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ratings
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REVIEWS
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HELPFUL VOTES
32

  • Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Christopher Steiner
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (816)
    Performance
    (710)
    Story
    (708)

    It used to be that to diagnose an illness, interpret legal documents, analyze foreign policy, or write a newspaper article you needed a human being with specific skills - and maybe an advanced degree or two. These days, high-level tasks are increasingly being handled by algorithms that can do precise work not only with speed but also with nuance. These "bots" started with human programming and logic, but now their reach extends beyond what their creators ever expected.

    PHIL says: "Wide-ranging, non-technical"
    "Think they can't automate your job? Think again!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Excellent even if slightly terrifying listen. Steiner offers multiple illustrations of the double edged nature of automation for the humanity it "serves." Trading algorithms allow investment houses to cash in on market imperfections. A robot pharmacist fills prescriptions flawlessly. A computer program composes new symphonies in the styles of long dead masters. Those of us who earn a living through the application of specialized knowledge are under siege. Algorithms that synthesize our elaborate decision trees enable computers to do a hard day's work in the blink of an eye.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Shooting Salvationist: J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By David R. Stokes
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (113)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (93)

    The Shooting Salvationist chronicles what may be the most famous story you have never heard. In the 1920's, the Reverend J. Frank Norris railed against vice and conspiracies he saw everywhere to a congregation of more than 10,000 at First Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, the largest congregation in America, the first "megachurch".

    Nukkles says: "Beginnings of the religious right..."
    "Fundamentalism vs. Modernity (the early years)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Very interesting history and entertaining listen.

    For better or worse the basic story is not at all dated. The self-promoting genius possessed by Dr. J. Frank Norris would still play quite well to those of us who remain eager to see the conspiratorial plots being launched by the supposed bogeymen of the age. Maybe Dr. Norris would have difficulty finding an audience for his rants against "Romanists" (Catholics) today, but I am sure he would be more than willing to serve up bowel of hate aimed at more modern scapegoats. The too close for comfort similarity of the protagonist to the fear-mongering firebrands of the intervening history has no doubt contributed to this story being buried by time.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Colin Woodard
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (466)
    Performance
    (418)
    Story
    (423)

    North America was settled by people with distinct religious, political, and ethnographic characteristics, creating regional cultures that have been at odds with one another ever since. Subsequent immigrants didn't confront or assimilate into an "American" or "Canadian" culture, but rather into one of the 11 distinct regional ones that spread over the continent each staking out mutually exclusive territory. In American Nations, Colin Woodard leads us on a journey through the history of our fractured continent....

    Theo Horesh says: "One of a Kind Masterpiece"
    "Makes a very compelling case"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you have ever wondered why Americans seem destined to argue past each other on all matters politics, this book provides a plausible explanation. Sorry, those that disagree with you are not idiots, but were likely raised in a different "national" culture. Woodard presents American history and current political loggerheads through the lens of the cultures of the different groups who colonized and now populate North America.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  • Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Michael Moore
    • Narrated By Michael Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (321)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (267)

    This book is Moore's most personal to date - and will be irresistible to fans and foes alike. A sort of anti-memoir, Moore breaks the autobiographical mode while he hilariously presents 20 far-ranging, irreverant vignettes from his own life. This book is a wild, revealing, take-no-prisoners ride through the early life of Michael Moore. Alternately funny, eye-opening, and moving, this is a book Michael Moore has been writing - and living - for a very long time.

    Amazon Customer says: "So that's how he got that way"
    "So that's how he got that way"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A collection of humorous stories that provide more than a glimpse into how this filmmaker came to be. There are a lot of short "chapters" in this autobiography. Now that I have listened to them all, I wish I had rationed them out. Just like in his films, Moore's love for country and other people, albeit often exhibited in tactless fashion, shine through. Plus it is funny, I laughed out loud three times, despite well-honed skills of stifling such while sitting in the quiet car on a commuter train.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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