What are you reading right now?

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby OP ED » Sun Jan 15, 2017 1:36 am

The Museum of Lost Wonder. By Jeff Hoke.

My sister bought this for my birthday and delivered it to me today. It is kind of occult kind of satire. It's exactly the sort of stuff that I like best. It's almost like we were related or something.
Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore:
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapienza e 'l primo amore.

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:18 pm

"A Burglar's Guide to the City," Geoff Manaugh. Breezy and enjoyable piece of work, went quick but left me with a lot to think about. Not precisely a manual for heists, definitely more of an architecture book, but fascinating.

"The Hidden Life of Trees," Peter Wohlleben. I was baffled by the tone at first, but finding out it's 1) translated from German and 2) written by a man who takes kids on tours of the forest for a living helped me compute and enjoy. A short book, and an even mix between gee-whiz poetry and sprinklings of research findings. Check out Stamets' Mycelium Running for a more detailed but less recent rundown.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby identity » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:59 am

One (of many) book(s) on the go right now—this one for light entertainment—is Jim Algie's Bizarre Thailand - Tales of Crime, Sex, and Black Magic.

This made me laugh:

For many of us aspiring writers and editors, the Thailand Times was a journalism school. It would not be hyperbole to call this the worst and most preposterous English daily that has ever existed anywhere. During the paper’s reign of errors from 1993 to 1998, one of the most famous was the front-page gaffe showing a photo from the gruesome Easter celebrations in the Philippines of a stand-in for a Roman centurion staring up at a surrogate Christ who is crucified on a wooden cross. The photo caption reads: ‘Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai chats with Foreign Minister Prasong Soonsiri during a break at parliament.’ The actual photo of the Thai politicians had the caption from the Philippines.

Because the majority of the Thai layout artists did not speak much English, these kinds of errors were common. On the features page I edited, they somehow managed to put the cover of a book written by the Pope upside down. No one mentioned the error. Even the head honchos and the staff did not read the paper. As far as I remember the only complaint we ever received was from a high-ranking minister in the government of Laos, who was in Bangkok for an economic forum. He was irate that the paper had referred to his government—this was a joke between two sub-editors that was supposed to be edited out—as the ‘Lao People’s Undemocratic Republic’.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby chump » Fri Jan 20, 2017 9:33 am

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby stefano » Wed Jan 25, 2017 3:30 pm

Image

    The story of a search for a new art of living. How can one escape from work colleagues who are bores and from organisations that thrive on stress? What new priorities can people give to their private lives? When the romantic ideal is disappointing, how else can affections be cultivated? If only a few can become rich, what substitute is there for dropping out? If religions and nations disagree, what other outcomes are possible beyond strife or doubt? Where there is too little freedom, what is the alternative to rebellion? When so much is unpredictable, what can replace ambition?


I enjoyed that one, just finished it. Full of elements of lots of biographies going back a good 1,300 years, skating on themes that have essentially been common to all people whose basic needs are met. He doesn't pretend to have answers, but works through some big questions a bit of the way and makes the reader think about them. I'm glad I read it, well worth it.

Now on a book dictated to a French journalist by the Ivory Coast's former president Laurent Gbagbo, currently in a cell at The Hague after he was stitched up by current President Alassane Ouattara with the help of the French. Good read on the venal questions behind the headlines. Also on media stuff - any paper you read on the Ivory Coast will tell you that 'Gbagbo lost the election and refused to concede', but that's not what happened at all.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:06 pm

"Peddlers of Crisis," Jerry Sanders - very thorough but it was illuminating stuff. Source material for the early installations of this thread.

Also just ordered this puppy:

Elvis » Fri Feb 10, 2017 7:57 pm wrote:Thanks, Dada. Patterns of Culture is one of the greatest books I ever read. Ruth Benedict was brilliant, and is fun to read.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Elihu » Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:14 pm

Connecticut Yankee in King Aurthur's Court

"Lash me these dogs back to their kennels!"

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Iamwhomiam » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:53 pm

How I enjoyed that, Elihu. Notable for being the first time-travel novel written.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Freitag » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:54 am

I just finished The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. Fucking brilliant! I'm not sold on the idea but it sure blew me away.

Wikipedia:

Jaynes asserted that, until roughly the times written about in Homer's Iliad, humans did not generally have the self-awareness characteristic of consciousness as most people experience it today. Rather, the bicameral individual was guided by mental commands believed to be issued by external "gods" — commands which were recorded in ancient myths, legends and historical accounts. This is exemplified not only in the commands given to characters in ancient epics but also the very muses of Greek mythology which "sang" the poems: the ancients literally heard muses as the direct source of their music and poetry.


One reason I found it interesting is that I've heard voices before while waking from dreams, and it's the strangest feeling; I hear the voice but at the same time I'm aware it's coming from "me". I conceptualize something (in that hypnagogic way) and the voice will start verbalizing my thoughts. I've also heard beautiful songs that I know I've never heard in real life. Also, I have exploding head syndrome.

Anyway for anyone interested in consciousness I can't recommend it highly enough. I'm going to re-read the Old Testament now in a different light, considering that the authors may have all been basically schizophrenic. I bet it will make a lot more sense!
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby dada » Wed May 24, 2017 10:14 pm

I'm reading these at the same time. Not literally, of course. I read a bit of one, then another:

1. Towards a Poor Theatre
Jerzy Grotowski

"Ours then is a via negativa - not a collection of skills but an eradication of blocks.

...The process itself, though to some extent dependent upon concentration, confidence, exposure, and almost disappearance into the acting craft, is not voluntary. The requisite state of mind is a passive readiness to realize an active role, a state in which one does not "want to do that" but rather "resigns from not doing it."

Most of the actors at the Theatre Laboratory are just beginning to work toward the possibility of making such a process visible. In their daily work they do not concentrate on the spiritual technique but on the composition of the role, on the construction of form, on the expression of signs - i.e., on artifice. There is no contradiction between inner technique and artifice (articulation of a role by signs). We believe that a personal process which is not supported and expressed by a formal articulation and disciplined structuring of the role is not a release and will collapse in shapelessness."

https://monoskop.org/images/e/e2/Grotowski_Jerzy_Towards_a_Poor_Theatre_2002.pdf

2. Apocalyptic Spirituality: Treatises and Letters of Lactantius, Adso of Montier-En-Der, Joachim of Fiore, the Franciscan Spirituals, Savonarola
Bernard McGinn

"To prophesy is extremely difficult--especially about the future."

3. The Novices of Sais
Novalis (translated by Ralph Manheim)

Pretty little book.

"Anxiously, the novice listened to the crisscrossing voices. Each seemed to him right, and a strange confusion overcame his spirit. Little by little the inward tumult subsided, and a spirit of peace seemed to soar over the crashing dark waves, bringing a new courage and contemplative serenity to the young man's heart.

A merry youth with roses and ivy on his brow came leaping to the spot and saw him as he sat huddled in thought. "Why must you sulk and ponder?" he cried, "You are on the wrong track and will get nowhere..."

4. The Poverty of Philosophy
Karl Marx

Comedy relief.

5. From India to the Planet Mars: A Case of Multiple Personality with Imaginary Languages
Theodore Flournoy

1994 edition.

6. Illuminations
Walter Benjamin

7. An Experiment with Time
J.W.Dunne

wiki entry for the book: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/An_Experiment_with_Time

Good food for thought. Asking the right questions, I think. Also, he's a fun writer.

This is the Studies in Consciousness/Russell Targ edition. I'll definitely be checking out the other books in this series.

8. The Heart of the Internet
Jacques Vallee

Available for free online here: http://www.jacquesvallee.net/heart_of_the_internet.html

Not really a fan of Vallee's writing style. But the book is a good reminder that the internet was designed to be anti-authoritarian at heart. Also gives a good overview of the whole phenomenon, useful for anyone who would like to shape the future of the internet.

And I think it shows how these highly educated, talented intellectuals could be just as naive as anyone. It reminds me of the psychedelic pioneers. LSD will save world, you know. How'd that work out? So now the internet will save the world. I feel like that Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka meme. 'Oh, the internet will save the world, you say? Really, tell me more..."

Hate to break it to you, wise academy, but there's no magic pill, no 'global electronic brain' that will save the world. These things are just appropriated by the culture industry. But I digress.

9. nDimensional Collapse Manipulations: Harnessing synchro-entanglement.
Xavier Youngblood

You will not find this one on the internet.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Freitag » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:35 pm

A Secret History of Consciousness by Gary Lachman. He was the bass guitar player for the band Blondie, but also writes about mysticism and occultism. The book is brilliant so far. I'm enjoying it so much I'm going to buy the rest of his books after I'm finished.
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