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  • 5 reviews
  • 6 ratings
  • 368 titles in library
  • 25 purchased in 2014

  • Science and Technology

    • NONE (2 hrs)
    • By Neil Postman, Jane Metcalfe, Howard Rheingold, and others

    Technology has a powerful capacity to affect the way we perceive the world and how it works. The authors and scientists in these interviews share their thoughts on computer-assisted communications technologies and the increasing capability of scientific technology to affect the world for good or ill. They also discuss the influence of cyberspace, virtual reality, and intelligent design. The interviewees include Neil Postman, Jane Metcalfe, Howard Rheingold, Mark Slouka, Andrew Kimbrell, Doug Groothius, Dean Kenyon, Philip Johnson, and Michael Behe.

    Aufklärer says: "stealth propaganda for intelligent design!"
    "stealth propaganda for intelligent design!"

    I have been caught by surprise, as some of the participants in this program are reputable people (e.g. Neil Postman, Howard Rheingold) but the last part of it is a piece of not-so-subtle propaganda for intelligent design, with a bunch of advocates of this pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo posing as victims of the scientific establishment, just as Galileo was a victim of the Inquisition : this is a bit hard to swallow, considering that these people are closer in their orientation to the religious obscurantists who condemned Galileo than to Galileo himself.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joshua Greene
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    A pathbreaking neuroscientist reveals how our social instincts turn Me into Us, but turn Us against Them - and what we can do about it. The great dilemma of our shrinking world is simple: never before have those we disagree with been so present in our lives. The more globalization dissolves national borders, the more clearly we see that human beings are deeply divided on moral lines - about everything from tax codes to sexual practices to energy consumption - and that, when we really disagree, our emotions turn positively tribal.

    Douglas says: "An Exceedingly Interesting..."
    "A supremely enlightening view of moral philosophy"
    What did you love best about Moral Tribes?

    I have read tens of philosophy books, but this is the one that made me feel the most enlightened after reading it. It helped clear away the cosy rationalizations of tribal moralities that I self-righteously indulge in, like every one else, and it does not claim to replace those by another absolute moral truth. At the same time, after demonstrating the hopeless relativity of moral emotions, Joshua Greene does fully acknowledge their worth as an "automatic mode".

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    A scientific understanding of the dual processes at work in moral decision-making leads to a reappraisal of the much-maligned utilitatrian viewpoint as the only realistic inter-tribal "moral common currency"

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The little fable told at the beginning is nice, but you definitely shoul reread it after completing the book.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This is a book you have to think over, I read it twice and will certainly read it again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Christopher Hitchens
    • Narrated By Christopher Hitchens
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris' recent best-seller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos.

    ben capozzi says: "...Though Hitchens Is!"
    "Should have been read by a professional narrator!"
    What didn’t you like about Christopher Hitchens’s performance?

    The elocution of Hitchens is very poor, horribly straining and almost imposible to follow for a non-native speaker of english like me. It is really a pity because the contents are so compelling!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Intellectuals and Society

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Thomas Sowell
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner

    This is a study of how intellectuals as a class affect modern societies by shaping the climate of opinion in which official policies develop, on issues ranging from economics to law to war and peace. You will hear a withering and clear-eyed critique about (but not for) intellectuals that explores their impact on public opinion, policy, and society at large.

    Gare&Sophia says: "An efficient attack on liberal philosophy."
    "Biased, dishonest"

    I tried to read this book because it is good mental hygiene to read authors you don't agree with, at least when their views are based on facts and sound reasoning. But this book is just pure ideology and the author does obviously not apply to himself the standards of verification and unbiased judgment that he exacts from the intellectual class at large.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • The Day of the Jackal

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Frederick Forsyth
    • Narrated By Simon Prebble

    One of the most celebrated thrillers ever written, The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of an anonymous Englishman who in, the spring of 1963, was hired by Colonel Marc Rodin, operations chief of the O.A.S., to assassinate General de Gaulle.

    Darwin8u says: "Tight & fantastic political/cat-and-mouse thriller"
    "A taste of a bygone France"

    Being born in France at the time this novel is supposed to take place, I found the story doubly fascinating, not only for the suspense, but also for the depiction of a country that was still much closer to the 19th century than to the 21st, so different in every regard from what it has since become.
    It is just a pity that the narrator does such a terrible job of pronouncing french names, they are barely recognizable...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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