Plodding Through The Presidents — Discover

American history buffs, this one’s for you: Howard Dorre, who’s reading (and blogging about) a biography of every U.S. president, has published numerous posts on arcane-yet-fascinating aspects of the presidency.

via Plodding Through The Presidents — Discover

 

 

Bookmarked for my own future reference!

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The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

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Originally published: 09 Feb 2016
Original Title: The New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man
Author: John Perkins
Page count: 384 pages
Publisher: BERRETT-KOEHLER
Genre: Non-fiction
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1626566743
Product Dimensions:55 x 83 x 10mm | 498.95g

100 Word Book Review:

Personally I think business is just business, where willing parties cut deals together. The author describes his career in Seychelles, Honduras, Ecuador, Libya, Turkey, Western Europe, Vietnam, China, and, in perhaps the most unexpected and sinister development, the United States, where new EHMs (Economic Hit Man such as bankers, lobbyists, corporate executives) to con governments and the public submitting to policies that make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Yet author also provides hope, offering a detailed list of specific actions we can take to transform into a model that provides sustainable abundance for all. So not all is lost.

Who should read:

Readers who love spy stuffs, thriller and corporate covert missions will enjoy this book better.

Probably also suitable for those who are interested in solving corporate mystery, the one of the kind of the greatest and unspoken white collar crime.

Who should not read it:

People who are looking for gore and violence will be solely disappointed.

As much as there are some partial mentions of murder and ‘accidents’, this book does not divulge much on the bloody details.

Surely not for those who are seeking adrenaline pumping actions or fighting scenes.

Takeaway points

  • There is a blurred line between right or wrong. And to be able to discern right or wrong, it greatly depends on perspectives.
  • Governments which run like corporates are the most efficient and effective to achieve goals.
  • But is it justifiable at the costs of others?

Top Ten Reasons Students Should Read More Whole Books and Fewer Passages and Packets by Cari White

This is a good article on why we should read, not just the excerpts. In fact, it applies to all, not just students only.

Reading is a form of pleasure, an exercise for the mind. 🙂

Nerdy Book Club

This seems like a list that should be written by Captain Obvious, right? Of course students should read whole books from beginning to end! But does that really happen at your school? Or does the workroom copier groan under the load of stapled packets with  “passages” and related multiple-choice questions? Are students unable to find their library books because they haven’t seen them in so long?

Students deserve time during the school day to read books, one page after another, journeying with the author through every scene to the end of the book. Why?

  1. Empathy. Students need time to walk in another person’s shoes, a fictional character who is different from them. We develop empathy by looking at life through someone else’s eyes, thinking their thoughts and feeling their emotions. This rarely happens in a few short paragraphs. We need to fully experience the triumph of a lonely child making…

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Progress

Time and tide wait for no man.

It’s almost mid August now, and in Singapore there are 2 public holidays. This translates to shorter working month, approximately 18 working days by the assumption of 4 X 5 working days.

Once a while, I will do a review mentally of the things I have achieved, stuffs pending and plans outstanding. I foresee that in coming months, I will be more busier than before.

Achieved

  • Found an Android partner by chance to work together. Rough details are agreed verbally for future opportunities.
  • Invested and helped my friend to start his crypto currency exchange in Singapore; Tokenize
  • Rearranged and minor improvements to BooksAvenue website.
  • Did up a very simple and crude Android app for my own understanding and learning. (pls don’t laugh at me. Lol)

Pending

  • Android app for book swaps
  • Little junior is coming (December 2018)
  • At least 1 book review per month.
  • At least 1 blog entry per week.
  • To enhance my trading strategies and breaking my own record.
  • Improve my own stretching for higher kicks.

Outstanding

  • Personal fitness
  • Settle baby cot, stroller and pram.
  • If possible, fly up to meet Android partner in person.
  • Push my scenic photos I took over the years and compiled on this site
  • Oh yes, source for a good and cheap gym too

Kinda glad that I have this little space to pen my thoughts. BooksAvenue started from a small book sales, to ebooks download, to the current book swap and book reviews.

In case you are wondering, our book forum is at BooksAvenue.boards.net

Stay tuned, more to come.

Necessity

The search for an Android developer for a bookswapping app is not easy. After all, we have bills to pay and time is money.

Now that being said, I also realised I have been paying quite a fair bit to ensure this project continue to survive and exist.

I have some thoughts on the need of a mobile for book swaps.

  1. Already, I have started an online forum for users to swap books: BooksAvenue.boards.net
  2. Will users still be keen to swap physical books?
  3. If I pay to build the mobile app for book swapping, how can I recover this cost? (Never mind the profits if any)

Certainly, it is not wise to pay for the mobile app. But, I am ready to share the revenue generated from the app itself. It is only fair to share.

Nonetheless, I think it will be good to have the mobile app ready. More is better than less in this case.

The search for a partner continues…

Recruit

When I was very young, I aspire to run a company. A company founded by me, providing a product or render services to the masses. I dreamt that my company will be important and great. A company whose product is of great excellence, something that everyone needs and cannot live by without.

Fast forward to the present reality, BooksAvenue is very far from it. Very very far indeed. I have great yet simple ideas and concepts. I can run the show and have been doing it for some time already.

Yet, I myself is utterly insufficient. As the saying goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to be great, go together.”

I need like-minded people to come together, fresh blood means fresh ideas and renewed energy to generate activities. Hence I have been trying to recruit volunteers.

Certainly I am ok if I do not get it through at the first thousand attempts. Even if it will not be successful at all if it’s really beyond my abilities. But there are 2 things I will not stand for or tolerate in life:

  1. Failure to try due to laziness
  2. Irresponsible people

Failed attempts are admirable. It shows courage and tenacity. I tried many times and I failed many times. I can successfully say that I can die without regrets.

People who are irresponsible on the other hand, are obstacles and hindrances to other’s attempt at success. Either they are flicker minded, or they just trying their luck. Regardless so, I dare say such candidates will not be successful at all.

Projects are meant to be executed, dreams to be realised. One should always forging ahead, moving forward. Make it happen and do it, but never try to do it.

I welcome all to come forth and join me to create and move this project together. I hope for more sincere candidates who will be more responsive and active to contribute.

Please apply if you are keen and keen only. Thank you for not wanting my time, as I did not waste yours from the start.

Candiate 8

Applied, answered but no reply yet. Perhaps I’m too impatient?

Candiate 3

Applied and I am not able to reply. I have emailed 2 times but to no avail.

Present

Technology has disrupted many sectors, many industries. Even with a small not-for profit company like BooksAvenue, it forces changes to our current settings.

Change is always for the better. And it has to be, if not it makes no sense for it to happen. Can anyone imagine backward progress? How elevators are avoided but staircases are chosen instead? Other than health and fitness reasons, what are logical reasons are there?

On the same note, in some examples of backward progress such as invention of Concorde but there is zero supersonic passenger plans today. And vaccines. Diseases are eradicated but we have managed to bring them back. For research and documentation purposes I think.

In my previous post, I mentioned I’m working with android developer. The intended app is to help readers to swap books at ease. Preferably, some location based estimation for a rank of choices for a more efficient exchange too.

Now that the rudimentary yet paramount function has been addressed, the economic costs have to be addressed as well. Very unlikely to charge users for each book swap. Rather, no one is willing to pay for it.

The best solution to address this is to be handled by mobile advertising. This will monetise the web traffic, and fray some of the costs, hosting expenses and whatnots. Plus the best part is keeping the entire service free of charge to end users.

Development of android app is of no easy task. As much as I am engineer by training, I tried to learn and pick up basic Java coding. Even if I can come up with a basic app, I’m afraid that the user interface may result in a bad user experience, which sort of defeat the main purpose.

Not to mention, the costs are meant to kept to the minimum. Hence there was an ad to look for Android developer volunteers. This will be more efficient and effective, in theory.

So far there are some responses from SG and Malaysia. It’s a good start and I’m still waiting for replies and progress.

It is also of this reason a new Blog section is started to connect to more people to help bring BooksAvenue forward. Will continue to update and document the progress.

First Blog Entry

Been a while since we properly connected to our friends of BooksAvenue. Thus we decided we should have a blog page to document our daily lives and how we work on BooksAvenue. In this way, it helps to share our aspirations and to meet like minded friends to join us for this common cause.

As of now, we are working together with an android developer to create a simple app to allow users to swap books. All these will be free of charge which has been the promise all the while. However, there are some costs which we are currently paying to substain and maintain the site, and the app. More updates on this later.

So yep, a simple first blog entry to update everybody. More to come, stay tuned. And thank you for your endless unwaivering support all these years. 🙂

A

Animal Farm

Animal Farm

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Originally published: 17 August 1945
Author: George Orwell
Page count: 112 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Satire, Political satire
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0452284241
Product Dimensions: E-book

100 Word Book Review:

‘Animal Farm’ penned down by Eric Arthur Blair under the pen name George Orwell. It might have derived its source from the events leading up to the 1917 Russian Revolution. The author has channelized his thoughts via making allegorically use of animals, which proves to be highly effective on the reader, makes us see what is unseen to our eyes. The story summaries when given a chance to a country after getting independence to rebuild its constitution and its future, it is in the leaders’ intentions as well as the followers’ which will decide where the county will go.

Who should read:

Animal Farm is suitable for readers who are keen in politics. It is an introductory short story that depicts from the start of a revolution, to the final stage of tyranny state. There are many similarities drawn from history, and present paradigms as well.

Not to mention, the animal responses are exactly the same as how citizens react in the actual world.

Who should not read:

Most likely this book is not suitable for readers who are looking for indept discussion of politics or governance structures.

Likewise it is also not suitable for those who are not comfortable reading about talking animals who live their lives just like humans.

Takeaway points:

  • Power corrupts.
  • During every election, it is very unlikely to know which party is corrupted or not. Only when the party is in power, the true colour reveals.
  • Not all is lost. There are still good leaders who will serve truthfully and altruistically.

George Orwell

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist and critic whose work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism and outspoken support of democratic socialism.[2][3]

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England; and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed as are his essays on politics, literature, language and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[4]

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture and the term “Orwellian“—descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices—has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including “Big Brother“, “Thought Police“, “Room 101“, “memory hole“, “newspeak“, “doublethink“, “proles“, “unperson” and “thoughtcrime“.[5][6]

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

Originally published: 24 April 2017
Original Title: Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy
Author: Sheryl Sandberg, Adam Grant
Page count: 240 pages
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Non-fiction, Self Help, Psychology
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1524732684
Product Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 25 mm

Literary Awards: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Nonfiction (2017)

100 Word Book Review:

Sheryl opens up describing the grief and isolation in the wake of her husband’s sudden death. No proper farewells, no premonition nor physical indications of an end. Abrupt as it is, life goes on. Option B illustrates that deep within us, we all have resilience and adaptation. A dynamic evolutionary process that fits us to our current circumstances. While Sheryl was certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again, her psychologist friend Adam Grant guided her. Indeed, it is a sad book to read but this will help readers to seek the recovery strength within themselves.

Who should read:

Ironically, Option B is very suitable for those who are upset, depressed or despondent. The author been through possibly the lowest point in life one could ever be.

One may argue what she been through is worse than having suicidal thoughts. But this is not the point here. If anyone is upset and depressed for prolonged period of time, he or she should seek help. Of which the author did, and she is using herself as a living example to guide those in need too.

Who should not read:

Obviously readers who are expecting a happy story, or maybe a sad-first-then-happy-ending-story, should not read it.

Option B focuses quite a bit on the author’s feelings and emotional state. Unknowly, one will eventually feel equally depressed or probably even worse after that.

Also, the positive turn comes much later towards the end of the book. So it takes a bit of patience to get to that part.

Takeaway points:

  • Life is short, and unexpected.
  • It is natural to feel sad, but it is important to snap out of it and recover.
  • Life goes on, and there are so much more.

 

Literature and Art

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