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Read Any Good Books Lately?

 
robbrownsyd
 
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robbrownsyd
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24 January 2014 15:17
 

Last week I did battle with a book called “Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter” by Terrence Deacon. I read it twice. I still can’t decide whether I failed to comprehend it or whether it was incomprehensible.

I got the gist - emergent phenomena result from the laws of nature constrained by what is not present in given circumstances. What is absent is vital. Take the wheel. There is a hole at the centre, an absence without which the wheel could not do its job and would not be a wheel. Are consciousness and mind like that hole? The powerful result of what’s not there?

Has anyone else looked at this book? It has had glowing praise and abysmal approbrium.

I’ve put it down for now. Later, maybe ...

Most recently, I’ve been rereading Primo Levi’s account of surviving as an Italian Jew in Auschwitz-Birkenau. IMHO, everyone should read this book.; even those who, for whatever reason, still think that they hate Jews or blacks or gays .... This book is as fresh and awful today as it was 50 years ago.

The message is as urgent as ever: We humans do this to ourselves. In the gas chambres millions of Jews, Gypsies and gays asked,” Where is god?” The answer they got was precisely the right one and the only one posssible.

There are still many today, indeed, the vast majority, who need to learn the awful truth of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

We will be so much better off when the majority of us have finally taken this lesson on board and decide to dump the pointy hats and solve our own problems using the rationality that is the defining characteristic of our species. No one, no god, and no utopian ideology we think up can do the job becaus the answers are always going to be provisional and less than perfect.  Only by understanding this can we become a “type C” civilisation and start fixing up the mess this place is in.

I hate messiness! Is that a gay thing or a Jewish thing?

BTW, how do you make a drag queen squeal? C’mon, you straight boys should know this….

NO? Ok. It’s easy. Just take her back to her place, fist fuck her then wipe you arm on the curtains.

“Argghhh! “, I hear the ladies of taste and the gentlemen of breeding say, ” Why does Rob have to be so awfully common?”

Ah thank y’all know the answer to that one already.

[ Edited: 24 January 2014 17:15 by robbrownsyd]
 
GAD
 
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GAD
Total Posts:  17722
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24 January 2014 21:15
 
Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (Rob) - 24 January 2014 02:17 PM

Most recently, I’ve been rereading Primo Levi’s account of surviving as an Italian Jew in Auschwitz-Birkenau. IMHO, everyone should read this book.; even those who, for whatever reason, still think that they hate Jews or blacks or gays .... This book is as fresh and awful today as it was 50 years ago.

The message is as urgent as ever: We humans do this to ourselves. In the gas chambres millions of Jews, Gypsies and gays asked,” Where is god?” The answer they got was precisely the right one and the only one posssible.

Not a book but watch God On Trial here before it get removed again. This film still haunts my mind after all these years.

 
 
Bugs Bunny
 
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Bugs Bunny
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25 January 2014 01:47
 

.

[ Edited: 10 April 2014 10:23 by Bugs Bunny]
 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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25 January 2014 02:23
 
Danna - 25 January 2014 12:47 AM
GAD - 24 January 2014 08:15 PM
Die fröhliche Wissenschaft (Rob) - 24 January 2014 02:17 PM

Most recently, I’ve been rereading Primo Levi’s account of surviving as an Italian Jew in Auschwitz-Birkenau. IMHO, everyone should read this book.; even those who, for whatever reason, still think that they hate Jews or blacks or gays .... This book is as fresh and awful today as it was 50 years ago.

The message is as urgent as ever: We humans do this to ourselves. In the gas chambres millions of Jews, Gypsies and gays asked,” Where is god?” The answer they got was precisely the right one and the only one posssible.

Not a book but watch God On Trial here before it get removed again. This film still haunts my mind after all these years.

I watched this tonight, the youtube “God on Trial” and it will also haunt my mind.  This is not the kind of story that can or should escape the memory.  Rob’s book of Primo Levi is on order, and what I found most disturbing are the arguments for God today have not changed.

The part where the guys talks about saving his kids and was told one would be saved if he picked one to be killed still makes me shake. He can’t decide which one to kill but remembers that Josef Mengele likes kids, especially siblings, and requests if they can be sent to him and is happy that his kids will be together.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josef_Mengele
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazi_human_experimentation

 
 
cunjevoi
 
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cunjevoi
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Joined  31-08-2011
 
 
 
25 January 2014 03:01
 

Ladies and gentlemen, give Rob a big hand!

Keep ‘em comin’ mate.

 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
Total Posts:  7686
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25 January 2014 04:46
 

Do you know how many lawyers it takes to shingle a roof?
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It depends on how thinly you slice them.

 
 
queefsr4quitters
 
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queefsr4quitters
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28 January 2014 07:30
 

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael J. Sandel

 
Hypersoup
 
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Hypersoup
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06 February 2014 15:56
 
queefsr4quitters - 28 January 2014 06:30 AM

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael J. Sandel

I read that government intervention is better at combating obesity, carbon emmissions. And probably markets cant buy universal human rights either.

 
 
Hypersoup
 
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Hypersoup
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06 February 2014 16:00
 

I read a book on Complex Adaptive Systems

http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Complex_Adaptive_Systems_An_Introduction.html?id=XQUHZC8wcdMC

The best lesson was that emergent phenomena have their own ‘statistical signature’ that is best expressed at the macro level rather than trying to formulate if bit by bit from the bottom up. And also that positive feedback can make a system unstable.

 
 
eudemonia
 
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eudemonia
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06 February 2014 16:09
 

Nothing new there. The holistic model vs the reductionist model.

All the rage these days by complexity theorists.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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23 February 2014 12:14
 

Creatures of Light And Darkness by Roger Zelazny (Thanks Burt)

In the House of the Dead where the master’s holding court
Making promises to servants with no intentions of the sort
Remembering a name after a thousand years of strife
With hopes of a return into the Middle World of Life
Separated by the sea although sharing what’s inside
The enemy is waiting for the changing of the tide
All the preparation that which gives the very breath
To wave the wand of life of witch becomes the lance of death
Sitting at the table carrion on which to feast
Sizing up the vengeance on the friendly warrior priest
All the while behind the door that all the future’s find
To find yourself ahead of time a thousand years behind
All the madness of the poet whose cane creates the spark
Battles fought and won that leave the creatures in the dark
The power of the gods submit Steel General’s lips have curled
The prince retains the House of Life of ruined Middle World.

[ Edited: 23 February 2014 13:47 by LadyJane]
 
 
bigredfutbol
 
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bigredfutbol
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23 February 2014 12:45
 
queefsr4quitters - 28 January 2014 06:30 AM

What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets, by Michael J. Sandel

Just got this from the library; as soon as I finish the book I’m currently reading (in between grad school work) I’m going to dig into it. Looks great.

 
 
icehorse
 
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icehorse
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23 February 2014 14:52
 

Wow Zelanzy - haven’t thought about his books for years… a big +1

Dan Simmons - Hyperion
David Brin - Startide Rising, Earth

 
 
KathleenBrugger
 
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KathleenBrugger
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03 March 2014 12:59
 

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn From Traditional Societies? Jared Diamond.

Fourth book of his I’ve read; I’ve had a bad cold this week and this book was a perfect companion. Easy to read but stimulating and informative.

 
 
LadyJane
 
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LadyJane
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16 July 2014 16:19
 
LadyJane - 17 January 2014 10:03 AM

Earlier this week my attention was directed toward a bunch of short stories which I am unable to access without a Kindle.  Samples I did manage to peek at were “Slaughterbowl XIII” and “Mrs. Greenfield and The Wandering Sheep” and, other than leaving me hanging, they were really fun to read.  Christian Roberts is the author and (between you and me) he seems like a pretty sick twitch.  Thankfully.  If you are lucky enough to own a Kindle, and have a dollar to spare, then the decision makes itself.  As always.

Worth every penny.

 
 
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