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Philosophy & Social Aspects

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  1. 10.0 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    From the acclaimed author of The Information and Chaos, a mind-bending exploration of time travel: its subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself. Gleick’s story begins at the turn of the twentieth century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, The Time Machine. A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological—the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations, and the perfection of clocks. James Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture—from Marcel Proust to Doctor Who, from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.

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    Time Travel

    10.0 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 7.4 hrs • 9/27/2016 • Unabridged

    A fascinating exploration of how humans and machines fail—leading to air disasters from Amelia Earhart to MH370—and how the lessons learned from these accidents have made flying safer In The Crash Detectives, veteran aviation journalist and air safety investigator Christine Negroni takes us inside crash investigations from the early days of the jet age to the present, including the search for answers about what happened to the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. As Negroni dissects what happened and why, she explores their common themes and, most important, what has been learned from them to make planes safer. Indeed, as Negroni shows, virtually every aspect of modern pilot training, airline operation, and airplane design has been shaped by lessons learned from disaster. Along the way, she also details some miraculous saves, when quick-thinking pilots averted catastrophe and kept hundreds of people alive.  Tying in aviation science, performance psychology, and extensive interviews with pilots, engineers, human factors specialists, crash survivors, and others involved in accidents all over the world, The Crash Detectives is an alternately terrifying and inspiring book that might just cure your fear of flying, and will definitely make you a more informed passenger.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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    The Crash Detectives

    7.4 hrs • 9/27/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 3.5 hrs • 9/7/2016 • Unabridged

    “Plato was not a Platonist! I would like to show in the following audio that anyone who reads the dialogues of Plato without bias or an ax to grind will find a humorous, witty, pleasant friend and not a desiccated scholarly mandarin. Plato was an open-minded, tolerant, reasonable individual, not a tight-lipped, pietistic puritan. In a word, Plato was an Athenian, not a Spartan!” In the 24 centuries that have passed since the Athenians put Socrates to death, every generation has interpreted the meaning of Plato’s work differently. Joseph Uemura guides us through six dialogues in an effort to promote a dialectical quest rather than seek a final resting place. Plato’s dialogues treat the big questions that confront any thoughtful person. Eythyphro explores religion, Phaedo reflects on the mind, Theatetus examines knowledge, Sophist probes being, Phaedrus reflects on art, and Republic ponders society. All great literature must be experienced firsthand. Because it is not self-explanatory, it must be interpreted and evaluated. Professor Uemura’s reflections serve as a touchstone by which to test every new reading of Plato’s work. © Agora Publications

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    Reflections on the Mind of Plato

    3.5 hrs • 9/7/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 2.0 hrs • 9/7/2016 • Unabridged

    Plato’s dialogues frequently treat several topics and show their connections to each other. Phaedrus is a model of that skill because of its seamless progression from examples of speeches about the nature of love to mythical visions of human nature and destiny to the essence of beauty and, finally, to a penetrating discussion of speaking and writing. It ends with an examination of the love of wisdom as a dialectical activity in the human mind. Phaedrus lures Socrates outside the walls of Athens, where he seldom goes, by promising to share a new work by his friend and mentor, Lysias, a famous writer of speeches. This dialogue provides a powerful example of the dialectical writing that Plato uses to manifest ideas that are essential to human existence and to living a good life. Phaedrus shows how oral and written forms of language relate to each other and to philosophy. It simultaneously embodies the entire process in some of the greatest poetry ever written. © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Phaedrus

    Read by Ray Childs
    2.0 hrs • 9/7/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 1.4 hrs • 9/7/2016 • Unabridged

    The Dao De Jing exists on the border between poetry and philosophy, embracing both mythos and logos. Its poetic form can stand alone, but it is enriched when its timeless ideas are analyzed and explained through careful scholarship. For example: He who knows others is knowledgeable. He who knows himself is wise. These words resemble Socrates' account of his own quest in Plato's Apology. Ancient philosophy, both in China and in Greece, places self-knowledge at the center of the search for wisdom. Contemporary philosophers are often misled about this way of thinking, because the self has been detached from external things and separated from nature and society. The wisdom of China and of Europe unites human existence and nature. © Agora Publications

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    Dao De Jing

    Read by Ray Ray Childs
    1.4 hrs • 9/7/16 • Unabridged
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  6. 1.0 hrs • 9/5/2016 • Unabridged

    Laches, a general in the Athenian army, saw Socrates fight bravely in the battle of Delium. When he and Nicias, another general, are asked to explain the idea of courage, they are at a loss, and words fail them. How does courage differ from thoughtless and reckless audacity? Can a lion be said to be courageous? What about small children who have little idea of the dangers they face? Should we call people courageous who do not know whether their bravery will produce good or bad consequences? What kind of education and training promotes both courage and goodness in people, whether they are young or old? Plato constantly presents courage as an essential quality for all who seek to live a good life, so what does it mean when even the bravest leaders of Athens cannot tell us what courage really is? © Agora Publications

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    Plato's Laches

    Read by Ray Childs
    1.0 hrs • 9/5/16 • Unabridged
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  7. 4.6 hrs • 8/1/2016 • Unabridged

    Why did the New York Stock Exchange suspend trading without warning on July 8, 2015? Why did certain Toyota vehicles accelerate uncontrollably against the will of their drivers? Why does the programming inside our airplanes occasionally surprise its creators? After a thorough analysis by the top experts, the answers still elude us. You don’t understand the software running your car or your iPhone. But here’s a secret: neither do the geniuses at Apple or the Ph.D.‘s at Toyota-not perfectly, anyway. No one, not lawyers, doctors, accountants, or policy makers, fully grasps the rules governing your tax return, your retirement account, or your hospital’s medical machinery. The same technological advances that have simplified our lives have made the systems governing our lives incomprehensible, unpredictable, and overcomplicated. In Overcomplicated, complexity scientist Samuel Arbesman offers a fresh, insightful field guide to living with complex technologies that defy human comprehension. As technology grows more complex, Arbesman argues, its behavior mimics the vagaries of the natural world more than it conforms to a mathematical model. If we are to survive and thrive in this new age, we must abandon our need for governing principles and rules and accept the chaos. By embracing and observing the freak accidents and flukes that disrupt our lives, we can gain valuable clues about how our algorithms really work. What’s more, we will become better thinkers, scientists, and innovators as a result. Lucid and energizing, this audiobook is a vital new analysis of the world heralded as “modern” for anyone who wants to live wisely.

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    Overcomplicated

    4.6 hrs • 8/1/16 • Unabridged
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  8. 17.4 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    Caltech physicist and author of the award-winning The Particle at the End of the Universe gives a sweeping new perspective on how human purpose and meaning naturally fit into a scientific worldview. This is a book that will stand on the shelf alongside the great humanist thinkers from Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan to Daniel Dennett and E. O. Wilson. It is a new synthesis of science and the biggest questions humans ask about life, death, and where we are in the cosmos. Listeners learn the difference between how the world works at the quantum level, the cosmic level, and the human level; the emergence of causes from underlying laws; and ultimately how human values relate to scientific reality. This tour of, well, everything explains the principles that have guided the scientific revolution from Darwin and Einstein to the origins of life, consciousness, and the universe, but it also shows how an avalanche of discoveries over the past few hundred years has changed the world for us and what we think really matters. As Carroll eloquently demonstrates, our lives are dwarfed by the immensity of the universe and redeemed by our capacity to comprehend it and give it meaning.

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    The Big Picture

    17.4 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  9. 8.8 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    A sterling roster of natural and social scientists in conversation with top-flight journalist Stefan Klein—shedding new light on their work, their lives, and what they still hope to discover When acclaimed science writer Stefan Klein asks Nobel Prize–winning chemist Roald Hoffmann what sets scientists apart, Hoffmann says, “First and foremost, curiosity.” In this collection of intimate conversations with nineteen of the world’s best-known scientists (including three Nobel Laureates), Klein lets us listen in as today’s leading minds reveal what they still hope to discover—and how their paradigm-changing work entwines with their lives outside the lab. From the sports car that physicist Steven Weinberg says helped him on his quest for “the theory of everything” to the jazz musicians who gave psychologist Alison Gopnik new insight into raising children, these scientists explain how they find inspiration everywhere. Hear from renowned scientists including: evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins on selfishness,anthropologist Sarah Hrdy on motherhood,primatologist Jane Goodall on animal behavior,neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran on consciousness,geographer Jared Diamond on chance in history, andmany other luminaries.

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    We Are All Stardust by Stefan Klein

    We Are All Stardust

    Translated by Ross Benjamin
    8.8 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 8.6 hrs • 11/3/2015 • Unabridged

    What is space? It isn’t a question that most of us normally stop to ask. Space is the venue of physics; it’s where things exist, where they move and take shape. Yet over the past few decades, physicists have discovered a phenomenon that operates outside the confines of space and time. The phenomenon—the ability of one particle to affect another instantly across the vastness of space—appears to be almost magical. Einstein grappled with this oddity and couldn’t quite resolve it, describing it as “spooky action at a distance.” But this strange occurrence has direct connections to black holes, particle collisions, and even the workings of gravity. If space isn’t what we thought it was, then what is it? In Spooky Action at a Distance, George Musser sets out to answer that question, offering a provocative exploration of nonlocality and a celebration of the scientists who are trying to understand it. Musser guides us on an epic journey of scientific discovery into the lives of experimental physicists observing particles acting in tandem, astronomers discovering galaxies that look statistically identical, and cosmologists hoping to unravel the paradoxes surrounding the big bang. Their conclusions challenge our understanding not only of space and time but of the origins of the universe—and their insights are spurring profound technological innovation and suggesting a new grand unified theory of physics.

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    Spooky Action at a Distance by George Musser

    Spooky Action at a Distance

    8.6 hrs • 11/3/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.6 hrs • 10/20/2015 • Unabridged

    The gripping and revelatory story of the dramatic race to merge the human brain with machines. Leading neuroscience researchers are racing to unlock the secrets of the mind. On the cusp of decoding brain signals that govern motor skills, they are developing miraculous technologies to enable paraplegics and wounded soldiers to move prosthetic limbs, and the rest of us to manipulate computers and other objects through thought alone. These fiercely competitive scientists are vying for Defense Department and venture capital funding, prestige, and great wealth. Part life-altering cure, part science fiction, part military dream, these cutting-edge brain-computer interfaces promise to improve lives—but also hold the potential to augment soldiers’ combat capabilities. In The Brain Electric, Malcolm Gay follows the dramatic emergence of these technologies, taking us behind the scenes into the operating rooms, start-ups, and research labs where the future is unfolding. With access to many of the field’s top scientists, Gay illuminates this extraordinary race—where science, medicine, profit, and war converge—for the first time. But this isn’t just a story about technology. At the heart of this research is a group of brave, vulnerable patient-volunteers whose lives are given new meaning through participating in these experiments. The Brain Electric asks us to rethink our relationship to technology, our bodies, even consciousness itself—challenging our assumptions about what it means to be human.

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    The Brain Electric

    8.6 hrs • 10/20/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 5.9 hrs • 5/29/2015 • Unabridged

    Rousseau’s discourse sets out to explore the origin of inequality among people, a journey that sees him trace the evolution of humans from the savage man to the foundations of civil society. With verve and passion, the philosopher argues that the birth of private property was the “beginning of evil.” Throughout the book we are lead to consider the development of language, reason, self-preservation, benevolence, pity, and law—all through the lens of perhaps the most original thinker of the eighteenth century.

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    Discourse on the Origin and the Foundations of Inequality among Men

    Read by Neville Jason
    5.9 hrs • 5/29/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
    13.4 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    In the spirit of Steve Jobs and Moneyball, Elon Musk is both an illuminating and authorized look at the extraordinary life of one of Silicon Valley’s most exciting, unpredictable, and ambitious entrepreneurs—a real-life Tony Stark—and a fascinating exploration of the renewal of American invention and its new “makers.” In Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, veteran technology journalist Ashlee Vance provides the first inside look into the extraordinary life and times of Silicon Valley’s most audacious entrepreneur. Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family and friends, the book traces the entrepreneur’s journey from a rough upbringing in South Africa to the pinnacle of the global business world. Vance spent over forty hours in conversation with Musk and interviewed close to three hundred people to tell the tumultuous stories of Musk’s world-changing companies—PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity—and to characterize a man who has renewed American industry and sparked new levels of innovation while making plenty of enemies along the way. Vance uses Musk’s story to explore one of the pressing questions of our time: can the nation of inventors and creators that led the modern world for a century still compete in an age of fierce global competition? He argues that Musk—one of the most unusual and striking figures in American business history—is a contemporary amalgam of legendary inventors and industrialists like Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs. More than any other entrepreneur today, Musk has dedicated his energies and his own vast fortune to inventing a future that is as rich and far-reaching as the visionaries of the golden age of science fiction. Thorough and insightful, Elon Musk brings to life a technology industry that is rapidly and dramatically changing by examining the life of one of its most powerful and influential titans.

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    Elon Musk

    13.4 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
    0 reviews 0 5 4.6 4 out of 5 stars 4.6/5
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  14. 3.4 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    Three-time New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely presents an expanded collection of his immensely popular Wall Street Journal advice column, “Ask Ariely.” Behavioral economist Dan Ariely revolutionized the way we think about ourselves, our minds, and our actions in his books Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty. Ariely applies this scientific analysis of the human condition in his “Ask Ariely” Q & A column in the Wall Street Journal, in which he responds to readers who write in with personal conundrums ranging from the serious to the curious:What can you do to stay calm when you’re playing the volatile stock market?What’s the best way to get someone to stop smoking?How can you maximize the return on your investment at an all-you-can-eat buffet?Is it possible to put a price on the human soul?Can you ever rationally justify spending thousands of dollars on a Rolex? In Irrationally Yours, a broad variety of economic, ethical, and emotional dilemmas are explored and addressed. Using his trademark insight and wit, Ariely helps us reflect on how we can reason our way through external and internal challenges. Readers will laugh, learn, and most importantly gain a new perspective on how to deal with the inevitable problems that plague our daily life.

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    Irrationally Yours

    3.4 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 12.2 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    In this follow-up to his bestselling The 80/20 Principle, the power law that helped hundreds of thousands achieve more by doing less, Richard Koch puts science to work, applying ninety-two other natural laws to promote the “science of success” within the ever-changing world of business. What does Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection prove about developing a niche product line? How can Isaac Newton’s laws of motion and gravity help in a crowded marketplace? This is a must-have book for business leaders looking for clear, evidence-based reasoning that explains why some companies seem to find success everywhere they turn, while others don’t make progress.

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  16. 9.4 hrs • 3/31/2015 • Unabridged

    In his bestselling book Shop Class as Soulcraft, Matthew B. Crawford explored the ethical and practical importance of manual competence as expressed through mastery of our physical environment. In his brilliant followup, The World Beyond Your Head, Crawford investigates the challenge of mastering one’s own mind. We often complain about our fractured mental lives and feel beset by outside forces that destroy our focus and disrupt our peace of mind. Any defense against this, Crawford argues, requires that we reckon with the way attention sculpts the self. Crawford investigates the intense focus of ice hockey players and short-order chefs, the quasi-autistic behavior of gambling addicts, the familiar hassles of daily life, and the deep, slow craft of building pipe organs. He shows that our current crisis of attention is only superficially the result of digital technology, and it becomes more comprehensible when understood as the coming to fruition of certain assumptions at the root of Western culture that are profoundly at odds with human nature. The World Beyond Your Head makes sense of an astonishing array of common experience, from the frustrations of airport security to the rise of the hipster. With implications for the way we raise our children, the design of public spaces, and democracy itself, this is a book of urgent relevance to contemporary life.

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    The World Beyond Your Head

    9.4 hrs • 3/31/15 • Unabridged
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