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Monte Johnston

...master of none

Clayton, NC | Member Since 2007

46
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 404 titles in library
  • 38 purchased in 2014
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  • Turing's Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By George Dyson
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (116)

    In the 1940s and '50s, a group of eccentric geniuses - led by John von Neumann - gathered at the newly created Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Their joint project was the realization of the theoretical universal machine, an idea that had been put forth by mathematician Alan Turing. This group of brilliant engineers worked in isolation, almost entirely independent from industry and the traditional academic community. But because they relied exclusively on government funding, the government wanted its share of the results....

    Monte Johnston says: "Needed an editor"
    "Needed an editor"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from George Dyson and/or Arthur Morey?

    No.


    What was most disappointing about George Dyson???s story?

    What was most disappointing about the story is that there was no story. At different points in the book it seems a story of Von Neumann, the Institute of Advanced Study, the development of computer technology, a hundred other scientists and engineers, etc. It ends up being none of them. It seems more like a collection of notebooks that contained the potential to form a good book or story.

    I was even hoping to learn a bit more of the technology of computers, but all explanations were given in the language of engineers. The book on the Eniac available on audible is much better.


    Did Arthur Morey do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The performance was fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Couldn't have been much more disappointed.


    Any additional comments?

    Save your credits.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Suzanne M. Desan
    Overall
    (178)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (158)

    The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society - not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel.

    Monte Johnston says: "Such a great balance of the big picture and detail"
    "Such a great balance of the big picture and detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This was a marvelous course. Professor Desan has clearly mastered her subject and so her organization and presentation of the material was nothing short of brilliant. She provides an overview of the forces at work during this historical period and illustrates them with wonderful particulars - songs, quotes, diary entries, letters, etc. She gives you a sense of what it felt like to be alive during each of the stages of the Revolution.

    I recommend this with no reservations.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Fermenting Revolution: How to Drink Beer and Save the World

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Mark Christopher O'Brien
    • Narrated By Daniel Maté
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (22)

    Fermenting Revolution delivers an empowering message about how individuals can change the world through the simple act of having a beer. It is also the first book to view all of the important trends in human history as fundamentally revolving around beer.

    Monte Johnston says: "A wasted credit"
    "A wasted credit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    It was clear to me from the description that author had a distinct point of view and possibly even a political bias, all of which I was fine with, in my curiosity about this history of this fine beverage. However, I was quite disappointed that the author cherry-picked facts to fit his view of the world.

    He used many pages to root beer consumption in religion, yet he seems not to have gone to much effort to understand the various religions and so distorts them, and thus the role of beer within them. For instance, he claims that because Jesus used wine (which he really suspects to have been beer, despite the complete lack of similarity with blood) at the Last Supper, that he was claiming that beer was somehow sacred or holy -- a claim that no major Christian tradition claims. Moreover, he reports that the disciples were drunk at Pentecost, when the point of the story is exactly opposite.

    The book is filled with so many misrepresentations and errors, I finally had to abandon it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wealth of Nations

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Adam Smith
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (209)
    Performance
    (159)
    Story
    (161)

    The foundation for all modern economic thought and political economy, The Wealth of Nations is the magnum opus of Scottish economist Adam Smith, who introduces the world to the very idea of economics and capitalism in the modern sense of the words.

    Frank says: "Loved the Narrator"
    "Amazingly accessible"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I had thought the Smith had anticipated much of our current understanding of the way markets function. Instead, he had all of the fundamentals figured out. I was fearing that it would be quite obscure in topic and language, but found it pleasantly accessible, if perhaps a bit long.

    As as reading the classics, I would definitely recommend this.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The market.


    What about Gildart Jackson???s performance did you like?

    It fit the material.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    The Way Your World Works


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Cathy N. Davidson
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (48)

    When Duke University gave free iPods to the freshman class in 2003, critics said they were wasting their money. Yet when the students in practically every discipline invented academic uses for the music players, suddenly the idea could be seen in a new light - as an innovative way to turn learning on its head. Using cutting-edge research on the brain, Cathy N. Davidson show how attention blindness has produced one of our society's greatest challenges.

    Joshua Kim says: "3 Reasons to Read"
    "Not enough grappling with challenges"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The author started out well by explaining the possibilities of new technology, knocking down misconceptions, but then she fails to grapple with the challenges of the new technological situation. It's like it was all sweetness and light. This is never the case with new technologies.


    What was most disappointing about Cathy N. Davidson???s story?

    The barrage of buzz words like connectivity and collaboration, which ended up obscuring rather than revealing emerging realities.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    The narration was just fine.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Big disappointment.


    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By John Hagel, John Seely Brown, Lang Davison
    • Narrated By Dennis Holland
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (32)

    In a radical break with the past, information now flows like water, and we must learn how to tap into its stream. Individuals and companies can no longer rely on the stocks of knowledge that theyve carefully built up and stored away. Information now flows like water, and we must learn how to tap into the stream.

    nowhere man says: "Pulled away from anything better to do."
    "I couldn't finish it"
    Overall

    This book was one steady stream of buzzwords, over-generalizations, and repetition. Do not waste a credit on this. If you want you can get the best ideas in this book from Seth Godin's Tribes, which is a much better, more engaging book.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • The Modern Scholar: The Anglo-Saxon World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Michael D. C. Drout
    Overall
    (471)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (230)

    Had the Angles and Saxons not purposefully migrated to the isles of the Britons and brought with them their already-well-developed use of language, Angelina Jolie may never have appeared in the movie Beowulf. Professor Michael D.C. Drout is at his best when lecturing on the fascinating history, language, and societal adaptations of the Anglo-Saxons.

    Matthew says: "Amazingly good"
    "Get this book!"
    Overall

    Listening to lectures can be hit or miss. Some are good and some are bad. But Professor Drout present this information with such passion and competence that you forget they are lectures. You come to appreciate the materials so much more because of his infectious love and interest in the time period. I can't wait to listen to his other courses and I can't recommend this one highly enough.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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