RIPPLE EFFECT Because of the War ISBN: 9781532398278 assumed published, copyright and written by Jenny Ferns.
Briefly, the story presents a quite in-depth picture of the horrific period encountered by Londoners especially, and other English residents through the ‘ripple effect’ of WW II – the bombings, the splitting of families with child evacuations to ‘safer’ areas where they were housed with unknown foster parents, extreme food shortages/rationing, petrol control and constant uncertainty with respect to life itself and that of loved ones. It extends further exploring the devastating post war period with its resulting bouts of extended depression, alcoholism, narcotic addition, and the debilitating results of PTSD. The tale is presented in five distinct parts. The first is in pre-WW II London and introduces sisters Veronica, a stable university graduate counselor in a Child Guidance Clinic; her more ‘flighty’ younger sister Rachel; Veronica’s flat-sharing mate and steadfast friend Heather; Suzie, Rachel’s out-of-wedlock daughter; Richard, senior RAF pilot who marries Veronica. Part II depicts war time civilian as well as military (air) activity. III is set in a small village after the war. IV follows a move of return to city life. Part V provides a section entitled Changes and depicts the results of changes finally initiated in an attempt to combat the hugely destructive influences the war had inflicted on countless family lives as exemplified here by providing one family’s horrendously distressing trials.
Discussion: the author has described one of the more devastating periods in modern history and has approached it in a quite sensitive manner from her personal experience as an Englishwoman and mother and later a clinical psychologist who in private practice had specialized in trauma, PTSD, addiction and family dynamics. The characters presented quite nicely reflect the activities one should expect from the flaws enclosed within each of them and the final outcome is totally credible. A caveat should be included for readers who might find certain references unacceptable. However, they must be reminded that this is a story set in a time when such references were quite routine.
5* Devastating effects of WW II on a London family; caveat required.
The Robot and Automation Almanac 2019 ISBN: 9781946197153, Published and Copyright by Prestige Professional Publishing. Edited by Jason Schenker,
The mission of this book is to offer predictive information “For automation and robotics futurists everywhere.” It consists of several descriptions/analyses/conclusions independently written by prominent individuals considered to be most knowledgeable in their particular field of endeavor. The essays are gathered together by the editor who is Chairman of The Futurist Institute and a man who is one of the most eminent in the field. It is divided into four sections; One – Outlook for Robotics, that offers an ‘overview’ of Automation and AI in 2019 including a look at the vectors for robotics advancement and a coming ‘day-of-reckoning’, and also predictions for the future of AI as well as robotics growth and quantum computing’s future in 2019. Two – examines Socializing Robots where various aspects are analyzed from the viewpoint of evolving perceptions, their ability to bridge industry and steam education, the fact that every chatbot now is a voicebot, who’s collaborating with whom and most importantly the need to overcome existing fear with respect to robot/human interoperability and labor replacement fears. Three – examines Socializing Robots from the perspective of how these factors will power innovation, be it in transportation, construction or the advent of “smart cities” and also the further advance of Blockchain and automation in the financial services sector. Section Four – Robots in the Supply Chain examines/ analyzes/ predicts the effects that will result from advancing innovation in this necessary section of the economy. Relatively brief material About the Futurist Institute, About the Author, About the Publisher and Disclaimers terminate the book.
Discussion: The selection offers an interestingly varied view of these rapidly advancing technologies by several individuals prominent in their respective areas. As quoted above, the selection has been offered to update “futurists everywhere” with what is transpiring to treat the environmentally unsustainable and thus totally disastrous worldwide “tsunami of data” that “is expected to consume one fifth of the world’s energy use by 2025.” A few of the more interesting suggestions from this reviewer’s perspective: discussion of the fusion of the physical, digital and biological world by this “fourth Industrial Revolution”; the manner in which robot-human interrelationships will be developed for greatest gain and little actual loss in human man-hours; the growth of presently functioning “smart pilots” into fully developed “smart cities”. However, generally speaking and most regrettably from this reviewer’s perspective, this book provides a rather superficial overview with a considerable amount of repetition, Further, there often is a seeming suggestion that each essayist and/or the approach offered can provide the most authoritative answers. Thus, judicious editing and perhaps greater essayist coordination would seem to have eliminated considerable portions of both problems, although having read several of the editor’s books, a similar inclination also seems to pervade his writing. But perhaps his impressive qualifications and positions make his stance more acceptable.
3* Interesting, but rather superficial discussion/predictions for 2019 technology.