This was a fun and interesting story. It kept me pretty rapt. It is one of those stories that keeps you listening for the most part.
It is a story of resurrection. Sometimes the PKD books that were based on earth and that dealt with modern social issues, instead of those that dealt with ephemeral hard core sci-fi, were his best. This is one of those books, which is more about ethereal, earthbound, social existence, and in as much this book examines PKD's later spirituality, and it resonates with the gnosticism that he exhibited in his later writings, it does so without the disorganized, manic, Geschwind type, madness of his other later writings. This book is reminiscent of "Confessions of a Crap Artist" written in the 1960's by PKD, which is one of my favorite books by him even though it had only a slight sci-fi edge to it, but the examination in that book of someone with schizotypal personality disorder, and the examination and resurrection of sorts in this book of someone with hebephrenia is where I make the connection, and it is where the theme of resurrection comes in. This book is a treasure, and I hope you mine it and enjoy it they way I do. Also, I really enjoyed the reader. She did a great job.
From what I understand from some other people, especially those in the psychology field, this book is controversial because Amy Chua is seen as abusive, but really...come on. What Amy Chua is, is a smart ambitious woman who happens to be raising very smart and ambitious children. This woman isn't abusing her kids. She is simply being ambitious for them. I commend her for writing an honest and funny memoir about her particular parenting style. It was a good story, and was well worth listening to.
Is Amy Chua neurotic? Yes, yes she is. Is she wrong about how she parents her children? No, not at all. Her parenting style could be considered authoritarian, and popular psychology would have parents believe that authoritarian parenting styles do not necessarily have the best outcomes, but that point is debatable.
This book provides interesting insight, and I personally appreciate this woman letting us all glimpse the perspectives of an Asian-American woman.
Dr. Siegel's basic premise is to practice Zen Buddhism as a form of psychotherapy. As far as it goes, this therapeutic idea probably works wonders if Dr. Siegel is the one administering the therapy session. As a practice on your own it would be more difficult, and it would require more discipline and insight than most mentally ill people are able to muster. The idea of mind-body therapeutics is refreshing, especially since it comes from a medical doctor with such a prestigious background, but is it really practical? By practical I mean would an insurance company be willing to pay for medical services that essentially amount to meditation practice? Probably not. The idea that meditation practice is positive for remolding the brain and becoming self-aware is good information. The suggestions to practice Buddhist like meditation is probably helpful, but keep in mind that most forms of psychotherapy are found to be equally effective. So if Dr. Siegel were to do a scientific investigation to find out if this form of therapy were more effective than Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, traditional talk therapy, or even simple bible study and prayer, it would make the information more significant, but until a scientific evaluation of this type of therapy becomes available I would question the usefulness of Dr. Siegel's therapeutic solutions.
This book as other reviewers have claimed does leave a lot of opened doors and unanswered questions. Card himself admits openly in the post book interview that this was a commercial ploy more than and honest attempt at writing a full novel. As such I will be buying the next Ender or Shadow book as soon as it is released in order to tie up all of the loose ends left by this book and the last Ender book. From a literary standpoint this book is worth buying, especially to those of us who have followed this series since we were young Ender's age and are now in our mid-thirties. Card is still my favorite author despite his need for consecrating himself through profits rather than simply being true to his art and simply writing books that people want to read because they are good, but whoever said that money doesn't rule the world was a damn liar, and apparently Mr. Card is no stranger to or no more immune to mammon than anyone else is.
This book is very interesting and very well written. The story itself should be called "A confederacy of dunce geniuses". What is inspiring about this story is that it could have only happened in America. Only in America would the conditions be correct for a group of men be so egotistical, "irrationally exuberant", and innovative to the point that they are able to get billions and billions of dollars of other peoples money to invest and make themselves rich in the process, but they did this without ever creating a single thing to sell except paper.
It also goes to show that the love and creation of money for money's sake is a notion this inherently sick. Behind the study of greed and money for money's sake is a study of personality types. The narcissism of geeks and the drives that this creates is a worth studying all by itself.
I learned quite a few things about Keynes and economics in general that I'd not previously known. Keynes was a much more interesting man than I would have imagined and his philosophy was quite a bit more realistic and utilitarian than I would have imagined. It seems that maybe if his philosophy had been applied more rigorously then it was the outcomes of Keynesian style economics would have been better. As it stands right now it is simply driving America into deeper and deeper financial holes that will become increasingly difficult to extract ourselves from.
Overall this book is a good look at the other side of the Supply Side and Austrian School economic arguments. It is worth listening to in my opinion.
It's a good book but why isn't his theory more widely accepted or well known? From a research standpoint Dr. Altermeyer has done the research about as well as it can be done. The whole analysis about how the different personality types conduct War Games is splendid. Also, personality research is a notoriously fishy subject due to the fact that you only get out what you put in, but I still can't help but wonder why his theory and research isn't more widely accepted in the academic world? This is important stuff. It seems to me that this particular subject is important and especially relevant because it answers several important questions like: how do we get ourselves into messy wars, and how do we end up with tyrannical leaders like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Obama, and George Bush? It can also tell you where Islamic fundamentalists and Islamic terrorist come from. Personally, I think Dr. Altermeyer is not accepted as credible because his research calls into question and draws attention to things that the mainstream academic powers that be don't want people to know or think about. Because if people did become more aware of the things that are in Dr. Altermeyer's book then they wouldn't be so easily brainwashed by politicians on the left or the right.
Yeah, so read this book at your own risk. Once the corporatist state finds out that you know the truth you will end up in a FEMA camp. I'll see you there :-)
It is simply not proper or ethical to put all of those little boys on speed. The author makes a case that the speed that we put these kids on actually destroys or desensitizes the parts of the brain that control motivation. Personally, I think that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to back him up. If someone was willing to do the research there would be plenty of statistical evidence also, but prescribing medication is seen as a simple and cost effective solution to make a teachers job easier, and doctors aren't going to go out of their way to prove that the methods they have used for the past 3 decades and still currently use are devastating the neural structures of the poor children whose neural structures have been devastated by these chemicals. Besides, handing out speed to kindergartners is a big business. It's a big business for the school psychologist who diagnose the kids with ADHD, it's big business for the pediatricians or psychiatrists who give the prescriptions, and it's big business for the pharmaceutical companies that produce the pills. So you'd better believe that none of these entities involved in the ADHD craze are going to go out of there way to produce a shred of evidence to debunk the whole charade. They want your children to be zombies, whatever happens when the kid turns 18 doesn't matter to them, they won't have to deal with him at that point, but when he is five or six they want a little boy who will sit in a chair and that's all, even if that's all he does. When he becomes an ambitionless man he will be gone from kindergarten by that time, so he's not their problem. Also the author is right. We have a neutered society. It has lost it's balls to feminism and political correctness, but oh well.
I wouldn't be surprised if this book wins the best novel awards in Sci-Fi. It certainly deserves it. With that being said.
There is a certain, I don't know the word, I'll just call it aura or feel, to this novel. The bleak but hopeful picture that the book paints about the near future is fathomable. 3-D virtual reality, MMOG style universes, like the Oasis, are perfectly feasible with existing technology. The technology that will be developed in the next 30 years will make Mr. Cline's universe even more likely. People already clamor for escapes from reality with television, facebook, audiobooks, and especially video games. So, it won't be long before people strap into VR rigs and become completely immersed in false realities that are much better. I think that the future painted by Ernest Cline is very realistic, and that makes this book even more interesting. Also, Cline raises some philosophical issues that people already deal with who exist in some form or fashion on the internet. All and all it was an extremely well written and interesting book.
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