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Books and their influences

Nanhesru Ningyake
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Joined: Nov 29, 2000
Posts: 452
Has reading a book changed your life? What book is it, and why?
Mine: 'Future Shock', by Alvin Toffler. I read this book about 10 years ago. It suddenly kicked me out of the placid groove I was in. I started questioning all accepted practices, rituals... and generally made life hell for my parents by defying some of our religious traditions. It awakened me to a new plane of thinking, and that influence has stayed with me even now. (It was not comfortable defying my parents, so I eventually toned down my heretical views on religion ).

[This message has been edited by Nanhesru Ningyake (edited November 27, 2001).]


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Mapraputa Is
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Interesting. I do not remember reading "Future Shock", but I've read "The Third Wave" and found it pretty empty. Maybe "Future Shock" is different, I do not know. My favourite are Karen Horney late books (she wrote quite a few and it's hard to point only one. Let your God keep you from reading her early books - they are heavily Freud influenced). It was the best I've ever read about human nature - taken as an isolated phenomenon. Roland Barthes' Mythologies is good, it's about what human beings as social phenomena are. Both authors effectively prevents me from thinking too good about myself
What scares me, however, is that awakening is permanent. It's like you awake only to learn (later) that you are still sleeping.

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Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

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Of course, all above is written in assumption that there is only one truly good book - Hofstadter's "Gödel, Escher, Bach". If to see math not as a set of dull procedures for number/symbol manipulations, but to think about what it all means - it will drive your insane like no one other science. (That's why they never teach real math in school). All other sciences ultimately pass "why?" question to Math, they are no more than translators from domain languages to the Math language, and there is only unbearably profound silence in response...
Masala Dosa
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 6
Can't think of any book that influenced me...but if there is one book I hate, it has to be Ayn Rand's Fountainhead.Read it around 10 years back.I have friends who absolutely love that book...maybe I was too young to understand it(??). Lemme re-read it again now(older and wiser!)
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Posts: 8521
Masala Dosa,
Skip the Fountainhead and go straight for "Atlas Shrugged".
Rather extreme, but certainly makes its point - and a great read.


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Lalooprasad Yadav
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Joined: Nov 03, 2001
Posts: 92

Miguel De Cervantes' Don Quixote. This book teaches you the fine art of waging war on windmills. Milton spoke of one kind of dubious battle in Pardise Lost, Cervantes went one step further and created the supreme battle. A battle where the foe himself has a dubious quality.
Greg Harris
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Joined: Apr 12, 2001
Posts: 1012
Walden - Henry David Thoreau

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.


what?
Anonymous
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The Catcher in the Rye
Masala Dosa
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 6
Thanks Cindy, actually Atlas Shrugged is gathering dust somewhere at home...
Will read it and maybe we can discuss it...?

md.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Originally posted by ersin eser:
awakening is like an onion

NO, no - it is SHREK that is like an onion . . .
Andy Rodriguez
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Joined: Oct 16, 2001
Posts: 95
I haven't but ...heard a lot of stories about the book and met people who swear by it : http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140244751/o/qid%3D999788375/sr%3D2-4/ref%3Dsr%5Fsp%5Fbow%5F1%5F4/202-6628906-4104617
Allen Carr's book on how to quit smoking .

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Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
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I agree with Map. GEB is the book.
[This message has been edited by Thomas Paul (edited November 28, 2001).]


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Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
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Though I read mostly Indian literature, I found "ONE" (Richard Bach) very interesting and really thought provoking..
Every other day when we discuss about Space-Time and Black holes, for no reason I have found myself relating scientific that to the 'ONE' concept of life/time/instance pattern.
Just curious to know is there any one else with same opinion..

Ashok.


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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
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    6

Ren´┐Ż Descartes: Discourse on Method (1637)
Depths of Time: Roger MacBride Allen
Left Behind Series: Time Lahaye & Jerry Jenkins.
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David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
I agree with Map. GEB is the book.

Yeah, I'm about 1/2 way through but I get time off for good behaviour.
It makes my eyes go funny...
Daniel Dunleavy
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Joined: Mar 13, 2001
Posts: 276
Cindy...I liked Atlus better too.
Thought Catcher in the Rye was boring. I guess more preppy people could relate.
Liked the hobbit, knock on any door, and fahrenheit 451 in school.
Later in life I found books on philosophy interesting. It was a pleasure to find some of my own beliefs somewhere as well as some intelligent arguments for beliefs I did not hold. And then thoughts on topics I might not ponder...such as 'quality' in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Dan

[This message has been edited by Daniel Dunleavy (edited November 28, 2001).]
Mapraputa Is
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I see that we mix fiction and non-fiction. Not good. I suggest two separate nominations. My favourite fiction is Herman Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" - it gives the most honest metaphor of human life.
Mapraputa Is
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Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Back to non-fiction. GEB is different from other books in that other books teach you what to think, and GEB teaches you how to think. It tells that paradoxes aren't just "bad thinking" we need to get rid of - they are what our knowledge is ground on. This book made my way of thinking intrinsically paradoxical (some phenomenological thinkers erroneously defined it as "self-deprecating perspectives" )
Mike Curwen
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Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 3695

Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality
Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century.
by John Boswell, University of Chicago

And yes, it's possible to be both more pissed off and less pissed off, all in the same moment. Enlightenment is paradoxical.
[This message has been edited by Mike Curwen (edited November 28, 2001).]
Amitabh Sharma
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Joined: Oct 11, 2001
Posts: 126

Cosmos - Author Carl Sagan.
Somewhere in that book the author talks about a fourth dimension. That really made me think. He gave the example of how an ant can only see in 2 D and if someone taps it from above then it runs like crazy. Could it be possible that humans can only see in 3D and there is the 4th dimensions from which aliens are watching us? Anyone got a tap from "above" that you could not explain?
Nanhesru Ningyake
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Joined: Nov 29, 2000
Posts: 452
Reading GEB got me appreciating Bach's compositions. He's now my #2 classical choice (#1 is Mozart, of course).
Other interesting/inspiring/entertaining books I've read:
'Think and Grow Rich' - Napolean Hill
'Jonathan Livingston Seagull' - Richard Bach
'Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman!' - Richard Feynman
'The Autobiography of a Yogi' - Paramahamsa Yogananda
'Fuzzy Thinking' - Bart Kosko
All books written by Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

[This message has been edited by Nanhesru Ningyake (edited December 01, 2001).]
Jane Griscti
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Posts: 3141
Can't say I've read any one book that changed my life although there have been many authors over the years that have influenced the way I look at life: Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Krishnamurti, Plato (only the Socratic dialogues), Georg Kuhlewind.
Masala ... personally I disliked the philosophy in both Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The belief that only a small fraction of human beings are willing to engage in anything worthwhile is, to my mind, pure elitism. Always found that people who espouse this view invariably think they are one of the worthwhile
Fiction ... how can anyone pick only one favourite If my house was on fire guess the ones I'd try to save (after my kids, husband and the dog ) would be:
Catch 22
To Kill a Mockingbird
Dune
Lord of the Rings
The Talisman
The Fifth Horseman
DragonRiders of Pern
All my Robert Fiests
All my Ludlums ( have to have my brain candy )
and of course Effective Java
Map ... still haven't read GEB or any Karen Horney or a million other books I keep meaning to get to

Jane Griscti
SCJP, Co-author Mike Meyers' Java 2 Certification Passport
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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The author of GEB, Douglas Hofstadter, wrote another book, "Le Ton Beau De Marot : In Praise of the Music of Language". I picked it up in a bookstore just to skim through it and I couldn't put it down. Hofstadter knows how to make people think.
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Posts: 7292

Winnie the Pooh.


Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Andy Rodriguez
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Joined: Aug 30, 2001
Posts: 34
I have finally quit smoking - partly due to the book ..its been 5 days and it feels good to say that i have quit ( hope to stay that way )and also partly due to reading jiddu - http://www.kfa.org/


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Sameer Jamal
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Posts: 1870
Originally posted by Masala Dosa:
Can't think of any book that influenced me...but if there is one book I hate, it has to be Ayn Rand's Fountainhead.Read it around 10 years back.I have friends who absolutely love that book...maybe I was too young to understand it(??). Lemme re-read it again now(older and wiser!)

hi I think u will really like the bartender's favorite book ' How to prepare sambhar vada and idli from masala dosa ' by mapraputa is please read that book if it is not available in the market ask mapraputa is to send u one
Masala Dosa
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 27, 2001
Posts: 6
Hi Sameer,
While somebody might actually come up with a book by that name, it will really be something if one could *actually* prepare sambhar ,vada and idly *from* a masala dosa
not exactly waititng for that book or that day,
md
ps: anybody like the William series by Richmal Crompton ??
Amitabh Sharma
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Joined: Oct 11, 2001
Posts: 126

Arc of Ambition
- by James Champy and Nitin Nahoria
Joseph Russell
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 290
Daniel: If you liked fahrenheit 451 they are going to make a movie out of it. The same director of The Green Mile, Shawshank Redemption and The Majestic is going to begin making it next year. I believe it will be released in 2003 or maybe this time next year.
I just read Atlas Shrugged a few months ago. It was good but way too long (it seemed like she was dumping her philosphy on me instead of writing a novel) and while I didn't agree with everything I thought it was thought provoking.
Looks like I'll have to go check out Douglas Hofstadter's books.
George Brown
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Joined: Sep 26, 2000
Posts: 919
Whenever I read the words 'this book will change your life' on the back (or front) of a book I immediately ignore/discard it.
I did find 'The Diving-Bell & The Butterfly' by Jean-Dominique Bauby particularly moving. I highly recommend it. And nowhere on the cover does it mention changing your life.
frank davis
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Joined: Feb 12, 2001
Posts: 1479
Without a doubt Ayn Rand's "The Virtue Of Selfishness" and "Capitalism" (specifically the 5 page appendix at the back discussing the man's rights). Her logic and reasoning were so compelling my moral/political views were transformed. Her sentences are very consise but packed with meaning and you need to read slowly, thoughtfully, several times with long pauses to consider all the implications of what she is saying. After your eyes are opened there will be a lot you see you don't like, but you will be thankful you are no longer blind.

Those two non fiction books explain her ideas much more clearly and concisely than her fiction books "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead", etc.
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
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Joined: Sep 29, 2000
Posts: 8521
Yeah, but then I couldn't go around saying "Who is John Gault?".
Daniel Dunleavy
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Joined: Mar 13, 2001
Posts: 276
Joseph,
They already made a movie of F451. It was English and I forget the name of the actor. I think the wife was Julie Christie. Today they could probably do a good job on the Look/Special Effects.
Dan
Joseph Russell
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Joined: Jan 08, 2001
Posts: 290
I'll have to see if they have it at the library. Thanks
Hema Menon
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Joined: Oct 29, 2000
Posts: 569
Who moved my Cheese?
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Later,
Hema


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