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What are you reading?
Posted: 25 August 2010 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 121 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 25 August 2010 08:40 AM
Chudwick - 24 August 2010 06:15 PM

... you adumbrate ...

I had to look up that one.  I wonder if I’ll wind up finding a use for it in my monckton letters.  Since, he’s so pompous I’m not holding back on fancy words the way I normally would.

adumbrate |ˈadəmˌbrāt; əˈdəm-|
verb [ trans. ] formal
report or represent in outline :
• indicate faintly :
• foreshadow or symbolize :
• overshadow :

I got it from a translation of Nausea by JP Sartre for the word “esquisse.” BTW, Doubrovsky was an avid Sartre fan. 

In response to the decade reference.  I’ve read two of his other novels including some essays, and Un Amour de soi (a play on words from Proust) is one of my all time favorites.  It is shattering as a reader to see one of your idols so broken.  In addition, I applied to NYU to study from him, but decided not to once the other grad students there scared the crap out of me.  I’ll always wonder what could have happened.  Hence my reluctance to revisit him.

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I live in a world of lighthouses. However, my friends are living in sunny tranquility.

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Posted: 25 August 2010 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 122 ]
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Maybe she’s inspiring some guys to learn math too… that’s if she sprinkles pics throughout her books smile
(ignorant me, I ever watched The Wonder Years)

I never watched The Wonder Years either.  At least not voluntarily.  I hated the show.  I only found out she played Winnie after I already knew who she was.

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 01 September 2010 11:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 123 ]
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I’m currently about 3/4 done with Ring by Stephen Baxter.  It’s been pretty good.

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“In the end nature is horrific and teaches us nothing.” -Mutual of Omicron

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Posted: 01 September 2010 12:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 124 ]
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Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

Quite a fun read. I had no idea it would have laugh out loud moments. LOL

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 01 September 2010 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 125 ]
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Read it decades ago and you got me smirking about the professor all over again.

That was a fun and memorable book.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 126 ]
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harry canyon - 01 September 2010 12:52 PM

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

Quite a fun read. I had no idea it would have laugh out loud moments. LOL

Take care,

Derek

I’ll have to read it again. Haven’t read Steinbeck in years. I take it you’ve taken a trip down to the now over commercialized cannery row? At least the Aquarium is awesome.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 07:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 127 ]
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The Fall of Berlin-Antony Beevor
Pretty Good. Not as good as his Stalingrad
Heavy on the rape and pillage anecdote. Kind of light on the interplay between the Allies.(Ike, Churchill, and Stalin)
Good narrative on the order of battle from the Baltic to Berlin.
Just finished Hellhound On His Trail by Hampton Sides.
Good read on James Earl Ray, MLK, and other related topical issues of the time. Ending seemed hurried and compressed.

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Posted: 01 September 2010 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 128 ]
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asanta - 01 September 2010 06:37 PM
harry canyon - 01 September 2010 12:52 PM

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

Quite a fun read. I had no idea it would have laugh out loud moments. LOL

Take care,

Derek

I’ll have to read it again. Haven’t read Steinbeck in years. I take it you’ve taken a trip down to the now over commercialized cannery row? At least the Aquarium is awesome.

Oh yes. grin We’ve a membership and go at least 3 times a year. The kids really enjoy the Dennis the Menace park as well.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 02 September 2010 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 129 ]
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I’m reading Nomad by Aayan Hirsi Ali. Its really good, a nice follow-up to Infidel

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Posted: 02 September 2010 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 130 ]
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I went to a library book sale a couple of weeks ago.  I bought 20 sci-fi books for 50 cents each.

I also got a hard cover Science Fiction Today and Tomorrow edited by Reginald Bretnor

It isn’t a science fiction book but consists of essays about sci-fi and how it relates to reality.  Most of the essays are by known authors, Frederick Pohl. Ben Bova, Poul Anderson, Alan E. Nourse.

I probably bought it because of Nourse.  His Star Surgeon is the very first SF book I read.  Why would libraries sell books this relevant?  But would librarians know.  Science fiction is trivial.

Since this book is from 1974 it is before the arrival of microcomputers and Star Wars and the Star Trek revival.  But many of the things it says about technology changing us and our need to adapt and better understand science and technology are as relevant today as then.  We have people arguing about AGW, an issue that hadn’t even arisen back then.  We can’t cope with the tech.

These media arguments about tablets versus netbooks when they are all von Neumann machines are ridiculous.  But the media has to fill up with some junk.  It is just like The Space Merchants from 1952.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Space_Merchants  LOL

psik

[ Edited: 03 September 2010 08:34 AM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 27 September 2010 05:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 131 ]
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Kafka - the complete short stories. It’s Kafka, expect odd and beautifully written stories.  I still love “In the Penal Colony,” “The Hunger Artist” and “The Law.”
Klotter & Klotter - A Concise History of Kentucky.  It’s an example of a really poorly written work, on the 15th state of the Union.

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Posted: 28 September 2010 01:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 132 ]
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Just finished the Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey.

Going to pick up the book I have on hold at the library about the Thirty Years War by S.H. Steinberg.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 04 November 2010 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 133 ]
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Hey group

I have just finished Nicholas Wade’s The Faith Instinct.  Wade has worked for the NY Times as editorial writer as well as Nature and Science magazines. This book is a fairly short (284pgs) work. 

Wade’s basic premise is that humans have evolved a biological faith instinct that promoted group cohesion.  IMO this may or may not be true, that is up to the biologists to determine.

To me the basic importance of the book is that Wade demonstrates how religious beliefs and organization of society would give particular groups of humans a survival edge through greater social solidarity. 

Starting with such observations as:
“Religion creates circles of trust whose members may support one another in calamity or find hosts and trading partners in distant cities.”   

“Religion, above all, embodies the moral rules that members of a community observe toward one another.  It thus sustains the quality of the social fabric, and did so alone in early societies that had not developed civil authorities.  It binds people together for collective action, through public rituals that evoke emotional commitment to a common cause.”

and concluding with such observations as:

“The American Creed,” in short, is Protestantism without God, the secular credo of the “ nation with the soul of a church” Huntington wrote.”

“Religion express a society’s collective wisdom, past and present as to how its members should best behave in order to enhance the societies survival.” 

“We are not just the product of a blind and random process but something more, a creature shaped for good or ill by the collective choices of all our ancestors for thousands of generations.”

And lastly:  “Secularism is on the march because religions, within the framework of their sacred narratives, are losing their hold on people’s belief.  They endure more because people want to believe in something than through the plausibility of their historical assertions.”

There is a lot of interesting material in between.  If you are interested in how society works and the influence religion has within and upon it this is a book worth reading.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 04 November 2010 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 134 ]
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garythehuman - 04 November 2010 03:17 PM

I have just finished Nicholas Wade’s The Faith Instinct.  Wade has worked for the NY Times as editorial writer as well as Nature and Science magazines. This book is a fairly short (284pgs) work. 

Wade’s basic premise is that humans have evolved a biological faith instinct that promoted group cohesion.*
  IMO this may or may not be true, that is up to the biologists to determine. 

It does sound like an interesting book… *isn’t this just another way of saying tribalism?

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Posted: 04 November 2010 08:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 135 ]
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I just finished Bill Bryson’s Home. He travels from room to room throughout his house (previously a parsonage) in England and talks about the history of housing and meanders into a lot of other subjects along the way. I enjoy his books and casual writing style. I was surprised to see him dig into Darwin in the last chapter of the book. He appears to be an atheist….to judge by this book. It quite took me by surprise! I had been discussing it with one of my coworkers as I read through the chapters (I always read during my breaks), and she was intrigued enough to want to suggest it to her (very religious) book club—-this was before I ran smack dab into Darwin, and evolution, and that ‘god’ was no longer needed to explain anything….if they do decide to read the book, they will get a big surprise at the end! tongue wink

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