I loved this from start to finish, the only problem being my tendency to laugh out loud often while listening. I attracted stares in the library and had to stop listening in the office, people were beginning to guess my attention was not completely on work. If you like Ellen Degeneres's humor, this book is a delight!
I learned some interesting things from Prof Smith, who is witty and convincing. But his thesis, that despite the underlying technology most computer topics are more analog than digital, is easily proven and not particularly important. There are a lot of other interesting points in the talk if you have the patience to sift through the content.
At last I understand what quantum computing is about, though judging from the post-lecture questions the audience did not grasp the concept. The subject matter is tricky and the lecturer works hard to convey the concept in an entertaining and understandable manner. He succeeds only after much difficulty.
Prof Levy, an expert in computer science, information, calligraphy, arts & crafts, unites the world of computers and libraries in an entertaining and informative discussion. Lots of aha's for me.
I loved the Dalai Lama's Art of Happiness and Karen Armstrong's Buddha, but have been disappointed in this one. The narrator speaks in a monotone and rarely shows enthusiasm for the material. While this has given me an opportunity to demonstrate compassion for a first time narrator, I also want to spare new listeners and recommend another of the Dalai Lama's works.
Stephenson's engaging characters move in a world with Leibnitz, Franklin, Louis XIV, Newton, and the whole world of the verge of the enlightenment. While not as fast moving as his other books, he weaves an intricate tapestry of plot and character development into the 17th century, bringing that world to life.
Compelling, well written and well narrated overview of the science of chaos: its history and applications. It stays away from mathematics, a disappointment for me, but probably a benefit for the majority of readers. In the end I was entertained and educated, fulfilling my goal.
Like the Daily Show, this is a wacky look at American politics. Like the medeival court jester, the jokes are often all too true. If you have kids or are offended by sexual or toilet references, there are a fair number. Some of the jokes fall flat (or I am just easily offended), but 85% work, making this a delight to listen to.
Gilder was a bet selling economic writer who became a famous technology writer and stock picker in the 90s. His stock picking has fallen down, but his technology writing is still excellent: he explains the physics and economics of the bandwidth revolution we are in the middle of, and does it in a compelling and understandable way.
Add 5 years (sometimes more) to his predictions and realize that the companies that developed the great technology don't always benefit from it.
The narrator's accent took a few minutes to get used to, and the sound quality was merely adequate, but the content was excellent, and for me, quite enlightening. While covering the whole sweep of history, this book focuses on the last 200 years, giving a crystal clear perspective on how the breakup of the Ottoman Empire resulted in the particular nations that constitute the Middle East.
The stories are well told, I was entertained and informed, what more can I ask?
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