Tag: Machine

Seth Godin – Linchpin | Review

Title: Linchpin

Author: Seth Godin

Type: Non-Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 246

Rating: 4/5

 

Seth Godin - Linchpin

Seth Godin – Linchpin

 

All of Seth Godin’s books are pretty good and so it’s hard to rate them anything below a 4/5. This one wasn’t his best, but it was enjoyable enough. Even though some of the references were occasionally out-of-date, the actual lessons inside it are still just as relevant as ever.

The idea behind Linchpin is that we have a responsibility to ourselves to become indispensable. Historically, we’ve been taught to fit in and to be nothing more than cogs in a machine. That approach might have worked when everyone was working blue collar factory jobs, but it doesn’t work in today’s complicated business landscape. That’s where linchpins come in.

A linchpin is an indispensable employee, the kind of person that a company can’t easily do without, and Godin’s book talks about how to become one and what to do should you be lucky enough to hire one. Packed with examples, it makes for an enlightening read, and while it doesn’t necessarily offer a map for people to follow, that’s a good thing.

Godin himself explains that it’s not just a set of rules you can follow, and he talks about how that way of thinking is rooted in the old ways of doing business. If your job involves following a set of rules then you need to find yourself a new job before you’re replaced by robots and artificial intelligence.

 

Seth Godin

Seth Godin

 

Click here to buy Linchpin.

 


Karel Capek – RUR and War with the Newts | Review

Title: RUR and War with the Newts

Author: Karel Capek

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 358

Rating: 4*/5

 

Karel Capek - RUR and War With the Newts

Karel Capek – RUR and War With the Newts

 

This book was on course for a 5/5 but then about a third of the way through it did the same thing that George Orwell did in 1984 where the action suddenly cuts out so there can be pages and pages of background information. In 1984, it was a detailed history of the different nations in the postapocalyptic future. In this book, the equivalent is a lengthy section that reads like an essay on how the newts reproduce and how they act during scientific experiments.

Still, this is a great little read, and there’s something here for everyone – but particularly for fans of classic science fiction. It also has the benefit of basically being two books in one. Let’s take a look at each of them.

RUR is short for ‘Rossum’s Universal Robots’ and it’s credited with introducing the word ‘robot‘ to our vocabulary. It’s also a stage play, which makes it easy to absorb and highly entertaining, and I just flew through the pages and loved the whole thing from start to finish. I particularly liked how it posed the question of who’s ultimately responsible for the actions of a piece of software or a machine. Is it the machine itself, or is it the human who designed and created it?

 

Karel Capek

Karel Capek

 

War With the Newts contains many of the same themes, except this time it’s focusing on a species of intelligent newts that humanity discovers and subsequently takes advantage of until they eventually rise up against them. What’s interesting here is that the war itself doesn’t take up much of the book, but rather it tends to focus on the events that led up to the war and humanity’s role in them. It’s very cleverly done, but like I said – there’s a lengthy bit in the middle that gets kind of tedious, and I found it difficult to pick up momentum again after that.

Still, though, this is definitely worth reading – especially for hardcore sci-fi fans. I’m definitely glad I picked it up.

 

Karel Capek Quote

Karel Capek Quote

 

Click here to buy RUR and War with the Newts.

 


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