Happy Atheist Forum

What Are You Reading?

Bad Penny II

  • *****
  • 2437
  • Idiot Symmetrician
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2021, 10:59:17 AM »
Patrick O'Brian, again I'm up to book 13 in the series again, Thirteen Gun Salute.

Quote
'What a satisfaction. And yet, do you know, Maturin, after all these hours of lying here I have come to the conclusion that there is something not displeasing in this solitude, perpetual travelling, perpetual confinement, remoteness from all society, cares, activity . . . If reasonable food were forthcoming, I am by no means sure that I should wish it ever to come to an end. There is a great deal to be said for suspended animation.' He paused, staring at the bulkhead, and then he said, 'I wonder if you know the author of the lines I have ventured to translate

When the bells justle in the tower
The hollow night amid
Then on my tongue the taste is sour
Of all I ever did.'

From Fox's tone it was evident to Stephen that this was the preliminary to a confidence, a confidence prompted not by any high degree of friendship or esteem but by loneliness and a desire to talk. From the nature of the verse it was reasonably certain that the confidence would be of a somewhat scabrous nature, and Stephen did not wish to hear it. Restored to society, cares, activity and his usual environment, Fox would undoubtedly regret having made it; he would resent Stephen's knowledge of his intimate life, and that would make working together in Pulo Prabang far more difficult. Collaboration and indifference might agree; collaboration and resentment could scarcely do so. He said, 'I do not know the author. Can you remember the original?'
   'I am afraid not.'
   'It cannot be an ancient: the pagans, as far as my reading goes, were never much given to self-hatred or guilt about their sexual activities. That was reserved for Christians, with their particular sense of sin; and as "all I ever did" clearly refers to ill-doing, I must suppose it to be of a sexual nature, since a thief is not always stealing nor a murderer always murdering, whereas a man's sexual instincts are with him all the time, day and night. Yet it is curious to see how the self-hater often succeeds in retaining his self-esteem in relation to others, usually by means of a general denigration: he sees himself as a worthless creature, but his fellows as more worthless still.'
   As a check to unwanted confidences this was effective, but Stephen had added the last words in another spirit, following his own reflection, and the effect was too harsh by far. He saw with regret that he had wounded Fox, who, with an artificial smile, said, 'Oh, I quite agree,' and went on to a very proper speech of thanks for Dr Maturin's great kindness in looking after him and for his great skill in curing a most disagreeable complaint. He was sorry to have been such an importunate nuisance.
   'Where is the moral advantage now?' Stephen asked himself, walking along the half-deck to the companion-ladder. 'Heavy stupidity, incomprehension would have been much better.' He was just about to climb up it when a boy came hurtling down, took a great leap to avoid him, missed his footing and fell flat.
   'Are you quite well, Mr Reade?' he asked, picking him up.
   'Quite well, sir, thank you. I beg pardon for tumbling about, but the Captain sent me to tell you we have sighted Java Head. Java Head, sir! Ain't it prime?'

It may seem turgid but you go with the flow after a while.
I wanted to quote the self hater thing long ago but couldn't find it.
Take my advice, don't listen to me.

Icarus

  • The wise one.
  • *****
  • 6825
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #46 on: June 27, 2021, 10:20:34 AM »
A friend, who is a conspiracy theorist, gave me a nice new copy of Orwell's 1984.  I had read that book many moons ago.  I started reading it again.  It is a bit much.  My friend is afraid that there is a new world order conspiracy afoot.

The book becomes rather tedious but for some reading I continue to read it.  Has anyone else read or reread this book?

Bad Penny II

  • *****
  • 2437
  • Idiot Symmetrician
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #47 on: June 27, 2021, 11:30:40 AM »
A friend, who is a conspiracy theorist, gave me a nice new copy of Orwell's 1984.  I had read that book many moons ago.  I started reading it again.  It is a bit much.  My friend is afraid that there is a new world order conspiracy afoot.

The book becomes rather tedious but for some reading I continue to read it.  Has anyone else read or reread this book?

I've read it, probably 35 years ago, I think it's an important book.
I don't know why it would appeal to conspiracy theorists.
I'd of thought the dystopia portrayed would make a person value the systems we have, although they are flawed of course.
The Trumpian types endangering democratic institutions were doing a dangerous thing I think, and the book was formative in my thinking.
The book should make a person value the degree of truth a person can find today, not indulge in bullshit because it's more fun than reality, not about the important things anyway.
Take my advice, don't listen to me.

billy rubin

  • humble azpirant to the throne3 of typos
  • *****
  • 2986
  • Gender: Male
  • i actually do not know what LætusAtheos means
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #48 on: June 27, 2021, 12:24:51 PM »
it was a cold day in april

and the clocks were striking thirteen

i read the book as a child, along with animal farm, and sought out everything orwell wrote-- burmese days, keep the aspidistra flying, the road to wigan pier, everything i could find, including letters and essays. down and out in paris and london lft a huge impression on me. spent all my money at foyles in charing cross

orwell was a police officer in burma during the colonial days, and at the time i lived in the malaya, so some of what he wrote struck sympathetic chords.

his short stories and essays are sometimes superb, sometimes too topical to mean much today.


Born without a brain, doctors look inside six years later and are amazed at what they find!

Anne D.

  • **
  • 333
  • Gender: Female
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #49 on: June 28, 2021, 04:03:34 AM »
Adrian McKinty's Sean Duffy books. I'm on Gun Street Girl. Really interesting window into life in Northern Ireland during the Troubles.

Dark Lightning

  • *****
  • 2212
  • Gender: Male
  • Curmudgeon
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #50 on: June 28, 2021, 05:08:05 AM »
Currently reading John Derbyshire's "Unknown Quantity". It's not an algebra text- it covers the history of algebra- but covers the necessary learning for those interested, in appendices. When people these days think that people back then weren't smart, they should read this book, and others like it. People 5k years ago were doing things that some people today can't or won't do. And they didn't even have the concept of zero or decimal arithmetic back then.

Icarus

  • The wise one.
  • *****
  • 6825
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2021, 12:42:00 AM »
I could probably like that book DL.  I am not a math wizard but I continuously use up scrap paper to do fundamental math stuff.  I have used the law of cosigns and the law of signs to try to construct some of the many identities that we...well at least me,  have long forgotten.

I do all this because it is fun, but I also hope that it is therapeutic.  An idle brain is the devils workshop and all that stuff. 

Dark Lightning

  • *****
  • 2212
  • Gender: Male
  • Curmudgeon
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2021, 03:25:32 AM »
Well, I'm kind of a math groupie, in a way. I have a lot of math under my belt, having taken 48 semester units of it at uni, all the the way from trig and algebra, through calculus and differential equations, linear algebra, probability (the one with calculus) and applied mathematics, the last one in both the math and physics departments. After all that, filling in the historical development is quite enjoyable. I have to prop my feet up some times during the day because of circulation issues in my legs. What better than a math history book with a bunch of math in it for those times? :lol: Yes, I am a nerd.

I recently bought a book on kumiko art. I made some jigs to aid in the precision cutting of the pieces. Those jigs got finished today, and I'm hoping to have some artwork done soon. It's a lot like carving wood, except it's just cutting a lot of little pieces very precisely and fitting them into a pattern. I'm not giving up carving by any means, but this is another creative outlet I'll enjoy, once I get over the frustration of making the jigs. I've had to tweak some of my wood working equipment to tighter tolerances. If I was doing it in metal, and had access to the machine shop like I did when I was still working, it would be a piece of cake. Eh, that's what makes it an art, I guess.

Bad Penny II

  • *****
  • 2437
  • Idiot Symmetrician
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2021, 02:59:12 PM »
When people these days think that people back then weren't smart, they should read this book, and others like it. People 5k years ago were doing things that some people today can't or won't do.

How could they be smart?
They didn't even have cars.
And 1984 and all those whining Soviet dissident gulag novels, they aren't relevant to me.
Your Russian is prone by nature to seduction by totalitarian types.
Similar thing with those South American stories, Chile: Hasta Cuando?
Probably never because it's in their nature.
I think it did end.
Shut up Green.
The civilised countries haven't avoided shit holeness by accident, no, it is because  the civilised countries contain civilised people.
That's why it is OK to vote for BUFFOONS and attacking the seat of government is acceptable if you're an acceptable person.
Fuck truth and reality and government restriction that doesn't accord with my biases.
Settle, settle, I can give you a marshmallow now but if you wait ten minutes I can give you two.
GIVE ME BOTH THOSE MARSMALLOWS NOW!
And no, I'm not going to wear a stupid mask or have unnatural needles stuck in me either.
Take my advice, don't listen to me.

Icarus

  • The wise one.
  • *****
  • 6825
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #54 on: June 30, 2021, 12:30:16 AM »
BP some of those old guys were plenty smart.  I have a book by an old Brit guy named Lancelot Hogben.  It is one of the best and most comprehensive math books ever.  Originally printed in 1937.  Another of the old guys who were exceptionally smart was Silvanus Thompson born 1851.  He too was a Brit.  His book Calculus Made Easy is among the best of all.  He manages to explain in ways that even dumb asses like me can understand.

 I  suspect that DL may be aware of those books.

Dark Lightning

  • *****
  • 2212
  • Gender: Male
  • Curmudgeon
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #55 on: June 30, 2021, 02:32:36 AM »
BP some of those old guys were plenty smart.  I have a book by an old Brit guy named Lancelot Hogben.  It is one of the best and most comprehensive math books ever.  Originally printed in 1937.  Another of the old guys who were exceptionally smart was Silvanus Thompson born 1851.  He too was a Brit.  His book Calculus Made Easy is among the best of all.  He manages to explain in ways that even dumb asses like me can understand.

 I  suspect that DL may be aware of those books.

Actually, I'm not. But I could go look at them, maybe. It's interesting what sort of nuggets one finds in the older books.

hermes2015

  • *****
  • 3567
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #56 on: June 30, 2021, 04:29:51 AM »
I remember owning and readings many sections of Lancelot Hogben's book when I was a boy. I think it was called Mathematics for the Million.
“Who is to say that pleasure is useless?”
― Charles Eames

Icarus

  • The wise one.
  • *****
  • 6825
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #57 on: July 01, 2021, 05:01:14 AM »
Good call Hermes.  That is the title and the book has been reprinted numerous times since the first edition.   The story goes that the author was long term bed ridden in the hospital when he began to write the book.

The title of the other book, Calculus Made Easy, does not make it quite as easy as the title implies.  The author is very clever in that he shows us how the principles of calc were derived. Makes more sense when the student is so informed.

One of the most humbling math books in my library is an Australian high school book.  If Ausssie kids comprehend  at that level I am truly impressed.  Some really brain wrenching stuff in that book.

Tank

  • *****
  • 33863
  • Gender: Male
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #58 on: September 13, 2021, 06:35:30 PM »
'Making Money' a discworld novel by Terry Pratchett.

"Moist von Lipwig is bored with his job as the Postmaster General of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office, which is running smoothly without any problems, so the Patrician tries to convince him to take over the Royal Bank and Royal Mint. Moist, content with his new lifestyle, refuses. However, when the current chairwoman, Topsy Lavish, dies, she leaves 50% of the shares in the bank to her dog, Mr Fusspot (who already owns 1% of the bank, giving him a majority and making him chairman) - and she leaves the dog to Moist. She also makes sure that the city's Assassins' Guild will fulfil a contract on Moist if anything happens to the dog or if he does not do as her last will commands."

I miss Terry  :'(
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Davin

  • *****
  • 8014
  • Gender: Male
  • (o°-°)=o o(o*-°)
    • DevPirates
Re: What Are You Reading?
« Reply #59 on: September 13, 2021, 07:16:05 PM »
I'm on Small Gods right now in that series.

The great god Om is traveling the mortal world in a not so great tortoise form. Om is finding out, from a devout follower of the religion that worships Om, that the religion doesn't quite match up with the god and that many of the prophets have made up quite a few things over the generations.
Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.