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Books I've just read.

Discussion in 'The Library' started by po3try, 29 Apr 2012.

  1. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    The Chinese say that after you a read a book it gets thinner. But if you read that book again it gets thicker and thicker.

    Anchor's "The Enlightenment Tradition" is definitely this way. It's an intellectual history of the Enlightenment, deeply researched and superbly written. It expands after you set it down and the wheels in your head have unaccountably been set into motion. It invites multiple readings.

    He explains where many important ideas come from, many ideas we still hold. I especially like how he highlights the importance of Locke (Was there an English Enlightenment?) as a forerunner of the French Enlightenment. Locke's idea of the "blank slate" has had profound implications, especially for education. He goes back to Descartes and Pascal and explains their importance as the conflict between Nature and Custom played out. He makes fascinating comparisons between Kant and de Sade. Best of all, he explains why David Hume's ideas about causation have had such a seismic effect on science and traditional morality. He covers Hobbes, Rousseau, and Voltaire too, not to mention Prevost, all done in prose that will cause you uncontrollable excitement.

    It is a deft study of important ideas.

    The Enlightenment Tradition.jpg
     
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  2. DavidUSA

    DavidUSA την σκαφην σκαφην λεγοντας

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    Bible Reading is Greatly Misunderstood

    The Holy Bible should be heard, not read, but even this point is full of wayside quagmires for those of us who want to follow our peculiar bent towards virtue.

    It must be listened to properly. Proper listening may strike many people today as arcane. Here, perhaps for the first time, you can learn how to hear the Holy Bible. Reading it leads to massacres such as the English Civil War, a conflict that saw more death, per capita, than WWI and WWII combined, for England. This alone shows us the significance and urgency of correcting this mistaken love of reading Holy Writ. Reading leads to individual interpretations which are counter to the spirit of Divine Law. Wrongful hearing is less dangerous, in general, but still pernicious. Correct hearing leads to world peace.

    Correct hearing can only be done in the United States during the winter, early in the morning. The reader, an older lady, probably a grandmother, should be reading to a child. The reader and child should be in an upstairs room, the reader's voice delivered by a heating system that also blows warm air, not completely unwelcome, into the face of the listener.

    The reader's voice is crucial. It should be common, like beer; she should have difficulties with some passages, but such difficulties must be defensible. The child should not be intrusive, so unintrusive that one wonders if it is even there. But evidence of the child's presence must be compelling while remaining difficult to pinpoint.

    Now, the secret. There must be trees outside the reading and listening rooms. Those trees must be deciduous, tall, and have at least one dead limb which is caught near the top of the tree. Such a limb can rock in the wind as one would expect, but these dead sticks must be more or less stable. A small lake or pond must offer its reflection very near one of the trees; in fact, it should be the one tree with a large dead limb that seems completely locked into place, six feet long is ideal. Decoy ducks are absolutely prohibited in the pond.

    Consummate hearing, not mere listening, only happens when the stick, thought to be irretrievably caught in the tree, goes plop-- after an especially important passage has been heard that morning, the limb slipping into the lake to become driftwood.
     
    Last edited: 17 Feb 2016
  3. Teacher MARK

    Teacher MARK Banned

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    Reading sucks... unless you are travelling by plane or train.
    Even then, audio books are better.
     
  4. portnoy58

    portnoy58 Well-Known Member

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    The Run of His Life: The People versus O J Simpson, 1996, Random House
    Author: Jeffrey Toobin


    Simply unputtable down! This excellent book really does explain how OJ was acquitted and is a great critique of all the players in the freak show that was dubbed the trial of the century. I distinctly recall watching live broadcasts of the trial on CNN in the UK but I had little appreciation of what was really happening. This explains all and also benefits from being well written, informative and analytical while not being diverted by the more sensational aspects of the case.
     

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