I was initially concerned by the length of this book, being a sign that I was in for a tedious listen. How pleasantly surprised I was by this clearly written and interesting work. Fascinating look at how similar all languages are and how they evolve over time. Pinker shows that for the human species, language is instinctual. Highly recommended.
I wanted to like this book. I enjoy the Dilbert cartoons and this seemed to be a chance to become familiar with the man behind the comic strip. And perhaps that's the problem. Written like a self-help book based on the author's travails, it comes across as egotistical, dry and preachy. The narrator's monotone voice with its sarcastic inflections would have been perfect for reading the comic strip but it is too much for a full book.
Couldn't finish the book and gave-up halfway through it.
I really enjoyed the ideas put forward in this book and I think it is very important that randomness and statistics be better understood in society. That said, the author of the book is long-winded, imperious, and extremely self focused. "I" is the most common word used throughout the book while the author disdains his fellow traders on Wall Street, his fellow MBA's, and his fellow academics.
If you can get past the author, the ideas and information of the book is worth the effort.
There is good information to be found in this book, but also a great deal of twaddle. The author begins with a "straw man" argument that today's MBA programs are geared to corporate middle managers and not to entrepreneurs, which is quite correct. That is the purpose of MBA programs. Then he touts this work as addressing the needs of the entrepreneur but provides a great summary of the information found in most MBA programs.
Skip the three chapters in the center of the book that focus on personal improvement. Eating right, exercise and meditation are all topics that belong in a different kind of book. Bully for Mr Kaufman that he has gone vegan, this has no relevance to the topic.
The distillation of business concepts are where this book shines, but they are often hidden within the author's endless promotion of his own website, his stories of his failed time at P&G, and his lifestyle guides. Mr Kaufman has clearly done a great deal of reading on the topic of business and has the ability to distill the information to be very useful, but he has trouble unifying this work.
I must have quit this book too soon as I seem to missed anything to recommend. The author/narrator's only good advice is to watch Jobs presentations on YouTube and model yourself after him. Unfortunately, the author/narrator doesn't take his own advice and delivers his topic like a healer at a revival meeting. Such basic information delivered like it was manna from heaven - I had to stop listening.
Though there is more good than bad in Steiner's "Automate This," there isn't enough to fill a book and so reaches to include the history of computing back to Babbich and Turning. Well told, though occasionally erroneous, the story of a repeating instruction set is given more credibility than the subject deserves. Interesting but lacks the significance that the author tries to give the subject.
Listening to this book was like being at a boring lecture of a pompous professor. It is the perfect storm of droning delivery, armchair speculation, and obfuscated writing. At the end of a topic, I would grit my teeth as the author would write "In summary..." as that meant I was in for lengthy, pompous, and obfuscating recap. Add to that the fact that the work is highly speculative with little actual science, this book becomes much work for little reward. I couldn't make it past chapter 7 and should have stopped sooner.
The Information is a terrific idea for a book. Unfortunately what Gleick has produced is much more like a college professor's lecture notes compiled into book form. Very heavy on the history of information, beginning with the development of language, and continuing to the modern day information technologies. There are no conclusions sought, no parables discovered and no insights revealed, just a retelling of historical progression. Even the long epilogue doesn't really serve to enlighten, more just to illustrate the current developments in information theory and information quantum theory - an interesting topic if developed, but it is mostly elaborately defined.
Only recommended for those an insatiable interest in the topic; everyone else will be put off by the pedantic tone and drone.
This is an important book to understanding the machinations occuring behind the scandals, bailouts, recessions, unemployment and many other factors widening the gulf between the haves and have-nots. The elimination of the middle-class is characterized as the short-sighted goal of the super-rich and the giant corporations.
Very clear enunciation and pleasant tone add to an upbeat performance, which must be difficult considering the breadth of the material and the potentially disheartening information.
The book is so engaging that I would have loved to have listened to this book in one sitting, but it is too thorough and lengthy to accomplish that feat. However, the length of the book should not dissuade anyone from reading it.
Though Stiglitz is not above lashing out at the political right, the financial elite, giant corporations, and military expenditures he provides a depth of facts and examples that support his positions. It is hard to disagree with his position when it is so well illuminated. It will be hard to passively watch the news after reading this book.
I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't this. Not only is this a sales-pitch disguised as a book, but also a direct rip-off of "The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich" by Timothy Ferriss. Ironically, the author suggests taking someone's work, adapting it, putting your name to it then selling it online as one of get rich quick strategies.
There is lots of talk about how rich the author is and lots of reference to the programs, webinars, and other materials you can purchase if you sign into his website (membership site). The basic strategy is to sell something online by compiling an email database and regularly spamming them. Oh, and don't forget the up-sell!
The only person getting rich with this book is the author.
Mr Synnestvedt's reading of the book, while technically competent, makes listening difficult as he has the tendency to end every sentence with a slight whine. It is like listening to Truman Capote reading a business book - very distracting.
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