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Gharper

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 6
  • helpful votes
  • 30
  • ratings
  • The Beginning of Infinity

  • Explanations That Transform the World
  • By: David Deutsch
  • Narrated by: Walter Dixon
  • Length: 20 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

A bold and all-embracing exploration of the nature and progress of knowledge from one of today's great thinkers. Throughout history, mankind has struggled to understand life's mysteries, from the mundane to the seemingly miraculous. In this important new book, David Deutsch, an award-winning pioneer in the field of quantum computation, argues that explanations have a fundamental place in the universe.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting, complex and sometimes flawed!

  • By Jim Vaughan on 11-10-12

Very worthwhile. Fantastically narrated

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

Reviewed: 29-12-15

Like some other reviewers I wasn't convinced by the author's interpretation of a few issues such as the description of objective beauty and arguments leading on from it. However, for the most part this is fantastic with some very thought inducing analogies, including Startrek teleporters in parallel dimensions. The bit about political systems and fair political representation was also incite full.

The book is also very well narrated, one of the best I've heard. I listened to it in 1.25x speed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Fragile by Design

  • The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit
  • By: Charles W. Calomiris, Stephen H. Haber
  • Narrated by: Basil Sands
  • Length: 20 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15

Analyzing the political and banking history of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Brazil through several centuries, Fragile by Design demonstrates that chronic banking crises and scarce credit are not accidents due to unforeseen circumstances. Rather, these fluctuations result from the complex bargains made between politicians, bankers, bank shareholders, depositors, debtors, and taxpayers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Gripping

  • By Gerard on 04-05-15

Incredibly well researched and very compelling

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

This book is clearly narrated and very well researched. It covers the detailed history of banking in the UK, USA, Canada, Mexico and some other countries and achieves what it sets out to do. That is, demonstrate that the fragility of banking systems is a matter of political design.

I would have given five stars were it not for the fact that I think it should have featured more of a discussion on the way the extension of private bank credit effectively creates new money. The book mentions on several occasions that private banks permission to print their own notes was granted or withdrawn in various states at various times, but there is very little mention of their doing the digital equivalent, which I would say is a fundamentally important factor governing the stability of the banking sector today, not to mention the business cycle.

A great read (listen) for those interested in detailed economic history. However, if you simply seek a description of why the banking system is unstable, this may be a little heavy going, particularly if you are not so interested in historical detail.

  • Your Best Brain: The Science of Brain Improvement

  • By: John Medina, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: John Medina
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 111
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 102
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 98

In Your Best Brain, Professor John J. Medina - an award-winning scientist, New York Times best-selling author, and leading advocate for brain research - delivers 24 exciting lectures that probe the origins of consciousness, memory, emotion, attention, intelligence, and beyond. He focuses on five key areas of study in neuroscience: the brain’s physical structure and function, and how it enabled us to become the planet’s apex predator.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good information slightly marred by presentation

  • By Md Lachlan on 05-02-15

Very useful, and interesting!

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

Reviewed: 18-03-15

Particularly enjoyed the sections about keeping your mind healthy and mental health problems. I would particularly recommend this course to anyone looking to get a better understanding of their thought processes and how they can improve them, but anyone else should also find it interesting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Flashpoints

  • The Emerging Crisis in Europe
  • By: George Friedman
  • Narrated by: Bruce Turk, George Friedman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

George Friedman has forecasted the coming trends (politics, technology, population, and culture) of the next century in The Next 100 Years, and focused his predictions on the coming ten years in The Next Decade. Now, in Flashpoints, Friedman zooms in on the region that has, for 500 years, been the cultural hotbed of the world - Europe - and examines the most basic and fascinating building block of the region: culture.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By Anthony M on 17-05-17

A tour of European geopolitics

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

Reviewed: 09-02-15

Highly recommended to anyone interested in the history and future of Europe. The introduction, read by the author, explaining the history of his family was particularly interesting. The narration is nice and clean though not desperately engrossing. It would have been better if read in full by the author. Overall this has really improved my understanding of the relationships between EU countries, Russia and the rest of the world and includes some ideas that the author has about the future of these regions.

  • Whole Earth Discipline

  • An Ecopragmatist Manifesto
  • By: Stewart Brand
  • Narrated by: Johnny Heller
  • Length: 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 3

An icon of the environmental movement outlines a provocative approach for reclaiming our planet. According to Stewart Brand, a lifelong environmentalist who sees everything in terms of solvable design problems, three profound transformations are under way on Earth right now. Climate change is real and is pushing us toward managing the planet as a whole. Urbanization - half the world's population now lives in cities, and 80 percent will by midcentury - is altering humanity's land impact and wealth.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Must read (or listen) for all, particularly greens

  • By Gharper on 26-01-15

Must read (or listen) for all, particularly greens

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-01-15

Few titles successfully cause me to change my mind over policy /environmental issues. This book has led to my changing, or at least thinking more carefully, about many issues including nuclear energy. Strongly recommended.

  • Your Deceptive Mind: A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Skills

  • By: Steven Novella, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Steven Novella
  • Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 568
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 499
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 475

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This covers it all

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-07-14

Highly recommended for those of a skeptical nature

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

Reviewed: 03-12-14

I really enjoyed this course. I feel I can think more clearly about what is going on around me and I would recommend it to anyone for this reason.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Big History: The Big Bang, Life on Earth, and the Rise of Humanity

  • By: David Christian, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: David Christian
  • Length: 24 hrs and 26 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 124

How is it possible for the disciplines of cosmology, geology, anthropology, biology, and history to fit together? These 48 lectures answer that question by weaving a single story from accounts of the past developed by a variety of scholarly disciplines. The result is a story stretching from the origins of the universe to the present day and beyond, in which human history is seen as part of the history of our Earth and biosphere, and the Earth's history, in turn, is seen as part of the history of the universe.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • big history. big bang. big lecture

  • By Kindle Customer on 15-05-17

Drawn out in places but excellent.

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

Reviewed: 03-12-14

There is a section in the middle that I found a little drawn out describing the emergence of human civilisations. However, I bought the series knowing that it was a big time investment and I was very satisfied overall.

The description of the big bang and star formation was particularly fascinating.

  • The Joy of Science

  • By: Robert M. Hazen, The Great Courses
  • Narrated by: Robert M. Hazen
  • Length: 30 hrs and 29 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 103

Science is humanity's greatest achievement. It ranges from the study of the universe itself to the smallest particles of matter contained within it - and everything in between. If you want to better understand our physical world, as most of us do, gaining a basic understanding of science itself is profoundly important - yet many are intimidated by the breathtaking scope of such an endeavor. Now an award-winning science teacher has taken out the intimidation, harnessing that breathtaking scope into a series of 60 exciting, comprehensive, and accessible lectures.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic Fundamentals

  • By jj_reviewerextraordinaire on 30-04-15

Fantastic. I know so much science now!

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

Reviewed: 03-12-14

Given that there are so many lectures, some sections are undoubtedly more interesting than others. I particularly enjoyed the stuff about chemistry and genetics. Everything scientific I can think it would be worth knowing about is covered!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful