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What books are you reading now?

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Posted

A couple weeks ago, I came across the sticky note on which I’d written several book recommendations from :nullifidian: , including Right Ho, Jeeves. Thanks so much, Null! Once I got to the prize-giving scene I didn’t think it could possibly get any funnier, but the ending topped it. I’ve got a long car trip coming up soon, and I’ll definitely be taking another Jeeves novel along.

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Posted

The Null Man knows his books. :):study:

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Posted (edited)

I've been reading David Bentley Hart's "Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies."

I'm not usually one for apologetics, but being at least fractionally familiar with Hart from the generally enjoyable blog "First Things," coupled with my general disdain for 'new atheism,' my interest was peaked.

He's a good writer and this was immediately evident, not above being sarcastically antagonistic. Here's a sample- he's in the midst of giving an account of the cultural landscape:

"As I write..."The God Delusion," an energetic attack on all religious belief, has just been released by Richard Dawkins, the zoologist and tireless tractarian, who, despite his embarrassing incapacity for philosophic reasoning, never fails to entrance his eager readers with his rhetorical recklessness.

The journalist Christopher Hitchens, whose talent for intellectual caricature somewhat exceeds his mastery of consecutive logic, has just released "God Is Not Great," a book that raises the wild non sequitur almost to the level of dialectical method."

:heh:

Edited by DeadCanDance

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Posted

Nietzsche disparaged those atheists a hundred years ago with a note: atheism is the triumph of Christian morality over Christian metaphysics. :heh:

I'm 2/3rds of the way into Zero History, by Gibson. Had put that book on the back burner for years but now that WG has a new one out I need to catch up first.

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Posted

I just finished Odd John; started off interesting and got less so as I progressed. I've started Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy, which is kind of like a coffee-table-book, but very informative. Frankly, it's so informative that a lot of the stuff is over my head, but I've learned some interesting things about pterosaurs, for example, many of them had what appears to be fur.

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Posted

Arjun Appadurai, The Social Life of Things

Carl C. Boyer, A History of Mathematics

Martin D. Crossley, Essential Topology

Richard Duncan-Jones, Structure and Scale in the Roman Economy

Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations

Tristan Needham, Visual Complex Analysis

Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Toward a History of Epistemic Things

Some more deeply than others.

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Posted

Arjun Appadurai, The Social Life of Things

Carl C. Boyer, A History of Mathematics

Martin D. Crossley, Essential Topology

Richard Duncan-Jones, Structure and Scale in the Roman Economy

Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations

Tristan Needham, Visual Complex Analysis

Hans-Jorg Rheinberger, Toward a History of Epistemic Things

Some more deeply than others.

Interesting list. Not that I've read any of them! I'd be particularly interested to hear what you think of Rheinberger's Epistemic Things, either now or in due course.

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I've been reading The Code Book by Simon Singh. It's pretty interesting. But the part I wanted to share was about breaking the German Enigma cipher machine. For those who don't know about it, it was a machine the Nazi's used during and just prior to WWII to encrypt their radio communications. There is a fairly well known story of how the Brits broke the code with the help of geniuses like Alan Turing and some of the first computers ever made; and the capture of an Enigma machine from a German U-boat. However, what I didn't know was that the Poles broke the ciphers of the first generation Enigma machines, completely "by hand" in the 1930s.

The man in charge of Poland's cryptography team chose to set up shop in a small university in western Poland because there were greater numbers of Poles fluent in German there. He had also obtained a list of German Enigma keys, but chose to keep them secret from his cryptographers, knowing that the keys were only good for a year or so and he wanted his team to completely break the ciphers, not just cheat with the keys. Keep in mind this was prior to the Nazi invasion of Poland. They did just that, but unfortunately their success was relatively short-lived as the Germans beefed up their Enigma machines in 1938, causing the combinations to increase to 159 quintillion (above and beyond what they could solve without computers.) The Poles kept this a secret until Germany invaded Poland, at which point they shared what they had learned with France and England, presumably giving Turing a head start on breaking the improved Enigma machines.

Anyway, just wanted to share that, and it gives me a little bit of pride in my Slavic heritage too. Oh and its a good book by the way.

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Posted (edited)

Just finished The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery.

I am currently reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov as well as On Feeling, Knowing, and Valuing by Max Scheler.

Edited by Michael S. Pearl

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Posted

Holy Frijolies, it's been near 2 years since I last updated what I'm reading.

I've read too many to recount since then, so I'll just mention what I am eyeballing:

Just finished High Rise by Ballard, and am now reading a collection of his short stories. Quite a pleasant read, and somewhat kicking myself for not reading him before. Also reading the following: Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie, Solaris by Stanislaw Lem, An Alien Heat by Moorcock, and Star Maker by Stapledon.

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Currently reading, well sampling, lots of books. I just finished both books in Ben Tripp's Rise Again duology, for the second time (this time via audiobook). Now I'm trying to focus a bit on The Philosophy of Science: Key Concepts by Steven French. A couple of chapters in, I find it's an interesting blend of academic resources and what you might think of as conversational blog writing. He's quoted Feyerabend already so I'm pretty sure it's legit.

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