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Loren

Park City, Utah, United States
  • 18
  • reviews
  • 211
  • helpful votes
  • 30
  • ratings
  • Life 3.0

  • Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
  • By: Max Tegmark
  • Narrated by: Rob Shapiro
  • Length: 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,990
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,553
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,539

How will artificial intelligence affect crime, war, justice, jobs, society, and our very sense of being human? The rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology - and there's nobody better qualified or situated to explore that future than Max Tegmark, an MIT professor who's helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Odd book with some good info

  • By Michael on 12-02-17

Not concise like the title

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

Reviewed: 11-20-17

I am not an AI professional and learned a lot from the book. However I found there to be a lot of repetition and some chapters that belonged in an entirely different book.

That is unfortunate as the author is well connected in the field and has an important message, some of which may get lost if listeners lose interest.

Narrator is excellent, never gets in the way.

  • Scale

  • The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies
  • By: Geoffrey West
  • Narrated by: Bruce Mann
  • Length: 19 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 805
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 712
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 706

Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term complexity can be misleading, however, because what makes West's discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities, and our businesses.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating and clear enough for a lib arts major

  • By kwdayboise (Kim Day) on 05-29-17
  • Scale
  • The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies
  • By: Geoffrey West
  • Narrated by: Bruce Mann

A few big flaws

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

Reviewed: 06-28-17

There are some excellent examples and explanations in the book but I really tired about halfway through. One problem is that this audio book would be enhanced by some graphics, particularly of the different log functions he describes. In addition, the really long section on cities is off the mark and gets in the way of a compelling narrative. Finally, this often seems like an advertisement for the Santa Fe institute and I find his plaudits for all his colleagues annoying and again takes away from the message.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • The Gatekeepers

  • How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency
  • By: Chris Whipple
  • Narrated by: Mark Bramhall
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,043
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 926
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 919

The chiefs of staff, often referred to as "the gatekeepers", wield tremendous power in Washington and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push POTUS's agenda, and - most crucially - enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world. Through extensive, intimate interviews with 18 living chiefs (including Reince Priebus) and two former presidents, award-winning journalist and producer Chris Whipple pulls back the curtain on this unique fraternity. In doing so, he revises our understanding of presidential history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great history of the Chief of Staff position

  • By Loren on 04-15-17

Great history of the Chief of Staff position

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

Reviewed: 04-15-17

The author goes chronologically from the Nixon Administration through the Obama administration summarizing the tenures of each of the chiefs. He has excellent access to the principals and described many of the highs and lows of the administrations and how those related to the roles of the CoS. He also has good information about the personalities of each of the chiefs and how that either helped them serve their presidents or got in the way.

He makes the case over and over that the modern presidency cannot function without a strong CoS, which was attempted by Carter and Clinton. He also suggests that 'principals' -- CoS who take themselves too seriously do not function well in the job (Sununu and Regan). Finally, his stories also show that presidents are not generally well served by CoS who are too close, as that prevents them from giving bad news or tough advice to the presidents.

Extremely well researched and very interesting read, and each of his major points are generally well supported by interviews from those who were in the position.

The only loose end is that while these characteristics seem necessary, they are not enough to prevent disasters from occurring on their watch, which the author confronts most directly with Haldeman and Nixon. Not the fault of the book, but just a reflection of the fact that both people and the world of politics in Washington are very complicated.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Blockchain

  • The Database Revolution That Will Change the World
  • By: Jake Whiteley
  • Narrated by: John Lewis
  • Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 3

If you have heard the phrase blockchain thrown around in one context or another but still aren't quite sure just what is being discussed exactly, don't feel bad. You are certainly not alone. The truth of the matter is that despite the fact that it has been around for less than a decade, the phrase blockchain already means different things to different people. Currently, when a person is talking about blockchain, odds are they are talking about it in relation to cryptocurrencies in general.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good start. It died at the end.

  • By Tonya on 06-07-17

Mismatch?

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

Reviewed: 03-07-17

My goal in reading this book was to get a better understanding of how blockchain works, where it is likely to be employed, and to think about whether all the hype is warranted.

This book is pretty light on the second and third of those goals, with more guidance on how to set up your own blockchain. Really? Is a person who is planning to set up a blockchain going to start with a one hour self help book?

I now plan to look elsewhere such as on YouTube for some visual guides and maybe for another article or book to help me understand the hype.

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

  • A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
  • By: Mark Manson
  • Narrated by: Roger Wayne
  • Length: 5 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114,648
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 100,534
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 99,975

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • A book for 20-somethings, but not me

  • By Bonny on 09-22-16

Piece of crap.

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

Reviewed: 02-08-17

Returned. Seems like main point was to maximize the number of times he used the word fuck.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Black Box Thinking

  • Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes - But Some Do
  • By: Matthew Syed
  • Narrated by: Simon Slater
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 447
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445

Nobody wants to fail. But in highly complex organizations, success can happen only when we confront our mistakes, learn from our own version of a black box, and create a climate where it's safe to fail. We all have to endure failure from time to time, whether it's underperforming at a job interview, flunking an exam, or losing a pickup basketball game. But for people working in safety-critical industries, getting it wrong can have deadly consequences.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A multi-level message, well written and well read

  • By Loren on 11-16-15

A multi-level message, well written and well read

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

Reviewed: 11-16-15

When you begin this book, it seems as if it will be a straight comparison between the airline safety model of reviewing and learning from accidents (open) and the medical system model for covering up mistakes (closed), and it does describe few powerful illustrative examples from each of those fields. However, it turns out to have quite a few more dimensions and lessons, For example, it also turns its focus on the criminal justice system (closed) and the political system (closed). These analyses alone would make it a good book and support a strong argument that learning from mistakes is hugely important.

However, the author takes it a step further and looks at some of the psychological reasons why all of us find it so difficult to admit mistakes (cognitive dissonance), and how we so naturally create narratives that support our original decisions. Like some of the best books in this genre, the book forces us to admit that we also are subject to the same kinds of biases that make it difficult to create and maintain "open" systems that encourage us to regularly test our ideas, even while it provides one example after another of why mistakes are essential to learning.

Simon Slater is a good narrator: pace, accent, and expression contribute to an excellent audio book.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman - A 30-Minute Summary

  • By: Instaread Summaries
  • Narrated by: Jason P. Hilton
  • Length: 1 hr and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 147
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars 128
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 125

With Instaread Summaries, you can get the summary of a book in 30 minutes or less. We read every chapter, summarize, and analyze it for your convenience. This is an Instaread Summary of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not worth the listen

  • By Loren on 06-14-15

Not worth the listen

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-14-15

I have read the full book and wanted to see whether it was possible to get the essence in the summary, but I don't think it is possible. First thing is that the summary is dry dry dry since it does not include the experiments that make the insights so memorable.

That was bad enough but the narrator then started butchering certain names like Bayesian, and even worse, he misread the word 'causal' for 'casual' which was repeated about ten times. They wasn't just irritating, it was confusing.

I just switched it off at that point.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Naked Statistics

  • Stripping the Dread from the Data
  • By: Charles Wheelan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,465
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,123
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,113

From batting averages and political polls to game shows and medical research, the real-world application of statistics continues to grow by leaps and bounds. How can we catch schools that cheat on standardized tests? How does Netflix know which movies you'll like? What is causing the rising incidence of autism? As best-selling author Charles Wheelan shows us in Naked Statistics, the right data and a few well-chosen statistical tools can help us answer these questions and more.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Basic, but very well explained

  • By Philo on 05-17-13

Condescending

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-16-15

Some reasonable examples and concepts but the author is condescending and the narrator's expression makes it worse. I am not sure I will finish this one. Contrast to Think Like a Freak which appeals to experts and novices alike.

  • The Crook Factory

  • By: Dan Simmons
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 20 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 99

At the height of World War II, the famous writer Ernest Hemingway sought permission from the U.S. government to operate a spy ring out of his house in the Cuban countryside. This much is true... It is the summer of ’42 and FBI agent Joe Lucas has come to Cuba at the behest of J. Edgar Hoover to keep an eye on Hemingway. The great writer has assembled a ragtag spy ring that he calls the “Crook Factory” to play a dangerous game of amateur espionage. But then Lucas and Hemingway, against all the odds, uncover a critical piece of intelligence - and the game turns deadly.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Really well researched spy novel

  • By Brian on 07-08-11

Couldn't find a narrator who spoke Spanish?

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

Reviewed: 02-05-15

Decent reader, does well with tone, expression, and pacing. However, there are numerous situations in the book where the narrator needs to voice either good Spanish or bad Spanish, and he only has bad Spanish. And I found his voices for the two Hemmingway boys to be irritating, and got in the way of the story.

So this is a good read, but the choice of narrator makes it a less-good listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Organizational Culture and Leadership

  • The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series
  • By: Edgar H. Schein
  • Narrated by: Milton Bagby
  • Length: 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 111
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 109

Regarded as one of the most influential management books of all time, this fourth edition of Leadership and Organizational Culture transforms the abstract concept of culture into a tool that can be used to better shape the dynamics of organization and change. This updated edition focuses on today's business realities.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Probably skip the audiobook for a text copy

  • By Ryan on 06-02-16

I need the abridged version

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

Reviewed: 02-05-14

I listen to a lot of leadership and management books and so was looking forward to this based on the strong reviews. However, as one who reads in order to use the insights and practices in my work, I need books that get to the point a little faster. In addition, I listen while on my bike commute, so if things are dragging, I find myself thinking about other things.

This book was just too slow and as I am about 5 hours in, I think I will pass this back and maybe read it when I am retired.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful