Yes! Action and intelligence combine to make a fast listen.
The dialog and character depth.
I liked trying to visualize the implanted technologies retinal projections.
If this does not become a movie, Hollywood is really missing out!
Lets say that I was a magical genie and that I asked you to list 5 things about your self that you wanted to improve and how you wanted to improve them. Then I asked you to rank them from one to 5. The I took the top one, waved my wand, and POOF that aspect of you was now as you had described.
Then, then next month, I asked you to do it all over again. List 5 things, describe and rank them. POOF! 12 monumental improvements of the span of a year! Now lets imagine that we did this once a week for a year. In the beginning you might say "make me thinner or more attractive". But eventually you will say "make me smarter", "make me faster". "Remove limitation". At the end of the year, how much smarter, faster, stronger... better.... would you be?
Now what if I told you that if you altered your diet you could do this once a day for a year. Alter it still and you could do it once an hour, every day for a year. With each subsequent diet alteration the timespan between iterations of "you" dropped. The speeds at which you simultaneously calculated new improvements and the real world application of those improvements would need a being such as your then self to appreciate.
Lets say that I was a magical genie and that I asked you to list 5 things about your self that you wanted to improve and how you wanted to improve them.
Scary enough right? Well, now lets start taking away a few things from this process. First, lets assume that your physical appearance doesn't matter in the slightest. Perhaps your already an Adonis. Whatever the case, NONE of your rankings ever include physical appearance for the sake of vanity. In fact, take away any biologically originated motivations whatsoever. Also, take away your notions of morality.
I can hear your complaints now, "But those things are a large portion of my motivations for change! if I remove them whats left is cold and largely unfeeling!"
Now assume that we aren't talking about a person doing these things. We are talking about a machine. A machine that we created. That we nurtured from many precognition to something smarter that we.
Superintelligence is what we label something that is smarter that human level intelligence. This means that the level of intelect this thing possesses is smarter than the aggregate of the smartest minds that have ever lived. Smarter than the smartest human that will ever live. Smarter than the biology allows us to get.
Dolphins are smart animals. Very smart! They may even be able to discern that we are smarter than they. BUT, can they grasp how much smarter? Dogs, cats, pigs are all smart. How much smarter than they are we? 10's of times? Hundreds? Millions?
Therein lies the crux of it. The one thing that has literally kept me up at night after reading this book was the notion that a machine would go from a lower than human level intellect to a many times greater that human intellect WITHOUT a detectable stop at the human level. When you think about it this makes sense. Our biology limits us. Evolution combined with the constant vigilance and attention to our own biology limits our potential as much as it feeds it. Why would there be a mandatory stop at the human level?
In practical terms, we would start by being the human in the analogy and end up being an amoeba. So, the questions we have to apply ourselves to BEFORE we achieve super intelligent machines are a) should we want to achieve it? B) If so,how do we ensure our survival? C) How do we give it motivations that are consistent with our, and the rest of the universes continued existence?
The thought that now keeps me up at night is that I now understand that creating a super intelligent machine is inevitable. There are shockingly few technical hurdles left.
Without question this book is one of the most important books written in the last 20 years. I know that is a bold statement but it is exactly the way I feel. This is a huge problem. We must learn how to achieve it safely. The goal of the book is to introduce us to the added difficulties in crating a super intelligence that is safe and doesn't pose both humanity and the universe at large an enormous danger.
Sadly, its clinical voice and technical jargon will see reader/listener abandon by all but the ardent few that already appreciate the problem. I say press on! Once you understand that this is a philosophical, moral, and existential problem and not a technical one it makes the reading/listening much easier.
The subtitle of the book is "Paths, Dangers, Strategies". It couldn't be more succinct. This is precisely what is delivered.
DO NOT get discouraged by the technical text book voice. Delve into it. re-read/re-listen to a chapter that is not making sense a couple of times. Then move on. I promise that later the concept will become clear and understanding follows soon after.This is one topic that needs as much understanding and applied brainpower as the human race can throw at it.
NO! This author must loath the editing process or the "editor" should be shot. There are so many "WTF" and "Are you serious?" moments that the book was complete unenjoyable.
No. But if this was one of my first ventures into I would be very concerned about wasting more time.
Give the performer a better script and I am sure he could have been better. Seriously, there was not much to work with here.
Well, I would have suggested a few things.
1) The premise is pretty good. Begin there and rethink everything.
2) Rethink the characters and their motivations.
3) Stop endlessly reminding people of concepts and events that just happened. It is unnecessary and annoying. People do not want to be annoyed while reading things. So stop reminding then of those annoying things. Like the times that you restate some event or concept that just happened. Those things can be annoying. ;)
4) Spend TIME explaining things like how everyone speaks english, has similar gestures, similar rank structure. Also, come up with a better reason for the similarities and accentuate the differences. (of course you have to actually have differences to accentuate first). This is supposed to be a race of humans that evolved and lived on multiple worlds independently from earth. You might want to spend some time addressing how the hell that is possible.
That would be session 1 of about 50 meetings. This entire book needed 3 more years of development.
I don't think I can express in words how bad this entire thing is. I'm not sure what possessed this author to think this was done enough to produce a book or series out of. It is an ill conceived and ill explained nightmare of ineptness. Horrible, terrible, and easily the shittiest attempt at Science Fiction I have had the unfortunate opportunity to witness in at least 5 years.
I have physically read the previous books and soon discovered that my internal pronunciation of names and places differed greatly from the official version. Sure I could have looked in the back of each book for the pronunciation guide, but that just never did. At any rate, it took a bit to acclimate myself to the WOT world again. The new names and places I heard made that acclimation take longer but at the same time I enjoyed itall the more.
It is impossible to view this book on its own for this question. It has to viewed as one small part of a vast universe. So, that being the case, youcan only compare it to other epic series. For me, I see it as a very tame and PG version of the Game of Thrones series combined with unique magical elements. Some things are very naive and exploratory in a way that only young people can view the world. Other parts tackle concepts and plots that surface only after a lifetime of worldly experiences.
There are neither beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel of Time.
This series could not have ended better. However, I was a bit let down by the Padan Fain characters role. I was also less certain why the fate of some characters ended so. On the whole It was a fantastic end to the series. I think Robert Jordan would have been proud of how it was wrapped up.
The organization. He organizes it in chronological order in parts, intelligence collection methods in others, and in other various ways. It makes allows for too many rapid departures and side stories.
Break it out into clear sections. Only occasionally drift off subject. Do not use the side story as a vehicle to lengthen the book and drive home obvious points. Its a book on Intelligence for the love of Pete! People interested in reading this subject probably have at least the basics down.
Only one Character so hard to say. But he was very dry.
I wanted to know more about some of the key individuals and events talked about. So i wiki'd them. I guess that counts.
Though it is informative, it is like reading a text book. 70% of the information you already know or have been exposed to. you have to wade through the personal and political agenda of the author to get at some of the better bits of info though.
No. I don't like to listen to them twice. nothing against it. There are just too many choices of new material.
Possibly, if it was reviewed well.
they seemed very in tune with the voice of the characters.
A cry for help is sometimes never spoken.
As a father, it makes me worry that people actually feel this way. Will I know if my child has these thoughts and designs to act on them?
Classic Epic Story
Tyrion Lanister. He is intelligent and sly.
Its not always good to be King!
I really like this book. It is a little slow to get started. I think that is because they are setting the stage for the inclusions of a ton of characters. Probably most like the Robert Jordan Wheel of Time series in style.
A superb epic
Tyrion Lannister. He is equal parts likable and despicable. Evil and Good. The most dynamic character I have seen created in a long while.
WOW!! I felt like I was sitting in a play hall. This is not a reading, it is a masterful performance.
About ever 30 minutes there was at least one.
I can accumulate points fast enough! I really want the next book!
I will break this review into 2 sections. Content and Audio.
It is read by Belzer and at times sounds as though an eighth grader is reading it in front of the class. Other times it seems as though Belzer is riffing and if you are getting content that was not in the book. There are annoying sound drops accompanying his "factoids" and other areas. It's like the "I'm in hell show" and Bob and Tom are the hosts! Only without the humor... hence the hell part!
He pulls most(over 90%) from books by conspiracy king Jim Maars. So much so that in fact the book should be retitled as being the cliff notes of Jim Maars' works. Thus, it is a sideshow of Belzer trying to push something off as fact and ignoring recent evidence to the contrary. In fact he touts the infamously debunked "Norman Similas" photo as being a given fact. As if he had actually seen the image. Which of course he hasn't because it doesn't exist. This is allegedly a photo taken from across the street that supposedly shows 2 figures standing at the window and a rifle barrel sticking out.
Other leaps of logic, tenuous threads, debunked nonsense, and blind faith in Jim Maars' research(if you can call it that) without the slightest rechecking of the data permeate this work. The snarky quips and humor that was only funny circa 1982 also rule the day.
In short, go watch Oliver Stone's JFK. It is more entertaining, just as factual, and no annoying Belzer jokes.
This was a fantastic listen. I was riveted. I highly recommend this one. I usually listen to these while cutting the yard or doing odd jobs around the house. I often found myself pausing and just standing around listening intently. It really grabs your attention and your imagination. Ecellent research and well developed characters make this a superb book.
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