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Old 02-21-2013, 12:59 AM   #1
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Books Part V, featuring Benny Profane and the Whole Sick Crew

The Better Angels Of Our Nature, by Steven Pinker is kind of a beast I'm powering through right now. Basically a 700 page tome about the phenomenon of violence over time; it summarizes the argument pretty well in the first 100+ pages and then spends the rest of the time carpetbombing any objections you may have to the idea that present day society is the least violent in human history.

I'm on kind of a non-fiction kick, so in that vein the next book I'm looking to pick up is The Wages of Destruction, which is looking at Nazi Germany through an economic perspective. One of its points apparently is that Germany invading the Soviet Union was absolutely necessary since Western Europe didn't have the resources for Hitler to be able to crack open the British Isles.

Reading: Still sexy since 2009.
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:12 AM   #2
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1973 R.I.F - Reading Is Fundamental PSA - YouTube
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:46 AM   #3
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Nice title, mobvok.

I got about 100 pages into V last summer and need to get back to it. Funny shit.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:08 PM   #4
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Death Note - Tsugumi Ohba/Takeshi Obata

It's short, no longer running, and both the art and story were way cooler than most of the other free first chapter previews I perused on the viz media manga app. And the whole shorter, no longer ongoing appeals to me since I hate not reading things in order in their entirety, but the kind of time/money sink that Naruto would require would be ridiculous.

Paul S Kemp - Riptide

Probably my least favorite Paul S Kemp novel (and once I finish this, I'll have read all of them) in any setting. Kinda feels like I'm slogging through it, even though it's not even 300 pages and I'm about 2/3 of the way through. His force combat descriptions in his other Star Wars novels felt kind of weak to me, lacking in vocabulary variety when compared to his sword and sorcery combat descriptions. This one is considerably duller than its predecessor and much, much more than the last one. And I care nothing for the clones which are a huge part of the book.
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Old 03-03-2013, 01:43 AM   #5
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I'm still reading Atlas Shrugged, the longest book ever written. It's actually getting interesting. The characters are all a bunch of miserable, immoral sad sacks (except when they're having sex, a lot), but I think they're all reaching a breaking point and stuff is gonna happen! I hope!

Basically, it seems to be about what happens when big government gets out of control and tries to force business and industry to be "fair." Hmm.
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Old 03-03-2013, 06:57 PM   #6
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I just finished Kwame Anthony Appiah's Cosmopolitanism. It's incredible in terms of Appiah's general arguments and appeals to a shared - but differing - humanity, but I felt like he became, for large portions of the book, essentially an apologist for capitalist-imperialist logic in a really indirect and occasionally evasive way. I'll definitely be borrowing some of his ideas for my own writing, but I ended up disappointed - and profoundly - from time to time.
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Old 03-03-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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Just finished Death Valley in '49 by William Lewis Manly.

Just started Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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Finished A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. It was pretty awesome. You should read it.

Reading Mind's Eye by Oliver Sacks
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:21 AM   #9
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A book thread! Great!

I'm currently reading Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster by Svetlana Alexievich. I just ordered Ready Player One too. I'm hoping I can get started with that one by the end of this week.
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Old 03-12-2013, 06:28 PM   #10
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Finished Mind's Eye. I felt it got more interesting as the book went on. I was especially interested in the chapters on Blindness. So much so that I ordered a book he speaks about (Touching the Rock by John Hull). Anyway, it was fascinating. You should read it. (too many footnotes though! Baaaaaah)

Not sure if I'll read The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker next or Life: An Unauthorized Biography by Richard Fortey... I'm thinking the latter to break up the cognitive science a little bit.... Has anyone read either of those?
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #11
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Not sure if I'll read The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker
One of my friends is reading this, he's liking it.
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by u2popmofo View Post
One of my friends is reading this, he's liking it.
Oh, good to hear. I hadn't read anything by him before. I started on the Fortey book, but I'm looking forward to that one.

Also, it was on my list and when I was randomly in Indigo, I found the hardcover in the bargain bin for $5
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:42 PM   #13
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I've just seen 4 or 5 videos of him on Youtube. Big Think ones and some others filmed from presentations and such. He has crazy hair.

I like this video quite a bit:

Steven Pinker on Human Evolution - YouTube
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Old 03-15-2013, 05:49 PM   #14
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Cool video. Thanks for posting.

He's Canadian. Are you okay with that?

I also really like reading Ben Goldacre's stuff and he's got crazy hair too. There must be a correlation between intelligence and crazy hair



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Old 03-16-2013, 12:05 AM   #15
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I just ordered Ready Player One too. I'm hoping I can get started with that one by the end of this week.
I read this. It was fun. It was like watching a harmless comedy or something....nice diversion, etc.

I'm currently reading Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon. This is another espionage novel, more Le Carre than Ludlum, but clearly not Le Carre. My first time reading Kanon.

Before that I read the rather long Great North Road by Peter F Hamilton. I actually am a sucker for lengthy books (OMG Shogun ), I love the immersion they can provide. This book was also the first time I had read this author, and, as soap opera sci-fi goes, it was pretty good.

I think I already mentioned in the last thread how disappointed I was with Telegraph Avenue so there's that.
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