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Eric B. Wolf

Geek of Many Trades

Longmont, CO, United States

  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 27 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015

  • The Nerdist Way: How to Reach the Next Level (In Real Life)

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Chris Hardwick
    • Narrated By Chris Hardwick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Nerds: Once a tormented subrace of humans... Now captains of industry! You don’t have to be a stereotypical geekwad to appreciate the tenets of Nerdism and to make your innate talents for overanalysis and hyper-self-awareness work for you instead of against you. Join Nerd superstar Chris Hardwick as he offers his fellow “creative-obsessives” the crucial information needed to come out on top in the current Nerd uprising. Success is the most satisfying - and legal - form of vengeance there is. And you can achieve it when you follow the Nerdist Way,

    Chris says: "Much more than meets the eye with this one!"
    "Skip the audio, buy the book"

    I was hoping for a little motivational geekiness but after the first few chapters, Hardwick has gotten fixated on exercise. I wish I had the book so I could just skip all the crap. The book also has worksheets and things to facilitate implementing his basic idea (which is compelling if you are a D&D geek).

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Ray Kurzweil
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    For over three decades, the great inventor and futurist Ray Kurzweil has been one of the most respected and provocative advocates of the role of technology in our future. In his classic The Age of Spiritual Machines, he argued that computers would soon rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. Now he examines the next step in this inexorable evolutionary process: the union of human and machine.

    Sean Gately says: "Great Idea, terribly slow and painful listen"
    "I, for one, welcome our new machine overlords"

    Ok Ray, we got it. You're a smart dude. Do you have to beat us over the head with your brilliance?

    The initial essay about exponential growth sets the stage for Kurzweil's latest tome about the looming man-machine merger. Basically, Kurzweil shows that technological change is occurring not just at exponential rates but that the rate that the rate is changing is also exponential. It's pretty easy to look at one area of technology - computers, medicine, robotics, communication, etc. - and only perceive linear or mildly exponential growth. But Kurzweil points out that all technology crosses over. The exponential growth in computer technology influences the growth rate of medical technology. Improved medical technology influences communication. Imagine, for instance, the impact Steve Jobs had on the iPhone because of the medical technology the staved off his pancreatic cancer. Arguably, Jobs' best years were the last few before his death.

    After this basic math lecture, Kurzweil then starts deconstructing everything from Wolfram's "New Kind of Science" to the blood-brain-barrier. He uses this deconstruction to minutely detail his predictions for when the Singularity will occur. This is the part of the book that gets a little tedious.

    I haven't made it to the end of the book yet but it has shifted my thinking quite a bit about the Singularity. I used to take a fairly strong stance against AI, siding closely with Hubert Dreyfus. But even Dreyfus leaves open the possibility of modeling the physical brain as a path to AI. Kruzweil entirely bases his predictions on that modeling process and not on simulating human intelligence in software.

    As for the recording... The volume level is consistent. The reader's voice does crack at times. I would appreciate a little more emotion in the reading but it's definitely not robotic.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By John J. Medina
    • Narrated By John J. Medina

    Most of us have no idea what's really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know - such as the brain's need for physical activity to work at its best. How do we learn? What exactly do sleep and stress do to our brains? Why is multi-tasking a myth? Why is it so easy to forget - and so important to repeat new information? Is it true that men and women have different brains?

    Beenre says: "My favorite book for students."
    "Great Lay Science book on Neuroscience"

    I'm still only about half way through this audio book. I have been enjoying it immensely. It's a pretty serious subject but John Medina (the author and narrator) does a great job making it approachable. Sure, Medina is not a professional voice actor but you get to hear his genuine enthusiasm for the subject.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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