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Troyus

Pa USA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 137
  • helpful votes
  • 46
  • ratings
  • Meditations

  • By: Marcus Aurelius
  • Narrated by: Alastair Cameron
  • Length: 6 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 26

Though the Romans were known for having contributed much to culture and the arts, there was one facet that was unrivaled when it came to ancient civilizations: their published works. Philosophy was their forte, and it goes without saying that the meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a superb piece of philosophical writings and musings. What is interesting about this collection is that it chronicles his thoughts during the time of his reign as Roman Emperor from AD 161 to 180.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • The narrator sounds like a robot

  • By Amazon Customer on 01-10-18

Good Performance bad translation

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

Reviewed: 06-25-16

This translation uses a lot of archaic speech such as "thee", "thou" and "goest" making it very accessible to the modern reader. The speaker does as much as he can with it given the limitations but it is tough to follow.

4 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Rise of the Robots

  • Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
  • By: Martin Ford
  • Narrated by: Jeff Cummings
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,571
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,368
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,374

In a world of self-driving cars and big data, smart algorithms and Siri, we know that artificial intelligence is getting smarter every day. Though all these nifty devices and programs might make our lives easier, they're also well on their way to making "good" jobs obsolete. A computer winning Jeopardy might seem like a trivial, if impressive, feat, but the same technology is making paralegals redundant as it undertakes electronic discovery, and is soon to do the same for radiologists.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great content and this mechanization IS coming!

  • By Mike on 06-30-15

Great conclusions even if the "data" isn't so hot

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

Reviewed: 12-31-15

While I disagree strongly with the author about the past I think he makes compelling arguments about the future. Rising robotic and AI capabilities are changing the relationship of labor and capital and that will have profound long term affects on the world. Over the last few decades we've seen the middle class starting to disappear, what happens to the bulk of people when jobs are either very high end or subsistence with very little in between?

Mr. Ford pushes the idea of a "basic Income" in which everyone would be guaranteed a certain amount of money on a set basis. This would alleviate poverty and allow everyone to share in the massive productivity gains robotics and AI allow. He goes into some detail about the pitfalls and how this system would have to be structured so as to make sure most people still sought out work. This is all very well thought out.

While I disagree with many of Mr Ford's comments there are a few I'd like to point out. He asserts that a basic income would spur innovation as people knowing they had a safety net would be more willing to take risks. Unfortunately, there's good real world evidence to show that this isn't true. This same argument was made by the Scandinavian countries in the 1970's and 1980's but hey found innovation decreased markedly after the safety net was put in (and remain low to this day). It seems that the possibilities of great reward are what motivates many people so the high taxes hurt innovation much more than the safety net helped spur it.

He also advocates a single payer health care system. Having spoken to a number of heads of large providers of laboratory tests I can say that the one thing they all agree on is that the USA's health care system is the main driver of innovation in the world. If the company creates a new test, such as to identify rectal cancer, the US hospitals will buy it as long as they think they will get enough use from it to pay for itself. Countries with socialized medicine, however, face limited fixed budgets and to buy new things they have to find something else to phase out. New technology is a VERY hard sell to these countries. Based on this, I strongly believe that socializing medicine in the USA would have disastrous effects on innovation in medicine and ultimately be a huge disservice to our grandchildren.

Despite disagree with the author on so much, I think his vision of the future is likely to be close to correct and I think most of his ideas about how to shape the future are right on.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • At the Edge of Uncertainty

  • 11 Discoveries Taking Science by Surprise
  • By: Michael Brooks
  • Narrated by: Sean Runnette
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 911
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 835
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 832

The atom, the big bang, DNA, natural selection - all are ideas that have revolutionized science; and all were dismissed out of hand when they first appeared. The surprises haven't stopped in recent years, and in At the Edge of Uncertainty, best-selling author Michael Brooks investigates the new wave of radical insights that are shaping the future of scientific discovery.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • All smoke, no fire

  • By Kenton on 07-25-15

Rambling and off focus

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

Reviewed: 08-20-15

I read quite a few books about the frontiers of science and when I saw this one was available through a special deal I pounced on it. Unfortunately, it suffers from a number of serious flaws.

First and foremost, this book isn't about 11 discoveries, it's about discoveries in 11 broad areas. For instance, in one chapter they go from talking about quantum effects in photosynthesis to the idea that our universe is a hologram to the idea that our universe is a computer. Yes, these all involved research in quantum physics, but it's a huge stretch to say they are a single discovery.

This gives the book an overall feeling of flitting from topic to topic without ever really exhausting a single topic. It more like a road tour of science but the attractions are driven by too quickly to fully grasp and to slowly to provide a sense of excitement.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Not That Kind of Girl

  • A Young Woman Tells You What She's 'Learned'
  • By: Lena Dunham
  • Narrated by: Lena Dunham
  • Length: 6 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,709
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,059
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 4,066

For readers or listeners of Nora Ephron, Tina Fey, and David Sedaris, this hilarious, poignant, and extremely frank collection of personal essays confirms Lena Dunham - the acclaimed creator, producer, and star of HBO's Girls - as one of the brightest and most original writers working today.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Some interesting parts, but on the whole... meh

  • By Amazon Customer on 10-06-14

Surprisingly Funny

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

Reviewed: 07-30-15

I don't share all of Lena Dunham's outlook on life but I nevertheless found this book amusing, insightful and very well written.

The essays were of varying quality with many being superb and most of the rest still being interesting. Only one essay was really poor as the calorie log section didn't translate well to the spoken word. This probably worked in print but listening to a long list of food with calories is mind numbingly boring.

Overall I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Leaders Eat Last

  • Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't
  • By: Simon Sinek
  • Narrated by: Simon Sinek
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,958
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,855
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,797

Why do only a few people get to say "I love my job?" It seems unfair that finding fulfillment at work is like winning a lottery; that only a few lucky ones get to feel valued by their organizations, to feel like they belong. Imagine a world where almost everyone wakes up inspired to go to work, feels trusted and valued during the day, then returns home feeling fulfilled. This is not a crazy, idealized notion. Today, in many successful organizations, great leaders are creating environments in which people naturally work together to do remarkable things.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent message but poor solution

  • By Troyus on 09-03-14

Excellent message but poor solution

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

Reviewed: 09-03-14

The basic message of this book, that leadership is about taking care of people, is inspirational. The author goes to great lengths to talk about, and give excellent examples of, how companies with a people first approach can be very successful. The world could do well to listen.

Unfortunately, while the first half of the book pushes leadership and individual responsibility to make the world a better place the last half strongly pushes government regulation as a big part of the solution. He goes so far as to lament the government no longer forcing TV stations to devote a portion of their broadcasts to "public service". Worse, he pines for renewal of the Fairness Doctrine from the 1950's wherein public officials would decide if your programing was "balanced" enough.

Several of the issues the author hit on, particularly around regulation, were subjects I have followed for years and the author cherry picks the evidence that fit's his argument while ignoring both the opposing arguments and supporting evidence.

Were the Fairness Doctrine in place for books I believe the author would be forced to rewrite substantial portions of this book. I dare say that would give him a new and useful perspective on the very large downside of these regulations he supports.

Differences aside, overall the book was very inspirational and has caused me to look afresh at my management style. Companies can benefit from an employee friendly culture. Convincing companies that this is in their best interest is the surest course to propagating this idea. Having government try to enforce it is unlikely to have lasting success.

116 of 131 people found this review helpful

  • The Gatekeepers

  • Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College
  • By: Jacques Steinberg
  • Narrated by: Jacques Steinberg
  • Length: 13 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 72
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

In the fall of 1999, New York Times education reporter Jacques Steinberg was given an unprecedented opportunity to observe the admissions process at prestigious Wesleyan University. Over the course of nearly a year, Steinberg accompanied admissions officer Ralph Figueroa on a tour to assess and recruit the most promising students in the country. The Gatekeepers follows a diverse group of prospective students as they compete for places in the nation's most elite colleges.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent insight but too much filler

  • By Troyus on 07-28-14

Excellent insight but too much filler

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

Reviewed: 07-28-14

The parts of this book which detail the admissions process and decisions are truly excellent and invaluable to anyone seeking to understand how elite schools make their decisions. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone interested in this topic.

This book was adapted from a series of articles. It shows. Substantial time is taken on detailing people and their backgrounds to get a better sense of where the different characters are coming from. This was somewhat interesting when the subject was an admissions officer, still bearable when it was one of the various applicants but the author didn't stop there. Are in-depth details the admissions officers parent's stories really of any value? Not so much, but still worse was the many minutes on his grandfather. I skipped over quite a bit at this point but, given the trend, I expect that in the hour+ I skipped we learned quite a bit of the back story of the UPS delivery man and the barista at the local coffee shop.

However, once it got to the actual decision making process the book was informative and riveting.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Perfect Score Project

  • Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT
  • By: Debbie Stier
  • Narrated by: Debbie Stier
  • Length: 9 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27

It all began as an attempt by Debbie Stier to help her high-school age son, Ethan, who would shortly be studying for the SAT. Aware that Ethan was a typical teenager (i.e., completely uninterested in any test) and that a mind-boggling menu of test-prep options existed, she decided - on his behalf - to sample as many as she could to create the perfect SAT test-prep recipe.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Takes awhile to grow on you but then is great

  • By Troyus on 07-22-14

Takes awhile to grow on you but then is great

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

Reviewed: 07-22-14

Overall this book is an excellent guide to SAT prep while being amusing.

The narrator is an obsessed overly involved mother of the kind I generally dislike. I found this off-putting at first but since she knows this about herself and isn't above poking fun at herself about it I really grew to enjoy it over time.

The walk-through of various aspects of the SAT and test prep is among the most comprehensive I have read (or listened to) and being in the testing industry I've seen hundreds of such books.

Two thumbs up to this informative and funny book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 1968

  • The Year That Rocked the World
  • By: Mark Kurlansky
  • Narrated by: Christopher Cazenove
  • Length: 16 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 166
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 83
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 85

In this monumental new book, award-winning author Mark Kurlansky has written his most ambitious work to date: a singular and ultimately definitive look at a pivotal moment in history.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, terrible reader

  • By phineas on 08-12-04

Slanted but intensely interesting and well written

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

Reviewed: 02-19-14

This is one of the best books I've listened to in years. Being born in Chicago in the late 1960's I grew up hearing a lot about the Chicago Democratic convention as well as the Prague Spring and, of course, the various civil rights marches and actions. This book did a tremendous and entertaining job of providing the historical background to those events to a depth I had never before heard.

Right at the start of the book the author notes that while he is trying to be as objective as he can it is impossible to write a book without some bias. This shows through quickly as he clearly is a bit starry eyed over the student movements of the time. That said, his bias doesn't get in the way of the facts. For instance, he tells how the various factions in the student movements had different agendas (and sometimes no real agenda).

While normally I would strongly dislike such bias in a book about historical events, in this case it added to the book as it helped show the feelings of the participants in a way a dispassionate voice couldn't hope to.

Overall this is an excellent book for anyone looking to get a better understanding of the events of that era and what led to them.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

  • By: Robert Garland, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert Garland
  • Length: 24 hrs and 28 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,606
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,188
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,156

Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tantalizing time trip

  • By Mark on 08-21-13

Fantastic!

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

Reviewed: 08-27-13

Where does The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I've listened to over 500 Audible titles and this is certainly in the top 10. The author clearly has great knowledge and passion for his work.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

I thought the part on Sparta was especially good, such as how kids were put in positions where they had to steal to survive,. But there were many, many memorable parts.

Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Garland – was your favorite?

He didn't actually have "characters" as it was a lecture, not a reading.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The peasants aren't revolting after all.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Mote in God's Eye

  • By: Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
  • Narrated by: L J Ganser
  • Length: 20 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 6,105
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,348
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,391

The Mote In God's Eye is their acknowledged masterpiece, an epic novel of mankind's first encounter with alien life that transcends the genre. No lesser an authority than Robert A. Heinlein called it "possibly the finest science fiction novel I have ever read".

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A great read!

  • By J. Rhoderick on 02-12-10

Not "hard" sci-fi as suggested

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

Reviewed: 08-27-13

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Parts of this book were great, especially the parts where the aliens are trying to understand what makes humans tick. Other parts were very boring.
My main complaint is that so much of what the aliens do is absolutely not feasible. Not just a stretch, but laughably unbelievable. It read more like a fantasy novel in space ships.

Would you be willing to try another book from Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle ? Why or why not?

I've read many of their books. Loved most, liked all of them. If this was the only book of theirs I had read I doubt I would have read a second!

What about L J Ganser’s performance did you like?

You could really tell the characters apart with his voices. It helped that there were so few characters, but he did a great job.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.