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kevmoo

I live in Seattle. I write code. I listen when I'm out with the dog.

United States | Member Since 2011

7
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 69 ratings
  • 242 titles in library
  • 39 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
3

  • The Grand Design

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow
    • Narrated By Steve West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (998)
    Performance
    (425)
    Story
    (420)

    The most fundamental questions about the origins of the universe and of life itself, once the province of philosophy, now occupy the territory where scientists, philosophers, and theologians meet—if only to disagree. In their new book, Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow present the most recent scientific thinking about the mysteries of the universe, in nontechnical language marked by both brilliance and simplicity.

    Brandi says: "Hawking succeeds in mind-blowing physics, real"
    "Solid, but just solid."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I've consumed a lot of content in this area (books, videos, etc). I felt like the authors were a bit distracted here. What is M theory. A discussion of creation myths and how they map to our desire to understand. I felt that the book jumped around a bit. I felt the treatment of M theory to be a bit lacking. I did learn some things. I came away with a much greater appreciation for Feynman, especially. But I was also a bit disappointed. I'm not sure how to compare the content of this book to that of Brian Greene, but Dr. Greene does weave a better narrative.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs)
    • By David Deutsch
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (187)
    Performance
    (148)
    Story
    (154)

    A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.

    Gary says: "Covers nothing to everything"
    "A Perspective Shifter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book has flaws. Dr. Deutsch makes a few generalizations that I found a bit unfair -- related to physiological research and sustainability as it relates to environmentalism.

    BUT!

    It's a perspective shifter.
    I think about progress and humanity and our place in the universe differently.
    I think about science and the scientific method differently.
    It gave me glue to connect concepts I've found and liked from other books.

    It's deep. It's complex. It's not "easy".

    But certainly valuable.

    Kudos.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Jack Weatherford
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Jack Weatherford
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3705)
    Performance
    (2294)
    Story
    (2311)

    The Mongol army led by Genghis Khan subjugated more lands and people in 25 years than the Romans did in 400. In nearly every country the Mongols conquered, they brought an unprecedented rise in cultural communication, expanded trade, and a blossoming of civilization.

    Peter says: "Brilliant, insightful, intriguing."
    "Fascinating. Will change your view of history."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Genghis Khan was far more civilized than most Europeans of his age. He was just a much better military strategist.

    Essential for a non-Eurocentric view of world history.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9552)
    Performance
    (5229)
    Story
    (5304)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Really entertaining. A fun ride."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great book. Pushing 50 years since it was published, it holds up well.

    The performance was solid although it seemed there was a bit of inconsistency with the performers, which was a bit confusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Kai Bird, Martin J. Sherwin
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (898)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (517)

    J. Robert Oppenheimer was one of the iconic figures of the 20th century, a brilliant physicist who led the effort to build the atomic bomb but later confronted the moral consequences of scientific progress. When he proposed international controls over atomic materials, opposed the development of the hydrogen bomb, and criticized plans for a nuclear war, his ideas were anathema to powerful advocates of a massive nuclear buildup during the anti-Communist hysteria of the early 1950s.

    Christine says: "One of the best books I have read"
    "If you're into science or history, you'll like it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An amazing and important book. I learned so much about the Communist Party in the US pre-WWII and the "Red Scare" post WWII.

    Oppenheimer was a complicated man, but no doubt brilliant, patriotic, and important.

    It's so crazy to see this figure overlapped with Einstein and Feynman and Bohr, among others.

    My favorite bit of the book came towards the end. Oppenheimer on style:

    "The problem of doing justice to the implicit, the imponderable, and the unknown is of course not unique in politics. It is always with us in science, it is with us in most trivial of personal affairs, and it is one of the great problems of writing and of all forms of art. The means by which it is solved is sometimes called style. It is style which complements affirmation with limitation and with humility; it is style which makes it possible to act effectively, but not absolutely; it is style which, in the domain of foreign policy, enables us to find harmony between the pursuit of ends essential to us, and the regard for the views, the sensibilities, the aspirations of those to whom the problem may appear in another light; it is style which is the deference that action pays to uncertainty; it is above all style though which power defers to reason."

    My only critique is style, ironically. A large amount of the book is quotes from FBI interviews and wiretaps. Lot's of back and forth which made the content, at times, difficult and tedious to follow.

    The production quality was jumpy at times. Clearly lots of editing and very obvious cuts. Asides from hiccups, the quality of the performance was top-notch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress - and a Plan to Stop It

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Lawrence Lessig
    • Narrated By Lawrence Lessig
    Overall
    (271)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (229)

    In an era of ballooning corporate campaign expenditures, unleashed by the Supreme Court in Citizens United, trust in our government is at an all time low. More than ever before, Americans believe that money buys results in Congress - and that our Republic has been lost.Using examples that resonate as powerfully on the Right as on the Left, Republic, Lost not only makes clear how the economy of influence defeats the will of the people, but offers cogent strategies to correct our course....

    kevmoo says: "A profoundly important book. A must read."
    "A profoundly important book. A must read."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    For anyone that is a lover of the American Republic, this is a must read book.

    My only gripe: at times there are some weirdness in the sound production, but Lessig's reading is clear and persuasive.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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