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  • 33
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  • 51
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  • Visions of 2050

  • By: Roger Bourke White Jr.
  • Narrated by: Roger Bourke White Jr.
  • Length: 13 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars 2
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars 2
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars 2

Welcome to 2050 - what the real 2050 could be like. This book is about what life will be like when "cyber" is prolific, self-aware, and in full control of large-scale industry, service, and transportation. There will be fascinating changes in how humans live and what they think about.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The worst quality in an audiobook

  • By Roland Korg on 03-03-17

Audiobook is Missing EVERYTHING

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

Reviewed: 02-19-18

Should have had a professional Editor
Should have had a professional Audio producer
Should have had a professional Voice artist
Should have had a different Author, maybe.
Overall pretty pointless waste of money in my view.

  • 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 3,303
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,952
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,941

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An accessible book on AI that left me optimistic

  • By catherine on 09-16-17

Not Logically Thought Out - Tautologies R Us

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

Reviewed: 10-22-17

As a Physicist, you'd think Max Tegmark would understand statistics, yet some of the key points he makes early on suggest he does not:

- he believes the Solar system is the only place * in the Universe * where
there is life (or at least intelligent life)

- but he himself suggests a couple of chapters later that life seems
to be an inherent result of the laws of physics and chemistry as
an entropy enhancer

(because entropy is the *aim* of the Universe????)

- From the latter view there is every reason to expect life to evolve

- But life would only happen in one spot in the Universe?

Granted that intelligence may be an evolutionary fluke, but the number of opportunities for the fluke to be perpetrated are vast. So if the Universe *is* a life-creation engine because of its "goal" of increasing entropy (he says) , there would be many many many opportunities for life, and intelligence, to evolve - yet Dr. Tegmark believes it would not happen.

So he invalidates his own logic and deduction within two or three chapters, and seemingly only because of a contrarian desire to go against popular views.

There are a couple of chapters that include tautologies, such as the claim that Consciousness is substrate independent because, well, it is. Later the book goes on to try and support the claim, but the chapter introducing the topic is fairly weak.

From there the author degenerates into a mass of pseudo-philosophic stylings, using terms like "sufficient cause" and "necessary condition" of 18th century philosophic language, reminding me of Voltaire's Dr. Pangloss (Candide): the sufficient cause being a guess that consciousness depends on how it feels to process certain types of data a certain way. So another tautology: because it invokes "how it feels", without explanation of how we are able to 'feel', substituting it as a "how we do it" explanation of being conscious - we are conscious because of how we feel when we do this thing we call awareness...so how do we do the feeling?

I could go on with a lot of analysis and refutation: about a book's length of it, it seems, but I think I have made my point.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Confessions of an Alien Hunter

  • A Scientist's Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
  • By: Seth Shostak
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

This engaging memoir reveals the true story of the Search for ExtraterrestrialIntelligence (SETI), and discloses what we may very soon discover. Chronicling the program’s history with insight and humor, SETI senior astronomer Seth Shostak assures us that if there is sentient life in the universe, we are within decades of picking up its signal.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I can't get enough of this topic.

  • By Joshua Kring on 04-17-15

No Confession Required - Perfect

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

Reviewed: 04-02-17

The book is a brilliant bio-history of the topic of SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) by one of its chief practitioners.

Wittily written, and perfectly narrated by Patrick Lawlor, you will have a great time.



  • How the Mind Works

  • By: Steven Pinker
  • Narrated by: Mel Foster
  • Length: 26 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,176
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 963
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 949

In this delightful, acclaimed bestseller, one of the world’s leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent, but a difficult listen.

  • By David Roseberry on 12-11-11

Old Book, and Obviously Not "How the Mind Works"

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

Reviewed: 04-02-17

This book came out in the 90s and I read it then, and forgot it entirely because it was so obviously wrong about "how the mind works", even for what was known then.

The mind doesn't work as Pinker says at all - it's not even close - and even lay people know it. The book is so intellectually dishonest that the title really amounts to defrauding the reader / listener.

The narrator, Mel Foster, gets a good rating, but I cannot rate the book itself low enough.

Since AI is highly Topical now, the re-marketing of this stinker is more than a little mercenary - unimpressed all over again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Future of the Professions

  • How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts
  • By: Richard Susskind, Daniel Susskind
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 216
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 181

This book predicts the decline of today's professions and describes the people and systems that will replace them. In an Internet society, according to Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind, we will neither need nor want doctors, teachers, accountants, architects, the clergy, consultants, lawyers, and many others to work as they did in the 20th century.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • I Hope It's Not All True

  • By John on 05-01-16

British Elitist View of 'Professions'

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

Reviewed: 01-13-17

This book is very thorough and scholarly, but it is talking about the British idea of 'Professions' versus the North American view. So, if you're interested in a thorough tuition on the subject of Professions occupied by those who went to 'Public' School, listen indeed. Indubitably.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Infinite Progress

  • How the Internet and Technology Will End Ignorance, Disease, Poverty, Hunger, and War
  • By: Byron Reese
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 50

For years we’ve been inundated with bleak forecasts about the future. But in this electrifying new book, author Byron Reese debunks the pessimistic outlook as dangerous, and shows instead how technology will soon create a dramatically better world for every person on earth, beyond anything we have dared to imagine.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sugar Shock Optimism – I hope he’s accurate

  • By GH on 03-13-13

Great Book, Very Enjoyable, Economics Views Silly

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

Reviewed: 01-08-17

This is a great book about the optimism we should all feel concerning our present and future, because of Technologic progress.

As always, Grover Gardner does a *phenomenal* job narrating.

My one reservation about the book is the Author's view of economics and economic progress. This is exemplified by his claim "I love a brand of canned chilli called Wolf brand. It costs about $2 a can. I would gladly pay $10 a can. So when I buy it for $2 I make an equivalent economic utility, because of my happiness/satisfaction with the product, of $8. This is a form of 'wealth'".

I appreciate his intention is to indicate that an improvement in products, which sell for a fixed or even lower price than before, increases the amount a consumer VALUEs the product, but their personal satisfaction level cannot be taken to the bank when applying for a mortgage. A person's sense of Value is a motivational factor in choosing a purchase or course of action, but it is not an economic measurable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Age of Em

  • Work, Love, and Life When Robots Rule the Earth
  • By: Robin Hanson
  • Narrated by: Michael Butler Murray
  • Length: 15 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 77
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 65
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 65

Robots may one day rule the world, but what is a robot-ruled Earth like? Many think the first truly smart robots will be brain emulations, or ems. Scan a human brain, then run a model with the same connections on a fast computer, and you have a robot brain, but recognizably human. Train an em to do some job and copy it a million times; an army of workers is at your disposal. When they can be made cheaply, within perhaps a century, ems will displace humans in most jobs.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • An analytical book suited as a reference book

  • By Ageel Alassif on 03-30-17

30% of time me spent describing itself

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

Reviewed: 11-26-16

The author spends almost as much time describing the structure of the book and structure of his research as he does talking about the ACTUAL content. I prefer books that tell me directly what they have to say, versus telling me ad nauseam HOW they are going to tell me about it. LOTS of wasted time.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Get Out of Your Own Way

  • How to Overcome Any Obstacle in Your Life
  • By: Larry Winget
  • Narrated by: Larry Winget
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 366
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 310

You think you know what you want in life. You've tried to achieve those things. But if you still don't have them, the culprit may be closer than you think. In this perspective-altering program, the world-renowned Pitbull of Personal Development(tm), Larry Winget, exposes the things you are doing right now to unknowingly prevent your own success in the most important areas of your life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr Winget never disappoints,always feel motivated

  • By Nick on 03-04-15

Larry Winget - Prophet & Leader to the Very Stupid

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

Reviewed: 07-11-16

This guy rants continually about the obvious.
Buying his material is giving money to Captain Obvious.
If you have a brain between your ears you don't need to listen to this.
On the other hand, if you're a Republican, go for it.

3 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Nano

  • The Science of Nanotechnolgoy
  • By: Ed Regis
  • Narrated by: Dean Sluyter
  • Length: 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 22
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 19
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 19

It's the ultimate technology: nanotechnology - the attempt to build ordinary objects from the atoms up, molecule by molecule. So named because its building blocks are the smallest pieces of matter, nanotechnology will give us complete control over the structure of matter, allowing us to build any substance or structure permitted by the Laws of Nature. Placing atoms as if they were bricks, nano-machines could turn grass clippings into prime sirloins - directly, without cows.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Little more than a biography of Eric Drexler

  • By David on 03-09-16

Little more than a biography of Eric Drexler

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

Reviewed: 03-09-16

This audiobook is little more than a biography of Eric Drexler.
It is not really 'about nanotechnology'.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • What Do You Think About Machines That Think?

  • Today's Leading Thinkers on the Age of Machine Intelligence
  • By: John Brockman
  • Narrated by: Brett Barry, Lisa Larsen
  • Length: 14 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

As the world becomes ever more dominated by technology, John Brockman's latest addition to the acclaimed and best-selling Edge Question Series asks more than 175 leading scientists, philosophers, and artists: What do you think about machines that think?

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Don't even steal this book!

  • By Gary on 11-01-15

Slightly Better Than The Usual Compendium

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

Reviewed: 12-09-15

This collection of essays and blurbs has the usual mix of relevant, knowledgeable content along with a large proportion of the pointless, irrelevant, silly, or soap-boxing STUFF that should be trimmed by any good editor.

However, without the STUFF there would be, maybe, five or ten entries instead of the advertised & touted 150-odd.

But this ratio of 10 out of 150 makes this particular book that much better than the usual example of the genre.

Certainly: I am growing to despise these "what do 'important' Scientists think" books, because they all contain the disappointing revelation that many of the supposed "Important Scientists" can't or don't.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful