2007-04-24

The wisdom of James Surowiecki

I've always instinctively loved the idea of markets, and in The Wisdom of Crowds, James Surowiecki gives a very readable exposition of the idea of groups making decisions. It could do with a bit of proof reading though. To remain true to the ideas he champions, Surowiecki should really have published the book as a wiki, and then all his readers could have made corrections.

I was gripped by Nick Hornby's 'How To Be Good'. Kept on reading it. People describe him as a comic writer, and he does excel at humour, but I found the book sad and uncomfortable as well.

I realize that in these notes about books I'm nearly always saying how good they are. But The Rotters' Club really is good. A few months ago I read 'The House of Sleep' and that made me seek out other Jonathan Coe books. The character Paul in the Rotters' Club is my favourite. He's a precocious, annoying younger brother, 9 years old. I'd like to transclude some of his dialogue but the book isn't published electronically under an open content licence, and there isn't a good and generally available way of acheiving transclusion.

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