Posts

The Technology Trap - Carl Benedikt Frey

Image
ISBN: 978-0691172798 Verdict: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
This is one of those books that you have to read in full to fully appreciate, with its well-researched examples to support the concept behind the book. The book highlights how current automation and Artificial intelligent(AI) systems trends can be used with an historical economic lens to project and address the economic, political and social affects that will arise and by using examples from the industrial revolution when technology displaced workers we can predict the effects of technologies like driverless cars.I like the structured approach to present the argument and learnt along the way with references to various paradox (Moravec, Polanyi etc..) which I had not come across before and had to look up Here are some bits I highlighted in the book. however, there were quite a few so I couldn't  list them all ;The pre-industrial era did not suffer a shortage of imagination, it suffered from a shortage of realization.” P73Parliament passed an act i…

IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation - Edwin Black

Image
ISBN: 978-0-609-90899 Verdict: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
I actually read this book when it was first published, about 19 years ago, hence the ISBN number does not correspond to that on Amazon (weird). However, I decided to revisit this book after reading a misleading post from an IBM Employee promoting the historical credentials in a positive way. 
So I picked it up again and scan read taking note of the bits I had previously highlighted approx 2 decades ago to write this review.
It’s one of those books that one should read if interested in the link / connection between business and political regimes.
IBM and its German subsidiary custom-designed complex solutions anticipating the Reich's needs. The amazing thing is that IBM did not sell the machines and walk away. Instead, IBM leased these machines for high fees and became the sole source of the billions of punch cards Hitler needed to execute the functionality of the machine - execute being an key word !
For me the one thing that sticks out from the b…

The New New Thing: A Silicon Valley Story - Michael Lewis

Image
ISBN:0-393-048133

Verdict: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘


If like me you grew up during the internet period of the 90’s - a period when ridiculous money was made by a few, who had first mover advantages, taking advantage of new business models using the internet as the channel - you will love this book especially if you were a Netscape Browser user like me hence my 4 thumbs !


The author followed the billionare Jim Clarke for years , observing and capturing key bits of information i.e. the early world of Jim Clark the founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape and Healtheon (all billion dollar companies) – he shares a lot but not the intricate details e.g. he mentions the Microsoft Monopoly case but doesn’t tell us about the outcomes .
My favourite quote in the book is – “a thousand people don’t build anything, if you need to build something really complicated really fast, you hire fifty of the smartest people you can findp77
This made me smile -  Clark had a thing for Indians ✊ lol . ‘The Indian outcast of Sil…

Confucius The Analects - Translated by Arthur Waley, Introduction by Sarah Allan

Image
ISBN:978-1857151848 Verdict: πŸ‘πŸ‘

My first review of 2020 πŸ’₯ as I’ve been a bit preocupied completing  and getting my new book out.
I picked this book up because I wanted to get a better understanding of the Confucian way of thinking, which in part I did, but did struggle with this.

The Analects were written after Confucius died, when his students put together records of things Confucius had told them, in essence this is the translation of notes, hence called the Analects.
This book requires some extra thought especially with the footnotes to at the bottom of the page but it’s important to note (p19) that “Confucius describes himself as a transmitter , not an originator”.
The book is filled with some great quotes, however be prepared to read the first 71 pages from the Translator explaining some of his t his interpretations from the original notes.
Some extracts below; He does not preach what he practices till he has practised what he preaches p82‘He who learns but does not think, is los…

The Secret Barrister – Stories of the Law and How it’s Broken

Image
ISBN:978-1509841103 Verdict: πŸ‘πŸ‘

I read this book a year ago, so thought I would post my review on this blog, it presents an interesting view for those like me have consulted both for the UK Ministry of Justice & a CRC as mentioned on p327 
If you work in the profession or are a student of Law then this book is worth a read as it describes how the UK Legal System is not perfect highlighting highlight its failures (structures, budgets & conducts) while providing a great insight into the workings of British Judicial System
Below I have listed some highlights from the book;
·There is no excuse for the amateur, sausage-factoryparadigm of justice and ‘that’ll do’ complacency that pervades 94percent of criminal cases…p56 ·Politicians persuade voters that 1p off a pint of lager is a better investment than a working justice system    p326 ·The race-to-the bottom in criminal justice thus stretches all the way to the top. Every component of the system is infiltrated to some degree by negligen…

CODE OF THE SAMURAI ~ BUSHIDO : The Soul of japan – Inazo Niobe

Image
ISBN 978-0-7858-3052-8  Verdict:  πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘


Originally this book was written in 1900 (revised in 1905) by the amazing Japanese Scholar / Public officer who had a deep appreciation of Western Civilisation through the times and had appreciation for the Classics allowing him to analyse and compare the teachings of the Japanese Bushido (Samurai) in a Feudal System with that of the European counterparts through history A nice short read !
I found this amazing book on my travels earlier this year – Originally I was attracted to this Hardback book  by its use of the Traditional Chinese Book Binding techniques – Just holding / reading this book gives one great pleasure ~ especially If like me you are interested in Physical Books that present  Lessons of Value – Then maybe you would want to buy a copy.
When Nitobe talks of the Influence of Bushido he states “What Japan was she owed to the samurai. They were not only the flower of the nation but its root as well” p81 This is highlighted in his referen…

WHAT IT TAKES - Stephen A. Schwarzman

Image
ISBN: 978-1-4711-8955-5
Verdict:  πŸ‘πŸ‘
You have to respect Scharwazman for what he has achieved in his long life, reinforcing to some extent the old saying that ‘money makes money’.This book is worth reading if you are working in finance and is quite a nice read.
The book takes you down Stephen's memory lane and his life time of investing. It’s a short book and does lack clarity on the analysis, rules and logic applied on the business decisions.
The book is about Stephen and the people he knows and boy does he ‘name drop’, throughout the book, to the extent it was getting boring reading another name popping up towards the end. 
There are snippets on Blackstone’s Business Drivers/Methodology e.g. Blackstone’s three tests  “It must have potential to be hugely rewarding for investors. It must add to Blackstone intellectual capital. And it must have a 10 in charge of it.”          p281 
Below are some of my best bits from the book;
There is insight into his Business world starting with the th…

Surrounded by Idiots – The Four Types of Human Behaviour (or, How to Understand those Who Cannot Be Understood) – Thomas Erikson

Image
ISBN: 978-1-78504-218-8

Verdict:πŸ‘πŸ‘
I enjoyed reading this book with its elaboration of the concepts that centre around the Dominance, Inducement, Submission and Analytics ability (DISA) system for human communication which the Author breaks into 4 Color Types (Red, Yellow, Blue & Green) and says that "behaviour.Its like a recipe - we need to understand all the ingredients before we bake the cake" p13

The book discusses the various behavioural traits of individuals which the author centers around a 4 square color model, with each color representing a specific trait and some behavioral patterns associated with the colors - here are some snippets; The Quote "Only Dead Fish Go with the Flow" to describe Reds is classical where Reds are quick thinkers and one on long before everyone else.

Yellows can be amusing, creative and elevate the mood regardless of who they are with        p64

"Greens are easy to hangout with..unfortunately they can be wishy-washy"   …

The Richest Man in Babylon – George S. Clason

Image
ISBN: 9781508524359
Verdict:πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

This is one of those rare books I wish I had read a few decades ago, especialy as its only 99 pages long, I strongly recommend it be one you read if you haven't allready - it is both short and provides great wisdom !


Arkad the Chancellor and richest man in Babylon is asked by the King to teach his subjects about growing wealth and he sets out to teach them his  ‘The Seven Cures for a Lean Purse’, which are 

Start Thy Purse to Fattening Control Thy expenditures Make Thy Gold MultiplyGuard Thy Treasures from LossMake Thy Dwelling a Profitable Investment Insure a Future Income Increase Thy Ability to Earn

Principles – Ray Dalio

Image
ISBN:978-1-5011-2402-0
Verdict: πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
Seldom a business book comes along that one both enjoys and learns from, here we have one of those books. 

Don’t be mislead by the title, it is more than just a cluster of great principles, it’s the foundations for an approach Ray adopted to build his amazing multi billion-dollar business with great insights into how he grew it.


The principles are summariesed in the middle of the book (p272) for the both Life and Work principles discussed in the book – my favorite two principles are ; Life: Principle 5.1– Learn How to Make Decisions Effectively – Recognize that 1) The biggest threat to good decision making is harmful emotions, and 2) decision making is a two-step process (first learning then deciding).   p276 Work: Principle 4.4– Get and Stay in Sync – If its your meeting to run, manage the conversation.   p282 
With so many nuggets of wisdom in this book I can only recommend that one reads the book cover to cover. However heres a few;
·Discovering Ri…