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Jake

Port Hueneme, California, United States
  • 19
  • reviews
  • 141
  • helpful votes
  • 89
  • ratings
  • How to Change Your Mind

  • What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
  • By: Michael Pollan
  • Narrated by: Michael Pollan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,592
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 7,760
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,695

When Michael Pollan set out to research how LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are being used to provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction, and anxiety, he did not intend to write what is undoubtedly his most personal book. But upon discovering how these remarkable substances are improving the lives not only of the mentally ill but also of healthy people coming to grips with the challenges of everyday life, he decided to explore the landscape of the mind in the first person as well as the third.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A delightful trip

  • By Paul E. Williams on 05-19-18

Informative and interesting, but repetitive

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

Reviewed: 07-27-18

He tells an excellent history of psychedelics with fascinating stories. I do think this is an important book. However, he does repeat himself so much that it felt self-indulgent.

  • 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 2,755
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,471
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,447

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.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, miscast narrator

  • By Felipe Alves on 12-15-16

Excellent! Must Read!

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

Reviewed: 08-03-17

This is a fascinating, dispassionate look at the mechanics of the drug industry, not just the economics. It was highly entertaining and informative! Everyone needs to understand these horrible dynamics or there will never be positive change.

  • America and the New Global Economy

  • By: Timothy Taylor, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Timothy Taylor
  • Length: 18 hrs and 45 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 115
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 112

Globalization continues to be a force in our economic climate. And the origins of this globalized economy, its effects on important contemporary concerns, and its future trends are just a few of the intriguing issues you explore in these 36 lectures. Go beyond the economy of the United States and examine the recent history of economies in other countries and regions. As you journey with Professor Taylor through the last 50 years of world economic history, you'll explore international perspectives on the new global economy and develop a richer understanding of our increasingly interconnected world.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive; dates from around 2008

  • By Philo on 08-29-13

Sweeping

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

Reviewed: 02-22-15

I just listened to this course for the second time. Taylor covers all of the main happenings in the global economy in the past half-century. You really get a bang for your buck. There's just so much good information in this course. Check to see the outlines of all the topics covered at the Great Courses website.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A History of the U.S. Economy in the 20th Century

  • By: Timothy Taylor, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Timothy Taylor
  • Length: 7 hrs and 25 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287

The history of the U.S. economy in the 20th century is far too interesting-and far too important to our future-to be dismissed with just a few stock explanations. These 10 fast-paced lectures introduce you to vital economic lessons learned in the last century to provide invaluable guidance for understanding the current economy. Each lecture focuses exclusively on one decade to provide you with a clear understanding of economic developments and outside influences on the U.S. economy.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very effective, as far as it goes

  • By Philo on 07-15-13

Packed With Fascinating Information

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

Reviewed: 02-17-15

This was a riveting look at America's recent economic history. Taylor is really good at providing interesting statistics to illuminate trends. He disabuses the listener of common economic fallacies and inculcates the economic way of thinking about a host of important issues. A major theme throughout the course is the dramatic increase in the size of government over the century. Taylor analyzes different policies and gives the consensus economist view on most of them. I highly recommend this course.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Instant Economist

  • Everything You Need to Know About How the Economy Works
  • By: Timothy Taylor
  • Narrated by: Don Hagen
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 35
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

Economics isn't just about numbers: It's about politics, psychology, history, and so much more. We are all economists - when we work, save for the future, invest, pay taxes, and buy our groceries. Yet many of us feel lost when the subject arises. Award-winning professor Timothy Taylor here tackles all the key questions and hot topics of both microeconomics and macroeconomics, so you can understand and discuss economics on a personal, national, and global level.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Timothy Taylor is the best

  • By Jake on 02-15-15

Timothy Taylor is the best

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

Reviewed: 02-15-15

This was an excellent survey of the basics. Taylor establishes where economists agree, and highlights where they don't (mostly macroeconomics). He really knows how to explain economic thinking. He focuses on the intuitions at the heart of economics. Trade-offs are everywhere and we need to understand what these trade-offs are. He rids the listener of zero-sum thinking, as I think many people who don't understand economics succumb to. Any good citizen should be familiar with the basics of economics and this book is a superb deliverer of those basics. Graphs and complex mathematics are unnecessary for the most part. Taylor's Great Courses lectures on economics are also fantastic. I highly recommend them for anyone seeking to understand the world.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Darwin's Dangerous Idea

  • Evolution and the Meanings of Life
  • By: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
  • Length: 27 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 395
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 344
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341

In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet", focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Exhaustive, illuminating, life-changing.

  • By Richard on 03-19-14

Wonderful

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

Reviewed: 02-06-15

This book was an absolute joy. Dennett is a fantastic writer. He's really good at mixing astute analysis with insightful quotes from luminaries. The narrator was the best I've heard on Audible, far and away. He inflects his voice perfectly, making even seemingly dry material fresh and profound. I didn't think this book was too dense for audio and I thought the part on Gould was essential to the thesis. Darwin expunged teleology from nature and Dennett guides you through this deep insight and its discontents. Many have said this is a classic and I would agree.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Rule of Nobody

  • Saving America from Dead Laws and Senseless Bureaucracy
  • By: Philip K. Howard
  • Narrated by: Allen O'Reilly
  • Length: 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

The secret to good government is a question no one in Washington is asking: “What’s the right thing to do?” What’s wrong in Washington is deeper than you think. Sure, there’s gridlock, polarization, and self-dealing. But hidden underneath is something bigger and more destructive. It’s a broken governing system. From that comes wasteful government, rising debt, failing schools, expensive health care, and economic hardship.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Preachy, redundant, and unpersuasive

  • By Jake on 02-05-15

Preachy, redundant, and unpersuasive

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

Reviewed: 02-05-15

I really wanted to like this book. I'm sympathetic with the thesis, but Howard just persistently talks at the listener in a condescending manner. He provides a few cases here and there of maddening rule abuse but doesn't offer any in depth analysis of why the culture of excessive rules is the way it is. It's as if the whole book he is repeatedly saying, "Bah! Look at this! Isn't this crazy??" Yes it is, Howard. So do the intellectual work that I thought I was paying for and tell me why it's like this. It's hard to believe this guy is an accomplished writer. If you want a more scholarly, persuasive book about dumb laws and government failure in general, read Why Government Fails So Often by Peter Schuck. He actually gives a more comprehensive analysis of the dumb law phenomenon and it's only one section of his book! Plus, you get way more for your money!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Why Government Fails So Often

  • And How It Can Do Better
  • By: Peter H. Schuck
  • Narrated by: Allan Robertson
  • Length: 17 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 26
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 25
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

From healthcare to workplace conduct, the federal government is taking on ever more responsibility for managing our lives. At the same time, Americans have never been more disaffected with Washington, seeing it as an intrusive, incompetent, wasteful giant. The most alarming consequence of ineffective policies, in addition to unrealized social goals, is the growing threat to the government’s democratic legitimacy. Understanding why government fails so often - and how it might become more effective - is an urgent responsibility of citizenship.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Erudite, Systematic Analysis of Government Failure

  • By Jake on 02-05-15

Erudite, Systematic Analysis of Government Failure

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

Reviewed: 02-05-15

This is a phenomenal book. Peter Schuck, a self-described independent who has always voted for Democrats, has shown why government consistently fails in systematic ways. He covers many, many programs and provides astute analysis for each. The book is never boring, despite being so comprehensive. The narrator is excellent, with perfect intonation to match the prose. I hope this book is more discussed. Unfortunately, as Schuck has regretted in interviews, left-leaning media has ignored this book for the most part. That's a shame. America needs to have this conversation.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • American Ideals: Founding a 'Republic of Virtue'

  • By: Daniel N. Robinson, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Daniel N. Robinson
  • Length: 6 hrs and 7 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

An insightful 12-lecture course that explores the principles that guided the founding of the United States, the conditions that led to the break with Great Britain, and the creation of such founding documents as the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.You'll deepen your understanding of fundamental ideas that inspired American independence and that continue to have a profound influence on American thought. You'll also receive insight into what historians call "the long conversation" in American society.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So much more than anticipated

  • By Claus on 06-29-17

Weak analysis

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

This course was just a meandering series of quotes from the forefathers followed by vacuous reverence. It felt like the professor just threw something together at the last minute.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Rational Optimist

  • How Prosperity Evolves
  • By: Matt Ridley
  • Narrated by: L. J. Ganser
  • Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,073
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,080

Life is getting better at an accelerating rate. Food availability, income, and life span are up; disease, child mortality, and violence are down all across the globe. Though the world is far from perfect, necessities and luxuries alike are getting cheaper; population growth is slowing; Africa is following Asia out of poverty; the Internet, the mobile phone, and container shipping are enriching people's lives as never before.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Delightful Case for Things Looking Up

  • By Darkcoffee on 06-09-10

Good analysis mixed with libertarian rants

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

Reviewed: 12-02-14

Ridley makes the very important point that the modern world is fundamentally built on trade and the specialization of labor. This idea can often be overlooked. Many people seem to think that we would be better off doing everything ourselves. Ridley shows that this is deeply misguided. However, I agree with William Easterly's review in that there are numerous rants throughout the book that don't really advance any idea and instead chafe otherwise sympathetic listeners. This book could've been a lot better. I was hoping this book would be a nice complement to Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature but it paled in comparison to Pinker's rigor and depth.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful