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BruceK

ratings
12
REVIEWS
4
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
18

  • The Compass of Pleasure: How Our Brains Make Fatty Foods, Orgasm, Exercise, Marijuana, Generosity, Vodka, Learning, and Gambling Feel So Good

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By David J. Linden
    • Narrated By Sean Pratt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (244)
    Performance
    (176)
    Story
    (180)

    A leading brain scientist's look at the neurobiology of pleasure-and how pleasures can become addictions. Whether eating, taking drugs, engaging in sex, or doing good deeds, the pursuit of pleasure is a central drive of the human animal. In The Compass of Pleasure Johns Hopkins neuroscientist David J. Linden explains how pleasure affects us at the most fundamental level: in our brain.

    Jenn says: "Great technical, mediocre presentation"
    "Not bad"
    Overall

    I got interested in neuroscience over ten years ago, and it seems the latest trend in books is to put neuroscience or brain in the title and serve up many of the same studies and ideas that you can read in a lot of places and spin it in some way.

    All in all this book was fairly good, though again, there was not much here I had not heard about or read somewhere else. I did not like that much the overly familiar or slang language and terms that were sometimes used to make the topic seem more relevant, but it was not excessive and it did fit the topics.

    I did not think the book was too technical by far. There was a lot of talk about neurotransmitters and chemistry and brain structures, but the case is made early on that a little bit of that is necessary and in my opinion there was not enough. Enough to make it seem technical, but the processes and ways our brains work is not understood and the descriptions given were not that valuable to me. Of course no diagrams or maps in the audio edition.

    I am fascinated by this subject and try to read anything that seems like it will offer some new information of viewpoint ... so I am bound to run into some repetition and mediocre offerings.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: Evolutionary Biology, Part 1: Darwinian Revolutions

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Allen D. MacNeill
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    With Evolutionary Psychology I and II, Allen D. MacNeill of Cornell University led a thought-provoking series of lectures on why people do the things they do. In Evolutionary Biology I, MacNeill addresses a different side of the coin by examining the biological component, from Charles Darwin’s and Gregor Mendel’s “dangerous ideas” to contemporary thought leaders and the forming of the modern synthesis of this vital field of study.

    BruceK says: "No Part 2 Audible available ?"
    "No Part 2 Audible available ?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is an interesting and clear book, if a little slow.

    It bothered me a little that fully the first 4-5 chapters are so basic and often seem to be covering intelligent design as much as they cover evolution.

    You have to get 6 chapters into the book before it even starts to talk about evolution and Darwin, but it does explain well.

    Aside from too much emphasis on creationism, even if it is as a negative, or inserted to make the creationists feel better, it does correctly criticism creationism as not scientific.

    But I did enjoy that the book goes back into history to the ancient Greeks and shows that there were very advanced ideas back then beginning with the Ionians and their ideas of science. One wonders where we would all be today if these ideas had taken hold and had thousands of years to grow rather than religion and all the wars we have had.

    The existence of a Part 1 implies that there is a part 2, but I do not see it in Audible.com.

    While I enjoy and have bought many good non-fiction books at Audible, there is a real shortage of good scientific or educational books such as this one that I would love to see corrected. Another book called the "Making Of The Fittest" has more descriptions of evolution and its terms and ideas which I highly recommend.

    One thing that bothers me a bit is that whenever they read Darwin the narrator switches to this feeble old high-pitched voiced, like a doddering old man with a fake British accent. It's a small price to have to pay, but I don't really understand why they feel the need to do that, at some times it is almost comedic and can detract from the ideas being presented.

    Evolutionary Biology, Part 1: Darwinian Revolutions is both entertaining and educational. I recommend the book, but I am hungry for more, so I really want to see part 2 available as soon as possible. Part 3 anyone?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Greedy Bastards: Corporate Communists, Banksters, and the Other Vampires Who Suck America Dry

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Dylan Ratigan
    • Narrated By Dylan Ratigan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (92)
    Story
    (93)

    Dylan Ratigan is mad as hell. Infuriated by government corruption and corporate communism, incensed by banksters shaking down taxpayers, and despairing of an ailing health care system, an age-old dependency on foreign oil, and a failing educational system, Ratigan sees an America that has allowed itself to be swindled and robbed. In this book, his first, he rips the lid off our deeply crooked system—and offers a way out.

    Cathy says: "Very eye opening and engaging!"
    "Like Rattigan, Full Of Drama, Not Much Substance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was interested to read this when I heard Rattigan speaking at the Commonwealth Club where he sounded intelligent and hit all the right notes. Now, I feel manipulated and want my money back.

    Rattigan is just another media talking head massaging the demographics right to draw a crowd and sell books, especially the young and gullible. I should know better, so I suppose I fall into the gullible side of that.

    When I saw him making the talk show circuit holding up this giant idiotic looking LED lightbulb the size and shape of an alien mothership as an example of how American ingenuity was going to storm the world I knew this was another nonsensical scam.

    I'll make my own prediction, and it is open ended. Until each and every one of us, Americans, stops spending on money on cheap trinkets from China and cheap ideas that our media sells to us, and all of us start to be "from Missouri", ie. PROVE IT, and stop willingly handing over our money AND VOTES, AND EARS/EYES to the greedy bastards in our country nothing is going to change.

    Rattigan in some of his talks has shown that he knows how to educate. He made some very good analogies, and distributed some very good information, but it takes more than just one guy that is good at one thing to get something done in a massive way, and here is where the American people fail. We think it is just the political left that failed because we're told that to do anything as "Americans", for all of us together, is to be socialistic, but it is all of us who are paddling down the drain while singing our disparate songs as we sink lower while the 1% are socialistic for each other! Ah, the irony. Is anyone loud enough to be in Dylan Rattigans place also enough of a sore thumb to be admitted to the 1% … it's a great defense mechanism.

    If Rattigan would care to write a textbook I might read it, because he has a good knack for explaining things and making them interesting, but he is nothing but a guy trying to write a book to make money so he can continue to make books, in other words that puts him in the category with all the other blabbermouth time-wasters.

    Hell, maybe the country doesn't need saving. I'm not doing badly, what do I care if all the rest of Americans jump from one lame idea to the next forever, me and mine will get along. But I do look for more in life and country, but nothing is really going to come from books like these, or whatever is the next style that publishers figure out will appeal to people … maybe resignation … which we already hear in the wings with ideas like, "don't worry about your privacy, you never had any to begin with". Maybe that will be the next emotional tone the media cretins will market us with. Well, I won't be buying.

    Skip this book, skip this genre, go talk to your neighbors and convince then all to unhook from their cable and start writing their own websites and wising up by teaching each other basic skills in something useful. Above all remember that all of us are human beings and all of us have a right to some fraction of the Earth's bounty, and the 1% are all of those people who have cornered resources and make everyone else work for them to get what should morally be theirs to begin with - it's just too complicated so ya cannot write it up on a speadsheet, balance it, and prove it in their courts.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Hoodwinked: An Economic Hit Man Reveals Why the World Financial Markets Imploded

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By John Perkins
    • Narrated By David Ackroyd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (95)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (44)

    John Perkins has seen the signs of today's economic meltdown before. The subprime mortgage fiascos, the banking industry collapse, the rising tide of unemployment, the shuttering of small businesses are all too familiar symptoms of a far greater disease. In his former life as an economic hit man, he was on the front lines both as an observer and a perpetrator of events, once confined only to the third world, that have now sent the United States spiraling toward disaster.

    BruceK says: "Concise world view by very problematic author"
    "Concise world view by very problematic author"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In a way I feel hoodwinked by the author now that I have read his 3 major books because they all say the same thing in a long and drawn out way … and I have to say if you want to buy one of these books get the last ones and skip paying money for repetition.

    I believe Perkins describes the world of the "corporatocracy" as he sees it and has apparently experienced it well. It seems to make sense and be consistent.

    My problem is Perkins himself. Here is a guy who has everything, he operated as a self-described hit man (economic) for some long amount of time, enough to amass a lot of wealth, power and a network, and only then he turned on his masters and his way of life and wrote a rather superficial expose. Perkins has his cake and eats it too. What did he really do, and what is he holding back? He must have lots of "EHM" connections around the world whose stories he could add to his books,and describe more of how this corporatocracy works instead of handwaving.

    Certainly the names are changed, and the story rings enough true that he does not have to get, nor does he get very specific about much that he writes about. Towards the end almost in order to avoid being specific he starts to get new-agey about the whole subject and has in fact apparently written books about shape-shifting, turning into animals or existing on the spirtual plane … which seems to me to appeal to a certain kind of not very analytic reader. It seems that is the audience he is aiming for … the folks who are not very analytical or logical. Do a search on Google for blogs where his stuff gets mentioned and you can see what I mean. If this guy was really who and what he claimed I would think he could appeal to a more intellectual crowd.

    So as I read Perkins' books I am stuck in uncertainty of the value of reading the book. Although most of the ideas Perkins discusses I knew about from reading political books for a long time, Perkins gets away with really doing very little work except storytelling in all of this books. Perkins feels like a con man to me and that is my problem with his books and his ideas. I think there is much more depth and more hidden agenda here than Perkins lets on, and he carefully truncates any mention of anything beyond the simplistic ideas he sells sensationalistically.

    Does he get specific, no. Perkins is just another voice in the wilderness among many people who profit from all these awful things by writing about them, but what is he doing about except taking trips all over the world with celebrities and playing both sides of the issue. That does not help anything, and nothing in the books really explains how to change things.

    Maybe he is even right about things, there is nothing else to do but join em if you can't beat em, but I don't think Perkins' books do much other than add to the author's celebrity and bank account.

    If you are unfamiliar with Perkins' ideas and feel you have to know what he is all about I would just recommend reading whatever his latest book it, aside from the new age books on spirituality, because if you've read one you've read them all, and they do get better as he writes more. I am sure he will keep at it and maybe even hopefully really pull back the curtain and what is going on and the big plan for the world and who is driving it where, or he could just keep churning our retreads.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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