BOOK REVIEW – “Unweaving the Rainbow” by Richard Dawkins

  This month, while in a Twitter hiatus, I managed to get around to reading a book. Yes, a real book, with paper and pages and a cardboard cover! The book I chose to read is by Dr Richard Dawkins, and this is one that is overlooked in terms of its importance and place in society, having been overshadowed by his more groundbreaking and most famous publications such as “The Blind Watchmaker”, “The Selfish Gene” and of...

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“An Anthropologist On Mars” by Oliver Sacks – A Book Review

While I was away recently enjoying the sights and sounds of Far North Queensland, I also go a chance to read a book. Yes an actual, paper and cardboard book. This is a review if the book I chose to read. In 1995 Oliver Sacks wrote and published a book entitled “An Anthropologist On Mars”, a fascinating series of stories surrounding the curious lives of some of his cases over the years. If you don’t know him, Oliver...

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Religion For Atheists – Alain de Botton

After all the negative press I’d heard about the latest book by Alain de Botton, I was less than eager to read it. Sure it was about atheism and religion, so in theory it should be right up my alley, but the reviews I’d heard from people, combined with de Botton’s TED talk, “Atheism 2.0″, and the apparent reports that he intended to build a “Temple to atheism”, had me wondering if this book was worth...

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“Free Will” – Sam Harris Book Review

Harris’ book, though only 70 pages long, is a concise look into some of the elements of “free will”, our insistence upon its existence, some of the ¬†aspects of free will that impact upon our view of the world, and why, in the end, there is no such thing as free will. I’ve written a bit about this in the past, based on the excerpt from this book which Harris posted on his blog. While this is only slightly longer than an...

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Lying Without Lying?

In my recent post Lies and Damned Lies I ran into the problem of defining a “lie”, meaning an untruth, and “lying” meaning a deliberate spinning of an untruth. The difference here is not a small one, and it is one worth exploring. If an untruth is spun, where the person doing the spinning is unaware of the untruthfulness of the proposition, is the person actually lying, or is it something else? Can someone be called a...

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“Idiot America” and What It Means To You

Just finishing up that great book on the current popular and political climate that is the USA, “Idiot America – How stupidity became a virtue in the Land of the Free” by Charles P Pierce, and I’m seeing some parallels between the USA and Australia. Though many of the initial conditions in America have not been replicated here, Australia being founded from a stance of convenience for the British colonisers, and America...

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