Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 694107 times)

DeusExMachina

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2760 on: March 17, 2016, 04:08:35 pm »
The Tibetan book of the Dead - I was explaining my theory on life after death/life before death and they asked me if I had read it because it was really similar to the book/collection so I thought I should give it a read and I heard a lot about it.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2761 on: March 17, 2016, 05:33:43 pm »
Continuing my obsession with human error, I picked up "On Being Certain: Believing you are right even when you are not".
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2762 on: March 18, 2016, 01:50:13 am »
Continuing my obsession with human error, I picked up "On Being Certain: Believing you are right even when you are not".

That sounds pretty interesting.  Is it?

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2763 on: March 18, 2016, 03:06:01 am »
Continuing my obsession with human error, I picked up "On Being Certain: Believing you are right even when you are not".

That sounds pretty interesting.  Is it?

So far, so good. I just started it though.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2764 on: May 16, 2016, 07:18:15 pm »
I've realized I know very little about economics, so now I've just started reading Anwar Shaikh's Capitalism - Competition, Conflict, Crises. It's huge (nearly 1000 pages), but interesting thus far.
 
Quote from: Introduction, page 14
The profit motive is inherently expansionary: investors try to recoup more money than they put in, and if successful, can do it again and again on a larger scale, colliding with others doing the same. Some succeed, some just survive, and some fail altogether. This is real competition, antagonistic by nature and turbulent in operation. It is the central regulating mechanism of capitalism and is as different from so-called perfect competition as war is from ballet.

LuciferX

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2765 on: May 16, 2016, 10:36:33 pm »
I've realized I know very little about economics, so now I've just started reading Anwar Shaikh's Capitalism - Competition, Conflict, Crises. It's huge (nearly 1000 pages), but interesting thus far.
 
Quote from: Introduction, page 14
The profit motive is inherently expansionary: investors try to recoup more money than they put in, and if successful, can do it again and again on a larger scale, colliding with others doing the same. Some succeed, some just survive, and some fail altogether. This is real competition, antagonistic by nature and turbulent in operation. It is the central regulating mechanism of capitalism and is as different from so-called perfect competition as war is from ballet.
I really like that metaphor of it being "turbulent in operation".  Because turbulence is inefficient, I would have originally expected that it be designed/engineered out of the system.  In practice, however, I suspect that large corporations can navigate that turbulence with greater ease than the small fish.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2766 on: May 17, 2016, 12:37:49 pm »
Being a fan of Mind Hacks, I picked up Mind Performance Hacks and its sequel Mindhacker -- both by the pair behind mentatwiki (meaning that there's an overlap here with Moonwalking with Einstein). A lot of the stuff in both is familiar to people who have been paying attention to the intersection of memorysport, GTD/productivity, lateral thinking/creativity games, and behavioral economics -- because the 'hacks' are taken from those domains -- but some of them surprised me by being unfamiliar and others surprised me by being much more nuanced and interesting takes on ideas I had previously dismissed. It helps that one of the authors is involve in board game design: this kind of thinking is at play in how he constructs and explains the hacks, particularly when the hacks are in the form of a game.

I'm about half-way through Dataclysm, which is kind of a series of social science essays by the guy who used to run OKCupid's analytics dept (and their awesome analytics blog), based on mostly OKCupid data but also some samples from twitter, facebook, and competing dating sites. It's interesting in that it supports with hard evidence some things we might believe casually while demolishing other things and adding some nuance; however, the main reason it's interesting is that the author is skilled at statistics, interpreting data, and writing, and manages to do a very good job of explaining how he's pulling insight from data (while explaining ideas like Zipf's law and TFIDF along the way) -- while covering taboo subjects with a great deal of sensitivity. I suspect that I'll end up giving it five stars when I finish.


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Ziegejunge

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2767 on: May 18, 2016, 06:37:42 pm »
Continuing my obsession with human error, I picked up "On Being Certain: Believing you are right even when you are not".

This title piqued my curiosity. Once you've finished the book, I hope you'll share your impressions of it! I'm going to add it to my bloated "to-read" list, but if it ends up being a dud I'll remove it.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2768 on: July 28, 2016, 11:28:23 pm »
In order to try to understand Acuddle’s Moe Philosophy I’m reading Spinoza’s The Ethics.

And, in order to try to understand Spinoza’s The Ethics, I’m skimming through and reading parts of Beth Lord’s Spinoza’s Ethics – An Edinburgh Philosophical Guide.

I was surprised to find The Ethics written in the style of a geometry textbook, with formal definitions, axioms, propositions, proofs, corollaries, lemmas, etc. But, once you get used to the style, it’s not so bad a read.

I was also surprised to find Spinoza wrote his version of ‘The Laws of Motion’, at an earlier date than Isaac Newton. It appears ‘The Laws of Motion’ were a popular subject for philosophers in the 17th century.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2769 on: August 15, 2016, 09:48:04 pm »
I'm allllllmost done reading Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes This World. I did a quick forum search, and I see a reference to this work by Cain. I thought maybe I'd seen a reference to the book here and that's why I picked it up, but it must have been elsewhere.

All I can say is that I wish I had read this book years ago. Not only is its prose beautiful, many of it's themes reinforce my understanding of Discordianism.

...the loser is that person who chooses a single side of a contradiction. The sign of such singlemindedness is contradiction without humor rather that contradiction with a smile. Here it may help to resurrect the old meaning of "humor": the word once referred to fluids (this the bodily "humors") and comes ultimately from a Latin root (umor) having to do with moisture, liquid, dampness. To treat ambivalence with humor is to keep it loose; humor oils the joint where contradictions meet. If humor evaporates, then ambiguity becomes polarized and conflict follows.

Absolutely stellar. Recommended reading for all. My closest friends will probably be getting a copy of this book from me for Christmas this year.

Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2770 on: August 15, 2016, 10:24:10 pm »
I'm a bit more than two-thirds through Mary Roach's "Gulp" and it is, like all her books, a fun, quirky, informative read.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2771 on: August 21, 2016, 03:34:50 pm »
I got the book a month ago, but I'm digging into R Scott Bakker's The Great Ordeal in earnest now.

As always, Bakker treads the line between "absurdly overwrought" and "lovingly crafted" writing. I can see a lot of people getting into this series and wanting to smash Bakker's keyboard. I'm a fan.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2772 on: August 21, 2016, 05:40:11 pm »
I don't know what to read now. I still have five weeks and I feel like I should be using it to read things that are 100% unrelated to science and academia during this brief window when I CAN. But what would those things even be?
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2773 on: August 22, 2016, 07:14:47 am »
I don't know what to read now. I still have five weeks and I feel like I should be using it to read things that are 100% unrelated to science and academia during this brief window when I CAN. But what would those things even be?

I recommend The Black Company series by Glen Cook.

To everyone.  All the time.

Until they beg me to stop.

Pure entertainment though, in contrast to much of the... heavier stuff ITT.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2774 on: August 22, 2016, 09:20:59 am »
I'm allllllmost done reading Lewis Hyde's Trickster Makes This World. I did a quick forum search, and I see a reference to this work by Cain. I thought maybe I'd seen a reference to the book here and that's why I picked it up, but it must have been elsewhere.

All I can say is that I wish I had read this book years ago. Not only is its prose beautiful, many of it's themes reinforce my understanding of Discordianism.

...the loser is that person who chooses a single side of a contradiction. The sign of such singlemindedness is contradiction without humor rather that contradiction with a smile. Here it may help to resurrect the old meaning of "humor": the word once referred to fluids (this the bodily "humors") and comes ultimately from a Latin root (umor) having to do with moisture, liquid, dampness. To treat ambivalence with humor is to keep it loose; humor oils the joint where contradictions meet. If humor evaporates, then ambiguity becomes polarized and conflict follows.

Absolutely stellar. Recommended reading for all. My closest friends will probably be getting a copy of this book from me for Christmas this year.

It's a great book.  I think it was actually part of the recommended reading by R U Sirius on his Maybe Logic course on pranks and hoaxes throughout history