A Beautiful Mind

The life of the late John Nash (1928-2015) is a vivid example of the transformation of rumor into world legend. There was a time in Princeton University people, who did not know his undertaking during his youth, called him ‘Phantom of the Fine Hall’. Died last May in a car accident with his beloved wife, Alicia Larde, whom he met while was in MIT, his existence has inspired many. It is easy to understand and follow the rise and fall of a businessman. But, it is difficult to comprehend and appreciate the rise and fall of a genius. Nash, who had spiraled into schizophrenia in 1950s, sparks controversy when Nobel committee refuses to grant him the prize. It takes 45 years for him to gain global recognition. In 1994, Nash, in remission from schizophrenia, shared the Nobel Prize in economics for what he had done in his early 30s.

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A Beautiful Mind: A non-fiction by Sylvia Nasar

The book A Beautiful Mind written by Sylvia Nasar portrays the life of the professor in mathematics. His story gains positive responses, though only few people understand how hard it was for Sylvia to compose it since Nash himself preferred to remain silent at first. However, most of his colleagues and relatives promoted the making of the book. They feel that the world should understand the pain of being John Nash: A genius mathematician who suffered from Continue reading “A Beautiful Mind”

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

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Jack, Glen and Kris Paronto examine Rone in 13 Hours

Political and economical interests would be boring subjects unless one has the capability of transforming them into action movie with daily life drama to make it more colorful. The challenge is then to choose the right theme for the movie: which of the themes has the most profound impact towards the audience, will be the greatest interest to the director. To such extent, Michael Bay has done great job. Based on true events in Libya in 2012, his latest movie, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, can be considered as the best after Black Hawk Down made in 2001 by Ridley Scot. The difference is that Black Hawk Down has unsuccessful military operation at its core, while the Michael Bay’s is based on military attack towards US base; making it more dramatic cum heroic.

The story is started with Rone (James Badge Dale) picks up Jack Da Silva (John Krasinski) at Benghazi International Airport. Both are enlisted in the GRS, an elite military group, along with other four men with single purpose: giving military back up for illegal CIA operations in Continue reading “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”

Other Colours

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Other Colors: A non-fiction written by Ferit Orhan Pamuk

What does a note mean to a writer? I don’t know the answer at first. The worse was that I could not discover the importance of making notes to a writer. I was so naive to think that the way a writer works was less complicated than a process engineer in a chemical factory: first, determine the existing chemical reactions and the overall process outflow; second, define the raw materials and products in order to calculate the material and energy balance; and, third, optimize the way utility system works. Apparently, the way a marvelous writer works is much more harder and complex than a common process engineer since the first tends to work in greater details. To an excellent writer, like Ferit Orhan Pamuk for instance, there is nothing useless. Any information, any experience is valuable to his career. I got this finding when I read Other Colors: Essays and A Story, a book composed by Orhan Pamuk, the celebrated Turkish writer who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006

Being a writer is special since it means that you let people read you. It is not only the work(s) that can be read, but you’re readable also. The more people follow you and your works anytime you publish them, it means that Continue reading “Other Colours”

My Promised Land

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My Promised Land: A non-fiction book by Ari Shavit

Since ancient times, Middle East has never slept. Social unrest, political turmoil, riots, birth of new religion and war have characterized the area. The conflicts have been more intense after the establishment of a country named Israel in the middle of 20th century. None of us knows the future of a single country in the world. We can’t also predict the future and fate of a country since its establishment thanks to its complex dynamic. Chapters, stories and records in My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel provide historic accounts about Israel so far and give a glimpse for us to imagine the future of the country.

The book is written in form of personal narrative history of the state of Israel. It deals with the existing internal and external pressures in Israel which suggest that there are some existential crises within Israel. Consists of 17 Continue reading “My Promised Land”

Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking

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Great Physicists – The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking: A non-fiction by William H. Cropper

The word of science and discovery might be boring for some, especially when both delivered by the wrong teacher and biographer. But, this book will erode such feeling and emotion. William H. Cropper is far from mediocre biographer on scientists, and he proofs it in his Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking.
As the title suggests, the book contains biographical records of some notable physicists. The full title is Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking. At first, the book looks like a compilation of Continue reading “Great Physicists: The Life and Times of Leading Physicists from Galileo to Hawking”

Istanbul: Memories and the City

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Istanbul-Memories and the City: A non-fiction written by Ferit Orhan Pamuk

In the eyes of romantic and intelligent individual, there is nothing inanimate. Everything is alive and has value. The fact that we demonstrate attachment with various degrees towards anything has shown that there is value in everything. Any changes occur on an object over time has shaped its appearance. Common eyes will consider the changes as something normal. But, among those who emotionally and logically active, the changes of appearance represent the object’s response towards its environment, which means that the object is alive. Such ideas can easily be seen in the work of brainy personalities like Ferit Orhan Pamuk. Through his able hands, brilliant mind, creative touch, and deep thought, he manages to transform the stories of his family and the changes which occurred in Istanbul into an outstanding novel entitled Istanbul: Memories and the City.

Istanbul: Memories and the City is not only telling the changes which happened in the family of Ferit Orhan Pamuk, but Continue reading “Istanbul: Memories and the City”

The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World

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The Return of The Economic Naturalist-How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World: A non-fiction on economy by Robert H. Frank

Economy is quite hard to understand for some. The fact that it’s hard to comprehend makes it sort of boring and uninteresting subject. Such feeling may be caused by their unlucky for not finding sources good at explaining the topic. Though it is impossible to fully understand how economy works – due to its highly dynamic nature – people will eventually be able to partially unearth the way economic engine and its environment when they happen to get in-touch with the right person. And, I’m belong to the group of fortunate men who have such experience.

The man whose work on economy fascinates me at the moment is Robert H. Frank. Serving the Cornell University as Henrietta Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at the institution, he is one of contributors to economic column at Continue reading “The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World”

The Black Swan

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Black Swan-The Impact of the Highly Improbable: A non-fiction written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It is not an exaggeration for saying that Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable should be considered as one of the most important books in the 21st century. Since we are now living in era in which data, statistics, empiricism and their derivatives play important role in shaping our behavior and the way we think, the book provides insightful remarks on the danger of having such paradigm. It is quite difficult to categorize the book. Its psychological approach upon understanding human behavior has made it impossible to put Black Swan into the class of philosophical book. On the other hand, the presence of superb elucidations on risks and some key concepts in mathematics and statistics makes Black Swan different from a typical book of essays. Indeed, it is a serious book. However, I could say that Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an amazing writer since he is able to Continue reading “The Black Swan”

Mapping Human History: Genes, Race and Our Common Origins

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Mapping Human History: Genes, Race and Our Common Origins A non-fiction by Steve Olson

Questions about human origin and ancestors will always be interesting for anyone who cares about historical identity. Those then divide into two groups of people: Pro-Darwinian approach and Pro-Biblical creationism approach. Both will take different path. Still, it is their conclusion upon their search that determines into which group they belong to.

This phenomenon drives some scholars or researchers to seriously pursue further studies on that matter. One of them is Steve Olson. Just like others, he puts and documents his treatise and theory into book. And, the book entitled Mapping Human History is of his works, which becomes the world’s most popular treatise on Continue reading “Mapping Human History: Genes, Race and Our Common Origins”

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