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Old 08-08-2020, 04:28 PM   #201
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All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable products such as rubber which in colder climates it is necessary to synthesize by comparatively expensive methods. But above all they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labour. Whichever power controls equatorial Africa, or the countries of the Middle East, or Southern India, or the Indonesian Archipelago, disposes also of the bodies of scores or hundreds of millions of ill-paid and hard-working coolies. The inhabitants of these areas, reduced more or less openly to the status of slaves, pass continually from conqueror to conqueror, and are expended like so much coal or oil in the race to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, to control more labour power, to turn out more armaments, to capture more territory, and so on indefinitely. It should be noted that the fighting never really moves beyond the edges of the disputed areas. The frontiers of Eurasia flow back and forth between the basin of the Congo and the northern shore of the Mediterranean; the islands of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific are constantly being captured and recaptured by Oceania or by Eastasia; in Mongolia the dividing line between Eurasia and Eastasia is never stable; round the Pole all three powers lay claim to enormous territories which in fact are largely unihabited and unexplored: but the balance of power always remains roughly even, and the territory which forms the heartland of each super-state always remains inviolate. Moreover, the labour of the exploited peoples round the Equator is not really necessary to the world’s economy. They add nothing to the wealth of the world, since whatever they produce is used for purposes of war, and the object of waging a war is always to be in a better position in which to wage another war. By their labour the slave populations allow the tempo of continuous warfare to be speeded up. But if they did not exist, the structure of world society, and the process by which it maintains itself, would not be essentially different.

The primary aim of modern warfare (in accordance with the principles of doublethink, this aim is simultaneously recognized and not recognized by the directing brains of the Inner Party) is to use up the products of the machine without raising the general standard of living. Ever since the end of the nineteenth century, the problem of what to do with the surplus of consumption goods has been latent in industrial society. At present, when few human beings even have enough to eat, this problem is obviously not urgent, and it might not have become so, even if no artificial processes of destruction had been at work. The world of today is a bare, hungry, dilapidated place compared with the world that existed before 1914, and still more so if compared with the imaginary future to which the people of that period looked forward. In the early twentieth century, the vision of a future society unbelievably rich, leisured, orderly, and efficient—a glittering antiseptic world of glass and steel and snow-white concrete—was part of the consciousness of nearly every literate person. Science and technology were developing at a prodigious speed, and it seemed natural to assume that they would go on developing. This failed to happen, partly because of the impoverishment caused by a long series of wars and revolutions, partly because scientific and technical progress depended on the empirical habit of thought, which could not survive in a strictly regimented society. As a whole the world is more primitive today than it was fifty years ago. Certain backward areas have advanced, and various devices, always in some way connected with warfare and police espionage, have been developed, but experiment and invention have largely stopped, and the ravages of the atomic war of the nineteen- fifties have never been fully repaired. Nevertheless the dangers inherent in the machine are still there. From the moment when the machine first made its appearance it was clear to all thinking people that the need for human drudgery, and therefore to a great extent for human inequality, had disappeared. If the machine were used deliberately for that end, hunger, overwork, dirt, illiteracy, and disease could be eliminated within a few generations. And in fact, without being used for any such purpose, but by a sort of automatic process—by producing wealth which it was sometimes impossible not to distribute—the machine did raise the living standards of the average humand being very greatly over a period of about fifty years at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries.
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Old 08-08-2020, 04:46 PM   #202
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I'm about half way through. Started slow, but it is enjoyable.
My friend has the special hardback of this. It's such a great shelf piece.

Spoiler!

(friend's is in way better shape than this one)
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Old 12-30-2020, 06:47 AM   #203
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Got the Southern Reach trilogy for xmas, finished book 1 in about 2 days, pretty good. No idea what to expect from the other 2. Nothing like the movie
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Old 12-30-2020, 12:09 PM   #204
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Just finished "All The Light We Cannot See" for the second time. What a goddamned masterpiece.
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:02 PM   #205
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Just started in on book 7 of Malazan, this series is so long
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:45 PM   #206
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Was Ready Player Two any good?
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Old 12-30-2020, 02:54 PM   #207
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Haven't read it yet, will probably do a reread of RP1 and then read it after I'm done with Malazan - so talk to me in June
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Old 04-24-2021, 09:17 PM   #208
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Finished the Southern Reach trilogy, would highly recommend it for Sci-fi people, not much like the movie at all and obviously way way better
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Old 06-27-2021, 03:45 AM   #209
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Just started in on book 7 of Malazan, this series is so long
And finally finished.
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Old 09-10-2021, 12:01 PM   #210
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Was Ready Player Two any good?
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Haven't read it yet, will probably do a reread of RP1 and then read it after I'm done with Malazan - so talk to me in June
This was what I ended up doing, just forgot to post. RP2 is "eh." Clines writing is unique and fun, but he tried a little to hard on this one while also throwing in random political leanings.

Currently doing a Foundation reread in advance of the series coming out later this month. Though I don't have much optimism the series will be much like the books, as its really not meant for that medium.

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Old 09-20-2021, 09:29 AM   #211
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Current reading (some are rereading):

Hegel - Philosophy of Right
Jung - Psychological Types
Kant - Critique of Pure Reason
Popper - The Logic of Scientific Discovery

Jung and Kant were mostly for work. I think I'm going to focus on the Hegel-related stuff for the next few weeks to try and get something published. Man this is a slog though.
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:10 PM   #212
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Jung and Kant were mostly for work.
what do you do?
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Old 09-20-2021, 04:15 PM   #213
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what do you do?
I'm a lecturer at a university here. Those were refreshers for a course I'm doing which introduces some relevant concepts for critical thinking etc.
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:08 AM   #214
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Good read so far, I haven't got into it as much as I'd like.

Alan Patten - Hegel's Idea of Freedom:

https://www.amazon.com/Hegels-Freedo.../dp/0199251568
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Old 09-28-2021, 08:11 AM   #215
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Apparently Patten's work was a Master's dissertation; if so, it puts my own work on the Japanese investment-driven development model to shame. Hegel is so hard to read that these types of books are really necessary and in my opinion, this is one of the absolute best such books. Highly recommended, even if a prerequisite for understanding Hegel's conception of freedom is having a solid grasp of his overall system, something which is beyond the scope of this book.
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Old 09-28-2021, 01:17 PM   #216
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recently read Eric Foner's The Second Founding, and starting his Reconstruction book at some point this week or next.

also bought/need to read Spencer Ackerman's Reign of Terror because apparently I just love things that enrage me.
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Old 10-01-2021, 06:55 PM   #217
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Always use howlongtobeat before starting a video game.

Decided to see if there was one for books, and there is... https://howlongtoread.com/

Really handy. You do a little speed test with an excerpt from the book and it estimates how long it would take you.
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Old 06-23-2022, 08:42 PM   #218
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started and finished the new David Sedaris book today.

if you like his others, you will like this one too.
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Old 06-24-2022, 01:48 AM   #219
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Any sci fi fans? Read Recursion and Dark Matter recently, both by Blake Crouch, and loved both of them.
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Future generations will look back at this time where abortion is celebrated with disgust equal to that with which we look at slavery today.
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Old 06-24-2022, 02:11 AM   #220
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Crouch is good, writes page turners for sure - I liked recursion more than dark matter
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