LISTENER

Adam

  • 27
  • reviews
  • 43
  • helpful votes
  • 81
  • ratings
  • Manufacturing Consent

  • The Political Economy of the Mass Media
  • By: Edward S. Herman, Noam Chomsky
  • Narrated by: John Pruden
  • Length: 15 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 217

In this pathbreaking work, now with a new introduction, Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky show that, contrary to the usual image of the news media as cantankerous, obstinate, and ubiquitous in their search for truth and defense of justice, in their actual practice they defend the economic, social, and political agendas of the privileged groups that dominate domestic society, the state, and the global order.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Disturbing view

  • By Jan D. Leslie on 07-01-17

Logical fallacies much?

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

Reviewed: 11-20-18

I hated this book for it's repeated intellectual dishonesty. The authors use repeated logical fallacies, notably hasty generalizations, whataboutism, and confirmation bias in nearly every chapter. The core point has some merit, but the way it is made is sloppy and convincing. Moreover, the book has not aged well. It's references are rather dated and efforts to modernize are lazy.

There's an over emphasis on Vietnam. There's repeated ad hoc reasoning. There's repeated conflation of multiple processes into 'the media.' The media isn't one thing. It's many things. The New York Times editorial board is much different than the news desks. If you have beef with the editorial board, accuse the editorial board, not 'the media.'

There are reasons to criticize the media. The book brings up several important points about how funding could subtly impact coverage and introduce bias. The book also points out the degree to which powerful people have easy access to journalists and most have little access. That access must necessarily matter in terms of controlling narratives and precluding feedback mechanisms from developing. The authors don't focus on this. Instead, chapter after chapter, they bemoan how papers didn't cover X story using their preferred narrative and language without any acknowledgement of their egregious just so-ism. The authors never say how the news should be covered in a useful a priori way. They just whine about it being done wrong.

The authors would do well to curtail their derision, utilize systematic empirical processes for evaluating more modern sources of information, define their terms, and build more nuanced arguments that speak, more specifically, to individual aspects of 'the media'.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe

  • How to Know What's Really Real in a World Increasingly Full of Fake
  • By: Steven Novella, Bob Novella - contributor, Cara Santa Maria - contributor, and others
  • Narrated by: Steven Novella
  • Length: 15 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 492
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 449
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 446

The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe is your map through this maze of modern life. Here Dr. Steven Novella and friends will explain the tenets of skeptical thinking and debunk some of the biggest scientific myths, fallacies, and conspiracy theories - from anti-vaccines to homeopathy, UFO sightings to N-rays. You'll learn the difference between science and pseudoscience, essential critical thinking skills, ways to discuss conspiracy theories with that crazy co-worker of yours, and how to combat sloppy reasoning, bad arguments, and superstitious thinking.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Demon Haunted World 2.0

  • By Daniel Sean Osborne on 10-04-18

Skepticism is accuracy, if you can do it right.

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

Reviewed: 10-27-18

But, damn it is really really hard. This book reminded me *how* hard it can really be.

  • Political Order and Political Decay

  • From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
  • By: Francis Fukuyama
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 24 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,233
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,222

Fukuyama examines the effects of corruption on governance, and why some societies have been successful at rooting it out. He explores the different legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and offers a clear-eyed account of why some regions have thrived and developed more quickly than others. And he boldly reckons with the future of democracy in the face of a rising global middle class and entrenched political paralysis in the West.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Understanding our place thru Poly Sci

  • By Gary on 12-29-14

Packed. maybe too packed?

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

Reviewed: 10-22-18

This is comprehensive as hell, it's so jammed packed with information that sometimes it is very hard to follow. Another minor complaint would be that there may be so just-soisms infrequently sprinkled thought. Regardless of these minor complaints. This is comprehensive and perspective shifting. I'll probably listen to it six more times before I squeezed it for all it is worth.

  • Social Physics

  • How Good Ideas Spread - The Lessons from a New Science
  • By: Alex Pentland
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 6 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 169
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 143
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 143

From one of the world’s leading data scientists, a landmark tour ofthe new science of idea flow, offering revolutionary insights into the mysteries of collective intelligence and social influence.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Valuable ideas, technical presentation

  • By Pam on 06-03-15

Self-aggrandizing and pie in the sky

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

Reviewed: 09-20-18

The central idea that idea flow can be critical to improving decision making is solid and credible. The reliance on big data and discarding of the scientific method is misguided. He never bothers to address whether his method is feasible for most researchers *or* for most research questions. He also doesn't ever bother to discuss why it would be valuable to discard theory. There are good things in this book. Many. But, this was a grind to complete.

  • The Story of My Life

  • By: Helen Keller
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 4 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 156
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 113

As a 2-year-old, Helen Keller was stricken with a mysterious illness which left her blind and deaf. It wasn't until she was 6, and a teacher, Miss Sullivan, entered her life, that she was able to communicate with her family. In her unforgettable autobiography, Helen shares her struggle with, and ultimate triumph over, her disability. When it was first published in 1902, her story gained the attention of some of the most famous people of her day and it was later popularized by stage play and movie.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful story, but...

  • By Momo Vermont on 12-28-12

Truly one of the best books I've ever experienced.

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

Reviewed: 09-14-18

Her poetic wit is unlike anything I've ever heard. Her story is amazing. the way she tells it is vastly more powerful. I wish I had a voice like hers.

  • An Economic History of the World since 1400

  • By: Donald J. Harreld, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Donald J. Harreld
  • Length: 24 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,357
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,196

Most of us have a limited understanding of the powerful role economics has played in shaping human civilization. This makes economic history - the study of how civilizations structured their environments to provide food, shelter, and material goods - a vital lens through which to think about how we arrived at our present, globalized moment. Designed to fill a long-empty gap in how we think about modern history, these 48 lectures are a comprehensive journey through more than 600 years of economic history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good content, tough to listen

  • By Rick on 10-27-16

Very dry. Very long.

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

Reviewed: 09-13-18

The lecturer provides tons of good information. However, the history side of this feels a lot like one damn fact after another.

  • Thinking in Bets

  • Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
  • By: Annie Duke
  • Narrated by: Annie Duke
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,409
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,110

In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a handing off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted, and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck? Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great insights on improving decision making

  • By Marcus Bircher on 02-09-18

AHHHG this book is so crazy good.

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

Reviewed: 08-20-18

It's narrated by the author who knows what she's talking about, doesn't pull punches, backs up her positions and does it all concisely with excellent examples and detailed discussions about how to analyze potential decisions. It should be required reading for anyone who ever has to decide anything.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • World War I: The Great War

  • By: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
  • Length: 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,476
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,333
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,328

Touched off by a terrorist act in Bosnia and spreading all too quickly beyond the expectations of those who were involved, World War I was an unprecedented catastrophe with a ghastly cost. After this first "total war"-the first conflict involving entire societies mobilized to wage unrestrained war, devoting all their wealth, industries, institutions, and the lives of their citizens to win victory at any price - the world itself would never be the same.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • EXCELLENT SURVEY COURSE THAT NEEDS MORE CHRONOLOGY

  • By Ark1836 on 06-08-15

Best and most useful history lecture I've heard

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

Author focuses on big ideas and themes, connects the events both to the preceding history and to WWII and modern day. He makes things relevant and shows the progression in a way that's not so ''one damn thing after another.''

  • Narconomics

  • How to Run a Drug Cartel
  • By: Tom Wainwright
  • Narrated by: Brian Hutchison
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,790
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,502
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,479

What drug lords learned from big business. How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the $300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • NARCONOMICS

  • By CHET YARBROUGH on 05-18-16

Absolutely fabulous book.

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

Reviewed: 07-18-18

This is a must read for anyone who has ever tried to have an opinion about drugs.

  • Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

  • By: David Christian, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: David Christian
  • Length: 24 hrs and 26 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,527
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,376
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,377

How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A History Course Like None You've Ever Taken

  • By Tommy D'Angelo on 02-05-17

Very long and dense, but it grew on me.

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

Reviewed: 07-12-18

This was a slog to get through, but it is a good story. It's carefully interdisciplinary and cohesive. I appreciate it more after-the-fact than I did during.