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David

ratings
26
REVIEWS
6
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
8
HELPFUL VOTES
1

  • Radical Abundance: How a Revolution in Nanotechnology Will Change Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By K. Eric Drexler
    • Narrated By Tim Pabon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (42)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    K. Eric Drexler is the founding father of nanotechnology - the science of engineering on a molecular level. In Radical Abundance, he shows how rapid scientific progress is about to change our world. Thanks to atomically precise manufacturing, we will soon have the power to produce radically more of what people want, and at a lower cost. The result will shake the very foundations of our economy and environment.

    David says: "Drexler Rehashes the Past"
    "Drexler Rehashes the Past"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from K. Eric Drexler and/or Tim Pabon?

    I would gladly listen to Tim Pabon's reading again any time, Drexler is out of the question, though.


    What was most disappointing about K. Eric Drexler’s story?

    Drexler spends very much of the book bemoaning and complaining about the failure and misuse by Government Bureaucracy that supposedly caused his original fostering of Nano-Technology to fail.Because the term was 'usurped' by marketing and media hype he has now restyled Nanotechnology as "Atomically Precise Manufacturing " (which is the same day-dream, with very different marketing).

    In this book Drexler complains at length about the hype that amateur enthusiasts and the media heaped on his first vision of Nanotechnology, deriding their nightmare visions of the 'Gray Goo' problem, and the "wild" fantasies of Blood-bourne robots that were supposed to fix cancer and other health problems. Somehow he denies (and also somehow forgets) that these very ideas were discussed and promoted in his book "Engines of Creation". If I recall correctly, Chapter 2 discussed small robots that could repair our cells and "even reverse aging", perhaps even defeating old age and death. The gray goo problem of nanotech run amok was discussed extensively in "Engines" to encourage pre-emptive oversight and guidance. Drexler now blames his enthusiastic followers for these fantasies and nightmares, dissociating himself entirely from them - which is considerably disingenuous of him.

    And finally, despite his strident attempts to make APM sound plausible and reasonable, his own repeated notes of caution, hesitation and "maybe" statements make his arguments unconvincing.

    This seems to be just an attempt to make one last bit of money out of Nanotechnology.


    What does Tim Pabon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    While Tim Pabon has the occasional pronunciation difficulty with some technical and scientific terms, his reading is clear and consistent, and never befuddled, despite the complexity of Drexler's language and technical jargon. Excellent job.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was angered by Drexler's blaming his enthusiastic followers for concepts and ideas he created himself (and now denies creating). I was disappointed in the overall tone of this fairly feeble attempt to describe the same old thing a different way.


    Any additional comments?

    At one time I believed in the possibility of Nanotechnology or Atomically Precise Manufacturing (call it what you will), but based on this and the "where's my Jetpack" lack of development in 30 years, I will not be holding my breath during my lifetime, nor expect any Blood-bourne robots to resurrect me (which Drexler himself suggested in Engines of Creation, but now claims were over-enthusiastic fantasies by "amateurs"). Very bad.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By David Deutsch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (189)
    Performance
    (150)
    Story
    (156)

    A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.

    Gary says: "Covers nothing to everything"
    "If Length Be Not A Merit...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Beginning of Infinity?

    Deutsch makes a lot of clear-seeming argument for his point, that Explanation (specifically the ability of Humans to form *good* explanations) is Cosmically Significant.


    Would you recommend The Beginning of Infinity to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend it to anyone because it is a very long, repetitive series of claims for his main point, which he never actually substantiates - it is a tremendously long statement that He, David Deutsch, thinks this idea is true....but the authority for his point(s) are not in the logic of his argument.....Quite disappointing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are no 'scenes' in this book.....why is this a question??


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Bergner
    • Narrated By Charles Pasternak
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (67)

    When it comes to sex, common wisdom holds that men roam while women crave closeness and commitment. But in this provocative, headline-making book, Daniel Bergner turns everything we thought we knew about women's arousal and desire inside out. Drawing on extensive research and interviews with renowned behavioral scientists, sexologists, psychologists, and everyday women, he forces us to reconsider long-held notions about female sexuality.

    Keith says: "Useful, but not for me!"
    "Well? What Do Women Want??"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would not recommend this book, as it does not result in any clearer understanding of what women want than the average man already has - at least, if I am 'average'.


    If you’ve listened to books by Daniel Bergner before, how does this one compare?

    Not applicable.


    Have you listened to any of Charles Pasternak’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. However I thought the narration excellent on this one.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was especially moved by the relation of a couple of stories about women who, while know what the 'wished' for, were and are hampered by society's mores (although what they wished for seems to me to be quite harmless, our Victorian attitudes make it socially risky for women to express themselves).


    Any additional comments?

    I found it disappointing that, while the question "What Do Women Want" is a long-time urgent one for everybody, a book that purports to tell us the answer left me with the exact same understanding, and questions, as I already had. Apparently there is a good reason why nobody knows.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Michael K. Salemi
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (143)

    Money and finance play a deeply fundamental role in your life. Now, let an expert professor lead you in a panoramic exploration of our monetary and financial systems, their inner workings, and their crucial role and presence in your world. As a guiding theme of these 36 content-rich lectures, you observe the ways in which economies require efficient and evolving financial institutions and markets to fulfill their potential.

    LongerILiveLessIKnow says: "Bank mysteries only somewhat less mysterious"
    "Truly a Great Course from 'The Great Courses'"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I listen almost exclusively to non-fiction, expository works. This Course ranks quite high in quality, listenability and interest, in spite of being about Economics.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know?

    I think the most memorable thing is the speaking ability of Professor Salemi - he is able, through voice and inflection alone, to convey his powerful interest in his subject, and this makes the listener eager to hear what he has to say.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not applicable.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not applicable.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Silence: A Christian History

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Diarmaid MacCulloch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (4)

    How should one speak to God? Are our prayers more likely to be heard if we offer them quietly at home or loudly in church? How can we really know if God is listening? From the earliest days, Christians have struggled with these questions. Their varied answers have defined the boundaries of Christian faith and established the language of our most intimate appeals for guidance or forgiveness. MacCulloch shows how Jesus chose to emphasize silence as an essential part of his message and how silence shaped the great medieval monastic communities of Europe.

    BOB says: "Playback too fast. Unlistenable at normal speed. A"
    "Monstic Silence Too Silent in Silence"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Silence?

    As with all D.MacCulloch's work, it is thorough, well-written and scholarly.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The revelation that Silence and silent prayer caused some schism in the early Christian church was new to me, and of great historic interest. Alternately, the least interesting feature of the book turned out to be it's greater bulk in the form of the many, many descriptions and reasons for 'dark silence': the Christian church(es) remaining mum on their own and others' ill-doings.


    What does Walter Dixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Dixon is, with Grover Gardner, one of the best Narrators in the business. His command of language, crisp & clean pronunciation, and his ability to subtly reveal the humor in a work make him one of my two favorites.(Gardner being the other).


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had no extreme reaction beyond the wish for more emphasis on my specialist interest which I mention below.


    Any additional comments?

    I had been hoping for more emphasis on Monastic Silence and Mystical Silence, rather than the many larger elucidations of the 'silence' around the treatment of Women, Child Abuse, Homosexuality and Holocaust.Commentary on Monastic Silence is all too short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, The Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Lee Smolin
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (278)
    Performance
    (142)
    Story
    (145)

    In this illuminating book, the renowned theoretical physicist Lee Smolin argues that fundamental physics - the search for the laws of nature - is losing its way. Ambitious ideas about extra dimensions, exotic particles, multiple universes, and strings have captured the publics imagination -- and the imagination of experts.

    J B Tipton says: "Strings snipped"
    "Physics Honesty At Last !"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Trouble with Physics again? Why?

    Yes. I will listen several times. Well done production, fascinating topic, and the truth about String Theory...what more could anyone ask?


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Trouble with Physics?

    Right from the start, Smolin identifies they 'Trouble with Physics'. Anyone really interested in Physics could not resist hearing this refreshing and un-biased viewpoint.


    What about Walter Dixon’s performance did you like?

    Walter Dixon's reading is always clear and clean - his command of reading in technical subjects is exemplary.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I was not aware of the extent to which the 'Monster' of String Theory had invaded all of Physics research, apparently to the exclusion of any actual Critical thought. Quite alarming, actually.


    Any additional comments?

    Many thanks to Doctor Smolin for writing a REAL Physics book for people who have wanted to know the true state of Physics for years. The last book I thought was as valuable was Gary Zukav's 'Dancing Wu Li Masters'.Other popular Physics books, these days, promote String Theory almost exclusively, and usually without even a nod to the glossing over required to swallow String Theory itself, the very limited likelihood that these problems can be overcome, and the additional Foundational Problems of the Theories-Behind-the-Theory (Quantum Theory, for instance, which, while a very successful, functional tool, cannot be applied to extensive or complex systems, and which relies on many unexplained features such as 'quantum jitters' as Brian Greene calls them, and the Uncertainty Principle - which is not explained, but has an "is because it is" acceptance among Quantum Theorists). Lee Smolin's book speaks *directly* about the 5 main Problems that Physics needs to address to get back on track and become consistent (and Scientific) again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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