©2009 Michael Shermer; (P)2009 Michael Shermer
The line of thought is often interesting - but the low quality of the sound with whisperings and chairs ruminating in the background as well as inaudible questions makes it difficult to recommend. Also we listeners do not have at hand or on-line the many handout that are used ad referenced throughout. All-in-all its a lecture recording "on the cheap" that needs to be updated and applied for tape/digital to make real sense.
I was looking forward to this book, (as I thought), but it turned out to be a recording of lectures to a group of students and other academics, who made comments, often inaudible, in the background. Dr Shermer rattled on, losing his notes from time to time, making asides, stopping for a drink, adjusting the recording device, referring to what he had written on a board, to slides that he was showing, to printed handouts, and talking about the time of the next lecture etc. Essentially, I felt that he was wasting my time.
The material would have been much better if presented in a professionally edited book, and read from a book by a professional reader. I believe that I did not get what I expected - an audiobook, and am disappointed that Audible represented it as such.
Don't waste your time. Disorganized & frequently inaudible. True, Shermer's personality shines through--unfortunately, by his frequent sophomoric gaffaws. This is first book I've abandoned before finishing.
Wow, I am sorry that I wasted a credit on this. I thought I was buying a survey of the History of Science. Instead, half the lectures are ruminations on economic theory - cursory at best and academically dishonest at worst. Marx is dismissed as a literary hack and inept buffoon, while apparently the sun shines out of Ayn Rand's butt. Discussion of Hegel sounds like an undergraduate book report copied sloppily from the Wikipedia. Much time is devoted to the sound-poem made by Shermer's shifting papers to find the long dry and unconnected-to-lecture quote he would like to read you. Thoroughly avoids discussion of, say, empiricist experiments during the Enlightenment. Even discussion of Locke is more about Economics and social theory than science. Perhaps this product has been packaged incorrectly as History of Science? Judging from class participation (barely audible) he was performing these lectures at an old age home. Constant deference too, to his (graduate advisor's (?) opinion. Nice moment when he says hello to his mom and dad. I KNOW you can find better FREE downloadable lectures on the HoS from the Berkeley or MIT sites because I have downloaded them myself.
I was hoping for a somewhat concise history of science when I purchased this but was suprised to find that the author supports very little with dates and facts, rather this seems little more than a backyard philosophical conversation about science, full of opinions from the author and running conversations with his audience.
I agree with the other reviews that the title is deceptive and I did not get what I thought I was getting and feel that I wasted my credit as well.
Someone who truly hates people of faith and enjoys hearing people of faith ridiculed. If that's you, by all means get this one.
I know it will not be anything by this fellow.
It would be better if he spent more time on the history of science and less time riduculing faith. It would be even better if he got the science right! (At one point he refers to a light-year as a unit of time! Anyone as self-important as this dude ought to at least know that a light-year is a unit of distance.) Also, he laughs at his own jokes, and has endless verbal ticks, um, err, uhh. He is extremely impressed with himself and how witty he percieves himself to be.
The whole deal is a bad scene.
This is truly one of the very worst things I have ever gotten from Audible. I am definitely returning it. It is just unbelievably bad.
This is not worth the time or money. Poorly organized, broken by many extraneous interruptions, read from out-of-date notes, and given by a "professor" who is no more an academic than a high school student. I was completely disappointed and unhappy with this book and amazed that the Audible description was so inaccurate. If I could get my money back, I would.
It is not a History of Science. It is a loose survey of philosophy and history in the hopes of justifying Shermer's personal Cliodynamics.
It is false advertising at best. I enjoy Michael Shermer's discussions and books on science, but this is not that.
If you want to hear a convoluted philosophical diatribe with a pseudo intellectual bend then download and listen......or you could spend the $60 that this "course" costs and head to your local bar. You may not find what you're looking for there either, but at least you might have a good time.....plus, you may have something more interesting to talk about
The lectures should not be cut so often. There is a lot of side talk that isn't really interesting.
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