It seems like an obvious recommendation to take from this book is that Canada needs to form three or four hockey sub-leagues for youth that segment thIt seems like an obvious recommendation to take from this book is that Canada needs to form three or four hockey sub-leagues for youth that segment the year into that many age categories.
The 10,000 hours to expertise 'rule' is very interesting, I like the idea of trying to track those hours. Khan Academy for instance should track the number of hours spent on the site. Transferability of some skills into others makes the idea murkier though. It's off-topic but I kind of wonder if over-training in one area short-changes others, not just in terms of lost time opportunity but mentally- 1000 hours of chess might be great as a launchpad for other games or strategic thinking or something, but maybe 10,000 is subtractive when it comes to applying any of it elsewhere?
It would be also interesting to see elementary schools experiment with dividing incoming students into age groups - if there are three or four kindergarten classrooms in the school, assign students to each one by age. Slightly more radical would be to dump the school year and have semesters or quarters and students would enter each one as they are old enough, someone born in the summer might enter the fall quarter while a winter birthday would enter in the spring quarter. I like the idea of making a standard of abbreviated summer vacation, perhaps the summer quarter would be more laid back but would be greatly expanded from just existing for remedial purposes for a small number of students (I assume that is how it is now).
Examples how early access to computers made Bill Joy and Bill Gates who they are, then in later chapter says how schools don't need computers - they need more hours in school, though I suspect that staffing required for the very long school day and Saturday classes would cost a great deal more than a few computers. ...more
The book is really short but covers a lot of area, there is only slightly more information here than would have been gleaned by an average person liviThe book is really short but covers a lot of area, there is only slightly more information here than would have been gleaned by an average person living through the same time period while using the internet and google products some average amount.
The two section that did have a bit more detail than I was already familiar with was the book scanning project and the early history of Youtube. In the case of the book scanning I would have liked to see the same amount of money (speculated at well over a billion dollars) invested in developing the technology to make it much more automated and scalable rather than resorting to so much human labor. But it's nice they were able to scan so many books so quickly by those means. ...more
The first 90 pages are great, exactly the sort of pulpy sf humor from the 60s the book cover promises, the next hundred pages is the uninteresting phyThe first 90 pages are great, exactly the sort of pulpy sf humor from the 60s the book cover promises, the next hundred pages is the uninteresting physical and intellectual development of the protagonist followed by moral arguments against beatniks or socialism deposited on a new character who appears just for that purpose.
A couple of scenes involve relatively complex mechanisms built by the protagonist over a short period- there's something about the level of detail and the way of describing something much better left to a diagram that makes these parts annoying. A better author would leave more to the imagination rather than impart on the reader unimportant specifics about placement of components in unlikely contraptions....more
The concept of an anonymous autobiography is problematic and this undermines the earlier portions of this book, but it gets better once it starts to cThe concept of an anonymous autobiography is problematic and this undermines the earlier portions of this book, but it gets better once it starts to cover operations in Iraq or Afghanistan. There isn't a lot on the authors' pre-Navy Seal military experience or the admission process, and it seems like there is a large time gap between the author joining the Navy (in 1998?) and first combat (in 2003 or even 2004?), but this could be because the chronology is not linear and I wasn't completely paying attention to the audio book.
There is a mention of his team having smoked a box of cigars sent from the NRA, which seems odd given that from what I can tell from this book the job of the Navy Seals over at least the last 10 years is to blow open the doors of anti-government/anti-U.S. gun owners in the middle of the night and kill them, or at least capture them and confiscate their weapons....more
I didn't realize this was abridged before starting it, it probably would have rated higher unabridged. I suspect most of the interesting details haveI didn't realize this was abridged before starting it, it probably would have rated higher unabridged. I suspect most of the interesting details have been left out....more
The part of this book concerning the carrying out of the plot to kill Hitler is a single sentence declaring that the details are better documented elsThe part of this book concerning the carrying out of the plot to kill Hitler is a single sentence declaring that the details are better documented elsewhere. But the other parts are interesting WWII history from the German perspective. There are a few anecdotes that made me question if they actually happened to the author or were embellishments or stories of others reappropriated....more
The words 'Camelot 30k' conjurs up images of cyber-knights with laser swords astride chromed robot horses serialized in Heavy Metal magazine which isThe words 'Camelot 30k' conjurs up images of cyber-knights with laser swords astride chromed robot horses serialized in Heavy Metal magazine which is not at all what this book is about.
The opening info-dump is clunky and the rest is somewhat slow, but the spectacular ending makes up for it.
Alien world building isn't my favorite genre but the hard science approach makes the Kerack species compelling....more
A space opera that is extremely light on the space.
I found the interleaved convergent story thread structure of the original A Fire Upon The Deep fruA space opera that is extremely light on the space.
I found the interleaved convergent story thread structure of the original A Fire Upon The Deep frustrating because I was far less interested in primitive alien hive dogs than galactic culture and space battles. Many other books suffer the same problem, and I think the plot-twist/cliffhanger-then-cut-to something unrelated is overused by less skilled writers.
But because Children doesn't have any space travel the dedicated Tines storyline here doesn't suffer as much from constant interruption and comparison.
There was a Civ/RTS tech tree concept prominent early on which is very intriguing, and we're given tantalizing hints of the Blight preparing some sort of Zerg rush once they've followed their own tech reinvention graph. In contrast to the rigid trees in games the one here has multiple probabilistic paths.
Overall Deepness is the best book in the series and this one comes in last. I think all of them suffer from too many pages spent developing overly evil villains and intricate climaxes that dispose of them - it's exciting stuff but draining in a way that makes me never want to reread the books. Though now I want reread Fire because Children has shown me I have forgotten a huge amount of it. But there is also wikipedia.
One argument never raised against the deniers is that even if Countermeasure is evil, won't the blight/'rescue' fleet possibly want to destroy the Tines world without regard to whether there are some allies there?...more
I really liked the parts of this book that featured Richard, the online game T'Reign (or however it is spelled, I listened to this on audio), computerI really liked the parts of this book that featured Richard, the online game T'Reign (or however it is spelled, I listened to this on audio), computers, nerds and geeks and hackers of various flavors, and Seattle.
I didn't like Abdullah Jones or the extraordinary coincidence that introduces him. Other characters, events, and locales fell somewhere between those two poles. Unfortunately the really good parts are mostly in the first quarter of the book, re-appear halfway through, and then are gone.
The intricate action scenes were exciting, I feel like the author's mental model of a gunfight is transmitted thoroughly and a reader could make a video game that captures the same essence or write a completely unrelated book with the same style for those scenes.
The early descriptions of the fantasy computer game and its uses for security or quality control got me thinking it was preparatory material for some science fiction elements to be revealed later- like emergent hive minds or artificial intelligences. Some aspects of the game seem technically beyond the capabilities of the present massively multiplayer online role playing games or the players' internet connections- do any current ones really allow more than a few dozen players to interact with each other in the same area in real time? The computer vision very briefly described doesn't quite exist yet (at least not economically) though will soon.
One characters usage of a 'PDA' seemed archaic, a search and replace with 'tablet' would fix that. Also it wasn't always clear whether phones were smart phones or not, they seemed pre-iPhone/Android....more