I don't agree with all of Mr. Gates' politics, but I think he is a fine example of what hard-work, personal responsibility and true patriotism looks like. Not flag pins and crazy talk, but calm, diligent problem-solving and putting your country before self-serving theatrics.
He seemed to have good and bad things to say about all the major players, but I did note a regularly reinforced and distinct anti-Biden and pro-Hillary perspective. Perhaps this reflects his true feelings, or perhaps he would like to have a hand in steering the next Democratic primary, I suspect both.
After Rumsfeld we needed a pragmatic realist who could listen to others and truly put country first. I believe we got that with Gates and I for one am grateful.
Definitely worth the listen if for nothing but the dry-humour and inside perspective.
I have listened to a number of evolutionary psychology books including Kahneman's "Thinking Fast and Slow", so I wasn't anticipating many new concepts. I was expecting more of how those well known concepts apply to Political and Religious orientations.
I was however wrong. For me at least this book broke a lot of new ground by introducing the different dimensions of morality and the concept of 90% chimp and 10% bee. I was convinced by much of it and could apply the concepts from my own personal idiosyncrasies to geo-political history - hows that for breadth!
One thing that's important to me is how balanced a book is. Whilst I have my own political leanings, I really don't like heavy handedly one-sided books, especially regarding politics. I really felt that Haidt's book speaks to the whole political spectrum and encourages mutual understanding. If only we could get everyone to read it.
Excellent book - narrated perfectly by the author.
This is an interesting if lengthy inside account of Markopolos' attempt to take down Madoff's ponzi scheme, but....
First of all, whilst the main narrator is very good, there are occasional smatterings of other voices, sometimes another reader, sometimes audio clip's from the news or Congressional hearings. I found these quite clumsily applied and feel the book would have benefited from sticking with the main narrator throughout.
Secondly, Markopolos' account actually helped me understand why he was ignored until it was too late. His initial interest in Madoff was as a struggling competitor. He wasn't a benevolent do-gooder, he was trying to prove to his bosses that the financial product he was being asked to create could never compete with Madoff because Madoff was cheating.
That fact coupled with his hyperbolic language, abrasive style and to me excessive paranoia would have led me to question Markopolos as a source for sure.
That's not to say that it wasn't an abundance of incompetence at the SEC that led to the eventual size of the fraud. The SEC should not have even needed Markopolos' research to see that Madoff wasn't actually trading!
Finally, the list of "tragic" stories at the end of the book made me a bit uncomfortable. First of all most of these people lost some or all of their wealth. That is of course unfair and personally tragic, it is not however tragic on the scale of war and disease, which by the way are prevalent. Plus there were many more people who, during the financial crisis, rather than losing their wealth, lost their livelihoods - everything - jobs, homes, families.
A book written by a third-party about the case would have been better I think.
I have been dabbling in trail running and would love to be be fit enough to try endurance running, so there were quite a few useful tips on running style, diet and so on.
But the if you've read "Born to Run" there really is no comparison.
This book is more of a one-note auto-biography and whilst I respect Jurek for his amazing athletic accomplishments and for being a great ambassador for ultra-running, his story is interesting, but not thrilling.
Worth the listen for fans of Jurek and running.
Reading this book was my first introduction to Alan Mullaly and what went on with Ford before and after the financial crisis.
Certainly it is an interesting story, well told and Alan Mullaly comes across as a business genius and a leader I wish I could have had during my time in corporate America.
My reservations are that the book also reads like a long and rosy telling of "The Ford Story", in the same sense that Ford tries to tell "The Ford Story" in its advertising. It is a one-sided, effusive and unabashedly fawning account of Mullaly and Ford in general.
The author begins the book with an explanation of how he went to the Ford Executive Leadership, including Mullaly explaining that the a book should be written about "Ford's comeback" and how it would be a "positive story". An investigative journalist should not assure his subjects that the book he is writing will be positive, it removes any opportunity for balance - and in balance is found truth.
I certainly appreciate the fact that Ford saved itself rather than accept the Detroit bailout and I can see that Mullaly is an exceptional leader, but I want to read truth, not just advertising. And I felt uneasy during much of this book that I was being asked to trust Ford's own perception of itself.
I've been a huge fan of Louis Theroux for many years, and to me Jon Ronson's book strikes the same tone as one of Louis' shows.
By building a rapport with people who have very extreme beliefs and opinions, they are humanized. One can even empathize to a degree. This is a much more productive policy than simply demonizing or disregarding them.
In most extremists there is a grain of something real that should be considered and built in to our own thinking. However, that is not to overlook the fact that many of these people are essentially delusional and even dangerous.
That is the most important aspect of Jon's book and Louis' shows - whilst opening our minds to empathize and relate, they also illuminate where the reasonable become unreasonable and the understandable become outrageous. And best of all this demarkation is often hilarious and self-evident when exposed by a reasonable person repeating the ludicrous words back to the ludicrous people who just spoke them.
It is genius and a service to the world in my opinion.
I am sure that Jon's book would have lost much of the humor and nuance had it been read by another narrator, so well done Jon.
I enjoy Michael Lewis books. They are a lot of fun to listen to, but I think he has a tendency to exaggerate and use some artistic license in his accounts.
This is my third book of his and now that I'm familiar with his schtick I listened more for amusement than factual accounts.
The book takes us to each of the collapsed/collapsing economies around the world and astounds us with the incredible greed, stupidity and chutzpa of those involved.
Pinch of salt, but the essence is right and if you're like me you'll be well entertained
A very illuminating insight in to the experience of a child on the Autism Spectrum.
Ray Porter is my favorite Audible narrator.
This is a good balance of Einstein's biography and conceptual explanations of some of the big ideas in Physics from Newton up to and including the present.
I liked that Kaku attempted to demonstrated the value of Einstein's often overlooked and failed attempts at a unified theory.
Enjoyed this book.
I really enjoy books about IT entrepreneurship and this was an enjoyable read.
I was hoping for more insight on the technical accomplishments of the early team, but it seems the author does not have a technical background. For example the term Operation System was used instead of Operating System (nerdy ouch!). But putting that aside there were almost no details on the technologies used, their innovations or how their outage problems were solved.
There was a lot more detail on the conniving and malevolent shenanigans of the co-founders as they attempted to wrest control of Twitter from each others' hands.
It seems to me that Twitter was successful despite the fairly inadequate leadership and the apparent lack of vision from any of the co-founders. The kernel of the idea by Jack Dorsey was as far as their "genius" extended. It seemed like the user-base of Twitter knew better than the folks who created it on how best it should be used.
Well worth a listen, especially if you have an interest in boardroom power games.
Ray Porter is my favorite narrator and his reading can make an average book feel great. I think this might be why this book gets such good reviews. Either that, or die-hard Nintendo fans love hearing lists of the gazillions of variations on all the Mario games.
What I got from this book was that Nintendo found a formula that worked and were careful to not change things too much and milk that baby for all they could get out of it.
Don't get me wrong - I like Nintendo. I like that their devices and games are usually high quality, family friendly and I especially liked the Wii with its introduction of less sedentary gaming.
But after the first hour the book, it became less of a personal story and entrepreneurial success story and more like a high level chronology of a corporation's product rollouts.
Still, Ray Porter can make the ingredients list on a packet of peach rings sound enthralling :-)
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