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Steve from MD

Member Since 2011

13
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 339 ratings
  • 566 titles in library
  • 19 purchased in 2015
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  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By David McCullough
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1207)
    Performance
    (875)
    Story
    (880)

    The Greater Journey is the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, architects, and others of high aspiration who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, ambitious to excel in their work.

    John says: "Priceless! Best book I've read in years"
    "Worse reading ever"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The reading is so boring I could not listen to this one. I think this one is a waste of money. Even when I turned the speed up I got bored.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Where Does It Hurt?: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Fixing Health Care

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Jonathan Bush, Stephen Baker
    • Narrated By Patrick Lawlor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (20)

    A bold new remedy for the sprawling and wasteful health care industry. In this provocative book, Jonathan Bush, cofounder and CEO of athenahealth, calls for a revolution in health care to give customers more choices, freedom, power, and information, and at far lower prices.

    Steve from MD says: "No critical thinking"
    "No critical thinking"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    In the introduction he states that our health care system is expensive and not as good at delivering results as other countries. His conclusion is to introduce free market economics as the solution. So the answer to fixing the only health care system which operates on free market principles is to double down. We operate in a free market he might not like the market or the rules since he failed at running his first business.

    He harps on several points but does not seem to have any knowledge of the realities.

    1. Overpriced hospitals. Here he is confused by costs vs charges. Hospitals are required by law to care for all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Since at many emergency departments over a third of all patients do not pay. So the hospital must raise charges to cover these patients. As specialty hospitals grow taking away paying patients this only makes it worse. Hospitals are struggling throughout the country. Many are closing or selling themselves because they can not survive.

    2. Customer satisfaction is bad because there is no free market. If you look at press ganey the largest surveyor of patient satisfaction doctors and hospitals are doing great. Over 90 percent of hospitals and 99 percent of doctors score over 4 on a 5 point scale. Much better than Airlines which have been deregulated and are more free market or restaurants as a group.

    3. There is no innovation. This is just looking at the facts he wants and ignoring all others. there has been great innovation. Pick a specialty cardiology has gone from 2 weeks bed rest for myocardial infarction to stents in 90 minutes from arrival. We have better tests to find heart attacks. Surgery has gone from large incisions to laparoscopic and in some cases robotic.

    4. If only people could choose things would be better. This is nonsense. When someone is sick they rely on doctors to help guide them. Also many would say that they do not feel spending 100$ more on a meal which might increase there chance of enjoyment of the meal by 1% is clearly not worth it to them however, spending money on a better chance to survive an illness? They would spend that. Also look at all the money spent on alternative medicine. Here people have the freedom to choose and they choose options that offer no benefit. The National Institute of Alternative medicine just completed a 10 year review and found no evidence to support use of anything tested as alternative medicine.

    5 Choices are needed in insurance. Health insurance is not like cable TV. I do not know which illness I am going to get this year. I am sure if I do not want ESPN today I will not want it later this year. People will opt out of lots of choices then when they become ill they get covered by the either the government or the hospitals that provide the service. We removed the moral hazard. I am not advocating not treating people I am saying that if we are arguing for free markets you are arguing for letting people suffer because of their choices which we do not do.

    I do agree with him when he talks about information, reducing overhead and getting rid of fee for service. A free market tries to maximize one thing and that is profit. If it can do it my delivering expensive less effective health care it will as it has proven. So eliminating fee for service is a start. Going to a single payer is another good step. Less paperwork and back office support is needed with a single payer. However, these will not reduce lawsuits which contribute to costs of healthcare. Doctors win about 90% of malpractices cases so most cases are about poor outcomes not medical care. The free market would say if we can make money by suing we will sue. Many cases are settled to avoid the years of pretrial and trial costs which only encourages more lawsutis.



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome’s Deadliest Enemy

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Adrienne Mayor
    • Narrated By Paul Hecht
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (293)

    A National Book Award finalist for this epic work, Adrienne Mayor delivers a gripping account of Mithradates, the ruthless visionary who began to challenge Rome’s power in 120 B.C. Machiavelli praised his military genius. Kings coveted his secret elixir against poison. Poets celebrated his victories, intrigues, and panache. But until now, no one has told the full story of his incredible life.

    Darwin8u says: "A mythic & complicated life of a charismatic King"
    "hardly history"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Adrienne Mayor and/or Paul Hecht?

    I understand it is hard to write a book about a ancient ruler where little information exists but lots of myths. This book looks at an interesting character in history with all the skepticism of a big foot hunt. I do not even think they did any real research into poisons.


    What could Adrienne Mayor have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    More critical thinking.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    na


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • How An Economy Grows And Why It Crashes

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Peter D Schiff, Andrew J Schiff
    • Narrated By Peter D. Schiff, Andrew J. Schiff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (506)
    Performance
    (404)
    Story
    (398)

    How an Economy Grows and Why it Crashes uses illustration, humor, and accessible storytelling to explain complex topics of economic growth and monetary systems. In it, economic expert and bestselling author of Crash Proof, Peter Schiff teams up with his brother Andrew to apply their signature "take no prisoners" logic to expose the glaring fallacies that have become so ingrained in our country's economic conversation.

    AC says: "Educational and Entertaining"
    "This is an example of Why Economics is not science"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is why economics fails. We are to learn about the authors opinions about how he thinks economics works in the real world. To do this he creates a total fictitious land and then translates from the fiction to reality. This does not work. Lets start with some basics. On his island everyone not only does every one have a job this job provides for all the basic needs. Clearly this does not exist anywhere in the real world and with such a base how can you believe all that flows from this world would translate into ours. He also ignores history. He views all regulations as bad. There was a reason regulations are created and often they solve a problem. In our recent history we have deregulated banks and savings and loans both lead to huge bailouts. I could go as with his poor explanation of why the gold standard is so important. After all in his world fish do provide a real benefit to the inhabitants they can eat it and survive. How is gold similar. It only has value because others want it not. How does he explain the tulip bubble or the internet bubble? This occurred with out any government involvement. I would leave his fantasy world in fantasy land and take no useful lessons from such dribble.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Charles Duhigg
    • Narrated By Mike Chamberlain
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6680)
    Performance
    (5574)
    Story
    (5552)

    At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

    Mehra says: "Nice! A guide on how to change"
    "Bad Habit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Parts were good but most was over reach. The idea that we create routines and tend to exeecute them is good and interesting. However, the definition of habit and reward get stretched beyond recognition. As an example the use Michael Phelps as an example, He has a set routine he does before a race. It is suggested the reason he wins is he follows this pattern. However, it is clear that there are a lot of swimmers who swim against him with there own habits and probably very similar but who do not win. A better case would be to talk about his habit of training. The book is an example of when you have a hammer everything looks like a nail. In this case everything looks like a habit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Florence Williams
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (133)
    Performance
    (120)
    Story
    (123)

    In this informative and highly entertaining account, intrepid science reporter Florence Williams sets out to uncover the latest scientific findings from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, taking her from a plastic surgeon's office, where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas, to the laboratory, where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk.

    aaron says: "Every Person with Boobs Should Read This!"
    "Lacking Research"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed parts of the book which were less science and more trivia. Lots of talk about toxins and measuring these toxins in people. Little science to show any real problem despite all the inuendo. Overall it seemed like some one with an agenda who took the word of research she felt had truthiness. I am not saying it might not be true but a more balanced view would be nice, or at least stating how she tried to find alternate opinions but these views were held by a small fringe.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Proust Was a Neuroscientist

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jonah Lehrer
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (266)
    Performance
    (111)
    Story
    (112)

    In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.

    Mark D. Jones says: "Excellent Book"
    "Good Science Bad Interpretation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book is one big logical fallacy. To do scientific research and find out how the brain functions is great. However, taking this research then going back in time and finding some vague similarities to some artist then giving them credit for the discovery is absurd.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Rebecca Skloot
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
    Overall
    (4884)
    Performance
    (3337)
    Story
    (3365)

    Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

    Prisca says: "Amazing Story"
    "Great Potential"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought this would be a interesting book but it failed on almost all accounts. Great opportunity to discuss rights of individuals and their genetic code. Rights of Universities to capitalize on research and restrict indivuals. The history of cloning human cells and its implications on future research. Alas the book is mostly about a poor family who loved a family member. Avoids important issues. A complete let down.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Great by Choice

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jim Collins, Morten T. Hansen
    • Narrated By Jim Collins
    Overall
    (1053)
    Performance
    (877)
    Story
    (879)

    The new question: Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? In Great by Choice, Collins and his colleague, Morten T. Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times. The new study: Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.

    K. Donath says: "Real Insight!!"
    "great by chance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I will start off by stating I am a fan of Collins book Good to Great. It was a well research book that found ideas that have been born out by other scientific research. Great by choice is a different story. While his ideas are fun and interesting this is not research or scientific. He chose 7 companies that out performed the stock market by at least 10x. Chance would claim that there would be a small number of these companies. Of the seven none were 10xs for the last 10 years. In fact Microsoft has under performed the market while its control company apple has out performed microsoft by 1400%.

    The next problem is interpretation. With no methods to determine before hand how to decide it is easy to make things fit into your preconceived ideas. Bullets then cannons. The example of apple firing bullets with the ipod by creating it for the apple first then going big by developing for windows is just not true. In Isacsons book he states jobs never wanted to make an ipod for windows, he felt it was a way to attract windows users to apple. latter he reluctantly agreed. Yet this is used as an example of bullets before cannons.Simply not true.

    Another example is the idea that you can quantify luck. They use the example of Amgen hiring a key employee as an example of luck. If that is true then would you not have to look at ever employee who turns out well to see if it was luck and look at every employee who made a bad decision to see if their hire was luck? The other error inherent in this thinking is the idea that any event occurs independantly. To stick with the same example. They state that the employee hire was luck because he read the ad at a time when he was looking for a new job. Well why was he looking for a new job. Is his reason bad luck for the company he left?

    In scientific terms at best this is a derivation set. It shoudl be validated on another era.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Future Babble: Why Expert Predictions Fail - and Why We Believe Them Anyway

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Dan Gardner
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    In Future Babble, award-winning journalist Dan Gardner presents landmark research debunking the whole expert prediction industry and explores our obsession with the future. The truth is that experts are about as accurate as dart-throwing monkeys.

    Christopher says: "Sobering and Informative"
    "Just plain babble"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I wanted to like this book and thought I would correct the previous reviews. Unfortunately this is just bad science and not well researched. Some parts are accurate but lots suffer from the same problems he complains about. Yes predicting the future is difficult. However, anypne can selective cherry pick data to make a point. Yes there are lots of biases that may cause this problem. One which he does not seem to recoginize, despite talking about the origins early in the book is publication bias. People do not buy books that are about happy and cheerful outlooks. People want to read about disasters and problems. There are better books out there, I would pass on this one.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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