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What are you reading?
Posted: 26 September 2012 09:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 406 ]
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Anyone here read Suarez’s “Kill Decision?” The reviews seem to be all over the place.

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Posted: 26 September 2012 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 407 ]
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George - 26 September 2012 09:57 AM

Anyone here read Suarez’s “Kill Decision?” The reviews seem to be all over the place.

I just finished an audiobook ( Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds - Sci-fi) and was looking for something good to start. Maybe I’ll give this a try. Looks interesting and it has 4/5 stars from 65 reviewers on Amazon for whatever thats worth.

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Posted: 26 September 2012 10:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 408 ]
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George - 26 September 2012 09:57 AM

Anyone here read Suarez’s “Kill Decision?” The reviews seem to be all over the place.

Sounds interesting. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks!

I’m currently reading The Book of Cthutlu a collection of short stories inspired by H.P. Lovecraft. Some fun and creepy tales so far. grin

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 26 September 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 409 ]
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I’m currently reading Rebecca Stotts, “Darwin’s Ghosts”. It’s a history of natrual selection from Aristotle to Darwin. I never knew that Decartes dedicated much to this subject until now. So far, a great read. Also downloaded Pinker’s “Blank Slate”.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 26 September 2012 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 410 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 26 September 2012 01:15 PM

I’m currently reading Rebecca Stotts, “Darwin’s Ghosts”. It’s a history of natrual selection from Aristotle to Darwin. I never knew that Decartes dedicated much to this subject until now. So far, a great read.

Yeah, I read it a few weeks back. I have no idea why Scott felt the need to include people like Leonardo da Vinci, for example, and never even mention Malthus (except for the chapter on Wallace). She also did a lousy job, IMO, describing the importance of Cuvier’s discoveries on extinction and catastrophism. I’ll give it a C+.

Pinker’s book, OTOH, gets an A from me!

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Posted: 27 September 2012 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 411 ]
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Yeah, I read it a few weeks back. I have no idea why Scott felt the need to include people like Leonardo da Vinci, for example, and never even mention Malthus (except for the chapter on Wallace). She also did a lousy job, IMO, describing the importance of Cuvier’s discoveries on extinction and catastrophism. I’ll give it a C+.

Pinker’s book, OTOH, gets an A from me!


I’m fascinated by the inclusion of so many Renaissance and Enlighetnment philosophers and naturalists but that being said, I find the book a bit tedious in the details. Haven’t gotten to Cuvier yet.  I’ll still finish it though, then on to Pinker. He has an easy-to-read and absorb style that I like and so far haven’t been disapointed by any of his material. I finished his “Language Instinct” a while back. Excelllent material! He really has a problem with Chomsky’s work and if the example he included in his book is any indication of that, then I would be totally confused. I’ve read several of Chomsky’s books with political themes and they are coherent and to the point.


cap’t Jack

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Posted: 27 September 2012 04:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 412 ]
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Do finish the book, Jack. It gets better the closer you get to Darwin’s time.

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Posted: 27 September 2012 07:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 413 ]
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There is something else I noticed while reading the book. The author seems to have a grudge against the religious, which would make sense if you remember her experience while growing up surrounded by religious nuts. So Cuvier, a theist, who strongly objected to any notion of evolution is the bad guy and Wallace, the co-discoverer of natural selection is described as an atheist (or did she say he was an agnostic?, can’t remember now). The problem here is, that Wallace may have grown up as an atheist (I have no idea is that’s true) but later on turned to some bizarre belief in supernatural factors playing an important role in the evolution of human mind. Wallace, an atheist, is the good guy in Scott’s book, so his crackpot ideas are never mentioned.

Beware, as I think Scott may be on some new-atheist mission here.

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Posted: 27 September 2012 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 414 ]
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No problem, George. So far I don’t detect any hidden message but I can be densely prejudiced and have to be careful not to be too subjective when reading books of this type. I’m anxious though to see how this ties into Darwin’s theories. Did you remember that she mentions “Zoonomia” in his catalogue? So far, that’s the only time it’s referenced but I’ll bolo for any others!

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 05 October 2012 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 415 ]
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Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy by Christopher Hayes. Interesting read about the disconnect between the financial elite who govern and their disconnect with the governed (and similar power structures ‘outside’ politics). The ‘data’ is mostly culled from interviews conducted by the author. He mentions various psychological studies which he claims support a point he’s making, but he doesn’t reference them in his notes/bibliography. Seems like a no-brainer to include where he got his info. <shrug>

Regardless, it’s given me some more to think about. smile

I borrowed Kill Decision from the library, so it’s on ‘my list’. LOL

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 08 October 2012 10:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 416 ]
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Okay, something else moved to the head of the list. Just started The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned The Free Market And Why Liberals Should Too by James K. Galbraith.

I’m also reading (well not simultaneously smile) On Basilisk Station by David Weber.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 17 October 2012 08:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 417 ]
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The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future by Victor Cha

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Posted: 18 October 2012 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 418 ]
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I’ve recently read a bunch of cyberpunk novels, and the one that just blew my mind was “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book. It’s going in my “Top Ten.”

The two cyberpunk books I haven’t yet read, and I guess I should read, are Gibson’s “Neuromancer” and Stephenson’s “Snow Crash.” I tried reading “Snow Crash,” but it’s so disgustingly designed and typeset, that I just couldn’t do it. I’ll have to look for the hard cover; hopefully, it won’t be as bad.

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Posted: 18 October 2012 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 419 ]
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And Suarez’s “Kill Decision” was okay (C+), but I don’t recommend it. Not sure what happened to him: his previous “Daemon,” and its sequel “Freedom™” were just wonderful.

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Posted: 18 October 2012 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 420 ]
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George - 18 October 2012 11:14 AM

I’ve recently read a bunch of cyberpunk novels, and the one that just blew my mind was “Ready Player One,” by Ernest Cline. I can’t remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book. It’s going in my “Top Ten.”

The two cyberpunk books I haven’t yet read, and I guess I should read, are Gibson’s “Neuromancer” and Stephenson’s “Snow Crash.” I tried reading “Snow Crash,” but it’s so disgustingly designed and typeset, that I just couldn’t do it. I’ll have to look for the hard cover; hopefully, it won’t be as bad.

It’s been so long since I read Neuromancer I’ll have to read it again soon. I really enjoyed Snow Crash. La Cosa Nostra pizza… LOL

While not cyberpunk you might like the one I mentioned a while back The Windup Girl. I also recommend Little Heroes by Norman Spinrad. Trivia: He wrote the Star Trek (original) episode the Doomsday Machine.

Take care,

Derek

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