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What are you reading?

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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.

He should have learned a thing or two from wicca.

 

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Lady Saiga replied on Fri, Jul 27 2012 10:11 AM

You're not wrong, but I'm not a revisionist and neither is my tradition.  The point is well taken, though. 

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I've been reading a bit on methodology,

  1. F.S.C. Northrop, “The Impossibility of a Theoretical Science of Economic Dynamics,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 56, 1 (1941), pp. 1–17;
  2. Karl Popper, “The Poverty of Historicism, I,” Economica 11, 42 (1944), pp. 86–103; “The Poverty of Historicism, II,” Economica 11, 43 (1944), pp. 119–137; “The Poverty of Historicism, III,” Economica 12, 46 (1945), pp. 69–89;
  3. Bruce Caldwell, “A Skirmish in the Popper Wars: Hutchinson versus Caldwell on Hayek, Popper, Mises, and Methodology,” Journal of Economic Methodology 16, 3 (2009), pp. 315–324;
  4. Jeffrey Friedman, “Popper, Weber, and Hayek: The Epistemology and Politics of Ignorance,” Critical Review 17, 1–2 (2005), pp. 1–58;
  5. Milton Friedman, “The Methodology of Positive Economics,” in Essays in Positive Economics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1966), pp. 3–16, 30–43;
  6. Bruce Caldwell, “Post-Keynesian Methodology: An Assessment,” Review of Political Economy 1, 1 (1989), pp. 43–64.
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bloomj31 replied on Sat, Jul 28 2012 11:42 PM

The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker

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I am currently reading, What Religions Don't Want You to Know...An Expose' of Belief Systems by RK Sidley. It is available from Amazon and smashwords.com (free).

From the introduction:

This book will critically examine mainstream religions and alternative belief systems. It will examine the historical record and behavior of certain well known religions who have perpetrated atrocities in the name of God, and will move on to consider a common thread inherent among all religions and denominations, i.e., control and manipulation over their adherents.

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I'm looking forward to reading Building Blocks for Liberty by Block.

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The Odyssey, Lattimore translation.

I LOVE Lattimore.  In fact, all other English versions of the Iliad pale in comparison to him.  It's the "King James" of the Iliad so far as I'm concerned.

That said, I like the Fitzgerald translation of the Odyssey, or even the Penguin translation.  Maybe because the Odyssey is so much "breezier" / fantastical it works better with a more loose and coloquial type of translation.

My 2 cents on that.  Either way there is no going wrong with Lattimore, so enjoy it.

 

"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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You're probably right.  The translation I read when I was a kid was just the old beat-up one my dad had in the house, probably from the used book store, and there's no telling whose translation it was.  I re-read it until it fell apart, so I can't look now!

I DO like Lattimore better than whoever that was, he's got a courtly formality that doesn't usually get in the way of clarity.  I find some funny stuff like tense adjustments within sentences, and I feel like this reflects his attempt to be as literal as possible. 

I have my doubts about the alliteration he sprinkles through the text in both Iliad and Odyssey.  It sometimes gives an Anglo-Saxon kind of feel that seems out of place.

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Interesting, I never reallynoticed any "anglo-saxonisms"- I'll keep my eyes peeled next time.  Though I'm not very anglo-saxon,so that may be lost on me. 

His  translations are the most literal, and the most Poetic especially trying to keep up with the dactylic hexameter and rhythym, epitaph, and many of the stock alliterations used in the Iliad.  My "Homeric" Greek is not so good, so I can't comment too much on how "pure" it is, but I am almost OK enough in "classic" Greek to know he does very good translations of shorter poetry and fragments.

anyway, if you want to read the Lattimore illiad translation this book is a great tool to go with it

http://www.amazon.com/Companion-The-Iliad-Phoenix-Books/dp/022689855

I'm not too sure if the Odyssey has a companion or not.  Once again though, I'm not sure if something like that would help it or hurt it.  It moves along so nicely by it's own nature. It is the worlds greatest romance / camp fire story, a companion may get in the way.   lol, I read my first version literally to it's death as a child too.

 

"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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That's funny!  That's the Companion I bought.  I haven't read it, though.  I'm listening to the Lattimore Iliad in audiobook format first, before I read it in print.  With texts I'm afraid I might lose focus on, I start with an audiobook. 

I doubt the Odyssey needs a companion reader.  It's not really very challenging, it's just a fun adventure story.  The Iliad is so much more about cultural and religious specifics, that I'm sure a companion would be helpful.  Also, the Iliad is absolutely FULL of references to the different city-states and areas of classical Greece, and their mythical heroes, and as I understand it, was sort of THE defining text that united the cultures of that whole area. 

Oddly, I never read the Iliad as a kid.  I once read Aeschylus' Agamamnon, I think in about eighth grade, and found it so depressing I retreated into Jane Austen, and never revisited the Trojan War in any other texts.  I've been meaning to look into The Aeneid at some point too.  From my initial glance-through, it's disappointing in that it's so very political and pro-Roman-state.  Homer's not political, so I find it easier to read him for pleasure. 

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Every TRUE reader has certain books they have to re-assemble in page order before reading, heh heh heh. 

Mine as a child were Tolkein and C. S. Lewis, Malory, Jane Austen, Homer, E. Nesbit, L.M. Alcott, James Stephens, Rudyard Kipling, and certain Shakespeare plays, especially Henry V.  Going back a little further, anything illustrated by Adrienne Segur and Maurice Sendak.

Now ask me if I ever read the stuff they assigned in school.  Shrug.

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I review Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid: Not-so-Humanitarian Aid. For those who haven't read it, I suggest doing so. It's relatively short, to the point, and a good analysis of the problems with foreign aid.

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Wheylous replied on Tue, Aug 14 2012 6:40 PM

Ooh, I like the looks of that. Definitely on my reading list.

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Jonathan M. F. Catalán:
I review Dambisa Moyo's Dead Aid: Not-so-Humanitarian Aid. For those who haven't read it, I suggest doing so. It's relatively short, to the point, and a good analysis of the problems with foreign aid.

Yeah, unfortunately she didn't stick to that.

 

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The video doesn't suggest her views on aid have changed; it suggests that her understanding of economics in general is a bit ... poor. I've actually noticed that economists who've done good work in development economics fail to extrapolate their findings to the rest of the world.

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"Le chômage, fatalité ou nécessité ?" (you can translate as follows "Unemployment, Fate or Necessity ?") is a 2005 book I read a long time ago. I have just finished writing a review, in english. See here. This a short article however (my english is not very good).

 

 
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Anenome replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 12:49 AM

Can't believe I've only now discovered Rothbard.

This is mother's milk. By god, it's so beautiful. If you haven't, you've got to read For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, and Ethics of Liberty, and then everything else he wrote :D

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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I have actually not yet read any book by Rothbard. I was considering buying FaNL and EoL, but I decided that the cost is too high for me right now. I was considering printing them out at Fedex, but it turns out it's more expensive. I guess I'll just have to read them on a computer. But I hate how I can't annotate them there. Anyone know of any good way to annotate pdfs?

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Clayton replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 5:48 PM

@Whey: I thought you're in college. Just print it out at school, bro.

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Bert replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 5:53 PM

Few years after reading Rothbard I feel like I've moved on from Rothbard, but that's just me.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Clayton - right as I was posting I checked whether it's free, but it's not. It costs 10 cents per page. Still too expensive for a 400 page book.

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Aren't

there

 

epu

b

versions of the books? Than use an eBook reader that let's you annotate.

 

^^^^^ I'm not going to correct that. The RTE is $h!t.

 

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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Recently picked up Ricardo's Principles at a used bookstore. After I finish Capital, I plan on reading that along with Marshall's Principles, Keynes's General Theory, Keen's Debunking Economics, and Smith's Wealth of Nations. I'm also interested in reading Walras, Schumpeter, and Sraffa--and more Marx of course!

"The limits of my language mean the limits of my world." ~ Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Anenome replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 10:37 PM

Wheylous: Get the Epub version. Or Kindle desktop app and use the free Calibre reader to turn it into a .Mobi. Pretty sure the Kindle lets you do annotations. Plus, you get searchability. There's also an audiobook version for both.

Bert:
Few years after reading Rothbard I feel like I've moved on from Rothbard, but that's just me.

Moved on to what or who exactly? I suppose Hoppe has taken up at least part of the mantle. I'm sure Rothbard's not the end of the intellectual journey, but I think he should be the start for any libertarian :)

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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Bert replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 11:38 PM

Moved on to what or who exactly?

To whatever else, which is a vague answer, but there's a lot with Rothbard that after some time I'm just like "eh, whatever."  I simply don't adhere to everything he says like I used to.  When it's strictly economics and political structures I agree, on other things I just don't pay any mind to it anymore.  But on a whole my intellectual focus has moved on from econ and politics to religion and Jungian psychology.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Clayton replied on Sun, Sep 2 2012 11:50 PM

I think my main disagreement with Rothbard is whether the contents human nature can be known a priori or empirically. Rothbard seemed to think that it can be determined a priori. I disagree. This kind of throws a wrench in his ethics.

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I am finishing up Fifty Dead Men Walking - The Heroic True Story of a British Secret Agent Inside the IRA.

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Bert replied on Mon, Sep 3 2012 9:23 AM

This kind of throws a wrench in his ethics.

That being another thing.  I don't care for Rothbardian ethics at all, but it would be like preaching to the choir on that subject on this forum.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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David B replied on Mon, Sep 3 2012 11:23 AM

Bert:

This kind of throws a wrench in his ethics.

That being another thing.  I don't care for Rothbardian ethics at all, but it would be like preaching to the choir on that subject on this forum.

I don't think that's necessarily true.  You might be surprised.  Personally, I'm dismayed by any author who shortcuts to "right" without starting from a fundamental explanation of what occurs.  With the Political and Ethical, I start from the assumption that all of what actually happens can and should be understood first from a Praxeological framework.  If we explain how the things that happen occur, then we can ask interesting questions. What follows from these specific beliefs, norms, laws, political institutions?  What is the side effect of these religious teachings on time preference, on savings, investment, capital accumulation, work ethic, etc?

I think Rothbard provides some very sound analysis and explanation of how different ethical and political principles impact the social group.  But instead of leaving it at that, he continues beyond this to ascribe secondary and tertiary mischeivous purpose to the members of society who drive or implement such ethical and political principles.  I don't believe this is necessarily fair.  Or even appropriate.  The analysis of the necessary side effects is sufficient.  Leave it to the reader to draw his own conclusions about the world he wishes to pursue and embrace.

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Jonathan M. F. Catalán:
The video doesn't suggest her views on aid have changed; it suggests that her understanding of economics in general is a bit ... poor.

Yeah that's what I meant was the unfortunate part...not that her views on Africa changed, but that she didn't stick to subjects she understands.

 

I've actually noticed that economists who've done good work in development economics fail to extrapolate their findings to the rest of the world.

Sowell wrote a whole book largely on this topic:

 

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Bert:
Few years after reading Rothbard I feel like I've moved on from Rothbard, but that's just me.

Did you say this elsewhere in the forum?  This sounds so familiar.

 

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Bert replied on Mon, Sep 3 2012 12:46 PM

Did you say this elsewhere in the forum?  This sounds so familiar.

Yeah, you were the one who previously asked as to why.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Wheylous replied on Wed, Sep 5 2012 10:04 AM

I finished reading Building Blocks for Liberty. Overall, I thought it was a good book. The first section was the best. The Human Rights section elicited some criticism from me as I read it. The language section was not very useful (except the "national income" section - that was pretty good).

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I just started reading the short ebook, The Global Manipulators: The Bilderberg Group ... The Trilateral Commission ... covert power groups of the West by Robert Eringer.

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Just read "A Land Remembered" by Patrick D. Smith. Incredible book (I know it's not libertarian, but it's still a great story)

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Maynard replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 1:31 PM

I'm reading How Capitalism Saved America by DiLorenzo and Basic Economics by Sowell right now. Next up are Sowell's Economics Facts and Fallacies and Applied Economics. And I just finished A River Runs through It and Other Stories. Excellent reading.

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Clayton replied on Thu, Sep 27 2012 2:11 PM

Attention Readers: I've contemplated the idea of writing a "conspiracy action genre" fiction (think Da Vinci Code but completely different of course) piece. I have some really, really wild ideas for the setting and some plot surprises that I'm sure would keep people guessing and maintain suspense. However, I'm a firm believer that it is really character development and character-conflict that draws people into a story and keeps their attention. To this end, I'm curious if anyone would be willing to share their favorite fiction characters that really just reached out and grabbed them: real, three-dimensional characters; characters with Shakespearean depth and subtlety. Character conflicts that are completely believable and engrossing.

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Don Quixote, definitely.

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Jeeves and Bertie wooster

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Offhand, some more worthy than others but all good in their way and place:

Kim

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Alice

Pip

Odysseus

Sherlock Holmes

Mr. Toad

Elizabeth Bennett

Moomintroll

Sir Lancelot  

I’m avoiding Shakespeare here, you seemed not to want those characters.  I hesitated over Tess, because I couldn’t respect her.  But she’s awfully memorable.

 

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