PROFIL

Marc Dierckx

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Knowledge comes before theories

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 04.12.2018

Every day modern psychology and biochemistry pour out new theories about correlations and causation in human behaviour. But as corollary of Nasim Taleb's example that 'a dove could fly before the theories of flight were invented', Stephen Greenblatt shows that William Shakespeare already thoroughly felt the intricacies of the nature of tyrants. In this book, Stephen Greenblatt proofs the case and takes Shakespeares plays as the corpus of knowledge and guides us with the utmost skill from citation to citation in this brilliant deconstruction of personalities like D.Trump and his likewises.

No more heroes anymore

Gesamt
3 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
3 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 14.11.2018

Heroes are a central part in the US journalistic endeavour and as long as somebody is a "hardworking family man" he can become a hero regardless of his machiaveliian attitude. The only condition is that he manages to reach billionaire status and shows off in sumptuous constructions and life style. The machiavellian method in the case of shale gas is a Ponzi scheme narrated as a compelling story that is far from a revolutionary but ambiguous enough to seduce all participants in global geopolitics. As Bethany McLean suggests at the end of the book: the push and pull on geopolitics depends more on which interpretation gets the upper hand than on measurable influence. But that should not be surprising as for complex systems cause and effect get indistinguishable. The book is thus more a reflection on US values and how these shape with a simple narratives the destiny of the world then a compelling story by itself, but good enough for a couple of hours of entertainment.

The perfume

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 24.10.2018

It is easy to like the books of Yuval Harari as he distills as a Mister Grenouille of Patrick Susskinds "Das Parfum" the essences of many sociological theories into a perfume that slowly evaporates into a stream of compelling stories. It is still possible to get a hint of the originals, but it is exactly the composition and the right dosing that makes it unique. Of course the comparison does only go so far and I do not imply the looks of the author nor the crimes that Yuval Harari had to commit in order to produce this masterpiece.

Living a dream

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 17.02.2018

Who has never imagined to realize a dream and experienced that when it finally becomes true, the unintended, annoying and untold parts become visible and the immediate exit seems to be the best solution? Joseph Stiglitz tells this kind of story about the dream of European unity with the Euro as its crowning element. A crowning element that is heavy and the heads for which it is intended are either unprepared or even not capable of supporting. The crown is thus being passed around, even forcibly to the unfit with a threat of a non compliance fee. So no surprise that some heads are looking for an escape, while others are taking their strong heads as a divine gift and enjoy the accumulation of fees. But exactly the avoidance of a preliminary end through the abolishment of the fees and some more support from the stronger heads is Joseph Stigliz's plea. Since in the end the dream is not nightmare but a vision of a land of milk and honey and the beauty of the crown more than just aesthetics.

Bringing history to life

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
5 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 12.02.2018

"Our Oriental heritage" by Will Durant and his praise for R.Tagore was my entry point into the story of Gora. It must have been that only a masterpiece with its magnificent descriptions of personalities, their fights, faiths and interaction with their communities would be able to bring me to enlightenment: to show me that if non-fictional history is the wave function of the theories, only a fictional book of this caliber can calculate its eigenvalues and thus show true nature of its impact. Thus Gora turned me from a scientist into a believer and I hope that many others will be able to join this spiritual journey.

Cloaked in a coat of religion

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 09.02.2018

Even when every occidental warrior was wearing the sign of the cross on
his/her coat, religion was but a thin coating for the majority of the
common warriors who largely pursued their personal agendas of freedom,
lust for adventure, sexual predation and riches whereas their
leaders took the battle motivation to advance their own power
schemes. In retrospect - peering through the mist of times - all
participants loose their individuality and deviations from the norm
and are associated to their stereotypes: noble or not, Christian or
Muslim, aggressor or victim, etc. This seems to be the message
that resonates with every additional drop of detail in this well
crafted book. The claim of "authoritative" is Utopian as every new
discovery puts a once believed truth in perspective, but on the
whole the book remains an interesting read and a useful suggestion to
all individuals who try to create story 2.0 of this unnecessary
bloody history.

The epilogue of "Guns,germs and steel"

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 07.06.2017

In "the world until yesterday" we listen to an older very wise man reflecting on his life and the experiences he has made. It would not be fair to expect a human to write after "Guns,germs and steel" a second monument of our times and we should thus read his remaining books as an epilogue to his masterpiece. Still filled with astute observations and fine detail, but in essence reflecting on the insights that he worked out in his chef d'oeuvre: a book worthwhile its reading time and a possibility to meditate on the knowledge acquired from his first book while enjoying some new details that were forgotten in the past publications.

Index Librorum Prohibitorum confirmed

Gesamt
5 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 29.05.2017

Stephen Greenblatt's 'the Swerve' was the inspiration to go back to antiquity and be shocked by the revolutionary ideas that Lucretius and his idol Epicurus were able to deduct from an astute observation of nature. We can only wonder what these minds could have achieved if modern instrumentation had been at their disposal, but can completely understand that the content must have been a red rag to medieval church doctrine. A book with a rated shock level equivalent to the classic "Texas chainsaw massacre" horror movie.

The essence of the renaissance revisited

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
5 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 29.05.2017

Anecdotes are of no relevance to the essence of a story but can be the spice that turn a dull dish into a a culinary experience. Stephen Greenblatt creates with his "new historicism" technique a new kind of cuisine: his exquisite use of a wide range of spices, - even taken out of context - allows the reader to savor the essence of a dish in all its facets.

In 'the Swerve' Stephen Greenblatt takes the rediscovery of the "De rerum Natura" of Lucretius and its shocking materialistic and Epicurian ideas as the main ingredient. The partially invented whereabouts of Poggio Braciollini are the spices that turn this well known dish into an exquisite meal worthwhile of a "trois Etoiles Michelin". For all lovers of good dishes I can only say: 'A table, messieurs et mesdames!' and 'bon appetit'

Arrows, germs and bronze

Gesamt
4 out of 5 stars
Sprecher
4 out of 5 stars
Geschichte
4 out of 5 stars

Rezensiert am: 03.05.2017

A fascinating story about a period in our human past that is summarized in traditional school teaching in only a few sentences. The book is convincing by its compelling narrative that it make sense to linger longer in this period and start to understand that international trade and cultural exchange are not recent phenomenas but also at the core of these early civilizations. The story of the collapse on the other hand could be a further case study of Jared Diamond's book "Collapse". Not a case of plagiarism, but of effective use of an excellent methodology to rewrite a complex history without simplifying shortcuts of false causation. In summary a book worthwhile reading.