God in the Details

GOD of the Details ISBN: 9798720151935, independently published, copyright and written by Christian Bandea.

The author is a successful British IT network engineer and developer who has sub-titled his volume “The Scientific Cover-up of Intelligent Design”. It presents his contention that it still is necessary to include the idea of a single Creator, specifically a deity (God), in theories about the origin of the universe in which we live. To support his belief, he discusses the most prevalent of today’s scientific theories, the Big Bang, Darwin’s Natural Selection, the position of Einstein’s Relativity, the existence of Dark Energy in the empty spaces in the universe and more. The basis for his contention simply is the question as to why “universe-from-nothing, accidental-life-from-non-living, randomly-generated-evolution, consciousness-as-byproduct theories (as constructed and set forth) are all more intellectually acceptable than the idea of a Creator of the universe”? Are a series of accidents more believable than faith in a Creator who knew what he was doing with the higher order of complexity that was beyond physical laws, time, and human understanding, to bring all of the small and intricately inter-positioning and interacting atoms, particles, chemical constructions, neurological activities, etc. required to bring the universe and individual organisms into existence?

With respect to Natural Selection, “The irreducible complexity found in various molecular structures can’t be explained through the small steps required by natural selection through adaptation.” Yet, “the hardcore evolutionists are engaged in Procrustean efforts to fit these obviously designed molecular systems into the Neo-Darwinian framework.” They make no effort even to attempt to test evolutionary scenarios at the molecular level by experiment or calculation. And of course, in Darwin’s time, it was impossible to imagine the complexity existing even at the most basic levels of life; e.g., existence of extremely small cilia as a component that would seem impossible to assign other than to individual design – selection couldn’t possibly account for their existence (except by speculation) and there are no supportive mathematical models or experiments that have been done to support their hypotheses and increasing numbers of studies are pointing to the complexity of molecular structure, thus increasing their problems

“Dark energy” (Virtual particles are barely perceptible short-lived quantum particles that flit in and out of the empty areas of space) is the name of a mysterious energy building in these areas described by scientists. It conjures-up the thought of another “Big Bang”? How do we know that our “Big Bang’ is the first? Presently we know nothing about it. An Infinite cycle of ‘Big Bangs’ and ‘appearance of the universe from nothing’ theories “illustrate the high degree of intellectual contortionism required” to dispute the idea of a universe that is the work of a Creator. Next, multi-universes are speculated, and the contra-Creator list continues to grow. The author discusses various aspects of many of the anti-Creator theories and speculations while concurrently submitting his proposed evidence in support of a one entity originator of the universe and man. The last roughly 9 % of his book provides the author’s pertinent bibliographic comments listed in the text.

Discussion: the author has set forth quite an in depth examination of his subject and, from this reader’s perspective, has done reasonably well. He has approached his subject from the perspective of rules set forth by the philosopher Karl Popper in the 1930s that have been accepted and employed since then by the scientific community. Specifically, legitimate scientific achievements must be distinguished from speculations, regardless to the stature and achievements of the proposing scientist(s). None of the ‘theories’ set forth have presented any proof and furthermore, the ‘spark-of-life’ never has resulted when attempts have been made to provide such an occurrence after assembling all of the required elements.

5* In support of a ‘Single Creator’ for origin of the universe and man.

Captain’s Logbook

Captain’s Logbook ISBN: 9781637350164 Leaders Press copyright and written by John De Silva.

Subtitled “Escaping Nine to Five for 24/7” the story recounts a series of near disaster occurrences while he, as A World Qualified Master Mariner served as Captain in Command of one of the huge merchant vessels that sail the world’s oceans to supply the many items and supplies required by countries in their widely scattered areas. Most of the situations were the result of his leaving his home and family and well-paying managerial position in shipping in his home town, to be persuaded by an old friend (another shipping company’s manager) to return to sea. Granted, it is a constant call with which any and all true lovers of the sea constantly live. However, in this particular situation, the ‘friend’s’ mental attitude had greatly changed. Money and saving it for his company had become paramount. He neglected important basic ship maintenance requirements, as well as hiring properly trained and licensed personnel – matters with which the serving ship’s Commander was forced to attempt to handle, along with important crew members speaking different languages not necessarily compatible with each other’s all while continuing over a several thousand mile route including numerous countries. The author’s ability to survive safely he readily admits to be only by the Grace of God and his belief that his trials were resultant from his ignoring explicit direction he had received from God not to accept the assignment.

Discussion: This is a fascinating description of the shipping industry described by a very credible individual. De Silva was born in Sri Lanka, the post-independent era name of Cylon, moved through the various stages of arrival at the Master Mariner level. The description of details of large ship needs and management and those routines required in each port are especially interesting for individuals with interest in learning about ‘different’ ways of life. Perhaps particularly intriguing is the presentation with respect to the often mentioned ‘under-the-table’ payment expected by various port authorities, especially prevalent in many of the countries described. Certain readers may be somewhat disenchanted by the description of and further discussion pertaining to the training that developed the sincere, deep belief in God expressed by the author. But, it is not the least bit unusual. It is a sincere belief that exists in most seamen as well as almost every individual I know and have known whose life provides, or has provided, periods in which survival has depended upon some superior power.

5* Fascinating, especially if interested in individuals with ‘other than 9 to 5 jobs’.

The Robot and Automation Almanac

The Robot and Automation Almanac 2021 ISBN: 9781946197719 Prestige Professional Publishing edited by Jason Schenker, Chairman of the Futurist Institute.

Sub-titled “Between Robocalypse and Robotopia COVID Edition” This volume is another in the series of Futurists Association attempting to keep readers abreast of the phenomenal yearly development in Robot technology and associated AI advances. It includes a Preface, Introduction. Discussions on “The Year Ahead and Beyond” and “The Future is for Futurists” by the Editor. Following his remarks are succeeding chapters of explanation and discussion of various aspects of the subject, each by ‘authorities’ on their version of the subject with pertinent references at the end of the presentation.

Discussion: This little volume presents a most worthwhile in depth update on Robots, their future, interaction with humans and with respect to the forward movement of artificial intelligence per se for the person not personally involved. From this reviewer’s perspective, one of the most illuminating remarks offered early in the book by one of the contributors was a simple example of how far we have travelled in a short time. Simply stated, he pointed out that today’s smart phone has a million times the memory and more than 100,000 times the processing power of the computer used in the Apollo 11 Mission. Another interesting fact is the belief in the necessity to next proceed to investigate in depth the neural networks in individuals in order to define how small nuances may be discerned and how they may be incorporated. A third point of interest is establishment of ‘boot camps’, along with ‘just-in-time’ learning from random opportunities – coffee break, commuting and similar – result in aptly termed “upskilling”, to provide somewhat knowledgeable people with further training so that often more ‘formal education’ is not required. Further fascinating subjects are extension of robotic usage in numerous different fields is predicted that will physically interact these ‘creations’ with humans directly and safely in a shared workspace. The great need that has been demonstrated for them by the covid-19 pandemic especially in the consumer and ‘cleaning/sanitizing’ areas and, especially in health fields where a true type of intellectual human-robot interaction is required. The book wraps-up with the book’s Editor explaining The New, New Normal; a brief description of The Futurist Institute; About the Editor that presents Mr. Schenker’s extensive qualifications; a list of Institutes’ publications and forthcoming titles;  Jobs for Robots; The Future after Covid; a disclaimer from the Publisher and the Institute and a repeat of the Copyright completes the book.

5* Easy to read, current/future status of Robotics and AI for the interested but uninvolved

Harness the Power of the Invincible Mind

Harness the Power of the Invincible Mind ISBN: 9781999279479 Pearson Press, copyright and written by Alex Neumann, MSc.

The author’s intent has been to provide a strategy that will lead individuals plagued with anxiety, self-hate and/or lack of confidence to a position of success and happiness. His thoughts and suggestions are set forth in ten chapters and a conclusion. He begins by discussing diversity in general terms and provides examples of individuals who are taught how to control a perilous situation such as a Maasai boy or Khoisan children and follows with other famous persons including famous sports figures, such as Michael Jordan who had made numerous mistakes early in his career that he overcame with perseverance; Albert Einstein who was labeled as not too bright as a child, as was Sir Isaac Newton; Statesmen such as Winston Churchill, and music composer Beethoven. Also included are an author by the name of Richard Bach and his interesting story of a huge number of repetitive rejections through which he persevered finally to publish the book in 1970 that sold more than 7 million copies in the U.S. alone. The narrative continues and with succeeding chapters provides more complete stories of additional well-known individuals who conquered monumental odds to attain true success. The discussion additionally explains the difference between “market successes” and “true (inner) success” and how pursuit of the former can trample attainment of the latter. Again he illustrates with an example. This time with that of a simple fisherman who was confronted by a Harvard MBA who explained how he could grow his business and become wealthy before retiring when he then could do whatever he wished to do – something which the fisherman knew was exactly what he was doing The author’s discussion extends to stress how “marketing success” and what it is doing to the world, its forests, oil, water and its people is an “illusion success” rather than the “real success” that lies within. He further admonishes “Demagoguery is the new norm. Fascists, Nazis, racists, chauvinists, sexual harassers and other such dehumanizing malfeasants have been planted into the highest offices, albeit in disguise.” “Has our society lost its value?” and describes how marketing education is driven by the premium on labor that is based on “market” not “real” success. Instead you should play the game to enjoy. Love what you are doing to attain true success which is composed of four factors: compassionate service to others, a life fully lived, an achieved vision and eternal joy. Often you need to take risks, but if you fail, learn from your mistakes and attack the problem again. Originality often is lost by the time education has been finished. It is necessary to stop whining and start thriving. He describes further a time-frame within intent as being the critical ingredients that may be required to unwind mentally from entanglements in the matters that are causing the grief. He prescribes repeatedly the need to persevere and to turn obstacles into opportunities.

Discussion: The author has set forth a prescription for success that has been presented by many CEOs and entrepreneurs in numerous areas of endeavor. However, he has specifically targeted the individual plagued with anxiety, self-hate and/or lack of confidence. Here, he has suggested steps that such a person can, and actually must take to rid themselves of this overburdening weight that such persons carry. A weight that affects every part of the body both mental as well as physical. His thoughts, suggestions and advice are set forth in a simple straight forward, albeit repetitive manner that in itself may be helpful to the troubled reader looking for a way out of the morass in which he/she abides. Specifically, at least one of the messages with its different approach set forth with even different examples may provide the spark that is necessary to ignite the fire required ultimately to help the burdened person to throw off the oppressive yoke under which they have been carrying.

5* Advice for the angst-ridden; highly repetitive but helpful from different perspectives.

52 Smart Habits to Manage your Money & Grow Wealth

52 Smart Habits to Manage Your Money and Grow wealth. Assumed published, copyright and written by Joann Lindsey.

Sub-titled “Discover how to improve your Finances in 10 minutes a day”, and after a lengthy disclaimer, the book opens with an introduction and eight chapters that contain 52 suggestions that provide substance to her proposal. A Conclusion, Resources and a listing of “My other books in This Series – ‘10 minute Habits for a Better Life’”, conclude the presentation. The Introduction explains that the first book aimed at achieving a better life and “discussed, in detail, the habit formation process, how your habits influence you, and how and why to form many small, 10-minute habits” to attain health, wealth, happiness and prosperity. It then explains that this present book provides a series of suggestions specifically focusing this process of ‘habit production’ on using money wisely, saving more, investing, getting out of debt, and achieving financial independence. She stresses that it is imperative to achieve financial independence “because it brings forth an enormous amount of freedom in your life”. AND she stresses how important it is to gradually build the right set of habits to achieve your goal. The succeeding chapters provide instruction on how to acquire habits for managing your cash flow, increase your savings, reduce your spending, decrease your debt, improve your investment portfolio and grow your net worth. Specific suggestions include importance of an emergency fund, spotting ‘money leaks’ and how to seal them, admonishments to plan shopping trips so as to not get ‘side-tracked’, importance of shopping alone to avoid ‘impulse buying’ and to wait for 30 days before buying something you want (to see if you still want it as much then as you did originally). Retirement considerations also are discussed as are a number of other, often unthought-of subjects especially if approaching the subject relatively early in your personal career. A short conclusion and number of references concludes the presentation.

Discussion: The author has set forth a set of suggestions that many individuals entering the work force will find to be most helpful. A word of caution with respect to Investing in the present volatile market – Obtain dependable advice!

5* Recommended especially for individuals entering the workforce.

7 Principles of Becoming a leader

7 Principles of Becoming a Leader assumed published, copyright and written by Riku Vuorenmaa.

Sub titled “The definitive guide for starting and building your management career”, the author has provided a Forward followed by his suggested 7 principles. In order: 1. Own your work and start to lead; 2. Know yourself: Master your inner game; 3. Know your company and industry; 4. Know the people you work with; 5. Know your opportunities and manage your career; 6. Prepare yourself; 7. Decide and commit, and a Conclusion.

In his Forward the author sets the stage for his quite lengthy discourse by stating this is “By no means a scientific book or research report” and acknowledges the fact that most of the large number of books on the subject of business leadership are written about the inspirations and actions of CEOs and founders of multi-million dollar companies. Instead here, he is concentrating on how to rise through the ranks in the company in which you are employed and that “It emphasizes career building, cultivating a high-performance mindset, and mastering your inner game, in addition to building a solid set of leadership skills.…if you can’t perform very well on a personal level and don’t know how to advance your career, you never will have any people to lead”. He presents further details describing why he has written a book like this, including a description and answers offering insights from his own career; from experience he has gathered from those with whom he has worked; from that of one who has been functioning in a position of leadership with his own employees; from that of a coach and mentor to others in careers not necessarily related to his work. He appears to have one distinct advantage and that is the fact that he admits to having absolute focus He had been a martial arts instructor who slipped a spinal lumbar disc and had to give up his passion of martial arts. However, his ability to focus helped him eventually to decide what he wanted and applied these same abilities. All the books he has read told people how to proceed once they had the job. Nobody said how to get the job in the first place. He admonishes that it is necessary to make a decision, plan your course and make necessary preparations and follow with steady execution and continuous learning. He further believes that external rewards that will accrue are fine, but the intrinsic ones gained are even more rewarding.

He then explains that one should read through the book, then stop to absorb Chapter or Principle One and put it into play. Then go on to #2, and #7 if you’re ready, and follow by using the other chapters again when you are ready; i.e. use the entire presentation as a reference book picking up what you need when you need it, returning over and over as required. “If you want the best results, this book should be read and thoroughly executed and then later used as a toolbox to pull out tools and strategies as you need them.”

Discussion: The author certainly has provided a volume far different, from the plethora of those presented by entrepreneurial CEOs and the like. Here the reader finds a large volume of material including often little thought-of details that describe how best to enter a work force and multi suggestions for advancement in position within that group. Many of the same principles exist – honesty, trust, respect, empathy and the rest in the books presented by the CEOs. However, this author describes not the entrepreneurial attempts that have been advanced in large numbers, but rather the more usual individual’s needs for self fulfilment and how to attain them.

5* Highly recommended read for those looking for personal job/life fulfilment.

Getting Unstuck

Getting Unstuck assumed published, copyright and written by Cara Stein.

This is a book similar to a growing number of others published with suggestions on how to be happy with your life and life’s work. The difference in large part is the author’s approach. It is bubbly, as seemingly is the author, and her modus operandi is to ignore the one common thread that appears to ‘hold back’ most persons from moving forward – fear of failure or making mistakes. One must remember mistakes are human, everybody makes them. The answer is to learn from them and not worry about any past faults. In other words, don’t be too hard on yourself. Start with a good session of introspection and follow up with more to find your strengths opposed to your weaknesses. She then attacks a large number of common faults that keep individuals in an unhappy and often most confused state. Too many blow things out of proportion. Some keep avoiding something that must be done, an action that just makes the task that much worse. Other persons stay detached to “avoid being hurt”. Often persons get upset by matters not under their control. Do you have a lot to do? Make a list – don’t try to remember it all. She admonishes the reader to avoid and/or get rid of these faults and provides suggestions on how to accomplish this goal. She suggests, among other moves, making a list of tasks you don’t want to do and then begin doing just that, stop doing them. Start with the little ones and gradually move further up the list. The author’s suggestions are accompanied by a list of 40 references at the conclusion of the book.

Discussion: The author appears to be amply qualified to write this book. She has dabbled in a large number of tasks including obtaining a PhD while “overcoming fears had been my chief occupations for a few years, between career change and completely remodeling my life.” She quit her well-paying job and started her own business. Then “When she experienced how much easier it all is than it looks, I realized I had to spread the word.” Thus, “Whether you’re stuck, lost, or just looking to enjoy your life more, I’ve been there! I can provide advice, guidance, and vision. I’m a big believer in self-reinvention and sculpting your life into what you want it to be. I love guiding people to do the same.”

5* Much material similar to others, but refreshingly different.

The NO Limits Enterprise

The NO-LIMITS Enterprise ISBN 9781946633279 ForbesBooks Copyright and written by Doug Kirkpatrick.

After an unusually large number of strongly supportive statements by individuals of prominence, the author’s book subtitled Organizational Self-Management in the New World of Work, the author’s introduction, Life is a Concert (or it should be), presents overall tenets with respect to self-management and the importance thereof. He quotes Kahlil Gibran: “Work is love made visible”; presents Buurtzorg, a highly prosperous Netherlands-based health care company (initiated by Jos de Blok) where 9000 health care nurses work remotely delivering care. They work for the company but make decisions as they see them; he explains that people (most prominently the millenniums) want their creative, innovative and passion about their work to be appreciated and understood; briefly speaks of Morning Star, a Tomato products distributor company (where he initially became involved in the business) which probably is the most well-known for self-management company success. The book’s content is presented in 2 Parts. Part 1, the promise of self- management consisting of 4 chapters covering the breakdown of bureaucracy; 15 unavoidable challenges found within; the power of self-management; before you plan: self-management considerations. Part II, the self-management roadmap, consisting of 6 chapters covering new ways of working; determining where your organization fits in the self-management continuum; establishing your self-management philosophy and principles; self-management implications (or what to expect); making the case for self-management; bringing self-management to life: 12 real-world components; A conclusion – making “no limits” your reality; About the Author; A passion for freedom and accountability at work; Our services. Extensive Acknowledgements follow immediately, leading to an explanatory Forward and ultimately, the Introduction as briefly summarized above.

Discussion: The business of running a business gradually has been changing since those establishing such organizations with advent of the Industrial Revolution. They had only the Army, its chain of command and its organizational abilities as a template. Humans became increasingly dissatisfied with their need to ‘slave’ for many hours a day to receive pay for their labor which they did not enjoy. Chapter 2 provides a list of 15 unavoidable challenges provided by bureaucracy employed by most businesses – Genetic engineering, nanotechnology, virtual reality, increasing information, and communication moving at speed of light, Robots, AI, all of this additional knowledge when much of business is still at the level employed when we moved into the Industrial Revolution. Thus the required Bureaucracy is wasteful of human life; simply stated, 8 hours/day of doing something not desired is just that, a waste of life.

Thus, gradual change has evolved and has gained increasing momentum with advent of new generations who are unwilling to spend long hours performing tasks which have no relationship to their personal thought patterns and desires. The increased level of interest has been initiated by a few future thinking entrepreneurial individuals and aided immensely by the arrival into the workforce of the millennials, a generation that seeks a work/life balance and have no fear of job loss, plus, a driving need to be engaged as part of a group (company) with a purpose and meaning that is part of the larger world. Repeatedly, the suggestion is made that to best run a business, it is best first to become a philosopher with the other necessities added as needed. Names of numerous prominently successful owners of self-managed companies are provided. Chris Rufer, a single truck owner fascinated by philosophy as well as an MBA was fascinated with human principles and management practices, established Morning star, one of the premiere successful self-management companies, by believing people worked best when they were free to manage themselves at work as they did in their daily life. He also believed they were happiest and most successful. Jaipur Rugs in India is another entrepreneurial self-management phenomenal success story as are Vagas, a Brazilian software company and numerous others blossoming throughout the world as well as here in the United States. In all, the book provides extensive coverage of every aspect of how “Strength of a self-managed organization, where every individual is part of a human network of accountability, responsible to everyone else in the enterprise itself” actually functions. These basic tenets, and philosophies serve to undergird the human network.

Summary: The author, partner in the full-spectrum international consulting firm, NuFocus Strategic Group, consults, lectures on self-management around the world and appears to be the present-day spokesman for a large group of advanced-thinking individuals in the rapidly growing movement toward self-managed business. His book covers every aspect of the subject and certainly is a must read for any person desiring to enter a business and become a success in this era of constant change and regeneration. For this reader, the redundancy and repetition typically exhibited here emulates the tendencies of all lecturers and would benefit from judicious editing for readers. However, the material, to reiterate is a must read.

The Apricot Outlook

The Apricot OUTLOOK of Katherine Koon Hung Wong ISBN: 9781734824018 Clever Clock Press copyright and written by Dennis W. C. Wong.

This is an unusual genealogical investigative book that opens with several illustrations, acknowledgements, and an introduction that leads to The Apricot Outlook which is a short recital of Katherine’s life in her own words. In turn, Beyond the Apricot Outlook recites the almost monumental task of attempting to discover the background of her and the author’s roots. An endeavor almost impossible to accomplish for Chinese natives who had immigrated to Hawaii at or around the turn of the 19th – 20th century. A huge part of the problem is that many came from small enclaves of several small villages within an overall larger collection within areas of this huge country and especially when one considers how children were named and the fact that Chinese men routinely could have as many as 7 different names.

The story is simplistically told and, although somewhat difficult to follow, must be a treasure trove of material for a sizeable number of people. It is most difficult to rate the reading interest/enjoyment for general readership.

5* for specific individuals and research accomplished; – ? * for other readers.

Hidden Wealth

Hidden Wealth ISBN: 9781950863488 ForbesBooks copyright Clayton Investments, LLC written by Terry B. Monroe.

The author has sub-titled his book, “the secret to getting top dollar for your business” and dedicated it “To all the entrepreneurs who have spent hours of hard work building their business, hiring employees, and supporting their families. I hope they will be able to reap the rewards for everything they have toiled to achieve.” There follows an Introduction, eight chapters, a Bonus Chapter on the issue by a well-credentialed friend, Conclusion, Acknowledgements, About the Author and an extensive Index. Each chapter more specifically is single subjected oriented with the first providing the importance of the business owner really introspectively knowing his/her unvarnished self; #2 discuses why business owners do sell their, while #3 presents reasons they do not sell; #4 discusses when is the best time to sell while #5 admonishes that you must actually know what you are selling; # 6 presents the large number of activities required to ‘get the job done’; #7 explains the rather extensive process involved in order to conclude the sale; #8 provides an estimated length of time required to complete the sale and the extensive list of the large, mostly unthought-of, matters than can interfere with completion of the sale. The Bonus Chapter is written by a highly-credentialed seemingly as corroboration of the material presented by the author. The author’s conclusion is largely a repetition of admonishments previously set forth.

Discussion: The material provided would appear to be a treasure trove of information for the individual attempting to decide whether or not to sell the business he/she has birthed, coddled through its infancy to its accession to a top level of performance. It presents a complete picture to peruse while deciding IF you really do, or don’t, want to proceed, ant the number of features involved, many of which you may never really had considered. This aspect of this book is right on the subject and presented by a person who “Has been there. Done that” and gained a broad array of knowledge of every aspect of the subject. Regrettably, if you are not a member of the target group, it contains much redundancy and repetition of even many well-known maxims and similar. Obviously the author lectures frequently making the usage understandable as all employ these features for emphasis.

5* book for target group; interesting, but several -*s caveat for others.