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Stan

Stan Auckland, New Zealand Member Since 2009
HELPFUL VOTES
11
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8
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  • "Excellent listen"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Dr Steven Novella has written an excellent series of lessons that really helps one understand why people believe strange things. More importantly though, he explains how our own brains can deceive us. Ever wondered how everyone else around you remembers something completely different to how you remember it? Or how someone can come to a completely different conclusion to something than you did, even though you both had the exact same data? This book is fascinating and helps one realise, just because you saw it/ heard it/ analysed it (etc.) doesn't mean you'll come to the correct conclusion unless you take steps to ensure you don't let personal bias get in the way.

    His many years as a teacher at Yale and podcasting ensure it is very easy to listen to this series of lectures. Broken down into half hour sessions, you can go through it is small chunks (I listened to it in three large chunks though, I was enjoying it so much). The one criticism I would have, being an audiobook, the times Dr Novella mentions different visual phenomena that fool us becomes a little difficult, not having the picture in front of you (some are famous and probably don't need an accompanying picture, but some aren't). The same with the audio phenomena. It would have been easy to include them in the audiobook. There also appeared to be mention of a workbook, which I could not find out anything about.

    Having said that, those few issues were not serious enough for me to take any marks off. This is a great book with some truly fascinating things to learn, read in a way that made the time pass by so quickly.

    Thoroughly recommend it.

    More

    Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven Novella
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    No skill is more important in today's world than being able to think about, understand, and act on information in an effective and responsible way. What's more, at no point in human history have we had access to so much information, with such relative ease, as we do in the 21st century. But because misinformation out there has increased as well, critical thinking is more important than ever. These 24 rewarding lectures equip you with the knowledge and techniques you need to become a savvier, sharper critical thinker in your professional and personal life.

    Stan says: "Excellent listen"
  • "Great book, shame about the narration"

    Overall

    Phil Plait has written some great books. His Bad Astronomy blog is always entertaining and educational and he is a prolific Tweeter. The academic levels vary from post to post, book to book and tweet to tweet, so one could be a little apprehensive about what level of astronomy understanding one would need to appreciate this book. This book is pitched at those who are not overly knowledgeable about astronomy related facts. Having said that, it still threw up facts I did not know. His writing style is very easy going and I would have loved to have listened to Phil narrate the book himself. Kevin does an OK job, but Phil's exuberance would have lifted it another notch. I still gave it 5 stars, as the content is excellent.

    More

    Bad Astronomy: Misconceptions and Misuses Revealed, from Astrology to the Moon Landing 'Hoax'

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Philip Plait
    • Narrated By Kevin Scullin
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Dr. Philip C. Plait sets the record straight on many modern hoaxes and myths. Appalled that millions of Americans don't believe in the moon landing, or that an egg stands on its end only on the vernal equinox, Plait hilariously spills the truth and informs us of scientific inaccuracies in our everyday vernacular.

    Peter says: "A fun and informative bit of mythbusting"
  • "A fascinating listen"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a very interesting book. It follows the journey of Seth Andrews, a dyed in the wool Christian in the heart of the Bible belt. He has gone from Religious Broadcaster to starting up The Thinking Atheist website and podcast. This book demonstrates the difficulties one can have when leaving their faith behind in favor of reason. It was not an easy journey. Not just coming to the realization that everything you believed in as being wrong, but coping with the reactions of those closest to you. Some atheists can be quite denegrating of religious people, but Seth know there are a great many religious people who are wonderful people, who would be "the first to run into a burning building to get you out". He is however, very scathing of the indoctrination of children before they are able to think for themselves and the attempts by some in the religious community to impose their beliefs in places they don't belong (the science classroom being just one of them).

    Being from a broadcasting background, there was only ever one choice for the job of narrating this story and Seth has been able to add a real passion to his writing by reading it himself.

    An excellent book and an excellent listen.

    More

    Deconverted: A Journey from Religion to Reason

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Seth Andrews
    • Narrated By Seth Andrews
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Assertions like these seem comical until you realize that many Christian parents aren't kidding when they teach them to their children as facts. Every day, impressionable young minds are conditioned to blindly accept wild biblical tales of floating zoos, talking shrubbery, 900-year-old humans, the undead, curses, levitation, demon/human hybrids and men who obtain super-human strength from the length of their hair. Allegiance to these teachings is expected, often demanded.

    John says: "Excellent Book"
  1. Your Deceptive Mind: A Sc...
  2. Bad Astronomy: Misconcept...
  3. Deconverted: A Journey fr...
  4. .

A thrilling, true story

An extraordinary space odyssey

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