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Old 01-07-2014, 02:24 PM   #2701
Jailblazers7
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Reading Foundation by Asimov as something quick to take a break from some of the more tedious stuff I'm drudging my way through. It is a really cool book. The idea of "pyschohistory" and being able to mathematically calculate probable futures based on socio-political developments and mass psychology is one of the coolest concepts I've ever seen behind a fantasy novel.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:33 PM   #2702
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
That book was so depressing lol. The only thing I could think of for weeks was "so it goes..."

I know right

Luckily my friends get that joke, so I can use it, since its also in my head.
Somehow it wasnt depressing for me, cause I was laughing most of the time.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:15 PM   #2703
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7


Fitzgerald really does have impeccable style in his writing. The novel is a very good Künstlerroman where we see Amory Blaine (Fitzgerald) develop his voice as a writer through a series of failed love affairs. The way that Amory sees the world and the style with which Fitzgerald expresses that perspective is fantastic.

In the end Amory is disillusioned with the carrot that society holds at the end of the stick to motivated people. I think Amory has always been disillusioned but it takes him years to understand why. He refers to himself as a genius repeatedly because he is an "egotist" but it's just his way of expressing his detachment from the contemporary social structures.
I know what you mean by Fitzgerald's style, and i agree, it is rather luxurious and flamboyant. But i didn't think he'd quite got a hold on how he writes in that novel; there seems to me a marked difference between the standard of his writing here and in his other novels (though i haven't read the Last Tycoon). The style even in the one he wrote 2 years later (the beautiful and damned - which i preferred) was more cohesive and less scatterbrained, and felt like a more unified novel because of it. For me, the others all have a more Fitzgerald feel, and the first one shows a lot of promise, but definitely feels like a youthful and inexperienced novel.

His characterization, on the other hand, was always top-notch imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
Reading Foundation by Asimov as something quick to take a break from some of the more tedious stuff I'm drudging my way through. It is a really cool book. The idea of "pyschohistory" and being able to mathematically calculate probable futures based on socio-political developments and mass psychology is one of the coolest concepts I've ever seen behind a fantasy novel.
But isn't that what economists think they can do now?





Reading this atm:



Anyone else read Chekhov? This is my first look at him and i really like his writing. It is pretty sparse and without verbiage, a bit like Hemingway, but also more stylish than Hemingway and not so simplistic in style. Has the same melancholy feel as in Hemingway, but the stories i have read seem more vivid and entrancing.

So far i've really enjoyed 'The Steppe' and 'The Duel' in particular.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:24 PM   #2704
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I kind of have a thing for the first novel or two of a great writer where they are still stumbling around trying to fit it all together because you can actually see the talent really shine through at certain moments. The contrast of the quality in a young writer's novel is a really enjoyable experience to me. From what I understand of his personal history (thru wiki), the book was kind of a patchwork of a previous work he had written that he fleshed out into a complete novel. He wanted to get it published quickly so that he could win Zelda back. He had fallen out of favor with her and need fame and fortune to win her back which kind of accounts for his jaded view of wealth in courtship during the novel (his relationship with Rosalind). That probably accounts for some of the inconsistency in the writing.

Never read the Beautiful and the Damned but Tender is the Night is my favorite by Fitzgerald personally.

Quote:
But isn't that what economists think they can do now?


Yeah, but in the book they actually can predict things which is way cooler. Basically, the science of psychohistory in the book is what I wish economics was which is probably why I'm so geeked about it.

I've only read 1 short story by Chekov as a freshman and it was "The Lady with the Dog." Honestly don't remember much from it but I do remember that I enjoyed the style.

Last edited by Jailblazers7 : 01-07-2014 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:42 PM   #2705
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:41 AM   #2706
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7
I kind of have a thing for the first novel or two of a great writer where they are still stumbling around trying to fit it all together because you can actually see the talent really shine through at certain moments. The contrast of the quality in a young writer's novel is a really enjoyable experience to me. From what I understand of his personal history (thru wiki), the book was kind of a patchwork of a previous work he had written that he fleshed out into a complete novel. He wanted to get it published quickly so that he could win Zelda back. He had fallen out of favor with her and need fame and fortune to win her back which kind of accounts for his jaded view of wealth in courtship during the novel (his relationship with Rosalind). That probably accounts for some of the inconsistency in the writing.

Never read the Beautiful and the Damned but Tender is the Night is my favorite by Fitzgerald personally.


Yeah, but in the book they actually can predict things which is way cooler. Basically, the science of psychohistory in the book is what I wish economics was which is probably why I'm so geeked about it.

I've only read 1 short story by Chekov as a freshman and it was "The Lady with the Dog." Honestly don't remember much from it but I do remember that I enjoyed the style.
Same here. The Beautiful and Damned was just too much of a bummer, and i preferred Tender to Gatsby as well. Some of his stories are exceptional also (that's where he made most of his money actually, his novels were never very successful while he was alive).
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:05 AM   #2707
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jailblazers7

Yeah, but in the book they actually can predict things which is way cooler. Basically, the science of psychohistory in the book is what I wish economics was which is probably why I'm so geeked about it.

This is what econometrics tries to do, problem isn't really the model but the accuracy of the information used to build the model. I mean the 4th quarter US GDP numbers in 2008 have been revised from ~-3% to something close to -8% in 5 years. Pretty hard to make a good model when your data changes so dramatically.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #2708
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This is what econometrics tries to do, problem isn't really the model but the accuracy of the information used to build the model. I mean the 4th quarter US GDP numbers in 2008 have been revised from ~-3% to something close to -8% in 5 years. Pretty hard to make a good model when your data changes so dramatically.

Well, the lack of improvement in accurately measuring economic activity is a failure of the field as well and econometrics is limited when macro theory is still in its infancy basically. I always find stuff like that uses methods like the Monte Carlo method the most interesting because it's all driven by probabilities.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:17 PM   #2709
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Originally Posted by Fiba basketball
Any of you read The Witcher books ?

One of the best books I read, can't wait to read the last two.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:24 PM   #2710
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Well data gathering is the big problem imo, most times even big company managers don't know exactly how their company is faring.

You are right though, Macroeconomics still need a lot more work. And we have saying here, "data will say whatever you like, you just have to hit it enough" (rough translation), so a lot of these estimates are biased depending on who is doing the number-crunching.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:38 PM   #2711
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Since I'll be seeing the movie when it comes out I'm currently reading Wolf on Wallstreet. Also reading a biography about Leonard Cohen.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:04 PM   #2712
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:08 PM   #2713
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trollsmasher
<----

The greatest thing our Polish friends created

Too bad they weren't able to make a good TV show out of it I think it could be just as popular as Game of thrones if not more.

Did you read all of the Witcher books ? My favourite so far is Baptism of Fire.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:29 PM   #2714
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Superman: The High-Flying History of America's Most Enduring Hero by Larry Tye

Reads a lot like several wikipedia pages strung together in a book. Felt like reference material, still short enough to enjoy it in parts. Probably would have liked it better if I didn't know as much of the history going in.
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:50 PM   #2715
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Too bad they weren't able to make a good TV show out of it I think it could be just as popular as Game of thrones if not more.

Did you read all of the Witcher books ? My favourite so far is Baptism of Fire.
Yeah, I did (well, not counting the new one the was published in November). I like the first two short stories collections the most, as I feel Sapkowski had some pacing issues with the saga, but they are still fantastic books.

The TV show was just awful. But well, what can you expect from a Polish TV production of the early '00

It could of course be popular if made with quality but I heard that those few English translations are pretty bad and the books lose a lot of their slavic feeling and magic. I am not sure it would be as good with English/American production and I am not sure you could find a budget it deserves in Europe. And of course, lots of people would just call it a GoT copycat even thought Geralt is older.
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