Not just for aspiring authors, this is a book you should read simply because it's a great book: well written, entertaining and thought provoking. If you ever intend to write anything -- even a letter to your mother -- it will help you do it better. But even if you are only a reader, and never intend to write a word for any reason for the rest of your life, you'll love it for the peek you'll get at the windmills inside a great author's mind.
The theories and data in the book are truly fascinating, but the author’s style and the narration detract from the content.
The main theme contrasts how our minds work with the way computers work. The writer's hypothesis is that no one will ever build an "intelligent" computer using the existing "computational" design structure of computers, even as technology progresses to produce increased computational speed and memory capacity (which, according to the author, have been the traditional, but incorrect, explanations for "artificial intelligence’s" failure to replicate the “true intelligence” of the human mind). The book contains many eye opening examples of things no computer has ever accomplished, but we accomplish easily and quickly with our minds – and others that human minds accomplish in a fraction of a second, but the biggest and fastest computers built to date take hours to "compute" – and it explains why.
But the author’s interesting message suffers from his lack of focus in choosing an audience and writing for that audience. Instead, the book oscillates (in an almost schizophrenic way) between excessive scientific minutia (which seems to have been directed at convincing the scientific community of his credentials, and the validity of his theories); and "talking down" to the average reader (so they'll "get it"). And unfortunately, the style problem is compounded by the narrator’s tone of voice, which makes the writer sound arrogant and condescending. Other authors have proven that scientific data can be presented in an interesting and intelligible way, even to lay audiences. (One obvious example is the light hearted and entertaining style of Bill Bryson in A Short History of Almost Everything.)
In short, while the content of the book is clearly fascinating, I think most readers would enjoy it more if they waited for an Audible abridged version, with (hopefully) a better narrator.
Side splittingly funny, with wonderfully entertaining caricatures of the players,the other caddies, and himself. The only drawback is that I wish I could give it to my 16 year old golfing-daughter to read, but it is unfortunately X-rated -- not detractingly vulgar as an adult read, but clearly not for kids.
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