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Andy's Bookshelf.

Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory

Wolfgang Palaver

Michigan State University Press

1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25

East Lansing, MI 48823-5245

9781611860771, $29.95,

Rene Girard (born December 25, 1923) is a French historian, literary critic, and philosopher of social science. His work belongs to the tradition of anthropological philosophy. He is the author of nearly thirty books, in which he developed the ideas of mimetic desire (all of our desires are borrowed from other people) and mimetic rivalry (all conflict originates in mimetic desire). The scapegoat mechanism is the origin of sacrifice and the foundation of human culture, and religion was necessary in human evolution to control the violence that can come from mimetic rivalry, with the Bible reveals the three previous ideas and denounces the scapegoat mechanism. Rene Girard's writings cover many areas. Although the reception of his work is different in each of these areas, there is a growing body of secondary literature that uses his hypotheses and ideas in the areas of literary criticism, critical theory, anthropology, theology, psychology, mythology, sociology, economics, cultural studies, and philosophy.

Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins' 1976 book "The Selfish Gene". It purports to be an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. The meme, analogous to a gene, was conceived as a "unit of culture" (an idea, belief, pattern of behaviour, etc.) which is "hosted" in one or more individual minds, and which can reproduce itself, thereby jumping from mind to mind. Thus what would otherwise be regarded as one individual influencing another to adopt a belief is seen - when adopting the intentional stance - as an ideareplicator reproducing itself in a new host. As with genetics, particularly under a Dawkinsian interpretation, a meme's success may be due to its contribution to the effectiveness of its host.

The latest addition to the 'Studies in Violence, Mimesis and Culture' series from the Michigan State University Press, "Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory" by Wolfgang Palaver (Professor of Catholic Social Thought and Chair of the Institute for Systematic Theology, University of Innsbruck, Austria) and ably translated into English by Gabriel Borrud is a 424 page compendium addresses Girard's mimetic theory within the framework of significant trends in contemporary thought organized into seven chapters (Life and Work of Rene Girard; Religion and Modernity; Mimetic Desire; The Scapegoat Mechanism as Origin of Culture; Biblical Revelation and Christianity; Political Implications of the Mimetic Theory; Memetic Theory and Gender. Enhanced with the inclusion of a Chronology, extensive notes, an Index of Terms and an Index of Names, "Rene Girard's Mimetic Theory" is a seminal work of painstaking scholarship that is strongly recommended for academic library Philosophy and Literary Criticism reference collections, as well Mimetic Theory Studies supplemental reading lists.

Sustainability: Utilizing Lean Six Sigma Techniques

Tina Agustiady & Adedeji B. Badiru

CRC Press

6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300

Boca Raton, FL 33487

9781466514249, $89.95,

Six Sigma is a set of tools and strategies for process improvement originally developed by Motorola in 1986. Six Sigma became well known after Jack Welch made it a central focus of his business strategy at General Electric in 1995, and today it is used in different sectors of industry.

Six Sigma seeks to improve the quality of process outputs by identifying and removing the causes of defects (errors) and minimizing variability in manufacturing and business processes. It uses a set of quality management methods, including statistical methods, and creates a special infrastructure of people within the organization ("Champions", "Black Belts", "Green Belts", "Orange Belts", etc.) who are experts in these very complex methods. Each Six Sigma project carried out within an organization follows a defined sequence of steps and has quantified financial targets (cost reduction and/or profit increase).

The term Six Sigma originated from terminology associated with manufacturing, specifically terms associated with statistical modeling of manufacturing processes. The maturity of a manufacturing process can be described by a sigma rating indicating its yield or the percentage of defect-free products it creates. A six sigma process is one in which 99.99966% of the products manufactured are statistically expected to be free of defects (3.4 defects per million), although, as discussed below, this defect level corresponds to only a 4.5 sigma level. Motorola set a goal of "six sigma" for all of its manufacturing operations, and this goal became a byword for the management and engineering practices used to achieve it.

The latest addition to the outstanding 'Industrial Innovation Series" from CRC Press, "Sustainability: Utilizing Lean Six Sigma Techniques" by the team of Six Sigma experts Tina Agustiady and Adedeji B. Badiru is a 258 page compendium focusing on the application of Six Sigma methodology as a viable path for achieving corporate goals of sustainability. Of special note is its attention to reducing waste and defects with Kaizen and 5S processes, as well as the importance of engagement and education in the workforce. Detailed, informed and informative, "Sustainability: Utilizing Lean Six Sigma Techniques" will prove invaluable and a welcome contribution to corporate and academic library 'Manufacturing/Industrial Engineering' reference collections and supplemental Six Sigma curriculum reading lists.

Interdisciplinary Interaction Design

James Pannafino

Assiduous Publishing

9780982634813, $11.99,

In design, human - computer interaction, and software development, also known as 'interaction design' is about shaping digital things for people's use, and is alternately defined as being the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services. Like many other design fields interaction design also has an interest in form but its main focus is on behavior. What clearly marks interaction design as a design field as opposed to a science or engineering field is that it is synthesis and imagining things as they might be, more so than focusing on how things are. Interaction design is heavily focused on satisfying the needs and desires of the people who will use the product. Whereas other disciplines like software engineering have a heavy focus on designing for technical stakeholders of a project. "Interdisciplinary Interaction Design: A Visual Guide to Basic Theories, Models and Ideas for Thinking and Designing for Interactive Web Design and Digital Device Experiences" by academician James Pannafino (Art and Design Department, Millersville University, Pennsylvania) is an illustrated, 108 page compendium that offers the reader concise descriptions, visual metaphors and comparative diagrams to explain each thematically relevant Interactional Design term's meaning, as well as Interactional Design concepts based on timeless principles that will function in varying contexts. An impressive and seminal work, "Interdisciplinary Interaction Design: A Visual Guide to Basic Theories, Models and Ideas for Thinking and Designing for Interactive Web Design and Digital Device Experiences" is especially recommended for academic library reference collections and the supplemental reading lists for web designers and anyone involved with interface designs to be incorporated into new media electronic devices.

Krampus Greeting Cards

Last Gasp

777 Florida Street, San Francisco CA 94110

SCB Distributors (distributor)

15608 South New Century Drive

Gardena, CA 90248-2129

9780867197785, $19.95,

Krampus is a beast-like creature from the folklore of Alpine countries thought to punish children during the Yule season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards wellbehaved ones with gifts. Krampus is said to capture particularly naughty children in his sack and carry them away to his lair. Krampus is represented as a beast-like creature, generally demonic in appearance. The creature has roots in Germanic folklore, however its influence has spread far beyond German borders. Traditionally young men dress up as the Krampus in Austria, southern Bavaria, South Tyrol, northern Friuli, Hungary, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Croatia during the first week of December, particularly on the evening of 5 December (the eve of Saint Nicholas day on many church calendars), and roam the streets frightening children with rusty chains and bells. Krampus is featured on holiday greeting cards called Krampuskarten. There are many names for Krampus, as well as many regional variations in portrayal and celebration. Last Gasp has produced a colorful collection of 30 Krampus themed cards that includes ten with vintage designs and twenty 'devilish' greeting cards. Of special note is that this outstanding and unique card collection is housed in a sturdy metal box making it an ideal gift.

Andy Jordan

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Title Annotation:nonfiction works
Author:Jordan, Andy
Publication:Reviewer's Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Feb 1, 2013
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