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Jarrod

Member Since 2010

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 83 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • The Feynman Lectures on Physics: Volume 20, The Very Best Lectures

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Richard P. Feynman
    • Narrated By Richard P. Feynman
    Overall
    (60)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (26)

    For more than 30 years, Richard P. Feynman's three-volume Lectures on Physics has been known worldwide as the classic resource for students and professionals alike. Ranging from the most basic principles of Newtonian physics through such formidable theories as Einstein's general relativity, superconductivity, and quantum mechanics, Feynman's lectures stand as a monument of clear exposition and deep insight.

    Jarrod says: "Why aren't there more teachers like this?"
    "Why aren't there more teachers like this?"
    Overall

    Obviously this would be better as video, and I could also be critical that the lectures cover what most people who find this will already have heard in university (he doesn't go deeply into his own ground-breaking research). But that is all nitpickery. These lectures are like pure gold. No, more like a golden egg laying goose because you can listen again, and pass on your learning to others. We need more Mr Feynmans in this world...

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Neuromancer

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By William Gibson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1315)
    Performance
    (1166)
    Story
    (1180)

    Twenty years ago, it was as if someone turned on a light. The future blazed into existence with each deliberate word that William Gibson laid down. The winner of Hugo, Nebula, and Philip K. Dick Awards, Neuromancer didn't just explode onto the science fiction scene - it permeated into the collective consciousness, culture, science, and technology.Today, there is only one science fiction masterpiece to thank for the term "cyberpunk," for easing the way into the information age and Internet society.

    David says: "5 stars for coolness, 3 stars for give-a-heckness"
    "Its simple: its essential reading"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you want to gain understanding of how culture can be affected by literature, read this book. If you want to be dazzled by one of the most prescient writings of our times, read this book. If you just like sci-fi, AI, space ships and artificial gravity, read this book. Even if you're a 'none of the above', you should probably read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Fountainhead

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ayn Rand
    • Narrated By Christopher Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3202)
    Performance
    (1883)
    Story
    (1910)

    One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.

    Zachary says: "The Fountainhead"
    "Some ideas discredited, but some still hit hard."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It is a joy to read a sample of the type of thinking that built America.

    The Fountainhead tells the tale of two architects, one who goes with the flow, plays the political games, designs what 'society wants' and another, Howard Roark, who designs buildings for the simple reason that it gives him pleasure. We learn from this tale how aspects of our society will act to punish those that would try to outdo what has gone before, and reward those who sell their soul to the will of others.

    The pace is brisk, yet a slower tale unfolds between the lines, the tale of the hollowness of of the easy victory and the true virtue of original thought; this sense of foreboding grows and turns the tale into a classic of modern literature.

    The reader is left with a curious self-confidence and bizarrely, the message taken away is very similar to that left by Steve Jobs who stuck up for the misfits who wanted to create things people didn't even know they wanted yet (many others have noticed the parallel's between Jobs and Roark).

    Of course, reading this book after so many years, and after so many more lessons in the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism, we see that some of the ideas proposed have failed the test of time - for example, we have seen how the problems of pure selfishness are probably worse than those from pure selflessness (Rand created a false dilemma).

    The strengths of the book allow me to forgive that weakness. Firstly, it reminds us there is virtue in our so-called 'selfish' ambitions - secondly, it gives confidence to people to break from tradition, to question dogma and to develop their own personal set of principles. Last but not least it creates hope - hope that a society of individuals can be coherent and not hostile.

    To conclude, this book remains a fabulous tool to teach us to question why we do what we do, and to ask ourselves who exactly we are trying to please. It is worth 5 stars for that alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Hansen
    • Narrated By John Allen Nelson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (100)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (42)

    In Storms of My Grandchildren, James Hansen - the nation's leading scientist on climate issues - speaks out for the first time with the full truth about global warming: the planet is hurtling even more rapidly than previously acknowledged to a climatic point of no return. Although Hansen was Al Gore's science adviser for the 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth, his recent data shows that our situation is even more dire today.

    Brad says: "This is a must read"
    "Will we be the generation that turned a blind eye?"
    Overall

    There is a gap between what those who study the details know, and what the public know. Although this book will not reach many of the latter, it will reach many on the fringe - it is therefore up to us to carry the banner and alert the sleeping masses to the facts: when we burn carbon we are playing with fire.
    James Hansen carries the best credentials you could ask for: who else can say they predicted global warming in 1980? Of course this blessing is also a curse; critics can argue he is biased, and of course he is, but he is not delusional: he admits openly that models are far from good enough for us to rely on, but argues rather that the evidence of the past (paleoclimatology) gives a pretty good cause for concern. The risks are simply too great for "business as usual". Read this book and make up your own mind - afterwards, not before.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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