4 Following

Manny Rayner's book reviews

I love reviewing books - have been doing it at Goodreads, but considering moving here.

Currently reading

The Greatest Show On Earth: The Evidence For Evolution
Richard Dawkins
R in Action
Robert Kabacoff
Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies
Douglas R. Hofstadter
McGee on Food and Cooking: An Encyclopedia of Kitchen Science, History and Culture
Harold McGee
Epistemic Dimensions of Personhood
Simon Evnine
Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Information Science and Statistics)
Christopher M. Bishop
Relativity, Thermodynamics and Cosmology
Richard C. Tolman
The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition
Julia Herschensohn, Martha Young-Scholten
For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business - Kevin Werbach, Dan Hunter description

[The bank from Mary Poppins. THE OLDER MR DAWES, surrounded by the other members of the Board, confronts MICHAEL, JANE, MR BANKS, BERT and MARY POPPINS herself]

THE OLDER MR DAWES: Tell me, young fellow, what are you planning to do with your tuppence?

MICHAEL: Feed the birds!

DAWES: Fiddlesticks! Spend your tuppence on birdfood, and what have you got? Fat birds. On the other hand [he pulls out a copy of For the Win] you could spend it on... THIS!

MICHAEL: But I want to feed the birds!

DAWES: [to MR BANKS] Well man, convince him!

MR BANKS: [looks nervously at BERT] Ah, maybe you could tell us a little about this book's obvious merits. For example, how would you rate it as a work of literature?

BERT: Blimey gov'nor, I dunno where ter start. Stylistically, I ser-pose I could compare it with eating a Big Mac, except it's blander, less enjoyable and--

MARY POPPINS: Thank you Bert, that's quite enough.

MR BANKS: Ah, yes, yes, I couldn't agree more. Completely inappropriate. Maybe you, Miss Poppins--


MR BANKS: Ah, absolutely, I was thinking, you could perhaps explain to these gentlemen your fascinating theory that in every job that must be done there is an--

MARY POPPINS: Mr Banks? Are you sure you're feeling alright?

MR BANKS: Or that a spoonful of sugar helps--

MARY POPPINS: Before you go on, there is one thing I'd like to make perfectly clear.

MR BANKS: And that is?

MARY POPPINS: I never explain anything.

DAWES: Well said, young lady, well said! Come on Banks, you'll just have to do this yourself.

MR BANKS: Er, yes sir. Of course.

[He turns towards MICHAEL. Music starts up]

MR BANKS: Now if you invest tuppence, in this little book
You will find
That before you have even reached the end of chapter one, it's
Blown your mind
And you'll achieve that sense of conquest
As your influence expands
Through our new web-linked society
That's controlled as Amazon demands

[MICHAEL is unimpressed. DAWES motions BANKS to go on]

MR BANKS: Now if you invest tuppence, in this little book
Soon you'll see
It increases your clickstream and your bottom-line account
And you'll achieve that sense of stature...

[It still isn't working. DAWES angrily encourages him to continue]

MR BANKS: [beads of sweat stand out on his forehead] You'll learn about... gamified networks! Ruthless killer apps! Motivational strategies! Scores! Badges! Leaderboards!

DAWES: The quotes! Tell him about the quotes!

MR BANKS: Bullshit quotes from Wittgenstein! Einstein too! Epic failure warnings! All for...

ALL THE DIRECTORS IN CHORUS: Tuppence, proactively, synergistically, holistically invested in the... to be specific in the...

[MICHAEL finally weakens, and his hand opens, apparently of its own accord. DAWES seizes the tuppence and gives him the book in return]

DAWES: Welcome to our joyous family of gamification experts!


[Heads turn all around. MR BANKS looks like he's going to have a heart attack. MICHAEL flashes a big shit-eating grin]

MICHAEL: Just kiddin'. You said something about an entry-level position?