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peter

Houten, Netherlands | Member Since 2005

219
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 41 reviews
  • 259 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 15 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
11

  • America's Great Depression

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Murray N. Rothbard
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (114)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (34)

    The Great Depression was not a crisis for capitalism but merely an example of the downturn part of the business cycle, which was generated by government intervention in the economy. Had this book appeared in the 1940s, it might have spared the world much grief. Even so, its appearance in 1963 meant that free-market advocates had their first full-scale treatment of this crucial subject.

    Damon says: "required reading- hard to capture over audio"
    "a classic"
    Overall

    A classic work on how the initiation of violence caused the great depression and suffocated any recovery. Unfortunately read rather fast for the complexity of the subject matter and the amount of detailed data. If you are not very familiar with economic terms, it might go a bit fast and I would recommend the paper version.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Timothy D. Wilson
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (112)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (87)

    Why might some sex education programs result in more teen pregnancies? Why did reading that self-help book make you feel less happy? What's the best way to recover from trauma? Can we actually improve our lives by redirecting our thinking?

    Brian says: "Why programs fail."
    "In the top"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Together with Subliminal, this book is in my top and I listened to it a couple of times. The whole mechanism of how well intentioned actions have bad consequences, has fascinated me and this books opens the door to how the mechanism of reward and punishments, create the internal narrative that has the opposite effect. "I must really dislike broccoli, when I need to be punished/rewarded to make me eat it"
    Lots of good examples, experiments and explanations. Unfortunately there is always a hidden solicitation for a central planning job for such authors, as the fallacy that the monopoly of violence can do good with stolen tax money is a bridge to far to be debunked. So the author shows all the government programs that should reduce drugs use and violence and actually increased it, but he unfortunately comes with a plan to fix them. Once money is taken by force, it will never do any good afterwards.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rule of Empires: Those Who Built Them Those Who Endured Them and Why They Always Fall

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Timothy H. Parsons
    • Narrated By Thomas Fawley
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    In The Rule of Empires, Timothy Parsons gives a sweeping account of the evolution of empire from its origins in ancient Rome to its most recent twentieth-century embodiment. He explains what constitutes an empire and offers suggestions about what empires of the past can tell us about our own historical moment. Parsons uses imperial examples that stretch from ancient Rome, to Britain's "new" imperialism in Kenya, to the Third Reich to parse the features common to all empires, their evolutions and self-justifying myths, and the reasons for their inevitable decline.

    peter says: "Very Good, learned a lot, well researched"
    "Very Good, learned a lot, well researched"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very interesting book, clearly showing the common themes that connect all empires in history. They all have the same narratives to justify the violence and exploitation. Narratives that are all essential to keep the empire going since state's military assistance is always required to pick up the tab. To put the tab on the taxpayer you need a story of 'the white man's burden' 'the greater good' 'making the world safe for democracy'. The state violence is also required because the empire is usually build on an exclusive monopoly, like the British colonization of India.
    It also becomes clear that every empire needs local assistance to reap the taxes of the subjects.
    What was new to me is that empires seem to be less and less sustainable, since the oppressed can have more easy access to knowledge and defense. They can also easily mobilize international resistance. The Soviet empire lasted relatively short.
    The author also nailed the Iraq occupation pretty well describing how a estimation of 50 billion $ of which 20 billion $ was taken from SDH, grew to a 3 trillion $ declaration bonanza for well connected companies on the tax payer's expense. The real exploited were actually in the USA. Certainly with the latest development in Iraq it seems that even the most powerful military in the world can not keep a small band of committed insurgence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • President Me: The America That's in My Head

    • ABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Adam Carolla
    • Narrated By Adam Carolla
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (157)
    Story
    (157)

    In President Me, Carolla shares his vision for a different, better America free from big issues like big government down to small problems like hotel alarm clock placement. Running on an anti-narcissism platform, President Carolla calls for a return to the values of an earlier time when stew and casserole were on every dinner table and there were no “service dogs” on airplanes. President Me hits right at the heart of what makes our country really annoying, and offers a plan to make all of our lives, but mostly Adam’s, much better.

    Matthew says: "Quite entertaining, but repetitive..."
    "Funny at times"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author definitely has a nice way with analogies. Unfortunately he did not get the memo that he is no longer living in the america of John Adams
    "Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it."
    --John Adams 1776

    but has been taken in by the america of 2014
    “there will be no going back to the era before September the 11th, 2001 – to false comfort in a dangerous world.”
    --Bush 2011

    which make the remarks about backwards nations where they have corrupt and criminal governments sound a bit incorrect. Understandably, who wants to see his nation went down the same drain all the others went? But conflicting with his portrayed image of brutal honesty.
    nevertheless an enjoyable read.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The China Crisis: How China's Economic Collapse Will Lead to a Global Depression

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By James R. Gorrie
    • Narrated By Noah Michael Levine
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    A controversial look at the impending Chinese economic collapse - the history behind it, its contemporary causes, and its dire implications for the global economy. All the experts agree: The 21st century belongs to China. Given America's looming insolvency and the possibility of the collapse of the U.S. dollar, who can doubt that China is poised to take over the role of economic superpower?

    peter says: "Intersting read but a lot of projection"
    "Intersting read but a lot of projection"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Interesting story but a lot of projection. The author worries about the stability of China and it's totalitarian. He claims that in the west the legitimacy of government comes from inclusion, but that in China it is only seen as legitimate by the upper elites, but not by the rest of the population, while in the west there is political inclusion.
    Is the government in China legitimate in the eyes of the people? he asks and considers:
    -Size of internal security forces
    -Large scale censor ship
    -Corrupt legal system
    -Restrictions of assembly
    -Unlimited detention without trial
    The author claims that a legitimate government does not need such security forces, as the governed like to be regulated and taxed by their rulers. I would claim that is wrong. All government is based on force and as such necessarily not desired by the ruled, just tolerated.

    Now if we look at the USA, we see there is indefinite detention, the government spends more on security forces than the other countries combined, they have q quarter of the worlds prisoners, the NSA spies on everyone, the countless 3 letter agencies make up the largest government the world has ever seen, the president has a secret kill list, the government tortures.
    He also says that the bank of China has done unprecedented money printing.

    I say the author is seeing the splinter in someone else's eyes, but not the beam in his own.
    He claims that the books are cooked in China, but the books are cooked in the USA as well. Hedonic adjustments are used to under report inflation and if you measure unemployment the way it used to be measured it would be much higher (discouraged workers). The FED prints 85 billion $ a day. Shadowstats has the old numbers.

    Another thing I noticed as a contradiction is that on the one hand he is emphasizing crooks are in power in China. Then he says it is highly questionable if the crooks can stay in power and sees that as a point of worry. I'd say either they are crooks and you are happy to see them go, or they are not crooks and you worry they are ousted.
    He also claims the CCP can not put the capitalist Genie back in the bottle. Great I would say, but it is a worry to him.

    Another thing he worries about is the growing wealth disparity, which predicts instability. In the USA wealth disparity has just broken new records at the moment of reading this audio book.

    He also says the CCP is so weak and unstable and has so little legitimacy that they fear one single monk; the Dalai Lama. Need I remind of a government that fears OBL in a cave in Afghanistan so much that they start wars an occupations? Or that they spy on the whole world, or arrest teenagers for a tweet or facebook post?

    The greatest danger of China is China itself. I would also see this as projection.
    If you read the whole thing as a projection of the USA, it is a very interesting read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run - or Ruin - an Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Tim Harford
    • Narrated By Cameron Stewart, Gavin Osborne
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (37)

    A provocative and lively exploration of the increasingly important world of macroeconomics, by the author of the bestselling The Undercover Economist. Thanks to the worldwide financial upheaval, economics is no longer a topic we can ignore. From politicians to hedge-fund managers to middle-class IRA holders, everyone must pay attention to how and why the global economy works the way it does.

    peter says: "All the things wrong with economics"
    "All the things wrong with economics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While central planning of the populous by elites has been proven disastrous everywhere, economists still think the economy should be centrally planned. They discuss the economy like a machine in which the author of this book places a person 'in charge of the economy'
    What it ethically means to put someone in charge of the economy and who is being charged, I leave up to the readers imagination. It involves monopolies, central banks an governments. The wise men in power who control interest rates to print money for those in power.
    All that is wrong with non austrian economists, employed by power, is repeated here.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, United States, and the World

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Graham Allison, Robert D. Blackwell, Ali Wyne
    • Narrated By Michael McConnohie, Francis Chau
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (20)

    Lee, the founding father of modern Singapore and its prime minister from 1959 to 1990, has honed his wisdom during more than fifty years on the world stage. Almost single-handedly responsible for transforming Singapore into a Western-style economic success, he offers a unique perspective on the geopolitics of East and West. American presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama have welcomed him to the White House.

    Alfonso says: "A giant among giants"
    "Embrace foreign influences"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lee says that Singapore has to embrace foreign influences or it will be swept away. I happened to be travelling to Singapore in January and my passport was valid to June of that year. I was not even allowed to board the plane from Phuket (Singapore gvt demands 6 months valid passport), even though I had an onward ticket from Singapore long before passport expiry and was planning to spend quiet some money there. I have to conclude Singapore is not build in Lee's image, but it is a scary police state, patrolled by rule obeying nazis of questionable IQ. If their order sheet said to amputate every right leg of incoming tourists, they would obey without questioning and the rulers of Singapore would no doubt be proud that Singapore was not corrupt and executed orders without mercy.
    Many countries in asia have 6 months passport validity demand copied from each other, but luckily they have corrupt governments who do not threaten people or airlines that bring those people, but take a bribe and all are happier because of it.

    1 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joshua Greene
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (25)

    A pathbreaking neuroscientist reveals how our social instincts turn Me into Us, but turn Us against Them - and what we can do about it. The great dilemma of our shrinking world is simple: never before have those we disagree with been so present in our lives. The more globalization dissolves national borders, the more clearly we see that human beings are deeply divided on moral lines - about everything from tax codes to sexual practices to energy consumption - and that, when we really disagree, our emotions turn positively tribal.

    Douglas says: "An Exceedingly Interesting..."
    "A lot of fallacies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a interesting subject but unfortunately the author is really tied up in many collectivist fallacies. He states that if humans follow their self interest they would all die pretty quickly (tragedy of the commons is mentioned a lot). So I have to conclude he thinks it is in human's self interest to die quickly. Of course what he does is narrow the concept of 'self interest' to 'grab all you can', which is setting up a straw man. Later in the book he kind of goes back on this statement by showing cooperation is in human's self interest and is therefor baked into the cake.
    He also stated that when two troops of monkeys meet one another and one is stronger than the other, naturally the stronger will kill the weaker, since they would not like to take chances. This is not the case in reality however, so he might want to check his facts. He touches on that when he later mentions that committing aggression involves risks.
    What most annoyed me is the notion about the idea that cooperation equates handing over resources to government. He begins with northern herders and southern herders and different mentalities and cultural norms about individualism and cooperation. He does not realize that the government is not a pit in which you throw money if you want to cooperate, but it is a special group of people for who inverted moral rules apply (murder for money gives you a medal, theft is taxation and is good) without any physical difference to back this up. Trade = cooperation, the government however is force. It is a group of people in society that claims a monopoly on violence. In his words: government is just another group of herders, just a group that is more violent and has the right to subjugate in the eyes of the subjugated. When he says cooperation is good, he does not mean voluntary trade is good for the participants in the trade. He means: handing over resources to the group of herders who claim to represent the invisible state, equals cooperation. But the government is just a group of herders engaging in robbery. Cooperation is when people get together to voluntary cooperate, government is an elite who exploits the masses through taxation and threat of imprisonment and death.


    10 of 24 people found this review helpful
  • Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven Novella
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (568)
    Story
    (553)

    No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life.

    Jason says: "Clear thinking is valuable beyond measure!"
    "Between skeptic and denialist"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although many of the principles and fallacies are valid, the author is not realy a critical thinker at heart in my opinion. It shows from the examples and words he chooses. When he thinks skepticism is valid he calls is skepticism, but when he thinks it is not, he calls it denialism, just like using the word 'authoritive source'. That is just labeling. When he discusses MMR/authism, he says: because of this 1 report 'compliance' of MMR vacine dropped. Why not use the word 'usage' ? Compliance sounds like an authority robot and that is what the author is leaning towards. He does not understand the amount of money driving scientific reserach for vaccines and global warming research and how that affects the outcome of research.
    He also complains that media has become too diverse with internet and that caused a loss of an 'authoritive filter'. A bottleneck in the media however makes it extremely simple to manipulate. That aspartane is not toxic because the FDA approved it, and foreign FDA's as well does not prove anything. You do not need a big conspiracy to explain this. The producing companies own all these monopolies through the revolving door circuit. It's like saying the intelligence agencies can't all be wrong about WMD in Iraq. You have to understand the revolving door with gvt's and the military industrial complex. They WERE wrong, all of them and you could understand why if you follow the money and watch the interaction between regulators, industry and academia. What about all those regulators saying the mortage market was fine before 2008? The author would have called me a tinfoil head conspiracy nut if I had told them all these regulators were wrong in 2007 with their AAA ratingson on junkmortgages. No, I was right, because you have to understand the revolving door between industry and regulators and the big pool of tax money they fish in.
    To filter the bogus from truth he advises to 'check if the web site has an ideology or is a respected academic gvt agency, bound by transparancy'. How silly does that sound after Edward Snowden?
    The Canadian gvt, besides funding 23000 scientist also issued a gag order for them recently. The gvt is a big corporation with a license to kill and steal.
    Aother argument he uses is to ask 'if the source is licensed' Licensed by the goverment I assume? What makes this bunch of people invulnerable to base instincts? gvt's killed 200 million people world wide in the 20th century. His reasoning has a single point of failure, which is a giant pool of tax money, collected by a monopoly of violence in every country on earth.
    His 911 views will also prove a big spot on this book in hindsight. A complete building, WTC7, falls at free fall speed in it's own foot print, presumably caused by office fires. Any critical thinker with some physics knowledge, can know a big steel re enforced building does not lose structural integrity everywhere, completely all at the same time because of some office fires. You have to be a denialist to think so ;-)
    Every war in history started with a false flag.Hitler dressed up prisoners in Polish uniforms and had them attack german radiostations in operation canned goods, to justify 'retaliation'. After what has become known on operation Northwood and operation Gladio, you have to watch all events that call for a retaliation war with extreme skepticism considering the past.

    18 of 57 people found this review helpful
  • Fooling Some of the People All of the Time: A Long Short Story

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By David Einhorn
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (156)
    Performance
    (85)
    Story
    (87)

    At its most basic level, Allied Capital is the story of Wall Street at its worst. But the story is much bigger than one little-known company. Fooling Some of the People All of the Time is an important call for effective law enforcement, free speech, and fair play.

    James Klein says: "where's the epilogue?"
    "more a record than a book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The author reports about uncovering a tax payer funded, government enabled fraud through the SBA, of a company called Allied Capital through subsidiary BLX (Bussines Loan Express). The main idea is to hand out loans fast and furious witouth much scrutiny, take big commisions on these loans and keep them on the books as healthy, long after they have gone bad. Like buying rotten fruits and putting them in a box and let nobody look inside the box, selling the box on the stock market as a box with fresh fruit. Ofcourse only possible because the tax payer is on the hook in the end through the SBA.

    Einhorn tracked this fraud down and decided to short Allied Capital stock and expose the fraud to the government.
    Here is the surprising part. Einhorn is truly amazed to get little cooperation from the government to expose the fraudulent individuals, while it is the same government that enables the whole thing. He is even treated as an evil short seller suspect by them.
    He claims suprise over 'individuals who have chosen to fight fraude as a profession' that showed little interest. He fails to recognize is that it should immediately be obvious that these crime fighters get their pay check through taxes. Which means that if you do not purchase their services, they drag you of to jail under threat of force. These people are not interested in uncovering crime. They gravitate to a position of power, to cash in on it. The official function of crime fighter is just a fence. It's a racket. It's like being surprised that paying protection money to the maffia, does not get you protection.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Why I Left Goldman Sachs: A Wall Street Story

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Greg Smith
    • Narrated By Greg Smith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (222)
    Story
    (224)

    On March 14, 2012, more than three million people read Greg Smith's bombshell op-ed in the New York Times titled Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs. The column immediately went viral, became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and drew passionate responses from former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, legendary General Electric CEO Jack Welch, and New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg. Mostly, though, it hit a nerve among the general public who question the role of Wall Street in society - and the callous "take-the-money-and-run" mentality that brought the world economy to its knees a few short years ago.

    Michael Moore says: "Engaging Story; Raises Highly Important Issues"
    "Mixed bag"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although it has some interesting stuff, it raised some questions as well. The author was refused a promotion before he resigned, which puts his moral concerns about the business in a different light. In order to prevent the elites from getting richer and the poor getting poorer, he suggests more regulation of the financial markets by the powers that be/elites.

    That should make you stop and think. According to him, to get rid of too big to fail institutions, we need congress (those people that can not control their spending and borrow from their printing presses) control and regulate the financials. He also seem to have some hope that 115 regulatory bodies of the financial markets is not enough and 116 is going to make a difference. You can read the book about Madoff (Harry Markopolis) to see why regulation does not work (revolving door). The only thing that works is taking the way the gun on the head of the tax slave. Without the ability to dump losses on the tax slaves through the government power structure,

    Given he asks for more power for the few, to fight the problems of too much power for the few, I rate this book as a solicitation for a job as a regulator, to become part of the few and stick it to GS, who passed him over for promotion. He also must have smelled that there exists a market for railing against the big banks.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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