This books provides a great historical view of market failure. It is extremely informative and devastatingly enlightening.
I quite enjoyed the "long view" that this book takes... it shows that only a few people truly understand how the markets work and constantly work towards optimising profits at the expense of others. It also shows that there is a clear role for governments to play in market economics so we don't constantly end up in economic meltdown.
The thesis of the book absolutely shatters the illusion of any pure free market capitalism - without proper government regulation, it is unlikely that the capitalist system will survive... it might even be too late to save it, given the current state of Europe.
Highly recommend this book.
Drift provides a great critical history of the abuses of executive power by recent U.S. presidents based on the terrible presets set by Ronald Reagan, and his illegal arming of Iran to pay for the contras in Nicaragua - all in clear violation of international law. The book also details the shift from a state run army to an unaccountable outsourced army (i.e., Blackwater and friends), which closely mirrors arguments found in Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine. Maddow makes a strong case that the U.S. constitution has strong checks and balances to force Americans to engage in debate and pay a heavy cost when going to war, but that recent governments is actively undermining the constitution by using paid mercenaries or playing dangerous semantic games which leaves them unaccountable for war crimes. It seems that this is all going to end really badly for the U.S., which is a shame. Great read.
This is quite a provocative and mostly humorous view of the European economic meltdown . It does provide a fairly lighthearted and mocking view about the causes of the economic crisis and casts the blame at the stupidity of various nations and the greed of others (e.g., Iceland and the Greeks rightfully get chastised for their lies and sheer economic stupidity... as do the Germans either because they are just greedy or just plain stupid). However, the book sometimes goes a little far with focusing on the character of a people as a whole to the point of sounding uncomfortably racist. Apart from that, I quite enjoyed the book, as it provides a nice contrast to other more "serious" books on the matter.
I'm no economist, but I found this book extremely insightful and level headed. It is very well researched and arguments are clearly articulated with plenty of examples that demystify concepts that have been deliberately obscured by governments and the banking industry. It's one of those books that, if you don't already know too much about the subject, can radically alter the way you understand the global economy.
Although I agree with the general thesis of this book, technical and political aspects are so wrong that it completely undermines the credibility of the author. For example, it is stated that MS Windows is an "open" system (monopolies are not "open"). That "tagging" has some relationship to XML (it does not). The book is extremely one sided. I listened to about half of it and gave up. I've only bought two books that I wish I could return... this is one of them.
I've read other semi-biographies of Jobs and, working with a lot of people in the tech industry, I'd heard many of the stories of how much of a bastard he was. However, this biography left me quite bemused and surprised: I never expected Jobs to be such a disgustingly-shameless-sociopath-brat-cry-baby! even to the last minute, with Jobs having to have control over the cover image of the book.
I don't think he would have liked much of what is inside this book; which is what makes it great.
It's amazing that Jobs sought out Isaacson to write this biography. And Isaacson, pre-warning Jobs that he was going to uncover all the dirt, delivers a very inhuman story. In Isaacson other book on Einstein, he also revealed Albert's many flaws and brought Albert down to our level. With this book, he absolutely devastates the image of Jobs as a great business leader and as human being: from his stinky hippy days, to his denial of his daughter Lisa and smear campaign of the mother, to his tyrannical and plainly mean way he constantly ripped-off and mistreated other people.
I guess Job's own reflection of his life must have been also distorted by his "reality distortion field". It's great that this book came out when it did. If anything, it shows that Steve Jobs was not in the same league as other great inventors and geniuses of the past century. Jobs just rode on the great ideas of those around him. If it was him that made those ideas successful is unclear, so Jobs is just shown as part of the greater collective that was, and remains, Apple computers.
I anything, it's good that Isaacson shows why no one should take inspiration from the cold, hard, tyrannical a**hole that was Steve Jobs. A great read! And proof you can't judge a book by its cover.
As a bit of a nerd who is involved in security matters, I was initially skeptical about buying this book. I'm really glad I did as it is extremely well researched, and the story is very captivating. The book also covers cross-continental politics and policing, and will make you think twice before ever handing over your credit card to anyone. The reading is also really great. Really glad I read this.
The book presents interesting premise and sets out to present "facts" about various issues. However, the author carefully crafts half truths or clear bias. What the author considers "facts" are often just personal opinions not backed by any data. I found myself constantly scratching my head, going "did he just say that without considering cases x. y, z"? There be no facts to be found in this book. Only weak opinions and unfounded delusions. At least the author is a self proclaimed idiot. Save you money, go and buy
Freakonomics or something more interesting by Malcolm Gladwell or Richard Dawkings.
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