I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a book)

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby AvatarIII » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:29 pm UTC

Zarq wrote:Ever since I was little I've been interested in mythology. My main focus back then was Greek, but they all interest me. Does anyone know any good books concerning the subject? Greek, Roman, Norse, Chinese, Egyptian, ... it doesn't matter.


Dan Simmons, Ilium and it's sequel Olympos perhaps? It's got a lot of other stuff in it too, but greek mythology plays a major part in the plot.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Kewangji » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:07 am UTC

Zarq: I've been meaning to read this book here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_Light. It seems to fit your criteria. I can't think of any non-fiction books.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby AvatarIII » Sat Dec 17, 2011 10:08 am UTC

Kewangji wrote:Zarq: I've been meaning to read this book here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_Light. It seems to fit your criteria. I can't think of any non-fiction books.


I've read that, it's a pretty good SF take on hindu mythology.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:13 am UTC

Fiction on my shelves on the subject:

Tim Powers - Declare
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash
Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys
Last edited by bigglesworth on Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:44 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zarq » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:35 pm UTC

bigglesworth wrote:Non-fiction on my shelves on the subject:

Tim Powers - Declare
Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash
Neil Gaiman - Anansi Boys


Aren't those all fiction?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:44 pm UTC

Well Snow Crash is a prediction of the future, but they're all totally true accounts!


:oops:
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:23 am UTC

Not a book, but close enough: I'd like to get my sister a subscription to a fantasy/maybe scifi lit magazine for Christmas. Any suggestions? She tends to like popular teeny stuff like Eragon, The Hunger Games, and such.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:50 pm UTC

Zarq wrote:Ever since I was little I've been interested in mythology. My main focus back then was Greek, but they all interest me. Does anyone know any good non-fiction books concerning the subject? Greek, Roman, Norse, Chinese, Egyptian, ... it doesn't matter.

If you know any good fiction books that have a solid grounding in mythology you can mention those too. No need to mention American Gods though.


Edith Hamilton's Mythology is generally considered a great book on the Greek stuff. I have something on Norse at home too I'll have to dig up the title of for you too.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby arclight » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:43 am UTC

The Making of the Atomic Bomb.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zarq » Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:15 pm UTC

emceng wrote:
Zarq wrote:Ever since I was little I've been interested in mythology. My main focus back then was Greek, but they all interest me. Does anyone know any good non-fiction books concerning the subject? Greek, Roman, Norse, Chinese, Egyptian, ... it doesn't matter.

If you know any good fiction books that have a solid grounding in mythology you can mention those too. No need to mention American Gods though.


Edith Hamilton's Mythology is generally considered a great book on the Greek stuff. I have something on Norse at home too I'll have to dig up the title of for you too.


Thanks. That looks like it's exactly what I was looking for.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Frenetic Pony » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:41 am UTC

I love two types of books. Sci-fi/fantasy, I.e something with a lot to wrap my head around while reading, and/or adventure novels. Because, why not?

Now, sci-fi/fantasy I'm boned up on fairly well, name a popular author of either from... ever and I've probably at least tried to read them. Adventure, not so much. I loved Red Storm Rising (Tom Clancy), and have really enjoyed the first several novels of the Master and Commander series. But that feels like its dipping away from O'Brian's insane talents at writing action (the best I've ever read by far) and ever more into the trite Jane Austen territory.

So my question is, what awesome adventure novels (in a historical context with some sort of technical complexity if possible) have I obviously missed?

*Edit - I know about Quicksilver and etc. And while I love Stephenson's other novels I could never get around the utter mess of "coincidences" he throws in. It's like a parade of historical figures.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby wam » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:27 pm UTC

Frenetic Pony wrote:I love two types of books. Sci-fi/fantasy, I.e something with a lot to wrap my head around while reading, and/or adventure novels. Because, why not?

Now, sci-fi/fantasy I'm boned up on fairly well, name a popular author of either from... ever and I've probably at least tried to read them. Adventure, not so much. I loved Red Storm Rising (Tom Clancy), and have really enjoyed the first several novels of the Master and Commander series. But that feels like its dipping away from O'Brian's insane talents at writing action (the best I've ever read by far) and ever more into the trite Jane Austen territory.

So my question is, what awesome adventure novels (in a historical context with some sort of technical complexity if possible) have I obviously missed?

*Edit - I know about Quicksilver and etc. And while I love Stephenson's other novels I could never get around the utter mess of "coincidences" he throws in. It's like a parade of historical figures.


Your reading tastes are pretty similar to mine. For the adventure novels with a historical context I would recommend Bernard Cornwall (although they can be a bit simple).

If you liked the Master and commander series have you tried the Hornblower novels?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:43 pm UTC

Definitely read the Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. It's beautiful.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Boris Veganofsky » Fri Mar 23, 2012 12:31 am UTC

I'd like to get a bit more into philosophy but I'm not sure where to start. I realize that is extremely vague. I already own the following (mostly picked up from the street):

Critique of Pure Reason by Kant
Tractatus logico-philosophicus by Wittgenstein
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men by Rousseau
Discourse on the Method by Descartes
Dialectics of Nature by Engels
Stoicism by John Sellars

My experience with philosophy is limited to some formal logic, Pirsig's ZAMM and some bits of Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics we covered in high school humanities classes, and some discussions with people who have actually studied philosophy that I could only somewhat follow by referring to Wikipedia.

Any recommendations on where to start? Preferably books from the list above, or from the public domain, or that I can likely find at a university library.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ahammel » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:06 am UTC

Boris Veganofsky wrote:I'd like to get a bit more into philosophy but I'm not sure where to start. I realize that is extremely vague. I already own the following (mostly picked up from the street):

Critique of Pure Reason by Kant
Tractatus logico-philosophicus by Wittgenstein
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men by Rousseau
Discourse on the Method by Descartes
Dialectics of Nature by Engels
Stoicism by John Sellars

My experience with philosophy is limited to some formal logic, Pirsig's ZAMM and some bits of Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics we covered in high school humanities classes, and some discussions with people who have actually studied philosophy that I could only somewhat follow by referring to Wikipedia.

Any recommendations on where to start? Preferably books from the list above, or from the public domain, or that I can likely find at a university library.

I don't have a great deal of experience here, but I suggest that you get your hands on a guide to the Critique of Pure Reason and read that before you dive into your translation. Kant had possibly the highest ratio of quality of ideas to ability to express those ideas in human history (he was a terrible writer, is what I'm saying). I've had good luck with the Reader's Guide series. I haven't read that one in particular, but they did a good rundown of the Groundwork. You'll probably be able find that volume or similar in a university library.

As for reading order: you could do worse than chronological (since they'll all refer back to one another anyways). Might I also suggest some Bertrand Russell?
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Boris Veganofsky » Fri Mar 23, 2012 1:31 am UTC

I have the french translation actually, I'd be better off with a french study guide. I have all the books listed in french, except Stoicism.

Incidentally the Critique is the only one I have tried to read so far, and I found it very dense and hard to understand so I did not get very far. I'm a bit reassured to hear that Kant is a terrible writer; it gives me hope that I am not just useless at reading philosophy.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ahammel » Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:04 am UTC

An old phil prof of mine did his PhD thesis on Kant. He also happens to be fluent in German. He told me he got two sentences into the original text of the Critique before he gave up.

So no, not just you.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Metaphysician » Fri Mar 30, 2012 4:34 am UTC

Boris Veganofsky wrote:I'd like to get a bit more into philosophy but I'm not sure where to start. I realize that is extremely vague. I already own the following (mostly picked up from the street):

Critique of Pure Reason by Kant
Tractatus logico-philosophicus by Wittgenstein
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men by Rousseau
Discourse on the Method by Descartes
Dialectics of Nature by Engels
Stoicism by John Sellars

My experience with philosophy is limited to some formal logic, Pirsig's ZAMM and some bits of Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics we covered in high school humanities classes, and some discussions with people who have actually studied philosophy that I could only somewhat follow by referring to Wikipedia.

Any recommendations on where to start? Preferably books from the list above, or from the public domain, or that I can likely find at a university library.


Have you read the Greeks yet? Socrates and Aristotle are fundamental texts for understanding western thought. Most philosophers since have referenced them directly and indirectly. They are extremely important, and Plato's Socratic dialogues are immensely entertaining. If you have read the Greeks, then I'd need to know more about what areas of philosophy interest you.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby XDLMAO » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:05 am UTC

Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a CS type related book to read. Something that is fun to read, and it would be a bonus if I learned anything while reading it. I know this description is kinda vague, but let me know if you have any suggestions!

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Sleeper » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:26 am UTC

XDLMAO wrote:Hey everyone,

I'm looking for a CS type related book to read. Something that is fun to read, and it would be a bonus if I learned anything while reading it. I know this description is kinda vague, but let me know if you have any suggestions!


This response may be a bit late, but: I recommend the book Steal This Computer Book 4 by Wallace Wang. An enjoyable and edifying read.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Sleeper » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:32 am UTC

Can anyone recommend a book that seriously deals specifically with the issues surrounding human evolution, and how the idea might be made palatable to the religious? The chief source of opposition to the theory of evolution seems to be that it also explains our own evolution. If we could have left humans out of it, the religious wouldn't dig in their heels so firmly against evolution. But it's vital to include humans, of course.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:22 pm UTC

Looking for some light, easy reading sci-fi or fantasy. I'm re-reading the Harry Dresden novels right now while working out. It helps, especially since they draw you in. I want to know what happens next, so when I feel unmotivated to work out, I have a little more push. Tried re-reading the Belgariad, and ugh. My tastes have changed or something, they were really not worth reading.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby bigglesworth » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

Well, doesn't fit every definition of 'light' but Richard K Morgan's Takeshi Kovaks books are some great modern cyberpunk thrillers.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby ahammel » Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:48 pm UTC

OT: how do you read a book while working out?

Have you read any Tim Powers? He's always good for a sort of swashbuckling, magic-using, horrible-monster-stabbing sort of a yarn that's actually well written. The Drawing of the Dark is a great sort of mythic-fantasy book, and On Stranger Tides is pretty much the original Pirates-using-voodoo story.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby AvatarIII » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:29 am UTC

emceng wrote:Looking for some light, easy reading sci-fi or fantasy. I'm re-reading the Harry Dresden novels right now while working out. It helps, especially since they draw you in. I want to know what happens next, so when I feel unmotivated to work out, I have a little more push. Tried re-reading the Belgariad, and ugh. My tastes have changed or something, they were really not worth reading.


to be honest, the "lightest" sci-fi I read is probably Peter F Hamilton, :lol: not sure if that's something you'd be interested in, since each book is pretty long, but his Void trilogy is pretty easy reading, if you like longer books, and they have elements of both SF and Fantasy, and definitely invoke a sense of wanting to find out what happens next.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:31 am UTC

ahammel wrote:Tim Powers? He's always good
I quoted this part of your post for its truth. :mrgreen:
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:53 pm UTC

AvatarIII wrote:
emceng wrote:Looking for some light, easy reading sci-fi or fantasy. I'm re-reading the Harry Dresden novels right now while working out. It helps, especially since they draw you in. I want to know what happens next, so when I feel unmotivated to work out, I have a little more push. Tried re-reading the Belgariad, and ugh. My tastes have changed or something, they were really not worth reading.


to be honest, the "lightest" sci-fi I read is probably Peter F Hamilton, :lol: not sure if that's something you'd be interested in, since each book is pretty long, but his Void trilogy is pretty easy reading, if you like longer books, and they have elements of both SF and Fantasy, and definitely invoke a sense of wanting to find out what happens next.



Hmm, not a bad idea. I read the first of the Neutronium Alchemist I think. A little dark for me, but I'll give it a shot, thanks!
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zarq » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:46 pm UTC

Anyone know anything (non-fiction) about paranormal events? UFOs, Native American legends, Bigfoot, that kind off stuff. Preferably nothing that tries to convince me that it's true. To explain what I mean by that last part, I want the underlying thoughts to be "Hey, this stuff happened, or at least people say it happened, and this or this legend or thing can explain it. It's very likely explained by a more mundane cause, though."

Unrelated: I'm still interested in anything non-fiction on any mythology. Greek, Norse, Chinese, Hindu, Celtic, Catholic, Egyptian, ...
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby folkhero » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:09 am UTC

Paranormality by Richard Wiseman might interest you. I haven't read it myself (it's on my 'maybe, someday I'll get to it' list) so I don't know how deep it gets into the specifics of events or perceived events but he does focus on explaining why people believe in the paranormal.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Zarq » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:16 pm UTC

Thank you.

I posted the same question on Reddit and got the following answers (posting in case other people are interested):
-Spook (Mary Roach)
-The Interrupted Journey
-Communion
-Super Nature (Lyall Watts)
-Book of the Damned (Charles Fort. Also other stuff by him)
-Anything by Brad Steiger
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:15 am UTC

I am looking for a ~$20 statistics textbook that isn't afraid of math. The textbook prescribed for my statistics class (Triola) has way too many pictures distracting from the text, and it reads like it was written for high school freshmen. Which isn't unlikely.

Also I could use a discrete math textbook that also isn't extortionately priced at $200 used.

And I could use a textbook which doesn't show you how to determine the probability of binomial random variables on a TI-84, rather than mathematically. Could also use a professor that, when you ask how to do that without a calculator (because you don't have a TI-84 and have no interest in contributing a hundred dollars to Texas Instruments' monopoly, though that latter part is not mentioned in your question), doesn't tell you that you are wasting the class's time. RRRAAAAAGEE

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby dcb2011 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:23 pm UTC

At the moment, I am reading `The Giza Power Plant`by Christopher Dunn, which was recommended to me by a former co-worker.

I am finding it very good, and would recommend it to anybody with an interest in alternate science and ancient mysteries.

Mr. Dunn writes from the background of a machinist and technologist with over 30 years experience. He doesn`t get into the weird theories that are bandied about, but analyzes information in a very scientific manner.

He looks at artifacts and notes how so many of them indicate all the marks of tool wear--advanced tool wear, but tool wear nonetheless.

And he is one more person who disagrees with the theory that the pyramid was built as a tomb.

Overall, highly recommended.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Velexia » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:51 pm UTC

The Myst Trilogy.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby frogthroat » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:22 pm UTC

emceng wrote:Looking for some light, easy reading sci-fi or fantasy. I'm re-reading the Harry Dresden novels right now while working out. It helps, especially since they draw you in. I want to know what happens next, so when I feel unmotivated to work out, I have a little more push. Tried re-reading the Belgariad, and ugh. My tastes have changed or something, they were really not worth reading.
Try Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series. It's fast and easy, a-book-per-evening -type of reading.

Although HH is not my favourite writers (I read more non-fiction anyways), I have to say one of the best sci-fi books I've read has been Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky - The Turing Option.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby emceng » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:14 pm UTC

frogthroat wrote:
emceng wrote:Looking for some light, easy reading sci-fi or fantasy. I'm re-reading the Harry Dresden novels right now while working out. It helps, especially since they draw you in. I want to know what happens next, so when I feel unmotivated to work out, I have a little more push. Tried re-reading the Belgariad, and ugh. My tastes have changed or something, they were really not worth reading.
Try Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat series. It's fast and easy, a-book-per-evening -type of reading.

Although HH is not my favourite writers (I read more non-fiction anyways), I have to say one of the best sci-fi books I've read has been Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky - The Turing Option.



Good suggestion - too bad I've read the whole series. Maybe I look up more of his stuff though. Currently using Neverwhere as a book like this.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Eseell » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:53 pm UTC

Check out the series that starts with Hard Magic by Larry Correia. His books are very engaging, I usually read them in one or two marathon sittings.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby frogthroat » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:21 am UTC

emceng wrote:Good suggestion - too bad I've read the whole series. Maybe I look up more of his stuff though. Currently using Neverwhere as a book like this.
You've probably read Brave New World, 1984 and other dystopian books, but one nice sci-fi dystopia book is Pohl & Kornbluth - Space Merchants. Written in 1950's, and for other parts except that they are planning a manned mission to Venus it is quite good guesstimate of what our current civilization is like. It also had a sequel, Merchant's War. Not bad, but not good either. Didn't have the same effect on me as Space Merchants.

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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby bigglesworth » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:33 pm UTC

I second the recommendation for the space merchants hard and fast. When I read it, I thought "this is a book that's aged very well for something written 30 years ago". Then I found out it was written about 60 years ago.
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby frogthroat » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:45 am UTC

bigglesworth wrote:When I read it, I thought "this is a book that's aged very well for something written 30 years ago". Then I found out it was written about 60 years ago.
Wow! I had the same exact thought. A friend of mine gave me that book, I started reading and after few pages I asked him "how is this sci-fi? This advertisement world is how it is now." He told me to check when it was written and I was truly surprised.

If you enjoyed Space Merchants, try Harry Harrison and Marvin Minsky- The Turing Option I mentioned earlier. It is written in the early 90's and it also is on the correct path to be quite accurate prediction of future technology, as the book takes place in 2020's. The only thing we have already surpassed is this portable data storage device, about the size of a domino piece, attached to a computer with a cable and can store a whole 1GB of data! Of course, nowadays you have USB-sticks that are smaller, don't need a cable and can store commonly 32GB of data, but I heard there's even 1TB drives existing. But otherwise the technology in that book seems to go the path Marvin Minsky envisioned.
[insert nerdy witticism here]

Nem
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Re: I need a book recommendation (Renamed : Recom'd me a boo

Postby Nem » Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:09 am UTC

Boris Veganofsky wrote:I'd like to get a bit more into philosophy but I'm not sure where to start. I realize that is extremely vague. I already own the following (mostly picked up from the street):

Critique of Pure Reason by Kant
Tractatus logico-philosophicus by Wittgenstein
Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men by Rousseau
Discourse on the Method by Descartes
Dialectics of Nature by Engels
Stoicism by John Sellars

My experience with philosophy is limited to some formal logic, Pirsig's ZAMM and some bits of Aristotle's Nicomachean ethics we covered in high school humanities classes, and some discussions with people who have actually studied philosophy that I could only somewhat follow by referring to Wikipedia.

Any recommendations on where to start? Preferably books from the list above, or from the public domain, or that I can likely find at a university library.


What is this thing called metaphysics? by Brian Garrett.

You'll probably want some sort of intro on philosophy of language - because that sort of analysis is such a useful tool to have available for reading other philosophy. Philosophy of Language a Contemporary Introduction by William G. Lycan is a good choice in that regard.

Social and Political Philosophy: Classical Western Texts in Feminist and Multicultural Perspectives by James P Sterba

Something by Nietzsche is good just because his philosophy is so massively different to a lot of what surrounds it. Beyond Good and Evil is, I think, my favourite work by him. Don't try to construct his work into a system, it doesn't work that way - it's just something you read and pick the good ideas out of.

The Wealth of Nations is obviously a good touching stone for any social philosophy to get some sort of idea of where the ideas went and sort of where they're coming from.

I would read them in the order given above.


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