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Philo

San Diego, CA, United States | Member Since 2011

1574
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 410 reviews
  • 415 ratings
  • 1028 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
355

  • The Physics of Wall Street: A Brief History of Predicting the Unpredictable

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By James Owen Weatherall
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (366)
    Performance
    (326)
    Story
    (324)

    After the economic meltdown of 2008, Warren Buffett famously warned, "beware of geeks bearing formulas." But as James Weatherall demonstrates, not all geeks are created equal. While many of the mathematicians and software engineers on Wall Street failed when their abstractions turned ugly in practice, a special breed of physicists has a much deeper history of revolutionizing finance.

    Charles says: "Fascinating alternate view of the stock market"
    "Key personalities, sketches of ideas"
    Overall
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    Story

    This is a wide survey of founders in quant finance -- Bachelier, Black and Scholes, Ed Thorp, and others of that stature, as may have been heard in other audible offerings such as "The Myth of the Rational Market" and "The Quants." Here also are some more recent thinkers' explorations in modeling of complexity and catastrophes, and herding behaviors. The concepts as explained are accessible, a bit too spare and simple, but clear as far as they go (not far). There is nothing directly actionable here, it is more an introduction and popularization, a story-based work; much is anecdotal biography stuff. I like that, for the most part. What is described is an attempted adaptation by various thinkers of math and methods of physics to admittedly social sciences, finance and economics. The fit is quite imperfect, as is discussed. It is listenable and I thought it worthwhile, though little here was new to me. I did like the explanation of ruptures in bubble (also tank and missile compartment) structures, as adapted first to earthquake prediction and then to market crashes -- that was thought-provoking. The author unfortunately at the end droned on about this dream of a financial-economic (presumably publicly funded) Manhattan project that I quickly found starry-eyed, naive, repetitive and tedious -- one point off for that.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Intellectual Property Law AudioLearn - A Course Outline

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By AudioLearn Content Team
    • Narrated By Terry Rose
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Written by authorities in the field and professionally narrated for easy listening, this outline covers what is typically taught in a law school intellectual property law course. Included are detailed explanations of critical issues and topics you must know to master intellectual property law. AudioLearn's Law Outlines support your studies, help with exam preparation and provide a comprehensive audio review of the subject matter. 

    Philo says: "Solid outline, good level of detail"
    "Solid outline, good level of detail"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am hearing this as a refresher ( I teach this). It works very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Adam Winkler
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (15)

    In this groundbreaking portrait of corporate seizure of political power, We the Corporations reveals how American businesses won equal rights and transformed the Constitution to serve the ends of capital. Corporations - like minorities and women - have had a civil rights movement of their own and now possess nearly all the same rights as ordinary people. Uncovering the deep historical roots of Citizens United, Adam Winkler shows how that controversial 2010 Supreme Court decision was the capstone of a 200-year battle....

    Philo says: "Many books in one, supporting vast insight "
    "Many books in one, supporting vast insight "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me count the "many books:" one is a treatise on the aims and logic of corporate-business thinking. One is an American history book across a big canvas, from an unusual business-history viewpoint. This zooms in frequently to colorful biographies of the business titans and superstar lawyers who brought about our commercial-personal world mix today. One is a history of cutting edge corporate law as it emerged. One is a deep meditation on personhood, the hottest topic in my mind these days, as it is where business, corporate (and other) law, and wildly creative tech collide, at the frontier of our human creativity. The next forms of creating artificial persons (quote-unquote) gets big swaths of my attention, and here is the deep background. All this is layered together in a sort of smooth flowing telling that seamlessly moves across these big areas. It takes patience and focus, but if the above interests you, run, do not walk, to the nearest device, to listen. When it wanders, it does so briefly and with purpose, leaving space in my listening experience to better absorb its stream of useful lessons.
    There are other print books out there with this sort of depth and intensity, but these are (1) rare in audio format, perhaps because of a limited audience (in this audio business so far), and (2) unwieldy to imbibe. This is a big book, and these days I am loathe to read very many physical books of this size. It is just hard to hold the thing and glare at it! And now, I'm outdoors, recreating, and this book makes my world perfect.
    Going in, I was concerned this might be a screed by the knee-jerk *evil corporations* faction. In the introduction, I kept worrying, as some popular memes popped up there. I needn't have worried. This is a deep work, written with tremendous style, passion and craft.
    Broader history fans might be amazed to find insight here: for example, the 14th Amendment was designed in a cluster of them (Amendments 13-15) to create a new legal regime to cope with the end of African-American slavery. How is it that such issues only became 5 percent of tgh Supreme Court's cases, and the remainder were mostly battles between proliferating corporations and state-local governments? This legal repurposing was a masterpiece of the craft of the corporate lawyer superstars of their day, often mining their sterling reputations (OK, in 1960s jargon, selling out) to pull off amazing sleight-of-hand moves to nudge the conversation to a whole new framework of corporate rights. This is merely a sample of the big ideas put brilliantly on display here. But the casual listener (or those impatient with a slightly wandering, colorful, narrative-laden style) may be put off. I love it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • How Numbers Work: Discover the strange and beautiful world of mathematics

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By New Scientist
    • Narrated By Mark Elstob
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Think of a number between one and 10. No, hang on, let's make this interesting. Between zero and infinity. Even if you stick to the whole numbers, there are a lot to choose from - an infinite number in fact. Throw in decimal fractions, and infinity suddenly gets an awful lot bigger (is that even possible?). And then there are the negative numbers, the imaginary numbers, the irrational numbers like pi which never end. It literally never ends.

    Philo says: "Great for us fuzzy-wordy people"
    "Great for us fuzzy-wordy people"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here are heaps of context, story, and color, nicely paced around good sharp explanations of the maths. This is the hoped-for sunny path for my style of learner to climb to greater heights. A foolish detour in youth turned me from a very good (not great) math student to a more standard American teen of the time. (This means, given to all sorts of fluff and idiocy, pleasant and even joyous at turns, but semi-regrettable now.) I have tried fits and starts back toward math with various baits, toys and media, but here at last, I am back on the path, and happily so. The pace is just right: sprightly and intelligent with enough breathing spaces to absorb the quantitative parts. This all finds a neat fit with the way my (law school-addled, but thankfully also richly visual and spatial) mind stores and retrieves information.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Merton on the Contemplative Way

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Thomas Merton
    • Narrated By Thomas Merton
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Follow the contemplative path with Thomas Merton as your guide. In 1942, Thomas Merton relinquished a promising academic career to join the Abbey of Gethsemani. Instead of running away from the world, however, he actually developed his most profound wisdom about it.

    Philo says: "Very approachable, but has specific context"
    "Very approachable, but has specific context"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The good: Thomas Merton was a warm, engaging, thoughtful guy, very down-to-earth for essentially a scholar and philosopher, and it comes right through here. One feels one is right there in the classroom with him. The atmosphere of warm fellowship is palpable.
    But it serves to note these particulars, maybe not enjoyable to everyone. The presentation is classic classroom-lecture style. Chalk writing on a chalkboard can be heard. The reference to the contemplative way is to a tradition that goes back through the Roman church, through desert fathers to Augustine and so on. The listeners are apparently (forgive my unofficial terms) initiates to be monks. Some other religionists may find the monkishness (my word) here off-putting or objectionable. References to scripture are of course in the Roman canon (though mostly, probably all, shared with any other Christian denomination's Bible-readers). The themes are, however, universal given this more limited context and the aims implied, and for me, as a person with this sort of temperament, though not these religious trappings or sectarian-specific beliefs, welcome. This is a particularly approachable serving of its subject. Let those with the particular sort of ears to hear it, hear it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Power, Inc.: The Epic Rivalry between Big Business and Government—and the Reckoning That Lies Ahead

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By David Rothkopf
    • Narrated By William Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    The world’s largest company, WalMart Stores, has revenues higher than the gross domestic product of all but twentyfive of the world’s countries. Its employees outnumber the populations of almost one hundred nations. The world’s largest asset manager, a New York company called BlackRock, controls assets greater than the national reserves of any country on the planet.

    Elton says: "Power is Over-rated"
    "THE big-picture history of business, govt. to get"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book touches on all the crucial frameworks to understand the evolution of business alongside government, and the elbowings between them, leading into the present. It is a little odd that it spends as much time as it does with a massive and very old (still operating) Swedish corporation, though this turns out to play quite well against the other companies and governments shown across hundreds of years. Due time is spent weeding through ideas, from Marxism to USA's founding philosophies and legal structures, to today's organizational and legal structures across the world. After hearing all this, one can claim with good justification to some solid expertise in these topics. This is one of the better overall titles I have heard, and I've heard hundreds. It lays a groundwork to think clearly about the shifts happening now in politics, economics, and business.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Nationalist Uprising

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Joshua Green
    • Narrated By Fred Sanders
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1426)
    Performance
    (1259)
    Story
    (1254)

    From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump - the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.

    Charles P. Oconnor says: "Bannon elects Trump"
    "Not-to-be-missed update on recent politic. history"
    Overall
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    This book connects a lot of dots. Those who were all in one news silo or another will benefit most, especially those in the leftish echo chamber, so agog at Trump's win. This work is subtle yet punchy and unafraid to walk steadfastly through many angles of the story. Bannon is the weird unlovely but ever-quotable creature one can't fail to notice. I am very curious about his future: a meltdown a la Joe McCarthy, or a reinvention a la so many sui generis American figures? My money says the latter. But whatever it is, I'm betting the path is pretty fractal, and that suits these times.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Annie Duke
    • Narrated By Annie Duke
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (360)
    Performance
    (316)
    Story
    (314)

    In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a handing off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted, and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great insights on improving decision making "
    "Very basic, wide survey, well composed and told"
    Overall
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    This is a walk-through of big ideas in decisions-under-uncertainty. It is low-math, but about as useful as one can get without equations. It is top-level as an absolute entry-level walk-through. It touches very shallowly on game theory, probability, and behavioral economics. It is composed almost across the board of others' ideas and quotes, but it is a nice plain-English synthesis. It is easy to acquire some sensible ideas here. Anyone who has been rooting through this stuff knows it all already, but I am enjoying it as a light refresher. The author narrates it. She has a fresh, youthful, non-professional voice, with no gravitas whatsoever. It was a bit distracting but I got used to it. I came to appreciate her sparkle and verve. I find myself enjoying myself, as I did with, say, Taleb's Fooled by Randomness. As with popular math books, it is easy for an author to promise a lot of easy understanding but to get plodding and dense and unlistenable in a hurry. This author did not fall into that trap. But those looking for serious analytical math-tools may aim for a more advanced level.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nixon's Secrets

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Roger Stone, Mike Colapietro
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    Overall
    (115)
    Performance
    (104)
    Story
    (102)

    Learn the inside scoop on Watergate, the Ford Pardon, and the 18-minute Gap. Roger Stone, The New York Times best-selling author of The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ, gives the inside scoop on Nixon’s rise and fall in Watergate in his new book Nixon’s Secrets. Stone charts Nixon’s rise from election to Congress in 1946 to the White House in 1968 after his razor-thin loss to John Kennedy in 1960, his disastrous campaign for Governor of California in 1962, and the greatest comeback in American Presidential history.

    Darren Lathen says: "Organization is key"
    "Odd angles, punchy prose, for Nixon story fans"
    Overall
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    This book (I think recently re-released in print under the title "Tricky Dick"? At least amazon presented them as of this date as the same book, and there is overlap in the titles) is probably not a good "starter" Nixon book. It is probably best to read one of the more conventional, let's say respectable (in the popular view) books first. At moments this one jumps around (smartly enough) connecting dots, and it is very helpful to know the disparate names and scenes. However, it fairly quickly settles into a generally chronological sequence. The prose here is punchy, sharply crafted, and there are factual (and speculative) bits worth hearing. It is listenable and flows well, again especially if you know the basic story. I bust out repeatedly in grins at its slant, its depiction of various characters, or the claims being made. It has an ear for the lurid, and the sleazy, whether that breaks in Nixon's favor or against him. Rocks are turned over here I have seen nowhere else. Stone's thesis seems to be, they are all sleazy, listen up, here's the story. I don't know how much of this was written by Stone and how much by the co-author. Stone is controversial, a sort of fixer lurking around the edges of many GOP campaigns and other contests, a guy they don't put out front. My first introduction to him was (I think it fair to say) portrayed as a villain, in Client Nine, the documentary about the fall of Elliot Spitzer in New York. I would love to see Roger's Stone's contacts list. I didn't know he himself went all the way back to Nixon, as an ardent young Republican gopher for various names in the campaign circa 1972, and his portrayals of Nixon personnel are unique. Here and elsewhere he rejects many popular narratives of political history and definitely takes his own tack on a lot of it. He will be accused of wild conspiracy theories, and one so inclined can find ample support here for that claim. But there is a fair amount of factual content, and this is a very well-crafted book generally, and gives me a fly-on-the-wall feel for many scenes in the story that no other book has done. Definitely look for the parallels here between Trump's attack-style politics and strategies, and the Nixon precedents. These and other dots connect very intuitively all through this book. So with all those caveats, if you are as avid a fan of the Nixon story as I am, this shouldn't be missed.
    Roger Stone himself by now is worthy of a bio. He is a sort of Zelig, appearing at the fringes of an incredible number of political events and intrigues. Like Nixon's operative Murray Chotiner (who sort of wrote the book on modern political pugilism and oppo research), these kinds of characters don't get enough attention. Alongside Bannon, these punchy rightist figures have really caught my attention lately. To stay with boxing metaphors, they are punching above their weight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael B. Oren
    • Narrated By Robert Whitfield
    Overall
    (1398)
    Performance
    (936)
    Story
    (931)

    In Israel and the West, it is called the Six Day War. In the Arab world, it is known as the June War or, simply, as "the Setback". Never has a conflict so short, unforeseen, and largely unwanted by both sides so transformed the world. The Yom Kippur War, the war in Lebanon, the Camp David accords, the controversy over Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the intifada, and the rise of Palestinian terror are all part of the outcome of those six days.

    Tim says: "Really 2 Books in One . . ."
    "Good details, portraits of participants, context"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think I am just beginning to get some grip in this vast, complex story. This book is most helpful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake
    • Narrated By Derek Perkins
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (53)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (46)

    Early in the 21st century, a quiet revolution occurred. For the first time, the major developed economies began to invest more in intangible assets, like design, branding, R&D, or software, than in tangible assets, like machinery, buildings, and computers. For all sorts of businesses, from tech firms and pharma companies to coffee shops and gyms, the ability to deploy assets that one can neither see nor touch is increasingly the main source of long-term success.

    Pramath Malik says: "Must read for anyone who works in IP/technology"
    "Who benefits? And how? Nice survey"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Accounting does not capture plenty of this. The legal intellectual property framework is maybe a half-step behind the curve. There is a flow of value through the world of business that is sometimes lax and leaky, that has spillovers (author's term) that can be further exploited, but often, grabbed onto by others. Intangibles can be cheaply created, scaled up and deployed, yet they have their deficiencies too. The creator is often not the ultimate profiteer. As a result of the lag of our measuring tools, we may have a blurred view of what our economy is achieving. This author has struck a rich vein. Here is a fine exploration in crisp, current business language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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