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What are you reading?

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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.

Cool beans.  It nice to know Lachmann is still catching people's interest

"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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I am reading "Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling" by John Gatto. I've only read one chapter so far. But here are some of my favorite passages:

... the truth is that reading, writing, and arithmetic only take about one hundred hours to transmit as long as the audience is eager and willing to learn.

The continuing cry for "basic skills" practice is a smoke screen behind which schools preempt the time of children for twelve years.

School takes our children away from any possibility of an active role in community life in fact, it destroys communities by relegating the training of children to the hands of certified experts - and by doing so it ensures our children cannot grow up fully human. Aristotle taught that without a fully active role in community life one could not hope to become a healthy human being ... School, as it was built, is an essential support system for a model of social engineering that condemns most people to be subordinate stones in a pyramid that narrows as it ascends to a terminal of control.

Unfortunately, these passages bothered me:

From Colonial days through the period of the Republic we had no schools to speak of read Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography for an example of a man who had no time to waste in school and yet the promise of democracy was beginning to be realized. We turned our backs on this promise by bringing to life the ancient pharaonic dream of Egypt.

In every important material respect our nation is self-sufficient, including in energy ... Global economics does not speak to the public need for meaningful work, affordable housing, fulfilling education, adequate medical care, a clean environment, honest and accountable government, social and cultural renewal, or simple justice.

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Lessons for the young economist.

 

great book so far, i believe it is the only one of its kind.

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The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America - Robert Nisbet.

then it is on to

Logic, Metaphysics, and the Natural Sociability of Mankind - Francis Hutcheson.

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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The Expanding Circle - Peter Singer

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A Billion Wicked Thoughts, Ogi Aggas and Sai Gaddam.  This is a look at male and female sexuality, using data from the internet.

Defending the West, Ibn Warraq.  A critique and rebuttal of Edward Said's 'Orientalism.  Defends western intellectuals from the charge that they are not disinterested, but only serve imperialism.  A good history of western philosophy and intellectualism since ancient Greece.

First and Last Freedom, Jiddu Krishnamurti.   Search for freedom, intelligence, and truth begins only without the aid of thoughts or dogma.

Thinker on Stage: Nietzsche's Materialism, Peter Sloterdijk.  A discussion of Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy, and what Nietzsche's thoughts about the Greeks differ from his contempories, and what they mean today.

Dawn to Decadence, Jacques Barzun.  A history of Europe since 1500.

Anarchy as Order, Mohammed A. Bamyeh.  A history and future of civic humanity.  Probably one of the best books I've read on anarchism.  Got this years ago, but only recently started to read it.

 

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I recently finished Lawrence White's The Clash of Economic Ideas; here is my review.

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I am also reading, The Creature From Jekyll Island by Ed Griffin. I have finally tackled this big book. I am reading the free pdf version. Unfortunately this edition dates from 1998. Does anybody know the current edition differs?

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Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters by Alan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa and also Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett.  I haven't really gotten into the second one yet but the first is absolutely amazing.

Also I'm reading The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman.

 

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It's actually not true that beautiful people have more daughters.

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I really have no idea.  I've just found evolutionary psychology to be riveting lately.

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Jackson LaRose: Homage to Catalonia - George Orwell

Just finished reading this myself. I liked it quite a bit.

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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ThatOldGuy replied on Thu, Jun 14 2012 11:21 PM

Atlas Shrugged for now.

Lots of summer reading ahead. I'll tentatively say: Man, Economy, and State by Rothbard; Human Action by Mises; Democracy: the God That Failed by Hoppe; Trinity by Leon Uris, and; The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr are in the very-near future, but I'll have to see where time leads me.

With regard to MES and HA, and the last post above where I said I was reading them, I got sort of sidetracked with other stuff around page 300 for both of them (I must learn to focus on one work at a time) and put them on pause and have since decided it would probably be best to reread from the beginning. Ah well.

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

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Just finished reading The Leaderless Revolution by Carne Ross. The book is aimed at the mainstream audience. Ross was a British diplomat who dealt primarily in issues dealing with terrorism and the Afghan and second Iraq wars. Coming into what he thought was his dream job, he sincerly believed that government was the most effective way to solve the world's most pressing problems. But after years on the job, he came to the conclusion that government was the problem, not the solution. Ross thus became an anarchist. He felt guilt in not doing more for easing the sanctions against Iraq during the 90s, which contributed to thousands of deaths. Ross eventually called it quits and helped formed a private non-profit diplomatic agency. Some passages from the book:

When working for government, you feel insulating against wrongdoing, because it wasn't your choice, but the choice of your superior, you are just merely doing things the boss ordered you to do, you feel you are not responsible for your actions, furthermore your decision making does not happen at the site, but from a huge distance, further insulating yourself against your actions.

I wondered why Britain refused to lift a finger to help the Saharawis (Western Sahara dispute), even though the ministers and officials concerned were decent people (most of them, anyway). I knew them, some of them were my friends. They would stop to save an injured child on the street. But transport that child to the realm of "foreign policy" and she is ignored, rendered irrelevant, inconvenient to the dominating calculus of what matters to states, not people.

...it is the perpetuation of the existing way of doing things, not anarchism, that may pose the greater risk to our peace and security. It is the alienation of government from people, and us from each other, that more endangers our fragile stability.

Unfortunately, Ross, does not possess much understanding of economics:

...likewise, capitalism offers the great deception that thanks to its machinations everyone will be richer in the future, thus justifying gross inequality and humiliation today.

Communism offered a spurious equality at the sacrifice of individual liberty. Capitalism offers liberty at the expense of social justice, harmony and that essential sense of individual or shared meaning.

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A while ago I finished Acemoglu's and Robinson's Why Nations Fail, and now I'm slowly working at Steve Keen's Debunking Economics.

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Just finished Bourbon for Breakfast by Jeff Tucker.  Now starting A Tiger by the Tail by Hayek/Shenoy.  Also recently finished Garet Garrett's The Bubble That Broke the World.

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Just finished 3 books, two for study and one for fun.

Fun: Last of the Dog Team, A really good novel which follows the life of a Special Forces soldier.

Study: SENSEational Sex, It's about your sense of smell and sex with a good section on aromatherapy

Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu

Currently reading Mises's "Theory of Money and Credit" and I'm going to start a western in the "Mountain Man" series.

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Wheylous replied on Thu, Jul 19 2012 4:14 PM

Jonathan, I found 3 typos in your post about the clash of economic ideas but my iPad ate my post. Do you care to fix them or should I not bother reposting?

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TheFinest replied on Thu, Jul 19 2012 4:19 PM

Eyewitness Travel Guide books on Europe. I'm looking at the nooks and crannies of Norway and Sweden right now. I want to see how these societies provide to those that live in them to get the full picture on what those countries offer.

 

I did find a copy of Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Nozick but seeing as how he rejected his libertarian views later on (no that little snippit interview doesn't change a thing) I decided it's best left in the trash bin along with Hayek and Boortz.

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Wheylous, I've found some too (probably the same ones).  I mean, I should fix them...

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BransonBow: SENSEational Sex, It's about your sense of smell and sex with a good section on aromatherapy

That sounds potentially fascinating. I've recently become interested in the sense of smell. I think it definitely plays some interesting roles in our psychology. How was the book?

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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I did find a copy of Anarchy, State, and Utopia by Nozick but seeing as how he rejected his libertarian views later on (no that little snippit interview doesn't change a thing) I decided it's best left in the trash bin along with Hayek and Boortz.

<= Not sure why you would conclude this. 
First of all: ASU, despite it's flaws, is a very challenging and good book of good political philosophy. (If you don't trust me, trust David Gordon's endorsement.) 
Secondly; there is no actual Nozick-Scholar who actually thinks that Nozick 'rejected' his libertarian views. I am not talking about the interview; I am talking about his last book where he gives his theory of ethics and states that this is completely consistent with what he wrote in ASU. Furthermore; even the so called 'he rejected libertarian'-quote is not that 'anti-libertarian', if one actually grasps half of his brain and tries to understand what Nozick said. But even if Nozick rejected his libertarian views - an interpretation that does not withstand actual analysis of Nozick's academic writings - it does not follow that his book wouldn't be a good read, of course. 

The state is not the enemy. The idea of the state is. 

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Wheylous replied on Fri, Jul 20 2012 7:23 AM

How the heck can you place Hayek and Boortz in the same category? Are we talking about the same Boortz? Neal Boortz?

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Currently I'm reading Markets, Not Capitalism edited by Gary Chartier and Charles Johnson.  It's actually pretty refreshing and contains lots of great information and food for thought.

I'm about halfway through it, but it has several articles written by earlier anarcho-socialists.  It's interesting to read people like Tucker and have them sound very similar to modern "right-libertarians" with the exception of one point: The labor theory of value.  Once you drop that, then they end up falling right in line.  Individualist Socialists are closer to right-libertarians than they know.

There's also some good information and references about how big business/corporations were a large force for centralization and regulation in the Progressive era, and a good peice about how Mises's calculation arguement can be applied to large heirarchical institutions like large corporations, and that the trend in freed markets would be towards smaller buisiness, and not "Wal-Marts and no government".

It's a great book to get your head out of the "Mises.org Bubble" if you ever feel like you're stuck in it.

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That sounds potentially fascinating. I've recently become interested in the sense of smell. I think it definitely plays some interesting roles in our psychology. How was the book?

 

@Fool on The Hill

 

I really enjoyed it . It's an older book, 14 years, so I have to do some follow up research as far as  pheromones. I'd like to see what new evidence/ advances have been made in this area. The part I disliked was using animal studies as evidence for human behavior but the other information overshadwed that part. I thought it was interesting to see the science behind why certain perfumes turn me on.

The most interesting part was a section on disfunctional relationships. The author proposed that one of the reasons people stay in bad relationships is due to the overwhelming effect of the partners pheromones, kind of like a chemical addiction to the others scent. The funniest part was on alcohol. The author discussed how alcohol numbs your sense of smell and says something like "So men, don't be flattered if you pick a girl up at the bar. It could be that her sense of smell is off and she's willing to go home with anyone"...drunk women will go home with anyone, thanks Dr. Obvious. The book also contains studies on what smells increase/decrease blood flow to the vagina/penis and lists traditional romantic smells and offers suggestions on how to utilize them.

Edit: The section on the alpha-female and menstration cycles was cool too.

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I've been reading;
 

Bertrand Russell: The Problems of Philosophy

and an essay published in Philosophy and Public Affairs called "Kant, Liberal Legacies, and Foreign Affairs"

"The Fed does not make predictions. It makes forecasts..." - Mustang19
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Moby Dick

Guns, Germs, and Steel

A River Runs Through It

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I'm currently re-reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. The only other time I read it, was for high school years ago. Now I'm reading it for pleasure instead.

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1984 is one of my favorite fiction novels.  It's one of the few novels I actually own!

What I've been reading over the past week, apart from Steve Keen's Debunking Economics: a few articles relevant to Hayek v. Keynes.

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I finished reading "Good Money" (by George Selgin) a while ago. Too bad, I think my english is not good enough, and I have no time enough to write a complete review. But at least, I made this post (I was thinking to post some photos of the illustrations and drawings in the book; maybe I'll edit my post later). I highly recommend this book (very well written !).

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Anton replied on Sat, Jul 21 2012 8:52 AM

I've been reading Man, Economy, and State since March or so (currently struggling through Ch. 8), and yesterday I finally began to read   Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard" bookmarded a year ago.

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Wheylous replied on Sat, Jul 21 2012 9:18 AM

Jonathan, here are the mistakes I found (note, too, that your blog also gobbled up one of my posts by making me sign in; sigh, gobbled up twice):

Hayek’s well-known “knowledge problem.

Needs an end-quote.

Keynes’ theory made in The Class of Economic Ideas

Should be "Clash"

As such, it also unfortunate detracts

Should be "unfortunately".

The mistakes do not detract from the reading, but I hope this helps.

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Neodoxy replied on Sat, Jul 21 2012 12:27 PM

Right now I'm focusing on "The Government and Politics of the Middle East", finishing up "Market and Power", skimming through "Human Action" again, and I'm thinking of taking back up the second volume of "The Great Political Theories"

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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Thanks Wheylous; and about the problem with the blog, I've heard that from someone else too.  No idea what the problem is, since it's impossible to sign in on my blog.

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BransonBow: I really enjoyed it . It's an older book, 14 years, so I have to do some follow up research as far as  pheromones. I'd like to see what new evidence/ advances have been made in this area. The part I disliked was using animal studies as evidence for human behavior but the other information overshadwed that part. I thought it was interesting to see the science behind why certain perfumes turn me on.

The most interesting part was a section on disfunctional relationships. The author proposed that one of the reasons people stay in bad relationships is due to the overwhelming effect of the partners pheromones, kind of like a chemical addiction to the others scent. The funniest part was on alcohol. The author discussed how alcohol numbs your sense of smell and says something like "So men, don't be flattered if you pick a girl up at the bar. It could be that her sense of smell is off and she's willing to go home with anyone"...drunk women will go home with anyone, thanks Dr. Obvious. The book also contains studies on what smells increase/decrease blood flow to the vagina/penis and lists traditional romantic smells and offers suggestions on how to utilize them.

I might check that book out. I was also looking at this book, which looks kind of similar. I read a piece by the author at this site, which was pretty interesting.

Anyway, I recently became interested in this stuff because I discovered that I could improve my sense of smell through mediation/breath control. I've found this to have a positive impact on my sense of well being. Interestingly, in Eastern spiritual traditions the root chakra, which is the first to be "open" during meditation, is connected to the sense of smell and feelings of security. Given the sense's direct connection to the amygdala and memory, I can see how it could be associated with "rootedness."

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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@Fool On The Hill

I'll get you the name of the author. What you're saying about the Chakra makes sense biologically. One of the things the book discusses is how your sense of smell is the only sense with out a 'middle man' ie sight goes through your cornea, hearing through the ear drums. But smell has a direct link to the brain and this area of the brain also controls emotion, sex drive, etc. (as noted in the first link). This would be the first root to open as smell is processed first and directly by the brain.

 

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Wheylous replied on Wed, Jul 25 2012 1:18 PM

Currently reading Man vs. the Welfare State by Hazlitt. Has some interesting stuff and some questionable arguments I will post about later.

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@ FOTH

The author is Alan Hirsch

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Lady Saiga replied on Fri, Jul 27 2012 10:01 AM

I read a lot simultaneously because I've always got dozens of questions I'm looking into all at once, plus things I'm just wanting to read for fun.  The current list:

NRSV bible (I never read the bible before.  Suddenly I realized that's stupid)

Annotated Alice -I'm enjoying Gardner's annotations.  I'm concurrently reading The Philosopher's Alice, and finding most of the notes more or less uninteresting.

The Story of the Stone aka Dream of the Red Chamber

The Odyssey, Lattimore translation.  I'm listening to an audiobook of the Iliad in the car, too.  I like Lattimore mostly.  Some of his sentences work out a little oddly, though.  Vagarities of translation I guess.

Basic Materials in Music Theory, a Programmed Course-brilliant, and just what I needed as I'm returning to playing classical piano

All One Wicca, the basic beginner text for the religious tradition of which I'm an outer court member.  I'm a longtime solitary practitioner, but re-reading material always opens up new avenues of research to me.

And finally, For a New Liberty.  The history sections in the beginning are as far as I've gone.  I like and dislike reading Rothbard.  A lot of his conclusions re: historical trends would sit better with me if they were better supported in the text.  Of course, it reads like a manifesto.  That WAS the objective.  It just comes across as a pretty narrow view.

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