Page 2 of 2

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: August 22nd, 2018, 8:33 pm
by Jjm3233
Broken Homes the PC Peter Grant series.

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: March 1st, 2019, 4:16 am
by Lord Tesla
Sopwith Camel, Air Vanguard #3, by Jon Guttman.

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: March 20th, 2019, 7:30 pm
by Lord Tesla
Heredity: A Very Short Introduction.

What a useless, steaming pile of ideological nitwittery.

What I was after was a refresher on the mechanics of hereditary in organisms; what I got was a lot of bilge about race, class and gender.

Ugh.

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: July 24th, 2019, 3:42 pm
by Lord Tesla
The History in English Words by Owen Barfield.

Expect to wrap up on the Sailor on the Seas of Fate this afternoon.

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: July 25th, 2019, 6:00 am
by Master Magnus
Lord Tesla wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 3:42 pm
The History in English Words by Owen Barfield.
I've heard about that one! Would you recommend it?

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: July 28th, 2019, 4:05 pm
by Lord Tesla
Master Magnus wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 6:00 am
Lord Tesla wrote:
July 24th, 2019, 3:42 pm
The History in English Words by Owen Barfield.
I've heard about that one! Would you recommend it?
Yes, I think I would. It was not an enjoyable read. The style is a tad archaic, if I may engage in a little hyperbole. For instance, the paragraphs that span pages strike one as just a little too long. And it definitely takes its time. But it's an interesting subject, and looks at the meanings and changes in meanings in words, with an interesting perspective, particularly with attention to the inferences that can be drawn about the beliefs and thought processes of people at various points along the history of a word as it came or went from usage, or changed, swiftly or slowly, in meaning.

And it is a little dated. For instance, it uses Aryan where we would use Indo-European with an innocent and wild abandon that might get an author the gallows these days. But the book dates back t0 1926. It was common usage then and had been for some time. There wasn't anything the least racist in the book that I can recall. I think he even makes a point of the designation of the Indo-European language and its descendants as Aryan as deriving from misunderstanding about the relationships between Sanskrit (spoken by the Aryas) and the other Indo-European languages in the beginnings of philology.

It might be hard to find, though. My copy is thirty-odd years old, and is the 4th reprint of a paperback edition.

And, I finished The Sailor on the Seas of Fate since last time--and started Weird of the White Wolf. I've made it farther into the Elric stories this time than in any of my previous attempts. But I'm still of the opinion that Michael Moorcock can't write his way out of paper bag; or, at least at that stage in his career, he couldn't.

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: March 21st, 2020, 7:06 pm
by Lord Tesla
The Robots of Dawn, by Isaac Asimov. 1983. The third of Asimov's Robot Novels, the last, if memory serves, of those with both Lije Baley and R(obot). Daneel Olivaw. I had fond memories of it before I reread it. Wow. I'm not sure why. It is a bland, plodding novel, now very dated. Its weird deterministic assumptions about human nature, conception of "positronic" robots virtually unaltered since Asimov began writing of them in the late '30s, and bad dialog all rub the wrong way.

Observation(s): 1) Those robots have really good speech recognition. 2) Which is a good thing, because programming and controlling these entities relies solely on this verbal interface, and, with its further reliance on the intonation, intensity, intent, and subtlety of the operator, would make operating them impossible were it not so. 3) It also makes for a completely implausible, utterly inefficient and unreliable system. 4). The robots are still kinda cool, anyway. 5) I've also been reading John G. Fuller's 1966 book The Interrupted Journey, about the alleged UFO encounter/abduction of Betty and Barney Hill in rural New Hampshire in September 1961: it struck me how much the techniques used in the novel by robot masters with their robots resembled some of the techniques used by Dr. Benjamin Simon in his hypnosis sessions with the Hills.

Re: What's the last book you read?

Posted: May 11th, 2020, 3:30 am
by Master Magnus
"Myten om Jesus" ("The Myth of Jesus") by the late professor Alvar Ellegård. Ellegård posited that Jesus is a mythical character and who was based on the Essene Teacher of Righteousness. I agree that Jesus was a mythical character, but I think the point is largely moot and that Jesus was based on the Essene character felt a bit of a stretch.

I think Jesus was a mythical character formed from syncretism; contemporary Jewish Messianic philosophy mixed with Hellenism (Philo of Alexandria was one of the influencers and there's plenty of later interpolations in his authentic letters as well). There could very well have been a person whom Jesus was based on as there were plenty of Messianic preachers at the time (such as Judas of Galilee, who mas mentioned, though placed in the wrong time, in Acts and Jesus of course shares some similarities with Jesus ben Ananias), but we can't know anything about said person.

Paul, writing some 15 years after Jesus was said to have been executed and who by that time were in his mid 20's (and who had called Jerusalem "home" since childhood), didn't meet him and doesn't mention anything about his life in his seven authentic epistles (six, possibly even eight, are fakes). Paul was the creator of the Eucharist, handed to him in a vision which the authors of the gospels later embellished.

The "original" church in Jerusalem was surely destroyed and shattered during the Jewish War in 66-73 whereupon the continuity stopped and so "Mark" built a yarn upon Paul's teachings as described in his epistles and transferred them to Jesus combined with scripture and at least one passage that was lifted and rewritten from Homer's Odyssey (Mark 5:1ff).