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Alice

Ventura, CA, USA

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 47 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • DNA: The Secret of Life

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By James Watson, Andrew Berry
    • Narrated By Dan Cashman
    Overall
    (237)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (57)

    James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA structure, gives this authoritative yet personal account of the course of modern genetic research and the technological and ethical challenges unleashed by it.

    Amazon Customer says: "A view from within."
    "Put it togeter by a raconteur"
    Overall

    Overall a well-written book, but I wished Watson had shared with his audience his research findings on the ethical questions his committee had posed in the Human Genome Project. It would be very interesting to find out the conditions and sets of parameters under which the ethics are explored and questioned, because I suspected the information would be helpful to his audience to weigh the pros and cons for themselves, and therefore fully appreciating the merits and benefits of genetic research. Sometimes I sensed fixed messages on Watson's attitude, or his ethical pros and cons on the use of genetic research. For instance, although I applauded Watson's stance against nefarious commercialization of human genes, or any life form for that matter, I became confused with his espousing the BT gene in reducing pesticide use, since he didn't seem too concerned with the adventitious spreading of genetically engineered plants into "wild" types. Indeed, the enterprise to "play with genes" can only bring up more questions for each one of us to face sooner or later in our life time, and by not sharing with his audience the findings of his research on ethics, Watson unfortunately performed a unsavory disservice to his audience.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 1984

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By George Orwell
    • Narrated By Richard Brown
    Overall
    (628)
    Performance
    (81)
    Story
    (86)

    The year 1984 has come and gone, yet George Orwell's prophetic nightmare vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of "Negative Utopia", a startlingly original and powerful novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words.

    Erik says: "Good narrator, great book"
    "1984 and my childhood"
    Overall

    Mindlessly mechanical, very few things move her emotionally. ?Things will be all right for future generations,? she tells my father. She has no need for family history, her own or mine. She fears creativity until recently. My mother, a misanthrope who grew up under communist China?s educational system, even after residing in the States for more than twenty-five years, cannot seem to snap out of her past ?education? by the communists. In my memory, she seems to hold little joy in her life. 1984 sheds light on my question: ?Who is my mother?? and ?What is my mother?? In a sense, ?Chapter One? of the Book rings a personal truth to my upbringing, so many things that my mother said to me about the world, during my childhood, puzzled me. Whatever psychological lessons my mother went through during her ?education,? I doubt she?d ever share it with me. Nonetheless, it would not be surprising if she had received training in doubletalk, doublethink and indoctrination ?freedom is slavery.? It was very easy, almost too easy, for me to project myself into the novel, because it felt so personal and real. So it was easy for me to imagine myself living in a Totalitarian society, but it would be too much of a nightmare, for I already have a slight taste of it in my childhood. Unknowingly, in the past few years, I have worked in my small ways to strengthen my knowledge and belief in a democratic society, may it be researching history, studying the structure of mainstream media, or becoming more aware and decoding the means of deception and misinformation, which is so pertinent to understand the actions of current Bush administration. Even though the main character, Winston Smith, in 1984 eventually learned to love the Big Brother after forty years, I am still optimistic about meeting my responsibility as a US citizen, participating in quasi-democracy and reading once more 1984 as a novel, not a history book. By then, 1984 would have been either re-written or George Orwell vaporized.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful

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