Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

What Book Are You Reading?

Collapse
This is a sticky topic.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Originally posted by Ironduke View Post
    Next up, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams. While I've seen the 2005 film starring Martin Freeman, this is my first time having read the book.
    An entertaining book, humorous light reading. Finished it in a couple of days. The book starts with Arthur Dent having breakfast at his home when he notices a work crew outside his house with bulldozers intending to demolish his house to make way for a highway bypass. Meanwhile a Vogon fleet is approaching Earth to demolish the planet to make way for an interstellar bypass, and Arthur and his friend Ford Prefect, who turns out to be an alien pretending to be a human, hitch a ride onto a Vogon ship just before the Earth is destroyed, and that's where their strange, absurd adventure begins.

    The 2005 film is a very faithful adaptation of the book.

    Back to Time Enough for Love by Heinlein.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 27 Aug 18,, 18:02.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

    Comment


    • Got a short bio of Charles Xll (of Sweden) called Charles Xll and the collapse of the Swedish Empire by R Nisbet Bain. The Great Northern War is largely a blank in my historical knowledge so I have started my education with the great Swedish King who actually lost the war.

      Comment


      • Got a copy of Anna Politkovskaya's 'Putin's Russia' on Monday... Shame it seems to be happening in the US too.

        Comment


        • just finished CJ Chiver's The Fighters.

          https://www.amazon.com/Fighters-C-J-.../dp/1451676646

          gripping account of small-unit action in Iraq/Afghanistan with a focus on the war-fighter, whether it's grunt, pilot, medic, etc...as well as the costs afterwards. painful at times, impressively researched per usual.
          There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

          Comment


          • Originally posted by astralis View Post
            just finished CJ Chiver's The Fighters.

            https://www.amazon.com/Fighters-C-J-.../dp/1451676646

            gripping account of small-unit action in Iraq/Afghanistan with a focus on the war-fighter, whether it's grunt, pilot, medic, etc...as well as the costs afterwards. painful at times, impressively researched per usual.
            Looking forward to reading it.
            “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
            Mark Twain

            Comment


            • moving to Anne Applebaum's Red Famine: Stalin's War on Ukraine.

              https://www.amazon.com/Red-Famine-St.../dp/0385538855

              she wryly says in the prologue that when she first started research for the tome in 2010, she figured it would be a non-controversial historical piece of interest to regional specialists. then the Ukrainian revolution happened...
              There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

              Comment


              • Excellent book about the Holodomor. I finished Anna Politkovskaya's "Putin's Russia" and now understand why her murder was such a loss. It is not a book as such but a series of vignettes, a bit like the BBC World Services 'From Our Own Correspondent' type stories but at the same time almost Solzhenitsyn - esque in futility. Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago actually made me cry with laughter and Politkovskaya nearly did so too. At the same time the tragedies are almost Euripides level... The absurdities and contradictions are... well if you do not laugh you must cry, but so manifestly absurd you have to laugh. "This could never happen here" may go through your mind... or "I'm safe."

                She recounts the stories of individuals; a soldier lost in the Second Chechen War and his Mothers search for how he perished, an old neighbour of hers, Tanya, who became rich, a mini tragedy love story of Lena and Renat, tales of Urals gangster and how he arose. She charts the lives of people and merely reflects what that says about the 'authorities' which in most cases are complicit in the crimes that tragedies revolve around.

                She tells a riveting story and it's certainly the best book I have read this year. I advise it for anyone who wants to introduction to what Muscovy has become under Putin.

                Comment


                • Who has read 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn here?

                  Comment


                  • WulfsSchädel and other poems, by Bill Noble. Poetry composed by a political dissident.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Layman Patient View Post
                      Who has read 'One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich' by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn here?
                      I have, why? Not as good as the Magnum Opus of Gulag Archipelago in my view.

                      Since I am currently on holiday (maternity leave) am currently reading Marquis de Custine's "Empire of the Czar" which is the observations of a French aristocrat of the Muscovite Empire from 1839/40. It is a travelogue almost but has a foreword by Kennan (of 'Long Telegram' fame) perhaps because it states some abiding truths we must face about the Muscovite character. I quote: "In Russia to converse is to conspire, to think is to revolt; thought is merely a crime, it is a misfortune also."

                      In the first part of the Marquis journey he has a long declamation by a 'Prince K-' which in some ways blames the Muscovite proclivity to despotism to 'Byzantiumism'' though 'Prince K-' also proclaims the Tsars "the worthy successors of Bati [sic)" (meaning the Mongol general we know as Batu). If I had time I would write the whole statement of this Prince K- for it very telling of the Muscovite psyche and world view which seems not have changed a whit since.

                      It troubles me though as essentially a 'Bukovsky-ian' believing that the Muscovite people are not my enemy but the Chekist mafiosi who oppress them are both my enemy and theirs. Could this analysis be incorrect? I reject the 'Byzantiumism' idea, though I can see it plays a role, as Ukraine is 80%+ Orthodox also and while it has certainly been important to Ukrainians that they have established their own Orthodox Church nobody thinks this makes the President special. It does not imbue him with Heavenly guidance but in Moscow Putin is literally worshiped in some places, icons are made of him etc... 'Prince K-' says

                      "You must not believe, for example, that the persecutions in Poland were the effect of personal resentment of the Emperor; they were the result of a profound and deliberate calculation. These acts of cruelty are meritorious in the eyes of true believers; it is the Holy Spirit who so enlightens the sovereign as to elevate him above all human feelings; and it is God who blesses him as the executor of his high designs. By this manner of viewing things, judges and executioners become so much the greater saints as they are greater barbarians."

                      I cannot myself believe in 'eternal natures of a people' of this sort, though I am prime example of the Polish proclivity to rebellion, and must reject the 'Byzantine' cause for the proclivity to autocracy by the Ukrainian comparison so it deeply worries me that there may almost some 'hereditary' addiction. As a free Polish Ukrainian I cannot believe they are so different from me - indeed those who are my distant family with whom I been reunited seem perfectly similar to others of family. For myself I retain hope for the liberty of the peoples of the Muscovite Empire.

                      Comment


                      • The Martian by Andy Weir is a great book.

                        Comment


                        • So, in those 10 days that internet was banned, I did some reading.......and wrote some code ofcourse. But these books, that I read has changed my way of thinking. I started with: Mein kampf, hehehe.......lol, joking.

                          Malcolm Gladwell's - Outliers - The Story of Success, then I moved into ->
                          Peter Thiel's - Zero to One, favourite till now, will read it again many times to come, right now I'm into ->
                          Charles Duhigg's - The Power of Habit.

                          Some notable quotes:

                          Achievement is talent plus preparation - Outliers, The Story of Success
                          Innate talent plays a small role, preparation plays the bigger role - Outliers, The Story of Success
                          To gain excellence at something, a minimum of 10,000 hours of practice is needed. This is the magic number researchers have settled on - Outliers, The Story of Success

                          Yes, Malcolm Gladwell gave us the 10,000 hour rule to achieve mastery at something particular. But, come to think of it, 1000 hours of practice takes us in the top 20%.

                          The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange - Zero To One
                          The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself - Zero To One
                          Competition can make people hallucinate opportunities where none exist - Zero To One
                          No one gets into Stanford by excelling at just one thing, unless that thing happens to involve throwing or catching a leather ball - Zero To One

                          I love this dude. Technically highly competent, but as with all of us he has bias. Like how he mentions Google in a slightly negative way, but praises Facebook, he was an early stage investor in FB, Shawn Fanning (Napster guy) was responsible for that. He was responsible for shutting down Gawker, as Gawker published an article in 2007 - "Peter Thiel is totally gay, people". Never screw with people's personal life.

                          Cue -> Routine -> Reward -> Craving -> Belief = Habit Loop, The Power of Habit, still reading it....

                          The last 10 days of complete lockdown (shutdown) has added some more sense in me. There should be internet shutdowns more frequently, just that the Government should notify us some days in advance, so that I can download e-books in advance. :D :D
                          Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by Oracle View Post
                            The most contrarian thing of all is not to oppose the crowd but to think for yourself - Zero To One
                            This is one to remember. Too often i want to oppose the crowd if not outright attack them.

                            Contrarian thinking was big here a few years back. Z was always doing it.
                            Last edited by Double Edge; 22 Dec 19,, 18:40.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                              This is one to remember. Too often i want to oppose the crowd if not outright attack them.

                              Contrarian thinking was big here a few years back. Z was always doing it.
                              The act of creation is singular, as is the moment of creation, and the result is something fresh and strange - this is the one that stood out for me. Going from 0 to 1 is singular, and not going from 1 to n.

                              Zomato, Flipkart, Ola, Oyo -> they went from 1 - n.
                              Yelp, Amazon, Lyft, Airbnb (which are the original ideas those Indian companies copied) went from 0 - 1.

                              Kind of strange, but investors after having poured money into US and China was looking at another big market. VCs usually focussed on - if the idea is successful in the West, they'd fund Indian copycat ones. Those days are gone, for good.

                              Competition can make people hallucinate opportunities where none exist.

                              Imagine 2 companies starting out to make the same product. Both would be focussing on what their competitors are building, not on what their customers want. Both lose when some focussed competitor arrives, or both have small markets to themselves, until they fade away into oblivion.

                              No one gets into Stanford by excelling at just one thing, unless that thing happens to involve throwing or catching a leather ball. This is interesting. Indian students who get into Harvard, Stanford or say, MIT - with scholarships, have a story to tell. Rediff usually covers those, and in 1 such, I read about a guy who dropped out for a year after his 12th. His reason - he wanted to learn to play basketball. He learnt basketball, and he went on to work for some NGO too, and also taught poor kids in that 1 year, and something more. He got scholarship in 4 or 5 niche colleges in the US. All rounder.

                              DE, you should definitely read Zero to One.
                              Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles! || Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain! || I am a far left millennial!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X