"What are you reading?" thread

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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:09 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:yeah I got less of a "voluntary" vibe, and more of a "resigned to the nature of their society" (which was dictated, obviously, in a very systematic - and violent - way by the government, or HG. It was the HG that shot harrison, not the crowd. Had the crowd risen up when they resisted and did their dance, then I'd be more inclined to agree with you. But it was the HG who laid down the pimp hand)



exactly, a very important point

it was an arm of the government that killed the one individual in society that was going to transcend the lowest common denominator.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:31 pm

not going to derail this great thread into politics :)
Spoiler:
Zarniwoop wrote:
beardmcdoug wrote:yeah I got less of a "voluntary" vibe, and more of a "resigned to the nature of their society" (which was dictated, obviously, in a very systematic - and violent - way by the government, or HG. It was the HG that shot harrison, not the crowd. Had the crowd risen up when they resisted and did their dance, then I'd be more inclined to agree with you. But it was the HG who laid down the pimp hand)



exactly, a very important point

it was an arm of the government that killed the one individual in society that was going to transcend the lowest common denominator.



and its why I see the hillary/dnc/identity politics allegory so applicable. It would be one thing if the current rise in PC/identity politics was purely an organic grass roots thing coming from the citizens only, but its not, it literally goes all the way to the top on that half of the current US political landscape
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:33 pm

Zarniwoop wrote:
Mountaineer Buc wrote:The HG to me is more descriptive of society than government. I think about how some people in your life will dismiss accomplishments so you don't look better by contrast.

Sally became an executive? she must have slept her way to the top.
Jimmy got a PhD, but he doesn't have a lick of common sense.
Bob is rich, which means he's an ***hole who ripped people off to make his money.
Jamal got out of the ghetto by acting white.

Everyone in the story voluntarily wears their handicaps and never considers casting them off...except for Harrison. Who does and instantly becomes more than anyone could have imagined. He literally floats to the ceiling.

Society can't have that, so it kills him.


We do this all the time. We build people up for the express purpose of knocking them down.





Of course the root of this idea came from "the people" -- they are using government as their vehicle of choice for enforcing their will upon others.



In reference to your bolded point -- You think all people are happy to be wearing these handicaps? If so, why are there laws mandating that they do so? I'm happy to breathe and eat and sleep...we don't need laws telling me to do those things.

You think people are wearing them voluntarily with no coercion from the government? They are wearing them because they see when they take them off they are immediately killed by an agent of the government. I hardly consider that voluntary.

The story is clearly at attack on two things: modern society's push towards "equality" and political correctness at all costs (without giving it much thought) and a direct criticism of the political end of that spectrum -- the individuality sapping communist government.

Vonnegut was a socialist.

Vonnegut called George Orwell his favorite writer, and admitted that he tried to emulate Orwell. "I like his concern for the poor, I like his socialism, I like his simplicity", Vonnegut said.[113] Vonnegut also said that Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, heavily influenced his debut novel, Player Piano, in 1952. Vonnegut commented that Robert Louis Stevenson's stories were emblems of thoughtfully put together works that he tried to mimic in his own compositions.[92] Vonnegut also hailed playwright and socialist George Bernard Shaw as "a hero of [his]", and an "enormous influence."[114]
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:37 pm

All that being said, I think it's too simplistic to say the Vonnegut was being critical of government overreach.

That's why I think it more a social commentary than a political one.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:39 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:
Zarniwoop wrote:



Of course the root of this idea came from "the people" -- they are using government as their vehicle of choice for enforcing their will upon others.



In reference to your bolded point -- You think all people are happy to be wearing these handicaps? If so, why are there laws mandating that they do so? I'm happy to breathe and eat and sleep...we don't need laws telling me to do those things.

You think people are wearing them voluntarily with no coercion from the government? They are wearing them because they see when they take them off they are immediately killed by an agent of the government. I hardly consider that voluntary.

The story is clearly at attack on two things: modern society's push towards "equality" and political correctness at all costs (without giving it much thought) and a direct criticism of the political end of that spectrum -- the individuality sapping communist government.

Vonnegut was a socialist.

Vonnegut called George Orwell his favorite writer, and admitted that he tried to emulate Orwell. "I like his concern for the poor, I like his socialism, I like his simplicity", Vonnegut said.[113] Vonnegut also said that Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, heavily influenced his debut novel, Player Piano, in 1952. Vonnegut commented that Robert Louis Stevenson's stories were emblems of thoughtfully put together works that he tried to mimic in his own compositions.[92] Vonnegut also hailed playwright and socialist George Bernard Shaw as "a hero of [his]", and an "enormous influence."[114]


a) calling 1 person that is a socialist a "hero" hardly makes you, yourself, a socialist

b) I'm a "food eater", but that doesn't necessarily mean I wouldn't be interested in writing a short story that fleshes out and warns about the potential ills of eating too much food
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:45 pm

I think you guys are projecting, but that's what interpreting literature is all about.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:48 pm

Mountaineer Buc wrote:I think you guys are projecting, but that's what interpreting literature is all about.

:)
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:03 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Buc2 wrote:I just bought the eBook series of GoT for my Kindle. I figured since HBO's Season 8 pushes past the books written by Martin, it's time I went ahead and read the books. That should tide me over until Season 8 finally airs.


Didn't the show leave the books in season 6? I was pretty sure season 5 followed A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons.

You are correct. Guess I could have started reading the books a year ago. :lol:
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Rocker » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:14 pm

uscbucsfan wrote:
Rocker wrote:
I’m assuming you’re referring to WoT?

Many of the people I’ve discussed the series with get hung up around the same part you did. Lord of Chaos is probably my least favorite installment; however if you can make it through that, it really does pay off...actually, if the female characters bother you that much, maybe it’s best you leave off, considering that two of the following books focus quite a bit on their arcs, haha.


The female characters are really poorly written, shallow, and bitchy. I'll make it through eventually.


I’ll agree that Egwene and Aviendha (sic) are shallow in comparison to the rest of the cast, but imho Elayne and Nynaeve (and others, but I don’t want to spoil) feel properly fleshed out and have story arcs I care(d) about and could get into.

Again, books 6-8 were the hardest for me to get through; in terms of plot progression - but they do cover events that are important for the end game - the “climax” books of 10-13 are epic in every sense of the word.

Provided you invested your time in the preceding books.

I’ve read the entire series through probably 4-5 times, as I became a fan of it while books were yet to be released. Perhaps my thoughts are swayed by that.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Caradoc » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:39 pm

Rocker wrote:Beard, PM your thoughts as you get going. It’s Sanderson’s penultimate work to date. His Reckoners series is a boatload of easy reading post-apocalyptic fun; but is certainly geared towards a younger audience. I’ve got my younger cousin reading it, and she went through book one in three days. The Mistborn series is something in between. It was obvious that he grew as an author while writing these books, and it shines through in the Stormlight Archives.

If anyone is slogging through the Wheel of Time series, he penned the latter half of book twelve and all of thirteen sans the final chapter; and honored Jordan’s work well, imho.

Surprised no one else has read the Dresden Files. Absolutely amazing, gritty urban fantasy.


Oh - if you’ve ever so much as dabbled in sci-fi/fantasy, check out Dan Simmons Ilium, and Olympos. It’s ****ing incredible; a thinking persons Let there be Dragons, if you will.



LMAO at "slogging through" the Wheel of time. I think I got about 6 or 7 books into that before I couldn't take any more. Slogging is definitely an appropriate term. The one thing I always wondered, does Lanfear ever make a return appearance after her curt dismissal early in the series? It seemed a bizarrely abrupt end for what seemed like was going to be a major character.

I tried to make this more of a "now' list than a "best" list, but Dresden files are absolutely up there. (I think I made reference to this series in the movie remake thread.) If you like his work, don't skip out on the "Codex Alera" series he wrote too, very different but amazingly well done.

For Urban Fantasy read Neil Gaiman if you want some of the best out there.

I have not read GoT, but I am told that if you like that you should check out the Malazan Book of the Fallen series (Starts with Gardens of The Moon), it is a much bleaker look with more magic, but an exceptionally rich and complex world and truly epic scope. It's a hard slog though, like Wheel of Time.

Another gritty fantasy series is the Chronicles of the Black Company by Glen Cook. It is a very gritty and grim look at a mercenary company in a fantasy setting.

Finally, if you like sarcasm and dry humor with convoluted plots, look up Steven Brust's Taltos series, light reading fantasy about a human assassin in an elf-dominated world.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Caradoc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:07 am

I'll not derail this, but I will just observe that the people wearing their handicaps in Harrison Bergeron is voluntary like women wearing burqas in Saudi Arabia is voluntary.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Caradoc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:14 am

Rocker wrote:
Revisiting a series from the past in Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality.


Ah, this was the post I actually came looking for tonight! I saw that and was glad someone else had read it and even knew what it was called (I couldn't remember). Piers Anthony was a favorite of mine when I was young and that series was just awesomely creative. The scene with Death and the praying mantis freaked me the hell out - when I was a kid I was holding one of those 'peaceful bug eaters' when the ****er bit me, I've had a mantis phobia ever since. A giant mantis? **** no!
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby MJW » Fri Nov 10, 2017 6:12 am

I've read maybe 1.5 "self help" books in my life, but this is a great one:

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It's basically about prioritizing what's worth caring about, and learning not to concern yourself with the challenges of caring about it. Really good stuff.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Rocker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:51 am

Caradoc; Lanfear returns. I won’t say more in this thread to avoid spoilers.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby The Outsider » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:15 am

Rocker wrote:Caradoc; Lanfear returns. I won’t say more in this thread to avoid spoilers.


And it's kind of funny.

Also, to any interested, the new book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive comes out this week, I think.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Rocker » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:19 am

IIRC, it comes out the 14th. I tried for an ARC, but didn’t get lucky.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Heidguy » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:46 pm

"**** my mother-in-law says" it should be a book.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Mountaineer Buc » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:09 am

Heidguy wrote:"**** my mother-in-law says" it should be a book.

I got the thread title from a book.

"**** my father says"

They made a sitcom about it for about 10 minutes.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:37 pm

C.S. Lewis -- The abolition of man (1943)

You can find it free on-line as it is out of copyright







From Wiki:

Lewis begins with a critical response to “The Green Book”, by “Gaius and Titius”, i.e. The Control of Language: A Critical Approach to Reading and Writing, published in 1939 by Alexander ("Alec") King and Martin Ketley.[1] The Green Book was used as a text for upper form students in British schools.[2]

Lewis criticizes the authors for subverting student values. He claims that they teach that all statements of value (such as "this waterfall is sublime") are merely statements about the speaker's feelings and say nothing about the object.[3] Such a view, Lewis argues, makes nonsense of value talk. It implies, for example, that when a speaker condemns some act as contemptible, he or she is really saying: "I have contemptible feelings."[4] By denying that values are real or that sentiments can be reasonable, subjectivism saps moral motivation[5] and robs people of the ability to respond emotionally to experiences of real goodness and real beauty in literature and in the world.[6] Moreover, it is impossible, Lewis claims, to be a consistent moral subjectivist. Even the authors of The Green Book clearly believe that some things (such as improved student learning) are really good and desirable.[7]

Lewis cites ancient thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle and Augustine, who believed that the purpose of education was to train children in "ordinate affections," that is, to train them to like and dislike what they ought; to love the good and hate the bad. He says that although these values are universal, they do not develop automatically or inevitably in children (and so are not "natural" in that sense of the word), but must be taught through education. Those who lack them lack the specifically human element, the trunk that unites intellectual man with visceral (animal) man, and may be called "men without chests".
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 4:46 pm

But can't good and bad itself be subjective? Who determines what is good and what is bad? In the context of that Wiki piece, Lewis, Plato, Aristotle, et al, come off as very Orwellian if you ask me.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Kress » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:16 pm

Reverse order, because I've watched the movies, but I'm starting the Hunger Games series. I'll see how much I can drive the movie images out of my mind and just enjoy the books.....
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:25 pm

Buc2 wrote:But can't good and bad itself be subjective? Who determines what is good and what is bad? In the context of that Wiki piece, Lewis, Plato, Aristotle, et al, come off as very Orwellian if you ask me.


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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Rocker » Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:45 pm

Latest read: Artemis, by the same guy that wrote The Martian. It was decidedly worse than The Martian, so I went back and re-read that.

Absolutely devoured Oathbreaker. Need a re-read to pick up anything I may have missed.

On deck: Kingslayer Chronicles. I’ve heard good things.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:06 pm

Buc2 wrote:But can't good and bad itself be subjective? Who determines what is good and what is bad? In the context of that Wiki piece, Lewis, Plato, Aristotle, et al, come off as very Orwellian if you ask me.



Most of those guys you cited go about it from a natural Rights / natural law perspective. We don’t really talk about this anymore because people seem to think rights come from government.

There are plenty of people that don’t believe in natural rights at all ... from all time periods.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:41 am

Zarniwoop wrote:
Buc2 wrote:But can't good and bad itself be subjective? Who determines what is good and what is bad? In the context of that Wiki piece, Lewis, Plato, Aristotle, et al, come off as very Orwellian if you ask me.



Most of those guys you cited go about it from a natural Rights / natural law perspective. We don’t really talk about this anymore because people seem to think rights come from government.

There are plenty of people that don’t believe in natural rights at all ... from all time periods.

I get that. I'd also call that a common sense perspective. Lack of common sense has become almost epidemic today.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:48 am

As for what I'm reading, I'm still on Game of Thrones. When I found out the next season won't happen until 2019, I haven't been in much hurry to pick it back up to continue. Instead, I've been immersed in TV shows like, Mindhunter, Dark, Stranger Things, Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition on Netflix (it's actually a Swedish series called Millennium but was renamed for the US release).
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby The Outsider » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:36 am

I just finished Fire and Fury which was kind of disappointing as there is nothing really big in the book. It kind of just paints a picture of almost everyone being completely out of their depth.

I'm now getting in to Oathborn by Sanderson as I got side tracked before that came out as I didn't realize there was a whole other Mistborn trilogy that is out. Those were really, really good.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby paco74 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:25 pm

Practical MEMS by Ville Kaajakari

Microelctro mechanical systems (MEMS)
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby paco74 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:30 pm

Buc2 wrote:As for what I'm reading, I'm still on Game of Thrones. When I found out the next season won't happen until 2019, I haven't been in much hurry to pick it back up to continue. Instead, I've been immersed in TV shows like, Mindhunter, Dark, Stranger Things, Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition on Netflix (it's actually a Swedish series called Millennium but was renamed for the US release).


If interested, there are books also. Currently the total is five. After "Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" is "Girl in the Spider's Web" and "Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye".

Haven't read them yet but I have them for when life allows me some recreational reading.
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Re: "What are you reading?" thread

Postby paco74 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:32 pm

Kress wrote:Reverse order, because I've watched the movies, but I'm starting the Hunger Games series. I'll see how much I can drive the movie images out of my mind and just enjoy the books.....

They are quick reads and definitely some important things there that were omitted from the movies. Enjoy!
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