Rate the last book you read Page 40

  • AceGrace 23 Oct 2013 15:19:32 3,190 posts
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    I Partridge 8/10

    Read it over a year ago.
  • Deleted user 23 October 2013 22:51:34
    Audiobook? FWB recommended it two Christmases ago and I've still not listened to it.
  • DrStrangelove 24 Oct 2013 00:05:26 12,308 posts
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    Robert Trivers: Deceit and Self-Deception: Fooling Yourself the Better to Fool Other


    Evolutionary/sociobiologist view on the omnipresent animal and human inclination to believe what is untrue even against own actual knowledge.

    The fundamental issue, he argues, is that consciously lying is difficult, and easy for others/rivals/followers to suss. But if you actually believe in something, you are far more convincing--because technically you're not lying--and hence there seem to be fundamental instinctive mechanics to fool ourselves, even if by experience/logic/common sense we should know better.

    He then goes on to apply that to lots of examples in animals and humans, religion, politics, pseudo-science and especially our everyday life, explaining the benefits (mostly in nature) and the dangers (mostly in civilisation, thanks to its changed circumstances). It's a medium-sized book, but Trivers seems to be a very fast thinker, so you sometimes may find it hard to follow his lines of thought, but that means there's a lot of information per page.

    Why I don't give a 10: sometimes he seems to be too fast for his own good, and not self-critical enough to question his own interpretations of certain human matters. For example, he dismisses psychoanalysis as pseudo-science by equating it with Freud's views, even though in today's psychoanalysis Freud is much-criticised and considered outdated, and few psychoanalysts would call it science anyway.

    Another niggle is that when he comes to the topic of Israel and its "politics" against Arabs in general and Palestinians in particular, he loses himself a bit and rants against Israel rather than linking it to the topic at hand, even though you may agree with his views.

    All in all, taken with a pinch of salt and some healthy scepticism, a very interesting and enriching read.
  • chopsen 24 Oct 2013 00:08:48 19,993 posts
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    DrStrangelove wrote:
    and not self-critical enough to question his own interpretations of certain human matters.
    Fitting, given the subject matter ;)

    Psychonalysis is a load of bollocks though.
  • DrStrangelove 24 Oct 2013 00:20:23 12,308 posts
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    Chopsen wrote:
    DrStrangelove wrote:
    and not self-critical enough to question his own interpretations of certain human matters.
    Fitting, given the subject matter ;)

    Psychonalysis is a load of bollocks though.
    Same thought about the self-criticism, and although he's self-critical in many examples, it's almost impossible (and maybe not even desirable) to destroy each and every own self-deception.

    I disagree about psychoanalysis though, there's loads of rubbish going on there, with lots of black sheep, but it's not all rubbish. And you can say the same about psychiatry, which actually calls itself science.

    Psychonalasys, if understood as a deep/intense form of psychotherapy, certainly has its place. If executed by the right people.

    Edited by DrStrangelove at 00:24:40 24-10-2013
  • Deleted user 24 October 2013 00:24:04
    Science grounded in statistical averages is never going to reach absolutes.
  • DrStrangelove 24 Oct 2013 00:25:31 12,308 posts
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    Striving to reach absolutes is absolutely futile though. Absolutes are a matter of metaphysics, which is almost all bullcrap. Statistical evidence is far from perfect, but it's the best we have.

    Edited by DrStrangelove at 00:26:49 24-10-2013
  • Deleted user 24 October 2013 00:31:53
    yeah I guess so, but the evidence with regards to psychiatry is tainted by a million different variables.

    Still, point taken, the more data we have, the closer to reality we get.

    It's just irritating that the champions of the state of the art are so cock sure of a massively fallible science.
  • DrStrangelove 24 Oct 2013 00:59:10 12,308 posts
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    The problem with psychiatry is 1) that it has a very questionable history to say the least, and 2) from my own experience, there's loads of simsalabim going on even today. Science generally tends to be biased too, and the more complicated the matter (psychiatry is hugely complicated, as you said), the more inclined it is to believe in witchcraft.

    Good psychiatrists are aware of that and sceptical about their own division, as are good therapists/analysts/scientists/whatever.

    It's funny if you watch TV documentaries of physics, they tend to interview many over-excited popular "top" physicists who repeatedly say something like "I want to believe it, because it's such a beautiful idea". And physics is biased too, because like any other science, it relies on producing results that convince the investor (often the state) to give them more money.

    A branch of philosophy and even science itself deals with the issue of the fallibility of science, but then again, most of philosophy is rubbish too, especially all those over-confident cocky Kants.

    In the end, we know very little, but self-deception demands that we believe to know more than we actually do (that's no finding I took from the book).
  • Deleted user 24 October 2013 01:02:41
    Yeah good post.
  • senso-ji 30 Oct 2013 16:19:21 8,278 posts
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    The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

    Sensuality is the main theme here as Carter re-tells the classic fairy tails for a more adult audience.

    This was a brilliant collection of short stories. Most of the stories revolve around young women and their sexual awakenings, but these characters are very strong and challenge the cliche of the damsel in distress found in the traditional stories. Carter's poetic prose just added to the enchanting nature of the stories, and was a joy to read. My only complaint is that there weren't enough (although I get the feeling that was the point).

  • Deleted user 5 November 2013 14:56:00
    Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world , Murakami

    Didn't enjoy this that much. It started of vibrantly, but all the things that i enjoy Murakami for , his characters, off beat comedy (there were a few bits though), situations and his quite personal story telling of early adulthood weren't really here.

    The middle parts, really merandered, and i lost all interest in a promising start, although its closing chapters i felt it started to redeem it self , but it didn;t have enough pay off for a stodgy middle part.

    The whole thing felt a little to convoluted and forced, from its set up to the idea of a planted mind, and then into the subconcious... i was never really that interested in the whole thing.

  • Tonka 6 Nov 2013 06:53:33 27,658 posts
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    Steampunk meets zombie apocalypse. What can go wrong? Well, loads aparently.

    It starts out really well. The world is fascinating and the author sets the stage in a great way. Then it falls into a pattern of
    "Protagonist enters safe place. OMG ZOMBIES RUUUN!" that become old real quick. Shame. The first chase was really good and exciting. Then it's as if the author doesn't trust the strength of the world but falls back on this one pony over and over.

    It also does the cardinal sin of having a character with a past shrouded in mystery that she just won't share in order to build up that mystery.

    "Why are you so sure?"
    "Trust me I am"
    "How can you know?"
    "I do. There are things I haven't told you."

    Fuck. Me.

    But still. There is something about the whole steampunk thing I really like. I had high hopes for this but it ends up being a book for fans of the genre instead of one that could create new fans.
  • Salaman 6 Nov 2013 10:31:59 23,035 posts
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    1356, by Bernard Cornwell.

    I read "The Fort" and "Agincourt" by him. Cool approach of setting a fictional character and his back story against the backdrop of real historic event. After having read Agincourt though, the many repeats of how an English war bow was made and how hard it is to shoot and how long it takes to train to learn to shoot one, etc started grating a bit.
  • spindle9988 7 Nov 2013 17:53:21 4,702 posts
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    Just finished Enders game which I really enjoyed. Has anyone read the rest of the series, if so, what is it like?
  • phAge 7 Nov 2013 20:03:04 25,487 posts
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    Yeah, I got that last year in London. Good read, although I don't remember much of it except "deceiving yourself makes sense in a biological kind of way".
  • senso-ji 13 Nov 2013 15:10:04 8,278 posts
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    Crash by Guy Haley

    Science fiction story set in the near future which pits the 1% vs the 99%.

    This was interesting and more entertaining than I thought it would be. The author manages to introduce politics, economics and social commentary within a traditional sci-fi setting involving space travel, aliens and gun battles. And he does it well, for the most part. There were some plot holes and IMO the ending didn't do the premise justice, but overall I recommend this, especially if you prefer soft science fiction stories.

  • Tom_Servo 13 Nov 2013 15:27:01 18,079 posts
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    The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman

    An absolute riot of a book. I'd thoroughly recommend it, I enjoyed it from start to finish. It's like a mixture of romance, noir, sci-fi, comedy, and thriller.

    The book follows Egon Loeser, a German theatre set designer in 1930s Berlin (and also "total prick"), as he hops around the globe in pursuit of the woman he lusts after, Adele Hitler (no relation to you-know-who). Hilarity ensues.
  • Telepathic.Geometry 14 Nov 2013 11:35:03 12,422 posts
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    Sorry for temporarily hijacking this thread for a comic question, but maybe some of you used to read 2000 AD back in the day.

    Does anyone remember a comic that occasionally ran in 2000AD that was really trippy, and had a gorgeous weird painted style, and if i remember was something like in the dreamworld, or some other dimension or something?

    I've been going back to read Rogue Trooper, Judge Dredd, ABC warriors and Nemesis recently, and I just can't find or remember the name of this one. I know for a fact that there's a stack of them back in Galway, Ireland somewhere. >_
  • glaeken 18 Nov 2013 11:08:35 11,893 posts
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    This Perfect day by Ira Levin - Like a combination of Brave new world, We and 1984. It's does not really tread any new ground of its own but it's very well executed and a good read. If you like dystopian future books it's well worth a look.
  • localnotail 18 Nov 2013 14:12:59 23,072 posts
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    @Telepathic.Geometry That might be Storming Heaven.
  • neil74 18 Nov 2013 17:39:02 2,310 posts
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    Lee Child - The visitor.

    8/10 I am reading his books in order and IMO this is the best one so far.

    Halo - The fall of reach

    7/10 Never really read sci-fi but I did quite enjoy it. I have also just started the flood but have stopped as it so far just seems to be the story of Halo 1 which I kind of already know :)
  • Telepathic.Geometry 19 Nov 2013 02:16:10 12,422 posts
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    @localnotail Cheers local, I'll check it out when I get home. Sounds about right, but from memory I remember there only be one main character, and the world looking like a gold-washed psychadelia, so this might not be the one. Still, looks like good shit anyway, so I'll give it a shot. :)
  • speedofthepuma 19 Nov 2013 04:17:00 13,418 posts
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    spindle9988 wrote:
    Just finished Enders game which I really enjoyed. Has anyone read the rest of the series, if so, what is it like?
    Sorry, only just read this. I loved Speaker for the Dead, but it is a fantastic change of pace and could annoy some people I think, in no way is it more of the same.

    I haven't managed to get in the third one (although reports I read aren't flattering), and I'm not that bothered about the stuff that doesn't involve Ender directly.
  • Deleted user 22 November 2013 12:45:10
    The spy who came in from the cold - John Le Carre

    Enjoyed this immensely. A really tight, well written book that has a pretty well drawn conclusion (if maybe a bit spelt out for you - even so , you do start to ask questions of your own before its damning statements are landed)

    Superb, don't really wawnt to go into much detail, as i will likely bore you, but also its not to be ruined!

  • Rhaegyr 22 Nov 2013 13:06:01 4,298 posts
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    Have you read any other Le Carre books?

    I read The Constant Gardener on someone else's recommendation and found it to be quite tedious; if so, how does this stack up against it?
  • Deleted user 22 November 2013 13:19:48

    This was the first Le Carre book i have read. I can't remember what the film was like (constant gardner) so can't even stack it up against that.

    This is the product description: The Cold War is at its most chill. Alec Leamas, a seasoned British Intelligence officer whose entire East German network has been arrested or shot, leaves West Berlin for London, believing his career is over. But his master, Control, knows that Leamas is good for a last mission: one that will allow him to take his revenge on the ruthless East German counterintelligence chief who has killed or imprisoned his agents. And lurking discreetly in the background, George Smiley will be pulling the operational strings.

    It follows Lemas, basically, but you not sure what is going on, till the end, but its fascinating, and you start to get a feel for the spy game. Its very vivid, and wonderfully brought to life.
  • Rhaegyr 22 Nov 2013 13:32:49 4,298 posts
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    You've sold me on it :)

    Thanks for the description - sounds like a great read.
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