Author Topic: Fave Books / Currently Reading  (Read 720162 times)

masterofsparks

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1680 on: August 19, 2011, 12:22:28 PM »
I read the Asimov stuff in high school and now would agree he's definitely more an ideas guy than a great writer.

I prefer his kid's reality show.
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jbissell

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1681 on: August 19, 2011, 12:23:55 PM »
I'm starting Bob Mould's autobiography.

Steve of Bloomington

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1682 on: August 19, 2011, 03:22:35 PM »
I read the Asimov stuff in high school and now would agree he's definitely more an ideas guy than a great writer. I believe he said that about himself on many occasions.



I think he did say this, but he was pretty hard to hear through those eyebrows.

I read somewhere that the muttonchops actually hid fully functioning gills. Asimov led a double life.

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1683 on: August 19, 2011, 03:43:37 PM »
Right in the middle of Shakey right now.

Also reading an Edogawa Rampo short-stories compilation in fits and starts.

I love both of these books.
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1684 on: August 20, 2011, 11:24:51 AM »
Right in the middle of Shakey right now.

Also reading an Edogawa Rampo short-stories compilation in fits and starts.

I love both of these books.

I might ruffle some feathers here, but I found Shakey a little hard to get through. I did love when it got to the 80s and Young kept trying to reinvent himself, though.
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JonFromMaplewood

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1685 on: August 20, 2011, 10:35:27 PM »
Finally digging into Blood Meridian.  Grim grim grim.
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buffcoat

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1686 on: August 20, 2011, 11:50:47 PM »
Robert Louis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde and other stories.
I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

cavorting with nudists

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1687 on: August 21, 2011, 12:12:35 AM »
I've had "Jekyll and Hyde" on my to-read list for a year or two now, mainly due to Sadie Plant's commentary on it in Writing on Drugs.

Currently reading: The Savage City by T. J. English.  This is the book that Wyatt Cenac was carrying at that live WTF that Tom was on.  Maron and Cenac, neither of whom had read it, managed to caricature it on that podcast as some sort of weird book-length horror tabloid, but it's really a pretty amazing account of the juncture during the years 1963-1972 between NYC's escalating crime rate, the rise of black nationalism, and the nearly unbelievable depth of racism and corruption in the NYPD at that time.

Over the long run, it's a little dryer than I expected after the author's juicier Havana Nocturne, but it's closer to home and thus, still a valuable history lesson.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2011, 12:20:57 AM by cavorting with nudists »
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1688 on: August 21, 2011, 01:50:09 PM »
On page 32 of Nicholas Nissim Taleb's Black Swan (reading for research) and pretty much hating it. Weirdly convoluted prose, awkward attempts at humor, Malcolm Gladwell/Thomas Friedman style cherry-picked anecdotes designed to make elite types feel good about themselves.

In between I'm still reading Pride and Prejudice on Kindle and the Kindle phone app. This will probably continue for the next two years because I'm reading it in quick ten-minute increments when I have a few minutes to kill and I've squeezed all the juice out of Gmail, Twitter, and Angry Birds.
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.

buffcoat

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1689 on: August 21, 2011, 08:18:12 PM »
On page 32 of Nicholas Nissim Taleb's Black Swan (reading for research) and pretty much hating it. Weirdly convoluted prose, awkward attempts at humor, Malcolm Gladwell/Thomas Friedman style cherry-picked anecdotes designed to make elite types feel good about themselves.


Great idea, almost certainly mostly correct, weird, weird, weird writing.
I really don't appreciate your sarcastic, anti-comedy tone, Bro!

effecT

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1690 on: August 22, 2011, 01:59:52 PM »
On page 32 of Nicholas Nissim Taleb's Black Swan (reading for research) and pretty much hating it. Weirdly convoluted prose, awkward attempts at humor, Malcolm Gladwell/Thomas Friedman style cherry-picked anecdotes designed to make elite types feel good about themselves.


Did understand Taleb's point correctly?

Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1691 on: August 23, 2011, 08:11:49 PM »
effecT: LOL

I'm not even sure the guy's right, really. Right out of grad school I was briefly an assistant to a retired film producer (I seriously think he kept renting his office so he could go in every day and play cards with his office-mate, a retired Broadway producer; my job was to throw out all the stuff he'd hoarded, then sit around and read Variety), and it enraged him any time someone mentioned the William Goldman quote "nobody knows anything." His take was that, despite the great degree of uncertainty in Weirdowood, people could generally make reasonable educated guesses. I feel the same way about Taleb -- sure, most pundits and analysts failed to predict things like 9/11 or the crashes in 1987, 2000, or 2008. But pundits are almost always wrong about everything. Their job isn't to be right, it's to tell people (usually powerful people) what they want to hear. Plenty of others (usually non-influential types) sounded the alarm about almost everything he uses as examples.
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cavorting with nudists

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1692 on: August 23, 2011, 08:58:41 PM »
Oh, Jeez--I don't know much about this guy, but if he uses the poor track record of pundits' predictive powers as an indicator of the unpredictability of anything, I immediately hate him.  Since punditry must be the single industry in which inaccurate predictions exact no consequences whatever, it's--wait for it--predictable that the top tier of pundits will contain an outsized proportion of lousy predictors.

Plus, I heard Natalie Portman was lousy in that movie.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2011, 09:02:57 PM by cavorting with nudists »
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Shaggy 2 Grote

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1693 on: August 24, 2011, 01:29:27 PM »
To be fair, he's talking about "experts" more than pundits per se, but he's definitely including pundits in his description. I guess my point is, when some great "unexpected" crisis happens, it often catches everyone by surprise, but eventually is surfaces that there had been hundreds of Cassandras all along, usually activists, academics, or wonks in places like McKinsey or the RAND Corp. who were pretty much ignored because their conclusions were inconvenient.
Oh, good heavens. I didnít realize. I send my condolences out to the rest of the OíConnor family.

cavorting with nudists

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Re: Fave Books / Currently Reading
« Reply #1694 on: August 24, 2011, 02:23:05 PM »
Oh.  Well, this is pretty topic-tangential, but one of the political blogs I read, Rumproast, today (a) mentioned Tom's old bete noire movie Rudy; (b) agreed right down the line with Tom about Rudy; and (c) only brought it up by way of making a comparison between Rudy and Tom Friedman:

Quote
...
But rather than think about the depressing state of politics and punditry, letís focus instead on bad sports moviesóthe very worst. There are so many. And they are bad in so many ways.

What do you consider the worst sports movie of all time? My possibly controversial answer: ďRudy.Ē The mister and I argue about this all the time. He thinks itís a great movie. I think itís depressing and dumb.

I get that weíre supposed to be impressed with Rudyís perseverance. But goddamnit, heís bad at football! Itís not admirable that he persists at it after it becomes clear that heís always going to suckóitís pathetic.

Come to think of it, Rudy and Friedman have something in common: Theyíre both bad at what they do, and they both receive unwarranted accolades for contributing nothing of importance to their respective fields.
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