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Old July 1 2013, 03:29 PM   #541
Kolinahr
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Re: What are you reading?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
^^ You're right, it's definitely an oversimplification. Reason is vital, of course, but it's not what stands between us and chaos-- the animal kingdom is not chaotic, merely animalistic. Many of the qualities we consider noble-- love, sympathy, loyalty, compassion-- are present in mammals generally (and other classes as well). What really defines Humanity are the arts and sciences.
What about history? Does that also distinguish Humans from other animals? We do, after all, learn from the past if we take the time to sit down and listen.
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Old July 1 2013, 04:45 PM   #542
HaventGotALife
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Re: What are you reading?

Kolinahr wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
^^ You're right, it's definitely an oversimplification. Reason is vital, of course, but it's not what stands between us and chaos-- the animal kingdom is not chaotic, merely animalistic. Many of the qualities we consider noble-- love, sympathy, loyalty, compassion-- are present in mammals generally (and other classes as well). What really defines Humanity are the arts and sciences.
What about history? Does that also distinguish Humans from other animals? We do, after all, learn from the past if we take the time to sit down and listen.
Histories are very important. From technical manuals that keep technology growing to blueprints for buildings, to religious documents--all is meant to share with a wider range of audiences than our own circle, and possibly, to teach the next generation.

However, I would classify language as more important before that. Most animals communicate, but rarely do they have symbols and abstractions that can be applied in new and seemingly unlimited ways. That's our most important tool, but it is still a tool. We have a language center of the brain and if it's disturbed, we lose our ability to communicate. But that area in people who are deaf, morphs into something else when language is not available. It resolves conflicts, it communicates ideas and concepts, our nuance. And basic understanding of language, allows us to move into higher thinking centers of the brain when we become adults. It is how we are able to share ideas right now on this message board.

Each word carries with it a general concept, it has to stay general in order for it to be applied to more than one situation, and it has to apply to more than one situation in order for it to mean something when it is shared. I say "I am sitting in a chair." You have never seen me, but you know the position of my body, the concept of I (HaventGotALife), chair, sit are contained in that sentence. The concept of present-tense (what I am doing at the time of this post), is also present because I didn't say "sat." It's simple to us, a sentence like that. But it wasn't always. And we continue to learn and grow from those simple concepts in language, to more complex material and more obscure concepts. The more we are a master of language, the more precise we can be in our communication, sharing ideas, and possibly re-shaping the world.

Anyway, this is WAAY off topic, and if you want to continue this discussion, I think we need to start another thread.
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Old July 1 2013, 11:26 PM   #543
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Re: What are you reading?

Both of those observations are true, but history is a science and language is a technology (i.e. applied science), and both can be art forms. And, yeah, it probably should be another thread.
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Old July 2 2013, 01:42 PM   #544
Kolinahr
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Re: What are you reading?

To get back on topic, I'm reading The New Orleans Voodoo Handbook. It's an interesting read if you enjoy learning about both the history and components of religion. I'm having a good deal of fun with it.
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Old July 2 2013, 01:52 PM   #545
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Re: What are you reading?

Just finished Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant and considering which one to read next... Unseen Academicals is the one I think... I 'discovered' Pratchett relatively late in life so there's a lot of Discworld I still haven't read
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Old July 2 2013, 02:02 PM   #546
Kolinahr
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Re: What are you reading?

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
Just finished Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant and considering which one to read next... Unseen Academicals is the one I think... I 'discovered' Pratchett relatively late in life so there's a lot of Discworld I still haven't read
What is the whole Discworld series about? I've heard of it but I don't understand.
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Old July 2 2013, 02:14 PM   #547
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Re: What are you reading?

Kolinahr wrote: View Post
trekkiedane wrote: View Post
Just finished Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant and considering which one to read next... Unseen Academicals is the one I think... I 'discovered' Pratchett relatively late in life so there's a lot of Discworld I still haven't read
What is the whole Discworld series about? I've heard of it but I don't understand.
Wikipedia: Discworld.

But, that's a very long article

Basically, though, the Discworld series are fantasy stories that happen in a medieval/renaissance'ish world where everything we, here on Earth, would call folklore is reality -with a twist.

Magic is real and treated like any other scholarly subject, Dwarves live underground in their mines, Death is a cloaked skeleton with a scythe (he's one of my favourite characters), vampires go to meetings and learn a twelve-step program, 'Rock-music' is about banging rocks together (something trolls are good at )...

any help?


Basically: pick up any Discworld novel and read a couple of random pages... either you're hooked or you'll know it's not for you!
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Old July 2 2013, 02:22 PM   #548
Kolinahr
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Re: What are you reading?

Thanks, trekkiedane I appreciate it. I'll definitely give those a try.
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Old July 2 2013, 02:22 PM   #549
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Re: What are you reading?

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
Kolinahr wrote: View Post
trekkiedane wrote: View Post
Just finished Pratchett's The Fifth Elephant and considering which one to read next... Unseen Academicals is the one I think... I 'discovered' Pratchett relatively late in life so there's a lot of Discworld I still haven't read
What is the whole Discworld series about? I've heard of it but I don't understand.
Wikipedia: Discworld.

But, that's a very long article

Basically, though, the Discworld series are fantasy stories that happen in a medieval/renaissance'ish world where everything we, here on Earth, would call folklore is reality -with a twist.

Magic is real and treated like any other scholarly subject, Dwarves live underground in their mines, Death is a cloaked skeleton with a scythe (he's one of my favourite characters), vampires go to meetings and learn a twelve-step program, 'Rock-music' is about banging rocks together (something trolls are good at )...

any help?


Basically: pick up any Discworld novel and read a couple of random pages... either you're hooked or you'll know it's not for you!
That actually sounds something I could get into. I will have to try that. The rock music reference kind of reminds me of the Xanth novel series which I really enjoyed back in my youth .
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Old July 2 2013, 02:32 PM   #550
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Re: What are you reading?

^Do, however, notice that the novels are quite British in nature. I've heard people exclaim that they can't really get into them because of it; the humour and cultural references might be (if there indeed is such a thing) too British for some

U'r welcome Kolinahr
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Old July 2 2013, 02:43 PM   #551
Kolinahr
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Re: What are you reading?

Being a fan of Sherlock and Dr. Who (less so the latter, but oh well) makes Discworld sound even more appealing now. British humor
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Old July 2 2013, 03:01 PM   #552
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Re: What are you reading?

trekkiedane wrote: View Post
^Do, however, notice that the novels are quite British in nature. I've heard people exclaim that they can't really get into them because of it; the humour and cultural references might be (if there indeed is such a thing) too British for some

That won't be a problem for me at all. I watch so many British TV series (love them), plus I am German , born and raised.
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Old July 2 2013, 03:06 PM   #553
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Re: What are you reading?

Snowlilly wrote: View Post
plus I am German , born and raised.
You'll love some of the Überwald (country on the Discworld) references then
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Old July 2 2013, 03:18 PM   #554
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Re: What are you reading?

I'm reading...City...by Clifford Simak...

Thank you SO much, trekkiedane...
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Old July 2 2013, 03:26 PM   #555
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Re: What are you reading?

^U'r welcome

I haven't read the story, I got the book for in the first place, yet -but I've started!
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