For non western readers, it is overwhelming and difficult to understand the context of American Revolution era books that inspired many common folk ofFor non western readers, it is overwhelming and difficult to understand the context of American Revolution era books that inspired many common folk of that time to rebel against British Crown. Whenever we, the non westerners, want to understand the origin of U.S.A, Thomas Paine's works are cited as go to material. It turns out, he has a tremendous influence on French Revolution too.
The issue is to understand the context. It is always pretty difficult to read old texts without the knowledge of the society at that time. Hitchen's did a fantastic job to provide this context in a spectacular manner. Though I am disappointed at the lack of (both kinds of) Indian perspective , the nitty gritty details of seemingly irrelevant historical details in this book will make up for that.
If history has to pick just one person to give credit for the secular nature of U.S Constitution, it would pick Thomas Paine and Hitchens did a excellent job with this biography. A must read for history enthusiasts. ...more
A very insightful book that threw light on the key judicial decisions that made the US what it is today. This 90 year old retired judge suggests six aA very insightful book that threw light on the key judicial decisions that made the US what it is today. This 90 year old retired judge suggests six amendments to US constitution that ensures less ambiguity in legislation. He rightly pointed out how the existing ambiguity makes the appointment of Judges a partisan affair where both parties try to control the ideology of the Judicial bench.
If you are too lazy, you can just read the six amendments instead :P ...more
"we must recognize that we do not have a two-party system in this country; we have one party, the Big Government Party. There is a Republican version
"we must recognize that we do not have a two-party system in this country; we have one party, the Big Government Party. There is a Republican version that assaults our civil liberties and loves deficits and war, and a Democratic version that assaults our commercial liberties and loves wealth transfers and taxes."
Based on the title, this book is supposed to be under "conspiracy theories" section. Unfortunately, this belongs to the "History" section.
Usually, scientific community abandons a hypothesis if it finds empirical evidence against the hypothesis. Sadly, "More Government would be better for humanity" hypothesis refuses to die despite empirical evidence against it, even among the self proclaimed rationalists and intelligent people.
There is a moral obligation on everyone of us to not support oppressive, regressive ideas. This book makes an excellent moral case against the idea of excessive government power. It does this by demonstrating through first principles of how governments create a problem (ex: financial crisis) with unreasonable laws (forcing banks to give loans to people who cant pay) and eventually blames capitalism/free market for the woes of the people.
The brilliance of this book is that it will definitely make even the hardcore government regulation advocate to think twice before supporting a law. That is sufficient for now :) ...more
This narrative is a perfect example of how even though facts are out in the public, we wont usually connect the dots to realize the lies peddled to usThis narrative is a perfect example of how even though facts are out in the public, we wont usually connect the dots to realize the lies peddled to us by organized cults. It would have taken immense effort to collect all the facts mentioned in the book. Connecting the dots is the easiest thing.
A systematic annihilation of the myth "most of secular scientific knowledge has originated in Greece". It is the single biggest crime committed against human psych by current secular educators. Many of us would have had a feeling that it is a myth. We can even see the means and opportunity of the church to carry out such a crime through its "world class" universities. After all, even during the age of Internet, authorities get away with lying for several years before truth is uncovered. So it must be very easy in medieval times. The challenge is not finding the means and opportunity. The challenge is finding a motive. You can't really charge them guilty without it. This book provides exactly that, the motive: Why is it necessary for a systematic myth building about origin of knowledge in Greece? What is the necessity for the church(priests to be precise) to start such a myth?
This book is more enlightening to an honest Christian who believes in the doctrine of love but is shocked by doctrine of sin used by Church throughout history to oppress people.
In spirit of following the author's advice in the epilogue, the best way to read the book is to check every fact mentioned by the author after each chapter.
As for those young people who are victims of these biases, get rid of those biases even if they are forced on you by your parents and teachers. A simple way to do so is to ask questions. If the answers sound like story-telling, used to preserve lies, you know what trick is at work. Remember, they can’t capture your mind without your consent. Don’t give that consent: keep asking questions, and see how those stories fall apart.
Many of the self proclaimed rationalists, skeptics, atheists have this habit of scrutinizing every aspect of the traditions and beliefs systems they aMany of the self proclaimed rationalists, skeptics, atheists have this habit of scrutinizing every aspect of the traditions and beliefs systems they are born into. This is a good thing.
The trouble is when these people form their own belief systems and don't even realize that they have their own rituals that almost mimic the traditions they are scrutinizing, mocking and rebelling against.
If you have even the slightest doubt that you are one such person, like I realized some time back, this is the book for you. Don't worry. This is not one those silly books that says "science is wrong, it cant explain many things so faith in God is necessary" type books. It is understandable if you have such first impression about the book after reading a few paras.
This book is written by C. K . Raju to explain the problems with the belief system most westernized minds have. It explains how theological our scientific practices are. Every scientific experiment that was performed in 20th century is to improve a technology never to actually find the truth about the universe. It explains how Technology is inherently interlinked to your theological assumptions.
It explains how we failed to recognize that mathematics is just another human invented language, just more expressive than other languages, and regularly fool ourselves into believing that it is some sort of universal language. It explains how all the paradoxes that celebrity scientists flaunt to show off coolness of science are not paradoxes but our inability to delink theological assumptions while finding truth (if it is findable) about the universe (another silly assumption).
This book rips apart the concept of universal logic. I can go on and on. My point being: this book is a must read for everyone who thinks they are rational and whose understanding of our world is through proclamations made by scientists. ...more
Science is boring work. Most scientific discoveries are a result of doing boring tasks meticulously. Since finding the true picture of Universe requirScience is boring work. Most scientific discoveries are a result of doing boring tasks meticulously. Since finding the true picture of Universe requires such laborious work, it is unfair to expect an average human to spend so much time, which is a luxury for many, to properly understand scientific discoveries.
However, the urge to know what is happening in the Universe is strong in every human. Due to lack of time, many will take comfort in lazy explanations. Attention Span is a major impediment.
So how do you communicate the scientific discoveries to laypeople? Talk in their own linguistic style. Once the people are connected and are familiar with the basic terms of the scientific theory, their own curiosity will drive them to read advanced books in that area, hopefully.
And this is preciously what Leonard Susskind has done. Written in style of a travelogue/auto biography/human stories, this physicist from Stanford, tried to explain both Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics in order to describe the Information Paradox and how the Physicists finally solved the paradox.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who are confident about their high school physics knowledge. Even if you didn't understand the solution to the paradox, the analogies that were used to explain the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics are very useful for further study or just appreciate the complexity.
The war metaphors are what makes this book interesting. I certainly started reading the book only because I saw a chapter named "Battle of Santa Barbara" and decided to see what a battle means in Scientific Community :) ...more
The author is attempting to challenge the very notion "that institutions based on Western Philosophy are the solution to world's problems". Though somThe author is attempting to challenge the very notion "that institutions based on Western Philosophy are the solution to world's problems". Though some Westernized Indians know that there is a huge problem with the western solutions to the world problem, we are not sure about the exact cause of these problems.
To explain that he first needed to explain the origin of Western Universalism framework and interpret it in terms of Indic Philosophical (or Dharmic philosopical) perspective. This was done brilliantly. Being a moderately westernized Indian, I have some trouble to understand the full depth of the Indian Philosophical overview he provides in this book. It will take some time for me to sink in views he presented. As he suggested, I may have to master the sanskrit language in order to fully appreciate his views.
Nevertheless a great read for those who are interested in "connecting the dots" of various aspects of society (politics, economics, science etc )....more