First off, let me preface this review by saying I was already familiar with Steven Novella through his podcast, The Skeptics Guide to the Universe. ..Show More »/> When I heard he had this series of lectures available on Audible, I was quite excited!
I was hoping for a clear, detailed and thorough treatment of Critical Thinking - and Novella delivers in spades, covering topic after topic with a treatment that is brisk, peppered with examples, constructed in a logical and understandable manner and order, and delivered eloquently.
The content is exactly what is says on the tin: if you are interested in Critical Thinking, in knowing how you think and how TO think -- there is no fat here. Logical fallacies and cognitive biases are examined, illustrated and explained.
I would caution the potential listener that this is a series of lectures on a specific subject; I enjoyed it immensely because I happen to be interested in the topic. If I didn't have that interest or I was expecting more of a narrative-type production, I think I would be disappointed.
A further caution: if you have a set of "alternative beliefs", prepare to be challenged! Examine the unfavorable reviews to see this side of things.
However -- and in summary -- if you desire to develop your Critical Thinking skills, to build the sharpest reasoning possible for yourself, or just to explore a scientific approach to understanding how your brain plays tricks on itself, then I give this work the highest recommendation!
I had a true since of déjà vu moment while listening to this course by Shermer until I realized he was the author of "The Believing Brain" which I re..Show More »ad a few months ago and this course was covering much of the same ground with many of the same stories. Shermer attacks reasons for bad thinking such as via confirmation bias, availability bias, the hind sight fallacy, and others that challenge our ability to think logically like a Scientist. The Feynman quote that went something along the lines of first you must not be deceived and you are the easiest to deceive summed up the premise of the course very well.
Interesting Lectures with a Misleading Description
The lectures are well rehearsed, excellently paced, and fascinating. However, the topic of the lectures does not match the product's description.<..Show More »br/> The lectures are a combination of popular psychology theory and advice on conflict resolution, with a heavy emphasis on marital disputes. The scientific content is on the light side.
There is nothing on communicating with strangers or in the workplace.
That being said, the lectures are very interesting and well delivered. If you purchase this audiobook, you will likely be entertained and get a cursory education on a topic which is not discussed in the product description.
This audiobook is a series of lectures looking at history's most memorable speeches. It is a good analysis of those speeches and helps us to understan..Show More »d the elements which combine to make great oratory. He helps us to understand the different strategies that should be used for different purposes. So, for example, Ghandi used 'logos' or logic to prove his point when he was on trial for his life, whilst Martin Luther King appealed to the emotions when he gave his iconic 'I have a dream' speech.
Whilst this analysis is interesting, there is a slight conflict of interests within the book which doesn't work so well. The lecturer is supposedly trying to teach us how to be better public speakers, but to this he draws his lessons from speeches made by history's heavyweight orators made at pivotal moments in the World's history, such as Churchill's 'Blood, sweat and tears' speech and Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. This is slightly comical, as the average listener buying this self-help lecture series will likely do no more than give a best-man speech at a wedding.
Despite this qualm, the audiobook is interesting and worth a listen.
I thoroughly enjoyed this course. The lecturer is an excellent narrator and sounds very empathetic and understanding. He breaks down the topic into ve..Show More »ry logical lectures, each focused around very useable frameworks. He frequently references outside studies, but doesn't get bogged down in the details, making it relate to the issue at hand. There are some dramatic enactments of examples which are sometimes cheesy, but overall add to the course. This audiobook is good from start to finish (arguably getting better as it goes), rather than many books, where it's one good idea re-hashed 50 times.
'The Art of Storytelling' by Prof. Hannah B. Harvey is probably one of the best courses in 'The Great Courses' series. Not only does it deals with som..Show More »ething no human being can get away from - the telling of stories - Harvey's presentation is absolutely exquisite, she has a way to draw you in.
So why don't I give it five stars throughout. Because you loose out tremendously by buying the audio only version. While listening to Prof. Harvey gives you the basics, there are so much more that is just not accessible when listening to the audio version of the course. I would have loved to not only hear, but also to see the storytellers, including herself perform by telling a story. You only hear the example 'stories' while it is used to help you with gestures, movement etc. She also gives valuable exercises on body posture and warming up your body and vocal chords before an performance. In the audio version you miss out on a lot of these.
That said, being a minister of religion that often preaches to various audiences, I was able to incorporate some of her ideas in one of my recent sermons. I was astounded with the reaction.
Prof. Harvey covers al the components of a good story, how to write or think up or identify a story as well as how to present or perform it. It is absolutely worthwhile and the self-help exercises (cross-training) she gives helps a lot.
Unfortunately you will want to have more. I found that the audio version of this lecture left me with a feeling of being cheated out of the most important part of storytelling - body language... maybe it is better to wait for a Great Courses 70% off sale, pay a little more (or a lot) and watch the video version. If you don't have that kind of money, the audio might just help you getting started.
I would recommend this audiobook because it was both highly informative and entertaining at the same time. Prof. Anne Curzan has indeed made a great s..Show More »eries of lessons on this topic. But since I have studied some linguistics before, I found the content a little too basic for my needs. It did, however, provide me with some much needed repetition.
Yes i would. There was a lot of good material covered in making creativity a strategic habit and not just something you stumble upon in this book, so..Show More » much that i feel it would be beneficial to let the concepts set in then revisit.
A person might think this if for business people learning how to manipulate others into buying their product. They would be wrong. Actually this cours..Show More »e has benefits for people of all walks of life. Everyone negotiates. We have to. It is part of life. We negotiate our friendships, our marriages, our relationships as employers and as employees. We negotiate our salaries, our mortgages, how much we pay for all sorts of products. And this course is about how to negotiate effectively and fairly. It is good for consumers in that it alerts you to bullish negotiating tactics that strong arm you into buying things you don’t need or paying too much. It also teaches you why it is not best to negotiate in such a way that you get all you possibly could in a deal. It teaches you the dangers of developing a reputation of being greedy, and the benefits of developing a reputation for being generous and fair. Some of the better things I have learned is thinking through your BATNA, or best alternatives. How to research this and figure out what you can be happy doing without. The importance of third party objective estimates of what a thing is worth, like blue book values when buying or selling a car. Some of the stuff may be things you more or less knew before, but hearing the discussion concerning the phenomena gets you thinking about it in different way, and not only knowing it but understanding it.
I was hoping for some more content in addition to Contagious. However, I really enjoyed the author's narration. If you haven't read/listened to J..Show More »onah's other book, this lecture series will be fascinating. I'm glad I listened to this and would like to read more of Dr. Berger'a work.
This course fills its promise. You'll find in it useful tools to help you start your business. Although some lessons are more directed at an American ..Show More »audience, Mr. Goldsby always strives to show the key ideas behind the regulations. After having listened to this course, you'll think twice before starting a venture. You'll probably understand more clearly why it's difficult and what you should keep in mind. But you'll be more convinced than ever that you _can_ do it.
I really enjoyed this course. I have listened to many Great Courses and this is so far one of my favourites. I have also been working on my vocabulary..Show More » in the past year via other audio courses and workbooks, but this has been the most efficacious.
The course begins by teaching various memory techniques for retaining new word meanings. This includes keeping a vocabulary notebook, making personal connections, sound connections, etymological breakdown, and categorization. My main problem is recall, and these are not new techniques, but I have been motivated to employ them to much success.
Lectures are organized by words of a certain category, such as words relating to phobias, words for describing good and bad speakers, words for describing language, toponyms and eponyms, and "grab bags" of miscellaneous words. Professor Flanigan keeps things entertaining by telling the history behind words and memorable personal stories about his friends and family to exemplify key words, ending each lecture with a quiz. He speaks confidently and clearly and is an excellent teacher.
Immediately after finishing this course, I found myself recognizing key words left and right, words that I previously would have only had a vague contextual understanding of and would have thus brushed past. This has been a real confidence booster.
The only downside is, as with all The Great Course audiobooks sold by audible, there is no guidebook. This is a complaint I see by many reviewers of The Great Courses, but if you check out the prices on The Teaching Company's (the makers of TGC) the website in which the guidebook is included, you will see that purchasing them via audible without the guidebook is actually a very good deal. The lack of guidebook is probably the reason audible can charge such a low price without it being a negative for The Teaching Company's overall sales. However, it would have been nice for audible or the Great Courses to at least provide a list of the words, as I had to write them down while listening. Ultimately, being forced to write them down was probably a good thing, as taking notes really helped me to remember the words. Although it did get tricky to confirm the spelling, especially with the more obscure words, but I did manage to find them all with a little googling.
I would also recommend "How To Build a Better Vocabulary" by Maxwell Nurnberg and Morris Rosenblum. I have been working through this in parallel with this course and the words are similar both in selection and difficulty. It's very nice to have learnt a word from one place and have it reinforced elsewhere.