Doing any recreational reading? v.5.8

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justine Elitist Beer Lover
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I have so many books to read, but i think my next one will be The Girl On The Train.
Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson (2010).

This is a weird book.

Most of this novel is a straightforward chronological retelling of the story of Galileo from his mid-30's when in a market in Venice he was told by a stranger who had recognized him about how there was a Dutch lens maker who had lined up a pair of his lenses to make the first primitive telescope, to the time of his death nearly 40 years later. Of course this includes the period when he was held by the Vatican for questioning the stability of the Earth by arguing for the Copernican model of the universe. These parts are interspersed with period writings--most by Galileo himself though translated into English (though according to Robinson most of such texts that Galieo wrote remain untranslated out of their original Tuscan Italian or period Latin)--that were contemporaneous with the story. Included with this is a partially humorous look at his daily life having to deal with the fights between his mother and his longtime mistress, his largely unsuccessful brother and the payment of the dowry for his sister, his illegitimate children from said mistress (a boy who Galileo was able to set up a marriage, and two girls whom he had sent to a nearby nunnery). While this look is likely largely made up by Robinson, they do help humanize Galileo.

Interspersed through this is his "Dream": I do not know this to be true, but in this book Galileo was subject to long periods when he would lay in something like a coma for up to hours at a time. Robinson explains this by describing how in some bodily form--Galileo's body still remained in the 17th century--Galileo was visiting the 34th century having been sent by the "entangler" which was sent back into time from around that future time so that the people of that future date could take advantage of advice from the man whom they regard as the First Scientist. These people are also living on/in what Galileo had called the Medicean Stars: our Galilean satellites of Jupiter of Io, Callisto, Ganymede and Europa (that collective name bringing a mixture of disappointment and pride to Galileo, the first being that the name he had proposed didn't stick). The people of the 34th century recognize "proto-scientists" before Galileo like Archimedes, but they still revere Galileo as the First Scientist because he had been burned at the stake by the Vatican but whose death was fundamental to the reduction of the importance of the Roman Catholic Church.

Hang on, you are saying, Galileo was NOT burned at the stake. Well, that is true in OUR universe, and I think this is partially where Robinson loses me: if ALL things are possible in the multiverse as it is explained to Galileo, then while this particular me may not be in the best of all possible worlds, should I celebrate anyway? At one point Galileo asks if it would be possible for him to convince Pope Urban to the Copernican view, but one of the people in the 34th century who befriends Galileo tells him basically no because that way would lead to science becoming an assisting "little brother" to the Church which would not help the next time learning required a paradigm shift. Science would then be just another branch of the Church which would help stifle such shifts (AND--within the multiverse--that HAD happened along with ALL other possibilities).

Especially interesting to me was the argument at Galileo's time of how atomism (the view that there were fundamental particles that made up all matter) was considered heresy in view of the transubstatiation of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ (meaning that such actually became the Body and Blood ALL the way down forever). The politics within and outside the Church REQUIRED a confession from Galileo and he HAD to suffer some punishment. In "Dream" if Galileo had persisted in his claim that his "Dialogues" which contrasted the Aristolean and Copernican views actually were arguments for the former despite it being supported by the character Simplicio, then he would have been brought up on charges of heresy due to his support of atomism (which was one of the charges that got Giordano Bruno burned at the stake within Galileo's adulthood). I do not know how true this argument was, and any of Galileo's papers which survived certainly would NOT include any of this as he had been forbidden by the Church to even speculate on such matters.

"Galileo's Dream" is an unsettling book. Certainly required reading if Robinson is among your authors, but I am hard-pressed to say that I had enjoyed this.
Old Yoda agitator
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'Anthropocene or Capitalocene?
Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism'
(Open access book) http://arena-attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/772469/2f4f13a96536be79f602f1906d5d5660.pdf

“A revolutionary new phase of earth history, the Anthropocene, has been unleashed by human action, and the prospects for this blue sphere and the mass of humanity are not good. We had best start thinking in revolutionary terms about the forces turning the world upside down if we are to put brakes on the madness. A good place to begin is this book, whose remarkable authors bring together history and theory, politics and ecology, economy and culture, to force a deep look at the origins of global transformation. In short, the enemy to be met is not us, dear Pogo, but capitalism, whose unrelenting exploitation of (wo)man and nature is driving us all to the end(s) of the earth.”
—Richard Walker, professor emeritus of geography, University of
California
TOS
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Old Yoda posted:
'Anthropocene or Capitalocene?
Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism'
(Open access book) http://arena-attachments.s3.amazonaws.com/772469/2f4f13a96536be79f602f1906d5d5660.pdf

“A revolutionary new phase of earth history, the Anthropocene, has been unleashed by human action, and the prospects for this blue sphere and the mass of humanity are not good. We had best start thinking in revolutionary terms about the forces turning the world upside down if we are to put brakes on the madness. A good place to begin is this book, whose remarkable authors bring together history and theory, politics and ecology, economy and culture, to force a deep look at the origins of global transformation. In short, the enemy to be met is not us, dear Pogo, but capitalism, whose unrelenting exploitation of (wo)man and nature is driving us all to the end(s) of the earth.”
—Richard Walker, professor emeritus of geography, University of
California


hm, nice, looks mighty interesting
Galileo's Revenge: Junk Science in the Courtroom by Peter Huber.

Not very well written but very influential book on the use and abuse of expert witnesses in courts of law.
This post is only peripherally related to reading.

After starting the Aubrey and Maturin series of books by Patrick O'Brian (which I first reviewed here), I went out to my local Barnes & Nobles stores to find the other 20 books in the series. I managed to find only 10 of them and I have read the series up to book 6 because the other 4 volumes I picked up are from later in the series. I have waited for months to see if my B&Ns might put on their shelves any more from the series, but all I have seen have been the same books, some with rather badly torn corners.

For Christmas a relative gave me an Amazon gift card for $50 so I decided to use that. It has been about 5 years since I had last ventured into Amazon.

Man, it has gotten confusing.

First, while all of the books I was looking for are available in trade paperback form, upon first seeing some of the listings there you would not have guessed that. Eventually I figured out that I had to click on the "View all formats" line to see that there were trade paperbacks at all.

Second, what happened to the simplicity of listings? Now I have to trudge through a list of booksellers who are making their books available through Amazon. Yes, I can select the option of only seeing those sellers with free shipping, but this was only after seeing a list of sellers offering the books for as low as 2 bucks but seeing in the fine print that they were charging $3.99 or more for shipping for every book ordered through them. And for some reason I cannot get a list of sellers in lowest-to-highest price order.

Third, after I had set up my order, at EVERY step during the process of paying for my order I got the offers for getting $50 off my purchase by getting an Amazon Visa card, and offers for free expedited shipping if I got Amazon Prime (which they were promising wouldn't cost me anything because I could cancel it first thing). Funny thing, after I put in the info from my Amazon gift card I noticed that the Visa card got reduced to only the 32 bucks or so that remained.

While I got my order set up (no shipping fees), the overall experience was very annoying. No plans on returning.
...and somehow I messed up.

I got my first shipment of the Aubrey/Maturin novels. Because I had to order them via Amazon through 2 different companies, my books came/are coming through 2 different shipments. Books 7 and 11 are yet to come so I haven't started to read them yet.

I stacked all of them so far only to find that somehow despite my double- and triple-checking that I had missed that I already had volume 8, The Ionian Mission.

So anyone who has been encouraged to pick up this series but hasn't yet gotten volume 8 want a free book? I'll even pay for shipping.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly (2016).

I have not (yet) seen the movie based on this book so I am making no comparisons with that.

This is a wonderful retelling of the story of how smart black women managed through brainpower and obstinacy and the imperfect meritocracy of the Langley Research Center to overcome the area's racism (Langley is near Newport News, VA) and the general paternalism throughout the era of human computers.

Read this even if you have seen the movie ('cause that will have to leave out stories and details).
DEyncourt posted:
[snip]
Books 7 and 11 18 are yet to come so I haven't started to read them yet.
[snip]

These books came in today and I'm not happy. While not terribly mangled these books are NOT what I would consider to be new condition with the covers rather bent and corners roughed up a bit.

The OTHER books in the other shipment were fine. Not pristine perfect but acceptable.

I am returning these. I will certainly will cross off J.J.Products from any future purchases via Amazon.
TOS
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thinking of popping out to the bookstore and getting myself a bit of nonfiction ... a very rare treat indeed
dv
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TOS posted:
thinking of popping out to the bookstore and getting myself a bit of nonfiction ... a very rare treat indeed

Wait... Like a store? Building? A place for you go to pay retail price for books?

Did Amazon stop servicing Canada while I wasn't looking?
DEyncourt posted:
DEyncourt posted:
[snip]
Books 7 and 11 18 are yet to come so I haven't started to read them yet.
[snip]

These books came in today and I'm not happy. While not terribly mangled these books are NOT what I would consider to be new condition with the covers rather bent and corners roughed up a bit.

The OTHER books in the other shipment were fine. Not pristine perfect but acceptable.

I am returning these. I will certainly will cross off J.J.Products from any future purchases via Amazon.

Oh, I should have added that those "[n]ot pristine perfect but acceptable" books were from big_river_books. I could not order the other 2 books because this company wasn't offering them.
TOS
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dv posted:
TOS posted:
thinking of popping out to the bookstore and getting myself a bit of nonfiction ... a very rare treat indeed

Wait... Like a store? Building? A place for you go to pay retail price for books?

Did Amazon stop servicing Canada while I wasn't looking?


sometimes it's nice to browse, okay?

i ended up getting a copy of paris 1919 by margaret macmillan, asbolutely wonderful lose-myself-in-it history book

i bought it, then sat down at starbucks with a cup of tea and did some reading -- just loverly
dv
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TOS
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I am about to start reading Antony Beevor's Fall of Berlin book. It is a huge tome, but at 18.99 for a digital copy, I will live with the hardcover book. I am also finishing Pierr Berton's Vimy book.
TOS
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how strange, i've been wanting to read that berlin book too but was put off by the price ... i just love his work

and good ol' pierre berton, he was best buds with my grandpa (well maybe "pals in drinkin' and whorin'" is more accurate) so we had all his books growing up

vimy was great, but i think his book on the yukon gold rush was my fave, especially the big coffee table version with amazing photos
I've been reading Steven Crowell's collection of essays on Husserl and Heidegger's phenomenological philosophy, as well as a collection of essays on Husserl's philosophy of mathematics and logic that reexamines the traditional gloss that Frege corrected Husserl's way of seeing things and posits that Frege was mistaken and possibly retaliating for previous criticism Husserl gave on Frege's methodology. While Frege conclusively linked mathematics and logical sense, his project to ground mathematics ultimately failed. Gödel thought Husserl's methodology was more sound, something which was very surprising to many analytic philosophers when it was disclosed in the biographies written by Hao Wang.
TOS
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recreational reading, homie

r-e-c-r-e-a-t-i-o-n-a-l
TOS posted:
recreational reading, homie

r-e-c-r-e-a-t-i-o-n-a-l

You mean like the Bible? lol.

Last fiction I read was the MaddAdam trilogy by Atwood and Ready Player One. But I'm the kind of weirdo who thinks bringing a book on combinatorics or perception to the beach is fun.
jkahless Custom Title
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Grinding my way through the Discworld series at about one a day. Entertaining little reads. I love the wordplay, even the terrible puns.
TOS
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StaticAge posted:
TOS posted:
recreational reading, homie

r-e-c-r-e-a-t-i-o-n-a-l

You mean like the Bible? lol.

Last fiction I read was the MaddAdam trilogy by Atwood and Ready Player One. But I'm the kind of weirdo who thinks bringing a book on combinatorics or perception to the beach is fun.


i guess i'm one to talk, i'm happy to lose myself in the historical arcana ... my idea of heaven is accessing an archive
ukimalefu Pondering
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TOS posted:
StaticAge posted:
TOS posted:
recreational reading, homie

r-e-c-r-e-a-t-i-o-n-a-l

You mean like the Bible? lol.

Last fiction I read was the MaddAdam trilogy by Atwood and Ready Player One. But I'm the kind of weirdo who thinks bringing a book on combinatorics or perception to the beach is fun.


i guess i'm one to talk, i'm happy to lose myself in the historical arcana ... my idea of heaven is accessing an archive


Learning can be fun!
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Doing any recreational reading? v.5.8

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