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Author Topic: What is everyone reading?  (Read 375686 times) Average Rating: 5
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #4005 on: July 01, 2014, 12:35:52 PM »

The county library system is participating in some kind of program/thing in June in which they try to reach a certain threshold of requests/circulation for ebooks and eaudiobooks. If they can do it the local libraries gets $1500 worth of free ebooks. They still had about 99 to go when I 'borrowed' mine at about 5pm, but any request in the county before midnight counts towards the total.

I'm sure you were up all night waiting for the news. Sorry about the delay.  Tongue

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You did it! You checked out 591 eBooks and eAudiobooks in one day, by far our highest one-day total ever! We blew past our June target goal of 5,178 and hit an all-time high of 5,440. Thanks to you, we'll be adding $1,500 worth of new titles. Start sending us your suggestions for what you'd like us to add!
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« Reply #4006 on: July 01, 2014, 12:41:29 PM »

Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State
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« Reply #4007 on: July 01, 2014, 12:45:38 PM »

The Screwtape letters by CS Lewis.
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« Reply #4008 on: July 01, 2014, 01:53:00 PM »

The Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin.

This isn't in the series, A Saga of Fire and Ice, is it?
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« Reply #4009 on: July 01, 2014, 01:56:19 PM »

The Sworn Sword by George R. R. Martin.

This isn't in the series, A Saga of Fire and Ice, is it?

Yes, it is. It's one of the Tales of Dunk and Egg.
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« Reply #4010 on: July 02, 2014, 04:42:03 PM »



Picked it up at the library for 50 cents.




My therapist lent it to me so I could perhaps better understand my crazy. Or not. Maybe my crazy is not related. Or maybe it is. Or not. Or is.
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« Reply #4011 on: July 02, 2014, 04:51:51 PM »

The Invention of the Land of Israel: From Holy Land to Homeland
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« Reply #4012 on: July 06, 2014, 07:28:19 AM »

I did just finish reading Passover and Easter, a history of two traditions, which more or less confirmed what I had already thought about Easter and the development of the feast itself. There were a couple of conclusions that I didn't exactly agree with, that the Easter feast (the book argued) was initially more about the suffering lamb (Jesus) than about the resurrection of Jesus. To that end what was used in justification for that was Melito's Peri Pascha which certainly has that theme but also resurrection. It seems to me both themes talked about and considered in the primitive church and then gradually it developed that Sunday should be more or less focused on the Resurrection while the Friday became more or less about the death of the lord.

The book also talked about the Jewish tradition, that it is not as some Jews pretend stagnant and unchanging but that their feasts and festivals went under change as well after the destruction of the temple and in the proceeding centuries.

I recommend anyone get this book if they are at all interested in presenting the true history of Easter from the sources we have to those who declare that Easter is a Pagan religion. The book never deals with that question in of itself, only making a brief reference to eggs being pagan, but that was only substantiated by a reference I am unable to check.
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« Reply #4013 on: July 10, 2014, 05:17:51 AM »

I started reading a little bit of Sartre at the request of a friend--not too much, just a few paragraphs and study guides.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding him and Papist or Jason would correct me, but I didn't find myself very impressed. I don't get how existence could precede essence when I think the fact that we exist in the first place is a part of our essence since I hold the extremely unpopular view that existence is in fact a predicate. To add to this, his insistence on freedom doesn't make much sense to me either. If there's really no Creator (hence the Paper Cutter analogy) and therefore no pre-determined essence, wouldn't we still be the product of billions of years of atomic motions and Darwinian evolution? Wouldn't the natural world in a sense become our Creator and therefore our essence would be pre-determined by the natural world? In light of that, how could we really have any freedom or individual autonomy apart from the world that has created us and predetermined our lives and purpose? He seems like an overly optimistic, somewhat romanticized version of Nietzsche. Except, the latter recognized our utter imprisonment and hopelessness by virtue of existence itself and the will to power, whereas Sartre seems to try to sugarcoat a grim reality by fetishizing human "choice" and shaping our own identity (which I don't think is as possible as Sartre makes it out to be).

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy some of his lighter meditations on random topics. But his main thing about existence and essence was really off-putting. To be quite honest, it seemed very narcissistic and somewhat privileged. It feels like the same kinda garbage that many insensitive politicians say to the poor about "having an equal shot" and all.
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« Reply #4014 on: July 10, 2014, 05:19:16 AM »

To be quite honest, it seemed very narcissistic

Isn't that what nihilism and existentialism are all about?
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« Reply #4015 on: July 10, 2014, 05:28:34 AM »

To be quite honest, it seemed very narcissistic

Isn't that what nihilism and existentialism are all about?

I don't know. I'm no expert.

But the way Sartre tries to use an ultimately nihilistic worldview to set up a positive ideology seems illogical and almost laughably bad in my humble, non-expert opinion (unless I'm misunderstanding him). Maybe I'm overly pessimistic and negative, but I like Nietzsche because he recognizes just how grim our lot really is (which Sartre also does), except, Nietzsche doesn't try to build up the same optimistic junk like Sartre does with this stuff about "choice" and self-identity and all. He accepts our pre-determinedness by the very fact of our existing as well as our utter futility.
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« Reply #4016 on: July 10, 2014, 05:36:48 AM »

Juggling several, as usual.

Hard copies:


Kindle:
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« Reply #4017 on: July 10, 2014, 07:12:06 AM »

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« Reply #4018 on: July 10, 2014, 05:01:51 PM »

To be quite honest, it seemed very narcissistic

Isn't that what nihilism and existentialism are all about?

I don't know. I'm no expert.

But the way Sartre tries to use an ultimately nihilistic worldview to set up a positive ideology seems illogical and almost laughably bad in my humble, non-expert opinion (unless I'm misunderstanding him). Maybe I'm overly pessimistic and negative, but I like Nietzsche because he recognizes just how grim our lot really is (which Sartre also does), except, Nietzsche doesn't try to build up the same optimistic junk like Sartre does with this stuff about "choice" and self-identity and all. He accepts our pre-determinedness by the very fact of our existing as well as our utter futility.

Existentialism is have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too. It made sense at the time, when modernism was open about its nihilism and people were tired of that. It was an important reaction that allowed post-modernism to develop -- into the happy empty world we all inhabit how. Wink But it's nonsense on a (witty and aesthetic) stick.

From what you've written above, I assume you'd love Schopenhauer.
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« Reply #4019 on: July 10, 2014, 05:52:31 PM »

From what you've written above, I assume you'd love Schopenhauer.

I'd give him a shot

Where should I start?
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« Reply #4020 on: July 10, 2014, 06:05:00 PM »

From what you've written above, I assume you'd love Schopenhauer.

I'd give him a shot

Where should I start?



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« Reply #4021 on: July 10, 2014, 06:20:01 PM »

To be quite honest, it seemed very narcissistic

Isn't that what nihilism and existentialism are all about?

I don't know. I'm no expert.

But the way Sartre tries to use an ultimately nihilistic worldview to set up a positive ideology seems illogical and almost laughably bad in my humble, non-expert opinion (unless I'm misunderstanding him). Maybe I'm overly pessimistic and negative, but I like Nietzsche because he recognizes just how grim our lot really is (which Sartre also does), except, Nietzsche doesn't try to build up the same optimistic junk like Sartre does with this stuff about "choice" and self-identity and all. He accepts our pre-determinedness by the very fact of our existing as well as our utter futility.
It's not all futility for Nietzche; you could always try and become an ubermensch .   Wink
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« Reply #4022 on: July 10, 2014, 06:21:14 PM »

Yeah, futility's the opposite of what Neitzsche was about.
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« Reply #4023 on: July 10, 2014, 06:29:31 PM »

I started reading a little bit of Sartre at the request of a friend--not too much, just a few paragraphs and study guides.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding him and Papist or Jason would correct me, but I didn't find myself very impressed. I don't get how existence could precede essence when I think the fact that we exist in the first place is a part of our essence since I hold the extremely unpopular view that existence is in fact a predicate. To add to this, his insistence on freedom doesn't make much sense to me either. If there's really no Creator (hence the Paper Cutter analogy) and therefore no pre-determined essence, wouldn't we still be the product of billions of years of atomic motions and Darwinian evolution? Wouldn't the natural world in a sense become our Creator and therefore our essence would be pre-determined by the natural world? In light of that, how could we really have any freedom or individual autonomy apart from the world that has created us and predetermined our lives and purpose? He seems like an overly optimistic, somewhat romanticized version of Nietzsche. Except, the latter recognized our utter imprisonment and hopelessness by virtue of existence itself and the will to power, whereas Sartre seems to try to sugarcoat a grim reality by fetishizing human "choice" and shaping our own identity (which I don't think is as possible as Sartre makes it out to be).

I'm not saying I didn't enjoy some of his lighter meditations on random topics. But his main thing about existence and essence was really off-putting. To be quite honest, it seemed very narcissistic and somewhat privileged. It feels like the same kinda garbage that many insensitive politicians say to the poor about "having an equal shot" and all.

You wanna know something crazy? I studied Nietzche and Kierkegard but I never had to read Sartre in my program, not even in my contemporary philosophy class. I think the reason for that is that most philosophers have moved beyond existentialism; the "big thing" right now is actually analytic philosophy (something we spent quite a bit of time on). Though, I would say that I think that you might be on the right track about Sartre. Whether he likes it or not, we are rational animals, and he couldn't speak of us as a group if he didn't really think we had some kind of essence (It seems that he is not a thorough going nominalist, since he attributes natures to non-human things). In fact, it seems that he attributes to human beings at least one essential attribute: that we are self-determining beings, and thus grants human beings an essence. Though, I hate to address Sartre in this way, since I haven't given him an in depth read. I think that will be my next project, that is, reading some Sartre.

And I agree with you about Nietzche; he is a fascinating read, almost like the anti-Aristotle.
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« Reply #4024 on: July 10, 2014, 06:31:10 PM »

Yeah, futility's the opposite of what Neitzsche was about.

Yep. He thinks that man should artfully craft his dynamic and passionate drives, to become the man of action whose greatness overflows to the masses.
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« Reply #4025 on: July 10, 2014, 06:41:06 PM »

Orthodox spirituality; Dumitru Staniloae.
  it took a while to find it on-line at Amazon.ca.
Finally, for $35 +S/H a nice paperback version arrived all 400 pp.;
of which the first 60 are an intro.  which I have read and re-read several times - and will, many more!
I haven't got into the main text yet....
It has been said that in Romanian Orthodoxy that he is the apex - that there is pre-Staniloae theology and post-Staniloae theology.
This has to be the most comprehensive work on theosis I've seen and quite unlike the Ladder...

If you want to 'taste and see...' don't waste your money getting it on-line - you can download a PDF version right away.
The translators  have done a wonderful job too; perhaps because one of them worked on his PhD in Bucharest with Staniloae.

memory eternal - 1993 age 90.
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« Reply #4026 on: July 10, 2014, 06:45:31 PM »

...

And I agree with you about Nietzche; he is a fascinating read, almost like the anti-Aristotle.

That's a strange comparison to my ears. The anti-G.K. Chesterton, perhaps.
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« Reply #4027 on: July 10, 2014, 07:15:38 PM »

...

And I agree with you about Nietzche; he is a fascinating read, almost like the anti-Aristotle.

That's a strange comparison to my ears. The anti-G.K. Chesterton, perhaps.

Here is why I think of N. as an anti-Aristotle. Both philosophers agree that that men should use reason to condition their passions, but N. thinks that men should use reason, in a sense, to inflame the passions, and make them a driving force for greatness. Aristotle, on the other hand thinks that one should subordinate the passions to reason, and direct them such that one develops virtue. Of course, N. absolutely hated such ideas of virtue, and thought that they merely stifled mans natural dynamic drive.

Additionally, the concept of soul and substance were absolutely fundamental to Aristotle's thought, but N. believed that the concepts were merely means by which philosophers and religious thinkers have forced men to suppress their dynamic drives. So N. rejected these concepts in favor of the view that all that exists is merely action.
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« Reply #4028 on: July 10, 2014, 07:19:31 PM »

I just thought you were talking about style, since you said something about his being thrilling to read.

Hr. Neitzsche fancied himself a new disciple of Aristotle's, but only because he mistook Aristotle for an enemy of Plato's.
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« Reply #4029 on: July 15, 2014, 10:20:23 AM »

The Book of Sadness by St. Grigor Narekatsi

From a quick perusal this seems like an OO version of the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete.
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« Reply #4030 on: July 15, 2014, 10:53:07 AM »

Unseen Warfare. It's so good. soon starting the Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the gospel of St. John and "Orthodox Prayer Life: the Interior Way" by Father Matthew the Poor. Also reading a few books by Father Dawoud Lamaei: the Eucharist, Orthodox Without Guile, and Why or Why Not.
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« Reply #4031 on: July 15, 2014, 11:02:48 AM »

Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins

It's really well researched, and the author makes really good points that make you think a lot.
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« Reply #4032 on: July 15, 2014, 03:56:44 PM »

Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins

It's really well researched, and the author makes really good points that make you think a lot.

Care to elaborate? The title sounds sensational.
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« Reply #4033 on: July 15, 2014, 04:02:46 PM »

Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam's Obscure Origins

It's really well researched, and the author makes really good points that make you think a lot.

Care to elaborate? The title sounds sensational.

It is quite sensational. But he provides good evidence and arguments regarding the lack of early source material on the prophet of Islam. He also organizes it quite well.

He mentions for example, that the Hadith narrations may have been influenced by imperial sectarianism among the early Arab empires, which essentially led them to concoct innumerable legendary material about the prophet. By the time Bukhari came around, fabricated hadith traditions had already proliferated throughout the empire. Bukhari's own story illustrates this point, since he is said to have sifted through 300,000 such hadith, and only considered a mere 2,000 as authentic.

He also postulates that some Hadith were invented to give legitimacy to the rule of certain dynasties, and to denigrate the legitimacy of others, by putting words into the prophet's mouth. e.g., 'the family of x is blessed by Allah, and his progeny shall rule over great kingdoms'

That's just one example. He also notes the contradiction in the story of the meeting between Caliph Omar and Patriarch St. Sophronius between the Islamic and Christian stories. Sophronius seems puzzled at Omar and the Muslims' intentions in the Christian narrative, "Why do they hate us?" but Omar seems quite clear on why he conquered the Holy Land in the Islamic narrative.
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« Reply #4034 on: July 15, 2014, 04:09:34 PM »

Thank you for the references. I haven't read the book so perhaps I shouldn't comment on anything but minor contradictions doesn't mean that Muhammed didn't actually exist. There are similar arguments about the Gospels too.

Anyway, thank you for letting us know about the book. Maybe I should read it at some point.
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« Reply #4035 on: July 15, 2014, 04:29:36 PM »

Thank you for the references. I haven't read the book so perhaps I shouldn't comment on anything but minor contradictions doesn't mean that Muhammed didn't actually exist. There are similar arguments about the Gospels too.

Anyway, thank you for letting us know about the book. Maybe I should read it at some point.

Sure. The difference is that references about Muhammad's life in detail are quite late, more than one hundred years, when early references (like Thomas the Presbyter) mention very little detail about Muhammad.

The book doesn't conclude that he didn't exist, just that he existed the same way Robin Hood did. That is, most material about his is myth and legend, and the real person probably existed, but was nothing like the way he is described.
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« Reply #4036 on: July 18, 2014, 01:38:29 PM »

No Exit And Three Other Plays, by Jean-Paul Sartre
Maya History and Religion, by J. Thompson
Getting What You Came For: The Smart Student's Guide to Earning an M.A. or a Ph.D., by Robert Peters
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"But science is an inferential exercise, not a catalog of facts. Numbers, by themselves, specify nothing. All depends upon what you do with them" - Stephen Jay Gould
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« Reply #4037 on: July 18, 2014, 01:43:07 PM »

-- is there anything in the way of a book-club at oc.net?
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« Reply #4038 on: July 18, 2014, 02:51:24 PM »

I just finished reading Khouria Frederica's book about the Virgin Mary. It's definitely slim but I really enjoyed it and feel closer to Mary as a result.
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« Reply #4039 on: July 18, 2014, 03:08:07 PM »

I'm reading The King of Vodka, about Pyotr Smirnoff.
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« Reply #4040 on: July 18, 2014, 05:51:55 PM »

Quote
400 years from now, a historian will write that the time in which you're now living is the "Penumbral Age" of human history—meaning, the period when a dark shadow began to fall over us all. You're living at the start of a new dark age, a new counter-Enlightenment.
....
Such is the premise of a thought-provoking new work of "science-based fiction" by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, two historians of science (Oreskes at Harvard, Conway at Caltech) best known for their classic 2010 book, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming. In a surprising move, they have now followed up that expose of the roots of modern science denialism with a work of "cli-fi," or climate science fiction, entitled The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View from the Future.
....
In it, Oreskes and Conway write from the perspective of a historian, living in China (the country that fared the best in facing the ravages of climate change) in the year 2393. The historian seeks to analyze the biggest paradox imaginable: Why humans who saw the climate disaster coming, who were thoroughly and repeatedly warned, did nothing about it.
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« Reply #4041 on: July 18, 2014, 06:53:13 PM »

-- is there anything in the way of a book-club at oc.net?


Yes, but not very active at all.

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/board,40.0.html
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« Reply #4042 on: July 18, 2014, 10:19:46 PM »

Ecumenical Council of Ephesus.

Need to get started on reading some other things besides the posts here.  Smiley
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« Reply #4043 on: July 18, 2014, 10:38:45 PM »

this 431?
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« Reply #4044 on: July 18, 2014, 10:46:25 PM »

The Forgotten War: America in Korea, 1950-1953 / Clay Blair.
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« Reply #4045 on: July 18, 2014, 10:53:08 PM »

this 431?

Yes, I stopped after reading Section II to contemplate. That section, with all the honour given to the pope and his decree, seems to be the strongest suggestion for papal supremecy I have found in the councils, which before that have suggested against it. The language before seems to emphasise the authority of the council, not the Roman bishop. Section II of Ephesus does seem to be suggestive of the papal doctrine through.
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But a clever woman—that I loathe! May there never be in my house
a woman with more intelligence than befits a woman!
For Aphrodite engenders more mischief
in the clever. The woman without ability
is kept from indiscretion by the slenderness of her wit.
       --Euripides
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« Reply #4046 on: July 19, 2014, 08:35:13 AM »

Just finished the most recently released installment of A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R. Martin.  Things was like 1200 pages! C'mon, man! Edit your stuff!

Still, it was worth it.
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« Reply #4047 on: July 21, 2014, 10:35:31 PM »

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"But science is an inferential exercise, not a catalog of facts. Numbers, by themselves, specify nothing. All depends upon what you do with them" - Stephen Jay Gould
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« Reply #4048 on: July 21, 2014, 10:39:50 PM »



About how Zionists exploit the Holocaust, fabricate facts and history to justify their policies in Palestine.

It's over 400 pages. The preface alone in the Paperback edition is 69 pages.
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« Reply #4049 on: July 23, 2014, 08:55:56 AM »

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