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Which book are you reading now? Volume XI

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by NedimNapoleon, Apr 19, 2012.

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  1. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Just finished a "condensed" version of "In Harm's way" by Doug Stanton.
    It is the story of the last voyage of the USS Indianapolis.

    Interesting irony at the close of World War II.
     
  2. holy king

    holy king Deity

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    it's getting widespread positive reviews, yeah, but i somehow feel it's getting those because the other four had been totally overlooked by major critics and newpapers.

    the stories sorrounding dany are simply an inconsistent mess.
     
  3. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    You think Boxing contrasts with pacifism? :p
     
  4. _random_

    _random_ Jewel Runner

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    On the surface. The dichotomy between voluntary competition and actual aggression is pretty clear though.
     
  5. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    I haven't read up that far yet. I just started the 3rd book in the series. But there are things that are inconsistent, but that many fantasy authors often get wrong. I just read "10,000 leagues to the south..." A league in the most common English usage is about 3 miles. There's not much on an earthlike planet that's 30,000 miles away from you. :p League is missused in several other places as well.
     
  6. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

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    Would a planet that size even be inhabitable?
     
  7. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Given that Earth is roughly 24,900 miles in circumference, we know this distance is greater than traveling around the entire globe. Presumably, they would take the shortest path around the world and not the long path, so the circumference of this world is at minimum around 60,000 miles, which means it's roughly 2.4 times the diameter of Earth.

    So an Earth over twice as large and with just over twice as much gravity? Doesn't sound completely unreasonable by fantasy standards, but I would assume the author intended 'league' to correspond to a much shorter distance.
     
  8. Arakhor

    Arakhor Dremora Courtier Moderator

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    I don't see why not. That's only two to three times the circumference of the Earth.
     
  9. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Volume increases with the cube of dimensions. So 2.4 increase in diameter is 2.4^3 increase in volume. Which, if the density is the same, is not habitable. In fact the density would have to be vastly lower for the mass to be in the same ballpark.
     
  10. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    You can buy into dragons, but you can't buy into a proportionally smaller planetary core? :crazyeye:
     
  11. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Heh, shows me for not double-checking the post. Yeah, that's something like 14-times Earth gravity, well outside the normal habitable range.
     
  12. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Literary license is different from careless writing. :mischief:
     
  13. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    Finished with The Folklore of Capitalism, I have now begun the history cramfest leading up to this fall, with History of the French Revolution by Jules Michelet. The plan is to work my way through The Long Nineteenth Century and emerge on the far side of WWI by September.
     
  14. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

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    Keeping track of the books I've read so far this year:
    - Ian Toll, Pacific Crucible. Stopped about halfway through; might pick it up again this summer.
    - Hiroki Azuma, Otaku. Still digesting it, but the broad thesis seems sound even if he's off on a few details. It desperately needs an update for the 1999-2012 period.
    - Daron Acemoglu, Why Nations Fail. I read the "theory" half and stand by my earlier claim: that it provides a political foundation no which to rest The Mystery of Capital. I'll read the second half over the summer.
    - Jordi Gali, Monetary Policy, Inflation and the Business Cycle. Macroeconomics textbook. I liked it; compact and well presented.
    - Robert Gibbons, Game Theory for Applied Economists. Game theory textbook. A good undergraduate-level introduction, but you need more for a graduate course.

    Currently working on:
    - Lesley Hazleton, After the Prophet. Wow. The writing for this book is superb. She has her biases, but it's a fantastic introduction to the first sixty or so years of Islam.

    In queue:
    - Hamid Daba, Shi'ism: A Religion of Protest. I'll read this after finishing Hazleton's book.
    - Derek Parfit, On What Matters. This is a Big Book on moral philosophy, possibly the most important work on moral philosophy to be published in thirty years. If I didn't have finals and quals, I'd be reading this continuously for the next month. As it stands, it'll have to wait untli June or July.

    Also in queue:
    I'm writing literature reviews on consumption theory, real business cycle theory, and New Keynesian business cycle theory. That involves reading and distilling several dozen important papers, so should "count", even though they aren't books per se. I'm reading/skimming about half of the edited volume Handbook of Macroeconomics, for example, which is over a thousand pages.
     
  15. madviking

    madviking north american scum

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    I've taken a break from 1491.

    Currently reading This is a Book by Demetri Martin. It's hilarious.

    I'll probably read 1493 next. After that, I may read some engineering books such as Digital Filters by R.W. Hamming (yes, that Hamming).
     
  16. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    I thought it ham-fisted, biased and awful when I tried to read it. But I can't remember precisely what bought me to think that. I did get annoyed at her choice or non-choice of akhbar to use. But that's just me.

    Having just perused the first chapter another thing that annoys me is her constant use of "Muhammad must have known/felt/thought/believed" as a literary device. It annoys me because we don't know what Muhammad thought (for obvious reasons since we aren't mind-readers) and because even our sources that record things he is supposed to have said (hadith) often don't agree with each other (even inside the same collection).
     
  17. Lillefix

    Lillefix I'm serious. You can.

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    The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
     
  18. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

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    I'll put it this way, perhaps closer to my actual intent...it's good beditme reading. I never approach it as anything more than for enjoyment, and for that purpose it suffices. I'm certainly not upholding it as an academic source.

    It's a fun read in the sense that I don't have a stake in the outcome, and have only a brief background in the field. It's fun in the sense that Freakonomics is fun, I guess.

    I'm probably biased by all of the dry academic stuff I'm reading. :lol:

    And I don't think I'd enjoy it as much if I had a stake in it. I'm sure that looking back, after reading other books on the subject, it'll seem shallow. For now, though, I'll enjoy it for what it is.
     
  19. Masada

    Masada Koi-san!

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    Ehhhh but it's a serious subject. That's kind of the problem. If it wasn't on a serious subject it wouldn't matter. But the issue at hand is an important issue. Then again, I'm still not sure if having read the book is worse than not having read it. :dunno:
     
  20. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Finished Iron Council by China Miéville and Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher. Juggling Theory as History by Jairus Banaji and New Worlds For All: Indians, Europeans and the Remaking of Early America by Colin G. Calloway.
     
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