Butterflies: The Strange Metamorphosis of Fact & Fiction In Today's World

 
9781511581400: Butterflies: The Strange Metamorphosis of Fact & Fiction In Today's World
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"An extremely thoughtful and engaging book especially within the realworld sense."

"One of the most thought provoking books that I think I'veever read."

"A truly original mind at work and a skilful and thrilling author!"
 
"Tremendously stimulating and engaging reading material. I feel like Ireally learned something new and see the world a bit differently now. Twothumbs up."

"Harrison masters the the line of compelling narrative andintriguing insight ... Highly Recommended."

 "A rollicking good ride through all that's right and wrong withtoday's world ... This book will open a lot of eyes."
 
"All in all this was an excellent read: a bleak, dismal, yet intricateportrayal of the financial times we live in. Five scintillating stars for thisauthor, and I can't wait to see what he does next."
 
About Butterflies
 
A sure candidate for the title of "The Great Millennial Novel", Butterflies is a tour-de-force of the millennial mind. Written by award-winning journalist Daniel M. Harrison, Editor-in-chief ofCoinspeaker as well as a former columnist for Motley Fool, TheStreet, TheWall Street Journal Europe and other leading publications, Butterflies:The Strange Metamorphosis of Fact & Fiction In Today's World isclassic 1960s / 1970s experimental narration. Described as "StephenKing-meets-Philip Roth" by the Huffington Post, since the launch ofButterflies Harrison is already being hailed "the next literarygiant" after the book shot up top the Amazon bestseller lists the weekendof its release.
As well as a compelling fictional narrative that ties the lives and fates of the characters into each other, non-fiction narrative highlights of the book include:

  • A groundbreaking new theory about space and time which challenges and possibly disproves the theory of relativity
  • A portrayal of the modern millennial sexual appetite that is tired of institutional worship coming between a person's right to make their own decisions about who they choose to sleep with and what they choose to fantasise about 
  • A one-on-one interview with a leading Asian tycoon about success and risk in the modern world
  • A thorough and in-depth exploration of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies
  • The first of its kind groundbreaking suggestion that nationalism as sponsored by the state is as fecund and corrupt - and possibly more so - than slavery in the 1800s
  • A revealing portrait of the extent to which our society has corrupted its young by convincing itself of "virtues" which are really just a masquerade for "control" 
Butterflies - so called because of the metamorphosis that society is undergoing culturally, globally, spiritually and technologically takes you to an uncomfortable but compelling and well-reasoned place wherein you will discover a whole new way of seeing the world. Harrison pushes his journalistic efforts to the very limit in order break new discoveries and crack long-unanswered questions such as why Phi, the golden ratio, exists at all as it does, and how this relates to our physical lives as well as our thoughts, dreams and fantasies. 

Harrison also explores the changing nature of monetary finance anddecentralisation of the financial system in light of Bitcoin's rise to prominencein the past half-decade. One reviewer has said: 'Harrison's comments ondisruption are worth the price of entry alone."

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

You have a new book for which the second edition has just been released. It's called The Millennial Reincarnations. Why did you choose the word Reincarnations? 
The book is about a number of things. It's about the choices - or the lack of choices - we actually make for ourselves today as a result of having the opportunity to make an increasingly abundant variety of them open to us. It's also about the nature of spiritual belief and practice, and how these concepts are becoming exponentially more bound to the concepts we discover in science, such as genetics. It's about our obsession with scale and celebrity - the mass-media market if you like. Technology has driven all these events, fundamentally. By setting the story between 1990 and the present day, I was able in to mark the upward climb of the technology during the past 25 years in narrative form, too. The term reincarnation is applicable here, not just because the characters are in a sense reincarnations, but because society is in a sense undergoing a reincarnation. Disruption is a technological reincarnation, which is a millennial reincarnation in the contemporary sense of that term. What was your motivation for writing The Millennial Reincarnations? 
I am not sure there was a specific motivation other than those general desires to share ideas and points in a more abstract sense than I might, say, giving a talk. But here's one thing I will confess to: about just over halfway into writing the first draft, that was when I realised that the reincarnation theme was the real driver here over everything else, since I saw how these different characters were so completely interrelated. It was a fascinating and brilliant experience! What would compel someone to pick up a copy of The Millennial Reincarnations? 
A desire to see the dark side of the wee hours in the most beautiful afternoon light you can imagine it bathed in. Are you hoping to enlighten the millennials and make them aware of themselves? Would a millennial even be interested in knowing how their generation is perceived?Of course, enlightenment is an important factor for any generation or person, and enlightening someone is the role of writing really, so sure, I would like to thank there is a benefit - however ancillary - someone gets from reading the book other than just sheer self-gratification. But also I think we are a generation not just with a little self-interest, but more or less with a self-obsession about all things us. So I think it's inevitable that the book was going to be popular. It has gone to No.1 on Amazon already in Category Fiction, and it has only been out a couple days, which sort of backs up the point I guess. In The Millennial Reincarnations, do you dissect the millennial mind and explain why they act the way they do? 
A lot of people have told me, 'Oh, it's so interesting how you have a different take on millennials.' That gives me a sense of the feeling in society that while there's a lot spoken of about millennials as a culture, little opinion or insight is actually expressed in that dialog. Some typecast the millenial generation as "too self-reliant and flippant in attitude". Do you agree with that assessment? Why or why not? 
I definitely don't think it's a self-reliant generation. If anything it's the opposite. That is somewhat the message in the book. The generation has a pile of cash at its disposal, but to what extent is it really in control of its destiny? More so than that of the baby boomers? No way. Then again, it's not a dependent generation, emotionally-speaking. There's much less marriage and attachment among millennials than there was in previous generations, so its independent in an emotional way. A whole cluster of people who are all ultimately dependently wealthy and emotionally detached - that's the message in the book. Why that is is really because the boomers brought their kids up to be that way. Long hours at work and multiple marriages etc. brought about a type of emotional independence among the children of baby boomers, while the extra cash they had as disposable income became an emotional cruch in a way that no other generation alive today has used money. We use it as a kind of emotional form of support. That's new. Why is escapism such a huge problem with this generation? 
Well, it is not so much escapism as a lack of realism. This lack of realism is the result of all ideas - any idea and every idea - being encouraged by boomer parents who always felt that their own ideas were not fostered enough and were keen to emotionally compensate, I think. Many innovations are still in the nascent phase right now, anyway: as in, it's too early to tell if we're escaping something or building something. It's probably a bit of both.It remains to be seen, for example, how social media will affect society. We will know when it's just us - the Millennials - using it. Before that point, which is to say, with Baby Boomers still very active on social media, there are lots of positive and negative trends which will probably turn out to be more artificial. The positive side is the level of engagement. I doubt Millennials will use social media to engage as much as boomers do, which is sad, but it is what it is. The negatives though we'll find get lost with the drop in boomers are far greater. They include stuff such as PR, sales campaigns, marketing and so forth. So by that measure, the effect of social media is probably more negative on balance as an influence today but eventually, that will change. If it doesn't, it kill itself, simple as that. But it will, and ultimately it will become a more positive force. Then a neutral one. That's the point its permeated all social levels. Why is The Millennial Reincarnations set in China? 
Part of the book is set in China and other parts are set in New York. For one, the premise of the story is the return of the Mandate - the figurehead of the East who would return after 9 or 10 generations and restore order to China when the elite were getting out of hand. I find this a comparable example to how life is today everywhere. Think about it - in the United States alone, it's been, since the 1980s, Bush, Clinton, Bush, then Obama - who fought Clinton - and now it's Clinton fighting for the Presidency again. There is not a lot of difference between this sort of leadership cycle and the one in modern China, where the leaders are chosen by an elite circle and sold to the masses as the best possible bet. The Chinese don't get to elect their leaders, that's true, but with the kind of line up where two families are constantly in poll position in the largest democracy in the world for coming on 30 years, you have to ask yourself what sort of democratic model that is.My point is not to get into the political argument for or against any of the candidates however, but rather to illustrate that over time, China and America have grown much closer together in the way they are set up and work, like it or not. China has broadly loosened it's cabal, while the United States has broadly tightened up its cabal. These synergies make the two places fertile ground for commentary, and sure, storytelling. Especially when it's storytelling of a more spiritual nature, as these sorts of political issues, once you get to the bottom of them, are fundamentally spiritually motivated. Policy is and has always been shoved into action by the will and desire of the human spirit. That's what makes it work. That's what makes it so powerful.On a more basic level, I suppose too I wanted to set a big part of it in China as it's the obvious place today that you hear about all the time on the news - the boom-bust economy and so forth - but you don't really get a lot of exposure to much of the nitty gritty. It's a fascinating life to read about and to live. I grew up in Hong Kong and that definitely influenced my decision to base part of the book nearby in Shanghai, which has a very similar social dynamic.

From the Back Cover:

ADVANCE REVIEWS OF BUTTERFLIES
 
"Daniel Harrison's written a brilliant book ... required reading." - Jeffrey Robinson, NYT bestselling author of The Laundrymen
 
"Harrison ... gets right to the heart of ideas. [Butterflies] is easily the best book I've read this year." - Azeem Khan, Huffington Post
 
"[Butterflies] is not just a call to action: it's a hard-hitting assessment of why society has become so complacent and content to accept 'facts' without thinking and investigating, and it's a book that any thinking American should consider ... Harrison packs his account with metaphors, images, and bright discussions of the 'millennial mindset' that make for vivid reading ... Butterflies is for any who would take these expansive worldviews and run with them - even fly. That's its strength - and thus its appeal - to any who would break free from society's comfort-oriented cocoon and soar." - Diane Donovan, Midwest Review of Books
 
"Harrison mixes vignettes of the sex lives of rich people, mainly young and Eurasian, with journalistic pieces on economics, physics, and politics. Harrison draws some interesting connections, as when he compares the 1989 Tiananmen Square protestors to American hip-hop artists [and] he explains the intricacies of, for example, digital-payment systems well ... Alongside so much lesbian teenage sex, this could be a heady mix." - Kirkus
 
 
"Harrison brings 20th century geopolitics, globalization, and recent economic trends together with skill and in approachable, conversational prose. Also, the structure of Harrison's work is creative. Each chapter oscillates, forming a braid between chapters on non-fiction and fiction. This interlacing of the two gradually becomes a chiasmus -- fact comes to seem as improbable as fiction, while fiction adopts a degree of unrelenting brutality generally reserved for reality." - San Francisco Book Review

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