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CHET YARBROUGH

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States
  • 528
  • reviews
  • 982
  • helpful votes
  • 966
  • ratings
  • Asabiyyah

  • What Ibn Khaldun, the Islamic Father of Social Science, Can Teach Us About the World Today
  • By: Ed West
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan
  • Length: 1 hr and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

A quarter of a century after the end of Communism swept away the ideological conflict of the "short 20th century", a new world is once again taking shape, this time in the Middle East. But what does the crisis in the region, and its refugee exodus into Europe, signify for the future of the world? And why has the noble dream of nation-building failed? Focusing mainly on religion, ideology or economics, most analysis ignored one crucial factor: asabiyyah, or group feeling, something outlined six and a half centuries ago.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • RISE AND FALL

  • By CHET YARBROUGH on 04-26-18
  • Asabiyyah
  • What Ibn Khaldun, the Islamic Father of Social Science, Can Teach Us About the World Today
  • By: Ed West
  • Narrated by: P. J. Ochlan

RISE AND FALL

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-26-18

Ed West offers a brief introduction to the life of an ancient historian. His name is Ibn Khaldun. Khaldun describes the first known evolutionary theory of human origin. West also notes this 14th century scholar creates the first known socio/political theory of the rise and fall of civilizations.

Khaldun explains life’s origin as a congregation of chemicals and minerals that create organic life and, in turn, evolve into different species. West notes that Khaldun suggests humankind evolved from monkeys. This is four centuries before Darwin’s “Origin of Species”.

Khaldun offers councel to the great conqueror, Amir Timur (aka Tammerlane), who plans to resurrect the 13th century Mongol empire built by Genghis Khan. (Timur is said to have caused the death of over 17 million people in the effort.)

West suggests that Khaldun explains how Timur and other rulers, from the Roman empire to Genghis Kahn to Timur successfully conquered great areas of the known world. His explanation is “Asabiyyah” (aas-sah-bee-ah), a theory that all successful conquerors establish a social environment that creates solidarity among a group of people through shared understanding, purpose, and achievement.

Of course, leadership is key to any future. Right now, there seem few leaders that can make civilizations grow beyond their borders. Khaldun seems as relevant today as he was in the 4th and early 5th centuries.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Digital Gold

  • Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money
  • By: Nathaniel Popper
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 10 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,457
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,276

A New York Times technology and business reporter charts the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and the fascinating personalities who are striving to create a new global money for the Internet age.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Informative, but dry

  • By Tomer on 05-10-16

BITCOIN

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-18

Nathaniel Popper writes a book on the history of bitcoin.  His history is a “Just the facts Mam” presentation.  One will draw their own conclusion about the good and bad qualities of cryptocurrency.

Just like the dollar, pound, renminbe (yuan), franc, and euro, bitcoin is used for legal and illegal transactions.  There are a host of criminals who have gamed currencies.  Pepper recounts examples of bitcoin that show it is not exempt from currency manipulation.

No form of currency guarantees value.  Every form of currency has its ups and downs.  The difference is in who makes the decision about value.  If you live in a highly inflationary country, bitcoin offers some level of stability.  If you live in a wealthy and relatively stable country, bitcoin seems less attractive.

The future of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies seems more utilitarian in a future where nationalism disappears and there is acceptance of a world economy based on equality of opportunity.  We seem far from such a Utopian world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Tears We Cannot Stop

  • A Sermon to White America
  • By: Michael Eric Dyson
  • Narrated by: Michael Eric Dyson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,093
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 987
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 978

Fifty years ago Malcolm X told a white woman who asked what she could do for the cause, "Nothing." Dyson believes he was wrong. In Tears We Cannot Stop, he responds to that question. If we are to make real racial progress, we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievance has been ignored, dismissed, or discounted.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A call to White Christian America to repentance

  • By Adam Shields on 03-29-17

INDICTMENT

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-27-18

Michael Eric Dyson is a graduate of Princeton who teaches at Georgetown University. “Tears We Cannot Stop” is an indictment of white America. The indictment accuses white Americans of serious crimes stemming from today’s bigotry, neglect, and murder of black Americans. Examples of police violence against black Americans, a history of ethnic isolation, forced conformity and denied equal opportunity strongly support Dyson’s accusation.

Each accusation and the evidence gathered by Dyson confront the conscience of every white American. What he writes rings of truth. The more Dyson explains, the greater is white America’s guilt. It is a message missed by white Americans because they do not live the life of black Americans’ reality. White privilege is taken for granted in America because money, power, and prestige are held by mostly white American males.

Leaders in America, consciously or subconsciously, treat non-white Americans as “others”. When humans treat someone as an “other”, they become less human. Minorities and other nation’s populations become “gooks”, “spics”, “towel heads”, “niggers”; i.e. something identified as less than human. This human categorization institutionalizes discrimination. It leads to this American dilemma and to world wars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

  • By: Steven Novella, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Steven Novella
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,908
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,343
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,262

No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Same Material Different Title

  • By rkeinc on 09-21-14

PARADIGM SHIFT

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-23-18

This lecture series offers lessons for two paradigm shifts occurring in America today. One is gun control; the other is sex discrimination. Professor Steven Novella’s lessons apply to other important issues, but none seem to have the same political momentum for change.

Novella begins by inferring we all deceive ourselves. Novella explains it is caused by the nature of human consciousness. Novella argues that human brains are designed to make coherent sense of remembered experience; not to necessarily recount accurate details of events. We often add facts and change details to improve coherence of our memories.
Memory does not work like a film clip. It is not caste on celluloid that can be replayed as a memory. Memory is re-invented by reconstruction of facts to fit a story that makes sense to the person who remembers.

Critical thinking skills mean addressing facts, using those facts to create a constructive analysis, a plan of action, and implementation. Seventeen people are dead in Florida from one shooter. They are dead at the hand of a troubled teen. The weapon used is only designed to kill people. Everything else is irrelevant. Those are the facts. That is the truth. What is needed now is constructive analysis, a plan of action, and implementation.

The same can be said of sex discrimination. As far back as the oldest laws of government written by a Sumerian King in 2,050 BC, women have been singled out with human rights’ violations.

Novella’s argument that every memory is a subjective recollection may mean testimony of women who are abused and/or discriminated against are misreading the facts of their recollection. However, many facts, are independent of recollection. There is overwhelming evidence; i.e. fact-based films, recordings, physical examination records, and statistical studies that show women are abused and discriminated against all over the world. Those are the facts. That is the truth. What is needed is constructive analysis, a plan of action, and implementation.

The question is whether America has finally reached the tipping point for acting based on critical thinking. Have we finally reached the threshold for a paradigm shift in gun control and women’s rights? The facts seem clear.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Cosmic Serpent

  • DNA and the Origins of Knowledge
  • By: Jeremy Narby
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 4 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 763
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 757

This adventure in science and imagination, which the Medical Tribune said might herald "a Copernican revolution for the life sciences", leads the listener through unexplored jungles and uncharted aspects of mind to the heart of knowledge. In a first-person narrative of scientific discovery that opens new perspectives on biology, anthropology, and the limits of rationalism, The Cosmic Serpent reveals how startlingly different the world around us appears when we open our minds to it.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting thoughts on the origins of DNA

  • By Amazon Customer on 08-31-16

PSYCHOLOGICAL UNEASE

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-11-18

Psychological unease accompanies Jeremy Narby’s erudite speculation about the meaning and origin of life in “The Cosmic Serpent”. The unease pierces one’s conscience from two directions. One, is Narby’s seduction by hallucinatory experience. Young people in America are choosing to overdose rather than face today’s perceived reality. The other is Narby’s patterning of observations to create either a true or false belief.

Regarding hallucinatory experience, Narby does not appear to have slipped into the bizarre behavior of Timothy Leary but Narby is 59 years old. When Narby did his research, he was in his late 20s and early 30s. “The Cosmic Serpent is published when Narby is still in his 30s. Leary lives to be 76. Each passing year exaggerates Leary’s belief in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs.

Narby’s articulate presentation of Peruvian shamanism tempts seekers of knowledge and experience to try something new. The temptation comes from different sources. One is genuine interest in understanding more about the world and our place and purpose in it. Another is the desire to believe that there is something more important in life than wealth, power, or position.

Narby argues that the scientific community needs to widen its view of the world. He believes DNA holds the secrets of nature’s existence. The question is whether the youth of the world should accept the risk of Narby’s patterned belief?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Eisenhower in War and Peace

  • By: Jean Edward Smith
  • Narrated by: Paul Hecht
  • Length: 28 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,202
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,070
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,077

Author of the best-seller FDR, Jean Edward Smith is a master of the presidential biography. Setting his sights on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Smith delivers a rich account of Eisenhower’s life using previously untapped primary sources. From the military service in WWII that launched his career to the shrewd political decisions that kept America out of wars with the Soviet Union and China, Smith reveals a man who never faltered in his dedication to serving America, whether in times of war or peace.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book to get to know Ike

  • By Keith Storrs on 09-25-12

EISENHOWER

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-02-18

Jean Edward Smith’s biography of Dwight Eisenhower defines the meaning of political leadership. Smith does not show Eisenhower to be a great intellect or military genius. Smith suggests Eisenhower is similar to Ulysses Grant in having come from a modest family to rise to the office of President of the United States. Like Grant, Eisenhower is shown to be a consummate leader who politically manages and develops people who understand how to get things done. Unlike Grant, Smith shows Eisenhower to be a better President than battlefield commander.

Smith notes that Eisenhower had minimal combat experience. The one time Eisenhower directly manages a battle is in Sicily. If it had not been for superior manpower and material, Smith argues Eisenhower would have been defeated. Smith goes on to suggest that British Field General Montgomery is unjustly scapegoated for Eisenhower’s Italian campaign mistakes.

However, Smith’s biography of Eisenhower shows that military successes and failures make him a perfect political leader. Smith reveals an inner moral compass that defines Eisenhower’s beliefs and decisions. Eisenhower uses that moral compass to become Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in WWII; and later, President of the United States. Smith infers, despite tactical failures as a battlefield commander, Eisenhower’s innate ability to get things done through other people make him one of the great twentieth century American Presidents.

Based on Smith's biography, in contrast to America’s current President, Eisenhower makes one proud to be an American.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Age of Myth

  • Book One of The Legends of the First Empire
  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Tim Gerard Reynolds
  • Length: 16 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,077
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 8,532
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,500

Since time immemorial, humans have worshipped the gods they call Fhrey, truly a race apart: invincible in battle, masters of magic, and seemingly immortal. But when a god falls to a human blade, the balance of power between humans and those they thought were gods changes forever. Now only a few stand between humankind and annihilation: Raithe, reluctant to embrace his destiny as the God Killer. Suri, a young seer burdened by signs of impending doom. And Persephone, who must overcome personal tragedy to lead her people.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Stop what you are doing and buy this book.

  • By Sterling on 06-30-16

SUPERNATURAL EVENTS

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-09-18

Why listen to a book of fiction; particularly when freighted with supernatural events? Michael Sullivan offers an answer in “Age of Myth”. It is the thrill of discovering a good story with characters one likes, or reviles. Tribal bravery, cowardice, betrayal, honor, and morality are crystallized in each chapter of Sullivan's story.

Sullivan begins and ends “Age of Myth” with battles. The beginning battle introduces Raithe, a killer of false gods (aka, the god killer). The god killer becomes protector of Persephone, the leader of a Rhune tribe. Persephone is introduced as the former 2nd chair of Dahl Rhen (a Rhune village). She is the widow of the deceased ruler of Dahl Rhen.
The ending battle produces Gryndal, a wielder of the black art. Gryndal is First Minister to the Fane (the Fane is leader of the Fhrey tribe). Gryndal can harness the forces of nature to destroy all that block his path to power. Gryndal’s obstacles are removed through guile, deception, and force.

Sullivan’s characters represent a fundamental conflict in life. He describes an age of tribal war with all against all. Mysteries are explained while Sullivan tantalizingly ends the first book of the series. In this tribal age, Sullivan offers a slender hope for freedom and equality of all living things.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Age of Anger

  • A History of the Present
  • By: Pankaj Mishra
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 12 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 198
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 175
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 166

How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world - from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the 18th century before leading us to the present.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing

  • By AR on 04-28-17

TODAY IS YESTERDAY

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-03-18

Pankaj Mishra shows that today is yesterday in “Age of Anger”. President Trump returns America to the ritual of nationalism; i.e. societies’ position of “all against all”. Mishra’s observations imply either enlightenment is nigh, or an end is coming.

Today’s tribalist anger (aka nationalism) carries the imprimatur of an overheated world; not only by nuclear holocaust but by climate change. This is not a new “Age of Anger”. It is the same anger from the same origin. Its origin is human ignorance; i.e. an ignorance existing from the beginning of time. It is revivified by Mishra’s recount of violence between and among competing cultures.

Mishra explains how concepts of materialism and well-being are interpreted within and among nation-states. As materialism becomes a measure of well-being--money, power, and prestige set a precedent for valuing human existence in a Spenserian creed of “all against all”. Mishra reviews the beliefs of Voltaire, Nietzsche, and Kant to show how materialism, supermen, and human perception control the course of history. Voltaire ranks wealth; Nietzsche ranks power, and Kant ranks perception as measures of human worth.

Mishra suggests anger has risen through generations, within and among nations, that explain world wars, genocidal acts, and atrocities beyond imagining. There have been respites from this cycle of violence. Unless or until human beings see themselves as part of the same society, the world will end in the Armageddon of biblical imagination.


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Consciousness and the Brain

  • Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts
  • By: Stanislas Dehaene
  • Narrated by: David Drummond
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 419
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 417

How does the brain generate a conscious thought? And why does so much of our knowledge remain unconscious? Thanks to clever psychological and brain-imaging experiments, scientists are closer to cracking this mystery than ever before. In this lively book, Stanislas Dehaene describes the pioneering work his lab and the labs of other cognitive neuroscientists worldwide have accomplished in defining, testing, and explaining the brain events behind a conscious state.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I had no idea we knew this much.

  • By Tristan on 01-18-16

CONSCIOUSNESS

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-27-17

Stanislas Dehaene argues that consciousness is a measurable state of mind. He speculates that a measurable artifact will be found to quantify consciousness. Dehaene suggests mapping of brain consciousness may produce standardized principles of artificial intelligence. He believes consciousness is within the grasp of science and technology. Dehaene explains that brain mapping is far from complete but its potential for defining consciousness is experimentally testable.

Dehaene believes quantum computing opens a door to artificial intelligence that can replicate consciousness. He implies the myriad signals that come from different parts of the brain will eventually be mapped. Dehaene infers brain mapping offers a framework for consciousness that can be created in a computer program.

In a world based on probabilities rather than Newtonian cause and effect, artificial intelligence offers a “Brave New World”. Is that a good or bad thing? Will A.I. be a Huxley redux or revision?


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Magpie Murders

  • A Novel
  • By: Anthony Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Samantha Bond, Allan Corduner
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,125
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,716
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,694

When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway's latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the best-selling crime writer for years, she's intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan's traditional formula has proved hugely successful.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A British Whodunit

  • By Sara on 07-24-17

MYSTERY WITHIN A MYSTERY

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-17-17

Anthony Horowitz offers a mystery within a mystery. Anthony Horowitz successfully suspends imagination and compels listeners to know “who done it” in two intertwined mysteries. As an added benefit, Horowitz offers insight to the writing profession. He explains the genre of mystery with a fictional editor who manages a curmudgeonly, difficult, and successful mystery writer. The writer commits suicide or is murdered while writing his last book, MAGPIE MURDERS.

An audiobook listener is drawn into the story of MAGPIE MURDERS but finds the last chapter is missing. The listener’s imagination is suspended. Who is the killer? Horowitz’s fictional editor trails the mystery of the last chapter. While trailing the last chapter, she investigates the suicide or murder of the writer.

Somewhat frustratingly, the listener wants to know who the MAGPIE MURDERS’ killer is. Was the last chapter completed? And then, the listener is drawn into the fictional editor’s mystery of whether the writer purposefully committed suicide or was shoved off a balcony.

At times, MAGPIE MURDERS has too many words. The distracting part of Horowitz’s book is the fictional editor’s digressive readings of other writer’s poorly written stories that show the difference between good and bad writing. Parenthetically, Horowitz explains why writing can be frustrating for commercially successful writers. What holds the story together is the listener’s captured desire to know who killed whom. Who is the MAGPIE MURDERS’ murderer? Is there a murderer of the mystery writer?

The audiobook director’s decision to have two narrators, one a woman; the other a man, helps make the experience of the book more understandable. The intertwining mysteries are clearly delineated by the change in narrators. Both mysteries maintain the listener’s interest in Horowitz’s book. The MAGPIE MURDERS is a primer for good writers and an entertainment for mystery fans.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful