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Jim

Ossining, NY, United States | Member Since 2012

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 141 titles in library
  • 31 purchased in 2014
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  • The Hobbit

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By J. R. R. Tolkien
    • Narrated By Rob Inglis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8943)
    Performance
    (8039)
    Story
    (8176)

    Like every other hobbit, Bilbo Baggins likes nothing better than a quiet evening in his snug hole in the ground, dining on a sumptuous dinner in front of a fire. But when a wandering wizard captivates him with tales of the unknown, Bilbo becomes restless. Soon he joins the wizard’s band of homeless dwarves in search of giant spiders, savage wolves, and other dangers. Bilbo quickly tires of the quest for adventure and longs for the security of his familiar home. But before he can return to his life of comfort, he must face the greatest threat of all.

    Darwin8u says: "Victory after all, I suppose!"
    "Great Story, Excellent Delivery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Hobbit the most enjoyable?

    Narrator was very effective at maintaining energy and portraying individual characters as individuals. Very well done.


    Which character – as performed by Rob Inglis – was your favorite?

    Gandalf


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • You Are Not a Gadget: Being Human in an Age of Technology

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Jaron Lanier
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (152)
    Performance
    (68)
    Story
    (70)

    Jaron Lanier, a Silicon Valley visionary since the 1980s, was among the first to predict the revolutionary changes the World Wide Web would bring to commerce and culture. Now, in his first book, written more than two decades after the web was created, Lanier offers this provocative and cautionary look at the way it is transforming our lives for better and for worse.

    Ahmed says: "Thought Provoking"
    "A Flawed Presentation but Well Worth the Effort"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book offers some compelling arguments that Internet technology has put the essence of humanity at risk of annihilation from the destructive forces of mob rule. The book starts out strongly, effectively framing the evolution of Internet technology up through the current domination of hive-mind social engineering interfaces and systems, and effectively stoking a fire for a technological counter revolution needed to save humanity.

    Many important arguments are made regarding the dangers of the hive mind, such as the societal costs of devaluing individual first-order creativity, the corrosive effects of anonymous discourse, the disenfranchisement of productive individuals by profiteering aggregators, and the denial of the role that closed systems and competition must play in the ongoing forward evolution of humanity. In my opinion, these are conversations are desperately prescient -- which is why I gave this book a positive review.

    As a book, however, the narrative suffers from inconsistent organization, superfluous content, and failure to drive home many ideas which should be treated with more centrality. As a computer scientist / technologist with musical endeavors of my own, I am perhaps more adapted to this particular author's perspective than the average reader. Yet, I still found much of the book to be self-indulgent, often abandoning efforts to relate to lay people and periodically drifting from its stated flight path.

    That said, the overarching questions and warnings explored in this book are of profound importance to the future of humanity. This alone makes the book worth reading. That these questions are being explored by a productive computer scientist, rather than, say, a theologian, makes this book required reading -- even you skim through the second half.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Near-Death Experience and Journey into the Afterlife

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Eben Alexander
    • Narrated By Eben Alexander
    Overall
    (1732)
    Performance
    (1507)
    Story
    (1520)

    On November 10, 2008, Dr. Eben Alexander was driven into coma by a disease so lethal that only 1 in 10,000,000 survive. Seven days later, he awakened with memories of a fantastic odyssey deep into another realm that were more real than this earthly one - memories that included meeting a deceased birth sister he had never known existed. Dr. Alexander deployed all his knowledge as a scientist to find out whether his mind could have played a trick on him. In its shutdown state, there was no way it could have.

    Kelly says: "Compelling"
    "A Book on Narcissism Sold Under A False Pretense"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Eben Alexander and/or Eben Alexander?

    This book is purported to add to the discussion of near death experiences because the author is a scientist. However, the entire story hinges on the authors assertion that his "neocortex was shutdown" and thus he would have been incapable of experiencing an NDE within his own brain. A real scientist would have acknowledged that the entire NDE could have happened before or after this "shutdown". A real scientist also would have enthusiastically considered the possibility that the current body of knowledge regarding the neocortex is sorely lacking. A real scientist would have used his new found skepticism to formulate some hypotheses and conduct some experiments.Adding insult to serious injury, the author wants us all to believe that he was given the answers to the universe during his NDE, but that it might take a while for him to be able to explain it all to us -- presumably in a followup book that he will write after Oprah tells him how the universe really works (see his website for a photo to with Oprah and links to her various minions).I read most stories about NDEs with a mixture of skepticism and intrigue. This book, however, is different. While I do not doubt the authors illness and NDE, I do doubt his honesty and integrity. This book seems to be little more than a launching pad for a new career as a self-proclaimed prophet and purveyor of junk science.


    What could Eben Alexander have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Been honest about the science.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Less narcissistic rambling and more science.


    What character would you cut from Proof of Heaven?

    Eben Alexander


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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