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Old 12-21-2010, 09:43 PM   #1156
Jailblazers7
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Default Re: What are you reading?

I've been flying through Great Expectations. Great book.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #1157
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Great, great book. Very readable and emotional story. I couldn't help but be immersed by the character of Pip and invest myself emotionally in the story. His relationship with Joe was especially touching. I'd love to punch Pumblechook in the face though.

Dickens' distain for the class structure, upper class, materialism, etc are boldly evident throughout the book.

If you haven't read this book, make sure you do.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:22 PM   #1158
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Forgot I read half of this during the semester and decided to finish it.

Pretty good introductory book on the pros and cons of market behavior and it provides a variety of real life examples to understand how markets operate in a variety of situations. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking to get a basic understanding of markets and how government interventions can hurt/help.

He's big on market design and auctions because that is his particular area of expertise. He helped to design the 1994 auction of the electomagnetic spectrum to the telecommunications industry.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:28 PM   #1159
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Anyone read this?
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:31 PM   #1160
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I haven't been able to read much lately.. I try to read but my focus is off and I become disinterested. Last week I started two books and I hope to continue them sometime in the near future.

I have read about one fourth pages of Nick Horby's Juliet,Naked and about 50 pages of Stieg Larsson's Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.
Frakkin' A.. I never returned to reading these books.. I actually started reading the second Charlie 'Bird' Parker novel called 'Dark Hollow' by John Connolly. Ive read about 200 pages out of 520. Im going to end up with a bunch of unfinished novels..
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:38 PM   #1161
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Anyone read this?

Yep, I loved it.
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:45 PM   #1162
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Yep, I loved it.

Good to hear someone liked it. Heard good things about it, planning to read it next.
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Old 12-26-2010, 05:46 PM   #1163
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I finished this a week or two ago. To me, Stephen Jay Gould is a truly perfect delegate for science in disseminating technical information to laymens. It's not an easy role to play contrary to popular belief, and a lot of people either abuse it or fail to live up to its importance. But every so often, a Carl Sagan or a Neil Degrasse Tyson or a Brian Green (I know, all my other examples are physicists) comes along and frames the most complex ideas in astonishing simplicity without doing a disservice to the science.

This book is a 'philosophy of science' book. The concept is actually very straightforward, though the ideas are not. Gould corners the seminal works of three fathers of modern geology; one villain, Thomas Burnet, and two heroes, James Hutton and Charles Lyell. Every working geologist has heard of these three most important of men, and their legacies are well documented. Or I should say, they're documented - not very well, according to Gould.

The entire book is a convincing attack on what he coins 'textbook cardboard' - oversimplified and romanticized accounts of scientists which unintentionally cram their reputations and legacies into cookie cutter frameworks, like 'creationist', or 'biblical literalist', or 'empirical scientist'. These reinventions too often fail to recognize the underlying complexity and worldviews of the most famous scientists history can name.

I won't give away any of the storylines that Gould paints for each of these three men, but through direct quotation from both the original works and later interpretations, he exposes as imagined the legacies of each, for better or for worse. The chapter on Lyell in particular was both inspiring and eye opening. The Charles Lyell of textbooks is misrepresented as a sort of empirical robot who finds facts and arranges them in the only way they can be arranged, according to the laws of the beloved scientific method.

I haven't mentioned anything about the title, which is the front and center dichotomatic theme that winds its way through the entire book. SJG writes that he had read each of the three landmark geology texts many times before, but it wasn't until he read them within the context of the age old conflict between time's linear arrow and time's immanent cycle that he truly understood the real thrust of each argument. And using direct quotes, he illustrates the truly grand and masterful visions for which each man stood.

More than anything else, this book is a warning of the disillusions of science. All hail hard evidence has its time and its place and is undoubtedly respectable, but too often the world falls victim to over-flattery of the scientific method, and forgets just what sort of being it is actually acting out the process. Man is not a computing robot, he is a visionary with his own biases and his own interpretations. He is flawed, in short, and while holding him to a standard of perfection like the scientific method is unremittingly beneficial for accuracy, projecting that very standard into real human scientists themselves is a mistake with major consequences. And following that, looking back to times predating the scientific revolution we're still experiencing and laughing at ideas deemed 'primitive' is a worthless endeavor that only highlights our own flaws. Gould takes loony ideas that most people would think to crazy for an internet page and contextualizes them, humanizes their authors, and based on those facts, reinterprets their plausibility.

I think I'm going to return to this book in five or maybe ten years. I'm actually going to plan to do it. Modern scientific paradigms in the realm of the philosophy of science deserve to be critiqued, even if only for its unbridled arrogance. I think as I continue to explore everything scientists around the world are currently undertaking, this book will become more and more important.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:39 PM   #1164
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Got Jay-Z: Decoded and Larry Bird & Magic Johnson: When the Game was ours for Christmas, switching back and forth atm..
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:40 PM   #1165
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Default Re: What are you reading?

Just started The Picture of Dorian Gray and I'm ****ing mesmorized.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:42 PM   #1166
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Default Re: What are you reading?

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Originally Posted by JerrySteakhouse
Good to hear someone liked it. Heard good things about it, planning to read it next.

Read all of his books. They're amazing.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:47 PM   #1167
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Just started The Picture of Dorian Gray and I'm ****ing mesmorized.

that's one of my favorite book. Love to hear your take on it when you finish.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:50 PM   #1168
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that's one of my favorite book. Love to hear your take on it when you finish.

Will do. I always try to remember to post in here when I've finished a book and make a review on my goodreads account.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:59 PM   #1169
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I got Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain for Christmas. Super excited.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:16 AM   #1170
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About to finish Huck Finn tonight, and start The Tyranny of Words.

I asked for and got it for Christmas. I can't wait.
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