Methods of Persuasion by Nick Kolenda Part 2 of 2

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A good way to build rapport with a potential customer is to point out similarities. We all have an inherent bias in favor of people who remind us of ourselves, even in trivial ways such as liking the same TV show. We even prefer products that have the same letters in their name as we do. Similarities that are less common, such as having the same birthday as someone else, enhances this effect. Also, using pronouns such as “we” and “us” can make someone feel more connected to you. We also tend to mimic people we like and like people who mirror our nonverbal behavior. Continue reading

Factfulness by Hans Rosling Part 2 of 2

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Generalizing and categorizing are necessary for us to make sense of the world, however they provide an inaccurate picture and make us jump to conclusions. Many businesses miss out on opportunities for growth in other countries, falsely assuming the people there are too poor to buy their product. How you live has more to do with income than your country, religion, or culture. For example, westerners often lump all 54 countries in Africa together even though there’s immense difference in income from country to country and even within a single country. Continue reading

Factfulness by Hans Rosling Part 1 of 2

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Most people think that the world is getting worse. However, when we look at the statistics, things have actually gotten much better. Why is our perception of reality so wrong? The media’s disproportionate focus on bad news is partly to blame, but the fundamental way our brains work is actually the biggest culprit. Evolution has made us good at making quick decisions. This is useful in many situations, but quickly jumping to conclusions without carefully considering all the facts also makes us prone to errors. Continue reading

Doll Crimes by Karen Runge and Power by C. S. Alleyne

Today, I’m reviewing two recent releases from Crystal Lake Publishing. I originally wasn’t planning on purchasing either of them, but immediately before Doll Crimes was published, its author, Karen Runge, was brutally attacked by poachers in a nature reserve. I felt the least I could do to help support her was pre-ordering a copy of her book.

Power is a short story that cost only 99 cents, and since I had an Amazon digital credit for that amount which was about to expire, I thought why not give it a try? Continue reading

This House of Wounds by Georgina Bruce

Several reoccurring themes emerge in this collection. Many stories reference Alice in Wonderland, as well as blood, doors, smashed mirrors, the beach, sisters, unreliable memories, madness, dreams, movies, men and women in conflict, doppelgangers, metamorphosis, people with dog masks, and out-of-body experiences. Also, several of the stories make references to the cover image. While the repeating images would normally feel repetitious to me, they don’t here, taking on thematic tones. It’s actually repetitious in a good way. The stories also make references to each other on several occasions, so many of them take place in the same world. Continue reading

Forward Part 2

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Forward is a collection of short science fiction stories available for free download if you’re an Amazon Prime member, much like Amazon’s earlier horror collection Disorder.

“Ark” by Veronica Roth is a retelling of the Noah’s Ark story. Earth is being evacuated due to an asteroid named Finis and a team of people are putting DNA samples of plants and animals aboard a spaceship headed for another planet. Continue reading

Forward Part 1

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Forward is a collection of short science fiction stories available for free download if you’re an Amazon Prime member, much like Amazon’s earlier horror collection Disorder.

Andy Weir, who became successful after self-publishing his novel The Martian, provides a short story titled “Randomize”. Present-day computers can’t actually generate random numbers, just pseudo-random numbers. In this story, quantum computers disrupt the casino industry because they’re able to figure out what the pseudo-random numbers are. Continue reading

Asimov’s September/October 2019

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“In the Stillness Between the Stars” by Mercurio D. Rivera takes place aboard a city-sized generation ship. Our viewpoint character is a psychotherapist who is brought out of stasis early to help a fellow passenger who experienced nightmares while in stasis and continues to hallucinate a shadowy monster that lurks on the edge of her vision. The ship is kept minimally lit to save energy, adding to the spooky atmosphere. Add in a creepy nursery rhyme and a malfunctioning ship and you’ve got a great scary story just in time for Halloween. I also liked that the ship’s computer had a personality. I’ve got to say I’ve always loved a good haunted space ship story. This is my favorite story this issue.

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