Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 700019 times)

Don Coyote

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2715 on: October 09, 2015, 03:49:51 am »
I'm reading Hammer's Slammers and for some reason I want to punch Jerry Pournelle in the face for his introduction. I'm also reading Piers Plowman. That promises to be an entertaining read.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2716 on: October 09, 2015, 07:31:30 am »
I finally get to finish The Finders, once the whole real-estate lesson ends, hopefully soon.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2717 on: October 09, 2015, 12:58:58 pm »
Just read Save the Cat, which is a book on screenwriting by the guy who wrote the screenplay for Blank Check. To be honest, it's really excellent -- it pretty clearly describes the structure you'll find in almost every big mainstream hollywood movie (down to literally how many minutes in certain events happen in order to get the pacing right), and also describes common failures and the ways they negatively impact the story. It's not really applicable to non-feature-length film or stupidly experimental film, but it accurately describes and explains the structure of everything from Alien to The Sandlot .


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2718 on: October 20, 2015, 08:02:33 am »
currently have a few books with markers in them

Coming Apart by Charles Murray
Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective by Thomas Sowell
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche
Parliament of Whores by P.J. O'Rourke

as for camus, I can highly recommend his fiction.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2719 on: October 20, 2015, 06:07:04 pm »
I highly recommend Will Self, especially Shark.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2720 on: October 21, 2015, 12:49:28 am »
Microbes
Developmental Biology
Ecology
Selected excerpts from some shit book on thesis writing.
“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 #2721 on: October 21, 2015, 04:19:29 am »
currently have a few books with markers in them

Coming Apart by Charles Murray
Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective by Thomas Sowell
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche
Parliament of Whores by P.J. O'Rourke

as for camus, I can highly recommend his fiction.

Charles Murray.  He doesn't like Those People, I gather.

What are your feelings on the subject?
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thewake

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2722 on: October 22, 2015, 03:51:39 am »
currently have a few books with markers in them

Coming Apart by Charles Murray
Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective by Thomas Sowell
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche
Parliament of Whores by P.J. O'Rourke

as for camus, I can highly recommend his fiction.

Charles Murray.  He doesn't like Those People, I gather.

What are your feelings on the subject?

Murray's book is interesting. He's decrying the growing gap between the lowest class in American society and the elites. According to his argument, since the 1960s, American culture has lost a type of commonality across all income levels that used to exist. Instead, the elite and the rest of us really do have different cultures, values, ways of life. They live in different zip codes and have quite a bubble built around themselves. He says it's unAmerican, that we're losing (or have lost) something that was a defining part of the USA for a long time.  Basically, we never were a classless society, but we all had commonalities that tied us together across class. Now, he argues, we don't. The lower class has largely declined in religiosity, marriage, employment, civic engagement, trust in their neighbors, etc. I'm not finished with it yet but he hasn't really given any concrete prescriptions for how to "fix" it and explicitly said his primary aim with the book was just to define the problem, but I assume some token effort will be made as always is in these types of books that identify complex problems (real or imagined) in society.

I probably wouldn't have chosen to read the book on my own (it's for a book club) but it's definitely worth it and within my interests that range through economics and social science, political philosophy, and philosophy in general. 
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2723 on: October 22, 2015, 01:33:39 pm »
Am I reading that right, or is his argument homogeneity as virtue?

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2724 on: October 22, 2015, 02:59:32 pm »
currently have a few books with markers in them

Coming Apart by Charles Murray
Wealth, Poverty and Politics: An International Perspective by Thomas Sowell
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Nietzsche
Parliament of Whores by P.J. O'Rourke

as for camus, I can highly recommend his fiction.

Charles Murray.  He doesn't like Those People, I gather.

What are your feelings on the subject?

Murray's book is interesting. He's decrying the growing gap between the lowest class in American society and the elites. According to his argument, since the 1960s, American culture has lost a type of commonality across all income levels that used to exist. Instead, the elite and the rest of us really do have different cultures, values, ways of life. They live in different zip codes and have quite a bubble built around themselves. He says it's unAmerican, that we're losing (or have lost) something that was a defining part of the USA for a long time.  Basically, we never were a classless society, but we all had commonalities that tied us together across class. Now, he argues, we don't. The lower class has largely declined in religiosity, marriage, employment, civic engagement, trust in their neighbors, etc. I'm not finished with it yet but he hasn't really given any concrete prescriptions for how to "fix" it and explicitly said his primary aim with the book was just to define the problem, but I assume some token effort will be made as always is in these types of books that identify complex problems (real or imagined) in society.

I probably wouldn't have chosen to read the book on my own (it's for a book club) but it's definitely worth it and within my interests that range through economics and social science, political philosophy, and philosophy in general.

May I offer you a word of caution? In social sciences particularly, do not allow yourself to be wooed by a convincing argument. Just because his explanation of "the problem" is logical and plausible does not mean it's correct, and ironically, people in the social sciences and philosophy are particularly prone to forgetting how extraordinarily susceptible to error explanations derived from behavioral observation are.
“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.”


thewake

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2725 on: October 22, 2015, 04:52:51 pm »
Am I reading that right, or is his argument homogeneity as virtue?

In a way, but that's not the main point of the argument. He's mostly trying to get at how the cultures have diverged in a bad way, from his point of view. Most of us can agree these problems he's describing are just that. Problems.

May I offer you a word of caution? In social sciences particularly, do not allow yourself to be wooed by a convincing argument. Just because his explanation of "the problem" is logical and plausible does not mean it's correct, and ironically, people in the social sciences and philosophy are particularly prone to forgetting how extraordinarily susceptible to error explanations derived from behavioral observation are.

Yes I'm aware of the pitfalls of empirical study in the social sciences. The world is too complex to ever control for every variable, get all the relevant information, etc. Empirical study is useful but shouldn't serve quite the same purpose as in the natural sciences. Especially since we usually can't do controlled experiments and have to rely on observational data and natural experiments.

Not that it wouldn't be fun to do those experiments... ;)
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2726 on: October 29, 2015, 07:07:58 am »
Long-ass encyclopedia articles on things like comb-jellies, nerve-nets and the cambrian explosion.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2727 on: November 08, 2015, 01:37:04 pm »

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2728 on: November 08, 2015, 09:31:41 pm »
Any philosophers that i can listen to for like 30 mintues then pick up later?  Tired of music during my car rides
Thinking that maybe some of the stoics with their bullet point listness would be good.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2729 on: November 08, 2015, 10:03:04 pm »
Any philosophers that i can listen to for like 30 mintues then pick up later?  Tired of music during my car rides
Thinking that maybe some of the stoics with their bullet point listness would be good.

If Zizek doesn't have an audio book already, I will eat my Kindle.