I found this an entertaining read. As a parent with a child that may have ADHD this book does an excellent job of pressing all the usual hot buttons.I found this an entertaining read. As a parent with a child that may have ADHD this book does an excellent job of pressing all the usual hot buttons. Does my child really have a problem? Are schools just pushing ADHD meds to kids that don't need them to 'accelerate' them? Is the whole ADHD craze just a giant pharmaceutical conspiracy? This book does a good job of exploring these ideas in an entertaining way. Like others, I was disappointed that the book cites figures about ADHD medicines but gives no sources, leaving you wondering if the claims that are made are all just fiction. The book also has a terrific satire of the hyper-competitive parents pushing and pressuring their kids to excel and keep up....more
As a quant involved in algorithmic trading it's fun to read a (highly fictionalized) account of uber quant traders and their algorithms going wild. IAs a quant involved in algorithmic trading it's fun to read a (highly fictionalized) account of uber quant traders and their algorithms going wild. I didn't expect anything other than a fun trashy read out of this novel, and that's what it delivered. A good page turner and entertaining as long as you can completely suspend any kind of critical thinking....more
The premise of this book is that somehow networked organizations and networked thinking will lead to better, smarter decisions. As long as we includeThe premise of this book is that somehow networked organizations and networked thinking will lead to better, smarter decisions. As long as we include a sufficient diversity of opinions and experience in the networks helping us make our decisions we will arrive at better, more informed answers. In fact, as the amount of information explodes, these networks will be the only way to manage all the information we are creating.
Here's the problem. I don't think anyone will dispute that reaching out the to internet to search for knowledge can get reasonable answers quickly. Also, running contests where many experts are involved can get good results. The problem is, if you are solving a real problem at the end of the day somebody actually has to do the work to get an answer. A "network" isn't going to magically come up with an answer. Also, reaching out to a wide group on the internet often results in the same stupid *wrong* answers to a problem being circulated around and around and around. Networks can just as easily work in a negative direction recycling stupidity rather than knowledge. There doesn't seem to be much of a role in this book for sustained critical and deep thinking about a problem to arrive at a solution. This doesn't make sense to me since much of human progress continues to come from sustained hard work by individuals working to achieve expertise in an area and focusing on a single problem at a time. This book makes some good points about how our relationship with information is changing to rely more on networks of our colleagues or friends to filter and absorb the massive amounts of information created every year. However, the author's confidence that networked thinking and organizations will magically solve many of our problems is happy nonsense, in my opinion. Also, while the author claims that networks can make better decisions, he never really gives any detailed research supporting this assertion or showing under what conditions networks are better or worse at solving problems. This makes the book more of an exercise in faith rather than something you can use to decide if a network would be helpful in a particular problem or not....more
I like A.S. Byatt quite a bit, but I'm afraid this book did nothing for me. The writing is excellent, as usual. However, to me it read as a more or leI like A.S. Byatt quite a bit, but I'm afraid this book did nothing for me. The writing is excellent, as usual. However, to me it read as a more or less straightforward retelling of the Norse tales. Maybe it would be more interesting if I wasn't already familiar with Norse mythology. As it was, the interweaving of these tales with a girl's childhood just wasn't all that exciting. I got too bored and didn't make it past the first 100 pages. The excellent writing couldn't save it from the fact that I knew all the stories and nothing much was happening....more
This was great! It's very rare to find a novel that is both a light read and also extremely well written. Fast paced, very funny, lighthearted vampireThis was great! It's very rare to find a novel that is both a light read and also extremely well written. Fast paced, very funny, lighthearted vampire novel. Pick this up, you won't be disappointed....more
I really wanted to like this book. The Victorian steampunk setting with werewolves and vampires is a fun idea and has a lot of potential. Sadly, the wI really wanted to like this book. The Victorian steampunk setting with werewolves and vampires is a fun idea and has a lot of potential. Sadly, the writing here is very poor. There are several outright continuity gaps and a number of places where I found myself saying "Wow! This scene would really sparkle if only the dialog were actually clever instead of just flat." I don't expect too much from a pulp novel but the writing was bad enough that it was a major distraction. I'd start getting interested in the plot only to be pulled out time and again by the jarringly bad dialog and descriptions. Hopefully the author has gotten better over time, I'm not sure if I will bother reading any more of the series after this....more
Generally I like post-apocalyptic novels but this book embodies everything I hate about 70s science fiction. Misogynistic towards women, racist towardGenerally I like post-apocalyptic novels but this book embodies everything I hate about 70s science fiction. Misogynistic towards women, racist towards blacks, bullsh*t macho theme where it's "every man for himself" and "save what women you can" after a comet strikes the earth. In addition to the post-apocalyptic world being written in an extremely trite way, the novel makes it worse by telling the story using 5 main characters so that we are constantly jumping back and forth between viewpoints every 10 pages. I slogged it out for some 360 pages before I threw it against the wall in disgust and frustration. The story line is not interesting, the characters are shallow, and I felt like I was being infected with the book's horribly prejudiced attitudes as I read along. If you're gonna be this misogynistic (e.g. little girl riding around as rape-bait, bank teller who gets what she deserves from a sexual predator for leaving her curtains open, etc.) at least be amusing about it like "A boy and his dog." This book is more a banal kind of evil with its racist outlook and lousy plot. Can't recommend....more