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Mr. T Wants to know what you're currently getting from what you're reading!

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message 1: by Captain (new)

Captain (captainwaffles) | 3 comments Mod
What are you getting out of whatever you're currently reading? Find out some dope shit you didn't know? Had an idea or concept blow your mind? Post it here, I'll start:

On, A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell


On Chapter 16 now, it has so far been much like my history of philosophy class I took in my first semester of college. The first couple of chapters, much like the first couple of weeks in the class were not all that insightful or interesting. But once the book and the class got to Socrates, things get interesting.

Its not just about dudes trying to figure out how the world works and what its made of, but about how we conduct ourselves in the world and ethics in general. The chapter I'm on is about Plato and his ideas, I didn't know before today that Plato had some crazy class based society ideas like having only people of certain ages being allowed to breed and having a distinct manual labor class and so on.

Pray tell comrades, what is up with your reading?


message 2: by Ryan (new)

Ryan (ohoehrli) Right now I’m learning about life in the Continental Army and militias in the American Revolution. It’s pretty interesting. Smallpox was a big issue for Washington’s army as early as 1775. He dealt with it via inoculation—a common practice from the time where you inject pus from the disease into someone’s arm. This didn’t cure the disease, but it built some immunity to it that made it more tolerable. Middlekauff thinks this saved the army, which perhaps gives you some scope of how far-reaching smallpox was.

Also, Washington had smallpox in the 1750s.

American soldiers were notorious for deserting, and considering the conditions they had to put up with at times, I’m not sure I blame them. It was not uncommon for them to wear a single rag around their groins at camp, or to go without any shoes for long stretches. Congress scrapped together some departments to address this, but nothing changed. Given the closeness to home, it was fairly easy to slip off and not come back.

They also looted people’s houses for clothes, food and weapons.

The French navy, to some small degree, alleviated the stress of being short on supplies. It and American privateers made a business of ransacking British cargo ships. This was killing two birds with one stone—robbing the British and giving to the rebels.


message 3: by Nick (last edited Aug 01, 2018 12:15PM) (new)

Nick Patten | 1 comments Reading a self-helpy book about what the latest cognitive science has to say about studying to retain information in an attempt to make my next semester of law school less of a living hell. A lot of the advice is intuitive, but it is always nice to hear that science is backing some of what one is doing already. I will definitely be implementing a lot of the suggestions to my school study regimen (and probably nonfiction reading in general), such as reflection writing and self testing. Another helpful section describes the effectiveness of 'forgetting' in the short term, and how when you are learning something new it is extremely effective to study in short bursts of time, leave a small space (day or two) to reflect on what you have studied, and come back to it ... as opposed to say, reading materials over and over and then after achieving memorization, moving to the next topic. The spaced out method, according to the studies the book provides, is much more effective for crystallized knowledge, and a better understanding. Again, I think these are good practices that any nonfiction reader can utilize to become a better lifelong learner and to ensure they are not just glazing over material, easy to do when there is so much to learn!


message 4: by Bryce (new)

Bryce Greene (madkingbryce) | 1 comments Currently reading War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges. I'm On chapter 4 right now. Most of the book is full of truisms about war, and how it takes over a nation. He talks about how war often takes on a mythic form on either due to the fact that it becomes the main focus of a society. He denounces the evils that nationalism can unleash on a society when it fuels war.

He draws on his decades of experience as a war correspondent, and mostly talks about the Balkan crisis in the 90's. There are many specific stories that can be extrapolated into truisms that apply everywhere. Nothing in here is insanely new per se, but it is a focused examination of how the human spirit and society are morphed into something different and dangerous because of war.

He also quotes Shakespeare a whole lot, and it seems out of place, but I don't mind too much.


message 5: by Zach Campbell (last edited Aug 07, 2018 07:27PM) (new)

Zach Campbell | 1 comments Recently finished this short pamphlet (100 pages) of St. Clair's writing for Counterpunch, which covered Bernie's primary and up to the DNC called "Bernie and the Sandernistas." He is highly critical of Bernie, rightfully so most of the time, as a liberal and imperialist (though much softer than the right-wing hawk Clinton) and for not challenging the DNC on primary voting issues (think coin tosses, votes thrown out, etc.), on matters of war and imperialism, and of not *actually* activating his base. Although he comes off as smug.

Here's a quote:

"What might a real movement have done? If Sanders could turn 30,000 people out for a pep rally in Washington Square Park, why couldn’t he have had a flash mob demonstration mustering half that many fervent supporters to shut down Goldman Sachs for a day? If he could lure 20,000 Hipsters to the Rose Garden in Portland, why couldn’t he turn out 10,000 Sandernistas to bolster the picket lines of striking Verizon workers? If Sanders could draw 15,000 people in Austin, Texas, why couldn’t his movement bring 5,000 people to Huntsville to protest executions at the Texas death house? If Sanders could draw 18,000 people to a rally in Las Vegas, why couldn’t he just as easily have lead them in a protest at nearby Creech Air Force Base, the center of operations for US predator drones? Strike that. Sanders supports Obama’s killer drone program. My bad. But you get the point. Instead of being used as stage props, why hasn’t Sanders put his teaming crowds of eager Sandernistas to work doing the things that real movements do: blocking the sale of a foreclosed house in Baltimore, disrupting a fracking site in rural Pennsylvania, shutting down the entrance to the police torture chamber at Homan Square in Chicago for a day, intervening between San Diego cops and the homeless camp they seek to evict? Why? Because that’s not who Bernie Sanders is and that’s not what his movement is about. He’s willing to rock the neoliberal boat, but not sink it.

Ultimately, Bernie Sanders is a loyalist to liberalism. That’s why he voted for Bill Clinton’s racist Crime Bill. It’s why he voted twice to overthrow Saddam Hussein during Clinton time and endorsed a cruel sanctions regime that killed more than 400,000 innocent Iraqi kids. It’s why he backed the Clinton war on Serbia, voted for the AUMF that has been used to justify total and enduring war since 9/11, backed the Libyan intervention and, most crucially, pledged to support Hillary. So let’s dispense with this year of magical thinking and get back to work in the real war against neoliberalism in all its guises."

I used Play Books for this torrented book so I lost all of my highlights, which is really unfortunate. I'm also finishing this book "Confronting Empire," which is a book of interviews Eqbal Ahmad had with David Barsamian.


message 6: by Captain (new)

Captain (captainwaffles) | 3 comments Mod
without fail while I've been listening to fateful triangle every single session something makes me go what the fuck, play absolute brutality of Israel to the Palestinians and their own Arab minorities is nothing short of disgusting and shocking because it is so prevalent in our mainstream culture that at the very least there is an even war going on, but the reality is closer to Goliath and David if David were a tiny Mouse and Goliath were a planet-sized entity constantly torturing and prodding David with a shocking and appalling level of force.


message 7: by Captain (new)

Captain (captainwaffles) | 3 comments Mod
for example what I just heard that made me go what the fuck was that an Israeli soldier who killed 47 Arabs, was sentenced to a year in prison which was the longest sentence at the time. he then went on to become an official on Arab foreign affairs.


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