Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 542915 times)

Fujikoma

  • Saikyō cabbage
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 725
  • Pheremone Octopi of Spiked Intrusion
    • View Profile
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

  • Hideous and Otherworldly Attack Duckling of DESPAIR
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 5226
    • View Profile
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.
"I dispose of obsolete meat machines.  Not because I hate them (I do) and not because they deserve it (they do), but because they are in the way and those older ones don't meet emissions codes.  They emit too much.  You don't like them and I don't like them, so spare me the hysteria."

Al Qədic

  • Nonexistent Amphibian Who Is Not Very
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
  • Chairwoman of Feldspathic Rananite
    • View Profile
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 »
There is no reason to,
Be ashamed of poetry. It,
Is natural. But you should,
Still do it in private,
And wash your hands afterward.

chaotic neutral observer

  • not a real discordian
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 514
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2973 on: October 09, 2019, 12:37:32 am »
Just read "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Heinlein.  I generally like Heinlein, but this book was kinda... well... dumb.

Space Jesus was a twit, and "grok" was actively annoying.  95% of the time it could have been replaced by "know" or "understand" without any loss in meaning.

I think the only reason this had any degree of popularity was because it was published in the '60s.
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Doktor Howl

  • Вся ваша база принадлежит нам
  • One-Armed Jizz Moppers
  • Deserved It
  • **
  • Posts: 33465
  • Horrible Bastard
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2974 on: October 09, 2019, 04:14:04 am »
Just read "Stranger in a Strange Land", by Heinlein.  I generally like Heinlein, but this book was kinda... well... dumb.

Space Jesus was a twit, and "grok" was actively annoying.  95% of the time it could have been replaced by "know" or "understand" without any loss in meaning.

I think the only reason this had any degree of popularity was because it was published in the '60s.

All Heinlein sucked.

Farnham's Freehold was an atrocity, both as a racist screed and as a novel in general.

But yes, "grok" brings instant ridicule from me.
Morrissey is the crown prince of sad.  He teaches us that deaf/mute girls are terrible at telling you that a disaster is occurring, and that when you get famous, all your old friends hate you for buying new tee shirts.  Morrissey fans are best known for hugging their legs and biting their knees in the shower, over a girl that dumped them rather than learn their name, or binge-eating an entire pizza and then throwing it up on their man-boobs in the bath tub, while they squeeze their  testicles until they remember that they are worthless and do not deserve love.

chaotic neutral observer

  • not a real discordian
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 514
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2975 on: October 09, 2019, 05:07:12 am »
All Heinlein sucked.
Eh.  Admittedly, some of the things I like are of doubtful objective quality, and it's not like I'm going to jump to Heinlein's defense after "Stranger".
I recently picked up a stack of his books cheap at a thrift store, and I've read through a few of them.  This was easily the worst so far, although "The Puppet Masters" wasn't much, either.

Quote
Farnham's Freehold was an atrocity, both as a racist screed and as a novel in general.
That one wasn't in the stack.  If it's worse yet than "Stranger", then that's just as well.

Quote
But yes, "grok" brings instant ridicule from me.
Quite.  Now, let's never mention it again, except perhaps as a cautionary example.
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Al Qədic

  • Nonexistent Amphibian Who Is Not Very
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
  • Chairwoman of Feldspathic Rananite
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2976 on: October 10, 2019, 03:27:04 am »
I'm procrastinating my way through The Canterbury Tales and will likely do the same with Sir Gawain And the Green Knight to come. At least Beowulf was neat to reread, and I have Paradise Lost to look forward to.


In terms of shit I actually want to read? ...I have the Et Cetera and Metaclysmia Discordias and the Chao Te Ching collecting virtual dust among the 33 tabs open on this browser, if that counts for anything.
There is no reason to,
Be ashamed of poetry. It,
Is natural. But you should,
Still do it in private,
And wash your hands afterward.

Fujikoma

  • Saikyō cabbage
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 725
  • Pheremone Octopi of Spiked Intrusion
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2977 on: October 12, 2019, 05:42:27 pm »
As far as Heinlein is concerned I really liked "The Dosadi Experiment". "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" I found a good read as well. While at least "Moon" had some political undertones, if you ditch that and take it for just a story then it's entertaining, though I'd take some William Gibson or Neal Stephenson any day over that.

chaotic neutral observer

  • not a real discordian
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 514
  • I saw what you did and I'm okay with it
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2978 on: October 12, 2019, 07:59:25 pm »
"The Dosadi Experiment" was Herbert, not Heinlein. I didn't care for it; most of its ideas were recycled from Dune, but not nearly as well executed.
"When I say 'engineering', I have unreasonable expectations.  It must - as you know - look good in PADS AND give you plenty of help ducking and weaving in meetings.  But it must also, at some distant point in time, function.  If it does not, then you must accept that you are not in fact an engineer but instead an MBA.  Hang your head in SHAME, sinner!"

Doktor Howl

  • Вся ваша база принадлежит нам
  • One-Armed Jizz Moppers
  • Deserved It
  • **
  • Posts: 33465
  • Horrible Bastard
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2979 on: October 12, 2019, 08:38:00 pm »
"The Dosadi Experiment" was Herbert, not Heinlein. I didn't care for it; most of its ideas were recycled from Dune, but not nearly as well executed.

Frank Herbert should be chucked out the airlock.  He wasn't a science fiction writer, he was more of an Ann Rice with space worms thing.

Morrissey is the crown prince of sad.  He teaches us that deaf/mute girls are terrible at telling you that a disaster is occurring, and that when you get famous, all your old friends hate you for buying new tee shirts.  Morrissey fans are best known for hugging their legs and biting their knees in the shower, over a girl that dumped them rather than learn their name, or binge-eating an entire pizza and then throwing it up on their man-boobs in the bath tub, while they squeeze their  testicles until they remember that they are worthless and do not deserve love.

Al Qədic

  • Nonexistent Amphibian Who Is Not Very
  • Outlandish
  • ***
  • Posts: 225
  • Chairwoman of Feldspathic Rananite
    • View Profile
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2980 on: October 15, 2019, 05:18:14 am »
Welp, just went to Barnes&Noble since the weekly meeting of the gay agenda fell through.


I grabbed...
Some book about symbols and shit in different cultures.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (now with a fancy new cover)
The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
House of Leaves (because even though I yoinked a PDF a few months back, its just more satisfying to hold the lump of dead trees in my own two hands, you know?)
A cute pocket version of The Satanic Bible (because even though LaVey is old and dead and some of his ideas were shit and his immediate followers got up their own asses, modern Satanists are interesting at least and lovely assets in the endeavour to befuddle the conservative masses at best. Also their statues are cool.)
There is no reason to,
Be ashamed of poetry. It,
Is natural. But you should,
Still do it in private,
And wash your hands afterward.

LMNO

  • Lubricated and Rabid Lungfish of Impending Sexdoom™
  • Deserved It
  • ****
  • Posts: 62187
  • Internet Fuckweasel of Haunted Pork Dimensions.
    • View Profile
    • Earfatigue Productions: When it has to sound like you give a shit.
Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2981 on: October 15, 2019, 01:45:05 pm »
Welp, just went to Barnes&Noble since the weekly meeting of the gay agenda fell through.


I grabbed...
Some book about symbols and shit in different cultures.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (now with a fancy new cover)
The Complete Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
House of Leaves (because even though I yoinked a PDF a few months back, its just more satisfying to hold the lump of dead trees in my own two hands, you know?)
A cute pocket version of The Satanic Bible (because even though LaVey is old and dead and some of his ideas were shit and his immediate followers got up their own asses, modern Satanists are interesting at least and lovely assets in the endeavour to befuddle the conservative masses at best. Also their statues are cool.)

I don't even see HOW that could work in PDF form.  Some of the layout tricks practically demand dead-tree format.