collection of articles about different subjects with a running theme. It was a nice read, I gained new insights with regards to weather prediction, baseball, poker, epidemics, chess, the stock market, elections, earthquakes terrorists attacks and more. The main theme is that is hard to make good predictions, especially when you can fool yourself into thinking you are better at it than you actually are. I enjoyed the poker chapter the most this is where the author opens up about his own experiences as a "professional poker player" online. Nice book. Highly entertaining, thought-provoking and informative. ...more
The tech industry is dominated a by a few giants. Google, Facebook, Amazon "Siren Servers" he likes to call them. While these few people get very richThe tech industry is dominated a by a few giants. Google, Facebook, Amazon "Siren Servers" he likes to call them. While these few people get very rich, the most important players, the bulk of the people using, contributing, and participating, get left out of the cut. Lanier argues that he is not a "Leftie" or Marxists, he favors the free market, but the current state of affairs is not sustainable and it's likely to collapse the market. He offers an alternative in which users get paid for the data they contribute. It's not a perfect alternative but better than what he have and definitely better than where we are headed.
I did not agree with about 45% of what I read, but it still made it a provocative, interesting and eye opening read. I don't find his arguments compelling, but I do think that they merit more public attention.