Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Review of The Blank Swan: The End of Probability by Elie Ayache

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Philosophy, Epistemology
Intriguing Connections: The Style of Math

Short Description

Elaborate Description

Probability is about potential world states.  But reality is about contingences that happen.  Events that are actualized.  That are written.  That fill in the blank spaces.  In contrast to the impact of highly unexpected events deemed Black Swans, or the highly expected events of White Swans, the processes of reality are Blank Swans.  Neither about probabilities nor about possibilities.  They are the events that happen.  Possibility is a metaphysical construct to explain historical contingencies, projected forward.  The world is made of contingency, but it incorporates values that we expect of the future, of different futures.  The transitions into the future are real which are marked by the material process.  It is not based on predictions or forecasts.

Whether events are predictable or unpredictable, they represent the content of vision.  Unpredictable events are usually not taken into account until they occur, at which point they are considered to be part of the possibilities which are prepared for.  The market does not trade probable futures, but the value and price worth presently.  The price represents the trade, while what is earned represents a difference.  It is a direct statement related to someone else’s value set.  

Words spoken are predictions of being understood.  All knowledge is predictions about entities of the world and their properties.  The market replaces knowledge as it is not theory, the prices actually happen.  The market is a medium of contingency.  The market does not represent the future, it represents the performative moment of the trade.  

The book has an important concept to deliver, but the delivery itself is a failure.  Rather than elucidating the concept, the book progressively becomes more convoluted.  There are themes that run through the book, such as of writing and the market, but they become seemingly more difficult to understand.  Understanding many explanations requires to already have known a lot of specific background knowledge, which makes understanding the topic very difficult.  The book’s difficulty partly lies with the context of a very novel idea of contingency as apposed to probabilities.  It will take other books and possible other authors to make the ideas in this book applicable to the real world.  That is this book’s value, its failing delivery succeeds in inspiring ideas to make them palpable.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What is probability?
•What is the different between the Black, White, and Blank Swan?
•What are contingences?
•How is it possible not to have probabilities?
•What does the market do?
•What is knowledge?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9780470661765
Pages to read:   585
Publication:     2010
1st Edition:      2010
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    1
Content          2
Overall           2


Monday, August 30, 2021

Review of If Ignorance Is Bliss, We Should All Be Ecstatic by Fred Leavitt

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Philosophy, Epistemology
Intriguing Connections = What Makes Science A Science?

Short Description

Excerpts

“Deducing a pattern, a possible relationship between variables that had seemed unrelated, is hailed as discovery of THE relationship between them.  The discovery of a possible cause for the events of previously unknown origin is hailed as discovery of THE cause.  We seek to find patterns even when there are none.” – Fred Leavitt, Chapter 3: The Illusion of Knowledge, Page 16

“We felt superior to those unenlightened folks.  We were mistaken.  Everybody clings to irrational, unjustified beliefs.  They make the world comprehensible, so they are rarely challenged.  Reevaluation might lead to the realization that they are false.” – Fred Leavitt, Chapter 6: Pillar 2: Religious Faith, Page 25

“There are no infallible methods of verification.  You cannot apprehend her sensations.  Even two brains hooked together and exposed to identical stimuli would not experience identical feelings.” – Fred Leavitt, Chapter 10: Pillar 4: Empiricism Except for Science, Page 103

Excerpts with permission from the Author

Meet the Author

Interview with Fred Leavitt (YouTube link)  


Elaborate Description

This book questions everything that you think you know.  What we know comes from four sources, and neither source can be completely trusted.  Each has many problems.  The four sources are innate knowledge, religion, reason, and empiricism.  Being radically skeptical means having doubt in all beliefs, as the premise of fallibilism claims that there is no conclusively justifiable belief.  Being open-minded means accepting that there is no basis for estimating the incident or magnitude of deception or barriers to knowledge.  As the mind searches for patterns, the mind will find patterns even when there are none.  Concern for truth does not shape worldviews.  Worldviews are shaped by a pretentious need to understand.

Innate knowledge comes from genetically tailored knowledge.  There is some knowledge that come prepacked to use for future generations.  Behaviors that are known before interacting with the world.  The problem is that they are not always right and can be misused.  They are also limited, as the world provides many different events which require interactions that are not innate but learned.  

Religious knowledge comes from beliefs about faith which leads to explanations about death, history, and appropriate behavior.  They may be irrational and unjustified beliefs, but they make the world comprehensible.  Everyone has those believes whether they are religious or not.  Because these beliefs make the world comprehensible, they are rarely challenged which makes it hard to reevaluate them.  Having a religion can help keep groups together as they have something in common, enabling coordination.  Trusting the words of authority is valuable for survival, but it can also lead to gullibility which continues throughout life.  The benefits of religion is that they can help get people to act in their own best interest.  To care for the wellbeing of the community.  The lessons of religion may be fiction and create illusions, but illusions help people keep optimist and foster happiness.  Without illusions, people tend to be depression-prone.  

The problem with religious knowledge is that it can contribute to social problems rather than minimize them, as most violent crimes are done by people who are religious.  Religious institutions depend on income like any other institution, but this dependency means that they can legitimize very terrible acts.  The more cherished the beliefs, the more people persist by ignoring and actively avoiding information that challenges them.  There are also many religious books which claim to represent reality, and the books are different and do not agree with each other.  

Reason determines knowledge from mathematical and logical deductions.  Simple observations can determine complex relationships.  The narrow visions of scientists and philosophers can be even narrower than theologians who value reason and observation alongside faith.  The preeminence to logical analysis and sensory data requires truth that acts like faith in reason and empiricism.  Self-deception, not holding an accurate world view, can sometimes be more optimal than seeking truth through reason.  Certain lines of reasoning are motivated by beliefs systems, which individuals try to confirm rather than seek potentially compromising challenges to ideas.  

Inductive arguments come from logically inferring a conclusion from two or more premises.  The conclusion never lead to certainty, no matter the strength of the premises.  All reason commits at least one of three fallacies which collectively are known as Agrippa’s Trilemma.  The fallacies are infinite regression, uncertain assumption, or circular reason.  Infinite regression means that claims need to have supporting evidence which it self needs to be supported.  Uncertain assumptions are the self-evident beliefs that are used as starting points.  Circular reasoning tries to fit claims into a coherent system but many of the claims can be consistent while untrue.  Logical arguments can rearrange information, but do not add any information, while the premises needed to come from somewhere.  

Empirical knowledge comes from sensory information.  The way in which people interact with the world is through senses.  The problem is that senses are highly limited, which cannot observe the whole reality.  Different animals perceive the world differently, and each cannot explain the complexity of the whole.  There are infinite interpretations that are compatible with perception, of which many are in conflict.  Identical stimuli will cause different feelings to different people.  

Science and reason have many conflicting views.  With philosophers giving precedence to reason, and scientists giving precedence to empiricism.  Scientific hypotheses and theories can be tested, but they are based on invalid confirmatory syllogism.   Scientist need to publish articles to be competitive, but that means they and their colleagues value quantity over quality.  More and more papers are being published without rigorous checking for errors, or searching for alternative explanations.  Many scientists who are supposed to be independent fact checkers, are usually under the influence of a profit motivated corporation or themselves have motives other than efficacy research.  Making the research even more precarious is the impact of minor differences, as minute differences in initial condition can have vastly altered consequences.  Another problem with research is that it needs to be replicated, but replication is discouraged.  The claims being made about discoveries are usually dramatized.  Rather than finding a potential pattern or cause, they become seen the explanation for the pattern or cause.

The media is meant to provide a check on claims of politicians, corporations, and others.  The problem is that the media cannot be completely trusted.  They cannot report on all stories and facts, and usually filter the stories they select through an ideological background.  Framing issues to suit their audience.  With many articles being deleted that did not support their advertiser’s ideology.  As many decisions are not made public, the media has limited access to information.  Even if information could be obtained, media personnel are lazy with limited resources while pressed by deadlines, causing them not to do proper investigations.  Focusing on easily explainable stories than those that take time.  

The internet provides sites based on individual view history, which means that the viewer gets more of the same information.  Misinformation goes uncorrected as contradictory evidence is ignored.  People also become resistant to easily refutable attacks on their knowledge, but this causes them to withstand better evidence, which causes them not to be persuaded to further appropriate evidence.  In such a way, many conspiracies that had initially weak evidence, were refuted but were actually correct.  History books provide information that comes from authors efforts in obtaining supporting documentation.  The problem is that the chronicles of history can be inaccurate.  

A problem with the book is that it is not always gentle about explaining the limitations to knowledge.  In many cases, strongly held beliefs are attacked vigorously.  The author acknowledges that the people who hold such beliefs are not likely to continue reading the book.  This makes it appear that the book is written as validation for those who already agree with skepticism than for those who would like to consider learning and trying out skepticism.  The book contains many examples, usually to support the claims being made.  The problem with so many examples is that the general skeptical understanding can be lost in the details.


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What is skepticism?  How does it differ from radical skepticism? 
•What are the four sources of knowledge?
•What is fallibilism?
•What efficacy does each source of knowledge have?
•What does it mean to be open-minded?
•How are worldviews shaped?
•What are the limits to knowledge? 
•Why is innate knowledge a source of knowledge?
•What are the problems with innate knowledge?
•Why is religion a source of knowledge?
•What are the problems with religion?
•How do illusions benefit individuals? 
•How does religion foster social cohesion?
•How do religions foster social problems?
•Why is reason a source of knowledge?
•What are syllogisms?
•Why do people confirm their views rather than try to disconfirm? 
•Do scientists have narrow views?
•What is the Agrippa’s Trilemma? 
•What are the problems with reason?
•Why is empiricism a source of knowledge?
•What are the problems with empiricism?
•Why do science and reason have conflicting views? 
•What are the limits to information provided by the media?
•How does the internet filter information? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9781948598446
Pages to read:   245
Publication:     2021
1st Edition:      2021
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          5
Overall           5


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Review of The Story of the Goths by Henry Bradley

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History, Empires

Short Description

Excerpts 

“Thousands of Gothic prisoners were sold into slavery; many of the young men were taken to serve in the imperial armies; and the shattered remnant of the people fled into the recesses of the Balkan mountains, where their numbers were lessened y the cold of winter and the outbreak of a dreadful plague.” – Henry Bradley, Chapter III: Fire and Sword in Asia and Greece, Page 26

“When they came to subdue the empire, it was no longer as savage devastators, but as the saviours of the Roman world from the degradation into which it had sunk through the vices of corrupt civilization, and through the misgovernment of its feeble depraved rulers.” – Henry Bradley, Chapter III: Fire and Sword in Asia and Greece, Page 26

“Probably we have lost little by this silence of the historians; for the story of an uncivilized people does not contain much that is worth telling, when there are no battles or migrations to record”” – Henry Bradley, Chapter IV: How the Goths Fought With Constantine, Page 28

Elaborate Description

There are two Gothic peoples whose names stand out in history: Visigoths, and Ostrogoths.  The Goths had many diverse qualities which were even acknowledged by their enemies.  Depending on the situational context, they could be brave, patient, cruel, and tolerant, even while overcoming hardships.  They had many victories and many losses.  From each they learned to become better.  From their losses they learned strategies that could be used in the future.  From their victories they learned what it meant to rule wisely.  Local ties mattered for decisions, but when faced with a struggle they banned together into a massive force.  Their reasons for war inspiring others to join.  With leadership containing a quasi-democratic republic.  

Goths had their own alphabet comprised of runes.  Very few could read or write, which meant that writing had an aura of mystery, which is what rune means; a secret or mystery.  Knowledge contained within the runes was kept with a learned caste.  Most Gothic history is unrecorded partly because of the scarcity of literacy, but also because the events that made Gothic history were those of battle, migration, and hardship.  Peace’s evanescence held no events to write about.  

At times they had their own kingdom and a quasi-democratic republic government.  With leaders being chosen rather than only dependent on bloodlines.  Leaders needed to be accepted by the communities.  But at times the Goths were ruled by others, and were not allowed to choose their own fate.  

What gave the Goths their stay in popular history is their relationship with the Roman Empire.  Sometimes being in battle with Rome.  Sometimes being at peace with Rome.  Sometimes ruling over Rome.  Sometimes being employed by Rome.  Making and breaking treaties based on the context of their relationship.  Showing the importance and consequences of geopolitical maneuvering. 

The book is a bit difficult to read, with many aspects of the Gothic people seemingly missing.  Hard to understand a society when their social relations are given sporadically, and the peoples’ diversity seem to sometimes contradict.  A good overall history with many details during certain events, but need to be more systematic to understand the Goths appropriately.  

Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•Who were the Goths?
•Who were the Visigoths?
•Who were the Ostrogoths?
•What are the Goths known for?
•What were the Goths military achievements?
•How did the Goths shape geopolitics?
•How did the Goths select their leadership?
•What became of the Goths?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  2940158021398
Pages to read:   238
Publication:     2016
1st Edition:      1888
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          3
Overall           2



Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Review of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Novel

Short Description

Quotes

“I had reason to believe I might be a match for the greatest army they could bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw.” – Jonathan Swift, Chapter 1, Page 16

“They found by my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me; and being a most ingenious people, they slung up with great dexterity” – Jonathan Swift, Chapter 1, Page 18

“I now considered myself as bound, by the laws of hospitality, to a people who had treated me with so much expense and magnificence.” – Jonathan Swift, Chapter 1, Page 18


Elaborate Description

Gulliver is a ship’s surgeon, whom on two different accounts got stuck at mysterious lands due to a storm.  These unexpected travels include Lilliput and Brobdingnag.  The land of Lilliput has everything in miniature, with Gulliver being a giant in respect to the people and everything there.  The land of Brobdingnag has everything enlarged, with Gulliver being tiny in respect to the people and everything there.  In both lands, Gulliver needs to learn the language to communicate with the people.  Gulliver uses political finesse and guile to gain freedom and understanding.  With his unique perspective and abilities, Gulliver is able to shape each lands geopolitics.  Although prone to adventure, Gulliver seeks escape back home.  

The book is fairly well written, but many parts have poor flow due to antediluvian syntax.  Interesting tales that can facilitate an understanding on how to treat others and the respective consequences.  


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book

•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•How did Gulliver come to be at Lilliput?
•How did Gulliver survive at Lilliput? 
•What is fascinating about Lilliput?
•How did Gulliver shape Lilliput’s geopolitics? 
•How did Gulliver come to be at Brobdingnag?
•How did Gulliver survive at Brobdingnag? 
•What is fascinating about Brobdingnag?
•How did Gulliver shape Brobdingnag’s geopolitics? 
•What skills did Gulliver use and need at Lilliput and Brobdingnag?

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  2940152130089
Pages to read:   144
Publication:     2015
1st Edition:      1726
Format:            eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          1
Overall           2



Sunday, August 15, 2021

Review of Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World by Hugh Pope

This review is written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = History, Empires 

Short Description

Elaborate Description

Turkic history emphasized the military’s role.  It is the military that pervades and shapes daily life and politics.  Turks have a violent past which they have trouble apologizing for.  Victims of Turkic conquerors in history, are victimizing their Turkic contemporaries.  In some regions, Turkic people are a majority and discriminate against others.  In regions where the Turkic people are a minority, are discriminated against.  Some regions support the diversity that Turkic people represent.  Turkic people have strong familial and personal ties with each other that even override contractual obligations.  Even though their values support an entrepreneurial culture, rampant corruption restricts economic development. 

There is not much to distinguish between civilian and military.  Although ironically the civilians and military occupy different spaces which creates an almost separate economy.  Military officers rarely socialize with their civilian counterparts.  Elite warriors of Ottoman Empire called janissaries made or broke governments.  In the late 20th century, the military still had major claim to policy making.  Staging coups which determined who became took leadership.  The military considers itself main guarantor of Turks’ independence and sovereignty, which many Turks in agreement.  

Conscription is universal, while objectors are jailed.  The universal conscription is meant to homogenize the people, teach skills, travel around the country, and learn Turkish.  Ruled through fear.  Few people publicly doubt the military’s motives.  Internal division or problems are handled secretly.  When the civilian government takes charge of basic administration, they tend to not perform well and the military retakes control.  The influence of the military prevents civilian politicians from taking responsibility of their actions, and learning how to manage affairs appropriately without military supervision.  Public service used to be an honorable profession but has become demoralized with lagging salaries.

Turkey itself is a EU candidate member, but both see problems with each other.  Holding vastly different political cultures and value sets.  Resenting the demand of civilian control, and rejecting minority rights.  Turkish people recognize the lack of commitment on territorial integrity of states as Western intervention had devastating impacts on certain regions. 

Turks are natural entrepreneurs for their values of risk and personal control.  Willing to establish factories and invest internationally.  Turkish families tend to act as an investing unit and willing to support abroad family members.  Personal ties are critical for investments, as contracts mean little.  Any deal is permanently open for renegotiation, no matter how frank and trustworthy Turks are.  Turkish trade is not a favorable profession as it was held with contempt by the Turkish-Muslin ruling class, as it has been by the 18th century English, or even the Byzantine aristocracy.  Culturally containing rampant corruption as the expectation is not the work the job offers, but the bribes that can be made.

Turkic institutions are changing as they seek external sources of ideas that can be applied to make their societies better.  A willingness to engage with the international community to build better relations, and engage with internal community to provide more stability.

A problem with the book is that the history of the Ottoman Empire is sporadic and superficial, making difficult to engage the continuity of the Turkic peoples.  As the book focus on a very short timeframe, and few examples from various countries, it makes it difficult to generalize the experience for the various communities.  The examples do highlight various experiences of the Turkic people, but understanding is difficult without the depth of diverse informational sources. 


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•Who are the Turkic people?
•What role does military play in the Turkic societies?
•What are the relations between Turkic people and other?  With China?  With Russia?  With the US?  People within their communities?
•How do family ties influence communities?
•Is Turkic culture entrepreneurial? 
•How is trade perceived? 
•How is dissent handled?
•How did the historic Ottoman Empire influence contemporary situations?  
•Are Turkic communities changing? 
•How does the EU and Turkey perceive each other? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9781585678044
Pages to read:   389
Publication:     2005
1st Edition:      2005
Format:           Hardcover

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          4
Overall           3


Review of The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul by Connie Zweig

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Psychology
Intriguing Connections = The Persecuted and The Persecutors

Short Description

Elaborate Description
This book acts as a practical guide to do the inner work of age.  To know how to orient oneself when faced or facing age.  To do inner work of self-reflection that facilitates awareness and overcoming inner obstacles.  Humans used to have shorter life spans with many years of decline and loss of capacities.  But now humans have an extended life span with decades of good health until sudden decline before death.  Cultural messages and media marketing discriminate against age, or are ageist.  Projecting negative stereotypes of elderly as frail, senile, or needy.  This is a devaluation of elders who have obtained a lifetime of skill and wisdom.  Elders have a bountiful of experience.  Which can be shared and be used by future generations.

The early 20th and 21st century culture has no guides for transitioning to older years and becoming Elders.  Denying reality is easy in an anti-aging culture, until the problems drag the individual to the inevitable reality.  Aging has complex and opposite dimensions such as freedom and dependency, vitality and fatigue, gains and losses, beginnings and endings.  Aging is different in different bodies and different cultures, but eventually, the fate of the human being is death.

Neither the promises or perils to aging should be denied, as focusing on either or places the other into a blind spot.  The gifts and struggles allow for developmental possibilities and overcoming challenges.  It is an age that is unnamed, making it difficult to discuss and conceptualize.   Becoming an Elder needs a rite of passage, to make it a conscious process.  People’s longevity increased, but with it changed the form and meaning of life, and changed how communities and families develop.  Teaching and passing on that experience allowed everyone to benefit from the experience.

Creativity does not end in youth.  The wisdom, longing, and mortality awareness provide powerful ingredients for creative thought.  Work ageism dictates that older worker are less productive, harder to teach, and cost more.  But turns out that there are many benefits to having older workers as they can be high performing in many ways, and create stability.  Many people want to keep working because it gives them meaning, purpose, and structure.  Some cannot afford to retire.  Companies founded by older people have a much higher chance to be successful.

Because of the negative stereotypes, the elderly themselves choose to act as if they are younger.  Being a target of ageism affects health, more so when the ageist is internalized.  Culture has segregated age.  From a lack of mutigenerational homes to young, middle-age, and older people not sharing any time together because they inhabit different places.  There is a lot of efficiency in having mutigenerational homes.  Sharing time together also shares experiences.  The age segregation means that elders are often not seen and become very lonely.  Loneliness creates negative health outcomes. 

Aging is sometimes seen as either being successful vs failed, which results in self-blame and shame when the individual does not live up to society’s standards.  The perceived failures of aging such as illness, needs to be placed in context of its complexity and mystery.  The emotional, social, existential, and spiritual dimensions of a person’s life should not be ignored when they are ill, while conventional language adds more suffering to illness by ignoring those dimensions. 

The Shadow is a reference to the subconscious.  Containing the traits and feelings that are rejected or unacceptable.  But because so much is buried in the Shadow, it also contains many valuable hidden gifts and talents.  Denial of age through various means prevents development by creating internal obstacles.  Resisting transition prevents the discovery of hidden power in late life.  Those inner obstacles need to be handled internally, to age from the inside out.  By consciously examining denial, an individual can live in the present.  Reinvention from the outside in can create the same persona but in new roles.

Psychological and spiritual practices facilitate a discovery of human development. It’s not about what is or is not done.  It’s about the process of getting things done.  The state of mind arising from the inner work of age.  Releasing former heroic efforts and values, wounds and regrets, allows the individual to understand from a higher vantage.  Discovering renewed purpose and meaning which creates a transition from Hero to Elder.  It requires effort to shift from role to soul.  Cultivating the Elder by intentional inner work.  This means freedom from the past, having a presence, awareness of shadow, and service to the common good. 

Obstacles to finding the hidden values include being unaware of internal ageism by denying age.  Being beholden to former values which are no longer appropriate, lack self-reflection, ignoring physical or cognitive symptoms which prevent opportunities for self-care, regret or victimize personal history are all signs of the inner ageist.  Denial of age, illness, and death prevent triggers for change.  The messengers of age, illness, and death provide awareness of nature’s fragility and the quality of time.  They reorient priorities to what is essential, and away from the trivial.  Values that are gifts of mortality awareness.

Keys to value are hiding in darkness, beneath awareness.  The three qualities of awareness are shadow, pure, and mortality.  Awareness of the shadows results in self-knowledge about missed opportunities that can be used.  Pure awareness comes about through reflection and silence.  A way and place to calm the noisy mind.  Resulting in recovery and rejuvenation of the mind.  The preciousness of life and available time only comes about after looking at death.  Death can be a teacher, if the individual allows it to be.  

A life review facilitates seeing from deep and wide vantage.  It can help release the past and allow the individual to live in the moment.  Self-reflection that increased insight, and allows the repair the past and pass on what was learned.  

Each chapter contains shadow character, and practices that can be guideposts on the way to becoming away of the shadows and living a more fulfilling life.  The practices need to customized for what the reader resonates with, but also to avoid customizing them for dogma, projection, and other sacrifices of essential parts that make individual.  

Although the book is going against ageism there is a bit of ageism in it.  There are many attributes which are given to the Elders, but focusing on only the Elders, it appears that the attributes apply only to Elders.  The lessons from aging and generally this book, can be applied no matter one’s age.  There seems to be a lot of requirements and obstacle to become an Elders.  The attributes seem virtues, but they may not be fully applicable to everyone.  The obstacles seem like vices, but they can enable many positive outcomes given the context.  Another problem with the book is assuming that being an Elder means having a lot of experience that can be shared.  But just having experience does not make it in and of itself useful.  Experience needs to be put in appropriate context.  Relating experience may be completely inappropriate given that it comes from a different time and context.  This can be overcome by sharing values which leads to an understanding appropriate context.  


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What is the inner work of age?
•What is the Shadow and what does it contain?
•Why is awareness part of the process? 
•What qualities of awareness are there?
•What are the inner obstacles?
•How has being human changed?  How has being older changed?
•What does culture and media project unto elders?
•Why do people discriminate against age?
•What values do elders have?
•What are the gifts and struggles with age? 
•What use would a rite of passage for age have?
•How does social engagement change with age?
•What are some work ageism’s?
•What are the benefits of having Elders at work?
•Why do some Elders want to stay at work?
•What are the benefits of meditation?
•Why is there age segregation? 
•What does a life review do? 
•What can be learned from failure? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  Digital Review
Pages to read:   378
Publication:     2021
1st Edition:      2021
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    5
Content          5
Overall           5




Monday, August 9, 2021

Review of Panic: The Story of Modern Financial Insanity by Michael Lewis

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Economics, Finance
Intriguing Connections = What Goes Into An Economic Crisis?

Short Description

Elaborate Description

Bubbles, panics, and crisis occur because of an underestimation of unlikely events.  Benefits of particular model, stock, or asset are promoted while their problems and limitations are ignored until after the panic.  Anyone arguing against the espoused models or assets during their rise, becomes a claim against their own intelligence.  Although some provide general contours of a future crisis, predicting the unexpected is fraught cautions.  Many people claim to have seen the crises coming after the crisis, but wrote history books about the crisis rather than use their knowledge to make money.  During some crises there are perpetrators.  During other crises there are no perpetrators.  The question is what can be learned about any given crisis, if anything can be learned at all.  

This book showcases an anthology of articles before, during, and after four financial crisis which occurred late 1980s, late, late 1990s (Asian Crisis), early 2000s (Tech or Dot-Com Crisis), and the 2007-09 Crisis.  Although the articles are by different people showing different ways to think about each crisis, it seems insufficient.  The transition between each article is poor.  To understand each crisis, if that is possible, would require alternative books about each.  


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•Why do crisis occur?
•Can a crisis be predicted?
•How do models shape financial decisions? 
•Why do people claim to have seen a crisis coming? 
•What are the views held before, during, and after each crisis? 
Book Details
Edition ISBN:  9780393337983
Pages to read:   363
Publication:     2009
1st Edition:      2009
Format:            Paperback

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    3
Content          2
Overall           2

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Review of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Novel, History
Quotes
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.  However little know the feelings or views of such a man may be on the first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.” – Jane Austen, Chapter 1, Page 3

“”You mistake me, my dear.  I have a high respect of your nerves.  They are my old friends.  I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least”.” – Jane Austen, Chapter 1, Page 5

“”All this she must possess,” added Darcey, “and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”” – Jane Austen, Chapter 8, Page 39

Short Description

Elaborate Description

During the era of the book, men and women have expectations of each other.  The man is expected to have a high income, to be a producer, and to be in want of a wife.  The woman is expected to have a lot of personal attributes such as reading, dancing, various forms of entertainment, and have an appropriate appearance.  Pride desires nothing less than what is expected.  Prejudice against anything else.  But people are not as expected, and change over time.  It takes a lot of effort to bring about a mutual understanding of one another.  Especially when rumors create different accounts of the same individual.  Highlighting the complexities of human character, and unequal treatment.

This book needs to be revised to updated syntax and language because the as it stands, unless the reader already understands a lot of the syntax, it will be a difficult read.


Questions to Consider while Reading the Book
•What is the raison d’etre of the book?  For what purpose did the author write the book?
•What are the expectations of men? 
•What are the expectations of women?
•How are characters prideful?
•What are the characters prejudice of?
•How does jealously affect a situation? 

Book Details
Edition ISBN:  2940045619325
Pages to read:   371
Publication:     2015
1st Edition:      1813
Format:           eBook

Ratings out of 5:
Readability    1
Content          1
Overall           1