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Postby rkzenrage on Sat Mar 03, 2007 6:42 pm

This is hard... I read a lot, have gone through so many phases through the years.
Are you looking for fiction, non-fiction, religion, history, etc. Anything in particular?

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Influenza-D ... 843&sr=8-1

The Great Influenza: The Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History

An amazing story about something that many don't see as a turning point in our history and something we seem not to have learned from, something that can happen again, but worse...

4.

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A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died.
Hakuin answered, "How am I supposed to know?"
"How do you know? You're a Zen master?" exclaimed the samurai.
"Yes, but not a dead one," Hakuin answered.
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Postby Capellini on Sat Mar 03, 2007 9:51 pm

See my previous posts. I mentioned the main categories we're looking for, and that I'm interested in anything you think should be mandatory reading for the FSM community.
True terror lies in the futility of human existence.

Malcolm Reynolds is my co-pilot.

"The only freedom deserving the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." - John Stuart Mill
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Postby Cardinal Queequeg on Sun Mar 04, 2007 12:51 am

An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones and William Wilson

Difficulty rating: 2.5

Education/Humor


I found it difficult to categorize this book as either educational or humorous, because it is solidly both. Personally, I believe that this volume has a place on the bookshelf of every FSM member. The book has a terrific tongue-in-cheek approach to covering the high points of a basic college general education degree. The fly sheet reads:
"From Quark to Quattrocento... Boswell to Bosnia... the Dreyfus affair to the Doppler effect... Mary Magdalen to Laurie Anderson... Teapot Dome to The Magic Mountain... metaphysics to microeconomics... Lao Tse to Levi Strauss... Napoleon to NAFTA. Plus: How to tell the Iliad from the Odyssey."

The subjects covered in the book include American studies, art history, economics, film, literature, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, science, world history.

To give an example of the authors' approach, in the science section, while discussing DNA (which they call "the splice of life"), there is a heading: GENE-POOL ETIQUETTE. It begins:"When a man makes a pass at a woman, he's trying to get into her genes, according to the briefly trendy young science of sociobiology, wildly controversial in the late 70s and a continuing annoyance to women and others like them. Its proponents suggest that social behavior, as much as any physical characteristic, is genetic."

I always loved my professors who had a great sense of humor...

So you can tell, the authors are fairly irreverent. But through the humor, there is a world of great reading, and learning here. From Aeschylus to Zoroastrianism, there probably is a college degree in this book. I can tell you that if my sophomore class in Shakespeare had been entitled: "Bellying up to the Bard," I probably would have learned a hell of a lot more. This book is wonderfully written, and will make you laugh out loud.

If you want a list of the 10 greatest books of all time, to quickly learn the difference between Impressionists and Expressionists, or even Opera manners (for Americans they recommend: "... most people opt for comfort and just try to have clean hair."), this is one that you won't be sorry you bought.

It can be purchased inexpensively either on Half.com or Alibris.com.

Cardinal Queequeg
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Postby Jean Bart on Sun Mar 04, 2007 1:40 pm

Capellini wrote:See my previous posts. I mentioned the main categories we're looking for, and that I'm interested in anything you think should be mandatory reading for the FSM community.

"Mandatory reading"... smells like old schooldays. This could scare people off, couldn't it? People thinking that the FSM forum is a kind of a highbrow thing, needing a pile of books to understand it. ¡Ayayayay!
:(
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Postby Capellini on Sun Mar 04, 2007 5:30 pm

Jean Bart wrote:
Capellini wrote:See my previous posts. I mentioned the main categories we're looking for, and that I'm interested in anything you think should be mandatory reading for the FSM community.

"Mandatory reading"... smells like old schooldays. This could scare people off, couldn't it? People thinking that the FSM forum is a kind of a highbrow thing, needing a pile of books to understand it. ¡Ayayayay!
:(


Mandatory in good faith. As in, anyone who has an honest interest in participating in the discussions here would make a good faith effort to be as informed as possible, and these are the books we personally recommend you read for that purpose.

Although I do believe there are some things all people should be required to read in order to be permitted to consume oxygen, but that's just me.
True terror lies in the futility of human existence.

Malcolm Reynolds is my co-pilot.

"The only freedom deserving the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental and spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest." - John Stuart Mill
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Postby rkzenrage on Sun Mar 04, 2007 7:31 pm

Capellini wrote:See my previous posts. I mentioned the main categories we're looking for, and that I'm interested in anything you think should be mandatory reading for the FSM community.

The Masks of God and Hero With A Thousand Faces definitely falls in that category.
A samurai once asked Zen Master Hakuin where he would go after he died.
Hakuin answered, "How am I supposed to know?"
"How do you know? You're a Zen master?" exclaimed the samurai.
"Yes, but not a dead one," Hakuin answered.
Zen Mondo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3YOIImOoYM
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Postby Rebellious Waffle on Wed Mar 07, 2007 8:51 pm

The (Mis)Behavior of Markets by Benoit Mandelbrot, famous pioneer of fractal geometry.

(Well... its inventor, I guess. He was the guy who coined the term "fractal", so I think he gets dibs on coming up with the idea...)

This book doesn't get nearly enough recognition. It's a fantastic introduction to fundamental econometrics using multifractal geometry, as well as an overview of some very cool statistical techniques and concepts from probability theory.

Why is it relevant for Pastafarians? Piracy. There's no good floating around in ships, raiding costal settlements and inconveniencing passersby if you lose buckets of money in the derivatives market 'cos you relied too heavily on the Black-Scholes equation...
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Postby EarthRise on Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:02 pm

Got a rating for that? :D
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Postby St John the Blasphemist on Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:43 pm

Griffith Review 7: The Lure of Fundamentalism edited by Julianne Schultz
Griffith University/ABC Books
ISBN: 0-7333-1548-8

Difficulty Rating: 2.5-3.2 (varies from article to article)

Sociology/Religion

Collection of essays, reports, etc. that attempt to explain the causes of fundamentalist/fanatical religious belief--Christian, Islamic, Judaic, and others--and its effect on people.

Fundamentalism is the new ethos of our age, confronting long-held beliefs and values with simple, black-and-white solutions. From war in the Middle East, and terrorism, to the revival of religion in politics in the United States and Australia, the challenges of this new ideology are unsettling.

The compelling writers in The Lure of Fundamentalism reveal with stunning insight why and how fundamentalism has become the new f-word and how it may affect us all.
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Postby dukes on Sat Mar 10, 2007 11:37 am

The Origin of Wealth, by Eric D. Beinhocker

A good explanation of modern economic theory, that does not require a background in economics. The author explains how the process of economic development is quite similar to Darwinian evolution. On a readabily scale about 2.5, as an educational book I'd give it a 4 (scale of 1-4, right?)

Reccomended reading for Pastafarians! More here.
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Books to add.

Postby Gahvandure on Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:33 pm

I have two good books to add for beginners at this site.

1. A Grammar Book for You and I (Oops, Me) by C. Edward Good.

Language.

Rating of 2.0.

A short but thorough book on the rules of grammar and common grammar mistakes. An excellent read for those who've heard of the subjunctive case and the split infinitive, but don't know what they are.



2. The Elements of Moral Philosophy by James Rachels & Stuart Rachels.

Philosophy

Rating of 1.8.

A very short primer on the history and basics of moral philosophy, including definitions of terms and names of prominent philosophers. Excellent for beginners, or even the well-read who are not so well-read in the field of philosophy.


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Postby St John the Blasphemist on Sun Apr 22, 2007 9:39 pm

Underground: the Tokyo gas attack and the Japanese psyche Haruki Murakami

Difficulty Rating: 2.1

Sociology/Psychology

The true story behind an act of terrorism that turned an average Monday morning into a national disaster.

In spite of the perpetrators' intentions, the Tokyo gas attack left only twelve people dead, but thousands were injured annd many suffered serious after-effects. The novelist Haruki Murakami interviews the victims to try and establish precisely what happened on the subway that day. He also interviews members and ex-members of the doomsday cult responsible, in the hope that they might be able to explain the reason for the attack and how it was that their guru instilled such devotion in his followers.

"Reality is created out of confusion and contradiction, and if you exclude those elements, you're no longer talking about reality. You might think that--by following language and a logic that appears consistent--you're able to exclude that aspect of reality, but it will always be lying in wait for you, ready to take its revenge."
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Postby scottvd1 on Thu May 10, 2007 1:23 pm

steven pinker; the blank slate.
Thou shalt give equal worth to tragedies that occur in non-English speaking countries as to those that occur in English-speaking countries
Thou shalt not pimp my ride
Thou shalt not quote me happy
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Thou shalt not wish your girlfriend was a freak like me
Thou shalt spell the word Pheonix p-h-e-o-n-i-x, not p-h-o-e-n-i-x, regardless of what the Oxford English Dictionary tells you
Thou shalt think for yourselves
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Postby fractal on Thu May 10, 2007 1:31 pm

The End Of Faith by Sam Harris

The End of Faith provides a harrowing glimpse of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities. Harris argues that in the presence of weapons of mass destruction, we can no longer expect to survive our religious differences indefinitely. Most controversially, he maintains that “moderationâ€￾ in religion poses considerable dangers of its own: as the accommodation we have made to religious faith in our society now blinds us to the role that faith plays in perpetuating human conflict. While warning against the encroachment of organized religion into world politics, Harris draws on insights from neuroscience, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism in an attempt to provide a truly modern foundation for our ethics and our search for spiritual experience.

â€￾The End of Faith articulates the dangers and absurdities of organized religion so fiercely and so fearlessly that I felt relieved as I read it, vindicated, almost personally understood… Harris writes what a sizable number of us think, but few are willing to say in contemporary America… This is an important book, on a topic that, for all its inherent difficulty and divisiveness, should not be shielded from the crucible of human reason.â€￾
— Natalie Angier, The New York Times Book Review
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Postby Chimaera on Fri May 11, 2007 3:09 pm

Jorge Luis Borges wrote a story about The Book of Sand, which is a book (the book?) that contains everything. Extraordinary idea. Here's an Amazon link, and here's a Wikipedia link.
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