#16561

dimashq posted:

Anyone have any suggestions for some good fiction


try trotskyism

#16562
As others have mentioned here, the Iain M Banks Culture Series is pretty good. Engrossing and thoughtful without being dense.
#16563

dimashq posted:

Anyone have any suggestions for some good fiction/literature? I’m about to finish War and Peace and I can’t decide on what to read next. Lmk your favorite book, story, tale, or epic. Preferably not too long, I am almost done slogging thru 1300 pages of Tolstoy and want more digestible novels.

On the non fiction side of things I picked up Fanshen for like 50 cents at a used bookstore which was a steal.



reading The Auctioneer and it's good so far

#16564
recommended it to lgp a couple months ago but i really liked The Traitor Baru Cormorant and plan to read the next book when i have the chance
#16565
i think i put it on my kobo but i may have not due to being a scrotum
#16566
re:fiction, im feeling the bern.. thomas bernhard that is
#16567
just found all three books of kim stanley robinson's mars trilogy at a used book store. finally getting around to it after many recommendations. i just finished the years of rice and salt which was pretty great
#16568
the years of rice and salt is daft af in some places but its cool nonetheless. good choice TG. pls use the books for good purpose
#16569
I am reading Green Mars right now. I love Kim Stanley Robinson a lot, the Science in the Capitol trilogy is great too, as is Aurora. I actually think Aurora is the best book of his that I've read. I read Antarctica recently too which was a lot of fun.
#16570
same re: aurora
#16571
i read that caveman book of his which had a disquietly large amount of references to eating ones own shit and digging a small hole in the ground and fucking it
#16572
thx for the responses I’ll look into all these.
#16573
https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/noam-chomsky-and-the-compatible-left-part-i/ and https://lorenzoae.wordpress.com/2019/03/05/noam-chomsky-and-the-compatible-left-part-ii/ (part iii is about obama not chomsky)

i've seen chomsky twice, first time at occupy boston where he said something like 'never before has there been a movement for democracy like this' or whatever, and on the bus home, i repeated it to my gf, and this guy clearly coming home from work in like reflective clothing, he overheard and just starting naming movement after movement why chomsky was full of it. the second time was about palestine and i forget the context but from the audience somebody shouted "BDS!" and he went into why BDS was bad, actually. true to liberal form he hates everything politically effective and loves everything politically useless

Edited by toyotathon ()

#16574
Reading a book by the NYT reporter Harrison Salisbury called "Behind the Lines -- Hanoi." From 1967. His reporting caused a stir in the Pentagon and there's bits of bias and hedging, but there's a lot of interesting stuff about life under U.S. aerial bombardment and Vietnamese communist air-defense tactics. One thing is that the party armed practically the entire population with rifles and made a game out of shooting at aircraft. You'd be running errands or going to buy groceries with an SKS on your back; women in hair salons hearing the air-raid siren, and then grabbing their rifles and running out onto the rooftops to shoot at the sky. This was more successful than you might think at downing aircraft (they'd fly through a curtain of bullets), and also forced aircraft to a second and higher level where they'd get hit by longer-range heavy machine guns, forcing them to a third level where they'd get hit with flak cannons, and then finally to a fourth level where they'd get launched on by some pretty wicked and sophisticated surface-to-air missiles supplied by Moscow.

The Vietnamese also dispersed their fuel supplies throughout the countryside in drums because the U.S. would hit fuel stockpiles. If you were driving south in a truck full of supplies (at night, of course) and needed fuel, you'd just pull over and pick the nearest drum up. So like "oh there's a drum, and there's a drum over there, and another..."

Some reporters who got into the country and saw this assumed this meant the aerial campaign had disrupted the movement of supplies southwards. Like, oh gee, this is a total shambles and there's stuff lying all over the place, this bombardment must be really working! Then the Pentagon read these reports and concurred and kept on bombing. Mostly just hitting civilians, marketplaces, churches, textile factories, etc. etc. etc.

Edited by trakfactri ()

#16575
started reading the tucker edited marx engels reader (is it good)
also finally read caliban and the witch recently after years of knowing about it (it kicked my ass)
#16576
I'm thinking about becoming a big "anarchy of production" guy, and just spamming that phrase irl, in the fashion of the "fiat currency" people, anyone see any downsides to this?
#16577
reading "reading capital" and wondering when althusser stops being self-indulgent and starts being useful. i liked poulantzas and one thing i read by balibar was alright. when do the french stop being so fucking boring?
#16578
good shit i was reminded of by the early marx:

marx and engels considered 1 million years of tool use by anthropoid apes, 300,000 years of homo sapiens sapiens and 12,000 years of civilisation to all only be the prehistory of communism.

"what was inner light has become consuming flame turning outwards" (on philosophy trying to confront the world (while itself being a world apart; "in trying to make the world philosophical, philosophy becomes worldly")

"up to now the philosophers had the solution of all riddles lying in their lectern, and the stupid uninitiated world had only to open its jaws to let the roast partridges of absolute science fly into its mouth" (really good image)

"Then it will transpire that the world has long been dreaming of something that it can acquire if only it becomes conscious of it. It will transpire that it is not a matter of drawing a great dividing line between past and future, but of carrying out the thoughts of the past. And finally, it will transpire that mankind begins no new work, but consciously accomplishes its old work." (the continuity between marxism and earlier struggles against the state; made me think of caliban and the witch and also lipstick traces)

"democracy is to politics as christianity is to religion": 'the riddle solved', "deified man as a particular religion; socialised man as a particular constitution"; further: "Man does not exist for law, but the law exists for man" (reminded me of spinoza's 'tract')
#16579
"At those times when the state is most aware of itself, political life seeks to stifle its own prerequisites-civil society and its elements-and to establish itself as the genuine and harmonious species-life of man. But it can only achieve this end by setting itself in violent contradiction with its own conditions of existence, by declaring a permanent revolution."
#16580
read Black Easter by James Blish. it's about a 20th century where hired-gun demonology takes the place of celebrity astrology, and the story kicks off with someone putting out a supernatural hit on Ronald Reagan
#16581

red_dread posted:

reading "reading capital" and wondering when althusser stops being self-indulgent and starts being useful. i liked poulantzas and one thing i read by balibar was alright. when do the french stop being so fucking boring?



I'm reading Balibar's philosophy of Marx and it's mostly incomprehensible

#16582

tears posted:

Sagan countered these, correctly, with some objections:
1. even the most radiation hardened DNA based organism would suffer sufficient radiation damage in the journey. [and if i can add: thous any sort of space dwelling "thing" immune to radiation damage would be so alien to our understanding of life that it could not be the evolutionary orign of DNA-Life]
2.The idea of a sufficiently sized mass, with DNA based life, exiting one solar system and entering another then crash landing on a planet, is very implausible.

THus we are left only with one, simple, plausible hypothesis: aliens did it



Sagan also thought that was wrong, which is why he dispensed with it first before going on to discuss the stuff you reference

#16583

tears posted:

and in case anyone was wondering, biophoton emission is a real thing and it owns



you're citing a quack "alternative healing" journal that promotes junk science and has next to no standards for peer review

#16584

Belphegor posted:

I'm reading Balibar's philosophy of Marx and it's mostly incomprehensible


i only read one of balibar's political essays and it was kind of neat.

i got badiou's theory of the subject on a whim and i flip through it and it literally just looks like this



#16585

TG posted:

just found all three books of kim stanley robinson's mars trilogy at a used book store. finally getting around to it after many recommendations. i just finished the years of rice and salt which was pretty great



probably my favorite Robinson moment in recent years was when some bright-eyed thing from Bloomberg interviewed him about SpaceX and he was like, yeah, Elon Musk is full of shit and doesn't know what he's talking about.

I poked around on the Internet after that because something oblique in that interview made me wonder if SpaceX had stolen the Mars flag from Robinson's books, and I ran across a bunch of Musk's marks talking about the trilogy

I'm reading it right now, and altough I love everything mars, and I'm obsessed with it, Red Mars is not convincing me... It didn't hooked me.. sometimes I feel the relations that are taking place are not very realistic, like they chose the best people on the mission, they test them and observed them, and still when they get to mars, everybody is unhappy and angry at each other, they form independent groups, some want to break from earth, they don't even know if they should terraform or not! those things should've been planned long before they were sent there, it feels like they are improvising and making evertything as they go. Is this kind of thing that bothers me, maybe I'm too picky.. I'll defintetely finish it and see if I change my opinion.



It's not a chance, it will happen, and it's not taking place as a political drama like the books appear to be (I didn't read them). Basically - the internet is making it happen. The internet has made is possible for smart people to acquire huge sums of wealth, on the level that only government and captains of industry could do before. The former is tied up in endless politics and the latter are content to simply hoard wealth and to have useless trust fund babies. Those smart people in large-enough numbers want to act apolitically to accomplish goals that are straight out of science fiction. This was true but not entirely apparent up until now, but it will be directly true in the future as Elon wants to provide the planet with hi-speed satellite internet to directly fund the Mars colony.

Note that SpaceX and Tesla do not act like the dystopian megacorporations. They have very specific goals.



Captains of industry were typically incredibly smart people as well and many of them used their wealth to fund philanthropy in fields such as education, medicine, the arts, science and technology. People like Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, Hughes, and many others were doing exactly the same as Gates or Musk are doing today.

You don't obtain a fortune measured in hundreds of billions in modern money by being an idiot.



None of the men you mentioned were saints by any measure... Musk on the other hand, I think the worst you can say about him is that he is too driven by his work, and this has cost him personally in the form of 2 broken marriages... he expects the same degree of passion and commitment to achieving excellence from the people who are most closely involved with him, and people can end up hurt when they fail to measure up to his high standards.



like the books appear to be (I didn't read them) --catchphrase, tHE r H i z z o n E, 2019

#16586

red_dread posted:

i got badiou's theory of the subject on a whim and i flip through it



maybe you should try reading it instead of using it to aid a performance in front of other people about how you don't understand a page of it out of context. maybe you should combat liberalism

#16587

cars posted:

maybe you should try reading it instead of using it to aid a performance in front of other people about how you don't understand a page of it out of context. maybe you should combat liberalism


your first mistake was assuming i can read.

#16588
I struggle a lot with reading many philosophers, especially French ones. The non-cynical part of my brain knows it's my shortcoming though. Philosophy is hard enough to grasp before translation and when you add that filter on it only gets harder

Badiou has a set of plays for children called 'Ahmed the Philosopher' that are a collection of sketches that each illustrate an element of his work. Worth a look if you can't read.
#16589
Musk apparently also read Iain M Banks, to similarly dismal effect:

As a posthumous tribute to Iain Banks, aerospace manufacturer SpaceX named two of its autonomous spaceport drone ships after sentient star ships Just Read the Instructions and Of Course I Still Love You which first appeared in the novel The Player of Games.



Yes, I borrowed the names for the Hubris & Exploitation Co. rockets from the novel about a backwards society that barbarically clings to class, money, and gender domination, what of it?

#16590

cars posted:

tears posted:

and in case anyone was wondering, biophoton emission is a real thing and it owns

you're citing a quack "alternative healing" journal that promotes junk science and has next to no standards for peer review


thats a feature not a bug

#16591
I read Mao's On Practice and On Contradiction after seeing poster Scrree's post about it on the previous page. I wish I had read them sooner, especially On Contradiction! I've always considered my chemistry, physics, and ecology classes in university to be highly valuable additions to my political development, and I had a vague idea of how those things help the mind think about systems and processes in a different way. But of course those 5 big faces you see in the propaganda posters had already written about this long before I was born. It's the universality of contradiction that ties the natural and social sciences together. Particularity on the other hand is the reason it's so important not to conflate the two or you begin to veer into fascism.
#16592

littlegreenpills posted:

i read that caveman book of his which had a disquietly large amount of references to eating ones own shit and digging a small hole in the ground and fucking it



i actually first read a random book of his that the library had called 40 signs of rain. i think its the first of a series, but i also didnt like it very much. its from contemporary times (2004 i think?) and it had a bizarre amount of breastfeeding in it and the kid is like 2. it feels like if theyre old enough to ask for it (which the kid does) then theyre too old for it but i am childless so idk

#16593
if you like books about spaceships check out The Stars Are Legion. it takes place in this sort of run-down artificial ecosystem of biological ships/habitats crewed exclusively by women for a reason that makes perfect sense. its a thoughtful study on exploitation and the prose is great at making everything feel weird and greasy and hydraulic. A++
#16594
Finally getting into Afgantsy, turns out the best thing the Soviets ever did in Afghanistan was rid Kabul of hippies
#16595

Caesura109 posted:

Finally getting into Afgantsy, turns out the best thing the Soviets ever did in Afghanistan was rid Kabul of hippies


i once read a hippy book that had a bit in it about this guy who went to turkey and smoked weed and got arrested or something and basically acted like a martyr, and the general thrust of the book was that he was really cool and was fighting the man, but just by reading it you could tell that actually he was making a huge dickhead of himself and all the turks hated his guts and wanted him to leave. anyway i think of that book a lot whenever i hear about western hippies in the middle east or india or other 'exotic' places.

#16596

lo posted:

i once read a hippy book that had a bit in it about this guy who went to turkey and smoked weed and got arrested or something and basically acted like a martyr, and the general thrust of the book was that he was really cool and was fighting the man, but just by reading it you could tell that actually he was making a huge dickhead of himself and all the turks hated his guts and wanted him to leave. anyway i think of that book a lot whenever i hear about western hippies in the middle east or india or other 'exotic' places.



the midnight express?

#16597

sovnarkoman posted:

the midnight express?



the polar express?

#16598
i've been reading india waits by jan myrdal. it's a really good book about general india history and the naxalites(from an anti-revisionist perspective) up to around 1980 i think, i haven't finished it. then i ordered a bunch more of his books. i had report from a chinese peasant village for a while but haven't gotten around to reading it yet
#16599
reports from a chinese village has a lot of very useful instructions on how to carve a cave out of rock face to build houses, if you are interested in that.
#16600
note that this might have limited applicability outside of the geological formations of shaanxi province. will be interested to hear any readers reporting back on their experience.