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  #171  
Old Jan 22nd 2010, 05:09 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I recently picked up two somewhat related titles from Scientific American:

Denialism
and
The Science of Fear

Haven't begun reading either.

My bookshelves are overflowing with plenty of interest but lack of time.
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  #172  
Old Jan 22nd 2010, 07:22 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mind's Eye View Post
I recently picked up two somewhat related titles from Scientific American:

Denialism
and
The Science of Fear

Haven't begun reading either.

My bookshelves are overflowing with plenty of interest but lack of time.
Same here. I was reading on a regular basis but right now I barely have time to spend with my kids after getting home from work.
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  #173  
Old Jan 22nd 2010, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I'm reading Modern Hydronic Heating For Residential and Light Commercial Buildings.

I bought an old, repossessed, cheap house a couple months ago and have been doing a lot of work on it. I've replaced the old boiler and I expect to finally have the heat working within the week. It's been a long process. The book is fantastic though.
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  #174  
Old Jan 23rd 2010, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Yes, it does seem to be a challenge to find the time for reading sometimes!

Anyway, I've just read The Battle of the St. Lawrence, a historical account of WW2 inside Canadian waters. Nothing particularly noteworthy.

Prior to that, I read Kings in the North, a military/political history of Northumberland (Northern England).
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  #175  
Old Jan 24th 2010, 01:01 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I'm in the middle of reading The Morning Breaks by Bettina Aptheker. It's about the trial of Angela Davis and the social current both before and during the trial.

She had quite a few strikes against her in America, what with being a Black female for one, a true intellectual for another, and a Communist to top it off. She struck out with the American White supremacist system whenever she dared arm Black youths who were constantly being targeted by White authority.

Interesting read.
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  #176  
Old Jan 25th 2010, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Selected chapters from The Fundamentals of Nursing 7th ed
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  #177  
Old Jan 31st 2010, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

currently splitting my time between Moral Man And Immoral Society by Reinhold Niebuhr and What are They Saying about Acts by Mark Allan Powell
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  #178  
Old Feb 2nd 2010, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

My old friend, One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I think will be where my next tattoo will come.
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  #179  
Old Feb 4th 2010, 05:34 PM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Just finished reading Gang Leader For A Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes To The Streets. It's a fascinating read for anyone interested inner city gangs, housing projects, and urban poverty. Sudhir Venkatesh spent the better part of a decade in the Robert Taylor housing project in Chicago. Early on, he met a leader of the Black Kings who gave him access to the inner workings of his life and his work as a gang leader. I definitely recommend it.

I'm on to Time and Money: The Macroeconomics of Capital Structure by Roger W. Garrison.
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  #180  
Old Feb 7th 2010, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Here's my reading list while I was on vacation...

First off, is France in Modern Times, by Gordon Wright of Sanford University. The book covers the period of 1750 to 1980, and although I must say that the book seems rather weak tea on the post-1945 period, the 1750 to 1945 period is covered in exhaustive detail and well nuanced, albeit very dry reading. This is very much a traditional style history text, almost entirely focused on large-scale politics, institutions and socio-cultural elements. I had to take this one with me to finish it because it has been laying around three-quarters-finished for many months. In all, it took me a year to slog through this very boring albeit interesting book.

Then I spent the rest of the week savoring these two beauties by Hayek:

The Road to Serfdom, by Friedrich Hayek, originally published in 1944. This book is an enormously influential text that constitutes the definitive liberal argument against collectivism - that central-planned economies lead to abject tyranny and serfdom of the citzenry. I was previously familiar with this book and its theme, but I had only read particular excerpts from it. Given my increasing interest in 20th century political theory, this one was top of my list of long-overdue classics to read. This is a brilliant book that established Hayek as the most important liberal thinker of the 20th century. If anyone is even slightly confused about the difference between liberalism and socialism, this book is the definitive statement of that fact.

The Constitution of Liberty, by Friedrich Hayek, originally published in 1960. This book is a far less influential and famous as Hayek's earlier work, but from the perspective of political philosophy, it is far more interesting and important. Hayek's famous essay "Why I am not a conservative" is included as an appendix to this book. To put it simply, and in context with the first book, if anyone is even slightly confused about the differences btween liberalism, libertarianism and conservativism, this book is the definitive statement of that fact.

One interesting thing is the way 'neoliberals' and 'neoconservatives' both usually have high praise for Hayek - despite his avowed enmity with their positions. I suspect that Hayek is thus more often praised for his name, reputation and book-titles rather than from people actually reading his work (reminds me of Allan Bloom's, Closing of the American Mind - famously asserted to be the least-read 'bestseller' of all time!).

I was also very much amused to find out that Hayek, like myself, toyed with resurrecting the old term of "whig" to describe his adherence to classical liberal principles and rejection of both laissez-faire libertarianism as well as his rejection of socialist principles. Indeed, Hayek, like myself, took great pride in the fact that classical liberalism has always been so powerful and popular that its enemy on the right (conservatives and anarchic-capitalists) have needed to steal all of their most popular ideas from classical liberalism, while the enemy on the left (socialists) have tried to steal the name of liberalism itself.

Indeed, the centrality of the ideas of classical liberalism as the reference point for all contemporary political ideologies just underscores the whole point - that classical liberalism really is the ground floor of political rationalism. Deviations from the principles of classical liberalism are thus always suspect for the agenda of the plutocratic-corporatist, the religious-theist, the patriotic-nationalist or the crusading moralist of enforced equality - all of them are authoritarians hiding behind pseudo-liberal words. Indeed, it seems that the only really effective attack the right and the left have made against classical liberalism over the years has been against the word itself - while needing to use a veneer of liberalism to achieve what popularity they have.
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