Going through The Craftsman by Richard Sennett. Quite interesting so far. Here are some quotes.
“Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake.”
“Issac Stern rule: the better your technique, the more impossible your standards.”
“Developments in high technology reflect an ancient model for craftsmanship, but the reality on the ground is that people who aspire to be good craftsmen are depressed, ignored, or misunderstood by social institutions. These ills are complicated because few institutions set out to produce unhappy workers. People seek refuge in inwardness when material engagement proves empty; mental anticipation is privileged above concrete encounter; standards of quality in work separate design from execution.”
Finished All Quiet on the Western Front
It's kind of strange to me how WWI seemed to have shattered the consciousnesses of an entire generation of people and you can see its influence in all sorts of places you might not expect, like fantasy MMOs with their cratered hellscape vision of war, yet WWII, which is usually touted as the bigger, more important one, didn't really leave much of an impact at all when it comes to ongoing culture.
If you enjoy reading the same drivel over and over again, who cares?
Is it worse than watching a sitcom?
Is anything ever really original, anyways?
Reading Murakami is like masturbating in a corner while hallucinating various forms of magical beasts in the patterns of the dried paint on the wall. Some people think dried paint is boring. I think it's fun, maybe even arousing.
I encourage each and every one of you to find your own magical beasts in the books you read. Sometimes all it takes is a little imagination, possibly some schizophrenia, but, I can tell you one thing…
It's a hell of a good time.
I picked up a compilation of Lovecraft stories as well and I've been reading it on and off. I really enjoy them.
I haven't read that, but I've read Marcovaldo by the same guy and liked it a lot.
I just finished Roadside Picnic recently. The last few weeks I've been going on a STALKER binge, I watched the Tarkovsky adaptation and I've been playing modded Anomaly. Really good stuff.
This year I've been reading a lot of Russian stuff actually. Right now I'm juggling The Ugly Swans (also by Strugatsky bros) and Notes from the Underground by Dostoevsky. Honestly it's made me consider starting to learn Russian, but I want to get proficient in Spanish before I switch over.
Since my last post I've read:
Slan by A.E Van Vogt, a very good short sci-fi book about a young boy who is a Slan(a mutant) trying to survive in a futuristic world and find other Slans;
Permanent Record, Edward snowden's biography, he is a very interesting person, the type who you'd only see/read in crazy conspiracy blogs
I've continuing to read Lovecraft's stories, Call of Cthulhu deserves the recognition it has
I am currently reading Do androids dream of electric sheep, i am a fan of Blade Runner, especially 2049, and plan on reading Neuromancer, Gaiseric the vandal who destroyed Rome and Where wizards stay up late: The origins of the internet>>870
yes sushi roll, I've read it a couple of months ago and it's probably in my top favorite books, I've liked it so much that i even bought it physical and watched STALKER(very good movie btw)
It's a non fiction book so I dunno if it's the right kind of book for this thread but I'm reading - 1587: A Year of No Significance; the Ming Dynasty in Decline - and I really like this style of historical literature. Anyone else have books like it?
Really great manga. As far as sci-fi manga goes imo it's only surpassed by Akira and Alita. Also, read Eden! if you haven't already.>>635>>633
How's 1q84? Diving into a long Murakami's novel feels comfy but I think that over time I grew tired of his style, he just uses the same characters archetypes and plot structures in every novel.
I want to give a shot to his short stories tho, can anyone recc a good one to start with?
I think this theme is quite common with japanese literature. Most authors tend to focus mostly on the aesthetic and atmosphere while leaving the real content behind. There are some exception tho.>>804
A real masterpiece, read "If on a Winter's Night a Traveler" if you haven't already
I just finished Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, and was hooked all the way through from the second page. Excellent fantasy novel. I am now a few chapters into House of Leaves, and it looks like it's going to be as spooky as people say.
This is my favorite book: A Little Princess.
Never understood why The Little Prince is more popular, I think this book is way better.
Sara's dad and his relationship with Sara is admirable and makes me wish we had more father figures like Mr. Crewe in our media.
Even when she's starving, Sara chooses to feed a girl that looks hungrier than her. This shows that dignity is a state of mind.
There's also a movie and I think one anime based off this book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3WJrWZ_npg
…but I am absolutely in love with this book's ending. 'Since you know what hunger feels like…'
Bit of an FDA binge, but "Bracing for Armageddon?: The Science and Politics of Bioterrorism in America", "Hitting America's Soft Underbelly: The Potential Threat of Deliberate Biological Attacks Againist the U.S. Agricultural and Food Industry", and "In Food We Trust: The Politics of Purity in American Food Regulation".
First is a book going over the most likely bio-terror methods and their expected outcome. The book sounds like "doomsday is upon us", but it actually spends most of the text arguing while bioterrorism can kill many it is extremely unlikely to happen making the billions invested in its prevention wasted money and that said billions wasn't spent in response to an actual threat, but instead post 9/11 and anthrax letters paranoia. The book suffers from trying to balance being both an overview of Bio-terror and a sociological study on what caused the fear of it making both thesis come out half baked. It's a nice book if you want a quick overview of bioterror and it's history, but if you want something in-depth I'd go with Seth Carus book on the subject and a standard history of post-9/11 America. The books most interesting chapter is it going over what the author thinks a pandemic would play out like. His guess is eerily similar to covid even predicting the rise of anti-vaxxers.
"Hitting America's Soft Underbelly" is a more indepth bio terror book with a trade off when it comes to generality. The book was fun to me though because I lived near farms and what they said rang true. The average farm has terrible security to the point I could walk up to a chicken house and inject the chickens with god knows what. Overall more of a government report than a fun read.
"In Food We Trust" is a history of the FDA and critique of it's lack of power. The books best part was that it brought big news stories everyone forgot about, jack in the box salmonella, PB salmonella, Chilean grape scare, and analyzed them in depth. Another point of interest was how it went over how weak the FDA is, underfunded and staffed, inability to force companies to recall products, and more. One downside is that the book isn't trying to be a full history of the FDA, but instead it's trying to explain how the FDA's flaws developed. The book sped through or straight up skimped 'unimportant' eras. Overall a good book.
Jesus I gotta start reading more fiction.
I really got into the Brandon Sanderson books, all the cosmere things. He also cranks out books like crazy, which is nice. I really like the way he settles climaxes in his books. His books play out like a movie in my head.
I got pretty darn spooked out by the House of Leaves when I read it too.
I honestly checked the date of this post to make sure it wasn't me, lol.
I'm currently reading All Quiet on the Western Front, though.
here. I took a break from House of Leaves, and am currently reading the second Mistborn book by Brandon Sanderson, and The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. Both are really good.
Ooh, I remember liking Rama as a kid. Nothing really "happens" in that book, but there's still something gripping about it.
Been reading Don Quixote on my work breaks. Really enjoyable book, its shockingly similar to modern novels in its style and prose. After that I am going to read The Fall of Gondolin by Tolkien.>>678
Let me know what you think about the Silmarillion, I really like that work.
Haven't had much time to read lately, right now I'm still stuck in Dune. I hope during my Christmas break I can get through it.
Capitalism and freedom
How is this book? By the title it would seem to me that it were written by a capitalist and therefore prone to selective information. My question is, is it actually critical, or does it read more like a defense of capitalism?
i used to carry this copy of the myth of sisyphus in my messenger bag everywhere i went when i was 17-18 years old and just started college.
i always hoped a cutie would come up to me while i read it and say that I'm really cool and want to be my friend (but that never happened, obviously). i don't think anyone thought i was cool, they probably thought i was a tryhard (i clearly was, obviously).
It's one of the most influential books on economics. The writer was one of the cornerstones of the "Chicago school" and an economic advisor to both former US President Reagan and former UK Prime Minister Thatcher. It's definitely written from a pro-capitalist, specifically supply side, point of view, and the central idea of it is basically the "the freer the markets the freer the people" maxim.
Though, strangely, it's not as anti-state assistance as some other books in that vein are and actually argues for a GMI. It's still packed with ideas that I find downright absurd, like getting rid of licensing for medical professionals.
>>999>Reagan and Thatcher
Oh god. Yes I did read some reviews after I posted that and I realized it's pretty much neoliberal thought (from what I read). I asked because I've been reading Sowell's Basic Economics and while it's been illuminating it also omits some of the more bleak consequences of the very same principles he advocates for free markets, you know, the stuff we perceive every day comingfrom big corp.
I just wish there was a less biased book on economics. Well, I suppose there are, I just gotta look for them .
>>1000>you know, the stuff we perceive every day comingfrom big corp.
Most hardcore liberals would argue that the existence of megacorps that are a law unto themselves is a product of government intervention. Without entering into a parasitic relationship with the state these organisations would inevitably become inefficient, lose focus, and collapse under their own weight. The fact that legislators also refuse to let large corps collapse for fear of short term economic consequences is its own issue.
I don't think you're ever going to find an unbiased take on economics, any author that purports to be is trying to hide his biases which is worse, in my opinion. The best economics book I've read is J.A. Schumpeter's Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy, it's full of these insanely clever detached observations and almost anti-ideological in that Schumpeter throws sand in the face of all the conventional positions at the time (written in the '30s).
tl;dr; capitalism is doomed to fail because the more wealth it creates in society the more it breeds a sense of antipathy among the intelligentsia, the same way the Church's fostering of literacy and learning eventually led to the enlightenment. Socialism, on the other hand, is completely impossible in practice and every Socialist regime will have to adopt market reforms to survive. They'll become essentially capitalist societies where everyone has to wave a red banner and pretend they're doing Socialism. In fact, this phony Socialism will be even more capitalist than capitalism since there can be no independent labour movements, the state and industry are one and the same, and any dissenters can be branded enemies of the people.
Thank you for the rec of Schumpeter. I guess then I'll have to read a bit of different authors with different viewpoints.
I've been reading Pascal's works, right now Lettres Provinciales and Pensées. I've also been tackling SICP but it's difficult not to have a hard time with it. I'm stuck on chapter 2.1.2 But it's a long time endeavor, I guess.
Honestly, speaking both languages (even though I'm a native Spanish speaker) I'd consider starting with Russian right away. If Spanish is tricky when it comes to verbs, wait until you hear about them in their actual version in Russian. If you can, start with it ASAP.
I've read most of his shorter books that have been published in English. I've got the Sea of Fertility sitting on my shelf too; eventually I'll get around to it but it's a bit of an investment and I haven't been in a Mishima mood for a while.
The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea is probably his most quintessential novel and embodies a kind of anti-subtlety that's common in Japanese literature and really damn delicious when done well. It's plainly allegorical and you basically know everything that's going to happen in the book as soon as you hear the premise, but the suspense of waiting for it to play out is so intense.
Confessions of a Mask is also essential Mishima, but I'd read one or two of his novels first. There are some extremely good musings and hot takes in there. I remember him reflecting on the concept of purity and beauty for a few paragraphs before concluding that purity is the most degenerate thing of all and dropping the topic alltogether.
Mishima's only sci-fi story, Beautiful Star, is also getting published in English in a few months time, I'm extremely excited. He was actually a big fan of the genre, surprisingly; Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke was one of his favourite novels.
I visited the Yukio Mishima museum in Kawaguchiko. It all starts making a lot of sense after you learn about his relationship with his wife and children, it's truly amazing how he captured that longing for something else, something freer where he can express himself, despite his sexuality and all of that which it entails.
>>1087>gets summoned into a fantasy universe and realizes that magic is a lot like programming.
We finally found what all the damn isekai LN authors are ripping off! lol
I think all isekai are actually ripping off A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain published in 1889.
Exactly, I've been saying this for years. It even has a long title that explains the premise of the plot.