Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 694110 times)

Vanadium Gryllz

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2790 on: October 05, 2016, 11:59:02 pm »
*tugs braid*
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2791 on: October 06, 2016, 09:17:03 am »
*tugs braid*

If it's not a 10 page description of braid-tugging and weird sexual politics, it's not a Robert Jordan novel.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2792 on: October 06, 2016, 02:09:56 pm »
I have to say I've come around to Sanderson. Mistborn left me with a giant case of literary blueballs and I had all but sworn him off. A friend gifted me Way of Kings and I'm thoroughly hooked. Words of Radiance was an impressive follow up.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2793 on: October 06, 2016, 04:23:26 pm »
I should be finishing "How To Write a Lot" today, and then I'm not really sure what to read next. Probably just endless papers about deiodinases.
“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.”


Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2794 on: October 06, 2016, 06:24:05 pm »
I have to say I've come around to Sanderson. Mistborn left me with a giant case of literary blueballs and I had all but sworn him off. A friend gifted me Way of Kings and I'm thoroughly hooked. Words of Radiance was an impressive follow up.

He's about 70% done on the 3rd book I believe.  Another good thing about Sanderson - unlike some authors we could name, he is actually pretty prolific.

Also it's going to focus on Dalinar, so it's going to be fucking amazing.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2795 on: October 09, 2016, 08:46:08 pm »
I'm constantly checking his site to see how far he's come with it. Since I finished book 2, I've read everything of Sanderson's Cosmere stuff. He's really, really good. I'm also eagerly awaiting the fourth Wax and Wayne book. 
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2796 on: October 14, 2016, 09:34:45 pm »
I'm constantly checking his site to see how far he's come with it. Since I finished book 2, I've read everything of Sanderson's Cosmere stuff. He's really, really good. I'm also eagerly awaiting the fourth Wax and Wayne book.

Man loves his really complex magical systems.  You can just tell he used to powergame his D&D characters as a kid, to try and become a literal god before hitting level 10.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2797 on: October 15, 2016, 12:53:11 am »
I picked up an interesting book on statistics called "The Lady Tasting Tea".
“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 #2798 on: October 15, 2016, 05:51:42 pm »
Finally getting to read Echopraxia, Peter Watts' newest. It's a good follow-up to Blindsight. Where Blindsight used vampires and space ships to ask the question of "what is the benefit of consciousness at evolutionary scale, and does it still exist?", Echopraxia uses hive minds, bioengineered plagues, and sun-adjacent power plants to ask the question of "what is the benefit of faith at an evolutionary scale, and does it still exist?".


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2799 on: October 21, 2016, 12:06:56 am »
I'm reading "Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi Occupied Paris", a historical account of Dr. Marcel Petiot, possibly one of the most prolific serial killers of the 20th century (I believe only the Green River Killer, Gary Ridgway, has anything approaching a credible higher number, Petiot's victims may number in the 60s, Ridgway's in the 80s).

I'm only about a third of the way through, but it's already a fascinating account not just of murder, but the tensions and tangled politics of the time - Paris was Vichy France, so the French police had authority to catch him.  But Petiot had been involved both with the Resistance and the Gestapo, and had come to the attention of both the anti-Jewish and military intelligence wings of said secret police. 

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2800 on: October 22, 2016, 03:52:18 pm »
Finished Echopraxia last night -- it's a bit denser than Blindsight or any of the Rifters books, and I think I'll probably need to re-read it in order to really understand all of what went on.

Last night I also read A Brief History of Vice, Robert Evans' summary of the ways that vice (mostly drugs, but also gossip, trolling, and prostitution) affected the course of history. As a history, it's not great -- it's short & written like a Cracked article without the links, and contains a lot of typos; it breezes over ideas that could profitably be covered in more depth and spends a lot of time on ideas that are familiar to people who read a lot about these subjects, along with repeating a lot of material from Evans' Cracked articles. In the end, with the exception of a section on Stonehenge, I had either already read his sources, read a slightly modified version of the chapter on Cracked, or had read most of the details he covers elsewhere. I still recommend grabbing the book because of its recipes: it serves as a sort of cook-book for legal (in the United States) drugs, and contains information about preparation that I haven't seen elsewhere. Recipes I intend to try include: bappir (a kind of cookie made as the basis for mash in Sumerian beer, as described in The Hymn to Ninkashi), bhang (an indian pot milkshake), soma (specifically: Evans read the part of the Hindu scriptures describing the way that Shiva liked to prepare soma, operated on the assumption that the drug in question was Fly Agaric, and followed the directions), and power balls (a kind of calorie-rich trail mix made by mixing roasted coffee cherries with ghee and wearing it in a leather sack around your neck while exercising).

I'm currently reading Hard-Boiled Anxiety, which is basically somebody doing Freudian psychoanalysis of three early authors of pulp detective fiction. It would have been better had it been written by Zizek -- it's pretty dry, all things considered -- but it's sort so I'll probably finish it.


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NeonWytch

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2801 on: October 24, 2016, 11:18:41 pm »
As a recently out-of-high-school college freshman who's pretty much only taking easy pre-req classes, I've found that I finally have enough free time to read again (Something something, Mark Twain, something, something Schooling getting in the way of education) so I've been reading Damned by Palahniuk.

So far it's been a fairly hamfisted look at how grossly evil and wasteful the progressive viewpoint looks from the viewpoint of a world where the fundamentalists are all completely correct, while also making fun of celebrity-excess culture I guess?  I'm about a quarter in, and sometimes it's interesting, but I'm kinda banking on it getting better when it finally decides what it's point is.

After this I'm thinking Rushdie's Satanic Versus or maybe Everything is Illuminated.

Finished Echopraxia last night -- it's a bit denser than Blindsight or any of the Rifters books, and I think I'll probably need to re-read it in order to really understand all of what went on.
I have mixed feelings on Watts, I loved Blindsight, but I guess I misunderstood a lot of what Watt's was trying to say. I interpreted a lot of Blindsight as an attack or even a parody of the concept of p-zombies and the whole qualia problem, but then
I heard this interview with him on auticulture where he's kinda supporting Chalmer and all that dualism stuff.
A wise man once said "What was that? I couldn't hear you."

Rococo Modem Basilisk

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2802 on: October 29, 2016, 05:39:41 pm »
Finished Echopraxia last night -- it's a bit denser than Blindsight or any of the Rifters books, and I think I'll probably need to re-read it in order to really understand all of what went on.
I have mixed feelings on Watts, I loved Blindsight, but I guess I misunderstood a lot of what Watt's was trying to say. I interpreted a lot of Blindsight as an attack or even a parody of the concept of p-zombies and the whole qualia problem, but then
I heard this interview with him on auticulture where he's kinda supporting Chalmer and all that dualism stuff.

I think I heard the same interview -- and I was also totally shocked that Watts was supporting qualia. But later on, I heard *another* interview Watts did, with somebody who was into zany conspiracy theories about satanic ritual abuse, and I realized that Watts seems to sort of avoid disagreeing with his interviewers or something. Chalmers, despite his blind spots, is not a stupid person & plenty of very intelligent and worldly people buy into the qualia stuff, but Watts certainly *doesn't* believe that this interviewer was actually being ritually abused by nazi clown aliens in order to release his ESP, so he was probably just being polite.

Both Blindsight and Echopraxia basically come down to Watts trying to steelman ideas that he finds really dubious. The firefall universe, as hard-SF as it is, is full of as-realistic-as-possible versions of pretty wacky philosophical ideas. (He seems to do this a lot: Starfish is about the idea that in some situations the most appropriate person for a job is an anti-social psychopath; he did a conference presentation about the idea that the world should be destroyed; plenty of his blog posts are basically just considering the end results of what some really dubious one-off journal article was correct.)


I am not “full of hate” as if I were some passive container. I am a generator of hate, and my rage is a renewable resource, like sunshine.

Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2803 on: November 05, 2016, 07:55:48 pm »
Going back to The Great Ordeal:

So, I was looking up something completely unrelated when I came across this extraordinary segment in The Thousandfold Thought, when Kellhus finally confronts his father:

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For the Dûnyain, it was axiomatic: what was compliant had to be isolated from what was unruly and intractable. Kellhus had seen it many times, wandering the labyrinth of possibilities that was the Thousandfold Thought: The Warrior-Prophet’s assassination. The rise of Anasûrimbor Moënghus to take his place. The apocalyptic conspiracies. The counterfeit war against Golgotterath. The accumulation of premeditated disasters. The sacrifice of whole nations to the gluttony of the Sranc. The Three Seas crashing into char and ruin. The Gods baying like wolves at a silent gate.

Bakker, R. Scott. The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing Book Three) (Kindle Locations 8351-8355). Little, Brown Book Group. Kindle Edition.

Which is exactly what has happened with Kellhus as Aspect Emperor.  The only thing that hasn't occured thus far is the Three Seas falling into complete ruin, and that's only because Kellhus returned in the nick of time to defeat Meppa and the Bandit Pandirajah.

So, I suppose the question is, what is Kellhus up to?  Does he accept the Consult's aims and wants to avoid being one of the Damned?  Is he perpetrating some kind of grand deception on them, to make them think he is with them, only to betray them (perhaps to obtain the Heron Spear and/or knowledge of the No God).  Or is something else entirely going on?

axod

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2804 on: December 12, 2016, 09:37:56 pm »
Lullabye for Thunderstorms.

I know one of /you/ wrote it, admit it, very much obliged.  Having a good time wit it.
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