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I DON’T THINK SO!

In this era of relativity, quantum mechanics, climate change, genome mapping, neuroscience, cognitive studies, systems analysis and complexity theory etc. etc. any notions about an absolute basis for figuring out the world seem presumptuous. So when my colleague, William Sheridan, sent me this review I was amused, but provoked in a good way by the

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From handset to mindset

Networked: The New Social Operating System by Barry Wellman and Lee Rainie. MIT; Toronto, Ontario, 2012. You’d have to be under the spell that sent Rip Van Winkle into his enchanted slumber to miss the communications revolution of the last 20 years. Most of us can rhyme off the succession of new technological tools that

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Is the real deal imaginary?

Published on October 23, 2012 by in InSite Review

The Authenticity Hoax by Andrew Potter. McClelland & Stewart; Toronto, Ontario, 2010. (296 pages). Reviewed by Donald R. Officer. When I was a kid getting a haircut seemed to take a long time so I passed the minutes looking in the mirror before me which was in turn mirrored by another mirror on the opposite wall.

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You can always use another rubber chicken

Published on March 14, 2011 by in InSite Review

Marketing Outrageously Redux How to Increase your Revenue by Staggering Amountsby Jon Spoelstra. Bard Press, Austin, Texas, 2010. Reviewed by Donald Officer. Jon Spoelstra wrote the first edition of this book about ten years ago. With his great imagination for the message he didn’t have to repeat himself. Except he did. We still haven’t got

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Financial Crimes Against Humanity

Published on January 27, 2011 by in InSite Review

The Doom Loop in the Financial Sector by William Leiss University of Ottawa Press, Ottawa, 2010. Reviewed by Liam Patterson Sociologist Ulrich Beck did a historical analysis of the sources and management of risks, and concluded that “natural” risks have subsided in modern society, only to be replaced by ³social² risks (Risk Society, 1992). Two of

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What’s really happening next?

Usually I get out to hear a healthy handful of the writers reading at the bi-annual Ottawa International Writers Festival. This year I had no such luck which is a pity since the lineup as usual was enticing. However, I did manage to catch three provocative sessions on the weekend. The first author I saw

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One man’s war on war

Peace Guerilla: unarmed and in harm’s way, my obsession with ending violence by Ben Hoffman. Canadian International Institute of Applied Negotiation; Ottawa, Ontario, 2009. (206 pages). Reviewed by Donald R. Officer. The surprising thing is that the idea of a “peace guerilla” seems so surprising. We accept the heroism and risk taking of warriors, raise

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Soon to be a Small World After All

Published on August 31, 2010 by in InSite Review

Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller: Oil and the End of Globalisation by Jeff Rubin. Virgin Books; Croydon, UK, 2010. (286 pages). Reviewed by Donald R. Officer. I’ve tried to find a flaw in Jeff Rubin’s argument not because I don’t like him or want to compete with him, but because

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The Needs of the Frail

Published on August 23, 2010 by in InSite Review

A BITTER PILL by John Sloan, M.D. Greystone Books, Toronto, 2009. Reviewed by William Sheridan. The North American population, along with the rest of humanity, is aging at a predictable rate. Longevity is increasing, and the median age is on the rise. The United Nations predicts that the challenge of aging will be one of

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Advertising as propaganda

Published on August 18, 2010 by in InSite Review

THE AGE OF PERSUASION by Terry O’Reilly & Mike Tennant. Alfred A. Knopf, Toronto, 2009. Reviewed by William Sheridan. This book provides a fascinating history and interesting insights about advertising [mediated sales pitch], and I heartily recommend it.  However, it also contains some profound fallacies that wise readers should watch out for! “…the thousands of

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