What are we Reading?

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  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I'm about halfway ... It's OK so far, but his stories don't really come together 'till the end. I borrowed it... I wouldn't buy it 'till it's out in paperback.

    In any case, I liked "State of Fear" a lot better at the half-way point.



    State of Fear was interesting, but the plot was basically just an excuse for him to express his ideas about global warming, and since it was presented as fiction you were less inclined to agree with it. I think the book would have been better off as nonfiction.
  • midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by turnwrite View Post


    State of Fear was interesting, but the plot was basically just an excuse for him to express his ideas about global warming, and since it was presented as fiction you were less inclined to agree with it. I think the book would have been better off as nonfiction.



    I agree completely. From what I understand, it was never supposed to have been a novel to begin with; apparently his publishers asked him to turn it into a novel, and the result was pretty sucktackular. Don't get me wrong. I have read a bunch of Crichton, and while it isn't high art by any stretch of the imagination, it's good reading before I go to sleep. But State of Fear, its politics aside, was just awful.



    Speaking of awful, I'm reading Steve Berry's The Templar Legacy right now, and it's horrid.
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Ayn Rand's writing is not awful, but certainly not great either. Her characters are cardboard, and her plots are just average.



    As for her philosophy, Objectivism, I'm still mulling over it. I think I agree with most of what she says, but I only just read Atlas Shrugged two months ago, and haven't had enough time to ponder it yet. I like the idea of a society where people get what they earn and nothing more, nothing less. It seems silly to me that we pay taxes to give welfare money to people too lazy to actually earn money.
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    From what I understand, it was never supposed to have been a novel to begin with; apparently his publishers asked him to turn it into a novel



    Interesting, I didn't know that. Those publishers ruined what could have been an interesting antithesis to "An Inconvenient Truth" and turned it into a very forgettable thriller.



    I have no idea whether any of the stuff Michael Crichton says about global warming is true or not, but it would have been interesting to read if it were a novel with lots of research, etc. As it was, he couldn't include very many graphs, statistics, research, as he had to waste space crafting a (very weak) plot.
  • midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by turnwrite View Post


    It seems silly to me that we pay taxes to give welfare money to people too lazy to actually earn money.



    Personally, I'm tired of paying taxes to support programs that employ or subsidize the employment of the mentally disabled and the severely handicapped. I say we let'em die, Rand-style. Evolution happens. [/sarcasm]
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    Personally, I'm tired of paying taxes to support programs that employ or subsidize the employment of the mentally disabled and the severely handicapped. I say we let'em die, Rand-style. Evolution happens. [/sarcasm]



    Well, it's just- I don't even KNOW these people, I never will. Shouldn't their FRIENDS, their FAMILY, be the ones to support them if they need support? Why should MY hard-earned money be spent on some random person who lives across the country?



    And anyways, it's not all disabled people. What about all the people who are just lazy? They are perfectly healthy and COULD get a job, they just DON'T.
  • midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by turnwrite View Post


    Well, it's just- I don't even KNOW these people, I never will. Shouldn't their FRIENDS, their FAMILY, be the ones to support them if they need support?



    I agree completely! And if their friends and family are too friggin' poor to afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills or for care and feeding of these losers, I say let those families starve to death.



    Quote:

    Why should MY hard-earned money be spent on some random person who lives across the country?



    Because we survived the 18th and 19th centuries and learned that the alternative is death, disease and destruction.
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    I agree completely! And if their friends and family are too friggin' poor to afford hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills or for care and feeding of these losers, I say let those families starve to death.



    You have to look at WHY they are poor.
  • midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by turnwrite View Post


    You have to look at WHY they are poor.



    I agree completely. Clearly, they are all poor simply because they are lazy. We all know that wealth is not transferred from parents to children, nor do the children of the wealthy reap any benefits from their socioeconomic status. That's just a crazy liberal MYTH. Escaping poverty is TOTALLY EASY TO DO. And people who don't do it are just plain lazy slobs.
  • kingofsomewherehotkingofsomewherehot Posts: 3,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by turnwrite View Post


    State of Fear was interesting, but the plot was basically just an excuse for him to express his ideas about global warming, and since it was presented as fiction you were less inclined to agree with it. I think the book would have been better off as nonfiction.



    I agree... and NEXT is the same type of book... with views on Genetic Engineering. They are FICTION, but they get a person thinking about things from a perspective they otherwise might have. I tended to disagree with some things and agreed with others, but he does a good job of presenting his ideas.



    Oh... and I finished it... I'd have been REALLY dissapointed had I paid $30 for the book!!! I enjoyed it, but it's nothing like his early work.
  • midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post


    I agree... and NEXT is the same type of book... with views on Genetic Engineering. They are FICTION, but they get a person thinking about things from a perspective they otherwise might have. I tended to disagree with some things and agreed with others, but he does a good job of presenting his ideas.



    Oh... and I finished it... I'd have been REALLY dissapointed had I paid $30 for the book!!! I enjoyed it, but it's nothing like his early work.



    Damn. I was kind of looking forward to reading it, too. I read Airframe a few months ago and GOOD LORD I learned more about airplanes than I ever thought I'd know.
  • splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    Here's a little psychoanalysis for you, Princeton boy (I'm frankly stunned that you didn't remind us 9 times in your post that you went there): why don't you invest your intellectual and emotional energy into finding a job to replace the one you quit out of the blue and stop childishly lashing out at people who lead happy and productive lives? You ever wonder if maybe there's a connection there? Maybe just a little? A teensy bit of connection considering I'm the second academic type you've attacked lately (Shawn, earlier)?



    My point? Maybe you ought to stop fighting it and go back to school.



    I hated Princeton, which is why I don't bring it up much. You guys always bring it up, although this time around I'll stop guessing why. I'm amazed that you have the capacity to be so insulted by conjecture, especially if it's so blatantly incorrect as you claim. I am insulted by the behavior of wiping ones own ass with any book. Very insulted, in fact. I think that anyone who could do such a thing is a worm.



    Right now I'm only 25. A life-choice of mine is that I indeed quit my job, but I am not exactly without a house or savings account. An opinion of mine is that no one who works hard and believes in himself ends up as a liberal arts professor. We'll find out in time just how right or wrong my choices in life and opinions may be.
  • hassan i sabbahhassan i sabbah Posts: 3,987member
    JEBUS FRIGGING KRISTOS. Books, motherfuggers.



    I'm reading 'And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos' by John Berger. For light relief.



    Anyone read 'Straw Dogs' by the political philosopher John Gray? This is the antidote. 'Straw Dogs' says, basically, People = Shit. 'And Our Faces...' says 'Remember humanity'.



    He's an old Marxist art critic who happens to be one of the most beautiful writers and thinkers working in English.
  • shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post


    An opinion of mine is that no one who works hard and believes in himself ends up as a liberal arts professor.







    Yeah, who could possibly be insulted by such harmless conjecture?
  • midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by turnwrite View Post


    Ah.. How so?



    It just occurred to me that your question got ignored in Spliney's little bout of acting out.



    I said that because if, as you said, Bach and Rand are your "Bibles," you must certainly have a difficult time reconciling Rand's objectivism and effectively 18th-century brand of utterly compassionless laissez-faire capitalism applied to social institutions with Bach's neo-Christian new-agey-ness.
  • trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,265member
    Some people need to try decaf, especially since the thread is titled what are we reading and not let me critique what you are reading and tell you why it and possibly you suck.



    Nick
  • tontontonton Posts: 14,063member
    I've been slacking on the reading department since I finished "Possibility of an Island" by Michel Houellebecq, which was FANTASTIC, maybe even his best yet.



    But I've just started "Prison Diary: Part One" by Jeffrey Archer.
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hassan i Sabbah View Post


    Anyone read 'Straw Dogs' by the political philosopher John Gray? This is the antidote. 'Straw Dogs' says, basically, People = Shit.



    That sounds mildly entertaining.. Can you elaborate on this a little?
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    I agree completely. Clearly, they are all poor simply because they are lazy. We all know that wealth is not transferred from parents to children, nor do the children of the wealthy reap any benefits from their socioeconomic status. That's just a crazy liberal MYTH. Escaping poverty is TOTALLY EASY TO DO. And people who don't do it are just plain lazy slobs.



    I didn't say it was easy. But it can certainly be done. Many people just sit in poverty and live off the free money I give them through taxes. That bothers me. As for those who actually do have the drive to escape poverty, they can do it, and will eventually earn their own money, without having to mooch off me.



    You accuse me of using underestimating the difficulty of escaping poverty. But aren't you overestimating it?
  • turnwriteturnwrite Posts: 372member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midwinter View Post


    I said that because if, as you said, Bach and Rand are your "Bibles," you must certainly have a difficult time reconciling Rand's objectivism and effectively 18th-century brand of utterly compassionless laissez-faire capitalism applied to social institutions with Bach's neo-Christian new-agey-ness.



    I find they fit together quite nicely, actually. Both talk about how you can accomplish anything you want to if you have the drive to do so.
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