Reading that opens the mind - Books

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by midcan5, Aug 15, 2009.

  1. yidnar
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    yidnar BANNED

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    you forgot to mention The Communist Manifesto By Karl Marx.
     
  2. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Diamond Member

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    Camus books still remain on my book shelf. Every couple of years I 'try' to reread The Myth of Sisyphus and/or The Rebel. The pages are yellowing with age and I doubt I will every fully understand his Philosophical standing. Each paragraph of each essay is tightly structured and logically leads one down the path. But many times each paragraph requires critical thinking, my mind wanders off topic in that effort, making the reading some of the most difficult I've every experienced.

    Even Sisyphus remains clouded when he and his toils and 'happiness' are considered in terms of rebellion and suicide.

    Do you know of any forums wherein his works are the sole topic of discussion?
     
  3. Wry Catcher
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    Camus books still remain on my book shelf. Every couple of years I 'try' to reread The Myth of Sisyphus and/or The Rebel. The pages are yellowing with age and I doubt I will every fully understand his Philosophical standing. Each paragraph of each essay is tightly structured and logically leads one down the path. But many times each paragraph requires critical thinking, my mind wanders off topic in that effort, making the reading some of the most difficult I've every experienced.

    Even Sisyphus remains clouded when he and his toils and 'happiness' are considered in terms of rebellion and suicide.

    Do you know of any forums wherein his works are the sole topic of discussion?
     
  4. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    I re-read 'The Stranger' not long ago and wish there was a new translation of "The Fall.' I found these two sites, check them out.

    Philosophy Now Forum ? View topic - Albert Camus
    Albert Camus Critical Interpretation Homepage

    ===============================================

    'Workin' on our night moves in the summertime
    In the sweet summertime...' B.S.

    Ah summer, time to sweat, swat mosquitoes, drink lots, burn in the sun, oh and hopefully read. A few suggestions.

    Read this if nothing else, American corporations and their marriage to congress.

    'The Betrayal of the American Dream' Donald L. Barlett, James B. Steele
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Betrayal-American-Dream-Donald-Barlett/dp/1586489690/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]The Betrayal of the American Dream: Donald L. Barlett, James B. Steele: 9781586489694: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]


    I also read 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' by Muriel Barbery. I wasn't sure I'd like this but both the writing even in translation and the story were well done. The idea of class contained in the plot is a bit odd for Americans. Americans like to think class doesn't exist here.

    These look interesting for the bibliophile of ideas.

    'The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America' George Packer
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Unwinding-Inner-History-New-America/dp/0374102414/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America: George Packer: 9780374102418: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]

    'Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865'
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-National-Destruction-Slavery-1861-1865/dp/0393065316/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865: James Oakes: 9780393065312: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]

    'Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics'
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Chain-Reaction-Impact-American-Politics/dp/0393309037/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8]Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics: Mary D. Edsall, Thomas Byrne Edsall: 9780393309034: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]

    'The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s'
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Unraveling-America-History-Liberalism-1960s/dp/0820334057/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s: Allen J. Matusow: 9780820334059: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]


    I don't agree completely with this even though it is an important aspect of the current educational and economic situation in America. I do think there is a level of privilege that few recognize or even acknowledge.

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Race-between-Education-Technology/dp/0674035305/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]The Race between Education and Technology: Claudia Goldin, Lawrence F. Katz: 9780674035300: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]

    A few sites worth your time if your time is too short for books.

    The Browser - Writing worth reading
    Exclusive Opinion, Commentary and Op-ed from today's Top Economists and Public Intellectuals - Project Syndicate
    Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
    Crooked Timber ? Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made
    Home | Boston Review
    Informed Comment: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion


    "What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley wrote in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny "failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions." In 1984 Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us...This book is about the possibility that Huxley, not Orwell, was right." Neil Postman 'Amusing Ourselves to Death'
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2013
  5. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    How do we know we don't know? For my generation smoking was the issue that today would be a topic of the partisan divide. Odd huh. Most who have smoked, as I did young, know its consequences first hand, but there was so much doubt and so much corporate, and so called scientific counter argument, that many smoked just to prove something. Today global warming has enlisted the same corporate doubt machine and it works well as much of the debate demonstrates. I started reading 'Agnotology' and thought how easy it is to create ignorance and to make ignorance into knowledge. Worth a read for those willing to look into the telescope.

    "Sweeping and comprehensive… Oreskes and Conway do an excellent job of bringing to life a complex and important environmental battle… [a] darkly fascinating history… Merchants of Doubt is an important book. How important? If you read just one book on climate change this year, read Merchants of Doubt. And if you have time to read two, reread Merchants of Doubt." Grist.org

    "Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance' by Robert Proctor (Editor) , Londa Schiebinger (Editor)
    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Agnotology-The-Making-Unmaking-Ignorance/dp/0804759014#]Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance: Robert Proctor, Londa Schiebinger: 9780804759014: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]


    "Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming"
    by Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. M. Conway
    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/dp/1608193942/ref=rdr_ext_sb_ti_sims_3[/ame]


    "There can be no science without doubt: brute dogma leaves no room for inquiry. But over the last half century, a tiny minority of scientists have wielded doubt as a political weapon to halt what they did not want said: that tobacco kills or that the climate is warming because of what we humans are doing. ‘Doubt is our product’ read a tobacco memo--and indeed, millions of dollars have gone into creating the impression of scientific controversy where there has not been one. This book about the politics of doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway explores the long, connected, and intentional obfuscation of science by manufactured controversy. It is clear, scientifically responsible, and historically compelling—it is an essential and passionate book about our times." Peter Galison, Joseph Pellegrino University Professor, Harvard University

    http://www.usmessageboard.com/science-and-technology/299118-what-you-really-believe-that.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  6. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Here's a book that should be read by every thoughtful person.

    'Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West' by John Ralston Saul

    'Reason is a narrow system
    swollen into an ideology.

    With time and power it has
    become a dogma, devoid of
    direction and disguised as
    disinterested inquiry.

    Like most religions. reason
    presents itself as the solution
    to the problems it has created.' from book

    from Amazon review: 'The Western world is full of paradoxes. We talk endlessly of individual freedom, yet we’ve never been under more pressure to conform. Our business leaders describe themselves as capitalists, yet most are corporate employees and financial speculators. We call our governments democracies, yet few of us participate in politics. We complain about invasive government, yet our legal, educational, financial, social, cultural and legislative systems are deteriorating.'
     
  7. Spiderman
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    Spiderman Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Peterf
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    Peterf Active Member

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    Even at its best fiction is reality filtered through someone else's mind. I read fiction sometimes but generally prefer reality raw and unprocessed.
     
  9. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    'Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing' Vaclav Smil

    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Made-USA-Retreat-American-Manufacturing/dp/0262019388/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8]Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing: Vaclav Smil: 9780262019385: Amazon.com: Books[/ame]

    "... But, asks Smil, do we want a society that consists of a small population of workers doing high-value-added work and masses of unemployed? Smil assesses various suggestions for solving America's manufacturing crisis, including lowering corporate tax rates, promoting research and development, and improving public education." from review

    "In every society, manufacturing builds the lower middle class. If you give up manufacturing, you end up with haves and have-nots and you get social polarization. The whole lower middle class sinks." Vaclav Smil

    This Is the Man Bill Gates Thinks You Absolutely Should Be Reading - Wired Science
     
  10. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    "Countrymen is a fascinating study in the ambiguity of virtue."

    Denmark in the Holocaust: Bo Lidegaard's "Countrymen," Reviewed | New Republic

    Also:

    'The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives' Sasha Abramsky
    'The Betrayal of the American Dream Hardcover' Donald L. Barlett, James B. Steele
    'To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise' Bethany Moreton
    'Invisible Hands: The Businessmen's Crusade Against the New Deal' Kim Phillips-Fein
    'Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming' Naomi Oreskes, Erik M. M. Conway
    'The Rhetoric of Reaction: Perversity, Futility, Jeopardy' Albert O. Hirschman
    'The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin' Corey Robin
    'Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West' by John Ralston Saul


    "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." Haruki Murakami
     

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