Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 535880 times)

Fujikoma

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2970 on: April 26, 2019, 10:40:49 pm »
"Seveneves" by Neal Stephenson was REALLY good, hoping there's a sequel, weird as it was.

Cram's thread about spiritual exploration had me thinking of a very entertaining, captivating, and thought provoking piece of webfiction for reasons beyond my understanding. "Unsong", imagine a universe where God is proven to exist, some time in the 1960s when the moon race results in a spacecraft slamming into the machinery that projects the heavens onto the earth, and it all goes downhill from there.

http://unsongbook.com/chapter-1-dark-satanic-mills/

Juana

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2971 on: May 02, 2019, 05:41:32 pm »
The Mushroom at the End of the World: on the Possibility of life in Capitalism Ruins by Anna Lowenhaput Tsing. Pretty good, though i find some of her conclusions a wee sketchy so far (idk if resource management can be called restoration, for example) but it's been really interesting.
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Al Qədic

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2972 on: June 18, 2019, 10:42:57 pm »
Well now that the quarter's over and I have time to read these books and not just vomit out an essay about them;

Julia Angwin's Dragnet Nation is really interesting. She starts off a bit too tech-cynical for my tastes (the woman was worried about the dangers of Google Glass), but this quickly melts in favor of the bigger picture; technology is powerful, and sketchy as hell. Companies regularly do shady shit. Laws are lax and almost counterintuitive. Big Brother is shockingly bad at creating an oppressive police state, if the Stasi are any indication, yet people are still scared shitless by their spooky bumbling cops. Well-meaning anonymization services and tech startups can be infested by pedophiles and drugs (see: some cryptocurrencies and markets via Tor), and when the good ones flop, the people just wanting a little extra privacy are left in the cold. I think it really speaks volumes to how bad the modern tech situation is when the best rule of thumb for effectiveness of these services is the mud puddle test; "If I were to use this service on my phone, go for a walk, slip in a mud puddle, and lose my memory, would I be able to access my information again? If no, then I'm realistically safe but theoretically fucked. If yes, then I'm realistically and theoretically fucked." Admittedly, I didn't finish the book, but I look forward to maybe doing so once I'm back home.

Another book I haven't had the time to actually read is Jill Lepore's The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Bill Marston, her creator, had an interesting life from what I've read so far. As a kid, he was a bit of a wanker (grew up jaded in a castle with an extensive family history, and wanted to kill himself as a college freshman because he couldn't play sports anymore and hated his required classes), but he grew into an early 1900s academic, writing scenarios for them newfangled "movies", inventing the lie detector test and struggling to get it accepted into court, and getting dropped smack into the middle of the burgeoning women's rights movement by association with his lovers. Speaking of lovers (this is where my reading of the book ends thus far but) he had a kinky poly dynamic going on, and because this is the 30s and onward, even kinky people don't know shit about kink, so his ideas about it and women are bittersweet at best, but that and his other life experiences (including his actual multiple lovers) are a lot of what shaped Wonder Woman early on; the bondage, the lie detector, the lasso, the affinity for Greek feminine icons in her swear words. The vial of hydrocyanic acid he almost offed himself with became Doctor Posion, and the psychologist whose lab he conducted experiments in became Doctor Psycho. Holliday College is a portmanteau of names of a couple of the first women's colleges. Super neat book so far, it even has panels from handfuls of comics in it.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 12:13:47 am by Al Qədic »
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