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  • Fooled by Randomness

  • The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets
  • By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,362
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,485
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,472

This audiobook is about luck, or more precisely, how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. It is already a landmark work, and its title has entered our vocabulary. In its second edition, Fooled by Randomness is now a cornerstone for anyone interested in random outcomes.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great information but...

  • By Ken Premo on 03-26-14

Recycled Anecdote, Random Facts, Self-Promo

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

The book does contain some interesting observations and ideas, but they could have been summarized on 2 pages.
The main point is that markets are random, but we often assume that they are predictable. Some traders get lucky, often for a long time, and we celebrate them as genius, but in reality it's just luck. And that luck runs out sooner or later. And when luck runs out, traders "blow up".
This rather simple message is delivered with a mix of random thoughts, old anecdotes from books by people who actually studied the topic (not just shared personal observations and thoughts as Taleb does), and a massive dose of self-promotion and bravado.

The book reads like this:
- Markets are random and one cannot beat the market.
- All people are fools, but many think they are geniuses.
- But I am the only one who recognizes that I am fool and because of that I am genius.
- I am so smart and so wise that I work when I want and enjoy my life.
- Traders and other Wall Street types are fools. I am better than that.
- Oh, and so you don't get too bored, here is a story from Kahneman's book and here is another anecdote from Gladwell's book.
- I don't have time to explain in detail what that Behavioral Economics theory is about and how exactly that Kahneman's experiment was conducted, but I will still mention them here to give some credibility to my writing.
- And here are a few of my personal opinions and thoughts that are not really related to the story, but I had them in the shower and I thought I'd share my wisdom here.

Conclusion:
If you read The Black Swan, Kahnaman's Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow and a Graldwell's Outliners, you won't find anything new in this book. If you have not read those other books, you won't understand much in this book as it does not provide enough details and context.

Still a good read.

  • Machine, Platform, Crowd

  • Harnessing Our Digital Future
  • By: Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 858
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 729
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 722

We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs. MIT's Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson know what it takes to master this digital-powered shift: we must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Both How AND Why for Techies

  • By Dan Collins on 08-11-17

Recycled Material, Shallow, Outdated

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

Reviewed: 01-04-19

The Authors probably had some material left after they wrote The Second Machine Age, so they threw it in a pot and called it a new book. It's good stuff, but if you read The Second Machine Age and other books on the topic, you'll find this one very trivial and shallow. Plus, it's outdated stuff. Repeating again how Uber does not own any cars and Airbnb does not own any hotels, and how Facebook changed how we communicate and entertain ourselves - come on! This was news in 2016. By now, everyone has heard about these companies, knows how they work.
So as the first book on the topics of sharing economy, automation, and AI - it's OK. Read it. You'll find it useful, although you really should have read something like this 3-4 years ago. If you're not entirely new to the topic, you'll find this book a seeming random collection of recycled anecdotes and trivial generalizations and insights.

  • The Coddling of the American Mind

  • How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
  • By: Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Haidt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,374
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,117
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,094

The culture of “safety” and its intolerance of opposing viewpoints has left many young people anxious and unprepared for adult life. Lukianoff and Haidt offer a comprehensive set of reforms that will strengthen young people and institutions, allowing us all to reap the benefits of diversity, including viewpoint diversity. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what’s happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live and work and cooperate across party lines.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Enrich Understanding

  • By Lee Gilner on 09-22-18

Somewhat too much, but very insightful

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

The authors dramatize the situation too much. I guess the have to to sell more copies and gain following.
BUT, the hypotheses deserve to be heard, and they are supported by compelling arguments.
Highly recommend. A must for all educators and parents.

  • The Firm

  • The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business
  • By: Duff McDonald
  • Narrated by: Tom Weiner
  • Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 274

A behind-the-scenes, revelatory history of McKinsey & Company, America's most influential and controversial business consulting firm, told by one of the nation's leading financial journalists. In The Firm, Duff McDonald uncovers how these high-powered, high-priced business savants have ushered in waves of structural, financial, and technological shifts. With unrivaled access to company documents and current and former employees, McDonald reveals the inner workings of what just might be the most influential private organization in America.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Warning: Non consultants should avoid

  • By R. Jaeger on 11-04-13

Dubious claims, great historic review

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

The book clearly has an agenda and attempts to score points by bashing McKinsey.
Many claims are far-fetched.
BUT, it provides an excellent historic review of the consulting industry.
I found it to be a great educational read and highly recommend it to anyone who has something to do with business or consulting.

  • Strong Ending

  • A Journey from Combat to Comedy
  • By: Audible Originals
  • Narrated by: Mary-Louise Parker
  • Length: 1 hr and 16 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,276
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,634
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,618

It’s always hard to make the crowd laugh - especially when joking about war, PTSD, and mental health. Strong Ending follows three military veterans as they attempt to turn their most painful stories into laughs by participating in a stand-up comedy boot camp. After joining the military, deploying to combat zones, and coming home fundamentally changed, Michael Garvey, Isaura Ramirez, and Patrick Harth challenge themselves to share their stories on stage and perform original stand up-comedy about their experiences for a packed house. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Favorite Member Selection so far

  • By Amazon Customer on 11-07-18

Shallow, but some stories are entertaining

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

I did not find the book to be particularly insightful or useful. It's basically a "radio program", not a book.
Something you could hear on NPR as you're driving from work.
OK, but not great.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Why We Get Fat

  • And What to Do About It
  • By: Gary Taubes
  • Narrated by: Mike Chamberlain
  • Length: 7 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,076
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,956
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,891

Building upon this critical work in Good Calories, Bad Calories and presenting fresh evidence for his claim, Taubes now revisits the urgent question of what's making us fat - and how we can change - in this exciting new book. Persuasive, straightforward, and practical, Why We Get Fat makes Taubes' crucial argument newly accessible to a wider audience.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Manage carbohydrate and not caloric intake!

  • By Ed on 01-04-11

Interesting, Entertaining, somewhat questionable

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

Great, clean, compelling hypothesis.
Excellent examples and arguments.
Tried for 4 weeks to obtain from carbs - no noticeable effect on my weight.
Still highly recommend, but don't expect a rapid weight loss from following this advice.

  • When the Wolves Bite

  • By: Scott Wapner
  • Narrated by: Scott Wapner
  • Length: 8 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 557
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 489

The inside story of the clash of two of Wall Street's biggest, richest, toughest, most aggressive players - Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman - and Herbalife, the company caught in the middle. With their billions of dollars and their business savvy, activist investors Carl Icahn and Bill Ackman have the ability to move markets with the flick of a wrist. But what happens when they run into the one thing in business they can't control: each other?  

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story But Glitches

  • By Anonymous User on 06-03-18

Marginally useful, a bit more entertaining

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

It was interesting to read about "activist investors", but overall, the book was not particularly insightful or particularly entertaining.
I would recommend it to a friend, but don't expect too much.

  • Sapiens

  • A Brief History of Humankind
  • By: Yuval Noah Harari
  • Narrated by: Derek Perkins
  • Length: 15 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18,559
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 16,362
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,268

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Take the Negative Reviews w/ a Grain of Salt

  • By Gabriel on 08-29-18

Entertaining and Educational

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

Reviewed: 12-30-18

I am scientist and, of course, knew most of these theories and ideas.
However, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. A great, neat summary and review.
Gave to my kids and they seem to be enjoying it no less.

  • The Innovators

  • How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
  • By: Walter Isaacson
  • Narrated by: Dennis Boutsikaris
  • Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,753
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,050
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,036

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, The Innovators is Walter Isaacson’s revealing story of the people who created the computer and the Internet. It is destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • With Atlantean Shoulders, Fit to Bear

  • By W Perry Hall on 10-06-15

Unexpectedly eyeopening and very educational

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

Reviewed: 12-20-18

I thought this would be the usual collection of accolades to a collection of known super-stars innovators, how they were so genius and so quirky and so quirky. While there is some of this in the book, the main story provides a larger picture and describe the process of innovation in the field as a whole very well. It shifts focus from celebrity-innovators to the process that actually makes innovation happen.
Very motivational, very educational. Much better than expected.

  • The Addictive Brain

  • By: Thad A. Polk, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Thad A. Polk
  • Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,582
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,261

The Addictive Brain is a fair and balanced investigation of addiction, backed by hard science and behavioral science. Most of us have probably seen the old antidrug commercial in which an actor compares your brain on drugs to an egg sizzling in a hot frying pan. That's a powerful image, but it doesn't tell us what actually happens when drugs enter your body and interact with neurochemical processes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very interesting and in depth

  • By Matthew Bukovicky on 04-27-15

very informative

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

the great example of a perfect crash course. not too deep not too shallow and very informative.