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Porc

United States | Member Since 2010

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 ratings
  • 72 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
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  • The Most Human Human: What Talking with Computers Teaches Us About What It Means to Be Alive

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Brian Christian
    • Narrated By Brian Christian
    Overall
    (323)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (197)

    The Most Human Human is a provocative, exuberant, and profound exploration of the ways in which computers are reshaping our ideas of what it means to be human. Its starting point is the annual Turing Test, which pits artificial intelligence programs against people to determine if computers can "think". Named for computer pioneer Alan Turing, the Turing Test convenes a panel of judges who pose questions - ranging anywhere from celebrity gossip to moral conundrums - to hidden contestants in an attempt to discern which is human and which is a computer.

    Roy says: "A Wedding of Computer Science and Philosophy"
    "Well Written, Well Read"
    Overall

    I bought this book on a lark, since I needed something this month and it sounded quirky and interesting. And I was pleasantly surprised by a deeply philosophical inquiry into that space between computer science, philosophy and sociology, Three subjects that I find interesting, but I've never really studied before. It isn't a deep study of any particular subject, but I would highly recommend it, just the same.

    Aside from that, the reading seemed to suit the writing perfectly. I think that it was read by the author, in which case he made an excellent choice doing so himself.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha
    • Narrated By Allyson Johnson, Jonathan Davis, Christopher Ryan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1764)
    Performance
    (1227)
    Story
    (1225)

    Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing....

    Mark says: "too much focus on academic in-fighting"
    "An Important Book with a disappointing reader"
    Overall

    I just finished this book and I can say that I was deeply impressed with the scholarship, thoughtfullness and bravery that they had in writing it. I want to get more people I know to read it, just so that I can discuss whether they agree or disagree and how much.

    That being said, I didn't like the reader of this audio-book format of it at all. She seemed smarmy and annoying and she made many sections feel cliche male-bashing, which were probably nothing more than than a playful presentation of their research when it's read from a printed copy.

    11 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By David Chandler
    Overall
    (2053)
    Performance
    (919)
    Story
    (912)

    Maverick thinker Nassim Nicholas Taleb had an illustrious career on Wall Street before turning his focus to his black swan theory. Not all swans are white, and not all events, no matter what the experts think, are predictable. Taleb shows that black swans, like 9/11, cannot be foreseen and have an immeasurable impact on the world.

    Kenneth says: "Brilliant, Obnoxious, Narcissistic, Brilliant"
    "Thoughtful and Interesting"
    Overall

    I read through this book based on hearing the author speak on the radio and I was impressed. I think his central point about how life is considerably more uncertain than we like to think is an important and valuable one. Yes, it's a long book, but I think that the more the subject gets boiled down into smaller and smaller sound-bites, the less effect it is likely to have. And I think the warning here for us is a valuable one.

    To the many reviews here who wanted to boil the book down to one sentence: did you even read it? Half of the book is about how when we simplify things we throw out important parts of them, leaving behind dangerously simplified concepts. And after reading the whole book, you THEN want to boil it down to "shit happens?" Frankly, I'm glad that I didn't heed those reviews, then I read them, or I would be lesser for it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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