The Writing on the Wall: A Novel

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Writing on the Wall: Social Media – The First 2000 Years by Tom Standage – review

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Sort order. Dec 17, Mike Wigal rated it really liked it. Slightly dated since it was written before the Great Recession. Would be interested in Hutton's thoughts since then.

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This is actually two books. The first half focuses on China. The second on the US and the West. Having spent a considerable amount of time in China and of course the US where I live I found it spot on. Bit of a jumble Dead wrong on 'peak oil'. The economic discussion is rather confused. And some irritating errors: Iraq invaded Kuwait in not , and China did sign the Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, it is quite prescient for a book published in , more about the West than China, on the rise of 'fake news', polarisation and anti-globalisation.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Much of this book has not stood the test of time well, pretty much everything he says about China, the apocalyptic predictions of disaster could have been bettee attributed to the US.

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Some of this book has aged much better, the last few chapters are quite prescient given what transpired post Hutton is a journalist, so his writing style is quite polished and it reads fairly easily. It's just not that interesting a lot of the time. The enlightenment theory is quite lightly explained, but basica Much of this book has not stood the test of time well, pretty much everything he says about China, the apocalyptic predictions of disaster could have been bettee attributed to the US. The enlightenment theory is quite lightly explained, but basically forms the entire premise of the book.

It seems strange to base the thesis of the book; summarised as "We need to revert to enlightenment ideals to save Western Society" without really explaining how things work.

The Writing on the Wall: A Novel by W. D. Wetherell - metcecarro.tk

Nov 10, Phil rated it liked it. The subtitle to this book is a little misleading: although it contains excellent background to the rise of China as a global economic power, it is at least as much about the United States as it is the so-called People's Republic.

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Although the Chinese history and economic analysis is detailed and compelling, and the international context necessary and well set out - particularly Hutton's central argument that effective capitalism depends on a network of preexisting civil society institutions whic The subtitle to this book is a little misleading: although it contains excellent background to the rise of China as a global economic power, it is at least as much about the United States as it is the so-called People's Republic.

Although the Chinese history and economic analysis is detailed and compelling, and the international context necessary and well set out - particularly Hutton's central argument that effective capitalism depends on a network of preexisting civil society institutions which China does not possess - as a survey of the horizon it runs out of steam about halfway through.


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In his eagerness to emphasise the need for the West to accommodate itself to China and set it a good example economically and diplomatically, Hutton falls into a lengthy and not completely pertinent account of the various misdemeanours and mistakes of US trade and foreign policy over the last century, winding up with a polemical conclusion some of whose assertions - for example that US protectionism is necessarily self-defeating, and that the EU is an almost-unmitigated success - which may be respectable arguments, but are by no means irrefutable.

There's also the problem that the book was published in , just predating the economic crisis, some of whose outriders Hutton, to his credit, spotted correctly. Similarly, the top-heavy and heavily-regulated Chinese stock market has lately undergone some serious restructuring, as he said it must, but without the administrative liberalisation he considered the sine qua non of such an adjustment. Many of the barriers to China's full participation in world markets remain as Hutton identified them, and some of the potential flashpoints with other polities persist.

It remains to be seen how accurate and prescient this analysis will be.

He speaks openly and simply about complex ideas. The cynical pragmatism of the new Deng Xiaoping era, post-Tinanmon Square contrasts interestingly with the rampant insanity of the personality cult of Mao. I learnt loads, there is a wonderfully simple description of why state-run economies like the old Soviet Block fail, nothing to do with political ideology, just simply to do with the sheer complexity of managing an economy.

For a book on economics I actually found it very hard to put down. Dec 16, David Cheshire rated it it was amazing. This book is not about China. Or rather, not just. Several brilliant chapters chart US development and also develop "Huttonism". Stories seamlessly fill your mind when you walk through parks, overhear conversations on the bus, or watch a plane shoot across the sky and wonder where each passenger is headed.

You stay up late to add more words to your ever-growing manuscript, while secretly dreaming of publisher bidding wars for your work. The romance wears thin. You hit a wall and your precious book becomes more tedious than fun. Breaking down the wall, instead of turning away from the project, is the difference between published and unpublished writers. We all need a little space from our writing when things become mundane. This allows us to return to the work with a fresh eye. However, you want to avoid forgetting the story altogether.

Leave the manuscript in your computer for a few weeks and take it with you in a journal, instead. You can even draw pictures in your journal, if that helps. Not only will this keep you engaged with the story, it will give you a different form of expressing your writing—with a pen or colored pencil in your hand instead of keys beneath your fingers.

You may have long work hours or small children to care for, but you probably have more time than you realize. Writing time is more precious and you need to make it important. Something—anything—active to get your blood pumping and your energy up. And preferably outdoors. I doubt a gray gym building, buzzing with the drone of many cardio machines, will stimulate your imagination.

But I suppose exercise somewhere is better than exercise nowhere. Taking care of your body is also taking care of your mind! You will find you are more able to focus and complete tasks. You were going full steam in the beginning because you were excited. Believing so will only set you up to feel disappointed and unmotivated when life gets in the way of this demand.

Pace yourself. Writing every day, even if you only manage to jot down notes during your ten-minute break at work, is admirable. You will lose the desire to finish. Instead, highlight the problem area with color so it will pop out at you while scrolling through the pages. Often times, difficult questions are answered naturally when you move forward and look back. But be forewarned: if you do so, make sure you note all of the unsolved issues pertaining to this area.

If you get too far into the novel without solving the problem, it may mess up everything. Warm up your mind everyday with writing exercises to get your creativity awake and pulsing. Here are a few you could try:. The writing wall may take some time to tear down but if you continue to chisel away, eventually it will fall. What usually stops you from writing? Please leave a comment below with your thoughts. Alythia Brown is an author and young mother, who decided she wanted to pursue publication when she became pregnant as a teen. She blogs about books, publishing, literary agents, and the querying process at www.

Her debut novel, Dakota Captive will release this year! Sometimes the word count comes easy, most days I get stuck coz I didnt have the full picture in the first place. When I think about my kids waking up, or something, I panic and try to write as much as I can! Sometimes I get stuck on where things are going to go.


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I usually then go write another part of the story..

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