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This is a remarkable book. It reads like a detective novel; but it's subject is actually economics - specifically, how the Soviet Union's centralized economy was designed and why it failed. Each chapter could stand on its own as a terrific short story with great characters and lots of local color. But, as the stories progress, you discover that you're following and understanding a larger, more complicated story.
Remember when Khrushchev and Nixon had the famous "kitchen debate" at the Moscow American technology exhibit in 1959 and Khrushchev boasted "In 7 years we will reach the level of America. When we catch up and pass you by, we'll wave to you."? You learn from Spufford that one reason Khrushchev felt confident enough to make the boast is that the Soviet Union had, at just that time, made a huge investment in an entire city devoted to science and mathematics. It was called Akademgorodok (academy town) and was, at its peak, staffed with 65,000 scientists and mathematicians. One of the goals of this establishment was to develop both the mathematics and the computer systems necessary to make the Marxist economic vision a reality. Of course, we know the outcome. That was settled when the Soviet Union collapsed. But, the important thing the book offers for any American who lived through the cold war is not the outcome. It's what we didn't know at the time - the part of history that was happening behind the iron curtain. And once you read it, you'll understand more clearly why China decided to move to a market-based economy. We assume they learned from us. I now think it's likely they learned more from the USSR's failure.
There is another lesson I took from this book. The Soviet leaders refused to learn from experience because they couldn't shake loose from the grip of Marxist ideology. Their best scientists and mathematicians were telling them that the only way to avoid economic failure was to allow supply and demand to establish prices. But that was a heresy that couldn't be tolerated. It was too much like capitalism. I look at our politics today and wonder if some of the most vocal advocates of capitalism are now making a similar mistake by refusing to consider ideas that seem too much like socialism.
What more can you want
2. Widgets like Facebook $ Twitter updates
3. Quad Core power
4. Wide screen no more black bars like in iPad so video is larger
5. More customizable
6. Thinner than iPad 2
7. Mini SD on tablet and reg SDcard on Keyboard so you can use both at the same time
8. Transformes to a laptop
9. HDMI out
10. Woks with Xbox 360 & PS3 USB or wireless controller
11. Game with PS3 or 360 quality
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I use this after Low-Poo and I also put a little more back in as a leave-in conditioner after I rinse. With this combination I do find that my hair is healthier, shinier, and stronger. Don't hesitate to try this conditioner and definitely use it with a Deva Curl shampoo that matches your hair type. I have very coarse, dry, thick and curly hair -- and have used many different types of products, I just reordered this conditioner along with the Low-Poo shampoo and have been very pleased for the past 2 months.
Has anyone else have problems with their Kindle version? About a third of the panels are blank when you try to magnify them. It made enjoying the story of Dream and the Endless. Neil Gaiman never fails in his craft. seamlessly returning to this world and adding lore to a already dense mythology. The characters feel the same as they did, and I can see myself rereading as I wait for #2. If there is a glitch on the Kindle version, hopefully it will be fixed sometime in the future.
If you like Sandman, Death (how can you not?), and Gaiman, it's worth the buy.
Coming off of the warm spirits of 1975's "Wish You Were Here", Pink Floyd comes back with their strangest and darkest record in the classic Floyd era. "Animals" is a bit of a shock, due to the shift in mood and tone. The album cover and titles suggest that Roger Waters created an album that is very bleak and bitter, as that of the world view. David Gilmour's guitar playing dominates the rhythm of the album, with Richard Wright's keyboard setting the mood of the album.
All the songs on "Animals" are long epic pieces of music. None of the songs have any hooks or melody, although it seems pretty accessible. The record moves along slowly, never drifting, and ultimately rewards you in the end. The guitar playing has a real blues-rock feel to it, as well as creating chillingly captivating soundscapes as well. "Dogs" carries the most weight out of the album's five songs, both lyrically and rhythmically. "Pigs (Three Different Ones)" and "Sheep" work well to keep the album's momentum flowing.
This album is best suited for cult followers, not leaving much for causal listeners to find accessible, nor the radio. But "Animals" is one of Pink Floyd's best achievements, progressively speaking.