What book are you reading?

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angawawa
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby angawawa » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Must reads...
Foucaults Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Salt: A World History
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
most anything by Simon Winchester
Anything by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Seven Daughters of Eve by Bryan Sykes

Ang

edit: I just finished Tyrannosaur Canyon by Douglas Preston (a fun summer read) and Map of Bones by James Rollins (pretty sucky)
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Sun Aug 12, 2012 4:58 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Ringworld Children, first time reading this, and first time to read all four in a run.

I'd say Ringworld's Children is about on par with Ringworld, not quite as good as The Ringworld Engineers. Way better than The Ringworld Throne. I could barely make it through that one.

Have you read any of the prequels by Niven and Edward Lerner (Fleet of Worlds, Juggler of Worlds, Destroyer of Worlds, or Betrayer of Worlds)? There is also a fourth sequel coming out later this year, Fate of Worlds.

I haven't read any fiction for a while; I'm in the middle of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson. I also just read Bossypants by Tina Fey and My Footprint by Jeff Garlin while I've been on vacation over the past few weeks. Both of those last two were just mediocre.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:35 pm

Austin Harper wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Ringworld Children, first time reading this, and first time to read all four in a run.

I'd say Ringworld's Children is about on par with Ringworld, not quite as good as The Ringworld Engineers. Way better than The Ringworld Throne. I could barely make it through that one.

Have you read any of the prequels by Niven and Edward Lerner (Fleet of Worlds, Juggler of Worlds, Destroyer of Worlds, or Betrayer of Worlds)? There is also a fourth sequel coming out later this year, Fate of Worlds.

I haven't read any fiction for a while; I'm in the middle of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain and Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter by Steven Johnson. I also just read Bossypants by Tina Fey and My Footprint by Jeff Garlin while I've been on vacation over the past few weeks. Both of those last two were just mediocre.

I'm just getting back into recreational reading have a few decades of hard-core study. I appreciate the tip on the Niven/Lerner books.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:38 pm

Monster wrote:
Gord wrote:Has everyone stopped reading?

Here, go read this one: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llak0ehEAF1qbl75h.jpg

Have you read that one yet?

Yes, but just the cover.

angawawa wrote:Must reads...

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ewwwwwwww! Hate it: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_000.htm
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:48 pm

I just finished Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. It left quite a bit to be desired.

I also started Reshirts by John Scalzi. I'm only about 100 pages in so far, but it is fantastic. It's in a Star Trekesque universe (for copyright reason) on board the Universal Union flagship Intrepid and focuses on the story of a group of "redshirts." For those who don't know,
Wikipedia wrote:A "redshirt" is a stock character in fiction who dies soon after being introduced. The term originates with fans of Star Trek (1966–1969), from the red shirts worn by Starfleet security officers who frequently die during episodes. Redshirt deaths are often used to dramatize the potential peril that the main characters face.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby angawawa » Mon Aug 27, 2012 8:43 pm

Gord wrote:
Monster wrote:
Gord wrote:Has everyone stopped reading?

Here, go read this one: http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_llak0ehEAF1qbl75h.jpg

Have you read that one yet?

Yes, but just the cover.

angawawa wrote:Must reads...

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Ewwwwwwww! Hate it: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_000.htm


So, why do you hate it? Because you hate Card's views on homosexuality, or because you read this article (which I did) and agreed with it, or maybe you came to the same conclusions as this author, or maybe you just hated it 'cause you hated it?

I think one of the observations repeated in the article are the contrasting views on morality and how to judge someone's actions, by their intention or by their result. One of my favorite programs is "Through the Wormhole." In one episode this scenario was presented:

Two men go to a bar and get drunk. One man drives home drunk and hits a tree. The other man drives home drunk and hits a tree AND the little girl playing front of it, killing her. The first man will get a much more lenient sentence than the second, who will likely go to jail for a long time. This man will be judged by his peers not for his intention, but for the result of his actions. Extrapolating this, a man who goes out and deliberately kills a little girl will get even greater punishment.

I had never thought about it that way, and actually it is still rolling around in my brain.

I have been a voracious reader since first grade, when I read the entire reader "Mysterious Wisteria" in the first month of school. I took all of the regular English classes, and some AP literature appreciation classes, but it has always been very difficult for me to see all of the hidden meaning in stories and poems. "What does the golden retriever signify?" "What does the red car symbolize?" I read for the enjoyment it brings me, and I rarely find myself picking the prose apart. Maybe that makes me shallow, or maybe it makes me immature (actually, I am immature in a lot of ways - I am distracted by shiny things, I am fascinated by mundane things and I take great pleasure in the tastes and smells and sounds of things) but, whatever. I love Ender's Game because it is a great story. So what if it's psychologically unrealistic? It's a freakin story! You know, people can't really turn into giant cockroaches. Does that make Metamorphosis a ridiculous fantasy written by a paranoid entomophobe? Well, maybe, but does Kafka's psychological problem matter in the end? Also, didn't Freud once say "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar"?

The idea that the book is somehow morally corrupt (and I think that is what John Kessel is saying) because it tries to portray Ender as an innocent, while he is at the same a murderer of an entire race, and thus claiming that the only measure of morality is intention, is certainly debatable. I could probably start a good ole row here by stating that I find the idea of "Leave no enemy behind" a logical policy. Genghis Khan, whatever we make think of him morally, is the antecedent of approximately 0.5% of the worlds population (according to a 2003 Nat. Geo. article). He said:
“Leave no enemy behind you. Next year he will still be an
enemy and next year he may be stronger and have allies.”

But regardless, it's a great story.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:57 am

angawawa wrote:
Gord wrote:Ewwwwwwww! Hate it: http://www4.ncsu.edu/~tenshi/Killer_000.htm


So, why do you hate it? Because you hate Card's views on homosexuality, or because you read this article (which I did) and agreed with it, or maybe you came to the same conclusions as this author, or maybe you just hated it 'cause you hated it?

I don't even remember Card's views on homosexuality. I found this article after a quick internet search for someone who agreed with me, not the other way around. Mostly I just found the story icky, and the fact that so many people like it disturbs me greatly.

The idea that the book is somehow morally corrupt (and I think that is what John Kessel is saying) because it tries to portray Ender as an innocent, while he is at the same a murderer of an entire race, and thus claiming that the only measure of morality is intention, is certainly debatable.

Sure. But I don't have to debate with myself; I simply hated the book.

I could probably start a good ole row here by stating that I find the idea of "Leave no enemy behind" a logical policy. Genghis Khan, whatever we make think of him morally, is the antecedent of approximately 0.5% of the worlds population (according to a 2003 Nat. Geo. article). He said:
“Leave no enemy behind you. Next year he will still be an
enemy and next year he may be stronger and have allies.”

"Doing what's expedient" can be a logical policy in one sense and an illogical one in another sense. Some people may feel that killing all one's enemies is the only way to be safe; but it also creates more enemies. Safety of this variety is a illusion. Turning your enemies in friends may be more difficult, and take longer, but provides a more reliable form of safety in the long run.

But regardless, it's a great story.

Disagree! :P
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:12 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Ewwwwwwww! Hate it

It was a bit dry. And boring. Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide were a little bit more interesting, but I still found myself having to consciously plough on through clods of text I rather wasn't there.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Ringworld Children, first time reading this, and first time to read all four in a run.

Don't forget Protector!

I've mostly made my way through all of Richard Morgan's books. Currently reading the third Takeshi Kovacs novel, Woken Furies. I've liked them all. Very space opera. Lots of hi-tech action and gore. Kovacs is a super-warrior with bio/cybernetic enhancements, and a shit-ton of luck. Everyone has a 'stack' implant that stores your personality. If you get dead and you're rich enough or valued enough, you can be downloaded into a new body, either a custom-grown clone, a synthetic, or the unoccupied body of a criminal whose mind has been put in storage.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:20 am

Major Malfunction wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Ewwwwwwww! Hate it

It was a bit dry. And boring. Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide were a little bit more interesting, but I still found myself having to consciously plough on through clods of text I rather wasn't there.

My name's Gord. :hmm:
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:55 am

God, Gawd, Gord, Gourd... It's all too confusing for an early onset Alzheimer's. Thingame. Wotsit. Who in the what now, pumpkin?
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:06 pm

I would have accepted Pumpkin.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Major Malfunction » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:12 pm

Nouns are the first to go, squishy orange mush stuff.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:14 pm

That or "delicious pie man".
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby angawawa » Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:22 pm

I am big zombie nerd. I LOVE zombie movies, even the bad ones. But I just finished "World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War" by Max Brooks, and I was very impressed. The book consists of interviews with various people around the world, done about ten years after the outbreak, and they each tell stories about what they experienced. It was very well done, and much different from the run-of-the-mill zombie story.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:02 pm

I really liked World War Z as well. Did you know they're making a movie version with Brad Pitt?
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby angawawa » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:59 pm

Austin Harper wrote:I really liked World War Z as well. Did you know they're making a movie version with Brad Pitt?


No, I didn't, but you can bet your sweet bippy I'll see it as soon as it comes out!


PS
I don't know what a bippy is.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby xouper » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:24 pm

angawawa wrote:PS I don't know what a bippy is.

Goldie Hawn knows.

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby keystone coyote » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:13 pm

xouper wrote:Signal Processing Methods for Music Transcription, Klapuri, 2006
http://www.amazon.com/dp/1441940359/
Spectral Audio Signal Processing, Smith, 2011
http://www.amazon.com/dp/0974560731


After reading those titles, my first stream-of-consciousness thought was of Douglas Adams.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby keystone coyote » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:17 pm

angawawa wrote:PS ... I don't know what a bippy is.


You must not have taken enough acid in the late Sixties...

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby keystone coyote » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:28 pm

Supp wrote:There is a lot of analysis of what is comprises "moral" and "good" and the process of how we arrive at proper decisions.

Neuroethics?
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby angawawa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:08 pm

keystone coyote wrote:
angawawa wrote:PS ... I don't know what a bippy is.


You must not have taken enough acid in the late Sixties...

Image


Actually my acid taking days were in the eighties, but my mom tells great stories of herding large groups of tripping hippies through the Stoneham zoo in Mass. She never took the stuff, so she was always in charge of keeping track of the others and finding fun stuff for them to do. She would load me into my stroller and take everyone to Boston Common or Faneuil Hall or to the beach in Revere. I don't remember much of it, but the stories are great.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:33 pm

I finally got a Kindle so I'm looking forward to amassing digital piles of books I'll never read instead of continuing to clutter up my living room with all of the books I'll never read.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby angawawa » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:48 pm

Austin Harper wrote:I finally got a Kindle so I'm looking forward to amassing digital piles of books I'll never read instead of continuing to clutter up my living room with all of the books I'll never read.


You must check out http://www.pixelofink.com. It's where I got most of my books. They aren't all great, but it's a place to try out new authors and new genres. I will not, under any circumstances, read a romance novel, but somebody must like them.

I love my Kindle Fire. It goes everywhere with me. They have a new one with 4G capability, which is the only thing I wish mine had. Someday...
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby keystone coyote » Tue Oct 09, 2012 1:30 am

angawawa wrote:Actually my acid taking days were in the eighties, but my mom tells great stories of herding large groups of tripping hippies through the Stoneham zoo in Mass. She never took the stuff, so she was always in charge of keeping track of the others and finding fun stuff for them to do. She would load me into my stroller and take everyone to Boston Common or Faneuil Hall or to the beach in Revere. I don't remember much of it, but the stories are great.

Your mom was designated dharma for day trippers at the zoo? "Herding" is an apt word to describe what she likely had to do.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:41 am

Predatory dinosaurs of the world: a complete illustrated guide by Paul, Gregory S.

Rawrrrr.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby OutOfBreath » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:13 am

Just sitting down reading "Hyperion" by Dan Simmons again. An author I cannot recommend enough. It's Stephen King with a literary degree meets Asimov or something.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hyperion-Gollan ... 606&sr=8-1

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:43 am

OutOfBreath wrote:...Stephen King with a literary degree meets Asimov or something.

"Or something." :lol: I laughed coffee out my nose.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:47 am

Gord wrote:coffee

Ah. Hmm. *snif* Got it wrong again, it's hot chocolate.

When did I make hot chocolate? :scratch:

(It's very cold, too.)
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Major Malfunction » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:48 am

Gord wrote:
OutOfBreath wrote:...Stephen King with a literary degree meets Asimov or something.

"Or something." :lol: I laughed coffee out my nose.

I laughed at "Stephen King with a literary degree".
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby OutOfBreath » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:25 pm

Major Malfunction wrote:
Gord wrote:
OutOfBreath wrote:...Stephen King with a literary degree meets Asimov or something.

"Or something." :lol: I laughed coffee out my nose.

I laughed at "Stephen King with a literary degree".

Glad to be of service in offering a morning chuckle. :) :bows:

But seriously, read the book, you'll see what I mean. ;)

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:32 pm

angawawa wrote:
Austin Harper wrote:I finally got a Kindle so I'm looking forward to amassing digital piles of books I'll never read instead of continuing to clutter up my living room with all of the books I'll never read.


You must check out http://www.pixelofink.com. It's where I got most of my books. They aren't all great, but it's a place to try out new authors and new genres. I will not, under any circumstances, read a romance novel, but somebody must like them.

I love my Kindle Fire. It goes everywhere with me. They have a new one with 4G capability, which is the only thing I wish mine had. Someday...

Speaking of tablets...
When I got my Kindle on Friday my girlfriend made fun of me because when she came home I was sitting on the couch watching Netflix on my TV, I had my laptop on the table in front of me (with the forum open, of course) my tablet in one hand reading a news story, my Kindle on my lap with the instruction manual open on it, and my phone in my left hand sending a text. For some reason she thought five screens was too many to be using simultaneously.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Major Malfunction » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:48 pm

OutOfBreath wrote:But seriously, read the book, you'll see what I mean. ;)

It's been on my list for some time, but I haven't found it yet in any of the secondhand book shops I frequent. It must be popular.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:57 pm

The Dead Sea Scrolls by John Desalvo.

I can't believe I spent 13 bucks on this thing. Gads, what a mistake. The grammar is terrible, the punctuation misses in several key areas (like when a sentence ends), and some of the things he says actually contradict themselves -- here's my favourite example of this: "...it's possible that there is a definite correlation...." The best part of that statement is the way it occurs with a page break in the middle, so you first get to read "it's possible that there--" and then you flip to the next page and continue reading "--is a definite correlation...." It took me a few flips back and forth to figure out what the sentence said.

The tiny amount I have "learned" from reading it -- and it only took me a few hours to read through the entire 192 page book due to the size of the print and the enormous number of (pointless!!) illustrations -- I could have just as easily learned from a quick Google search.

And the worst part is, John Desalvo might be just another nutjob, and I can't tell which parts of his book are accurate and which parts are just him spinning out into woo-woo land on a little bit of fantasy: http://www.coasttocoastam.com/guest/desalvo-john/5797

John DeSalvo is Director of the Great Pyramid of Giza Research Association. His most recent books are "The Lost Art of Enochian Magic" and "Decoding the Enochian Secrets." A former college professor and Dean of Student Affairs, his B.S. degree is in Physics and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees are in Biophysics.

For over 30 years, Dr. DeSalvo was one of the scientists involved in studying the Shroud of Turin....

Thursday May 10, 2012
Biophysicist with an interest in the ancient worlds, Dr. John DeSalvo, discussed his research into the power of crystals as well as their mystical counterpart, crystal skulls, and talked about the unusual properties associated with them....

Thursday March 3, 2011
...Dr. John DeSalvo discussed his latest work on the lost art of Enochian Magic (book link), as well as research on the Crystal Skulls, and psychic abilities....

Wednesday February 11, 2009
...researcher John DeSalvo talked about paranormal aspects of Abraham Lincoln, on the 200th anniversary of his birthday....

Tuesday December 23, 2008
...Dr. John DeSalvo discussed his research into the Seeress of Prevorst, a 19th century German mystic and clairvoyant who wrote and spoke in what she called "the language of the spirits." This could have been the original language of mankind, first used by angels, DeSalvo proposed. He noted the language's alphabet has certain similarities to diagrams Jesse Marcel Sr. made of designs on the Roswell I-beams, and the symbols abductee Betty Hill drew under hypnosis, suggesting to him a possible ET connection....

Tuesday April 20, 2004
John DeSalvo, the Director of the Great Pyramid of Giza Research Association (gizapyramid.com), shared findings that came from experiments done with pyramids constructed in Russia and the Ukraine. Tests done with some of the 17 fiberglass structures, which were constructed at a steeper angle than the Great Pyramid in Egypt, revealed a number of beneficial effects, DeSalvo detailed. In comparison to control groups, both rats and rabbits' immune systems were strengthened by staying under the pyramid, he said. Additionally, "low index" newborns given glucose and water solutions that had been placed in the pyramids became healthier faster than the control groups. He also noted that agricultural seeds placed in the pyramid showed a 30% higher yield. A mile-high energy field was documented coming off the one of the pyramids, DeSalvo stated....

Oh god I wasted time and money on this boooooook! :freakout:
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
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Austin Harper
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:29 pm

My local library lets you set activation dates for book holds which is nice. But a while back I got a bunch of books as gifts so I wasn't sure when I was going to get to my library queue and set all of the reservations to become active on 12/31/12, the latest date available at the time. I then forgot about them so when the library opened for the year on 1/2/13, I got an email saying my reservation was available for pickup. "Hmmm," I wondered, "what book do I have on hold?" I logged into the library website to check and OH CRAP I have 14 books to read in the next 4 weeks. Hopefully some of them will be renewable so I can get an extra 4 weeks. Time to get cracking.
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:16 am

The Birth of Satan -- Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots.

I borrowed it from the library on Tuesday, but so far I fall asleep every time I open it. :lol:
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE

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Austin Harper
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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Austin Harper » Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:08 am

Some of the books from the library I've read since I mentioned them in my last post:
In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church by Gina Welch
Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
Flavor of the Month: Why Smart People Fall for Fads by Joel Best
36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction by Rebecca Newberger Goldstein
Dum ratio nos ducet, valebimus et multa bene geremus.

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby jthorndyke » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:42 pm

Just finished reading Dan Barter's "godless" and before that Bart Ehrmann's "Misquoting Jesus"; and before that, Christopher Hitchen's "the Portable Atheist".
And yes...I do have questions. One might be this: "if jesus didn't even exist, for what reason, by what motivation, by what method, did the christian "religion" begin?
I can't quite get a handle on it!

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Re:

Postby jthorndyke » Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:46 pm

element wrote:I am reading the KING JAMES BIBLE by GOD

It is the GREATEST book in the WORLD.


I believe Erasmus would agree with you; he was the source of most of it.

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby scrmbldggs » Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:32 am

jthorndyke wrote:Just finished reading Dan Barter's "godless" and before that Bart Ehrmann's "Misquoting Jesus"; and before that, Christopher Hitchen's "the Portable Atheist".
And yes...I do have questions. One might be this: "if jesus didn't even exist, for what reason, by what motivation, by what method, did the christian "religion" begin?
I can't quite get a handle on it!

Not that I would really know, but I was wondering if being under Roman rule brought out their psychological need for the Messiah promised in the OT.
.

Lard, save me from your followers.

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Re: What book are you reading?

Postby Gord » Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:17 am

jthorndyke wrote:Just finished reading Dan Barter's "godless" and before that Bart Ehrmann's "Misquoting Jesus"; and before that, Christopher Hitchen's "the Portable Atheist".
And yes...I do have questions. One might be this: "if jesus didn't even exist, for what reason, by what motivation, by what method, did the christian "religion" begin?
I can't quite get a handle on it!

I guess he would have been a mishmash of stories about other people, mixed together and attributed to one figure. Jesus was a common name, so lots of people named Jesus would have existed. Years after the death of one of them, the stories about him may have just grown so big that someone (or many someones) just kept attributing more stories to him.
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
"Nullius in verba" -- The Royal Society ["take nobody's word for it"]
#ANDAMOVIE


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