Of making many books...

There Is No End

Geoff Mulgan was head of policy to Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street, and has held other positions in government at various levels, so he is familiar with power as it is actually practiced. In this book, he looks at the principles underlying government, and asks whether there is such a thing as ethics in politics. Mulgan takes an historical and global approach, using thinker such as Kautilya (India). He traces the development of government from the earlies times. more...

Why do people, if asked, say they believe one thing, yet in practice act as if they believed something quite different? In this new work, Sloan gives several examples: Football fans pray to God to help their team win, although God does not favour any team. Calvinists officially believe that everything is the work of God, and human will has no effect on the world, but in practice they act as if hard work brought material benefits. more...

Hawking's Brief history of time attempted to give a short overview of fundamental physics without any mathematics. Penrose provides us with a very long overview with all the mathemetics. The first third of this book is a survey of the mathematics required for the rest of the book. It is largely concerned with analysis (calculus) rather than algebra — the only algebra that he really covers is symmetry groups, with a brief introduction to knots later in the book — with a focus on complex analysis. more...

Do people really believe that reading Harry Potter can, sort of, invite evil creatures into the world? I mean, have they been reading too much Lovecraft and watching too many Linda Blair films, and they actually think it's true? Does the concept of evidence mean anything to these people? Where do they get it all from? Now the books have this idea of character based ethics, and maybe this is what our witch-hunters don't like. more...

I disagree with parts of Batchelor's book; but my disagreements are not those of Ven. Bodhi. Batchelor seems to be taking the same approach to Buddhism as Thurman - he aims to present the teaching of the Buddha as rational and... 'unpious' is the best word I can come up with (not 'impious'). I think that Batchelor overdoes the rational bit and neglects the roles of (a) ritual and (b) the monastic and lay community. more...