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Jake

Port Hueneme, California, United States | Member Since 2013

9
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 7 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 138 titles in library
  • 36 purchased in 2014
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  • How Conversation Works: 6 Lessons for Better Communication

    • ORIGINAL (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Anne Curzan
    Overall
    (282)
    Performance
    (247)
    Story
    (247)

    Regardless of age or occupation, conversation can be tricky. But like it or not, it's one of the most important things you do on a daily basis. Successful conversations help you advance professionally and make, maintain, and deepen relationships. Moreover, research shows that talking, when done on a substantive level, is correlated with a feeling of happiness and general well-being.In just six lectures, Professor Curzan teaches you key strategies that can dramatically improve your ability to converse with anyone, from strangers to supervisors.

    Anne T. Løvstuhagen says: "An truly entertaining introduction"
    "Good Information"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I feel that everyone should take this course just so we know that we're all on the same page when it comes to conversation structure and etiquette. Much of the information was basic and familiar, but Curzan nonetheless finds a way to make it entertaining and insightful. This course isn't necessary if you feel that you are already pretty good at conversation and how to negotiate one, but it does bring interesting linguistic ideas to bear on conversation structure. I do feel an urge to evangelize about how the conversation floor and backchanneling work after listening. Good, short course.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs)
    • By Hunter S. Thompson
    • Narrated By Ron McLarty
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (981)
    Performance
    (509)
    Story
    (514)

    In Las Vegas to cover a motorcycle race, Raoul Duke (Thompson) and his attorney Dr. Gonzo (inspired by a friend of Thompson) are quickly diverted to search for the American dream. Their quest is fueled by nearly every drug imaginable and quickly becomes a surreal experience that blurs the line between reality and fantasy. But there is more to this hilarious tale than reckless behavior, for underneath the hallucinogenic facade is a stinging criticism of American greed and consumerism.

    Ryan T. Nichols says: "Ron McLarty?"
    "Didn't get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I didn't live in the 60s so maybe I'm unqualified to judge Thompson's satirical prowess, but the book didn't really seem that effective at satirizing anything. He did a lot of drugs and had a bizarre time in Vegas. The story was weird and interesting but also meandering and seemingly pointless. Perhaps there wasn't supposed to be a "point" but I was waiting for something biting or insightful and it never came. I was still entertained though. People are saying the narrator did an awful job, but I thought his narration was compelling with its tone of impending insanity. The book was very much like an acid trip, except you don't get the fleeting, overwhelming epiphanies.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Life of Words: English Words and Their Origins

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Anne Curzan
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (53)
    Story
    (52)

    From new words such as "bling" and "email" to the role of text messaging and other electronic communications, English is changing all around us. Discover the secrets behind the words in our everyday lexicon with this delightful, informative survey of English, from its Germanic origins to the rise of globalization and cyber-communications. Professor Curzan approaches words like an archaeologist, digging below the surface to uncover the story of words, from the humble "she" to such SAT words as "conflagration" and "pedimanous."

    Janette says: "A wordsmith in her own right."
    "Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Anne Curzan is a masterful teacher. She is organized, yet conversational. She gives you a cornucopia of linguistic and lexicographical information that is both fascinating and instructive. She is funny and adept at giving felicitous examples to support her point. You will learn so much about the English language in this course. I just can't rave enough about it. It's far better that John McWhorter's meandering courses. I think I learned more from Curzan's few lectures about English's history than McWhorter's entire course about the subject. This is one of the best Great Courses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Unexpected Economics

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Timothy Taylor
    • Narrated By Professor Timothy Taylor
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (16)

    Why are we choosing to have fewer children, even as we put more time into raising each one? Why are we so often willing to follow the herd and the opinions of strangers when making important decisions, even when those decisions are deeply personal? Most surprising: Why are questions like these increasingly attracting the attention of economists?

    Jake says: "Riveting Take on Big Issues from Econ Perspective"
    "Riveting Take on Big Issues from Econ Perspective"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the vein of Freakonomics, Professor Taylor, undoubtedly one of the best Great Courses lecturers, provides you with a novel perspective on a variety of issues. Kidney transplants, traffic congestion, terrorism, marriage, procreation, discrimination, addiction, obesity, and voting; Prof. Taylor gently but fascinatingly analyzes all of these areas with economics in mind. He doesn't tell you what to but how to think more clearly about these subjects. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Thinking about Capitalism

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jerry Z. Muller
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (26)
    Story
    (27)

    In these 36 engaging lectures, Professor Muller takes you deep inside the perspectives on this most important and pervasive force. You'll gain fresh insights that will strengthen your understanding of capitalism's rich history, its fascinating proponents and opponents, and its startling impact on our world. These lectures take you beyond economic analysis to look at how some of the greatest intellects have thought about capitalism and its moral, political, and cultural ramifications.

    Sam Motes says: "Deep look at Capitalistc thinking"
    "A great intellectual historical look at capitalism"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Professor Muller exquisitely weaves the historical dialectic between the eminent thinkers of capitalism with the contexts surrounding it. He evenhandedly addresses each thinker and elucidates why each one was so influential. You will come away with a more nuanced view of capitalism after listening to this course. Leftists will move right and rightists will move left. Prof. Muller constantly intrigues with his knack for storytelling and explication of ideas, never allowing for a boring moment. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Effective Communication Skills

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dalton Kehoe
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (140)

    From asking a waiter for an unusual substitution to urging a service manager to get your car finished sooner to swaying your significant other toward a particular film or show, many of the decisions you make are decided by talking. And no matter why you engage in face-to-face talk, there's no way to insulate yourself from the dangers of miscommunication. These 24 mind-opening lectures are your chance to learn more about how you communicate verbally, the common problems you can encounter in doing so, and how you can improve your own effectiveness.

    James says: "Interesting Lectures with a Misleading Description"
    "Points Not Effectively Communicated"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There were some helpful tips here and there but the course plodded with lots of platitudinizing. I felt like he could've effectively communicated everything he wanted to in 3 hours or less.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Steven Pinker
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1151)
    Performance
    (943)
    Story
    (934)

    We’ve all had the experience of reading about a bloody war or shocking crime and asking, “What is the world coming to?” But we seldom ask, “How bad was the world in the past?” In this startling new book, the best-selling cognitive scientist Steven Pinker shows that the world of the past was much worse. In fact, we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.

    Teddy says: "Excellent Book All Over"
    "A Disquisition on Progress"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is wonderful look at how far humans have progressed ethically. Steven Pinker eloquently tells the story of how we escaped the amoral, nasty, brutish Hobbesian state of nature to now be at a place ethically where we are considering the rights of other species. And of course the potency of the story comes from the myriad facts and statistics Pinker provides throughout. As a beautiful vindication of the idea of progress, the argument perfectly refutes the delusional Rousseauians' idea of the "good old days." I wholeheartedly recommend this book. It's a true reason for optimism.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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