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On 8/23/2021 at 1:50 PM, droid said:

I liked it, the 'fantasy' section was a bit long winded, but I think it paid off, and the chutzpah required to try and create a fantasy epic/genesis myth within the realms of simulation theory was impressive. It was almost like a reverse of anathem. Sci fi segueing into fantasy, reality cohereing instead of decohering.


On 8/24/2021 at 1:41 AM, baph said:

Re: Stephnson’s Fall:

  Reveal hidden contents

Still, some nice ideas in the book. The social media/augmented reality/hoax stuff in the first third could have been enough to sustain a novel on its own, probably.

I liked it, but it’s my least favorite thing from him.

It looks like Neal’s next book might be another “rich guy with big idea” thing and I sort of hoped he’d move on from that narrative obsession after writing another book about Dodge.  In hindsight I’m starting to wonder how he managed to write all of Anathem without needing to fixate on the supplier of capital.  

Starting to get more into it, the social media feeds and Ameristan don’t feel totally unreal. 
His obsession with capital and uber-rich is a little weird for sure. 

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On 9/5/2021 at 9:01 AM, Milwaukeeeee said:

i remember reading this when i was 18 & doing all the exercises in it. i remember some of them actually being pretty engaging, like the one where you start by going "i am sitting here, doing this exercise because..." and then try to trace the chain of causality as far back as you can

september reading:

kuhn's the structure of scientific revolutions. just finished it, very good

paul gottfried - After Liberalism. this was also pretty interesting. he basically presents the same idea as Kondylis (that bourgeois liberalism has slowly mutated into a global managerial state) but much much easier to read. i think gottfried might be of the "postmodern right" (his term) but i don't consider that a mark against him

marx's grundrisse - doing a proper reading of it after having it on my shelf for a while. he seems to be doing more of a sociological analysis of the effect of currency & exchange value on cultural development here, compared to das kapital. there's also far less of the long polemical footnotes & extended lists of statistical data from the 1850s, which makes it easier to read

the complete works of aristotle - i didn't have any internet for 10 days. i got bored. i mean i'm not done yet but i'll probably try to at least hit all the major ones i haven't read yet

deleuze - logic of sense. i feel like i'm probably going to have to read this one again, it's pretty dense even for deleuze. maybe i'll read alice in wonderland first

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recently picked up bot volumes (1, 2+3) of Bataille's The Accursed Share. Slowly working through em, hopefully write on them for my political economy paper at the end of the semester. Otherwise reading some Gurdjieff (rec. from James Ellis ofc). read a few chapters from the Republic during mid-sem break, would like to read more once the semesters up.

Also need to finish The WIndup Girl by bacigalupi. definitely hits my scifi/econ bone.

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5 hours ago, MadellisTheSixth said:

Gurdjieff (rec. from James Ellis ofc)

yah Hermitix stanning Gurdjieff makes me want to read his stuff. I found volume three of Beezlebub's Tales to His Grandson a few years ago at a bookstore, but haven't really dipped into it because it doesn't seem like something you can just start in the middle

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Currently rereading Charlie Kaufman's Antkind because its intricate and obsessive structure kinda hides in plain sight, til you get to the end and its like 'oh, fuck me, I wasn't even paying attention', and all the incidental-looking stuff turns out to be the heart of the thing. 

Also finally (and rather slowly) reading Infinite Jest because my girlfriend left me and it's her favorite book and we occasionally still hang out and talk so it's an excuse to talk to her I guess. *shrug*

Also just ordered Badiou's Being and Event and William H. Gass' The Tunnel. 

Hopefully i'll finish at least one of them.




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18 hours ago, LimpyLoo said:

Badiou's Being and Event

i really enjoy this book even though i'm not sold on the "math is ontology" angle. have read it twice. planning on reading his theory of the subject at some point. also listening to badiou lectures on youtube is a good way to improve french comprehension imo

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2 minutes ago, Cryptowen said:

also listening to badiou lectures on youtube is a good way to improve french comprehension imo

Or when he lectures in English: French-accent comprehension, amarite? (The guy in the second row clearly knowsbwhat I'm talking about...)

I started reading a pdf of B&E (he shoulda called it 'B&E imo) and I had zero knowledge of the ZFC axioms/patches/ad-hoc-duct-tape-job (though I knew that Russell's paradox was the problem with naive set theory) so I ordered the book and tried to brush up in the meanwhile.

I will say that to the extent that math/set-theory is a constructed language (as opposed to a Platonic 'discovery'): you can't learn/deduce from it truths about ontology/metaphysics, for the same reason you can't learn about the world from studying the English alphabet.

(A mathematical Platonist might counter: 'well how come math maps onto reality so nicely?' Whereby a constructivist might say 'because we hand-pick the equations that map so nicely onto reality...')

Anyway point being: I don't intend to agree with Badiou on alot of this stuff. And also I have alot of weird ideas about "set-theory/predicates/categories as shitty-bitrate samples of reality" that for sanity/brevity I'll omit.


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A month ago I read Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon and was kinda blown away at how elegant and sorta haikuesque it was. I was expecting a cool detective story buried under cliche-ridden garbage prose, but goddamn, dude was a poet. Not a single hair out of place in that book.

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I've actually been reading 19th century newspapers from the US government's big online collection this week.  They're pretty nuts.


Like, for example, the front page story in this one about a logger who has a friendly wrestling match with another logger and then bites his opponents tongue off, walks out into the street and spits the tongue out, all in front of a crowd, and then denies it. It's about the way it's reported, though.


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Just bought: 

-Life Sentences  ::::William H. Gass::::

-The Kristeva Reader  ::::Julia Kristeva::::

I've channelled all of my addict energy/money into buying books (far faster than I can actually read any of them) 

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I'm still reading Lucy Ellman's Ducks, Newburyport. It ain't half a fucking slog.

It's 1000 pages of near-puncuation-less and completely-paragraph-less stream of consciousness prose of all the thoughts flying around inside an Ohio housewife's head as she makes pies in her kitchen.

Every now and then the action switches up (to give you a break mostly) to a nearby female mountain lion who has just had some kittens. These parts are barely 2 pages long though, before switching back to another 100-200 pages of 'the fact that'

Oh I forgot to mention that. Every single sentence in the Ohio housewife's parts of the book are punctuated with 'the fact that'. To be fair if you dive in and read it at breakneck speed, it acts as a kind of rhythmic device/anchor.

I have 200 pages left, pray for me.

Edited by hello spiral
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David  Hockney - That's the way i see it 

Franz Kafka - The Castle

Francis Bacon: Painting, Philosophy, Psychoanalysis

Stephen Hawking -A Brief History of Time

L'Atelier du compositeur: Écrits autobiographiques, commentaires sur ses oeuvres  by György Ligeti


One excellent thing about the covid antisocial hermit mode, is that i started reading a lot more than before because of it.

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On 9/22/2021 at 5:01 PM, LimpyLoo said:

Or when he lectures in English: French-accent comprehension, amarite? (The guy in the second row clearly knowsbwhat I'm talking about...)

I started reading a pdf of B&E (he shoulda called it 'B&E imo) and I had zero knowledge of the ZFC axioms/patches/ad-hoc-duct-tape-job (though I knew that Russell's paradox was the problem with naive set theory) so I ordered the book and tried to brush up in the meanwhile.

I will say that to the extent that math/set-theory is a constructed language (as opposed to a Platonic 'discovery'): you can't learn/deduce from it truths about ontology/metaphysics, for the same reason you can't learn about the world from studying the English alphabet.

(A mathematical Platonist might counter: 'well how come math maps onto reality so nicely?' Whereby a constructivist might say 'because we hand-pick the equations that map so nicely onto reality...')

Anyway point being: I don't intend to agree with Badiou on alot of this stuff. And also I have alot of weird ideas about "set-theory/predicates/categories as shitty-bitrate samples of reality" that for sanity/brevity I'll omit.


Barely have any knowledge of maths but on the subject, those talks were quite interesting.

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40 minutes ago, thefxbip said:

Barely have any knowledge of maths but on the subject, those talks were quite interesting.

I love David Albert (from the panel in the first vid): he's a rare case of someone who knows as much philosophy as he does mathematics physics. 


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Been reading a lot of Joyce Carol Oates in recent months.

Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars (patriarch dies saga)

Carthage (daughter goes missing, mistook it for true-crime until halfway through)

A Book of American Martyrs (abortionist killed)


Plus a few short story collections (Give Me Your Heart, Sourland, The Evil Eye) - not as good but a quick palette cleanser given her novels can be long


She's cool. Gets bereavement, does gothic stuff well, and don't give a crap, very productive. Some of it is more borrow-from-library, but the first two I mentioned really connected with me and are worth an own. Will try to get my mother into her (already got my father into Nevil Shute this year, and think JCO is something my mum will get).

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Bought in last 3 days:

-Freud, S, Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis

-Freud, S, Three Case Histories: The "Wolf Man," The "Rat Man," and The Psychotic Doctor Schreber

-Kristeva, Julia, The Old Man and the Wolves

Cohen, Leonard, Selected Poems 1956-1968 (paperback from 1969 woot woot)

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1 hour ago, Wunderbar said:

so did u guys learn anything cool from all this reading?

(Personally) I wouldn't even know where to begin. Reading is kinda my favorite thing in the world (rn, at least). 

I'm fascinated by people and their existential dimension. Many people around me (sometimes including me) are just perpetually having a bad time. No doubt some of that stems from the world itself being toxic in various ways, but very often it's rather something internal. ('Neurosis' tends to have a biographical basis.) So anyway much of what I read points in that direction.

(The three case studies by Freud are kinda *extreme* examples of this, the case of Lola Voss in Binswanger's Being-in-the-World too. They all entail these patients' elaborate 'world-designs', where Schreber thinks to stave off the Apocalypse he's gotta become God's bride and shoot this healing light out of his asshole to like resurrect all the world's dead and there's some mystical Sun-Anus that he worships, and Lola Voss is *ahem* obsessed with hunchbacks and she thinks an oracle God has sprinkled clues all around her that she's gotta decipher and if she wears the wrong dress and uses the wrong pen when writing a letter then the world will end...)

So...that's what I've learned in the last week lol.

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finished William James' Varieties of Religious Experience yesterday - good stuff, he's quite easy to read, though I doubt many on watmm would care for the topic. I'm now diving into a collection of M.R. James' ghost stories. Reading short horror anthologies has become an October tradition for me, and I generally really enjoy the late 19th century stuff; last year was lots of Machen and Blackwood. 

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