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Recommended reading

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bluegray
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« on: September 10, 2006, 22:17:18 PM »

Please post any interesting books or links that influenced you.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
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EM
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2006, 11:01:21 AM »

Almost done with "How the mind works" by Steven Pinker. 
A very nice read with some interesting ideas.

Then of course almost anything by Richard Dawkins, but especially "The blind watchmaker" and "The selfish gene"

"A short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson was good, although I did skip almost an entire chapter where he got heavily into Taxonomy.

And the last one I want to mention is "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out"  a Collection of short works by Richard Feynman.  It gives a good insight into the life and views of an extraordinary person.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2006, 14:52:36 PM »

Apart from those sceptical books already mentioned, a short list of those I consider either important or very readable, or both:

Martin Gardner - Fads and Fallacies (Actually, anything by Gardner is worth reading)
Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn - How To Think About Weird Things
Nicholas Humphrey - Leaps of Faith
David Mills - Atheist Universe
James Randi - Flim Flam

'Luthon64
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qrios
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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2006, 11:23:14 AM »

Interesting link on what the Pope actually said...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/featherstone/featherstone62.html
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SecretCode
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2006, 21:56:22 PM »

Almost done with "How the mind works" by Steven Pinker. 
A very nice read with some interesting ideas.
If you enjoyed that, you'd probably like "Consciousness Explained" by Daniel Dennett.
And "Words and Rules" also by Steven Pinker.

"A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking is definitely worth a recommendation. But for a book that really influenced me: "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter.
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2006, 08:40:40 AM »

I have been searching for something by Daniel Dennett, looks like I will have to resort to the Amazon route...
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qrios
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2006, 08:54:45 AM »

I have been searching for something by Daniel Dennett, looks like I will have to resort to the Amazon route...

Got Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren - Essays On Designing Minds in e-book if you want.....
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2006, 22:49:52 PM »

I have been searching for something by Daniel Dennett, looks like I will have to resort to the Amazon route...
When I get my copy of Consciousness Explained back from the person who's reading it now Roll Eyes you could borrow it ... whereabouts are you?
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2006, 12:15:00 PM »

SecretCode,
That would be great!  Maybe we can do a temporary swap.

I am in the Ormonde area during the day...

Qrios,
That e-book sound interesting. How big is the file?
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Mefiante
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2006, 12:41:46 PM »

For those who don't know about it, Project Gutenberg also has many thousands of free titles, which can be downloaded in a variety of file formats (TXT, HTML, PDF, Plucker).

However, it is unlikely that one will find modern titles (like Daniel Dennett) there, although there's a fine selection of old titles, both fiction and non-fiction, for the ardent bibliophile.

'Luthon64
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bluegray
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2006, 12:52:31 PM »

That is a great source for interesting books. I can recommend Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles Mackay.
What really is interesting, is that he deals with mostly the same issues we do today, but he wrote about it 150 years ago.
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Mefiante
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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2006, 13:10:30 PM »

Yes, Mackay's book is a wonderful compendium of human stupidities, from marketing hype, through the Crusades, witch hunts, and alchemy, etc.

But be warned - the book isn't for the faint-of-heart.  The three volumes come to over 700 ordinary pages, and, having first been published in the mid-1800s, the language use is very different to what one encounters these days.

'Luthon64
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bluegray
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2006, 13:16:25 PM »

I found the language not too difficult to get used to - qrios might have a problem though Tongue Wink
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qrios
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2006, 10:51:39 AM »

Oh bollocks and hogwash!!!! Grin

I can read ... its just the middle english that takes a bit more time.....

Thanx...

There goes my self-esteem Undecided

BTW... the Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren - Essays On Designing Minds - e-book is about 3 Meg's so I  can mail it, or upload it if someone wants it.....

I stay here - http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=-33.883036&lon=18.701942&z=12.7&r=0&src=ggl

Just zoom out.....  quite a nifty little tool.... I can actually see my house If I zoom in on the correct area... Grin
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bluegray
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2006, 11:14:26 AM »

Oh bollocks and hogwash!!!! Grin

I can read ... its just the middle english that takes a bit more time.....
Cheesy Yes it does take some effort. I still haven't read all of it yet.
There goes my self-esteem Undecided
Dont worry, you will get it back Wink
BTW... the Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren - Essays On Designing Minds - e-book is about 3 Meg's so I  can mail it, or upload it if someone wants it.....
I think it's better to share stuff like this privately.
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