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What are you reading?

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Taking a break from Atheism: The Case Against God by George H. Smith and flying through Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Definitely a libertarian book, especially for technology and anti-IP enthusiasts.

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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Aw, man, where do I begin, hahaha.

Okay, so I'm giving a nice re-read to Anthony de Jasay's absolutely astounding book Justice and Its Surroundings. It's intellectual rigour, honesty, and scrutiny I admire so much. He truly is one of my favorite libertarian thinkers today. Consider on pg.9, where when mentioning about exclusion costs (the cost of preventing unauthorized access to valuables - the nature of property, really) and who should provide resources: "The all-voluntary private and the all-coercive state alternative are crude, simplified markers, standing for the two extremes of the range of conceivable solutions." This honesty makes me respect him all the more - who is able to admit reasonable, logical flaws, but also able to state that before resorting to politics, we should see all the answers.

Anyways, I have 9 damn books on the way. I should probably list them all off, and I love the potential each of them are going to bring to my knowledge of the world. So let's begin!

 

1) Men Against the State by James J. Martin. I'm getting this and the next two books for free. I love it - wonderful history of individualist anarchism.

2) "State Socialism" by Benjamin Tucker. Absolutely great to finally have this - and for free, too, thanks to a guy I met who knows someone who owns the publication company of this and the above book. It's really great, honestly. He also was considering sending me a copy of The Ego and Its Own - a different edition than the one I have. Really cool stuff.

3) Letter to a Christian Nation by Sam Harris. Okay, so personally I have found everything Sam Harris has said in debates against religious people to be abysmal and unhistorical. I find New Atheism - while good at attacking general criticisms to fundamentalism (I do it, too!) - to be abysmal in understanding Biblical Scholarship and many times philosophy (neuroscience is to the practice of morals as it is to the practice of mathematics). However, this was free, and an audiobook. Intellectual honesty must hold - so I will dig into this, and listen carefully and with all reason.

4) The Burial of Jesus: History and Faith by James McGrath. I'm really excited to get this, and by the looks of the shipping information, it's going to get here first. McGrath outlines and talks about historical methodology and its relation to the burial of Jesus, and taking various takes and what not. I know he also makes a defense to have Christianity based upon personal experience, which I can easily contend with, seeing as I'm an existentialist Christian like Soren Kierkegaard and Dostoevsky (though not a fideist, all the more to be excited about this work).

5) The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew by Bart Ehrman. A wonderful introduction to the history of the development of the New Testament canon. I bought it since it was $2 on amazon, however I should have probably gotten Ehrman's introduction to the New Testament. Probably will later down the road, but this specific topic interests me a lot, and I know Ehrman won't disappoint.

6) At the Origins of Christian Worship: The Context and Character of Earliest Christian Devotion by Larry Hurtado. I think this is another incredibly interesting piece of work. A keen understanding of how early Christianity worshipped, etc., using hard scholarship is a fantastic necessity of understanding one's faith and letting it mature. Really cool stuff.

7) The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel by Mark Smith. This is another book I'm extremely excited for. It uses archaeological evidence, along with epigraphic, anthropological, textual criticism, etc. to show how early Israel was polytheistic and how this polytheism worked. Incredibly great information I think everyone interested in history, and any Christian/Jew, should read. Very good stuff. I think Daniel Sanchez, as well, would be fascinated by the information in this book. Very cool information.

8) How on Earth Did Jesus Become a God?: Historical Questions about Earliest Devotion to Jesus by Larry Hurtado. Like the other book I'm getting from Larry Hurtado, this outlines early Christian worship and the development of how Jesus came to be deified. Again, the scholarship and information (especially footnotes, hehe) I'm most interested in. Very cool historical information of Christian origin using critical scholarship.

9) Studying the New Testament: A Fortress Introduction by Bruce Chilton, Deirdre Joy Good. Deidre Good has a PhD from Harvard, I believe, in Biblical studies. This book is a great introduction - and a very simple one, at that, for looking at the methodological approach and understanding of how to study the New Testament, and what critical scholars do and use in this process of studying it. Very useful information here. Anyone wanting to understand the New Testament should probably start here, and then pick up Ehrman's introduction to the New Testament, along with books depending on the topic. Really great stuff.

 

I'm incredibly excited. My wallet should be, too, considering how I raped it in the process of buying this stuff. I wonder how I'm going to take the girlfriend out to dinner tomorrow...

 

Regardless, I hope these books peek some of you guys' interests. Spreading information is great.

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Recently I finished reading Robert Murphy's Study Guides to MES and HA, Mises' Causes of the Economic Crisis, Clash of Group Interests, and Liberty and Property, and Will Durant's The Renaissance.  I'm still plugging away at Hayek's Constitution of Liberty.  I'm about halfway through Rothbard's Economic Controversies.  And I'm listening to Durant's The Reformation and reading a bunch of poems by William Blake.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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Finished Little Brother. Overall I thought it was pretty good, although some parts felt rushed and the ending seemed abrupt. Still a good read, though.

Right now I'm reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. After a story or two I might get back into Atheism: The Case Against God. I think I'm about 30% through.

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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filc replied on Thu, Jun 30 2011 12:00 PM

Daniel, what did you think of Bob's study guides?

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They're great!  Bob has an excellent way of re-phrasing difficult concepts such that they are clear.  And he's great at drawing out interesting technical difficulties raised by Mises' and Rothbard's positions.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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I'm between stories in Sherlock Holmes and between chapters in Atheism, so I've started to read Human Action. It's been sitting on my shelf since Christmas and I kind of want to read the stuff I have on my shelf before diving into all the books on my Kindle. I'm still only 30% through Atheism, and so far it's been a quick read, so if I need to restart it, I can do so without too much trouble.

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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I recently finished reading Economic Controversies by Rothbard, The Reformation by Durant, The Anti-Capitalist Mentality by Mises, and the selections of William Blake in the Norton Anthology of English Literature.  And I re-read History Begins at Sumer by Samuel Noah Kramer.  I'm also reading the Epic of Gilgamesh, and I'm re-reading volume 1 of Durant's Story of Civilization to live blog it at the Academy Blog.  I'm about to start The Age of Reason Begins by Durant.  And a new Nook is finally on its way to me!  So I won't need to punish my eyes and ears so much by reading/listening on my iPhone and computer.  I'm not sure what I'll read on it once it arrives. I might relax a bit and read random articles from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica volumes I found in epub format on archive.org.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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What did you think of "The Anti-Capitalist Mentality" by Mises? (It's the only one on that list that I've read.)

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Just finishing up FDR: My Exploited Father In-law by Curtis B. Dall.  Incredibly interesting book and great behind-the-scenes look at some interesting moments and players in history.  Highly recommend

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I read Peter Boettke's "What Went Wrong with Economics?"  I wish I would have read it earlier, because I wrote an article on almost exactly the same topic.

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Student replied on Sat, Jul 16 2011 9:20 PM

Just a note. I finished Chabon's Final Solution a few weeks back. 

Its a very quick read, but could have actually been shorter for the amount of story it contains. I love Chabon's attitude toward plot and genre fiction, but this particular experiment could be skipped. 

 

Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine - Elvis Presley

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Daniel Muffinburg:

What did you think of "The Anti-Capitalist Mentality" by Mises? (It's the only one on that list that I've read.)

 
Definitely one of his best short works.  It's so great to read Mises actually using the thymological method that he explains in Theory and History.  His discusson of high "society" was especially excellent.
"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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I've been looking for a working definition of thymology.

My humble blog

It's easy to refute an argument if you first misrepresent it. William Keizer

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Anton replied on Mon, Jul 18 2011 8:04 AM

Started Henry Hazlitt's "Thinking as a science". After reading 3 chapters took a break, as the author strongly suggested studying logic first, which just coincided with my concerns about complete ignorance in this field. So I've just downloaded "Elementary lessons in logic" by W. Stanley Jevons that was actually proposed by Hazlitt. I hope I finish it within a month or two.

Also finished Oppenheimer's "The State" and brilliant "The politics of obedience. The discourse of voluntary servitude." by Etienne de la Boetie.

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Just started reading The Greatest Story Never Told: Winston Churchill and the Crash of 1929.  Basically all about what he was doing in America during the crash.  Parties with Baruch ect... so far its pretty interesting.  Just read the will of Cecil Rhodes...

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I've been reading about 1,500 pages worth of book excerpts, scholarly papers, and news articles for an upcoming Critical Review conference on libertarianism.  Because of this I haven't actually finished Menger's Principles yet (but, pretty much there). -_-  I've also started reading Steven Horwitz' Microfoundations and Macroeconomics.

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Recently finished Freedom and Economic Interventionism as well as Marxism Unmasked by Mises and Volume 7 (The Age of Reason Begins) and Volume 8 (The Age of Louis XIV) of Will Durant's 11-volume history The Story of Civilization.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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I've been reading Hayek's Law, Legislation, and Liberty, James Scott's Seeing Like a State, some articles about Zomia and swidden agriculture and property customs in Zomia. I've also been reading a bunch of other books from the Mises Institute.

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A couple weeks ago, I finished reading Volume 9 (The Age of Voltaire), Volume 10 (Rousseau and Revolution), and Volume 11 (The Age of Napoleon) of Will Durant's The Story of Civilization, thus completing my reading of that wonderful series.  Never before have 10,000 pages passed so delightfully.  I only wish Durant had lived to 110, so I could read thousands of pages more by him on western history after 1815.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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I am reading The Social Atom by Mark Buchanon. Basically the book debunks the myth that humans make decisions rationally and criticizes conventional economists and market forecasters. The author examines the social and psychological aspects of humans, particularly the behavior of humans when they are grouped. Buchanon studies why otherwise normal humans engage in warfare, hatred of ethnic groups, herding behavior, etc. Fascinating stuff.

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I'm reading American Desperado: My Life by Jon Roberts and Evan Wright.

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I think this will be an interesting read:

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"Never before have 10,000 pages passed so delightfully."

When you read something that extensive and in depth, do you take notes? If not, do you find that you retain what you read, or do you just enjoy the experience of reading and know that some of it will stick but some won't? I would like to take on a project like that but it sounds daunting to me!

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If I'm reading on my Nook, I'll make bookmarks, hightlights, and notes from time to time.

For me it's not just about retention, but familiarity with the book.  Later when I want to make a connection in something I'm writing to something I've read, I'll know how to find the fact or insight, even if I don't remember everything about it off the top of my head.

"the obligation to justice is founded entirely on the interests of society, which require mutual abstinence from property" -David Hume
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That makes sense. I'm not actively reading it, but I started Conceived in Liberty a few months back and I have had the same experience of being familiar with the book. It's good to know that you don't need a photographic memory to benefit from a sweeping, epic history like that.

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Marko replied on Sun, Mar 11 2012 11:20 AM

I'm reading articles from history journals by Soviet specialists on victims of Soviet famines and repression that I found here: http://sovietinfo.tripod.com/

I recommend especially the input of Ellman and Wheatcroft.

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Malachi replied on Sun, Mar 11 2012 11:47 AM
The Capitalist and the Entrepreneur by Peter G. Klein

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

The Transformation of War and Rise and Decline of the State by Martin van Creveld.

Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
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The Myth of the Rational Voter by Bryan Caplan

Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea by C. Bradley Thompson

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Wheylous replied on Sun, Mar 11 2012 3:08 PM

Just got a library copy of Human Action (3rd edition)! So, it begins...

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The Economics and Ethics of Private Property

Man, Economy and State

Human Action

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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I recently read and uploaded notest to Lachmann's The Market as an Economic Process.  Since it's my intention to peddle the book as an important contribution here is the review: Lachmann's Kaleidoscopic Market.

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Francis Bacon's Essays Counsel Civiil and Moral (plus The Wisdom of the Ancients)

Quadrivium

and States and Illegal Things (Anthropology)

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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Kant: Critique of Pure Reason

Mises: Human Action

Marx: Capital, Vol. 3

Also dabbling in John Dewey's Human Nature and Conduct, which is very interesting.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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DanielMuff replied on Sun, Apr 29 2012 11:15 PM

A book on computer networks. It's only got a paragraph on SSL/TLS /facepalm

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
Rabbi Lapin: "Let's make bricks!"
Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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I'm currently reading Keynes Hayek and Ron Paul's rEVOLution.

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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Jargon replied on Mon, Jun 4 2012 10:17 PM

Capital and its Structure - Ludwig Lachmann

Free Market Labor Struggle - Kevin Carson

Land & Liberty

The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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Ordering:

Epistemics and Economics - GLS Shackel

Capital Expectations and the Market Process - Ludwig Lachmann

 

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Endgame: Part II, Resistance - Derrick Jensen

Homage to Catalonia - George Orwell

"What Stirner says is a word, a thought, a concept; what he means is no word, no thought, no concept. What he says is not what is meant, and what he means is unsayable." - Max Stirner, Stirner's Critics
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