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Mike Johnson

rower55

Victoria, BC | Member Since 2004

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 6 reviews
  • 17 ratings
  • 636 titles in library
  • 34 purchased in 2014
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  • The Eerie Silence: Renewing Our Search for Alien Intelligence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Paul Davies
    • Narrated By George K. Wilson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (68)

    Fifty years ago, a young astronomer named Frank Drake pointed a radio telescope at nearby stars in the hope of picking up a signal from an alien civilization. Thus began one of the boldest scientific projects in history, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). But after a half century of scanning the skies, astronomers have little to report but an eerie silence---eerie because many scientists are convinced that the universe is teeming with life.

    Mike says: "Equal parts history, science, informed speculation"
    "Topol/Hill 5*"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Great book written by Dr. Topol! Great narration by Mr. Hill.
    This is for info/tech types inclined to 21st Century medicine.
    Not for Doc Adams ( Gunsmoke ) type doctors or possible patients.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Timothy Snyder
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (241)
    Story
    (240)

    Americans think of World War II as “The Good War”, a moment when the forces of good resoundingly triumphed over evil. Yet the war was not decided by D-day. It was decided in the East, by the Red Army and Joseph Stalin. While conventional wisdom locates the horrors of World War II in the six million Jews killed in German concentration camps, the reality is even grimmer. In 13 years, the Nazi and Soviet regimes killed 13 million people in the lands between Germany and Russia.

    Joseph says: "Stuck between mad men"
    "Brutally Informative"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In this book you will find a summary of the methods employed by Germany and Russia against the populations under their control. I have studied this era on and off for many decades with focus on the political aspects of the totalitarian practices of era regarding political repression including slavery and murder.
    This book is not loaded with what could be considered to be pornographic details but provides a kind of brief summary which may never be exceeded in completeness and brevity. This will give you an overview and provide what you need to know for a reasonably complete understanding.
    Narration excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Pedro G. Ferreira
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (55)

    Physicists have been exploring, debating, and questioning the general theory of relativity ever since Albert Einstein first presented itin 1915. Their work has uncovered a number of the universe's more surprising secrets, and many believe further wonders remain hidden within the theory's tangle of equations, waiting to be exposed. In this sweeping narrative of science and culture, astrophysicist Pedro Ferreira brings general relativity to life through the story of the brilliant physicists, mathematicians, and astronomers who have taken up its challenge.

    Michael says: "A Love Letter to General Relativity"
    "Biography of Einstein's Relativity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a beautiful, human account that was a great surprise to me and I have listened to it about 4 times. It has the basic science and the human story as well which makes it so much more intelligible and personally valuable. This is an incredible story when you consider all that has been involved over the past century.
    At this level: What is an *equation*? In and of itself what is the deepest knowledge that Relativity is pointing out to us ? :-)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
    • Narrated By Jeff Cummings
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (279)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (220)

    In recent years, Google’s autonomous cars have logged thousands of miles on American highways and IBM’s Watson trounced the best human Jeopardy! players. Digital technologies — with hardware, software, and networks at their core — will in the near future diagnose diseases more accurately than doctors can, apply enormous data sets to transform retailing, and accomplish many tasks once considered uniquely human.

    Michael says: "Upbeat but Limited Survey of Exponential Change"
    "Recommended"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I follow these issues and am interested in what these authors have have discovered since the release of Race Against the Machines which they also released.
    As such and given the source the positions outlined can be taken seriously.
    Frankly there is a little too much of the soft soap included here so as to avoid upsetting people which is a characteristic of our public opinion shapers in my opinion. However they may know more about the intentions of the USG then they are prepared to share here.
    They are surprisingly weak with respect to taxation policy.
    That being said it is going to be tough to be right over the balance of the century with respect to the pace of automation and redundancy and all will be somewhat insecure in their outlooks.
    Bear in mind that they are relatively well compensated Ivy League academics who might be somewhat unfamiliar with the actual bite of the cutting edge so to speak.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Age of Entanglement: When Quantum Physics was Reborn

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Louisa Gilder
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (206)
    Performance
    (109)
    Story
    (110)

    A brilliantly original and richly illuminating exploration of entanglement, the seemingly telepathic communication between two separated particles - one of the fundamental concepts of quantum physics.

    Mark says: "A nice mix of theory and history."
    "Essential for me, you?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Age of Entanglement again? Why?

    I plan to listen to this book many times. Personally, I find Quantum Mech to be so different from my experience of life I find like to review the material as many times as necessary to increase my grasp.
    Audiobooks are very different from print where re-reading can be very difficult. If you listen you can really focus your attention


    What other book might you compare The Age of Entanglement to and why?

    I do not know of another Science book that deals with the topic in this interpersonal, subjective fashion and this is the absolute core of the intersection of Physics and Philosophy.
    I may try Amir Aczel's book as well


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

    Walter Dixon is absolutely brilliant at this type of material and he is a preferred reader from my point of view. The implications of the theories arising in the development of Quantum Mechanics are so revolutionary they have the potential of overturning the outlook of our species as to what we see as the "real" World.
    Right at the top may be the evolution of Quantum Computing


    Any additional comments?

    Quantum Mechanics can be expressed to a degree in language but the use is often unusual. Since terms like "complementarity" among many others are introduced during conversations between the originators as they developed their ideas over the years it is much easier to comprehend the sense in which these terms are utilized.
    So much relies on the student achieving a suitable perspective from which to view the dimensions of reality described in such a fashion.
    Then more technical approaches are somewhat easier to understand.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Waste Land & Four Quartets

    • ORIGINAL (1 hr and 35 mins)
    • By T.S. Eliot
    • Narrated By Paul Scofield
    Overall
    (117)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (78)

    These are masterly readings, by renowned thespian Paul Schofield, of two substantial works of poetry by T.S. Eliot.

    Judith says: "Exquisite!"
    "None Sharper!"
    Overall

    T.S. Eliot delivered by an excellent reader/interpreter. Highest praise for two aspects. Clear vision of our continuing decline - hard to imagine this was once dismissed as well as a quantum perspective also upheld by the repeal of "localism". One of the few works of Art that resonates in the consciousness.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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