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Andrew

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  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Massimo Pigliucci
    • Narrated By Jay Russell
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (162)
    Story
    (164)

    Why do people believe bunk? And what causes them to embrace such pseudoscientific beliefs and practices? Noted skeptic Massimo Pigliucci sets out to separate the fact from the fantasy in this entertaining exploration of the nature of science, the borderlands of fringe science, and - borrowing a famous phrase from philosopher Jeremy Bentham - the nonsense on stilts.

    thunder road says: "Thought provoking and relevant"
    "A good philosophical discussion on science."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about Nonsense on Stilts? What did you like least?

    I rather enjoy Massimo's writings and thoughts and this book reads much like his discussions with Julia and others. However Massimo does sometimes need somebody to keep him "on track" at times as he has a tendency to wander. Many topics are introduced and then "we'll come back to that later in this book." It can be difficult to keep track! But overall I'm quite happy to listen to Massimo wax philosophic on the topic of pseudoscience.


    Would you recommend Nonsense on Stilts to your friends? Why or why not?

    Yes - if I had friends who would like a philosophical discourse on the nature of science...


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jay Russell?

    Massimo! But failing that Mike Chamberlain would have been better.


    Was Nonsense on Stilts worth the listening time?

    Absolutely.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator mispronounces a lot of words and some equations (e.g. "two times ten-twenty-three" rather than "two times ten TO THE 23" for scientific notation, and "chumsky" for "chomsky" which just sounds odd to me). Overall I felt the narrator could have done a lot better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail - but Some Don't

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Nate Silver
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1257)
    Performance
    (1054)
    Story
    (1055)

    Nate Silver built an innovative system for predicting baseball performance, predicted the 2008 election within a hair’s breadth, and became a national sensation as a blogger - all by the time he was 30. The New York Times now publishes FiveThirtyEight.com, where Silver is one of the nation’s most influential political forecasters. Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data.

    Scott Fabel says: "Learn About Statistics Without All The Math"
    "A great read on one of the least understood topics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Signal and the Noise again? Why?

    Maybe - I don't tend to read books over and over again.


    What does Mike Chamberlain bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Not sure - he was a good narrator though.


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

    Bayesian thinking. I've been familiar with Bayesian mathematics for a while but I'd never quite thought about applying it to probabilistic thinking the way Nate discusses it.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was an amazing read. Nate uses lots of great examples from a wide-variety of disciplines and professions to show the usefulness and limitations of statistics and prediction models.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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