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What are you reading?
Posted: 27 December 2012 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 451 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 27 December 2012 07:07 AM

Vy, have you seen the “Lincoln” movie yet? If you have any interest in the politics of the War and the political wrangling that went on to pass the 13Th amendment this movie, based on Doris Goodwin’s book, shows how he was able to get it passed despite the racial prejudice in both House and Senate. Tommy Lee Jones played Thadeus Stevens to the hilt!

Cap’t Jack

No, I havent seen it yet.  But I am looking forward to seeing it.

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Row row row your boat gently down the stream.  Merrily Merrily merrily merrily life is but a dream!

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Posted: 27 December 2012 10:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 452 ]
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Started Martian Chronicles.  Did Sands of Mars by Clarke a little while ago.

Martian Chronicles is far more famous but I think I read both of them back in the 60s.

They are interesting considering the last 60 years of real history.  Bradbury had World War III scheduled for 2005 and the story ends in 2026.  But in 1951 nobody was talking about Peak Oil and Global Warming so the world pressures by 2026 could be quite different from whatever there was in 1951.

psik

[ Edited: 28 December 2012 04:45 PM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 31 December 2012 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 453 ]
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I’m reading The Miracle of Dunkirk, by Walter Lord. It is about the true WWII rescue of ~300,000 men trapped by the German army in France, rescued over 4 days by a rag tag armada of civilian fishing vessels. I’m half way through it, and it is fascinating.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 31 December 2012 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 454 ]
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You might run into a semi famous naval officer who was well known before the evacuation Asanta. When he heard the radio announcenent he fired up his personal yacht and crossed the Channel to rescue as many troops as he and his crew coud cram into the boat. From what I read, he made six trips I think and all under fire. His name was Charles Lightoller and he was the only surviving senior officer of the Titanic. You might find him mentioned in the book.

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 31 December 2012 02:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 455 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 31 December 2012 05:55 AM

You might run into a semi famous naval officer who was well known before the evacuation Asanta. When he heard the radio announcenent he fired up his personal yacht and crossed the Channel to rescue as many troops as he and his crew coud cram into the boat. From what I read, he made six trips I think and all under fire. His name was Charles Lightoller and he was the only surviving senior officer of the Titanic. You might find him mentioned in the book.

Cap’t Jack

Thanks for that info, I’ll look out for him! I’ve already found some other familiar names!

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Posted: 02 January 2013 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 456 ]
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Switching between Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams and Behavioral Economics For Dummies by Morris Altman.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 04 January 2013 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 457 ]
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The Wealth of Nations cheese about a hundred pages in.  I’m finding it interesting as much for its examination of its times (publish date 1776) as it is for its economics.

It doesn’t appear to me to be what the libertarians have made it out to be.  It may be that is being read currently the same way the Bible is, people taking certain statements as gospel while tottaly ignoring other statements that don’t fit their own view.

I will attempt to post more on this when I finish the other 900+ pages.  blank stare

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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 January 2013 09:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 458 ]
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garythehuman - 04 January 2013 03:01 PM

The Wealth of Nations cheese about a hundred pages in.

<snip> (Full post here: http://www.centerforinquiry.net/forums/viewthread/5772/P450/#174984 )

I will attempt to post more on this when I finish the other 900+ pages.  blank stare

Zoinks! Some light reading, huh? grin

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 05 January 2013 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 459 ]
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It doesn’t appear to me to be what the libertarians have made it out to be.  It may be that is being read currently the same way the Bible is, people taking certain statements as gospel while tottaly ignoring other statements that don’t fit their own view.

It’s a book often quoted but rarely read because of it’s stilted language. As much as I’ve studied that time period I tried it once and got totally lost in his detailed explanations. Surely there’s some cliff notes out there or a “Wealth of Nations for Dummies”! BTW I’m reading “hallucinations” by Oliver Sacks. He gives a very detailed account of the vivid hallucinations brought about by diseases and drugs. After reading this you never have to wonder again why people talk to angels or demons, or even hold a conversation with god.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 05 January 2013 04:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 460 ]
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VYAZMA - 27 December 2012 01:58 PM
Thevillageatheist - 27 December 2012 07:07 AM

Vy, have you seen the “Lincoln” movie yet? If you have any interest in the politics of the War and the political wrangling that went on to pass the 13Th amendment this movie, based on Doris Goodwin’s book, shows how he was able to get it passed despite the racial prejudice in both House and Senate. Tommy Lee Jones played Thadeus Stevens to the hilt!

Cap’t Jack

No, I havent seen it yet.  But I am looking forward to seeing it.

Current.y reading “A universe from nothing”,  “The Bible a very short introduction ” from Oxford Press and “Prey” by Crichton.

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Posted: 05 January 2013 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 461 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 31 December 2012 05:55 AM

You might run into a semi famous naval officer who was well known before the evacuation Asanta. When he heard the radio announcenent he fired up his personal yacht and crossed the Channel to rescue as many troops as he and his crew coud cram into the boat. From what I read, he made six trips I think and all under fire. His name was Charles Lightoller and he was the only surviving senior officer of the Titanic. You might find him mentioned in the book.

Cap’t Jack

I read about him in the book, he certainly did cram his boat! His part of the story was amazing!

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Posted: 05 January 2013 08:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 462 ]
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I read about him in the book, he certainly did cram his boat! His part of the story was amazing!


I’m glad. I guess you could say that he was a hero twice! It really was a miracle at Dunkirk.

Cap’t Jack

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One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests.

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Posted: 17 January 2013 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 463 ]
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[size=4][/sizeHey group,
I finally finished Smith’s Wealth of Nations.  I am not going to go much into his economics as I assume most of you are familiar with the laws of supply and demand.  However this book is much more than just a text of basic economic theory.
The first problem I had was getting comfortable with the use of English as it existed in the 1770 in Great Britain, once past this many parts of the book were interesting from the stand point of an observant person who was using highly detailed examples of how the competition between the nations of the effected the economic system and how mercantilism was used to the benefit of certain elites of the various national societies and for the benefit of the whole of the national society, he examines many things including the effect of colonies on the home countries, including the reasons for graft in the British Empire in India.

One thing I did learn is that the labor theory of value didn’t originate with Marx, it the entire basis of Smith’s work.
As I mentioned in my previous posts that I thought this book may be being used by many as the Bible is, i.e. promoting parts they like and ignoring parts they don’t.  So here are a few quotes you don’t normally hear.
” In civilized society, he (man) stands at all times in need of the co-operation and the assistance of great multitudes, while his whole life is scarce sufficient to gain the friendship of a few persons.”  Pg. 15

“Servants, laborers and workmen of different kinds, make up the far greater part of every great political society.  But what improves the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole.  No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.  It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, cloath and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labor as to be themselves tolerably well, fed, clothed and lodged.”                      Pg. 90
“Our merchants and master manufacturers complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price, and thereby lessening the sale of their goods both at home and abroad.  They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits.  They are silent with the pernicious effects of their own gains.  They complain only of those of other people.”                Pg. 113

“Honor makes a great part of the reward of all honorable professions.”        Pg. 117

“The chance of gain is by everyman more or less over-valued and the chance of loss is by most men under-valued.”                          Pg. 124

“With the greater part of the rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches, which in their eyes is never so complete as when they appear to possess those decisive marks of opulence which nobody can possess but themselves.”

“The sovereign, for example, with all the officers both of justice and war who serve under him, the whole army and navy, are unproductive laborers.”              Pg. 361

“Both the productive (wealth producing) and unproductive laborers, and those who do not labor at all, are equally maintained by the annual produce of the land and the labor of the country.”  Pg. 361  

“The progress of our North American and West Indian colonies would have been much less rapid, had not the capital but what belonged to themselves been employed in exporting their surplus produce.”
                              Pg. 411
[ Wonder what the New England merchants thought of this idea?  Smith’s argument could be used by the British merchants to justify their control of colonial trade. –GRH]

“The government of an exclusive company of merchants is, perhaps, the worst of all governments for any country whatever.”                        Pg. 615

“Our merchants frequently complain of the high wages of British labor as the cause of manufactures being undersold in foreign markets, but they are silent about the high profits of stock.  They complain about of the extravagant gain of other people, but say nothing, but say nothing of their own.”  Pg. 648

” The discipline of colleges and universities is in general contrived, not for the benefit of the students, but for the interest, or more properly speaking, for the ease of the masters.”      Pg. 824

“The first reformers found the Greek text of the new testament, and even the Hebrew text of the old, more favorable to their opinions, than the vulgate translation, which, as might naturally be supposed had been generally accommodated to the support of the doctrines of the catholic church.”  Pg. 822

“Times of violent religious controversy have generally been times of equally violent political faction.” Pg.850

“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition, . . . ”      Pg. 855

The sections “Religious Instruction” pg. 846-875 and Education of Youth Pg. 819 – 846 are excellent and still very relevant today.

]

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Posted: 18 January 2013 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 464 ]
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Such a long thread, I haven’t scanned it all, but a quick search suggests no one has yet mentioned Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie’s memoir. I am not a huge fan of his fiction, purely on the basis of esthetic tastes, but I am really enjoying the memoir. Very inspiring and also depressing for anyone who values intellectual freedom and secularism. Here are a couple of sampls that resonated for me:

“The flame of the Enlightenment is waning,” a journalist said to Günter Grass. “But,” he replied, “there is no other source of light.”

in an open society no ideas or beliefs could be ring-fenced and given immunity from challenges of all sorts, philosophical, satirical, profound, superficial, gleeful, irreverent, or smart. All liberty required was that the space for discourse itself be protected. Liberty lay in the argument itself, not the resolution of that argument, in the ability to quarrel, even with the most cherished beliefs of others; a free society was not placid but turbulent. The bazaar of conflicting views was the place where freedom rang.

ideas stood (or fell) because they were strong enough (or too weak) to withstand criticism, not because they were shielded from it. Strong ideas welcomed dissent. “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill,” wrote Edmund Burke. “Our antagonist is our helper.” Only the weak and the authoritarian turned away from their opponents and called them names and sometimes wished to do them harm.

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Posted: 18 January 2013 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 465 ]
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mckenzievmd - 18 January 2013 11:33 AM

Such a long thread, I haven’t scanned it all, but a quick search suggests no one has yet mentioned Joseph Anton, Salman Rushdie’s memoir. I am not a huge fan of his fiction, purely on the basis of esthetic tastes, but I am really enjoying the memoir. Very inspiring and also depressing for anyone who values intellectual freedom and secularism. Here are a couple of sampls that resonated for me:

“The flame of the Enlightenment is waning,” a journalist said to Günter Grass. “But,” he replied, “there is no other source of light.”

in an open society no ideas or beliefs could be ring-fenced and given immunity from challenges of all sorts, philosophical, satirical, profound, superficial, gleeful, irreverent, or smart. All liberty required was that the space for discourse itself be protected. Liberty lay in the argument itself, not the resolution of that argument, in the ability to quarrel, even with the most cherished beliefs of others; a free society was not placid but turbulent. The bazaar of conflicting views was the place where freedom rang.

ideas stood (or fell) because they were strong enough (or too weak) to withstand criticism, not because they were shielded from it. Strong ideas welcomed dissent. “He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill,” wrote Edmund Burke. “Our antagonist is our helper.” Only the weak and the authoritarian turned away from their opponents and called them names and sometimes wished to do them harm.

Hmm, I don’t like that at all. But thanks for posting it. I have been wondering for some time if I should see what Rushdie is all about and now I know I don’t need to.

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