No posts in 11 days, oh boy. Let's talk about books.

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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
4 weeks ago#1
What have you been reading lately? I've begun reading books again for the first time in a good 5 years. The standout so far in the current batch I got from the library is Bunnicula. I read it back in elementary school, maybe 20 years ago, and I forgot how well it was written. It's often funny, it's occasionally surprising, none of the characters are clearly heroes or villains, and Harold and Chester manage to be sufficiently doglike and catlike, respectively, while still being more than a collection of animal tropes.

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?

User Info: LinkPrime1

LinkPrime1
4 weeks ago#2
I noticed this earlier this evening. Damn.

I'm not reading anything unfortunately.
Well, there is a new accent of n00b language. It's called: Vet LUEser goes Foreign!-MegaSpy22
Those must be the pants of the gods!-Digitalpython

User Info: Kylo Force

Kylo Force
4 weeks ago#3
It's our annual hibernation. Like the opposite of Post a Day May.

I am not reading anything because I am a bookless heathen, but a couple are on my list:
"Crazy Rich Asians" by Kevin Kwan (gotta get ready for the movie, I guess?)
"Beyond the Messy Truth" by Van Jones

And I've obtained copies of all of the Harry Potter books and I'd like to give them a go again, because they're easy to read and everyone needs a little magic in their lives.
"Sa taong walang takot, walang mataas na bakod."
"To those without fear, there is no such thing as a tall fence." - Filipino Proverb

User Info: HeyDude

HeyDude
4 weeks ago#4
Unfortunately nothing, but I made a commitment to read Resurrecting The Trinity for a book discussion I'm doing this Saturday.

User Info: BUM

BUM
4 weeks ago#5
Numerous things! Dear me. But as far as private readings go, one that I'll mention, as it is in the greater purview here.

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset is an excellent and charming story set in 11th or 12th c. Norway, by quite a good historian. I often thought of recommending it to Wil, so I take this opportunity to do so.

It's rather Catholic, both in its setting, which makes it delightfully vibrant, and in its themes, which makes it a fulfilling read also.

Other than that, and other than class materials which are largely philosophical (Plato/Aristotle, St. Thomas, etc...), also John Cassian's Institutes.

I recommend this, say, one-hour length read on birth control also, as something I just finished reading. It's by a renowned professor and consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family. It's apparently been reproduced throughout the world. I would that anyone might read it, since it challenges the societal acceptance of contraception as a good... I think that people owe it to themselves to reckon with these types of arguments, even if they are opposed to them, because "the unexamined life is not worth living."
http://www.janetsmith.excerptsofinri.com/

I am doing well and I hope that everyone here is well. Life is rather busy. Pax et gaudium vobis, amices.

Post scriptum: for the sake of stirring the pot, I might quote the eminently quotable G.K. Chesterton, We can always convict such people of sentimentalism by their weakness for euphemism. The phrase they use is always softened and suited for journalistic appeals. They talk of free love when they mean something quite different, better defined as free lust. ... They insist on talking about Birth Control when they mean less birth and no control.
Now I really mean it, I think that this little reading is very good to read, even if you do not walk away convinced by it. Any rational man ought to see at least some merit in it, even if he does not accept the entirety of it.

My intention here, is not so much the sake of proving points, but the sake of living well. That is to say, I think that this teaching, whether someone adverts to the Church or not in general, but if they should advert at least in this teaching, that their very quality of life would improve, and so I feel impelled to bring it up, for the sake of living well, living happy lives. We are not happy living darkly.
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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
4 weeks ago#6
That article doesn't look like an honest attempt to tell what research says about contraception. It looks like cherry-picking research findings that happen to support the church's preexisting positions. It doesn't even have any clear citations. You guys eventually gave Galileo and Darwin their due; I hope that someday you'll take social science (or at least research about HIV and condoms) seriously, too.

Kristin Lavransdatter sounds like an interesting book.

Since you're reading Plato, what's your best guess as to how well Plato represents Socrates? It seems that the riddle of Socrates is that he may well be one of the most influential thinkers in human history, but we can't be very sure what he thought.

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?

User Info: BUM

BUM
4 weeks ago#7
Hail all,
As far as Plato goes, that's a good question. I cannot really utter anything other than what has generally been suggested by most text-book writers, namely, that there are probably a few phases of use of Socrates in the Platonic works.

In certain works, it's probably fairly accurate and historical. In others, there's probably some revisionist content that Plato probably deemed Socrates would have agreed or would have implicitly thought. At the third phase, we might expect Socrates is used in the same way that you or I might write a dialogue involving Socrates-- I mean, still grounded in Socratic method and true to his character, but talking about things that he may never have believed even implicitly.

Regarding the article's lack of citations, I think we have to be a little generous here. The article actually follows the speech, not vice versa (it's a transcription of a speech). In this case, we're expecting something out of the genre that's not part of the genre, and I think that's not quite fair. Although it would be good if there was, on the website (I haven't checked yet) a detailed source of where she got her information for her presentation. I agree with that.

Nevertheless, it's also unrealistic to say that all data needs to be statistical. It's quite clear that what she says is true, just by my own experience of my personal life, as well as my experience of the lives of my friends and family, and my culture in general. We can well shoot reality down if we refuse to accept any sort of data that's not quanitifiable. But the most fundamental experiences of human life are not quantifiable. This is the failure of science since the time of Auguste Comte.

I do not deny the usefulness of the empiriometric method, but let's not forget that this yields not answers about how to explain our human lives, but answers about things which are often times very removed from the human experience.

The Galileo affair is pretty complicated. There was some bad on the Church's end, but I would not say it is at all like pop-history remembers it. Even historians hostile to the Church do admit that Galileo was treated circumspectly and with rare charity. Galileo frankly was a pompous man and he alienated even his friends until he made the world his enemy. Not to mention that he had glaring problems with his theories which he could not explain, that he was wrong on certain points, that he made mockery of others, and that he forced his opinions in the rashest and most careless way. It's true that St. John Paul II made apologies for the Church's end of the affair-- that much the media reported-- but not true that it was one-sided. The research undertaken should indicate that Galileo was the aggressor party. It is not like depicted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, for example, who throws history to the winds and makes up his own vicious polemics (or just reads the polemics given him by others)

In the following article, no citations are clearly found either: and here I agree with you, I think they should be found, because what we're talking about now is something outside of our lived data, something remote, something that needs citation more urgently. Frankly I found the article a little lack-luster because of this, and because his language is sometimes emotive, which although I am not always opposed to, can serve at times to lessen credibility.
Nevertheless, if anyone wants to read about the Galileo affair, it is, if not historically scientific (lacking good citation), at least as good if not better than the anonymous pop-history thrown about by those who haven't the proper competence in historical studies.
https://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/GALILEO.HTM

Pax amici.
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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
4 weeks ago#8
It's quite clear that what she says is true, just by my own experience of my personal life, as well as my experience of the lives of my friends and family, and my culture in general.

The idea behind science is that everyday experience may not give us correct answers, and when systemic observation, experimentation, and data analysis contradict what we thought we knew, then we must conclude that our beliefs were in fact wrong. If your response to your ideas being contradicted by research is that you know they're true anyway, then science can't do anything for you. That's what I was referring to when when I talked about taking social science seriously.

But if you would describe the Galileo affair as "some bad on the Church's end", there is obviously some deeper disagreement here about science in general.

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?

User Info: BUM

BUM
4 weeks ago#9
Good evening all. I would like to talk more about science, and hopefully I will have some time to think out a good thing to say on Sunday or Monday. Tomorrow's going to be a little crazy.
Certainly there is some sort of disagreement about the empirical sciences, science in the common parlance of the last few centuries, although I'm not in opposition to them. I think most historically minded men can agree that the Church has, if not been the biggest provider for the growth of the empirical sciences, at least been a prominent provider for their growth. It's more of a question of where their proper domain is, for they function well within it, but not so without it.

I think I might try to make a new thread though, because reflecting on it, I don't actually want to completely take this thread over with debates about science, data, experience, Galileo, etc... since the topic is kind of a nice one, to talk about books being read.

Now it's true, books, the best ones, present ideas, and ideas, the best ones, strike at the very core of our lives, and so provoke a lot of discussion and debate. But it's also true that this should be a happy little topic just for talking about books that we've enjoyed reading. How is it right, for example, for a topic starting with Bunnicula to end in debate about the Galileo Affair?

I must say though, I am impressed or even flattered that you took the time to read the contraception talk, some if not all, since it's usually hard for me to convince myself to read something when I've got so much needing to be done. I like that I can count on having an interesting discussion when I make a trip down ol' PMS Lane.

Not of course speciously. I'm not trying to provoke arguments for their own sake, and I think you are of the same mind as me here, but rather one, to get to the truth, and two, to get to a meaningful truth.

I am planning on, in the future, returning to Tolkien. I only read a few pages of fiction a day, if that, so I will still be with Kristin Lavransdatter for probably another six months at least, maybe more. Somewhere further, maybe a return to Dostoevsky, being one of my favorite authors, or Shakespeare.
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User Info: Kodiologist

Kodiologist
4 weeks ago#10
All right, makes sense.

I enjoyed The Hobbit, but I never really liked The Lord of the Rings, although I did eventually force myself to read the whole trilogy. I found it boring and pretentious.

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Have you ever stopped to think and forgotten to start again?
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