tronella: (Default)
Jenni and Alex, thank you for the present! It is hilarious :D

I have wrapped all my Christmas presents \o/ and to reward myself I shall write a book post, since I have three more to write about.

#54: British Politics: A Very Short Introduction by Tony Wright. This is from the same series as the (fairly good) introduction to HIV/AIDS I read a little while back, but is unfortunately not a good. I had expected it to be written along similar lines, but instead of explaining how the British political system works in small words for those (like me) who do not understand it, the author has written an essay on "what makes our politics so British" and its similarities and differences to politics in other countries. I was alternately bored and confused by the whole thing, and probably wasn't helped by the fact that the book immediately fell to bits. I shall probably recycle its many pages.

#55: Temeraire [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] by Naomi Novik. Historical fantasy, I love you. Especially when based in historical periods I know very little about (i.e. most of them). So this is the Napoleonic wars but with dragons, written in an Age of Sail style which I enjoyed immensely. I wanted to hug many of the characters and I'll probably pick up the sequels, once I've cut down my to-read pile a little.

#56: The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheats Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You by Mark Buchanan. I went to a seminar by the author recently, which I mentioned in my last book post, which is why I picked this one up. Unfortunately it's a little more pop-science than I was hoping for, and complexity science writers really need to come up with some new anecdotes, because there wasn't a whole lot to this book that I hadn't come across elsewhere.

This book is basically about how the social sciences should use a more physics-like, experimental approach to their research, instead of coming up with theorems which are logical but don't produce results that resemble reality. (I quite like the quote from Mike Davis on the back cover: "This is a first-class attack on the smugness of the Humanities".) The sections on economics and altruism were particularly lacking in things I hadn't heard before, but the stuff about ethnocentrism was pretty interesting.

Over all, I thought this was pretty good but could have done with more maths.
tronella: (Default)
Jenni and Alex, thank you for the present! It is hilarious :D

I have wrapped all my Christmas presents \o/ and to reward myself I shall write a book post, since I have three more to write about.

#54: British Politics: A Very Short Introduction by Tony Wright. This is from the same series as the (fairly good) introduction to HIV/AIDS I read a little while back, but is unfortunately not a good. I had expected it to be written along similar lines, but instead of explaining how the British political system works in small words for those (like me) who do not understand it, the author has written an essay on "what makes our politics so British" and its similarities and differences to politics in other countries. I was alternately bored and confused by the whole thing, and probably wasn't helped by the fact that the book immediately fell to bits. I shall probably recycle its many pages.

#55: Temeraire [a.k.a. His Majesty's Dragon] by Naomi Novik. Historical fantasy, I love you. Especially when based in historical periods I know very little about (i.e. most of them). So this is the Napoleonic wars but with dragons, written in an Age of Sail style which I enjoyed immensely. I wanted to hug many of the characters and I'll probably pick up the sequels, once I've cut down my to-read pile a little.

#56: The Social Atom: Why the Rich Get Richer, Cheats Get Caught and Your Neighbor Usually Looks Like You by Mark Buchanan. I went to a seminar by the author recently, which I mentioned in my last book post, which is why I picked this one up. Unfortunately it's a little more pop-science than I was hoping for, and complexity science writers really need to come up with some new anecdotes, because there wasn't a whole lot to this book that I hadn't come across elsewhere.

This book is basically about how the social sciences should use a more physics-like, experimental approach to their research, instead of coming up with theorems which are logical but don't produce results that resemble reality. (I quite like the quote from Mike Davis on the back cover: "This is a first-class attack on the smugness of the Humanities".) The sections on economics and altruism were particularly lacking in things I hadn't heard before, but the stuff about ethnocentrism was pretty interesting.

Over all, I thought this was pretty good but could have done with more maths.

November 2016

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