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J_A

  • 7
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 16
  • ratings
  • Skin in the Game

  • Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Joe Ochman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,936
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,565
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,544

In his most provocative and practical book yet, one of the foremost thinkers of our time redefines what it means to understand the world, succeed in a profession, contribute to a fair and just society, detect nonsense, and influence others. Citing examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, Antaeus the Giant to Donald Trump, Nassim Nicholas Taleb shows how the willingness to accept one's own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliance smothered by Condescension and Petty Squabbling

  • By Jeremy on 03-11-18

If I could have an erudite, intellectual and non-idiotic action coach and philosophical mentor, older brother or grandfather...

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

...it would be Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Taleb’s work provokes further reading, research and measured action. What I learned from his perspective and worldview continues to make a life-changing impact upon me. I have read all of his ‘non-technical’ books and essays. I am working my way through some of his more or less ‘technical’ publications, and I am challenging myself to apply things I learn and measure what I learn by tracking outcomes.

I have found it pointless to defend Taleb’s theses with the majority of IYI-types that I run into socially or professionally. Rather, I prefer to reap the benefits for on behalf of myself and my immediately family who are all in professions, or have had life experiences, wherein they ‘get it’ and that delivers great satisfaction.

I love the author’s understated description of himself as a ‘flaneur’ and only wish that someday I could meet the raised bar of flaneur-ship that the author has now established.

His admirable and effective process of thought represents the greatest benefit any reader will gain by meeting this author through his written works.

If you have the stamina to read his collected works with an open, curious and agile mind, you will not be disappointed. In fact, I expect you will find many works that you desire to re-read.

P.S. - I roundly endorse his characterization of Mr. Pinker. ;)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Square and the Tower

  • Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook
  • By: Niall Ferguson
  • Narrated by: Elliot Hill
  • Length: 17 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 622
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 545

Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and field marshals. It's about states, armies, and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Power? Does it come from hierarchies or networks?

  • By Ted on 04-25-18

Niall F. develops brilliant insights into patterns of history

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

Reviewed: 03-23-18

Whether you agree exactly with every element of his thesis, this book is a tour de force of the application of socio-historical understanding and interpretation to the analysis and assessment of broad contemporary trends. This work helps the reader developer the skills associated with strategic pattern and policy analysis that’s applicable today.

I had the privilege of meeting Prof. Ferguson once in Cambridge and observing his thoughtful and incisive thinking.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Presence

  • Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges
  • By: Amy Cuddy
  • Narrated by: Amy Cuddy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,077
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,339
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,300

Brilliantly researched, impassioned, and accessible, Presence is filled with stories of individuals who learned how to flourish during the stressful moments that once terrified them. Every listener will learn how to approach their biggest challenges with confidence instead of dread, and to leave them with satisfaction instead of regret.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Watch the TED Talk

  • By A. Yoshida on 07-10-16

Useful, Effective Integration of Research, Practical Advice and Applications

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

Reviewed: 03-28-16

Amy Cuddy's approach to authoring this book has made it accessible and understandable to the average reader, the business professional, and to applied behavioral scientists. There's useful information throughout to help individuals improve their sense of impact and agency in their environments as well as many sound ideas that can be applied to improve interpersonal relationships snd work environments. Her findings and her approach to presenting her research and research by others provokes ideas for further research.

Amy also does an exceptional job as an engaging narrator.

I've already purchased and given copies of the book to people I know would find her insights and advice useful.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Great Deformation

  • The Corruption of Capitalism in America
  • By: David Stockman
  • Narrated by: William Hughes
  • Length: 36 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 299
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 258

David Stockman was the architect of the Reagan Revolution that was meant to restore sound money principles to the U.S. government. It failed, derailed by politics, special interests, welfare, and warfare. Stockman describes how the working of free markets and democracy has long been under threat in America and provides a surprising, nonpartisan catalog of the corrupters and defenders. His analysis shows how both liberal and neoconservative interference in markets has proved damaging and often dangerous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Loads of Information but problematic writing

  • By Michael on 04-12-13

A tour de force of quantitative data and insight into the outcomes of economic policy

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

Reviewed: 01-25-16

Mr. Stockman's well written book provides a distinct perspective on the history of U.S. economic policy as well as his own thesis about the present impact of the policies of this and previous decades. He also constructs a coherent argument regarding the future impact of today's policies and some alternatives for future economic policy.

This book is a tour de force of quantitative data and insight into the outcomes of economic policy.

It is a provocative book. His data-driven approach should both challenge and inform intelligent laypeople and professional economists who must make personal and professional judgments about the economic well being of the nation.

I have read it twice as well as listened to the audio version.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Death of Money

  • The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System
  • By: James Rickards
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 13 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 912
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 785
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 783

The international monetary system has collapsed three times in the past hundred years, in 1914, 1939, and 1971. Each collapse was followed by a period of tumult: War, civil unrest, or significant damage to the stability of the global economy. Now James Rickards, the acclaimed author of Currency Wars, shows why another collapse is rapidly approaching - and why this time, nothing less than the institution of money itself is at risk.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Information - Oversensationalized

  • By A. Bono on 12-17-14

Rickards Wake for Money Connects the Dots

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

Reviewed: 06-18-15

There are many ways to connect the macroeconomic dots in today's global economic puzzle. Rickard's effort is one of the best. He offers a sharp, provocative and blunt point of view. Whether you agree with his theses or not, reading his book is worth it as a way to test your own perspective on this topic.

  • Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques

  • By: James Hynes, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: James Hynes
  • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,688
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,413
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,343

From evoking a scene to charting a plot to revising your drafts, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by award-winning novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer's craft.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Theory AND Practice

  • By Madeleine on 11-19-15

A solid refresher course

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

Reviewed: 06-10-15

I appreciated the author's approach and his openness about his own biases. It is good course for aspiring writers and a useful review for more experienced writers.

  • Antifragile

  • Things That Gain from Disorder
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Joe Ochman
  • Length: 16 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,508
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,856
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,837

In The Black Swan Taleb outlined a problem, and in Antifragile he offers a definitive solution: how to gain from disorder and chaos while being protected from fragilities and adverse events. For what Taleb calls the "antifragile" is actually beyond the robust, because it benefits from shocks, uncertainty, and stressors, just as human bones get stronger when subjected to stress and tension. The antifragile needs disorder in order to survive and flourish. Taleb stands uncertainty on its head, making it desirable, even necessary, and proposes that things be built in an antifragile manner.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • How to focus on impact instead of risk

  • By E. Smakman on 05-03-13

This work is 'anti fragile' in itself! ;-)

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

Reviewed: 01-14-15

Taleb's clarity in communicating his experience always overwhelms me when I read his works. I have read this in book form several times, but the audio version helps me to further think about situations using the filter of 'antifragility.' To me this book is a classic because Taleb drains upon classical thinking, history and personal experience in a delightful and thought provoking manner.