Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

June 19, 2009

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman

Filed under: Science — Randolph @ 4:39 pm

Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. FriedmanI was disappointed overall, Thomas Friedman is too long-winded. I felt like he made his point, but had to keep driving it home for too many pages.

His analogies strike me as weak and often pointless. In one chapter he referred to an effort as the equivalent of 1,000,000 Noahs in order to stress its difficulty. Then repeatedly refered to ‘leaking arks’. The analogy had no other significance – aside from religious symbology.

His understanding of human nature seems weak at times, too. He only devotes a few pages to explaining to the green resistance why global warming is real. He seems to trivialize their position without providing any new proof of climate change.

He further goes to explain how the new technology to deal with our environemntal problems will be inevitably good for the companies, and how we will eventually pay lumber companies not to cut wood, and how concrete is bad for the environment without ever discussing what we’re oging to replace as new building materials.

He does have a lot of good information and ideas, though. But it seemed overly difficult to read this book to get to them. And I don’t feel he has provided any real insight as to how to address them. But he is avidly pronouncing that we cannot continue business as normal.

I don’t think he will reach the ears he needs to reach. Only the already-green public is likely to pick up this book.
I wrote this yesterday, upon rereading it, I feel its accurate but overly negative. I did enjoy most of the book and value the information I got out of it. Most of my complaints are about the presentation. Overall, I would prefer Al Gore’s books and writing style.

Chad Carpenter Presents Tundra In Full Color by Chad Carpenter

Filed under: Humor — Randolph @ 4:36 pm

In Full Color by Chad CarpenterI like Chad’s sense of humor.

June 4, 2009

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Filed under: Science — Randolph @ 3:12 pm

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm GladwellThe book discusses people at the extreme ends of society, and what events lead to that position. He makes the point that luck and timing are far more important than skills and knowledge.

It was an interesting read and the author makes some good points. But I suspect he is cherry-picking his data. Some of his assumptions didn’t seem reasonable, although the arguments ultimately didn’t rely heavily on them. however, it makes we want to see some raw data.

I think he goes to an excess in denying personal ability and interest in the drive toward success. But he drives a good point home that they can’t be all important as we are lead to believe.

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