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Old 08-22-2010, 12:32 PM   #126
Zeno
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Big monkey,

The Oxford Handbooks are excellent sources for first-rate information. I base this on having a number of them myself. You can't go wrong purchasing one on a subject of your interest.

-Zeno
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:56 AM   #127
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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In my opinion, philosophic discussion in general (especially outside of academia) would be a lot better if everyone read the following:

Critique of Pure Reason-- Kant
Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding-- Hume
Phenomenology of Spirit-- Hegel
Foundations of Arithmetic-- Frege
Problems of Philosophy-- Russell
Tractatus-- Wittgenstein
Investigations-- Wittgenstein
Blue and Brown Books-- Wittgenstein
On Certainty-- Wittgenstein
Intention-- Anscombe
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind-- Sellars
Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature-- Rorty
Davidson's articles
Naming and Necessity-- Kripke
Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language-- Kripke
Mind and World-- McDowell

I can't imagine a reader who would not benefit more by reading Plato and the Nichomachean Ethics before even considering your list.
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Old 09-11-2010, 10:44 PM   #128
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Having read all of Richard Dawkins' main books, I would rank them in this order:

1) The Extended Phenotype
2) The Selfish Gene
3) The Ancestor's Tale
4) The Blind Watchmaker
4a) Climbing Mount Improbable
6) The Greatest Show on Earth
7) The God Delusion
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:05 AM   #129
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Anarchy, State and Utopia by Robert Nozick is a must read for those interested in political philosophy. Its quite an eye opener if you haven't been exposed to that side of political philosophy.

Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty (already mentioned) offers a powerful critique of much of western philosophy and is another must read for philosophers.

For those looking for good introductory texts, Bertrand Russell's A History of Western Philosophy provides useful background understanding. Pretty much anything by Hume is good too. As already stated, a lot of his stuff makes so much sense - indeed there's a likelihood you'll have already thought of some of it yourself. This being the case, reading the texts will serve to clarify and formalise your thoughts.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:08 PM   #130
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

It's About Time by David Mermin is a nice and inexpensive book about special relativity.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:35 PM   #131
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

I don't know which collection to find it in but I read Russell's essay 'A Free Man's Worship' recently and found it pretty inspiring. Basically its Russell's opinion on the meaning of life. It can be found (legally) here:
http://www.philosophicalsociety.com/...%20Worship.htm
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:51 PM   #132
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

This is def the biggest "gem" for any and all John Stuart Mill fans. Its called The Online Library of Liberty. I think it has many other authors but I only use this page (maybe once a week). It has, as far as I have found, the biggest collection of JSM; everything from published books to debate ideas he jotted on the back of postcards. Enjoy.

http://oll.libertyfund.org/?option=c...n=21&Itemid=28
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Old 02-23-2011, 12:58 AM   #133
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Just picked up The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, edited by Richard Dawkins.

http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Book-Mo...&sr=1-1http://

This is a fine anthology of great writing about science by scientists, a book that eveyone interested in Science and the world about them should read.

Below are two reviews of the book; both give praise, which I agree with....


Review by The Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2009...writing-review

Review by The Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-en...ns-828939.html


-Zeno
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:21 PM   #134
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Originally Posted by Zeno View Post
Just picked up The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing, edited by Richard Dawkins.

http://www.amazon.com/Oxford-Book-Mo...&sr=1-1http://

This is a fine anthology of great writing about science by scientists, a book that eveyone interested in Science and the world about them should read.

-Zeno
Here is one of my favorite passages on writing in sociology:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Whitt and Creech (1982)
Mills (1959:31) maintains that "one could translate the
555 pages of The Social System (Parsons, 1951) into about
150 pages of straightforward English." Going a step farther,
he provides a translation in four paragraphs, claiming that they
contain "all that is intelligible" in the monograph.

This is an extreme form of the "unintelligibility hypothesis,"
a frequently articulated but seldom explicitly formulated
element of sociological folklore. Stated in a simplistic and
non-technical manner, this hypothesis contends that sociologists,
because of an overcommitment to using lengthy, convoluted
sentences containing polysyllabic jargon expressions derived
from an argot known only to the initiated, obfuscate the signalto-
noise ratio of their attempts at written communication, thereby
rendering their textual materials unintelligible to persons
of normal or even above average intelligence.

More technically, it states that sociologists do not write
clearly.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:49 PM   #135
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature by Richard Rorty (already mentioned) offers a powerful critique of much of western philosophy and is another must read for philosophers.
This! It's so nice to see someone who has read this book and recognized its importance and the genius of Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity is a must read as well, imo - his interpretations of Nietzsche and Proust w/r/t creating yourself completely changed my life and pulled me out of a slight depression when I first read the book.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:52 PM   #136
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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I've got 3-4 good recommendations for my interests from this thread. I'm surprised nobody's mentioned much to do with Evolutionary psychology yet. I've only read this and I found it really interesting. Can anybody suggest what I should read next in that subject?
Great book, I enjoyed it too.

Along the same lines, I like Theodore Roszak's books. He writes Sociology and Evolutionary Psychology. Particularly his newest one, The Making of an Elder Culture was quite engaging and relevant now.

As a side note, he wrote a great novel years ago called Flicker, that Arnofsky almost brought to film but eventually abandoned.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:05 PM   #137
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

My Contributions:

The Alphabet Effect
by Robert K. Logan
Explores a connection between cultures whose language uses an alphabet, and their tendency to develop abstract theories.
Games People Play by Eric Berne
Talk about a gem. You can read this book in a day, he basically analyzes typical human conversations and shows how more times than not, people are simply playing games in their interactions with others.
Hyperspace by Michio Kaku
Surprised this one hasn't been mentioned yet. A great account of modern theoretical physics (very similar to Brian Greene, although this was the book that got me interested in the subject so I'll always have a special affinity for it.)
The Modern Mind by Peter Watson
Great,~1,000 page book chronicling intellectual history of the 20th century.
Thinking In Systems by Donella H Meadows
Teaches you how to understand operations and how things happen/are done. Also great for anyone interested in global warming and related issues.
On Becoming a Person by Carl Rogers
A great humanistic psychology book. Rogers revolutionized clinical psychology by recognizing that if a understanding and protecting environment was provided for the patient, s/he will cure him- or herself.
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:20 AM   #138
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Quantum Kumar. best modern physics/history book out there imo

Physics of the impossible
Kako. fantastic read

The limitless mind
Targ. check everything you ever learned about life at the door

The Conscious Universe Radin. Has all the data
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:46 AM   #139
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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The limitless mind
Targ. check everything you ever learned about life at the door

The Conscious Universe Radin. Has all the data
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe these two would more appropriately fit in a pseudoscience thread.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #140
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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The limitless mind Targ. check everything you ever learned about life at the door

The Conscious Universe Radin. Has all the data

Quote:
Originally Posted by derada4 View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe these two would more appropriately fit in a pseudoscience thread.

At best a pseudoscience thread. I have checked out the two books in question and they are basically just drivel and/or misrepresentation and misinterpretation of scientific thought and theories. They would be good reading material for, say, the BBV4Life crowd.

-Zeno
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:21 PM   #141
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

What are some great books on the cosmos?
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:41 PM   #142
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

The Meme Machine , Blackmore, S. 1999

A must read for this forum, imo. Quite the oversight that it wasn't included earlier.
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Old 05-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #143
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

The Hidden Reality Brian Greene

I finished this book a little while ago. It clearly is another success for Dr. Greene. I also finished Dr. Hawking's The Grand Design as well. I am not going to recommend that book because (while good) is inferior to the clearer prose of Dr. Greene. I have an original recomendation for Dr. Greene's other work, Elegeant Universe, but the book is now somewhat dated and think this newer work is a proper replacement.
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Old 05-05-2011, 01:28 PM   #144
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Yeah I'm going to the book store today so was just seeing what you guys would think would be a good pick up.

So far I am getting the Hidden Reality....any mind blowing books I should also think about picking up?

Also thinking of the Meme Machine...can't see how I could go wrong

Need some great cosmos books
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:48 PM   #145
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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What are some great books on the cosmos?
Haven't read but heard good things:

Death by Blackhole - NDT
Cosmos - Sagan
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:52 PM   #146
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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Yeah I'm going to the book store today so was just seeing what you guys would think would be a good pick up.

So far I am getting the Hidden Reality....any mind blowing books I should also think about picking up?

Also thinking of the Meme Machine...can't see how I could go wrong

Need some great cosmos books
I was going to start a level and say Biocentrism but I just couldn't go through with it.

Not sure what you mean by mind blowing.

If you mean the beauty of reality then:
Unweaving the Rainbow - R. Dawkins (my personal favorite Dawkins book)
Pale Blue Dot - C. Sagan


If you mean reality is stranger than fiction your in great shape with either of the selections mentioned in your post.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:57 PM   #147
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Thanks for the help I'll let you know what I think of the books I end up reading..wrote up a list and what they have I'll be getting.
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Old 05-05-2011, 03:14 PM   #148
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

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The Red Queen by Matt Ridley (also take a look at The Origins of Virtue)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turn Prophet View Post
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond. Intersections of anthropology, linguistics, and history in an easy to read format.

Why People Believe Weird Things by Michael Shermer. Great book about the merits of science, the folly of pseudoscience, and how to tell the difference, with great topics like: how to debunk common creationist arguments, how we know the Holocaust happened, how "weird" ideas emerge, the cult of Ayn Rand, and why smart people believe weird things.
Want to re-recommend these and Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
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Old 05-08-2011, 02:17 PM   #149
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

OP from the recent evolution thread should read Evolution for Dummies.
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Old 05-13-2011, 06:17 AM   #150
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Re: Book "Gems" for SMP

Thought i would contribute with a book here. Currently doing a first year course soil mechanics 1 and the book we use is a free resource online, so i figured i'd post it here. if you ever wanted to know why the sand turns dry around your feet when you walk over the beach look no further:

http://geo.verruijt.net/


to get to the book click on software on the left, there is a few programs listed here but soilmechbook.pdf is the one you want. It is a book designed for people in engineering so you need some mathematical skill to understand the concepts explored further into the book.
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