and that's the good news. Not really. This is a lecture at Stanford. Good school. Bright students. Big lecture hall. Ah, there's the problem. The audio quality was quite bad. Lots of echo. And this is just one lecture in a semesters course. I got two things from this :
1 - the world in in the midst of a scientific paradigm shift (duh) and
2 - the worlds best answering machine message
"This is NOT an answering machine. This is a questioning machine. There are only two questions but they are the most difficult and most important questions anyone will ever ask. 'Who are you?' and 'What do you want?'"
I don't know if I have the courage to use it... but I love it.
I was hoping for something marginally interesting but what I got was much, much better than that. Based on my own NYC public school education in the 1950's and my son's private school education in the 1980-90's I firmly believe that children perform up to our expectations. Low expectations produce mediocre educations and lead to remedial classes as a college freshman. Turns out that the US educational system is in worse shape than we think mainly because our school boards expect very little. This book lays out what has to be done in very clear language so the next question is are we smart enough to do it in time for my grandson, and I think not. Looks like I'll be paying for private school for the next generation too.
As a progressive liberal, raised in the post WWII housing projects of NYC and a teenager during the high crime era of "West Side Story" days.... who was shocked by the revelations of the civil rights movement (the idea of "white only" or "black only" ANYTHING down south was unimaginable) the first chapter was kind of an annoying rehash of US history as I lived it.
BUT, hang in there, don't get discouraged, this book is worth all 22 hours and 42 minutes of your time. I usually listen to books while doing something else. This is the first book that made me sit still and just listen..
This is an alternative explanation of the garden of eden and the origins of people and religions. This explanation makes just as much (non)sense as the old testament and this book is just as (un)provable. The only this explanation is that this explanation is more fun.
This is a sad tale of a sociopath one-percent-er (inherited status) and how he rode the most successful flat bed trucking company in America into the ground. In the process, thousands of hard working employees were simply out of luck on their claims for back pay, payroll withholding, healthcare and retirement benefits. Oh yeah, and the US Government was out of millions in corporate income and social security taxes and, while the book doesn't state it, millions in retirement benefit guarantees.
The book is pretty superficial and it's read in an almost gleeful way that I can only think it is meant to be a how-to book for those who want to ruin their own inherited company. If you weren't in favor of limiting CEO benefits before, you will be after reading this.
IF you have warm and fuzzy feelings for early 20c folk music, or remember fondly Woody Guthrie and his influence on the 60's counter culture.... then you won't be disappointed.
that most people are self delusional or just stupid. Read this and you'll know why.
polls show that more people are self identifying as non-religious which I think is a reaction to the religious right. I had an easier time respecting their beliefs when they respected mine.... but now they want the whole country to live their doctrine, whether we want to or not. When people asked me what religion I am, I used to say "I was raised Lutheran" and let it drop there - now I say "I'm an Evangelical Atheist". Thank goodness that Fox TV's average viewer is 65+ so in the next decade they will all start dying off. Something to look forward to. Anyway, this book gives lots of food for thought for those on the fence and great ammunition for those who want to enter the debate. I liked it. but I think you figured that out.
For anyone who is interested in other cultures... or interacts with other cultures... or wonders why other cultures do what they do.... this book is for you. I've been interacting with French culture for over 30 years and I STILL learned things that explained reactions that I never understood before.
If that's not enough, it reinforced my intuitive understanding of American culture and explained aspects of our culture in ways I'd never thought of before.
I was hoping for a comparison between the latest "golden age of TV" and its cultural and political causes and ramification as compared to the previous "golden ages", whose ramifications are in the history books.... alas, I was disappointed. This book quickly degenerated into Hollywood gossip and became a tell-all about the writers/show-runners who, it seems, are the same old narcissistic, ego maniacs of yesteryear, albeit with new names. Apparently some things, i.e., Hollywood, never change.
If you're looking for a behind the camera tell-all, you will love this book.
OK, so I wasn't expecting too much from this book. I thought it would be like other self-serving criminal biographies with minimal details.
I was so wrong. This is a compelling read. There were moments when I cringed at the horror of this man's deeds. There were moments when I felt sorry for him.
In many ways he never had a chance. That's not to say his life wasn't his fault, but his early life and genes made it very difficult for him to act otherwise. He clearly inherited his sociopath genes from his father and his mother wasn't aware enough, or smart enough, to counteract that damage.
Bottom line? I couldn't stop listening and stayed up all night.
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