I subscribed to this as a less-time-consuming alternative to the WSJ. I've been a Mac lover since 1984 but left the fold during the mid-90's. I just bought a new PowerMac after a long hiatus. What could be better (thought I) than a radio show with current Mac information? I think a radio show with current Mac information could be great, but this particular show is unbearably long and boring. I kept fast-forwarding, thinking, "This is just the preliminary stuff, and pretty soon the real show is going to start."
No such luck. This show is 20% commercials and promos (Another iPod Shuffle giveaway, but this time, only to diabetic college students), 60% unfunny jokes and uninteresting chat ("Hey, shout out to Bessie in Orlando!"), 15% content that I already knew (how a stock split works) or don't care about (obscure Photoshop tips), and 5% useful information. I really tried to like this show but just couldn't. Based on the reviews, a lot of people like it--but then lots of people enjoy Dr. Who, too. Count me out.
Steve spent his life obsessing over details and turning out great products. So it's ironic that his authorized biography is so profoundly not-great.
Walter Isaacson is presumably a capable writer, or he wouldn't have been chosen for this project. But the book has a raw and unfinished feel. Phrases and quotes are repeated ad nauseum throughout different sections of the book. In several places, the author makes an elementary statement, then follows it up with a quote that is nearly verbatim to the original statement. In one chapter, he uses a half dozen bizarre and clumsy sexual references to describe Jobs' relationship with John Sculley. The entire book is sorely in need of editing for brevity, and the early chapters in particular seem to have missed the editor's pen. The reader is left with the feeling that the author knew he was going to sell a gazillion books regardless of content, so he spent half the time that he should have done working and reworking his text.
After spending hundreds of hours with Jobs and his various business associates, Walter Isaacson has turned out the Windows Vista of biographies. Clearly, he was focused on making a profit, not on making a great product.
These lessons are a pleasure to listen to. They are challenging, but put together in such a way that the language is retained. Well worth the price!
Jon Krakauer is like my mother-in-law. Both are engaging storytellers with a gift for keeping the listener riveted on the subject, even if we are already familiar with it. But like my mother-in-law, Krakauer is not above coloring the facts to make them fit the story he wants to tell.
I'm a practicing Mormon with an interest in the history of the Church. I am aware that the Church is imperfect and that current Church leadership tends to gloss over less desirable points of its history.
Krakauer has a fascinating story to tell in the Lafferty murders. But he tries too hard to reconcile the Laffertys, modern Mormon fundamentalism and religious extremism generally with early Church history and the mainstream Mormon church. To make the story fit, he uses exaggeration (such as the "unconditional obedience" supposedly demanded of modern latter-day Saints), patently untrue generalizations (e.g., the statement that "most Mormons" will eventually travel to New York for the Hill Cumorah Pageant), and silly anecdotes apparently fabricated from whole cloth (like the bizzare allegation that "Mormons the world over" have committed 5:16 p.m., the time of Joseph Smith's death, to memory). Similarly amusing is his claim that Mormons refer to non-Mormons as "gentiles," a word that passed out of favor among mainstream Mormons 40 years ago and that is literally never heard in the modern church.
Most disturbing is Krakauer's willingness to present his hypotheses about historical controversies as truth. He even attributes feelings and motivations manufactured by him to figures such as Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, apparently to help the story flow.
The narration is bad. ApPROXimately EVery THIRD SYLLable is EMPHasized.
The book is enjoyable despite its faults. I don't recommend against it, but do take it with a grain of salt. This is not a history, but a historical miniseries in print. The story is great, but the truth remains firmly in second place.
This is a very close look at monetary systems from a surprisingly neutral position. Friedman is 100% apolitical in this analysis of the theory and practice of the phenomenon we call money. You'll no longer take it for granted after reading this book. Does it matter that the U.S. dollar is not tied to a gold exchange rate? What causes inflation? Why do currencies fluctuate in value against one another? These questions are answered in at least as much detail as the average reader will care to know. The book is sometimes repetetive and sometimes simply too deep (or maybe I'm just not quite bright enough to keep up with the author). But I felt it was a worthwhile listen, if for no other reason than I can now talk intelligently to my "gold-bug" brother about the subject of money.
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