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William Michael Brauer

  • 31
  • reviews
  • 28
  • helpful votes
  • 36
  • ratings
  • 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 3,998
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,411
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,398

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

Excellent. Worthwhile.

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

Reviewed: 12-14-18

prodgious intellect coupled with a "cut through the bullshit" perspective.


15 word max review? Really?

  • 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 2,351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,041
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,019

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

Excellent! Pulls no punches.

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

Reviewed: 09-27-18

A math heavy ex Wall Street Trader with knowledge of ancient languages and comparative religions

  • Modern Man in Search of a Soul

  • By: Carl Gustav Jung
  • Narrated by: Christopher Prince
  • Length: 9 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 730
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 619
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 615

Modern Man in Search of a Soul is the classic introduction to the thought of Carl Jung. Along with Freud and Adler, Jung was one of the chief founders of modern psychiatry. In this book, Jung examines some of the most contested and crucial areas in the field of analytical psychology: dream analysis, the primitive unconscious, and the relationship between psychology and religion.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Could have almost been an automated text reader

  • By The Critic on 04-24-15

Heavy for me

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

Reviewed: 07-10-18

It strikes me as a psychological text meant primarily for psychologists.

Exceptionally worthwhile content but it will take me several readings to actually absorb it.

  • Waking Up

  • A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
  • By: Sam Harris
  • Narrated by: Sam Harris
  • Length: 5 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,989
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 5,910

From multiple New York Times best-selling author, neuroscientist, and "new atheist" Sam Harris, Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Excellent and Inspiring Listen

  • By Jeffrey on 09-12-14

Typical Harris: Excellent

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

Reviewed: 05-24-18

An interesting Olive Branch from Harris.

A pleasant reminder that all of us, even the most well-developed, can always learn and improve.

  • The Anti-Chomsky Reader

  • By: Peter Collier, David Horowitz
  • Narrated by: Kirk Jordan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 26
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 25

This collection of essays examines Noam Chomsky's controversial ideas about various foreign and domestic issues and even the legitimacy of the linguistics theories on which his reputation rests. It explores the dark corners of what the New Yorker recently called "one of the greatest minds of the 20th century".

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Outstanding!

  • By William Michael Brauer on 05-23-18

Outstanding!

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

Reviewed: 05-23-18

Chomsky taken roundly to the wood-shed on multiple fronts. Last chapter is particularly fantastic!

I was appalled to see that the highlighted review showing when I purchased the book, was a negative review by an individual who started by saying that he only listened to the first 15 minutes of the book. Audible, your bias is showing.

Chomsky's tendency and inclination to support his wild opinions by describing things in terms that neither he nor I truly understand like quantum mechanics, etc, leave me with a strong taste of boloney when reading him however unable to formulate a true counter argument.

it has been a real pleasure to hear Chomsky decimated by specialists from the fields in which Chomsky pretends to have knowledge.

My one lament is that like Chomsky himself, the facts will have no effect on the useful idiots who are his adoring fans.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Discrimination and Disparities

  • By: Thomas Sowell
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 5 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1,032
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 926
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 920

Discrimination and Disparities challenges believers in such one-factor explanations of economic outcome differences as discrimination, exploitation, or genetics. It is listenable enough for people with no prior knowledge of economics. Yet the empirical evidence with which it backs up its analysis spans the globe and challenges beliefs across the ideological spectrum.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thomas Sowell is a national treasure!

  • By Wayne on 03-29-18

Dowel is a National Treasure

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

Reviewed: 04-06-18

Like all of souls work, this is excellent, factual, well reasoned. Interestingly, being a short book written at the twilight of Sowell's career, it may be the best introduction to Sowell's work.

  • Ordinary Men

  • Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland
  • By: Christopher R. Browning, Claire Bloom - director
  • Narrated by: Stefan Rudnicki
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 464
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 417
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 411

Ordinary Men is the true story of Reserve Police Batallion 101 of the German Order Police, which was responsible for mass shootings as well as roundups of Jewish people for deportation to Nazi death camps in Poland in 1942. Browning argues that most of the men of RPB 101 were not fanatical Nazis but, rather, ordinary middle-aged working-class men who committed these atrocities out of a mixture of motives, including the group dynamics of conformity, deference to authority, role adaptation, and the altering of moral norms to justify their actions.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Necessary Information

  • By William Michael Brauer on 04-04-18

Necessary Information

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

Reviewed: 04-04-18

This, along with "The Rape of Nanking" and "Gulag Archipelago" should be read by every human.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Rape of Nanking

  • By: Iris Chang
  • Narrated by: Anna Fields
  • Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 750
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 562
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 567

In December 1937, in the capital of China, one of the most brutal massacres in the long annals of wartime barbarity occurred. The Japanese army swept into the ancient city of Nanking and within weeks not only looted and burned the defenseless city but systematically raped, tortured and murdered more than 300,000 Chinese civilians. Amazingly, the story of this atrocity- one of the worst in world history- continues to be denied by the Japanese government.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Powerful

  • By Douglas on 09-05-09

Necessary reading.

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

Reviewed: 02-26-18

Evil. exists not in the"other" but in every individual human being.

Weakness/capitulation is no solution.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Road to Wigan Pier

  • By: George Orwell
  • Narrated by: Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 341
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 284
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 283

When Orwell went to England in the 30's to find out how industrial workers lived, he not only observed but shared in their experiences. He stayed in cramped, dreary lodgings and subsisted on the scant, cheerless diet of the poor. He went down into the coal mines and walked crouching, as the miners did, through a one- to three-mile passage too low to stand up in. He watched the back-breaking, dangerous labor of men whose net pay then averaged $575 a year.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Frederick Davidson's a Great Reader

  • By Debali on 01-11-09

Not what I expected.

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

Reviewed: 02-25-18

Orwell: An honest, thoughtful Socialist. I, being born in 1962, have yet to meet one of these rare animals.

The 1920s and 1930s were the progressive era. From my view, he can be forgiven for his optomism, based as it was on genuine love for his fellow man and coming, as it did before Chinese and Soviet atrocities made it frighteningly clear that his premonition that Socialism and Fascism were (twin) sisters was not just accurate but unavoidable.

I'd read Orwell long ago. What I had no inkling of was that I'd catch a whiff of P.J. O'Rourke in his humor, particularly in a book devoted to the serious issues examined in Wiggan Pier.

Loved the book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • 12 Rules for Life

  • An Antidote to Chaos
  • By: Jordan B. Peterson, Norman Doidge MD - foreword
  • Narrated by: Jordan B. Peterson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33,727
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,457
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,187

What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson's answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research. Humorous, surprising, and informative, Dr. Peterson tells us why skateboarding boys and girls must be left alone, what terrible fate awaits those who criticize too easily, and why you should always pet a cat when you meet one on the street.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not Your Average 'Self Help' Book

  • By LadyReadsAlot on 06-04-18

Accessible profundity!

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

Reviewed: 02-24-18

At 40, I was handed a copy of Paulos's "Innumeracy" which began the revelation of how demonstrably wrong I was about so many things that "everybody knows." Then I read Oliver Sachs's "Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat" and realized that neurologically, people actually see the same thing differently. Shermer and skeptical publications followed, then the new atheists. Then history and the founders, then WWI and WWII and fascism. Then Pinker and Popper and the Austrian economists and the Libertarians. Then more traditional philosophers and psychologists. After 15 years, my shelves are cluttered with hundreds of books.

Peterson brings it all together eloquently, logically, and with a humility and humanity that's irresistible. 12 Rules is the best book I've ever read. I'm officially a JBP disciple. I may go out and buy a saffron robe.

Perhaps both I and Western Society were simply at the right place at the right time for him. Whatever the reason, I honestly believe that Jordan Peterson is going to change the world.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful