What are you reading?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Snowlilly, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. Kolinahr

    Kolinahr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  2. HaventGotALife

    HaventGotALife Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    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.
     
  3. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    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. :rommie:
     
  4. Kolinahr

    Kolinahr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  5. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    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 :)
     
  6. Kolinahr

    Kolinahr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    What is the whole Discworld series about? I've heard of it but I don't understand.
     
  7. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    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 :p )...

    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!
     
  8. Kolinahr

    Kolinahr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Thanks, trekkiedane :) I appreciate it. I'll definitely give those a try.
     
  9. Snowlilly

    Snowlilly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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 :).
     
  10. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    ^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 :)
     
  11. Kolinahr

    Kolinahr Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Being a fan of Sherlock and Dr. Who (less so the latter, but oh well) makes Discworld sound even more appealing now. British humor :)
     
  12. Snowlilly

    Snowlilly Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  13. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    You'll love some of the Überwald (country on the Discworld) references then :lol:
     
  14. Ghost07

    Ghost07 Vice Admiral Admiral

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

    Thank you SO much, trekkiedane...:D
     
  15. trekkiedane

    trekkiedane Admiral Admiral

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    ^U'r welcome :)

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

    Tom Hendricks There's a- a peck here with an acorn pointed at me Premium Member

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    I finished A Storm of Swords earlier today, I can't put into words how great it was. I wish I started reading these earlier. I downloaded A Feast of Crows on my iPad but I'm not sure if I'm gonna start it right away. I have books I have pushed back to read these, Mike Piazza and Ron Darlings Auto-Biographies and a few novels. However I can hear the Songs of Fire and Ice calling to me.
     
  17. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken Little three legged cat with attitude Premium Member

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    I finished the before mentioned In Our Hearts We Were Giants last night. It was a moving story of a truly loving and close-knit family who had to cope with terrible circumstances. Tears came to my eyes several times.

    Today I started on Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry.
     
  18. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I finished The Arena Man and The Library, and am now starting a beta-read on another friend's novel called Time Immemorial.
     
  19. Retu

    Retu Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    I'm currently reading Game of Thrones. I'm almost at the end of the book.

    I also started reading Hyökkäys auringosta (Attack from the sun). It's a biography of Eino Luukkanen, a Knight of the Mannerheim Cross. He was a fighter pilot during the Winter War and the Continuation War.
     
  20. TorontoTrekker

    TorontoTrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I finished The Stars My Destination last weekend - I came away from it thinking that it was very much a story of its time, albeit with more female characters than your average 1950s space opera.

    Having finally gotten through Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy a few months ago, I decided to try reading another trilogy that I'd previously put down partway through - Stephen Baxter's Manifold trilogy (Manifold: Space, Manifold: Time, and Manifold: Origin). I think the problem I'd previously had was that I wasn't spending a whole lot of time reading for pleasure, and so they were hard to get into. Nowadays, I have about half an hour every morning on the bus when all I have to do is read, so I'm finding it easier this time.

    I'm still accumulating new books faster than I can read them, though - on Monday I picked up the latest Charlie Stross Laundry novel, and Life on the Preservation, by Jack Skillingstead. At the rate I'm going, I'm never going to finish everything on my shelf.