Posted 2/8/2013 15:39 #243254 - in reply to #243253 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
A 'business venture' scam invented by L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer who turned it into a 'religion' (cult, really) to avoid being taxed by the IRS. How they got the IRS to concede that it WAS a religion is a story all in itself! If you want to know how they did it, look up the video showing nutcase Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis turning respected BBC reporter John Sweeney into a screaming lunatic!
Posted 29/8/2013 11:48 #243782 - in reply to #96537 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
I was reading 'The Myth of Independence' by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto last. A very detailed, meticulous account of how Third World countries get sucked into this vicious cycle in the global game of World Powers, and in turn lose their sovereignty in the literal sense. Also gives a roadmap to the developing world in dealing with heavyweight powers and hegemons.
Currently, I'm reading 'The Prince' by Machiavelli.
Posted 5/9/2013 05:19 #243975 - in reply to #96537 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
I'm beginning to read Destiny Disrupted by Tamim Ansary - it is mainly a historical account of the Islamic world, and how everything got to be complicated. With the Syrian crisis impending, I thought it was time for me to be more knowledgeable in the history of Islam, besides the sometimes superficial and bias accounts that the news portray.
Posted 22/12/2013 04:11 #245642 - in reply to #96537 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
Been reading a lot of stuff lately on the Lavaterian model of physiognomy. I think what astonishes me most is that in all of the renderings only a fraction of them are of non-white persons. The inference seems to be that everyone else is savage, and that savagery has only one "face."
Over the past six months I've also learned a considerable amount about phrenology and polygenesis, two often interrelated pseudosciences of 19th century America. Both served the very distinctive purpose of attempting to rationalize new realities of power: Native Removal in the 1830s and 1840s, and certainly slavery leading up to the Civil War.
Fortunately Darwin debunked the lot of them, though I guess it's safe to say he pissed off a few others in the process ;-)
For a different project I've been learning a lot about the cultural history of sleep in Britain between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. My general theory is that we see a gradual shift in beliefs about the purpose of sleep. During the Renaissance, for instance, sleep was viewed as a way to access knowledge otherwise out of reach during a waking consciousness. With the influx of caffeinated consumables like coffee and later tea, sleep began to be associated with idleness. The 18th century also produced a number of famous insomniacs, most notably Samuel Johnson. There are plenty of other factors that play a role in this shift, but anyway, this isn't the space for such discussions.
And my junk food for the Christmas break: Stephen King's 11/22/63. Quite a fun read so far.
Posted 22/12/2013 23:58 #245651 - in reply to #245647 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
Ah yes, sorry about that Merlin. It's good to be back.
The shit hit the fan, as you may recall, and it continued to do so after our last exchange. Not my greatest year--but I've been feeling a glimmer of optimism, had a little spare time once again, and thought I'd check in.
Posted 24/12/2013 02:16 #245669 - in reply to #245651 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
I'm currently waiting on 5 books to be delivered via Amazon but the Christmas period has caused a bit of delay.
Three of them are from Raymond E Fiest's famous Riftwar saga and I didn't have access to his writing when I was back home. His books are a must read for any Fantasy enthusiast.
One of the books is "20 years with Brian Clough", written by Nottingham journalist and close friend of Mr Clough, Duncan Hamilton. I'm hoping it will provide some insight into the man behind the charismatic quotes, as well as touching upon the secrets to his amazing achievements at Forest. I'll get back to you when I'm done reading it.
Posted 25/12/2013 18:07 #245696 - in reply to #96537 Subject: RE: What are you currently reading?
Having read a book on Barcelona FC...a present from maka4chelsea...I'm now at the end of Ken Follett's 'Winter of the World'.
'Katherine of Aragon...the tragic story of Henry VIII's first unfortunate wife' by Patrick Williams awaits in the wings.
Posted 5/1/2014 08:29 #245835 - in reply to #96537 Subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Since I am a politics student after all, and have read countless biographies etc, one which I never paid much attention to was Margaret Thatcher's autobiography, 'The Downing Street Years'.
Just recently started off with that. As a student, she remains one fascinating character in world politics, and I've always known how ambivalent feelings towards her have been, it was only after I arrived here in England to study did I realise how truly divisive a politician she was!