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John

I'm a lawyer and mediator. I represent businesses in disputes with their insurers and in other complex litigation. I also assist machinery companies and manufacturers (primarily international) with equipment sales, non-disclosure agreements, and business issues. I also mediate commercial disputes.

Chamblee, GA, United States | Member Since 2009

303
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 85 reviews
  • 100 ratings
  • 280 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2015
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121

  • Freakonomics: Revised Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
    • Narrated By Stephen J. Dubner
    Overall
    (3151)
    Performance
    (1563)
    Story
    (1556)

    Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing, and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics. Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.

    Shackleton says: "Good, but be careful"
    "Interesting Connections"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had been meaning to read this book for a long time. It really makes some very fascinating connections and allows one to see the world in a different light.

    One thing that bothered me is that the book rather uncritically suggests that my hometown of Atlanta was a hotbed of Klan activity. Although there was Klan activity in Atlanta and most of the South (and in other parts of the country), the book does not mention that Atlanta (birthplace of Dr. King) also boasts a long history of African-American entrepreneurship. Further, the City of Atlanta has had African-American mayors since the 1970s. At another point, the book suggests the crime rate here is very high. Yes, Atlanta has crime, but the City of Atlanta is a small part (about 500,000 people) of a 5.5 million metropolitan community. Crime stats focusing only on the City can be misleading.

    These observations should not detract anyone from reading the book, but since the authors focus on discovering the truth about connections others do not make, I felt it important to make these points.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Yuval Noah Harari
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (534)
    Story
    (529)

    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six human species inhabited the Earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism?

    Gary says: "Masterpiece! Our myths make us who we are"
    "Just Couldn't Get Into It ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Full disclosure: I got more than 3 hours into this book and put it down. I may listen to some more of it, if, for example, I have a very long airplane ride and nothing better to do.

    Here's where it breaks down for me: The first part of the book can be summarized as follows: 1. Man is a monkey with a big brain; 2. Man uses the big brain to exploit its environment; and 3. Bad things happen to other animals (particularly large animals) when man arrives on the scene. OK, that's one view of pre-history and history, but it's nothing new.

    The author is what I would call glib: He presents some issues and questions that appear deep and compelling at first, but, when you think about them, they really aren't. They just take you back to points 1, 2 and 3.

    Maybe there's more later, but I'm not likely to spend hours trying to find out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Beth Shapiro
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks listeners through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction.

    John says: "Very Readable Take on a Complex Subject"
    "Very Readable Take on a Complex Subject"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book isn't just about mammoths. It is about the science of "de-extinction," which means the possibility of bringing extinct species (or, actually, reasonable facsimiles thereof) back to life. If you like mammoths, however, there's plenty in the book for you!

    Shapiro does a great job of describing the science in a reasonably accessible manner. She also explains why, although much progress has been made, there are still important scientific and practical mountains to climb.

    The book presents a very balanced view of the practical and ethical issues surrounding possible de-extinction. Shapiro is not a scientist who believes that the science should simply proceed without careful (actually very careful) consideration of whether it should go forward at all.

    The book is a nice length. It's long enough to go in depth, but not so long that it gets mired in details.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Neanderthal Man: In Search of Lost Genomes

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Svante Pääbo
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (71)
    Performance
    (66)
    Story
    (67)

    A preeminent geneticist hunts the Neanderthal genome to answer the biggest question of them all: what does it mean to be human? What can we learn from the genes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pbo’s mission to answer that question, beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in his sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2009.

    D. Littman says: "Excellent, human-scale, book about science"
    "Interesting Stuff"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is just fascinating. It is a compelling biography of an important scientist's quest to unlock the mystery of pre-history. Although the subject matter is highly complex, the author provides a reasonably accessible explanation of what he and his team are doing and what it means. In other words, you don't need an advanced degree in biology to enjoy the book.

    The findings about our nearest relative are interesting and surprising. You have probably read about the results in the popular press, but I won't spoil the results.

    It's also interesting to hear about the behind the scenes struggles as Svante and his team try to gain access to bones, and worry about other, less careful, scientists beating them to the punch.

    Overall, the book was highly enjoyable, and I will be looking for additional compelling developments as the science advances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Oren Klaff
    • Narrated By Oren Klaff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1068)
    Performance
    (890)
    Story
    (878)

    When it comes to delivering a pitch, Oren Klaff has unparalleled credentials. Over the past 13 years, he has used his one-of-a-kind method to raise more than $400 million - and now, for the first time, he describes his formula to help you deliver a winning pitch in any business situation. Whether you’re selling ideas to investors, pitching a client for new business, or even negotiating for a higher salary, Pitch Anything will transform the way you position your ideas. According to Klaff, creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art - it’s a simple science.

    Troy S. says: "Awesome"
    "Compelling Reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fast moving interesting book that presents a very credible set of techniques for selling and persuasion. In short, Klaff demonstrates that many conventional sales techniques are at best unproductive and at worst just flat out wrong.

    The information is useful for almost any profession, and not just traditional selling. I'm going to buy the e book and study it.

    Although the story moves well, there are points where it gets a little overwrought, and makes me wonder if some of the examples are not embellished. "Goldhammer"?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Kim Zetter
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman
    Overall
    (319)
    Performance
    (275)
    Story
    (272)

    Top cybersecurity journalist Kim Zetter tells the story behind the virus that sabotaged Iran’s nuclear efforts and shows how its existence has ushered in a new age of warfare - one in which a digital attack can have the same destructive capability as a megaton bomb.

    Greg says: "Amazingly detailed, sober and above all, damning"
    "Important Information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very good book that takes an in depth look at the risks associated with cyber-warfare. Although one has to be impressed with the capabilities of whatever team or teams developed Stuxnet, the point Zetter makes again and again is that cyber weapons tend to come home to create havoc. Another point she makes is that our infrastructure is probably not ready for a concentrated or government-backed attack.

    The story is well-written and reads much like a mystery. That said, the book could have used some careful editing. It is probably about 20 percent too long.

    Cyber vulnerability is a very important topic, and this book does a great job of providing an education about the risks. I do feel that the author understates the benefits of disrupting the Iranian nuclear program, but, in a more overall sense, she does a great job of presenting the issues and risks in a very readable manner.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Walter Isaacson
    • Narrated By Dennis Boutsikaris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1578)
    Performance
    (1342)
    Story
    (1331)

    Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

    Mark says: "A History of the Ancient Geeks"
    "Fascinating Review of Technology"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the book Isaacson was writing that was interrupted by his very fine biography on Steve Jobs. Although a bit long and tedious at some points, the book provides a really interesting history of the development of computers and digital technology. It's amazing how far ahead of their time some of these people were. A description of a computer demonstration from1968 is amazing--at least 30 years ahead of its time. The stories are interesting, but the author's main point is that most technology does not develop as a result of a solitary inventor in a garage, but as a result of collaborative efforts that build on the work of others. His discussion of the tension between closed and open systems--which is weaved throughout the book--is very interesting. As so today we have Apple and Google. A good read. Could have been a bit shorter.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Tim Wu
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (847)
    Performance
    (529)
    Story
    (527)

    Could history repeat itself, with one giant entity taking control of American information? Most consider the Internet Age to be a moment of unprecedented freedom in communications and culture. But as Tim Wu shows, each major new medium, from telephone to cable, arrived on a similar wave of idealistic optimism only to become, eventually, the object of industrial consolidation profoundly affecting how Americans communicate.

    Neil says: "Very interesting history, biased conclusions"
    "Great Analysis of Information Technologies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a really interesting book that chronicles the rise of various information technologies, starting with the telephone and ending with the Internet. Wu presents a strong argument that information technologies tend to start free and then wind up being controlled by monopolies, the government, or a combination. His discussion of how AT&T suppressed important technological developments (such as the answering machine) for decades is both fascinating and a bit depressing. The same thing happened to FM radio and other technologies. So far, the Internet has been different, but the Obama administration has just announced plans to regulate it. So, despite Wu's hope that this time might be different, it looks like the cycle is on the verge of repeating.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stop Selling and Get Clients: The Proven 9-Step Guide for Professionals

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Bernie DeSouza
    • Narrated By John Brown
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    The audiobook clearly and logically takes the professional through nine steps in the process of establishing business relationships with new clients. The author has practiced this process in coaching individuals and training local companies and also helping organizations further afield.

    John says: "Great Ideas in a Small Package"
    "Great Ideas in a Small Package"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is really a helpful book. In a little over two hours, DeSouza offers practical and actionable tips on prospecting, selling, and getting referrals. His tips on communicating effectively with customers are very thought-provoking. I'm not sure there is a lot here that has not been written before, but I don't think I've ever seen anything like it in such a compact and actionable presentation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Flashpoints: The Emerging Crisis in Europe

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Friedman
    • Narrated By Bruce Turk, George Friedman
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (99)

    George Friedman has forecasted the coming trends (politics, technology, population, and culture) of the next century in The Next 100 Years, and focused his predictions on the coming ten years in The Next Decade. Now, in Flashpoints, Friedman zooms in on the region that has, for 500 years, been the cultural hotbed of the world - Europe - and examines the most basic and fascinating building block of the region: culture.

    John says: "Important Reading: Old Grievances Do Not Go Away"
    "Important Reading: Old Grievances Do Not Go Away"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an important book for anyone interested in contemporary geopolitics. Friedman takes us on a quick tour of European history which focuses on the rise of Germany three times: As an economic and military power leading to World War I, as a military power under Hitler, and as the greatest post-war economic power. Now being a rich, but militarily weak, country, Friedman explains the many challenges that Germany faces for itself, and that it creates for the rest of Europe. His discussion also chronicles the reemergence of Russia, and its need to move its "buffer" to the west, having been re-positioned far to the east after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Friedman also weighs in on the enigma of France and how it is neither really a northern European economic power or a weak southern European country, but a curious mixture of both. And, of course, Great Britain's role is analyzed. No longer a world power, Britain needs Europe and keeps a watchful eye on it, but does not really want to commit to the European Union. Friedman's most incisive discussion, however, involves borderlands across the quilt of many nations that form Europe. Some borderlands are peaceful and will likely remain that way, while others--most notably Ukraine--form the flashpoint for future conflicts. Friedman's main point is that the contention that the European Union ushered in an age of prosperity for all that made conflict and war a thing of the past is simply not true. Very thought provoking. I may listen again.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mitchell Zuckoff, Annex Security Team
    • Narrated By Mitchell Zuckoff
    Overall
    (481)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (433)

    13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.

    Curtis says: "Like you were there !"
    "Unbelievable Bravery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a first hand and fast moving account of the disastrous events in Benghazi Libya on the night of September 11, 2012, as told by the surviving members of the Annex security team. If this was fiction, it might be criticized as pure fantasy. However, it really happened, and four Americans died.

    It is pretty clear from the account that not enough security was in place in the beginning. It is also clear that Ambassador Stephens decided to go forward with a dangerous trip with an inadequate security team. It is also clear that bad decisions were made by the CIA when the attack started. It is somewhat unclear whether additional U.S. assets or friendly forces could have been brought in during the attack (perhaps a story for another book), but one gets the clear impression that not enough was done.

    Six men were essentially left on their own to try to retrieve the Ambassador and, when that brave effort failed, to defend the Annex. Draw your own conclusions, but I strongly suspect things would have been far worse with almost any other group.

    Compelling. Also very sad.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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