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E. Daniel Ayres


United States | Member Since 2014

  • 4 reviews
  • 4 ratings
  • 159 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2015

  • The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Sharon Bertsch McGrayne
    • Narrated By Laural Merlington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bayes' rule appears to be a straightforward, one-line theorem: by updating our initial beliefs with objective new information, we get a new and improved belief. To its adherents, it is an elegant statement about learning from experience. To its opponents, it is subjectivity run amok. Sharon Bertsch McGrayne here explores this controversial theorem and the human obsessions surrounding it.

    Lynn says: "Read Up on Baye's Before Reading"
    "Maybe I wanted more out of this..."
    What did you like best about The Theory That Would Not Die? What did you like least?

    This work should be tagged clearly as primarily an historical treatment of the concepts attributed to Bayes, as well as their evolution. I was hoping for more exposition of the technical details involved in many of the controversies the author documents rather than highlighting the most outrageous position statements on the part of each party. Her treatment of "classified" research and the role of government secrecy in impeding progress that allowed extreme doctrinaire positions to be taken and held for long periods among the academics involved is yet another case for free and unimpeded scientific discourse.

    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    For me, treatment of the ways in which application of Bayes Rule crossed so many disciplinary boundaries was enlightening. I had little idea how widespread so-called Bayesian approaches had become in Science outside the fields I'd chosen to study, Sociology and Anthropology. So-called "Simple Random Sample" or SRS designs were the orthodoxy of the day when I was a student. Some challenged this orthodoxy with so-called "purposive" sample designs which proved to be much more efficient in a wide variety of cases.

    Back when I was a graduate student and Senior Research Associate at the University of Michigan, I was asked to help faciliate "brute force" repeated replications of the process of sampling from some large datasets we had obtained from the auto industry. We used multiply replicated samples to produce empirical assessments of five theoretically proposed measures of efficiency (Standard Error of Estimate) for a variety of sample designs used to perform multivariate regression analyses on the dataset. I implemented and optimized the Fortran code used to draw the samples and tabulate the resulting theoretical and acutal measures of efficiency for each sample. The resulting PhD dissertation "sold" over a thousand copies before it had been available for six months! The tables we printed were apparently extremely useful to a variety of practicioners who knew that the underlying distributions of the phenomena they had under study were not "normal."

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Nassim Nicholas Taleb
    • Narrated By Joe Ochman

    In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

    Liz says: "big fan but what is up with the bleeps?"
    "Interesting treatment of an issue not often raised"
    What did you love best about Antifragile?

    I responded favorably to the decision not to bore general readers with the technical details of making statistical infrences about relationships when the underlying distributions are not assumed to be typical "normal" distributions. I would have liked to have seen more treatment of so-called cascade failure events and what engineering has come up with in their preventative strategies, but I suspect that is more about me than the book.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I appreciated the breadth of issues the author brought to bear.

    Have you listened to any of Joe Ochman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No opinion.

    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    I'm going to need to listen to this book again to get the full benefits it may have to offer. I went through it the first time too fast, and I did not spend time looking at the .PDF file containing graphics which was made available in support of the text. The next time through I'm going to give the technical issues a much closer "read."

    Any additional comments?

    I agree with other reviewers that at times the author spends a little too much energy boosting his own ego, either consciously, or more likely simply as an unconscious manifestation of his life experiences and the battles he alluded to in his career. I may even take the time to dig up some of the more collaborative scholarly papers referenced in this book and track down related research in my field of social organization which focuses on organizational design and organizational structures.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (49 hrs)
    • By George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Roy Dotrice
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Dubbed the American Tolkien by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the number-one New York Times best-selling author delivers the fifth book in his spellbinding landmark series - as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

    Dianne Houston says: "OH NO ROY!!!! NOT DENARIS!!!!!!!"
    "Ready for HBO to put on film..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Dance with Dragons to be better than the print version?

    I'm a reader with cataracts who could not have gotten through a print version.

    What did you like best about this story?

    Because I have not read any of the earlier volumes, and have only been exposed to the episodes produced by HBO, this book opened my conciousness to the descriptive powers of George R. R. Martin. The phrasing and narrative details are sometimes exquisite, but at other times, very true to a clearly outlined formula.

    What about Roy Dotrice’s performance did you like?

    The reader does a good job of making the text come alive with accent, emphasis, and "voices." I would not have finished the long narrative, or would have fallen asleep several times in the process if it had not been embellished by the narrator.

    Any additional comments?

    A worthwhile listen. I'm probably going to get all of the works in this series, but then, I'm a fan of Stephanie Plum too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Daniel H. Pink
    • Narrated By Daniel H. Pink

    Lawyers. Accountants. Software Engineers. That what Mom and Dad encouraged us to become. They were wrong. Gone is the age of "left-brain" dominance. The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers - creative and emphatic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

    Caroline says: "should have listened to Joseph"
    "I'm going to have to listen to this one again..."
    Where does A Whole New Mind rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the more thought provoking analyses I've been exposed to recently.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Whole New Mind?

    As a child of parents who lived through the depression, and a

    What about Daniel H. Pink’s performance did you like?

    The author / speaker is clear and well paced.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?


    Any additional comments?

    As noted above... I need to re-read this one to get everything I can from it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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