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Thomas

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Frankenstein's monster complains poetically

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

Reviewed: 11-10-2020

The narrator's voice was amazing, I enjoyed listening to this classic tragedy far more than I enjoyed reading it. Goes well with whiskey or coffee on the porch staring out into the darkness.

Public shaming circumvents the justice system

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

Reviewed: 08-10-2020

This book seemed like a bit of a sensationalised wind up at times, but that was likely deliberate, and as long as it is expected, it vivifies rather than detracts. The narrator's voice was engaging to listen to, and made excellent use of tone to add humour which may not have been apparent in the written book. Through a variety of examples, I felt the book explored the following ideas reasonably well: Public shaming as implemented by anonymous, consequence free mobs exceeds the crimes committed by their victims. Usually those piling on to the shaming express far more reprehensible behaviour than their victims. Anonymous vigilantes seeking blood do not consider their victims in good faith, choosing instead to deliberately assume unlikely sentiments so that their sadism is vindicated by righteousness. Its worse than a formal justice system which includes shaming as punishment, because such a formal system at least tries to have a fair process for measuring likelihood and severity of crime and weighing an appropriate level of punishment. We need to remember we're impacting the lives of actual people who we likely have little overall understanding of. It is empathic to put humanity before ideology. Social media has given voice back to the mob, but it's important to be responsible with such power.

Words that hint at mystery under the manifest

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

Reviewed: 06-05-2020

Words and symbols can only hint at the mystery under the manifestation, they act as subtle guides, the rest is up to conscious experience.

Regulate Capitalism to solve climate disruption

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

Reviewed: 28-03-2020

This book rejects the more radical socialism ideologies and instead focuses on wisely regulating capitalism to consider the environment in economic calculations. Of particular interest are examples of some environmentally clean solutions being more profitable in addition to being more clean. So even if a company didn't care about the environment, they would still be motivated by the bottom line. Ceasing growth is not an option, growth still needs to happen, especially because innovation is necessary, but techno-optimism alone also won't solve the problem. We need tech combined with economic redirection. A negative aspect of the book is he proposes "leaving politics at the door", but then goes against his own advice as he fantasizes about rewarding hysterical panic activists and shaming conservatives. Im not even conservative, but it's easy enough to empathize with how unsupportive they may feel towards climate action under such treatment. Putting the author's personal stance aside, I still urge conservatives and libertarians to read this as it has some good ideas. If politics really were left at the door, with liberals dropping the social justice and anti-capitalism bias from their climate solutions sandwich and conservatives dropping incumbent fossil fuel industry bias from their climate solutions sandwich. Then mixed tech solutions such as efficient buildings and shared transport with regulatory solutions such as reformed WTO, carbon taxes and economic 'onramps' to help against incumbants may get us through the 21st century.

Good approach albeit a bit dated and repetitive

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

Reviewed: 03-01-2020

Makes the general argument that climate change hysteria is problematic because it somewhat vindicates climate change deniers, prevents rational dialogue on cost/benefit analyses and distracts away from non-climate issues. It proposes some alternative approaches. The specific data and issues discussed are slightly dated, but these may help as historical references to put current discussions into context.

Really exciting implications from other theories

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

Reviewed: 15-12-2019

Either we accept these seemingly absurd predictions or we discard useful theories like inflation. The seemingly absurd is however quite exciting and the book is enthralling to listen to. Well crafted thought experiments and well worded sentences put to audio with a calm, collected and engaging narration.

Hard to tell hopes from facts

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

Reviewed: 28-11-2019

The first part of the book was solid, but later I found it difficult to tell the difference between facts backed by evidence and the author's hopes and dreams. It's fine to speak one's opinions - im doing so now - but science gains credibility and avoids misinformation when it is explicitly clear which assertions are backed by evidence and which are not. The second part on societal inpact could have been improved with more input from economists, psychologists, political scientists and philosophers, or perhaps be written as a separate book. There appeared to be some misconceptions on resource acquisition and re-distribution. Calls for conformity to certain moral values and calls for revolution were made. Labelling people bigots is like labelling people liars, everyone lies and everyone is bigoted; how much, about what and why, that's what matters. The author seems to be interested in adding years of experience to people's lives but attacks people with many years of experience for their conservative fact checking. If it turns out brain plasticity is inversely related to years of experience (or time spent running a neural net), rather than cellular age; then longer lived humans may increase aversion to change despite them looking, acting and feeling young. At the end of the day, this is still the best longevity book I've finished, and so it's worth a listen. Suggest learning with cautious optimism, and follow up on the findings which are best supported by the evidence. Be careful of wasting money and kidney health on supplements that may help mice but harm humans.

2 people found this helpful

Best answer to the pessimism of Homo Deus

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

Reviewed: 26-11-2019

There are so many future prediction books that are essentially the lovecraftian horror of real life. After reading a few, I had to keep going, looking for at least a hope of a path to genuine optimism, but kept encountering destabilizing intellectuals who philosophized everything of meaning into ash; we already have the likes of Nietzsche for that! Or other thought leaders who seemed to be burying their heads in the sand on certain topics. Even Steven Pinkner's works, while brilliant in their own right, often made dismissive strawmen of the AI concerns instead of tackling the nuances. This is the best answer to dystopian books like Homo Deus I've read so far. Many thanks, my day is a fair bit brighter.

Confidently relaxed narration

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

Reviewed: 22-10-2019

Many audiobooks are made unnecessarily difficult to listen to because of bad narration. Not this one. This was a peaceful and calm teaching of stoic philosophy.

Sword techniques and insight that grows on you

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

Reviewed: 12-10-2019

I initially started listening with the intention of inspiring a Dungeons and Dragons campaign. As the book progressed, I increasingly noticed profound and broadly applicable insight behind the concepts. At one point, I watched my cat leap high in the air to catch a bird sitting in a tree, and my vicarious experience of her strategy mirrored what I was listening to at that moment. Although myself and many raised to chase the spark of pleasure and success may struggle to truly understand Musashi, particularly regarding his thoughts on emptiness, an attempt to intuit feels braver than passive resignation. At the very least, be wary of misinterpreting emptiness as nihilism. There were many explanations of techniques and strategy that could add flavour to a story or game. The narrator had exceptional pacing, clarity and tone. This listening experience was a good one.

3 people found this helpful