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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #151
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    So he's like Louis L'Amour...only robots, not cowboys?

  2. #152
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    I can understand where you're coming from Dema. My "OYE" at Plato wasn't because of its complexity or academic / theory nature. I just don't like Socrates. I found Machiavelli and Locke more more interesting to read. But reading all of them is important if you're interested in the material, how else would you be able to compare ideologies?

  3. #153
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Surely Queue's sarcasm hasn't been that hard to parse for the last couple of days. At least, I hope not.

  4. #154
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    In my defense, if you're referring to me taking Queue's post on Asimov at face value, I currently live in a country where anime bishoujo girls can give proper train etiquette instructions on posters and the gas company trucks play childish jingles as if they were ice cream trucks, all without a hint of irony. My sarcasm meter has simply given up trying anymore.

  5. #155
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2008
    Location: on a mission to civilize
    I was starting to get all sweaty and itchy trying to figure out how to juggle this one. I mean, having the two youngsters on the hook... But you?!


    You need to get the hell out of there, demagogue. Madness. Utter madness.

  6. #156
    I am reading "Great Railway Bazaar" by Paul Theroux is my favorite travel book it captures the spontaneous pleasures of travel. The route takes place from London’s Victoria Station to Asia and finally through the Trans-Siberian express.

  7. #157
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I'm seriously thinking about taking the TS railway east to west when my program is done. I wonder if clearing is along the way?

  8. #158
    LittleFlower
    Registered: Jul 2001
    Location: Netherlands
    The Princess and the Queen by George RR Martin.

    Short story, about 75 pages. Published last week as part of the Dangerous Women anthology. Description of a civil war between two parts of the Targaryen family. 170 Years before the events from the books of A Song of Ice and Fire.

    To me, it gave the impression of a very short Silmarillion. Lots of stuff happening. Very quickly, with very few words per event. Lots and lots of names. Lots of people dying. It's almost as if it is an answer to the criticism towards the 4th and 5th books of ASOIAF. Those books got criticized for not having enough action. GRRM might have thought: "You want action ? Here's some action !".

    If you've read all 5 books of ASOIAF, and the Dunk & Egg stories, you probably want to read this. Just for completion's sake. But if you haven't, then The Princess and the Queen is probably a very boring story.

  9. #159
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    About 100 pages into Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan, a Steampunk Historical Fiction taking place at the start of WW1. While I'm enjoying the alternate history and steampunk angle, it feels a bit too much like a teen novel. Finding it in the Young Adults section in my library should have been a giveaway

  10. #160
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2006
    Location: Washington DC
    Just finished re-reading Metro 2033. It is bleak. Damned bleak. More bleak even than the game. The English translations are a little iffy (mostly overly literal), but still pretty well-written, if a little on the slow side. If I'd read it before playing the game, I never would have thought it could be turned into a compelling first-person shooter.

  11. #161
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    And I wrapped up Boneshaker. It was alright, had some interesting ideas. Just started Anubis Gates but already have a feeling im not gonna like it :/

  12. #162
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Just been re-reading the Julian May Pliocene Exile series, damn that is some good shit right there.

  13. #163
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2014
    Just got around to reading The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie (of The First Law trilogy) fame. It's probably my fav book from him so far, the most down-to-earth fantasy tale that I've read to date.
    Last edited by habitual poster; 13th Feb 2014 at 09:46.

  14. #164
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Yakoob View Post
    Just started Anubis Gates but already have a feeling im not gonna like it :/
    Some great concepts. But kind of a terrible book. "You can't change the past! It already happened."

  15. #165
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2002
    Location: 1, Rotation: 0
    Chomping through Lemprière's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk. Pretty chewy fodder for the first 60-odd pages or so, but now things are finally starting to happen and there's actually a plot that's starting to move forward, and it's becoming quite enjoyable.

  16. #166
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: Netherlands
    Almost done with Greg Egan's book of short science fiction stories, Axiomatic. All the wild ideas and concepts this guy comes up with are really enjoyable.

    I will also say this: his story The Moral Virologist is the best breakdown of religious fanaticism I've ever read in prose form. A writer like Stephen King also frequently features Christian religious fanatics in his stories, but despite his strict religious upbringing I feel he doesn't really understand how these people think, so he often resorts to stereotyping. Greg Egan, however, nails it in this story if you ask me. Being a Christian myself I've spent a lot of time on Christian forums and message boards and IRL discussions, and while the majority of the people I've encountered were sensible people, I've also met quite a few extremists and came to learn how they think, and I feel Greg Egan in this story really has a good grasp of the mindset of the most extreme fringe subset of those fanatics.

    All in all I recommend the whole book.

  17. #167
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    On a wholly different note, I've been reading Don Norman's The Design of Everyday Things which is both very interesting and informative. However, the author repeats himself way too much and tries to hammer the same points over and over instead of moving on sometimes.

    And in a never-ending attempting to make myself even more evil, I have also been reading Trout Ries's Positioning: The Battle for your Mind, a book on marketing. Lots of good and important points, but feels a little over-dramatic in places (like pinning a company's failures entirely on their name).

  18. #168
    Cuddly little misanthropic hate machine
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Location: someplace better than this
    you noclipped through portal 2, you're as evil as it gets

  19. #169
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    Ha ha. What?! Yakoooooooob!
    Telepathy is not mind reading. It is the direct linking... ...of nervous systems... ...separated by space.

  20. #170
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Sometimes, I wake up crying...

  21. #171
    Member
    Registered: May 2012
    Location: Spray, OR
    Just finished Mozart in the Jungle (2005) a few days ago as part of my percussion literature class. Blair Tindall writes about her life as an oboist coming through school, then playing professionally in the New York area. Despite making a perfect storm of wrong choices, including not practicing, doing drugs, and having sex with teachers that are twice her age, she gets substitute jobs and a broadway gig in Manhattan. She makes the argument that networking is the only way to get to the top of the musical ladder, and that's not wrong. It's just that, for most, it's not sexual networking. Without going on and on, certainly worth a read if only for the perspective, but it's less a reflection of the music scene than it is of Blair Tindall. She comes across very much as a drama queen. Since the book came out, she had a short 7-week marriage to Bill Nye (The Science Guy*) and more recently owed him $57,000 in restraining order violations. Drama queen, indeed.

    *sorry, had to

    worth noting that the book has been picked up as a web series by Amazon Studios. A pilot is already out there, and more is on the way. Only loosely based on the ideas in the book.
    Last edited by arandomgamer02; 18th Mar 2014 at 15:56.

  22. #172
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I wrapped up Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy in mere two days, excellently hilarious read. Waiting for the sequel to arrive at my local library for pickup

    In the meantime, i started re-reading Catch-22 - the first book I really fell in love with many years ago. While its a bit thick in places, the writing is still bitterly clever and hilariously schizoid. I am so glad I do not have flies in my eyes.

  23. #173
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Recently finished Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Excellent insight into the fast workings of the brain. I'd call it an essential read. Take home message: we are all supremely biased, and symbilic associations are extremely powerful effectors of judgement formation.

  24. #174
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I remember reading an article on an experiment where they handed interviewers for jobs either a cup of a hot beverage or a cold beverage before and during interviewing candidates, and controlling for actual qualifications, it was something insane like 80% association (but don't trust my memory) but anyway some uncomfortably large number of cases where a candidate was hired largely because the interviewer had held a hot beverage recently, and not hired largely because they had held a cold beverage lately, other things being equal between the candidates. I recall the time of the interview was another important environmental factor (later ones prejudiced because the interviewers are tired.)

    I remember at the time reading statistics like that literally made me feel a little nauseous. It made me wonder how many "important" decisions in the world are really driven by the dumbest biases and environmental quirks.

  25. #175
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    The most disturbing part of the book dealt with sex & race. There is an experiment where you have to quickly read through a list of words and designate them feminine or masculine. The words might be something like dress, spanner, child, car etc... People can go through lists like this very easily and quickly. Then the choices had two categories, so each word could be sorted into one of two columns: feminine / family or masculine / professional. Again, people could do this very quickly without giving much thought. Lastly, the two columns were feminine / professional and masculine / family. People moved through this exercise at a a much more slow and deliberate pace as the association between woman-family and man-professional was so strong that people essentially had to switch on their attention / conscious thought in order to decide which column each word belonged in.

    Then we moved on to black-crime white-professional and vice versa - the results from this were disturbing and predictable all at once. The worst part was that black people experienced the exact same slow down, as these associations operate at a cultural level. Likewise, people who were asked to state their ethnicity prior to filling out a questionnaire about themselves: white people experienced no effect, but black people massively underestimated their own value in the questionnaires compared with those who were not asked their ethnicity.

    Above all, it highlighted to me the damage that is done by portrayal of various groups in the media. I always thought stereotype reinforcement was bad etc.. and that cultural change towards enlightened society required it to be eradicated, but I had no idea just how intrinsic these associations are and how they genuinely affect the thought process.

    It's a seriously great book, I can't recommend it enough.

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