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Old 02-18-2014, 09:25 PM   #2791
ROCSteady
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I'm reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

It's pretty sharp and it drew me in instantly.

Started reading becuz David Fincher is adapting for film and stories he makes are usually a wild ride
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:40 PM   #2792
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Any of you read books from Gladwell? I am currently reading outliers, the one with 10000 hours rule.
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Old 02-18-2014, 11:44 PM   #2793
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Default Re: What are you reading?



The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:01 AM   #2794
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by absalom
Any of you read books from Gladwell? I am currently reading outliers, the one with 10000 hours rule.

Just ordered Outliers over the weekend, should be here tomorrow. Also have The Tipping Point and Blink.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:29 AM   #2795
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I just finished the sixty issues corresponding to the Infinity marvel comic book event.

Also, I'm a quarter done with The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig, Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson and Mind Games by Roland Lazenby.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:19 AM   #2796
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I wanna be a counselor in the teacher's union
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:44 AM   #2797
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsfan1357
Just ordered Outliers over the weekend, should be here tomorrow. Also have The Tipping Point and Blink.

Outliers is excellent, as is the Tipping Point. Blink not so much
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:01 AM   #2798
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsfan1357
Just ordered Outliers over the weekend, should be here tomorrow. Also have The Tipping Point and Blink.

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Old 03-11-2014, 07:09 PM   #2799
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Default Re: What are you reading?

The Social Contract by Rousseau

Didn't think much of it and actually just quit with about 30 pages left because it just felt tedious and a waste of effort. I think the book is pretty terrible as a prescriptive philosophy of government. His idea of the general will is far too idealistic...to the point that it has little value. The only thing that salvaged the book for me was his idea about property rights being the essential link in the social contract.

The idea is that we must give up our rights to the collective (through a social contract, which became formal government) in order to actually have those rights. It seems kind of silly and its hard to explain in words but I think it is a fairly accurate description of the historical formation of government.
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Old 03-14-2014, 09:34 PM   #2800
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Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

Just started it. This is the first novel from the True Detective creator. While reading more about this book, I found out that it's going to be turned into a movie starring Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust & Bone). Sounds intriguing.

Last edited by irondarts : 03-14-2014 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 03-21-2014, 07:58 PM   #2801
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Default Re: What are you reading?

"Floating City" by Sudhir Venkatesh

"Uzumaki" by Junji Ito

"Crux" by Ramez Naam

"Martha Washington Saves The World" by Frank Miller
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Old 04-17-2014, 04:02 PM   #2802
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Recently finished Cosmos by Sagan and it was everything I hoped it would be. Dude had a way with words.



Pretty eye opening book. Pretty much the dark underbelly of U.S. history with a convincing narrative woven throughout. He is careful not to overstate his opinion but I think it is an important book with how insane the intense the deification of the founding fathers has become. I'm only like 150 pages in but it is very good so far.

edit -

One of the main of the interesting ideas that is floated in the book is the idea of how the U.S. government was able to build a middle class voting coalition that was used to maintain stability during the early years of the government. The idea the Zinn presents is that the new nation was so rich in land and resources that they were able to distribute a small portion of it to the people to build a middle class of farmers and skilled workers. The amount of land and wealth taken from the Loyalists and Indian’s was so vast that they could keep the majority and distribute a small amount to ameliorate the people. In the end, the country had enough middle class landowners to create a broad coalition whose interests were directly correlated with government stability. Zinn is careful to avoid accusing the government of nefarious plotting here but he claims that the situation was just a natural development of the wealth protecting their own interests.

The idea really gets interesting when the development of the U.S. and Russia are compared (this isn’t in the book). The wealth gap was so extreme in early American history that there were many rebellions by slaves and poor whites. During many of the rebellion, calls for the equal distribution of land and food for everyone were popular. Sounds a lot like the development of Russian socialism. I think that Russia and the U.S. took separate developmental paths because of the compositions of their governments.
Russia had a top down monarchy that proved to be too rigid and out of touch to adapt to changing societal conditions. That were too slow to adapt to the wishes of the people and policy changes were too little, too late. In the end, violent uprising succeeded. However, the U.S. had the state government and a voting process that kept the government and the wealthy elite constantly in tune with the public sentiment. Public opinion was heard and adapted to but the elite still control government office because you had to own a certain amount of land/wealth to hold office in most states. Most states took active policy steps to ease tensions by forgiving debt, changes in the law, and giving Indian land to the people. This calmed rebellions and shifted the focus of public anger toward the Indian population who continued to fight at the frontier.

The principles of government coercion in America from then are still present today but they helped to protect the democracy and the capitalist system. Zinn highlights the mistreatment of millions at the hands of the U.S. government during its development but the ends might justify the means here. But then again, it is pretty easy for me to say that as a middle class, white male living in 2014.

But it is also very difficult to imagine how the development of the country would look better if the government didn't viciously mistreat people during its development. American culture would no doubt have benefited from an inclusion of native american culture and the agricultural/environmental landscape would be very different. The end of slavery with the introduction of the Bill of Rights would have saved countless lives and recovered billions in lost human potential. The book is really a precautionary tale for current generations about the power structures of government and their resiliency.

Last edited by Jailblazers7 : 04-17-2014 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:19 PM   #2803
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
Recently finished Cosmos by Sagan and it was everything I hoped it would be. Dude had a way with words.



Pretty eye opening book. Pretty much the dark underbelly of U.S. history with a convincing narrative woven throughout. He is careful not to overstate his opinion but I think it is an important book with how insane the intense the deification of the founding fathers has become. I'm only like 150 pages in but it is very good so far.

edit -

One of the main of the interesting ideas that is floated in the book is the idea of how the U.S. government was able to build a middle class voting coalition that was used to maintain stability during the early years of the government. The idea the Zinn presents is that the new nation was so rich in land and resources that they were able to distribute a small portion of it to the people to build a middle class of farmers and skilled workers. The amount of land and wealth taken from the Loyalists and Indian’s was so vast that they could keep the majority and distribute a small amount to ameliorate the people. In the end, the country had enough middle class landowners to create a broad coalition whose interests were directly correlated with government stability. Zinn is careful to avoid accusing the government of nefarious plotting here but he claims that the situation was just a natural development of the wealth protecting their own interests.

The idea really gets interesting when the development of the U.S. and Russia are compared (this isn’t in the book). The wealth gap was so extreme in early American history that there were many rebellions by slaves and poor whites. During many of the rebellion, calls for the equal distribution of land and food for everyone were popular. Sounds a lot like the development of Russian socialism. I think that Russia and the U.S. took separate developmental paths because of the compositions of their governments.
Russia had a top down monarchy that proved to be too rigid and out of touch to adapt to changing societal conditions. That were too slow to adapt to the wishes of the people and policy changes were too little, too late. In the end, violent uprising succeeded. However, the U.S. had the state government and a voting process that kept the government and the wealthy elite constantly in tune with the public sentiment. Public opinion was heard and adapted to but the elite still control government office because you had to own a certain amount of land/wealth to hold office in most states. Most states took active policy steps to ease tensions by forgiving debt, changes in the law, and giving Indian land to the people. This calmed rebellions and shifted the focus of public anger toward the Indian population who continued to fight at the frontier.

The principles of government coercion in America from then are still present today but they helped to protect the democracy and the capitalist system. Zinn highlights the mistreatment of millions at the hands of the U.S. government during its development but the ends might justify the means here. But then again, it is pretty easy for me to say that as a middle class, white male living in 2014.

But it is also very difficult to imagine how the development of the country would look better if the government didn't viciously mistreat people during its development. American culture would no doubt have benefited from an inclusion of native american culture and the agricultural/environmental landscape would be very different. The end of slavery with the introduction of the Bill of Rights would have saved countless lives and recovered billions in lost human potential. The book is really a precautionary tale for current generations about the power structures of government and their resiliency.


As we've seen in every political system, there is always going to be a heirarchy. You even see it in sports or really in any group situation. Groups naturally evolve to have a "leader". And leaders always tread a fine line between what they provide of value to the group, and what spoils they take for themselves as compensation. The more knowledge and initiative found within the rest of the group, the less the leader is relied upon and therefore has less leeway to get away with things.

This is a problem we're having in America. The mindless masses who spend all their time on Facebook are growing like crazy. And unfortunately those are the ones who reproduce the most, and pass on their same shitty habits to their kids. These people, in an increasingly complex world, are less and less capable of doing or thinking anything on their own, and rely on the crutch of government more and more. This creates a favorable situation for those in power.

The intelligent, tax-paying, middle class minority are the ones who truly get shammed. And because this problem is MOST dramatic, in areas dominated by black and hispanic populations, it is impossible to speak out about it because those who control the government also control the media, and any attempts to speak out about these realities will either be ignored or smeared. And young, dumb, naive little "wannabe rebel" sheep will mindlessly join in on the smearing of the mean ol' bigot who is pointing out where these problems exist, what their impact is, and which cultural values are responsible for them, because they are all heart and no head, and they are deluded by the fantasy that if we just give everyone a bunch of money and then step back and let things happen, we'll have ever-lasting equality.

It's headed for a breaking point. America will not be strong forever. That's a guarantee.
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:25 PM   #2804
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Journey to the Center of the Earth - Jules Verne

Nothing to complicated. I'm at the middle i'm reading 15-20 pages a day, my first book in many years and it's pretty interesting so far. Just found out that there is a movie, will watch after i finish it, i wonder if it will be as i imagined
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Old 04-17-2014, 06:34 PM   #2805
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Default Re: What are you reading?

just starting on book one of the game of thrones actually.
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