Lance Johnson

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The kids who beat up the karate kid release a book

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-06-20

The Following is a review of this book as if Mark Zuckerberg listened to it and then reviewed it:

Bitcoin billionaire should have aptly been labelled Bitcoin bullies.

Ben Mizrahi chasing a story to buy his next yacht is the equivalent of a lawyer chasing ambulances to sue people for fraud compensation to make money.

Benin so desperate for a story related to his previous book on me made a deal with the devil with those dumb jocks who tried to sue me because apparently I stole their idea even though they did jack all work with their website and were sitting around rowing boats.

In his previous book he painted these guys as dumb jocks, now he tries to brush over this fact and goes overboard in praising them just because one of their investments worked out amongst their many failures

There are certain people who are leeches in society, lawyers, bankers and the Winklevi twins. They add no value to anyone and don’t built anything. Rather they seek opportunity to leech off other people’s creativity and hard work. They tried to leech off my company, they leech off the developers of Bitcoin, and they make money by selling blockchain crap to a vulnerable public.

What value have they added? None and they never will.

I was smart enough to realise that they were leeches and fought them. Charlie Shrem one of their partners lead a sheltered life, and therefore is easily taken advantage of by everyone and got screwed by them (And others). And even though the poor guy has come out of jail and the Winkevi are billionaires- the Winklevi are suing him for a few millionaires

The only way these guys will make money is by sucking life from others. In many ways similar to the Goldman Sachs vampire squid analogy written by Matt Taibi in Rollingstones who defined as following:

a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.

Look the book reads well and it was a page turner.

I am smart enough to critically analyse and look up things when mentioned in the book.

Mizrahi argues that the Winklevoss were pioneers of two good ideas the social network and bitcoin. This is not true since they tried to hang on to people developing those ideas. Also when u have money, a lot of it, you are presented with more business opportunity to make money, like the twins were with Bitcoin. He does not talk about their many business failures. Also I made billions acquiring WhatsApp, Instagram, Oculus etc. Does it make me a genius or someone who has a lot of resources and some experience to make great decisions. You can look up Facebook failures I had as well if you want.

U can’t be rowing at Olympic level which they flopped at, and then run a business.

Mizrahi said the Winklevi knew html and so were technically savy. Hey I can listen to a heartbeat, that means I am a cardiologist.

In essence this book is enjoyable but be aware of the lopsided and bias in favour of the Winklevi.

Mark Z

End review

A lopsided view, but a great read nonetheless

4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-06-20

I enjoyed this book, but there are several caveats I need to point out, which may not be the verbalised views of the author (or he may not think of them like that) but his true views come into play:
(1) USA is great (2) Democracy is great (3) Watching cinemas is great (4) Always write a book from Ivory towers and not demonstrating ground reality is good journalism (5) Not bringing different perspectives on a topic is how the failing New York Times likes to write articles (6) If the USA commits mass murder e.g. Iraq/Libya/American Indians/Black people; Israel commits apartheid - excellent- I will ignore this - instead I will point out the cruelty that a country that the USA has supported for generations. (7) Arabs are not smart people - except the ones who agree with my views.

OK - everyone - I want you to answer this question (something Ben Hubbard should do) -
You are leader of a country with 40 million people with 60% under the age of 16. The reality is:
(1) Your population became wealthy rapidly because of work they did not do.
(2) Your population is lazy - they are fat cows eating the grass - and do not wish to be disturbed.
(3) You elite are corrupt and waste money in Western countries every year
(4) Your army is a joke.
(5) You have foreign powers desperate for your oil resource.
(6) Your religious elite, though well meaning, fail to understand the reality of the ground, cannot construct anything in a positive manner, and some may actually be destructive to your society.

You got that - ok - go establish a fair and just society!

MBS is a fool, no one denies that. But the idiot elite decided for some dumb reason to put him forward, the book doesn't really clarify that. His dad Salman is demented, that much is obvious. But someone thought he would be a good king, just to manipulate him, MBS is trying but he does not have the intelligence to do establish a state. He has never had any political experience nor had to develop personality traits of leadership/wisdom.

The only smart people from the Saudi elite are two (1) King Faisal - killed by the Americans for oil crisis in the 1960s/70s.
(2) Turki al-Faisal - though he is making a lot of mistakes

Will you enjoy this book?
Yes but be aware that is it coloured by Ben's prejudice.

Highlights of the book:
Stories about their background, some insight into how the kingdom work, the Jamal Khashoggi story.

Dude where are the interviews with Jamal Khashoggi wife? One sided view.

All and all, a great listen to while driving the car back and forward to work.

2 people found this helpful

A great funny look on the life of William Shatner told with a sense of humour

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-04-20

I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Bill Shatner autobiography.

The reason is he covers his life and his bizarre acting with a sense of humour making me laugh with him throughout his life story. I enjoyed this so much that I went and bought some other books narrated by him.
This is what Kevin Hart book should have been but Kevin missed the point.

Shatner talks about throughout his career to how he became an actor, his early work, Star Trek, his terrible singing career, TJ Hooker, Star Trek Movies, his time as Denny Crane and confrontations with Trekkies.

He covers all the controversies to his fight with George Takei, Leonard Nimoy, his massive ego, his overacting and he does this making light jabs at himself so u will love and enjoy his book.

Having the book read by James T Kirk is great but having it read so well and to realise that this book is aimed at entertaining the listener not just informing the reader is probably the most important lesson that Bill can give to production teams and narrators of other audiobooks.

Shatner is an author not a writer, he authors books so u can enjoy them, he does not write to just inflate his ego so much that the message is lost on his readers.

Also I learnt a lot of life lessons from Bill on the way from his marital strifes (he was terrible at marriage but prob got some good insight into female psychology from counsellors) to the need to being appreciative of whatever work you can get to sustain yourself and not think any project is beneath u.

Although looking back at his career I wish he had been more selective.

U will enjoy this book. Download it and have fun!

A daredevil's survival guide

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-04-20

Meet Alex.

He is not like you and me. Or even most climbers.

He is an intense wall climber often climbing cliffs thousands of feet high without a rope. He may only be stuck to a wall by just the tip of his fingers, and the margin of error is very low, such that if he slips - he is going to fall and meet his maker.

Why should you be nervous?

Because many experienced good climbers die from time to time. Most of us if just for a moment were in Alex position for even a moment on a cliff- we would be freaking out.

Now before I begin - I would like to add that what Alex does requires for you to have a few screws loose - mentally. The part which deals with fear in his brain is not working properly, and it takes a lot more than the average person to activate. I think this may be inherited from his weird parents. His dad (he has passed away) was said to have a form of Asperger(which Alex may also have), but that what was said by his ex-wife.

According to the documentary "Free Solo" love was not openly expressed in the house, who knows this could be made up for the purpose of making the documentary more interesting.

The book deals with his stories of how he became a climber and how he started to take up Free Soloing(climbing without a rope). What's important to note is Alex no fool - whenever he undertakes a task to free solo - he will spend many months learning and getting used to the wall (while using a rope) to become familiar - such that when he actually free solos he is walking through a routine that he has climbed with a rope and never fell off. So he just does the same and follows the steps. He abandoned a free solo of el-Capitain when his instincts told him, and he listened.

This book teaches you about the intense sport of climbing and what it takes. As I said Alex needs a lot to activate the part of his brain to experience fear and possibly also pleasure. It is for this reason that I believe he does this.

This is a great book to listen to and gives you insight into the way these mountain climbers think.

The Anna Kournikova of men’s tennis

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-04-20

Let me get something straight
I hate this book. That is why I spent at least 6 hrs of my life to listen to this. Sounds contradictory?
How about if I said I listen to this Everyday for 21 yrs?
This is the same stupid logic Agassi uses to say he hates tennis even though he played it for many years. This is a lie and used as an excuse to explain his lacklustre performance in his career.

If he really hated the game there are plenty of way to outsmart a driving parent to show he does not want to play and which is why many parents fail.

Let me first explain who Anne Kournikova is. She was a small attractive Russian tennis player who never won a grand slam but garnered much commercial sponsorship for doing very little on the court. She did a disservice to women tennis as they women tried to become more made up and attractive to support their tennis career in order to get sponsorship.

Andre tried to stand out by wearing a wig(yes that long blond hair u used to see is a wig) and wear denim shorts while playing to stand out and got sponsorship from many organisations such as Cannon cameras where in the commercial Andre says “Image is everything.” Well André is right to get famous, u don’t need to be talented but have a wig of blonde hair, play mediocre tennis, and marry a celebrity - Steffi Graf or a Brook Shields.

Now when I was growing up and started to learn tennis a few of my friends spoke highly of him. However when I read the magazines they continued to say “Agassi fizzled” and “Graf mourned missed opportunities”. My opinion of these two are that these two don’t deserve the fame they have gotten.

Steffi Graf his wife who is from Germany only got ahead after a fan of hers stabbed Monica Seles the reigning world champion. If Monica was not stabbed we would barely remember Steffi.

Andre was given too much early props and as a result became arrogant. He laughed at a young Sampras when he was struggling with his game but Sampras went on to be one of the greatest men player of all time and beat his brains out most times.

Andre did win 8 grand slams but when u read this the book has so much dishonesty and avoids so many of his faults I start to get bored

He never overcame these faults nor talked about how he transformed.

He is a mediocre tennis player who wrote this book with his ghost writer and said how do we sell books. they came up with hating tennis as a slogan.

I hate Andre because he is everything that dedicators of their craft dislike. A prodigy who has no respect for their sport. Tries to get as much cash and run. Or he could be the guy at work who gets promoted above u because he has the gift of the gab but does little in substance.

Personally I would not listen to this book and would recommend others that u have a limited time to listen to audiobooks. Don’t listen to this book. Instead listen to Alex Honnold “Alone on the wall” about climbing El Capitan and listen to his discipline. Although Alex has mentioned Andre book in his book I think he must have been astonished that someone could hate their sport and be a national champion. He cannot read between the lines and see what a selfish person Andre is.

The true voice of Sherlock Holmes

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-08-19

This is the best audio adaptation of Sherlock Holmes. Carleton Hobbs is the true voice of the famous detective.
It not only includes but has a full ensemble of voice actors playing different characters.
I highly recommend this above the Stephan Fry and the Clive Merrison versions.
The acting is at the right level and the selected cast of people are perfect as the characters of the story.
Audible needs to get the entire series from the BBC

How to get rich - a manual.

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-04-19

I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Ray Kroc, inspired to me after watching the movie "The Founder"(2016)

When I watched the movie, I initially looked for audiobook, but at the time after the movie - this audio version (2018) was not made, and so I read the book.

I was so impressed with reading the book, that a year later when this audiobook was released, I listened and consumed it within a week.

This book is definitely better then the movie.

It gives you real insight into the mind of a millionaire and the steps he undertook to reach there.

Many books written on how to make money - made their money by getting you to buy their books.

Not Ray, in this book, he covers much of the gap left by the movie, and it highlights how he went from an ambulance driver in World War I (he was with Walt Disney who was also an ambulance driver at the time), to a piano player working for money, to selling paper cups, to selling multimixers, and coming upon the McDonald brothers.

The movie sort of portrayed Ray in a negative light, however the book highlights the difficulty he had with his first wife, the problems that the McDonald's brothers gave him (to the point he thought they wanted him to fail), and the simply hard work he had to get to where he wanted to.

As he said in the book, people thought of him as an overnight success, but thirty years is one hell of a long night.

This story is the story of ambition, constant setbacks and grinding it out to overcome those setbacks.

Lets not take this the wrong way, many of the chief executives including Ray, his daughter, his first wife all had diabetes. They probably at the time did not link this with the quality of the food they ate at McDonald's. He had multiple medical problems.

The success of McDonald compared to any other franchise - KFC, Burger King, Hardee's, Wendy, Tim Hortons - is laid out here.

This is one listen you don't want to miss.

4 people found this helpful

A look through the window of inspiration of Snoopy

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-08-18

Dear Great Pumpkin,
I remember reading a story and watching a movie about you as a child. Not only did it promote your existence, but promoted Halloween into a mainstream holiday and American values. It inspired many modern cartoons, including Garfield and the Simpsons. I read many comic books about you as a child and realised in many ways how funny and interesting you and your friends: Linus, Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang; could be. Much of it has dark humour, with stories of constant failure being presented in a funny way. I read a book by Kevin Hart the stand up comedian who says being authentic, using your real life situation, is the best way to create true humour. It connnects with many readers as many of they share those experiences, and perhaps can identify the funny side of reality.

I listened to this book by D Michaelis about the creator of your stories. The author tried to demonstrate the many real life connections that inspired Charles Schulz to create this unique sense of humor.

1. Charlie Brown: A person with constant failure, depression, with an iron will to succeed is based on the Schulz life and rejection. Named after a friend of Schulz

2. Lucy: Inspired by his 1st wife, a high demand personality.

3. Schroeder: Dedicated to his craft of playing the piano, as C Schulz was to comic strip writing.

And the list goes on.

Schulz family has protested this book, originally this book was to be an authorised biography, but due to its painting of Schulz as a depressed and unloving man, I suspect this was drawn. Nevertheless it is a book that gave me much insight into the characters in the strip, and the man who wrote them.

Let's be clear, Schulz (your creater) was not happy throughout his life- you can see how his comic strip illustrates Charlie Brown constant failure, girls rejecting him (The little red hair girl was a love interested of Schulz who rejected him), publishers rejecting him, settling for a lady who previously ran off with a cowboy and was pregnant with his child, and treated him badly (Lucy was based on her, this lady ran off with a construction worker), his affair with several women, his second wife was a lady who was married at the time of the affair. Schulz appeared to have taken these badly, feeling his self-worth go down. He failed to realise that self-worth comes from within, not from without.

He sought happiness throughout his life, although never to quite enter it. He failed to realise that happiness is not a goal in itself, but a by-product of our thoughts, beliefs, values, and labour.

He is another example on how money, fame, and women will not make you happy.

The answer of why this is, one cannot be too sure. The author of this points to the mother not being as loving as she should be to her only child, Schulz, or the death of Schulz's mother to cancer at a young age,

Whatever the true meaning, one can safely that the turmoil of C Schulz inner demons was reflected in the comic writing, producing a humorous, clean, and enjoyable read.

Charles Schulz was a brilliant man, with many tragedies. Reading this story has given me a deeper insight to my own behaviour.
PS: if you are not real, don't tell me, I don't want to know.

1 person found this helpful

I did not want like this book

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-06-18

This is the story of how Amazon was conceived, started, and formed. It highlights Jeff Bezos life and personality, Amazon culture, Amazon ventures: how they were conceived, how Amazon dealt with competition, and how Amazon grew into the largest company in the world.

If you are reading this review, you are either a person interested in starting a business, or someone who is frequently using and want to know more about this great business. I believe one of the inspirations of this book, and for many biographical books on business leader was the enormous success of the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.

There are certain things this book does well, and certain things it should have done well. One thing the author did well was to first to meet and find Ted Jorgenson, Jeff Bezos long-lost biological father, and reveal what actually happened to his son. Another thing it did well, was repeat a theme recurrently, adding to the narrative at each stage. For e.g. Jeff Bezos laugh was highlighted throughout the book. It was highlighted at the beginning as unique and bombastic to terrorising employees. I felt it was very strange, except at the end the author highlights how the laugh is exactly like his father, a person he never met. A unexpected but deep and touching connection.

The book did not do enough to investigate Amazon financial and funding record. Amazon has been able to run for at least 10 years in loss, a highly unusual situation for a retail giant. One wonders who would keep throwing their money into a loss making organisation. Long term investment in that is extremely unusual, one wonder if rumours of Amazon funding are true. To me it is plausible, because no VC has 100s of millions of pound to throw at a losing business.

Mackenzie Bezos, Jeff Bezos wife, wrote a Amazon review pointing to some inaccuracies. While I am sure this is the case, even Ms. Bezos would make errors about certain facts of her life from ten years ago. The most important thing to note, is this book is balanced in its praise and criticism of Amazon, something that the Amazon's company may not like, and the real reason for Ms. Bezos's review. Despite some errors, it tells an important story in an interesting way to give its reader lessons in an entertaining format.

I wish for anyone who watches Bezos interview to read this book. What Bezos's philosphy is not consistent with his actions. For e.g. Jeff Bezos says to focus on the customer, not competition - this is not the case e.g.

Bezos shares many qualities of Steve Jobs, he is difficult to work for, he demands high quality, he is extremely intelligent, and he is extremely hardworking.

I would thoroughly recommend this book, and the excerpt on Audible does not do justice for the book.

Other books like this book I have read, which I also enjoyed are: Elon Musk, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson, and Losing my virginity by Richard Branson.

If you had listened and enjoyed those books you will definitely enjoy this.

Misleading title - Qaddafi never appears in it!

2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 31-05-18

This is the Godzilla of writing faff - irrelevant stories that eventually lead to the main story. Like the recent Godzilla movie, you see the flash of Godzilla (the actual story of him in the civil war) at small times peppered throughout the book, while mostly focusing on faff just to delay the punchline. Eventually u get to see Godzilla at the end of the movie, but by this time, you were so angry because you had to sit through all the crap to get there. Godzila was only about 2 hrs, this is over 8hrs!

Let me put it in an another way.

Imagine you had an interesting story for two weeks of your life. Then imagine you want to make money selling the book. What you do is talk about your boring life, your biography, and leave the interesting part which is only a short part of the book towards the end. You write pages of irrelevant detail that the reader does not want. Then at the actual interesting part of the book, you realise you don't have much to say, so you milk every moment for whats it worth. E.g. "the phone rang, it made a sound, like the ringing of freedom. It made me have so many emotions. Is it my mother or is it my dog who I left at 5 years old giving me a call? It took me 30 seconds, each second felt like an hour, as if I am struggling to breathe" - you get the picture, overemphasizing every irrelevant moment.

I understand authors have to meet a certain word limit, but if he had not much to say, just do an article for a magazine and get paid for it. Don't bore us with you boring life details, and write a book.

The author himself does not mentally seem to be the sharpest tool in the box, or shall we say "sharp as sausage". He makes so many dumb decisions I wanted to scream at him, almost hoping he gets run over so he remove his DNA from the gene pool. His poor decisions include (but not limited) (1) Not focusing on one sport (2) Leaving the Georgetown college team (3) Going to Macedonia to play basketball to play for money (4) Going to Libya, when his family told him not to, due to the civil unrest (5) While at a Egypt internment camp, a bus driver helps smuggle him out - he goes and then demands to be put on another bus to Alexandria and leave his friend behind. Like he was shopping at the grocery shop or ordering his favourite meal, knowing he and the poor bus driver could be thrown in jail! Also he has amazing selfishness! His experience is evidence of not making your own decision - because his were so poor.

Look the parts which he explains about the Libyan civil war were horrific, and how he survived was very interesting.Perhaps some of his suffering was unnecessary, because he starved for two weeks, while people around him were eating relatively well. Again, not the sharpest tool in the box.

People need to understand that Qaddafi sent Sub Saharan black African troop mercenaries to control the protests, but they lost and were captured. Because he was black, he could have been easily mistaken for these guys.

Would I recommend you get this book? Absolutely not, watch his TED talk instead. I actually recommend if you have any foreigners who work with/friends with, ask them there war torn stories. They can tell you of stories similar and in briefer detail than this guy would. Probably more interesting.

If you want a good survival story, listen to Viktor Frankl story, "Man's search for meaning". It talks about suffering, and gives you idea how to cope with your own suffering.

If you want to learn about struggles of getting into the NBA, listen to Dre Baldwin "Buy a game".