What is everyone reading?

orthonorm

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
17,715
Reaction score
0
Points
0
vamrat said:
orthonorm said:
Jonathan Gress said:
stavros_388 said:
The Better Angels of our Nature - Why Violence Has Declined, by Steven Pinker

I haven't read anything by him before, but I downloaded a sample of his latest from amazon as I thought the premise was interesting, and was pretty quickly hooked. Bought it. Engaging writing style. Lots of interesting data. Compelling.
Pinker is great and probably right for the most part, though a review I read said he kind of glosses over Christianity's role in declining violence, i.e. the modern lack of violence is entirely due to Enlightenment values, even though there was an appreciable decline already in the early Middle Ages.
Your "Enlightenment" was delivered to you by the Muslims, not Christians.
Historically speaking, I can get behind this assertion.  They conquered many ancient civilizations - the Romans, Indians, and Persians being the most important - and adopted their knowledge and then disseminated it to any other civilizations they conquered or warred with.  Islam has bloody borders, but bloodshed is the most effective transfer of knowledge. 
They just didn't "disseminate it" they conducted thoughtful research and expanded on known knowledge and methods and blazed new roads in what would be the end of the trivium of Scholasticism all the while perfecting it.




 

Asteriktos

Hypatos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,117
Reaction score
35
Points
48
Age
41
The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien. Been probably 20 years since I read it.  :eek: Gotta reread it in preparation for the movie.

Confessions, by St. Augustine. I'm gonna get all the way through this time, I just know it!

The Weight of Glory (And Other Addresses), by C.S. Lewis. Small little book (66 pp.) of sermons/addresses or whatever.
 

orthonorm

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
17,715
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Asteriktos said:
The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien. Been probably 20 years since I read it.  :eek: Gotta reread it in preparation for the movie.

Confessions, by St. Augustine. I'm gonna get all the way through this time, I just know it!

The Weight of Glory (And Other Addresses), by C.S. Lewis. Small little book (66 pp.) of sermons/addresses or whatever.
You are just trying to bother me . . . I see through you.
 

Asteriktos

Hypatos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,117
Reaction score
35
Points
48
Age
41
orthonorm said:
Asteriktos said:
The Hobbit, by JRR Tolkien. Been probably 20 years since I read it.  :eek: Gotta reread it in preparation for the movie.

Confessions, by St. Augustine. I'm gonna get all the way through this time, I just know it!

The Weight of Glory (And Other Addresses), by C.S. Lewis. Small little book (66 pp.) of sermons/addresses or whatever.
You are just trying to bother me . . . I see through you.
:D

It's not my fault that those are the books I found at the used book store that interested me.
 

biro

Protostrator
Site Supporter
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
23,173
Reaction score
11
Points
38
Age
47
Website
archiveofourown.org
Speaking of which, used bookstores usually have some cool stuff- I always find some weird 1970s science fiction and potboilers when I go there. Need to do that again.  ;) :D
 

ZealousZeal

Protokentarchos
Joined
Jun 8, 2011
Messages
3,980
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
33
At the Corner of East and Now, by Frederica Mathewes-Green.

So far I really like it. I wanted to read Facing East more, but they didn't have it for Nook, Kindle or iBooks. Oh well.
 

vamrat

Merarches
Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
9,471
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
36
Location
Omaha
The Fort by Bernard Cornwell, author of the Sharpe Series.  It's about the Revolutionary War up in Maine (then part of Massachusetts).  One character is a rebel and another is British (referred to as "Devils" in the book).  Should get a good view of both sides which is kind of interesting.  Looks like Paul Revere is going to play a role in the story.  He's an interesting character but all most people know about is the "the British are coming, the British are coming!" bit. 
 

ironchapman

High Elder
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
829
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
North Dakota
Just got the following book in the mail today: Dynamic of Destruction: Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War

Basically, it studies WWI and how it produced the essential acceptance of mass killing and violence that it produced on a cultural level. It also discusses how the results of this war created an environment that allowed for the rise of communism, fascism, and Nazism.
 

HabteSelassie

Archon
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
3,314
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Los Angeles
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

ironchapman said:
Just got the following book in the mail today: Dynamic of Destruction: Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War

Basically, it studies WWI and how it produced the essential acceptance of mass killing and violence that it produced on a cultural level. It also discusses how the results of this war created an environment that allowed for the rise of communism, fascism, and Nazism.
Interesting.  I'd say that mass killing and violence were nothing new to European culture before World War I.  However what is clearly different, is the mechanization of war and violence, which makes it methodical, robotic, and menial.  Europeans had always been accustomed to people dying in large numbers.  After all, why in part were the Spanish and English so comfortable with witnessing the suffering of the Indians from disease in the Americas? Simple answer, disease at that pandemic scale had already been affecting Europe for hundreds, indeed a thousand years before that, in a crass kind of way both emotionally and even theologically the European mind had become desensitized to the suffering of disease.  Now the Civil War and later WWI were different entirely.  People died in their tens of thousands daily, by the work of machines, by the work of logistical planning, by the use of technology.  Death became a statistic because to machines that's all we are. 

Today we have M.A.D, mutually assured destruction, which supposedly cross-cancels mutual threats.  Weirdly, the Russians just last week threatened the potential for a preemptive nuclear strike against US cities in retaliation for the European Missile Defense system.  Lives become 1s and 0s.  But doesn't Facebook do the same thing?


stay blessed,
habte selassie
 

orthonorm

Hoplitarches
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Messages
17,715
Reaction score
0
Points
0
HabteSelassie said:
Today we have M.A.D, mutually assured destruction, which supposedly cross-cancels mutual threats.  Weirdly, the Russians just last week threatened the potential for a preemptive nuclear strike against US cities in retaliation for the European Missile Defense system.  Lives become 1s and 0s.  But doesn't Facebook do the same thing?
Facebook is much worse than mutually assured destruction.

It renders all its participants zeros.
 

ironchapman

High Elder
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
829
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
North Dakota
HabteSelassie said:
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

ironchapman said:
Just got the following book in the mail today: Dynamic of Destruction: Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War

Basically, it studies WWI and how it produced the essential acceptance of mass killing and violence that it produced on a cultural level. It also discusses how the results of this war created an environment that allowed for the rise of communism, fascism, and Nazism.
Interesting.  I'd say that mass killing and violence were nothing new to European culture before World War I.  However what is clearly different, is the mechanization of war and violence, which makes it methodical, robotic, and menial.  Europeans had always been accustomed to people dying in large numbers.  After all, why in part were the Spanish and English so comfortable with witnessing the suffering of the Indians from disease in the Americas? Simple answer, disease at that pandemic scale had already been affecting Europe for hundreds, indeed a thousand years before that, in a crass kind of way both emotionally and even theologically the European mind had become desensitized to the suffering of disease.  Now the Civil War and later WWI were different entirely.  People died in their tens of thousands daily, by the work of machines, by the work of logistical planning, by the use of technology.  Death became a statistic because to machines that's all we are. 

Today we have M.A.D, mutually assured destruction, which supposedly cross-cancels mutual threats.  Weirdly, the Russians just last week threatened the potential for a preemptive nuclear strike against US cities in retaliation for the European Missile Defense system.  Lives become 1s and 0s.  But doesn't Facebook do the same thing?


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Mass killing is nothing new anywhere, but what set WWI and history since then apart is that now it's viewed as a more or less a product of certain policies. It could be unintended, such as an ill-conceived war, or intended, such as the Holocaust, the gulags, Mao, even the acceptance of abortion on demand. We are fulfilling that quote Stalin supposedly said: "One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic."
 

thetraditionalfrog

Sr. Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2006
Messages
200
Reaction score
0
Points
16
Age
44
Location
Indianapolis, Indiana
I'm currently reading Herman Wouk's The Winds Of War, I'm also starting on The Hunger Games.  In a few moments I'm going to read the local newspaper over lunch, that tells you how reduced our daily here in Indy has become.  :(
 

stavros_388

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Sep 5, 2010
Messages
1,325
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Canada
The System of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age, by Charles Upton
 

Asteriktos

Hypatos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,117
Reaction score
35
Points
48
Age
41
On the Human Condition, by St. Basil the Great (trans. and intro by Nonna Verna Harrison). A collection of several texts by St. Basil on... well... the human condition  ;D  The texts included are:

- On the Origin of Humanity, Discourse 1: On that which is according to the image
- On the Origin of Humanity, Discourse 2: On the human being
- Homily Explaining That God is Not the Cause of Evil
- Homily against Anger
- Homily on the Words "Be Attentive to Yourself"
- Letter 233, to Bishop Amphilochius, Who Has Asked a Question
- Long Rules, Selections
 
Top