?

Log in

No account? Create an account
July 2011 Reading List - Multiplayer vi [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Tomas Gallucci

counter customisable

[ flavors | Meta Profile ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Links
[Links:| Value for Value Politics Tech Reads ]

July 2011 Reading List [Jul. 9th, 2011|02:01 pm]
Tomas Gallucci
[Tags|, ]

On Independence Day, I finished both Atlas Shrugged and James May's 20th Century. The first should need no explanation, the second is a look at inventions that were either invented or came to fruition in the 20th century. In short it is a praise of free men being free to think and profit from their abilities. It's the best $5 you'll ever spend; it makes for a great motivational coffee table centerpiece.

Though today is the 9th, I'm already 25% through Robert Heinland's For Us the Living. I think even with school and work, I ought to be able to finish For Us the Living by the end of the month.

Who'd Thunk It?
It turns out, right after I lamented that the Real biographies were not in the Kindle store, they arrived. Behold, recent additions!






I just found this story which claims that the boys at Harvard have done some research showing that those who show up or participate in Independence Day parades are MORE likely to vote and donate to conservatives. The study also showed that it does Democrat candidates no good to join in the festivities; there is no increase in Democrat votes that come from participating in Independence Day parades.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: ehowton
2011-07-09 08:29 pm (UTC)
I never finished Atlas Shrugged. How was it? It looked like it was setting up to be FANTASTIC. Also - did you read The Fountainhead?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-09 09:00 pm (UTC)
Yes, it's worth finishing, but I'd be curious to get your take on it given that in our political discussions, I've seen you move more and more towards the center if not left of center, at least as I perceive it. In fact, I need to go back and re-read your take on The Fountainhead before I could confidently recommend Atlas Shrugged to you on the basis that I think you would like it.

Of course, it would be nice if we could sit down and get caught up, but it appears that's just not in the cards. I'm a little disappointed that you moved to KS because now that means if I every do drag my sweet candy ass out to DFW to visit gradumacated and his lovely bride, I can't make it a double date with our circle of friends.

No, I have not read The Fountainhead myself, though I do have the e-book. I'll hold off on it for a while due to it's length.

And that reminds me: It seems like I've brought this up before, but you can use your iPod Touch as an eReader; it will run the Kindle, Nook and Kobo apps, meaning you can purchase and read on the device. Of course, prices have come way down on other devices such as the Kindle itself. I don't recall you responding to this idea; I'd be curious to know your thoughts.

For what it's worth, though currently not out yet, Atlas Shrugged Part I was pretty faithful to the book, though they did leave out the backstory of Dagny and d'Anconia. However, there is hope; according to the official site, Part 2 has started filming and Part 1 is going to be distributed by Fox. (link)

Edited at 2011-07-10 01:04 am (UTC)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ehowton
2011-07-10 06:21 pm (UTC)
I'll hold off on it for a while due to it's length.

That's why it took me so long to start it - I thought it would be a real struggle. It wasn't. It was a quick, easy read and I feel like an idiot for falling into that trap.

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 06:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip.

Atlas Shrugged wasn't difficult reading either, but it was long. Given my current reading list has expanded in recent days, and I'm now familiar with Rand's work via Atlas Shrugged, I'm content to hold off on another Randian tome until I've whittled down my list.

But given that I have most of the titles on my list loaded onto my Kindle along with The Fountainhead if I simply want a change of pace or want to be in more books at once, I always have the option at my fingertips.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-10 05:45 pm (UTC)
Wow, I couldn't imagine not finishing it, I was so riveted by the epic story.

schpydurx, as you know I am also close to the 'center', and was left most of my life (now I don't define myself as right or left anymore, I'm just me) and I LOVED the book.

Here's the thing. The book doesn't *have* to be read as a political/philosophical manifesto, even if that was the intention. The story is so huge and romantic and compelling, it was such a wild ride.

But yes, I did agree with several of the points she was making, in varying degrees, but not all. For example, smaller government-absolutely, but not to the degree she outlined. The nihilism really bothered me. But I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. The problem in my mind is some people take it as gospel and an exact presciption, not just as something to contemplate and broaden your thinking.

I don consider my man to be Hank Rearden though. Why not John Galt you ask? Because I'm no Dagny Taggart ;-)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-10 05:48 pm (UTC)
Damn autocorrect! Meant "I do consider..." not "I don..."
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 05:56 pm (UTC)
I'll start with the easy one first: Why do you think that you're no Dagny Taggart?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 06:15 pm (UTC)
I'm curious to know what made you move to the center from being emphatically on the left. Is that simply because the center has shifted right in American politics, the left has shifted far left or because you've had your convictions changed over the years?

Yes, I do find it odd that someone left of center would enjoy Atlas Shrugged though I can see why. If you look at the book on a meta level, the book is about human achievement. Who doesn't want to be an achiever?

Yes, I can see the romance, though I wasn't that interested in the scenes. I got the point, but as I am a male and am more visually inclined, the sex as written in the book became tired to me by the second go 'round.

Again, I agree that the book doesn't have to be read as a manifesto, but it makes for a damned good one. I myself was uncomfortable with John Galt's speech when he started attacking religion, having grown up multi-denominational myself. While I could see the logic behind what he said, I still think that it's possible to be slightly altruistic believing in doing something for the other person, but I also don't believe in altruism.

I believe (and I think we've had this conversation before) that you always get something back from doing a good deed for someone else, even if it's only an assuagement of guilt or a good feeling about yourself. I think, however, that it's a give to get situation even if it's not that apparent.

As I mentioned in my Bugatti Veyron column, in order for me to have a higher standard of living, there has to be a network of people who can supply that higher standard which means they have to have a minimum standard of living that is above non-productive members of society. This is the basis of capitalism. The only way everyone gets screwed in a capitalistic society is if a major consumer withdraws from the market.

So yeah, I can see why the nihilism is a problem. While I'm close, I'm not 100% committed as the characters were in the book. But I do think that the point the book tries to make is food for thought and that the entire developed world would do well to read the book and contemplate its message.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-10 11:13 pm (UTC)
Damn, didn't realize that I wasn't logged in so now my comment is moderated (very sensible). But now you know the rambling one was me. Post at will...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 11:17 pm (UTC)
Uh, I just sent you an email about that last comment. I would prefer you copy/paste and post as you so we can keep the thread going and you can get emailed when I respond (assuming you have LJ set up like that.)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-10 11:19 pm (UTC)
Done! (On that thread.) Sorry for being a bonehead!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 11:31 pm (UTC)
It happens to the best of us.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-10 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ok, now I'm logged in (duh!):

I'll answer with the easy one first ;-) I am not Dagny Taggart because I'm a corporate drone, I don't head (or even want to head) a powerful railway (or other) company.

The other comment is more difficult...the move to the 'center' (I am using quotes because I don't necessarily abide by that scale any more) was absolutely precipitated by meeting my boyfriend Philip. I have never met someone who has so thoroughly questioned me, and my ideals, and made me realize there could possibly be another side which is worth thinking about and considering even if you don't agree with it. It was a revelation. It opened my mind. I would not be such a fan of No Agenda if it wasn't for him.

But, he is an equal opportunity skeptic, he will question 'right' views just as readily.

Getting back to the book/Ayn Rand, thanks for reminding me of a couple points I meant to make in my first reply -- that the conservatives/right-wingers that champion her always gloss over the fact that she was an atheist, and was also pro-choice. Just saying...

But Tom, I am honestly not trying to be antagonistic, I think you have changed quite a bit from when we first 'met', and I feel you're open to other viewpoints now.

You have certainly earned my respect.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 11:18 pm (UTC)
Ok, now I'm logged in (duh!)
Yay!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-11 12:27 am (UTC)
Well, your answer isn't the one I expected it to be: I thought you were going to call her a slut or something. After all, she slept with three guys in the book and I'll be damned if she wasn't spreading her legs at the first opportunity.

Your averseness to being "a corporate drone" doesn't surprise me given your political stance. While I can understand not wanting to run a company, especially in today's hostile business environment, I think you have the necessary character qualities to do the job. I think you encapsulate the strengths of Dagny's character and would make a great business person if your heart was in it.

I don't necessarily abide by that scale any more
Since you mention it, what scale do you abide by?

Philip
I wouldn't have thought that. Then again, I don't have a useful data set to plot your "move" on, ergo useless speculation on my part.

The local Tea Party leader claimed that she was fairly left of center before she met her future husband and he challenged her to question what she really believed. Now, that story (local Tea Party) doesn't have a happy ending, but the point is when it counted, self-discovery was engaged and much learning occurred. "For such a time as this" I suppose.

I have wondered if females are predisposed to being left of center because of a biological need to nurture. Surely someone has studied this possible correlation.

I would not be such a fan of No Agenda if it wasn't for him.
Ya think? Though I've always thought Dvorak to be something of a moderate, in this day and age, both John and Adam are to the far right. Do I always agree with them? No. And quite frankly, I think Adam likes to play the part of conspiracy theorist just so he'll have something different to say so he'll garner attention. But I do like the personalities on the show.

And I haven't really listened since I've started back to school in the Spring.

But, he is an equal opportunity skeptic, he will question 'right' views just as readily.
I like to think that I question all views, form an opinion based on the information that I have, and am willing to adjust my conclusions based on the truth of the matter as its revealed to me. Though I don't consider myself to be a scientist, I do consider myself to be a pragmatist, especially since I'm paid to write computer code.

conservatives/right-wingers that champion her always gloss over the fact that she was an atheist, and was also pro-choice
I would argue that it isn't conservatives that champion Rand, it's Libertarians. Granted, there's a lot of cross-over in the two dogmas, but Libertarians tend to live by the golden rule of "live and let live." I still can't figure out which camp I fall into.

But you bring up a great point. Christians–a group contemporarily associated with the Right–ought to have two major disagreements with Rand as you pointed out.

I can't speak to her pro-choice stance as I haven't studied Rand herself, but if I had to guess, I would think this would boil down to whatever a woman wants to do to her body is her decision so long as it doesn't violate the rights of someone else, or, said another way, dogmatic Libertarianism.

Her atheism shone forth in Galt's epic speech; I've already addressed that topic in a previous comment.

I am honestly not trying to be antagonistic
I didn't suspect you were, and if I did, I would have had fun with it.

I think you have changed quite a bit from when we first 'met', and I feel you're open to other viewpoints now. You have certainly earned my respect.
I'm flattered and I'm not sure you could pay me a higher compliment.

I don't feel like I've changed, but then again, I've put my head in the sand trying to get bills paid off and get school done and over with. Perhaps it has been the general lack of presence mixed with the lack of fight when I do "show up".

I know I should just take the compliment, but I'm like those men of the mind in Atlas Shrugged: I've got to scientifically quantify everything.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to pontificate upon my favorite subject: me. 8)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-11 05:35 pm (UTC)
Sorry it took so long to comment, busy day!

Well, your answer isn't the one I expected it to be: I thought you were going to call her a slut or something.
No, I definitely wouldn't...Penn Jillette (who's a big fan) would say that about Ayn Rand though :-O (possibly NSFW):
http://revision3.com/pennpoint/atlasshrugged

I think you encapsulate the strengths of Dagny's character and would make a great business person if your heart was in it.
Thanks!!

Since you mention it, what scale do you abide by?
Hmmm, none really, I'm very reticent to attach myself to a label. Even "independent" has somewhat of a connotation.

I have wondered if females are predisposed to being left of center because of a biological need to nurture. Surely someone has studied this possible correlation.
Interesting...it does make logical sense.

I like to think that I question all views, form an opinion based on the information that I have, and am willing to adjust my conclusions based on the truth of the matter as its revealed to me.
Ah, very cool, and smart imo.

I would argue that it isn't conservatives that champion Rand, it's Libertarians.
Good point! I stand corrected.

Thanks for the great conversation.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-11 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the great conversation.
Any time. :D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-11 12:37 am (UTC)

The Good Shepherd

So, I just looked up pgleason on IMDB and discovered he worked on one of my favorite films The Good Shepherd.

I know that Black Swan was shot in NYC. Why was he not tapped to help given that he had already worked with Aronofsky on The Wrestler?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-11 05:36 pm (UTC)

Re: The Good Shepherd

Good question -- the director doesn't usually get involved in hiring the crew, usually (I believe) it's left up to the UPM (Unit Production Manager) and/or department heads. A lot of times it just comes down to who's available from the union. Also, on those two productions, Philip didn't work on the entire shoot. On Good Shepherd he was involved with re-shoots, and on The Wrestler he came in towards the end of the production.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-11 08:12 pm (UTC)

Re: The Good Shepherd

Can I see Phillip's handiwork in either of the films? I know he's just a playback guy, but still...

Speaking of (and this may not be the right venue) according to IMDB, he's not working this year. What is he up to these days?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-12 05:36 pm (UTC)

Re: The Good Shepherd

Damn it to hell, I did it again -- the anonymous comment. was me, sorry!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-12 05:38 pm (UTC)

Re: The Good Shepherd

Anytime you post anonymously, you're more than welcome to correct it. Once you do, I'll delete the anonymous comment.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: panacea42
2011-07-12 06:54 pm (UTC)

Re: The Good Shepherd

In those two he was actually video assist, which is recording the video taps from the film cameras to tape or DVD so the director can see an immediate playback of the scenes. So unfortunately none of his handiwork was shown on-screen.

The first season of "Fringe" was probably the production where he had the most involvement in the on-screen product, but I know you're not a sci-fi fan. He made the TV channel number 42 in one scene for me :-D (a reference to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" --MORE sci-fi, lol!)

Recently he worked on the 5th season of "30 Rock" which wrapped in April, I've just been incredibly lazy and haven't updated IMDB --sometimes credits are added automatically, but more often than not you have to do it yourself. They have been a total pain in the ass about adding his many older (late 1960s-1980s) credits.

But anyway, since then there's been a bit here and a bit there, it's often not a steady business. Take it as it comes!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gradumacated
2011-07-09 08:47 pm (UTC)

Reading

Awesome! I've gotten someways into The Guns of August - to the point just after the declarations of war. I've slacked off somewhat, but this post has inspired me to get back into it.

Right now, I wouldn't be surprised if you told me that For Us The Living is ho-hum, but it'll certainly start heating up from this point on as Heinlien delves deeper into fleshing out his Utopia. I'll be really interested to hear your thoughts once you're able to finish it!

Also, apologies for not getting my butt in gear and posting my thoughts on various subjects like I keep promising. It's some form of writers block, unfortunately. Texas is having a friend over shortly so once I get through the mountain of clothes that are on our bed I'll DEFINITELY post my thoughts on Herman Cain. I think if I start the blog here on LJ rather than Xanga it'll help. I still have my gerrymandering post cooking, but I did add to it last week I think. So, apologies. Glad to hear you're getting stuck into that reading list!

Now that the Kindle has the Real biographies, does this mean that I can hold off on purchasing them through the B&N Nook store?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-09 09:09 pm (UTC)

Re: Reading

How are you enjoying The Guns of August? I think it'd be right up your alley.

I do think that so far, what I've read of For Us the Living is ho-hum, but that's because of writing style. I understand it was the first thing that Heinlein wrote, but because it's not just a political essay and it's not a story either, so it's a little difficult to read, but the reading over all of the book has been a breeze.

No need to apologize. I understand that we all get busy. Hell, I actually dragged my rear out in public today so I could get something accomplished. I did, but not as much as I had hoped. I got these two measly posts written and I read 1.5 chapters for Art Appreciation. But I do have notes for no less than 10 additional posts. If only I could just think them onto the blog!

I'm going to say that if you want to read the books, go ahead and buy them on the Nook. If you want, I can start one or each of them some time in the future and report back whether I think they would be worth it or not. You should look into whether or not you can gift books on the Nook. If so, you should set up a wish list or something and I can keep you concurrent with myself. BTW, I knew that the books were available in both stores at the same time, just in case there was any confusion on that point.

Oddly enough, I'm trying to get out the door to go to @FatherPhoneix's house right now, but I wanted to respond to my readers first. I'll ask him again about the book club.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 05:58 pm (UTC)

Re: Reading

I meant to tell you this earlier, but if you're looking for another book to read, read The 5000 Year Leap. That's got a lot of American and Constitutional history in it and while it might not be as academic as say The Guns of August, I think you will find the book contains a lot of value.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gradumacated
2011-07-09 08:49 pm (UTC)

Patrioism and Voting Patterns

I'd heard something about that story, too. Honestly, I'm not surprised. If you think about it, it's usually the conservatives who beat the patriotism drum and really elevate the US to "special" status (rightly or wrongly; that's a good debate to be had in my opinion) so to link those positive opinions with the political party that makes the most of it doesn't surprise me. Especially when you have a select group of people in society right now who believe (for whatever reason(s)) that Obama and the Democrats are seeking to downplay the "specialness" of the US on the world stage.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: schpydurx
2011-07-10 06:16 pm (UTC)

Re: Patrioism and Voting Patterns

Based on the points you made here, would it be unreasonable to assume that the Democrats are anti-American?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)