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Jake

Port Hueneme, California, United States | Member Since 2013

16
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 48 ratings
  • 154 titles in library
  • 45 purchased in 2014
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  • Effective Communication Skills

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dalton Kehoe
    Overall
    (181)
    Performance
    (160)
    Story
    (155)

    From asking a waiter for an unusual substitution to urging a service manager to get your car finished sooner to swaying your significant other toward a particular film or show, many of the decisions you make are decided by talking. And no matter why you engage in face-to-face talk, there's no way to insulate yourself from the dangers of miscommunication. These 24 mind-opening lectures are your chance to learn more about how you communicate verbally, the common problems you can encounter in doing so, and how you can improve your own effectiveness.

    James says: "Interesting Lectures with a Misleading Description"
    "Points Not Effectively Communicated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were some helpful tips here and there but the course plodded with lots of platitudinizing. I felt like he could've effectively communicated everything he wanted to in 3 hours or less.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • American Ideals: Founding a 'Republic of Virtue'

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Daniel N. Robinson
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    An insightful 12-lecture course that explores the principles that guided the founding of the United States, the conditions that led to the break with Great Britain, and the creation of such founding documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.You'll deepen your understanding of fundamental ideas that inspired American independence and that continue to have a profound influence on American thought. You'll also receive insight into what historians call "the long conversation" in American society.

    Jake says: "Weak analysis"
    "Weak analysis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This course was just a meandering series of quotes from the forefathers followed by vacuous reverence. It felt like the professor just threw something together at the last minute.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Matt Ridley
    • Narrated By L. J. Ganser
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (396)
    Performance
    (233)
    Story
    (240)

    Life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

    Darkcoffee says: "Delightful Case for Things Looking Up"
    "Good analysis mixed with libertarian rants"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ridley makes the very important point that the modern world is fundamentally built on trade and the specialization of labor. This idea can often be overlooked. Many people seem to think that we would be better off doing everything ourselves. Ridley shows that this is deeply misguided. However, I agree with William Easterly's review in that there are numerous rants throughout the book that don't really advance any idea and instead chafe otherwise sympathetic listeners. This book could've been a lot better. I was hoping this book would be a nice complement to Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature but it paled in comparison to Pinker's rigor and depth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Steven Kotler, Peter H. Diamandis
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (629)
    Story
    (625)

    We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman, and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp. This bold, contrarian view, backed up by exhaustive research, introduces our near-term future, where exponentially growing technologies and three other powerful forces are conspiring to better the lives of billions of people. This book is an antidote to pessimism by tech-entrepreneur-turned-philanthropist Peter H. Diamandis and award-winning science writer Steven Kotler.

    Ryan says: "A catalog of positive innovations on the horizon"
    "Pretty good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was enjoyable. It focused primarily on technology while mostly ignoring economics and governance. Sometimes the authors seemed levelheaded and other times they seemed techno-utopian. I wasn't sure what to expect based on the somewhat mixed reviews. If you're looking for a comprehensive analysis of human progress, this isn't the book for you. If you want to learn about potentially promising technologies in the near and far future, then you'll love this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Modern Economic Issues

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Whaples
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    Gross domestic product. Health insurance. Soaring energy prices. Major economic issues dominate today's news, but how do these issues impact the average citizen? This primer in 21st-century economics for the non-economist surveys today's most urgent economic issues that affect both global events and our everyday lives.You'll learn what economics has to say about making the decisions - big or small - that affect our daily lives.

    J. Savage says: "Great intro, but outdated."
    "Fantastic. Balanced, yet provocative."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've listened to almost all of the economics Great Courses and this might be the best one. I just finished listening to it a second time. I wish Robert Whaples did more courses. His survey of economists' opinions is a great supplement to the data and arguments he provides for the respective issues. Every lecture is packed with data and powerful arguments backed by economic theory. The Walmart lecture was very enlightening. Prof. Whaples disabuses the listener of the many misconceptions about the company and provides the economists' consensus analysis regarding its huge benefit to society. He convinced me that the Postal Service needs to be privatized, the inflation rate is egregiously overstated year after year by the CPI, and the U.S. poverty rate is in need of serious revision. I learned so much from this course. Prof. Whaples really makes you think about things that you don't often think about. I'm going to have to keep returning to it to retain all the information. After listening to this course you'll want to investigate all of these issues further. I can't recommend this course highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Hunter S. Thompson
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1010)
    Performance
    (535)
    Story
    (541)

    In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior, for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.

    Ryan T. Nichols says: "Ron McLarty?"
    "Didn't get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't live in the 60s so maybe I'm unqualified to judge Thompson's satirical prowess, but the book didn't really seem that effective at satirizing anything. He did a lot of drugs and had a bizarre time in Vegas. The story was weird and interesting but also meandering and seemingly pointless. Perhaps there wasn't supposed to be a "point" but I was waiting for something biting or insightful and it never came. I was still entertained though. People are saying the narrator did an awful job, but I thought his narration was compelling with its tone of impending insanity. The book was very much like an acid trip, except you don't get the fleeting, overwhelming epiphanies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Anne Curzan
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (291)

    Regardless of age or occupation, conversation can be tricky. But like it or not, it's one of the most important things you do on a daily basis. Successful conversations help you advance professionally and make, maintain, and deepen relationships. Moreover, research shows that talking, when done on a substantive level, is correlated with a feeling of happiness and general well-being.In just six lectures, Professor Curzan teaches you key strategies that can dramatically improve your ability to converse with anyone, from strangers to supervisors.

    Anne T. Løvstuhagen says: "An truly entertaining introduction"
    "Good Information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel that everyone should take this course just so we know that we're all on the same page when it comes to conversation structure and etiquette. Much of the information was basic and familiar, but Curzan nonetheless finds a way to make it entertaining and insightful. This course isn't necessary if you feel that you are already pretty good at conversation and how to negotiate one, but it does bring interesting linguistic ideas to bear on conversation structure. I do feel an urge to evangelize about how the conversation floor and backchanneling work after listening. Good, short course.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Anne Curzan
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (61)

    From new words such as "bling" and "email" to the role of text messaging and other electronic communications, English is changing all around us. Discover the secrets behind the words in our everyday lexicon with this delightful, informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. Professor Curzan approaches words like an archaeologist, digging below the surface to uncover the story of words, from the humble "she" to such SAT words as "conflagration" and "pedimanous."

    Cassi says: "So interesting and relevant"
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anne Curzan is a masterful teacher. She is organized, yet conversational. She gives you a cornucopia of linguistic and lexicographical information that is both fascinating and instructive. She is funny and adept at giving felicitous examples to support her point. You will learn so much about the English language in this course. I just can't rave enough about it. It's far better that John McWhorter's meandering courses. I think I learned more from Curzan's few lectures about English's history than McWhorter's entire course about the subject. This is one of the best Great Courses.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Unexpected Economics

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Timothy Taylor
    • Narrated By Professor Timothy Taylor
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Why are we choosing to have fewer children, even as we put more time into raising each one? Why are we so often willing to follow the herd and the opinions of strangers when making important decisions, even when those decisions are deeply personal? Most surprising: Why are questions like these increasingly attracting the attention of economists?

    Jake says: "Riveting Take on Big Issues from Econ Perspective"
    "Riveting Take on Big Issues from Econ Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the vein of Freakonomics, Professor Taylor, undoubtedly one of the best Great Courses lecturers, provides you with a novel perspective on a variety of issues. Kidney transplants, traffic congestion, terrorism, marriage, procreation, discrimination, addiction, obesity, and voting; Prof. Taylor gently but fascinatingly analyzes all of these areas with economics in mind. He doesn't tell you what to but how to think more clearly about these subjects. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking about Capitalism

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jerry Z. Muller
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    In these 36 engaging lectures, Professor Muller takes you deep inside the perspectives on this most important and pervasive force. You'll gain fresh insights that will strengthen your understanding of capitalism's rich history, its fascinating proponents and opponents, and its startling impact on our world. These lectures take you beyond economic analysis to look at how some of the greatest intellects have thought about capitalism and its moral, political, and cultural ramifications.

    Sam Motes says: "Deep look at Capitalistc thinking"
    "A great intellectual historical look at capitalism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Muller exquisitely weaves the historical dialectic between the eminent thinkers of capitalism with the contexts surrounding it. He evenhandedly addresses each thinker and elucidates why each one was so influential. You will come away with a more nuanced view of capitalism after listening to this course. Leftists will move right and rightists will move left. Prof. Muller constantly intrigues with his knack for storytelling and explication of ideas, never allowing for a boring moment. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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