Best author biographies according to redditors

We found 1,729 Reddit comments discussing the best author biographies. We ranked the 706 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

Next page

Top Reddit comments about Author Biographies:

u/KariQuiteContrary · 153 pointsr/books

In a rather different vein from a lot of the suggestions I'm seeing here, I want to plug Michael Herr's Dispatches as an incredible piece of Vietnam literature. There's also If I Die in a Combat Zone by Tim O'Brien.

If you're willing to consider graphic novels, check out Maus, Persepolis, and Laika.

If you're interested at all in vampires and folklore, I recommend Food for the Dead. Really interesting read.

A history-teacher friend of mine recently gave me The Lost City of Z by David Grann. I haven't gotten around to reading it yet, but it came highly recommended.

By the by, last year I required my students (high school seniors) to select and read a non-fiction book and gave them the following list of suggestions. Columbine was one of the really popular ones, and I had a bunch of kids (and a few teachers) recommending it to me, but, again, I haven't gotten to it yet.

  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steve D. Levitt
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemna: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
  • Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss
  • In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan
  • The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
  • The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
  • Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach
  • A Brief History of Time: The Updated and Expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition by Stephen Hawking
  • The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
  • The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman
  • Columbine by Dave Cullen
  • Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
  • The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston
  • Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach
  • SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt
  • Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Emil Frankl
  • At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson
  • Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
  • The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got that Way by Bill Bryson
  • Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry
  • The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
  • The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  • Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
  • Food For the Dead: On the Trail of New England’s Vampires by Michael E. Bell
  • Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
  • Ladies of Liberty: The Women Who Shaped Our Nation by Cokie Roberts
u/openmindedskeptic · 117 pointsr/pics

Go to a community college for 2 years before university, get a job, save every cent, get scholarships, sell your stuff, borrow textbooks from friends, find a cheap room to rent, and eat nothing but ramen. That's how i did it.

Here's a book by a student at Duke who secretly lived in his van to escape debt. If you're interested, I recommend it:

u/DeadAdventurer · 110 pointsr/todayilearned

I recently finished a book about that! The Professor and the Madman covers the lives of William Minor (the madman) and James Murray (the professor) while also providing an interesting look at the creation of the OED itself. It's about two hundred pages and flows by pretty quickly. Worth a read.

u/Pizza_bagel · 72 pointsr/todayilearned

Anyone interested in this topic should read Simon Winchester's The Meaning of Everything. He's also written a book called The Professor and the Madman about the relationship between the OED's editor and W.C. Minor, a prolific submitter that was actually imprisoned in a psychiatric ward because of a brutal murder.

u/slow_one · 65 pointsr/AskHistorians

Wow. Something I can talk to... I'm an engineer.
I'm going to guess that they mean "decimal place" or "place value". Arabic numerals have set places, based on their relation to zero, that define their meaning. The further from zero you are, the larger, or smaller, the value of the number is! Each spot further down the line is an order of magnitude smaller or larger!
Non-arabic numeral based systems don't have that constraint. Roman numerals, for instance, simply "add up" the value of each number but can have each number listed in the "numerical phrase" in various orders... and still represent the same number.
The advantage to having a system with place value comes in to play when you're doing complex, and abstract, math. Multiplication is an example of this. I don't even know how you would go about multiplying two numbers using Roman numerals... but, it's rather straight forward in Arabic Numeral/ Western Math... and even binary if base ten isn't your thing.
Also, while the Romans, and Greeks, had exposure to the concept of "nothing" they didn't really use "zero" in math (which is too bad, if they had, we might have gotten calculus a few centuries earlier) due to religious beliefs about the philosophical meaning between the concept of "The Infinite" and its opposite, "Nothing" (zero and infinity are both necessary for concepts for calculus... and the Greeks felt that Infinity was a Divine concept. And since Nothing is the Opposite of Infinity, it must be sinister and evil and not used).

Now, I don't know anything of Mayan math. But, if they had a positional, or place-holder, system, then they might have been able to do some very, very interesting math. Unfortunately, it looks like OP is saying that we can only show what the Mayans might have been capable off of the little we know of their counting method, and not actually what they could do...

Here's a link I found after a quick Google search
Here's one that summarizes the bit about Calculus (yes, it's pop-math history, but it's interesting and pretty decently written)

u/thebrettw · 43 pointsr/books
u/ICoverTheWaterfront · 41 pointsr/ShitLiberalsSay

I just read the article and I want to go back to bed:

Peak liberal ideology right here, folks

Edit: I just looked up the co-authors and found that one of them, Tyler Cowan, is the author of a book titled The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better.

Cowan's fundamental argument is that America's astronomical wealth rests on certain forms of """low-hanging fruit"""" such as """free land""" (which, he generously notes, "was often stolen from Native Americans, one should not forget) and that the benefits of that """low-hanging fruit""" have now ceased helping deliver the same rate of exploitation as it used to.

Simply put, his argument vindicates Marx's argument about the falling rate of profit, and this article with his co-author Patrick Collison is really about how to grasp this pseudo-object called "progress" in order to return us to past rates of profitability.

In conclusion: these fuckin liberals will drive a comrade to drink

Edit 2: This has to be one of the saddest sentences I've ever read lol:

>Along the cultural dimension, the artists of Renaissance Florence enriched the heritage of all humankind, and in the process created the masterworks that are still the lifeblood of the local economy.

u/cirion5 · 32 pointsr/tolkienfans

Keep in mind that Tolkien was alive when movies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were first being discussed, and was involved in early attempts at adaptation. He wrote on this very subject in several of the letters.

He seems to have changed his mind somewhat, becoming more protective over time. In letter 198, he seems rather blasé about it: he thinks it's impossible to adapt his work, but doesn't seem terribly bothered by it, and would be willing to let them try.

Letter 210, though, shows Tolkien responding much more in depth to a script of a proposed adaptation. I think it's interesting that he seems concerned not only about how the writers failed to understand crucial aspects of his story, but also about how their changes would make for a poor film. In particular, in several instances Tolkien proposes imply cutting certain characters or scenes from the book rather than bastardizing them.

u/MantisMU · 30 pointsr/MysteriousUniverse

Unfortunately it seems that you are the one "undereducated" on Socialism as you seem to fail to see its true nature and its ultimate goals.

The goal of socialism (as defined by Lenin) is Communism, and Communist regimes are responsible for more death and mass killings in the last 100 years than any other ideology. 100 million people dead is the estimate most often sighted.

Living in the "information age" does not make the ideology any less dangerous or destructive and you would be a fool to think otherwise. Human beings are too quick to forget the lessons of the past and it's clear to see that the thinking that lead to that staggering number of deaths is back in vogue.

>How much did the delivery of the baby cost in Australia? Close to zero. $3500 bucks on average for just the childbirth itself, just that one day, in the capitalist paradise of the United States.

In socialist systems someone always pays. I can tell you for a fact that the birth of my child, nor any healthcare I receive in Australia, is "free". I pay for it with an extremely high tax rate. It appears that you haven't thought very deeply about the realities of a socialist system if you think that things are "free".

I have thought deeply about these things and my conclusion is that the system is fundamentally immoral as the state is taking my property by force for redistribution. If I do not consent to the redistribution of my property the state will destroy my life with either prison or death (if I resist).

>dragging on American academics for pointing a finger at the oppressor culture that is the source of global strife and complaint.

It's interesting to me that I keep seeing this rhetoric about the "oppressor culture". You state that it is the source of global strife and complaint, but all I see is that your thinking is immersed in identity politics and this idea that everything should be seen through the lens of the 'oppressed and the oppressors'. I believe this is a kind of cult that has infected people's thinking and it has spread comprehensively in the Western world. Now I don't hold it against you because I too used to think like this. The elements of this post-modern, marxist thinking are highly pervasive and have infected almost every aspect of our society.

There is too much to unpack here and I need to get back to show research but I will say this; both Aaron and I do not subscribe to identity politics or the far left thinking that has become so prevalent in society. We will continue to talk (and joke) about whatever we find interesting on Mysterious Universe, and this might include things that cross over into political or cultural areas that some listeners do not agree with.

If you don't agree with our views and what we say then that's fine. You have the liberty to not listen to us whenever you please.

Recommended Reading:

u/pannonica · 23 pointsr/childfree

Have you ever read The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls?

It is equally amazing, engrossing, and super hard to read.

u/merv243 · 22 pointsr/CombatFootage

Erwin Rommel (of WWII fame) served from the start. He has a memoir of his experience that, even while probably self-inflated, shows just how skilled he was as a tactician.

Edit: Crap, I forgot the even crazier one, Storm of Steel. This guy served almost the entire war on the western front, finally getting wounded (not for the first time) in August, 1918, 1.5 months before the war's end. No idea how he made it out, if his stories are even half true.

u/JonNix · 21 pointsr/wikipedia

The Professor and the Madman tells the story of one contributor very well. I loved it at least

u/FBAScrub · 19 pointsr/TumblrInAction

Try The Gulag Archipelago. Can't recommend that book highly enough. The abridged version is the most palatable, but here is the full text of all three books for free if you don't mind reading in HTML.

Jordan Peterson talks about these ideas a lot, and about post-modernism/cultural Marxism and his clashes with the far-left. The Soviet Union is a huge topic of study for him and he touches on it a lot in his lecture. This one might be a decent place to start. It's quite a rabbit hole, but his YouTube channel is brilliant.

It's also important for you to read the works that are being criticized and understand how they led to these phenomenon. is a great resource with a huge library of writing. Try Lenin's The State and Revolution to get a primer on the kind of thought which went into executing Marxism in the founding of the Soviet Union.

Good luck.

u/dick_barnacle · 18 pointsr/worldnews

The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1: An Experiment in Literary Investigation

Go read that. Then tell us all how the Soviet Union doesn't compare to the third reich.

u/spisska · 16 pointsr/soccer

Read the book Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby.

It's pretty much a blueprint on how to be an Arsenal fan (and how to deal with the inevitable heartbreak that entails).

u/[deleted] · 15 pointsr/AskReddit

The following are some of my favorite books that I could think of off the top of my head. Hopefully you dig the list.

u/Versailles · 15 pointsr/tolkienfans

Two things:

  1. Tolkien later regretted that arch, light, childish manner in which he wrote The Hobbit, and even attempted a revision that aligned it more with the style of LOTR (a revision he abandoned by the third chapter.)

  2. Tolkien said that he looked forward to what other people would do with his world, how they might add to it with music, art, and architecture. He allowed that dreadful cartoon to be made. He seemed to understand that a different medium re-imagines the source material a little bit.

    Source: Tolkien's letters.
u/SilentStream · 13 pointsr/Fitness

Reminded me of Haruki Murakami's book on running, "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running," except, you know, no pictures or purple drink and fairies with cake. I'm sure he's written about cake-bearing fairies in one of his novels though...

u/_vikram · 13 pointsr/books

Elie Weisel's Night is an astonishing look at the horrors of World War II.

Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running covers mostly the ins and outs, mundane to nontrivial aspects of his writing career.

If you're interested in a graphic novel type of autobiography, there are two that are excellent:
Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis and Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life. The former is Satrapi's account of a young girl growing up in Iran and the latter is Tatsumi's perspective on post-war Japan. Both are very good.

u/LWRellim · 12 pointsr/Economics

>Many arguments from people like Noam Chomsky against capitalism is that real wages (ie inflation adjusted wages) have gone down in the US in the last 50 years. Is this actually true? Is it only true for certain sectors of the economy? Does anyone have any good links?

It is certainly true that real wages/compensation "peaked" or "plateaued" around the early-to-mid 1970's (the previous century plus they had pretty much risen at a regular and somewhat phenomenal rate).

The reasons for the plateau are arguable. It is almost certain that the US defaulting on the gold-exchange standard (unilaterally "breaking" the Bretton Woods agreement) in late 1971 was a big part of it. (And even "stickiness" played a part -- employers were VERY reticent to give across the board 10% wage increases, even when inflation was running HIGHER than that during the previous year. Government propaganda falsely attributing "inflation" to greed and high wage demands {and thus denying it's own role on the monetary devaluation side} certainly fed into that reticence.)

Elizabeth Warren makes a pretty solid case that the en masse addition of WOMEN into the workforce also had a dramatic effect (and a definite backward one in terms that previously women had worked on farms as hard as men -- but a chief difference is that as salaried/wage earning workers, their incomes were now fully taxed).

But I think Tyler Cowen makes a pretty good case in his recent "Great Stagnation" that another reason for the plateauing (and perhaps one underlying the monetary problem) was the fact that we we running out of low-hanging fruit on which to build that increasing wage (and you could add in that while innovation/productivity HAVE continued in basic things like food production, the law of diminishing returns applies).

And of course, people like Chomsky are in total denial about the role of "socialist" spending (welfare state) in all of that -- seeking to lay all of the blame on the "warfare state" side (even though economically speaking, both are non-productive governmental consumption factors).

u/PlentyToLearn · 11 pointsr/bugout

This book has everything you need to know.

u/smileyman · 10 pointsr/AskHistorians

The writing of the dictionaries is an interesting time period in European history. There were several attempts at dictionaries during the 17th century, as well as several attempts at encyclopedias. This also coincides with the highly formal and stylized Baroque period in music, all of which reflected the culture of the time. There's a fascinating book on the creation of the Oxford Dictionary titled The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary, and is a must read in my opinion. (As a side note Simon Winchester is fast becoming one of my favorite popular historians due to the breadth of subject material he writes about.)

u/dtino · 10 pointsr/running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Concise and level, inspiring. It's a memoir and really focuses in on the introspective part of running. Also the source of my favourite quote: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is Optional."

u/Changeitupnow · 10 pointsr/books
u/dude_guy · 10 pointsr/books

This was great, thanks for the link.

If you haven't read his book A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius I highly reccomend it. It turns its own pages.

u/Kevin_Wolf · 10 pointsr/IAmA

Oh man, before you do that read The Glass Castle. It's not quite like your story, but crazy family is crazy family.

u/bwana_singsong · 9 pointsr/TrueAskReddit

It's actually total transportation costs that gets me upset with modern agriculture. If you're part of a CSA, the farmer portions out the food into boxes, and transports it to the customers. If you buy a banana from Ecuador, the bananas have to be carefully handled, boxed, transported in a gigantic refrigerated ship, stored locally in appropriate storage. All of this time and material uses a great deal of energy, and also wastes a good deal of food, since not everything makes the trip in an edible state.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book about five years about her family's year-long experience of living as locavores. She writes very persuasively about obtaining greater quality of food, feeling more connected to the community and the food it produced, etc. Her choices are definitely not for everyone, as she and her her family were totally committed.

You mention local employment, but I think that's a wash, not really worth mentioning. You could argue both that people like Kingsolver took work away from farmers that could have supplied their needs, but also that the family gave their money away to other local businesses for supplies, advice, and services, all adding to local employment.

u/superadvancepet · 9 pointsr/AskAnthropology

Charles Seife wrote a book about this from a mathematical perspective (which is great, IMO).

He talks about a few cultures, and says that the Greeks, and thus much of the western world, were a bit twitchy about the concept of zero as a standalone number because it represented a void, which conflicted with the prevailing systems of philosophy. A lot of their math was based on geometry, like the Egyptians before them, and zero didn't exist in geometry. How can you think about a non-space?

There are interesting side effects of this - notably our calendar, which goes from 1 BC (-1) to 1 CE, with no zero, meaning it's very easy to mess up the arithmetic of time around then.

u/frabelle · 9 pointsr/simpleliving

Some memoirs... would probably fall under "practical."

  • "No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering" by Clara Bensen -- Putting this at the top of the list because I love the concept so much. Girl meets a guy and they decide to go on a multi-week trip to Europe together... with no luggage. Basically, all they have are the clothes on their back and what they can carry in their pockets / purse. (I learned later that said boyfriend is Jeff Wilson, aka "Professor Dumpster," the college professor who lived in a retrofitted dumpster to show people how lightly one can live on the earth. More here: The Dumpster Project )

  • "The Unsettlers: In Search of the Good Life in Today's America" by Mark Sundeen -- About three different couples that attempt homesteading in three remarkably different ways -- one in a traditional homestead on an old Amish farm with no electricity Northeastern Missouri where they teach others, one on an urban homestead in Detroit, and one on a farm attempting to be organic in Montana. This is probably the quirkiest, most offbeat title on the list and the one closest to my heart (possibly tying with "No Baggage.")

  • "The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir" by Dee Williams -- About a Boomer woman who builds her own tiny house to live in.

  • "Living Large in Our Little House: Thriving in 480 Square Feet with Six Dogs, a Husband, and One Remote" by Kerri Fivecoat-Campbell -- About a woman and her husband who were forced (due to financial circumstances) to live in their vacation cabin in the woods and ended up making it their full-time residence.

  • "The Shepherd's Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape" by James Rebanks -- About a guy who still raises sheep the traditional way in the Yorkshire Dales area of the UK. He's also published a photography book (since this memoir was a runaway bestseller across the pond) and has a beautifully quirky Instagram account worth a follow.

  • "Meet the Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living" by Elizabeth Willard Thames -- About a young woman in New England who decides with her husband to eschew superfluous purchases for a few years so that they can build up their savings enough to buy a farm in Vermont and raise their family without the need to work. While I know reaction to this writer have been mixed (it's very "you can do what we did too", despite the fact that the couple had no student loan debt and were from middle-class backgrounds with self-sufficient parents), it is quite inspiring, and reinvigorated my attempts at making conscious purchases.

  • "Walden on Wheels: On The Open Road from Debt to Freedom" by Ken Ilgunas -- About a post-college guy's adventures in living minimally in his twenties while attempting to pay back his student loans. While there are a number of different experiences he discusses, the main focus is on him deciding to live in a van while pursuing a master's degree so as to save on living costs.

  • "No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process" by Colin Beaven -- About a man with a young family who decides he will attempt, while living in their New York City apartment, to create zero impact on the environment for one full year. (This is also the title of a 2009 documentary about the same man, cataloguing his adventure.)

  • "Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping" by Judith Levine -- About a middle-aged writer who decides, along with her husband, to only buy imperative purchases, like food and toilet paper. No clothes, souvenirs, event tickets, etc. I found this to be quite well-written and another inspiring volume.

  • "The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store" by Cait Flanders -- Similar idea to the prior book, but instead it is a young woman living on her own. An enjoyable read, but I did not find it all that well-written.

  • "Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists" by Joshua Fields Millburn -- This book is by the guys who did the "Minimalism" documentary on Netflix. Pretty cookie cutter and not terribly well-written, but again, relatively inspiring. Something I appreciated about this book is that Joshua came from a very tumultuous, working-class background, which sheds a new light on going minimalist. (So often I feel like these memoirs are written by the typical white, affluent, college-educated Boomers or Millennials that have never had to struggle much with want.)
u/todolos · 9 pointsr/soccer


Nick Hornby.

u/maddata · 9 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

You can find pirate PDF copies with a bit of google-fu.

The comparison to the gilded age is totally laughable, we're in such a period of stagnation, with people fleeing any type of risk (and the associated growth) by any means necessary.

The gilded age, and it's "problems" were all pretty much a consequence of breakneck, unbridled, explosive growth.

They were at a rolling boil, we're not even at a simmer.

u/nobuo3317 · 8 pointsr/history

Have you read Zero: The Biography of A Dangerous Idea by Charles Seif? It's fantastic:

u/hand_truck · 8 pointsr/AdvancedRunning

> I've plateaued recently and I was hoping to take this time to take a step back and read up on the basics before I injure myself any further

May I suggest a different avenue? Maybe instead of delving to the science of running during your plateau, read about the why:

u/elchaghi · 8 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer

u/BarnabyWoods · 8 pointsr/pics

There's a book called Walden on Wheels by a guy who went through graduate school at Duke doing this.

u/Perdendosi · 8 pointsr/photoshopbattles

> Although, I'm sure the film is more well-known than this band.

Or the book.

u/besttrousers · 8 pointsr/AskSocialScience

You might be interested in read The great Stagnation.

u/entirelyalive · 8 pointsr/AskSocialScience

First off, Okun's law is partly observational (though it can be derived through IS-LM), and because of that it is really only tested for "normal" situations, and there are no completely fixed economies in the real world, even Japan has a certain level of churn even when the aggregates hover around zero. Like most economic theories, the predictions are strongest at the margin.

To address the main question, to a certain extent the answer is implied in the question. When dealing with mathematical (textbook) macro, we simply assume that GDP is equivalent to welfare, because on a micro level it is impossible to aggregate utility. From a theoretical standpoint, assuming GDP growth equal to zero is equivalent to assuming welfare change equal to zero.

Now, from a societal standpoint this becomes more complicated. As mentioned, even when the macroeconomic aggregates are relatively steady the underlying real economy can experience tremendous fluctuations. For example, US inflation over the last few years has been overall rather moderate, even though food prices have risen and technology costs have fallen. Similarly, if Consumption falls by a trillion dollars and Gov't Spending rises by a trillion dollars, it is possible (though not necessary) that this could represent a fairly large decrease in consumer welfare even though the aggregate figure is static.

Further, there are socio-economic reasons to assume that stagnant GDP would hurt welfare. Tyler Cowen theorizes that US economic growth is due for a drastic slowdown in the near to mid term, and that because so many contracts and expectations are based on the idea of continuous economic growth this will cause a great deal of disruption. If we wish away these fairly high transition costs, a society that was organized and expecting zero growth would be so very different from what economic science typically studies that it is hard to say what would happen, though leaning heavily on IS-LM equations seems like a reasonable first estimation of what would occur.

u/JoeBobson · 7 pointsr/atheism

Zero: Biography of a Dangerous Ideahas a pretty good start, and bibliography, on the church and zero. In short, it allowed them to monopolize accounting and taxation.

u/kabanaga · 7 pointsr/askscience

My 2¢ :
While a "discovery" may involve a lot of hard work (i.e. the discovery of DNA's double-helix), at some level it still seems to imply:

  1. an element of chance, like discovering a hidden cave, and
  2. the "thing" was not known to have existed beforehand.

    An "invention", on the other hand, implies a thing which was built to achieve a specific purpose, which is the case with Calculus.
    Also, recall that Leibniz developed ("invented") calculus independently of Newton. They were both working toward a common goal to describe phenomena that they knew to exist. Calculus is the shorthand which was invented to solve this.

    For an interesting take on this, I'd recommend reading: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife.
u/FunkMetalBass · 7 pointsr/math

Others have already answered this question, but I thought I might direct you toward a book on the the subject that I enjoyed reading: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

u/pretzelcuatl · 7 pointsr/booksuggestions
u/Skweres88 · 7 pointsr/tolkienfans

Please let me make this abundantly clear, I am not saying Tolkien is a racist in any way shape or form, simply that he did use race as an influence in his works.

“The dwarves of course are quite obviously, wouldn’t you say that in many ways they remind you of the Jews? Their words are Semitic, obviously, constructed to be Semitic. The hobbits are just rustic English people,” Its in the last few minutes of this interview


“I do think of the ‘Dwarves’ like Jews,” he writes (Letters, p. 229), “at once native and alien in their habitations, speaking the languages of the country, but with an accent due to their own private tongue.” From the Letters of J.R.R. Tolkein

This one is pretty obvious to me, maybe not racist in a hatred, but definitely using a race as an influence. But the greed for gold doesn't really help.

u/sellthesky · 7 pointsr/comicbooks

Maus got me started. It has some violence (not a ton) in it - it is the Holocaust, after all - but it's not violence just for the sake of violence. It's a true story. If the Holocaust in general is too unsettling to her, then this ain't the book for her.

Black Hole is quite bizarre, which is typical for Charles Burns, but very good.

If she calls comics "picture books" then I'm guessing that all superhero books are out the door. That's the single biggest segment of comic sales, so if that's what she thinks of comics in general then she probably thinks the same of superhero books in general. That's not meant as criticism. To each her own. It's just my guess about her tastes.

Maybe the Sandman? I don't know; there's a lot of ways you can go with this. Good luck and merry Christmas, my friend.

u/milky_donut · 7 pointsr/booksuggestions

The Glass Castle is a great read

u/cjrarsenal · 7 pointsr/Gunners

Fever Pitch

Amazed no one has mentioned it. Really helped me see fandom in a different light. Great Arsenal book!

u/black_floyd · 6 pointsr/AskHistorians

I honestly can't answer your question thoroughly, but I do recommend this book, The Professor and the Madman, which is about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. It speaks of other attempts, but none quite as ambitious as the OED. Other languages, French for example, had already been done fairly thorough. The book explains the attempt to both standardize the english language(like spelling and definition) but also find the earliest uses of the word and trace its use over time. The project is probably the greatest experiment in the idea of crowd-sourcing ever over a century before the computer existed. So many anonymous lexicographers and philologists( both words I learned by reading the book) came together out of a collective and noble goal to accomplish such an immense feat. I loved it.

u/Justintn · 6 pointsr/math

Zero had a long road before it was accepted as a rational concept. See the book Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. It's not preposterous to assume someone was having troubles with 0 conceptually.

u/nimbusdimbus · 6 pointsr/CombatFootage

Storm Of Steel by Ernst Junger is a memoir of a German Officer during WW1. It is overwhelming in it's bleakness and death.

u/Gorthol · 6 pointsr/CombatFootage

Their tactics were better than decent. The Germans, Brits and French all developed effective tactics for seizing enemy trenches pretty quickly. That wasn't the problem. The problem is, how do you seize the first enemy line of trenches and hold it while you're under artillery fire and enemy infantry counter attack? You don't have effective radios and artillery is constantly cutting the phone lines you are able to lay. Signaling is difficult because of terrain, weather conditions, smoke created by fires and the fact that if you're visible enough to be seen by your support then you're also probably visible enough to be seen by the enemy. Even if the enemy doesn't counterattack immediately (which they would), how do you get to the second line of trenches under said conditions? How do you coordinate supporting fires and reinforcements when there is quite literally a wall of flying steel (barrage means wall/barricade in French, which is where the term comes from) between you and your start point?

The main issue was that the offensive technologies (communications, motorized vehicles, light supporting weapons, aerial weapons) hadn't caught up to the defense technologies (barbed wire, concrete pillboxes, heavy machine guns, massed artillery, rail-borne reinforcements). Even if you successfully seized line after line of trench, the enemy could always dig in behind their last line and pour in reinforcements via rail faster than you could break through. With all that said, strategically the allies were idiotic. Continuing to attack fortified German positions again and again and again with very little to show for it is just bad strategic judgement.

I've posted these links before, but if you'd like to educate yourself on WW1 infantry tactics/battle:

Stormtrooper Tactics

Infantry in Battle

To Conquer Hell

Infantry Attacks

Storm of Steel

PS. I know you can find the second one for free on the internet.

u/tach · 6 pointsr/MilitaryPorn

And then read Storm of Steel by Jünger.

From the top-rated review at amazon:

"Storm" has been continually denounced for the last 80-odd years as rightist propaganda precisely because it does NOT come to the conclusion of Remarque, Hemingway, P.J. Caputo or any of the other combat literati who escaped their own slaughterous wartime experiences to write antiwar novels. It says -- if I may presume to paraphrase Juenger -- that war destroys civilian hypocrisy and, if it makes a man's boot come down grimly and harshly, at least makes it come down clean. Juenger's unforgivable sin was, apparently, to conclude that it "was a good and strenuous life, and that war, for all its destructiveness, was an incomparable schooling of the heart."

u/PrimalMusk · 6 pointsr/tipofmytongue
u/Pudgy_Ninja · 5 pointsr/tipofmytongue

I don't know the article, but The Professor and the Madman is a fantastic book about it.

u/MSCantrell · 5 pointsr/etymology

Best answer. Related: there's a great book about the creation of the OED, The Professor and the Madman.

u/avengepluto · 5 pointsr/books

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary was very interesting, if a little thin.

From the Amazon review, 'When the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary put out a call during the late 19th century pleading for "men of letters" to provide help with their mammoth undertaking, hundreds of responses came forth. Some helpers, like Dr. W.C. Minor, provided literally thousands of entries to the editors. But Minor, an American expatriate in England and a Civil War veteran, was actually a certified lunatic who turned in his dictionary entries from the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum.'

u/lwapd · 5 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

Here is a really good ass book about the subject:

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

u/Apellosine · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

For those who are interested in such things may I recommend the following:

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

This is the first time I've ever been able to make this recommendation in an appropriate place.

u/twocats · 5 pointsr/Romania

Si eu am kindle si vad ca primele 30 carti din el sunt numai de design si ceva self-help (Confessions of an introvert is quite good), plus ebook-urile /r/nosleep.

Citesc mai mult nonfictiune, beletristica rar, si mi-au placut teribil Fast Food Nation, Zero: The biography of a dangerous idea si The man who mistook his wife for a hat.

Si va urasc cu profilele si recomandarile voastre ca am ales deja 6 carti de la voi pe care vreau sa le citesc si n-am timp.

u/chewingofthecud · 5 pointsr/DarkEnlightenment

All lives lost are irreplaceable.

As for whether WWI was the most dysgenic of modern wars, the answer is probably yes, all told.

When you look at the death toll adjusted for then-current world population, WWI doesn't look that devastating; even Mao's Great Leap Forward was worse, and that wasn't even a war (well, maybe a war against nature). But sometimes it's not about who dies, and still less often about how many die, it's about what dies.

Even if it is about who dies, the fact is that the cream of European society died during that war, and more so than most subsequent wars. By the cream of society, I don't necessarily mean the aristocracy which, as the war went on, revealed itself to be pretty degenerate (see Tsar Nicholas, Kaiser Wilhelm, etc). No, by the cream of society, I mean young men who had the physical fortitude that characterizes eugenia, as well as the virtuous character to stand up for their country. After WWI the type of people who would volunteer for wars were of an entirely different order--people were more likely to avoid service if they could after seeing the ghoulish levels of violence in WWI, and so it was a "take what you can get" scenario, often the dregs of society was all you could get, and it's gotten worse since then. It's unlikely that you'd find a soldier outside of WWI who was classically educated. Also, since WWI was the first war involving heavy, automated artillery, gas, and a number of other technological achievements, it was the most brave who couldn't wait to jump in, who died in the human meat grinder at the beginning of the war. After that time, generals became a lot more wary.

But it's not primarily about who died, it's about what died. And what died--seemingly forever--was the European culture of honour; this is WWI's most dysgenic effect, the worst of any conflict in human history. By the end of 1914, and probably even by the end of the first battle of the Marne, gone were the days of standing up in a doomed and heroic charge. Definitely by the end of 1915, gone were the days of dying for country, crushed by the tragicomedy of senseless horror, and giving way to the mere (though understandable) wish that the conflict would somehow come to an end, even if it meant the likewise end of one's civilization. Gone were those like Ernst Junger--or at least gone they were within a generation--who believed that war had an invigorating and healthy effect on mankind, and was thereby justified.

It seems doubtful that, having died, this classically influenced honour culture will ever return. Not without some serious pain, at any rate.

> So, the very fact that America became the dominant western country was a dysgenic thing.

I'm not sure America becoming the dominant culture was itself dysgenic. Europe at the time was more effete than America, and realistically still is. If we want to define eugenic solely in terms of intelligence, then perhaps yes this was dysgenic, but if you take the top 10 European scientists from 1914 and put them on an island with just enough to survive, they would undoubtedly perish in a month. Put pretty much any family of 10 from West Virginia on that same island, and I know who I'll put my money on. Eugenia is determined solely in terms of survival, and it's not clear that technocracy is very survivable.

u/secretsexbot · 5 pointsr/running

I really like Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. It's not really a training book, more of a memoir in which he talks about the role running plays in his life.

If you want a serious training book I'd go for anything by Pete Pfitzinger. Even if you don't like his training philosophy he has great explanations of how your body changes as you get better at running, with actual science.

A lot of people will probably recommend Born to Run but personally I was annoyed by his tirades on the evil of Nike and shoes in general.

u/Neonimous · 5 pointsr/malelifestyle

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is really great, but be warned that the book lives up to its title.

Also, I love reading about Robert Kennedy (one of the last true American politicians IMO). I suggest reading The Last Campaign. Pay attention and learn from Bobby, and you'll live a good life.

u/bkrassn · 5 pointsr/vandwellers

You will have more time to study. You may want to read:

I'd suggest you live in your current car before you go to university if you can, even if only for a couple of weeks. See how you like it, and don't cheat. If it is OK but you just need to make a couple of tweaks, good to go. If it is miserable or stressful and you think somehow a pretty van with high tech gizmos will make it work -- I'd caution against going forward.

u/pridd_du · 5 pointsr/tolkienfans

As is his book on the Inklings. If you're looking for some of Tolkien's own insights into his writing or theology his letters are also a good place to look.

u/Eridanis · 5 pointsr/tolkienfans

Thought I'd provide some Amazon links to these fine suggestions, along with a few of my own.

J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide US:


Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion US:


Art of the Lord of the Rings US:


Art of the Hobbit US:


Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth US:


Rateliff's History of the Hobbit US:


Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-Earth US:


Letters of JRR Tolkien US:


Carpenter's Tolkien: A Biography US:

u/TJ_McWeaksauce · 5 pointsr/whowouldwin

In The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, the man himself wrote:

> So Gandalf sacrificed himself, was accepted, and enhanced, and returned. 'Yes, that was the name. I was Gandalf.' Of course, he remains similar in personality and idiosyncrasy, but both his wisdom and power are much greater. When he speaks he commands attention; the old Gandalf could not have dealt so with Theoden, nor with Saruman. He is still under the obligation of concealing his power and teaching rather than forcing or dominating wills, but where the physical powers of the Enemy are too great for the good will of the opposers to be effective he can act in emergency as an 'angel'.

Gandalf the White is everything that Gandalf the Grey is, only better.

u/Shoegaze99 · 5 pointsr/videos

He wrote extensively on the subject of adaptations, movies, and how he'd like his work to be seen and treated in the future.

Folks discussing Tolkien's intentions and desires who have not read this book are doing both themselves and their arguments a great disservice.

u/13104598210 · 4 pointsr/AskAcademia

He wants to be a linguist--I think he would also enjoy the etymologies in the Oxford English Dictionary. I suggest taking him to a public library and sitting him down with a copy of the OED and going through a few definitions (penetrate would be a good start).

You've definitely got a linguist on your hands--if he also gets interested in computers and/or programming, he will have a lot of jobs waiting for him after he gets through college.

Please PM me if you want more help/advice.

Edit: He might enjoy these books:

u/Raineythereader · 4 pointsr/RWBY

Added a new chapter to Five for Iron, set five years before canon. (Here's the link, for anyone who prefers that site.) Anywho, this chapter is my first from Winter's POV, and I'm hoping I did an OK job with that, while still keeping the premise engaging.

I finished Cadillac Desert this week, and I've gotten about 100 pages into Animal, Vegetable, Miracle since then. Both are brilliantly written and wonderfully subversive, but considering my line of work I may be a smidge biased.

u/seagullnoise · 4 pointsr/books

This probably is not what you are looking for, but it is an interesting read:
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.

Chronicles the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary and the curious case of the most prolific contributor.

u/gospelwut · 4 pointsr/fffffffuuuuuuuuuuuu

While many will say that dictionaries have always been aggregates--and even the history of modern dictionaries are questionable--to simply say that language is fluid strikes me as both i) inconsiderate to its rich history and ii) an excuse for reckless abandon. That is, at least, for most people.

Sure, you'll get some strange regional abstractions like nonplus, but when you have words like Iregardless which serve no purpose--well, that's just stupid. If somebody like Oscar Wilde or E.E Cummings is employing wordplay that's on a different level than a sufficient number of people incorrectly using a word.

My issue with this isn't just diction. I'm actually quite forgiving on diction and spelling mistakes (as I make a tremendous amount of them). Words have a rich history; which means they have deep connotations. To imply all synonyms are interchangeable would be a great insult to the quality of language. I doubt anybody would make such an argument. So, on a certain scale, people acknowledge that words are more than majority-accepted diction (i.e. connotation).

So, as I implied earlier, certain people can shape language with the greatest of care and mastery. My argument extends to the impact things have on literature and maintaining a standard (whether it is to be used in the vernacular or not is not the point). So, when people say, "language is fluid", I am certainly not disagreeing that it is; I am, however, disagreeing that that is free license to not form it to mean whatever we would like.

If I felt people, by and large, were receiving stronger education given their unprecedented access to it (internet, not working in coal mines, etc)--perhaps, I would be more willing to say the masses should shape language. But, as anybody can tell you that has graded college papers in the past 10-years, emoticons are becoming more prevalent. Should we then accept these in formal writing? They are simply pictographs, no? Perhaps that person wrote that emoticon wishing to embeds it with profoundness of the entire volume of Ulysses? I certainly know what they meant to say--at least in the ball park thereof.

(That wasn't so much a refute as an elaboration. I'm not going to refute the claim "language is fluid" in and of itself. I will display my frustration at how it is used though.)

u/DickStricks · 4 pointsr/MarchAgainstTrump

The 20th century kinda settled the debate on socialism.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn single-handedly decimated the ideology in The Gulag Archipelago.

Clinical Psychologist Professor Dr. Jordan Peterson lays out the argument pretty compellingly.

u/cwruosu · 4 pointsr/math
u/Gustav55 · 4 pointsr/wwi

This is three very good books that I've read on WW1

Storm of Steel is a good book from the German Point of view,

Her Privates We, Hemingway said that he read the book every year to remind him how it really was.

Unknown Soldiers: The Story of the Missing of the First World War, I really liked this book its complied from letters the soldiers wrote and the last few chapters are about what France, Britain and the US did to honor the Unknown.

u/winnie_the_slayer · 4 pointsr/history

Ernst Juenger's "Storm of Steel". It is his experience as a German soldier in combat for most of the war, very different from "All Quiet on the Western Front".

u/Trust_Me_IAMA_Wizard · 4 pointsr/running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Murakami.

Murakami is an international bestseller. He also runs quite a bit. It's filled with great musings.

u/snakeojakeo · 4 pointsr/Paleo

don't pull an into the wild!

u/snow_leopard77 · 4 pointsr/simpleliving

I'd recommend reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer before you do anything. It's a real-life story of a guy who really did go to Alaska to live in nature. He died fairly quickly. Wild by Cheryl Strayed is another book worth reading.

Living remotely in nature is great, and I get the appeal. But learn everything you possibly can about wilderness survival, and definitely take classes with other people, so you can have input from real experts on what you're missing. And read about where others went wrong, because nature is unforgiving and brutal. It doesn't care about you. It gives no shits about you finding your inner peace/strength/whatever. If you mess up, a painful death awaits. So if you're really going for it, be as smart and prepared as possible.

*Also see a doc about getting vaccinations. Tetanus is no joke, man.

u/leclair929 · 4 pointsr/soccer

Oh and Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby is required reading.

u/night_owl · 4 pointsr/sports

If you want to learn a little bit of context and history of what English football is all about Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch is a great book written from the perspective of a growing up to be life-long Arsenal fan. Good sense of humor and excellent writing, not some boring paean to sports-fandom. Even my mother like the book and she doesn't know anything about soccer.

u/h1ppophagist · 3 pointsr/AskHistorians

There are two ways to make dictionaries. The older and most common way was to copy what people have done before and make emendations based on one's interpretations of textual evidence. For example, a dictionary released in the 19th century and still often used by scholars of medieval Latin, commonly referred to by the names of its editors as "Lewis and Short", is a translation and revision of a Latin dictionary produced by a German scholar. This is how European lexicography worked until the very ambitious project of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), which appeared in a large number of slim volumes (or "fascicles") over the course of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This dictionary was made the other way, namely, completely anew, from a massive compilation of textual evidence. The OED worked by cataloguing enormous quantities of "slips", pieces of paper with a lemma (word to be defined), proposed meaning, and a quotation to illustrate this meaning. These slips were mailed in to the editorial office by thousands of volunteers, which could be anyone at all who wanted to contribute. Lexicographers then sorted through the quotations to devise an order for the definitions which they thought reflected the semantic evolution of the word. The OED was unique in its time for its ambitious scope, its method of arranging definitions, and its cataloguing of all the quotations used in it. Nowadays, slips are often replaced by electronic databases. And dictionaries of the contemporary forms of a language like the Oxford Dictionary of English (not to be confused with the Oxford English Dictionary, which is a historical dictionary of English from late Old English to the present day) use collections of both spoken and written language from very diverse contexts called "corpora" (singular form "corpus") as their sources. The result of this transformation in the methods of lexicography is that, where the glossaries of an earlier age were often produced by single authors or small groups of authors over a few years or decades, modern dictionaries of living languages require large editorial staffs and constant revision to keep them up to date. The second edition of the full-length OED was completed in 1989, for instance. The third edition is too incomplete for the editorial staff to want to give a release date, but some sources estimate it will be finished in 2037.

James Murray, the main editor of the first edition of the OED, has an interesting lecture called The Evolution of English Lexicography, which traces the roots of English lexicography from Latin glossaries, accessible here. Edit: If you're interested in the early history of dictionaries, this is the link that's going to be most interesting to you.

K. M. Elisabeth Murray, James's granddaughter, wrote a fabulous book about her grandfather and the publication of the first edition of the OED called Caught in the Web of Words.

A popular recent book that reveals a fair bit about the OED's history in entertaining fashion is The Professor and the Madman.

Some interesting info about the system of slips can be found at this website for Cambridge University's attempt to (finally!) produce a dictionary of Ancient Greek based on modern lexicographic principles.

On corpora, see this web page for the corpus on which the contemporary Oxford Dictionary of English is based.

That's some of the more significant stuff from English lexicography. If you're interested, I can probably dig out some articles on Latin lexicography from the middle ages/renaissance, but basically, the way it worked was that people made glossaries of words that were often arranged by subject rather than alphabetically. Such glossaries, unlike modern dictionaries, did not typically contain the very common or easy words (e.g., "eat" in English) that take up so much space in modern dictionaries. These glossaries usually only gave one-word equivalents rather than definitions, or simply listed words on a common subject together, so that you might have a glossary page for "the calendar" and find words for "week", "month", "Monday", "Tuesday", "June", "July", etc. together, or you might have a section on words for parts of the human body, or words for kinds of food. Alphabetical order only emerged over time. Another point of note is that most Latin texts were elaborately annotated in medieval/renaissance editions (why, check out Vergil's Aeneid with Servius's commentary even in something as late as this early modern edition), so one was as if not more likely to look for the meaning of an obscure word in the commentary, at least as a first point of reference, than in a separate glossary.

Some edits for clarity. I know this post focussed a lot on modern lexicography, but I hope you'll find what I've written of interest for your question.

u/ReddisaurusRex · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is a sort of memoir written by her, her husband, and their daughter (they take turns with different chapters) where they discuss a year of eating locally, sustainably, and growing/making their own food. It is a great book (both in audio and in print!)

u/PM_ME_UR_IQ · 3 pointsr/homestead

I really like Putting Food By for preservation guidance.

If you are looking for less how to, Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal Vegetable Miracle is a wonderful read.

This isn't so much of a homesteading book, but Sara Stein's Noah's Garden is one of my favorites. It's about rethinking the way we garden so that we are doing it in harmony with ecology and nature.

I've been a fan of Ben Falk for a long time and he put out his first book not that long ago, The Resilient Farm and Homestead which is awesome particulary if you live in a colder climate. I have a feeling he will be putting out a new edition though soon given how he wrote the first one so you might want to wait on a purchase of that one.

Again, if you are a cold climate person, almost anything by Elliot Coleman is really great. He does a lot of extending the season kind of stuff that is good for shorter season growers.

Edible Landscaping is more for people with yards (as opposed to acreage I guess....) but I think the book is brilliant and well written and very inspirational with lots of resources.

u/IchBinEinBerliner · 3 pointsr/gardening

Gaia's Garden, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle are two great ones. Gaia's Garden regards permaculture and making your garden more in touch with what occurs in nature. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, while it is not a "Gardening" book, is a great read and was what inspired me to start a garden as soon as I moved out of my apartment to the country.

u/kry0s · 3 pointsr/HealthProject

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It's about being closer to the food you eat - eating seasonally, being conscious of where your food comes from and what goes into it. It also had tons of resources for eating locally, seasonal recipes etc.

u/YodasHutOnDagobah · 3 pointsr/evilbuildings

How you defined it

> Nazism= fascism, ethnostate, genocide of anybody who is deemed “untermensch” including Jews, mentally ill, socialists, communists, gypsies, homosexuals. Authoritarianism.

>Communism = all production shared between an equal social class with no private ownership.

Boy oh boy. You’re a lost cause. I’ll send you some thing to read so you can get some enlightenment on what you think was simply an approach to “all production shared between an equal social class with no private ownership.”

Read that and tell me if there weren’t massive amounts of innocents destroyed in the quest for equality. Jews, Latvians, Koreans, Japanese, repatriated poles, gypsies, the list goes on. The groups destroyed in the quest of equality are endless. You are horribly misinformed.

Edit: let me ask you this, were the millions killed and incarcerated any less innocent than the Jews killed under Hitler?

u/stubbornwop · 3 pointsr/Showerthoughts

Its illogical to be able to take anything (even zero) away from zero. zero is a weird little digit we use as both a placeholder and to represent 'nothing'. Zero is not a thing which can be broken into pieces.

There is a GREAT book I read a while back that goes into a whole lot of depth on the idea of zero. I found it very interesting, you might too.

found a link to it on amazon, maybe you could find it at a library... (or online if you're better at the internet than me)
Zero The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

u/bob-leblaw · 3 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

The concept of zero is relatively new. If you really want your mind blown, read Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea.

u/greyfade · 3 pointsr/worldnews

Advanced in the sense that they had the number zero and Europe didn't.

It's such a huge deal, there are entire books on why it was such an advanced concept for the time.

u/Rioghasarig · 3 pointsr/math

Division by zero is just one particular topic. You may as well ask for a book about cross-multiplication.

There is a book about zero. I really enjoyed this book, but I haven't read it in a long time, so I don't remember much about it. But I'm pretty sure it discusses division by 0.

u/coffeezombie · 3 pointsr/books
  1. Storm of Steel - Ernst Junger
  2. 9/10
  3. Memoir, German, World War One
  4. A terse, brutal account of trench warfare as told from a German soldier, but could have been written about any war from any side.
  5. Amazon
u/ncapezio · 3 pointsr/running

Haruki Murakami What I Talk About When I Talk About Running.

He writes very short and easy to understand sentences. The concepts may be a bit over her head when it gets philosophical, but if she's into that sort of thing she may get it. I've probably read the book 4 times now and it got me into reading his novels later as well.

Just a thought, may not be perfect but IMHO more age-appropriate than Born to Run. Also, an aside, Murakami could never fall off his godly pedestal in my mind so my response here may be a bit biased.

u/SydneyHollow · 3 pointsr/IWantToLearn

This is just a tip and can be applied to anything:

Haruki Murakami in his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running said that you should only write until you recognize that you can still write more. That's when you stop for the day. The idea is that your mind will keep thinking about it and build new ideas and store the ideas until the next time that you sit down again to write. He also says that doing this makes it easier to get back into the groove of writing the next day because you're excited to get your ideas out. I have been doing this and it does help me.

u/sirernestshackleton · 3 pointsr/running

Haruki Murakami - "What I talk about when I talk about running".

u/TheCohen · 3 pointsr/APLang

I change up the books on the non-fiction list every year and this one is no longer on the list. It's a good one though: here's a link to it on Amazon.

Students may enjoy looking into Dave Eggers' work. He's written another book I've considered putting on the non-fiction project list, Zeitoun, a wonderful fictionalized work of true events called What is the What, and he is the editor and founder of McSweeney's, which has spawned the cool sport's writing quarterly Grantland and a sister literary magazine, The Believer.

u/theatre_kiddo · 3 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

[Into The Wild] (

Picked it up on the fly at my local library in high school. I love non-fiction and the story of a boy deciding to drop everything and move to the Alaskan wilderness sounded amazing. And it was!

Bonus: the book turned into a movie, and it was actually really good!

u/jpoRS · 3 pointsr/Outdoors
  • Deeper/Further/(Eventually)Higher - If I can't be out riding, might as well watch people riding things I never could.
  • Anything by Jon Krakauer. Into the Wild is an obvious choice, but Eiger Dreams and Under the Banner of Heaven are great as well.
  • Ride the Divide is a good flick as well, and available on Netflix last I checked.
  • 3point5. Pro-deal pricing can be addicting.Plus being in the top 5% for snowboarding, camping, and running have to count for something, right?!
u/joeblough · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

Might I recommend you read "Into the Wild" by Job Krakauer...that should point you in the right direction...and also show you some mistakes to avoid.

u/ProblemBesucher · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

well. A book that changed my life back when I was 15 was Walden from Thoreau. I threw away everything I owned. yeah I mean everything even my bed. I own nothing that dates from before I was 15. Would this have the same effect today? who knows.

back then, the book Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche had something to to with me ''taking a break'' from school, contributing too did: genealogy of Morals, into the wild, Adorno - dialectic of Enlightenment ( had no idea what that guy was talking about back then but made me real queasy about the world nonetheless.)

books that changed my life recently: Lying from Sam Harris. Steven Pinker - Enlightenment now made me pick a lot of fights with people who like to hate this world.

Insanity of Normality made me forgive some people I had real bad feelings toward, though I'm sceptical now of what is said in the book

unless you understand german you won't be able to read this: Blödmachinen , made me a snob in regards to media. Bernard Stieglers books might have the same effect in english

oh and selfish gene by Dawkins made me less judgmental. Don't know why. I just like people more


oh lest I forget: Kandinsky - Concerning The Spiritual in Art made me paint my appartement black blue; Bukowski and the Rubaiyat made me drink more, Born To Run made me run barefoot, Singers Practical Ethics made me donate money and buy far less stuff.

u/day1patch · 3 pointsr/digitalnomad

Even though it is not directly about DN I can recommend reading into the wild ( because I think it shows how being too dedicated to something can harm you in the end.

Other than that there is the four hour work week:

Several books about blogging if that's something you are interested in:

You might also want to read up on vehicles online, is a guy living in his truck most of the year and there are several good blogs about living in vans.

u/Zerhackermann · 3 pointsr/vandwellers

I read this.
Not a bad read. It might include some thoughts you had not considered. The author was at Duke. North Carolina is considerably warmer than chicago.

I grew up in Alaska. You can effectively draw a line from Anchorage to Buffalo NY and pull that middle section way down into Chicago and Gary and get approximate winters. Chicago is arguably worse than Anchorage because Anchorage has mountains between it and the arctic circle. The midwest has a whole lot of nothing.

Anyways...The reason I drone on and on about that is that winter can really exhaust you. And it is a slow attrition. Picture this: Its january. You are tucked in a library study carrel. The library is about to close. And soon you have to leave. To walk across campus. It is 20F out. And thats before taking the wind into account. You will walk a mile in that deep freeze to arrive at home...where everything is just as frozen as the outdoors. The only difference is the wind. Inside you wait for the van to warm up. your hands are stiff and clumsy.your feet ache. much of what you own is wither frosty, or when it warms, wet. This is day 60.

Okay I do engage in a little hyperbole there. Worst factors all at once and all that. But this is the sort of thing that leads to Cabin Fever which you really dont need when you are studying. I'm not trying to scare you off. Just offer some thoughts to consider. Do the research and if you decide its what you want, then jump in with both feet

u/casslebro · 3 pointsr/lotr

amazon link

I've found them to give a phenomenal insight into Tolkien's mindset as he was writing LOTR during WWII. Also, if you're into that sort of thing, here's a great biography of his time spent during WWI

u/kirtovar1 · 3 pointsr/tolkienfans
An Amazon link to The Letters of Tolkien
Unfortunately I can't help you I asked because I plan to do the same after I finish with the Witcher and I wasn't sure about the order

u/dontforgetpants · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

You may see it as such, but the Man himself did not wish it to be so. Rather than pull out my own copy of the Letters, I will instead point you to a post on another forum by one of the most knowledgeable Tolkien scholars I know of: see the second post in this thread.

u/electricboogaloo · 3 pointsr/comics

Considering your user name this seems ironic, but never read Maus

u/blokaycupid · 3 pointsr/books

I recommend:

  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas A little bit like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, but with a lot more drugs and looser morals.
  • The Last Lecture In the Tuesdays with Morrie theme, The Last Lecture is from a professor who is terminally ill, but approaching it with calm and mindfulness. Inspiring, sad, the whole bit. And short!
  • Juliet, Naked Nick Hornby again. Pop music/stuttering romance again, and I really liked it.
  • And, finally, for awesome and funny and easy-to-read sci fi, go for Stardust by Neil Gaiman!
u/dnm · 3 pointsr/funny

These kids today just have no appreciation for the great literature of the '70s.

u/Brontesrule · 3 pointsr/suggestmeabook

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

I very rarely read Non-fiction, but this book was riveting.

u/causticwonder · 3 pointsr/booksuggestions

My Lobotomy by Howard Dully is fantastic. The NPR piece that started it all. Amazon link. It's pretty much about what you'd assume, a man having a lobotomy as a child and what happens after that.

The Glass Castle is another really good one. If you ever thought your parents were weird or grew up without money, you need to read this. It's beautifully written.

u/Ashleyrah · 3 pointsr/personalfinance

I suggest reading The Glass Castle It is about rising above family circumstances. You may find some inspiration here.

u/megatron37 · 3 pointsr/behindthebastards

I'll throw in another recommendation - "Dear Leader" the story of Jong Il's personal poet who fled. Unbelievable tale of how the top 1% lives in NK versus the abject poverty of the other 99%.

It has a lot of info that was new to me, as an example, there are people whose job it is to look for attractive girls in junior high schools who are sent (their consent is never asked for) to special resort hotels as slaves. A depressing fact for sure, but if you listen to Robert Evans you probably will appreciate the book.


u/RAMDRIVEsys · 3 pointsr/badlinguistics

This book written by a defector has a part where he mentions that the common speech of Chinese Koreans is pretty much the same dialect as that of the northern North Hamyong province of DPRK.

u/njndirish · 3 pointsr/sports

> When America rapes the Olympics every 4 years and embarrasses the athletes of other, lesser countries (often on their own turf)

Only a recent phenomenon. The gold medal run from 1996 to 2004 was impressive, but the Soviets have long been dominant in that field.

> the country is allowed to enjoy its superior sports on its own time.

How does one define superior?

>America doesn't give two shits about soccer.

TV ratings and attendance says differently.

>Soccer is a boring

Personal opinion, but I must ask, why do you find it boring? Lack of scoring? Then I assume you consider a perfect game or a defensive battle in American football to be an affront to nature. Perhaps you lack the intelligence to understand the overall tactics of the game to fully embrace it. People overseas find American football incredibly boring because it lacks fluidity, but upon learning the game grow to respect it.

>simple minded game

Pitcher throw, hitter hit and run, players catch

Put ball in hoop

Put puck in net


> designed for poor Europeans

Then what was American football designed for? The two sports had very similar rules and roots deep into the 1890's.

>feel a sense of belonging and purpose connected their respective clubs

Incorrect, soccer was encouraged as a recreational game between organizations. Some were athletic clubs filled with influential individuals, some were universities, others were clubs at manufacturing plants created by workers to utilize their day off. Over time people became willing to pay to watch.

>Which is why they have sing a songs

I assume you refuse to applaud and cheer when a pitcher is on the second strike with two outs in an inning. Or make noise when your American football team is on defense.

>get drunk as fuck with each other while absentmindedly watching grown men

So I assume you don't watch college football

>flail and flop along a grass field

Happens in every sport

>cheering their beta hearts out when they manage to draw a card.

I would recommend not using a phone to post, autocorrect can be so silly. In the sport of soccer a draw is worth one point. Now if a club is vastly overmatched by a superior opponent, but that club manages a draw on the road, the fans would be happy has the draw is worth one point. In the NHL it used to be similar until they introduced the ridiculous shoot-out. But that's what's nice about soccer is that the match is less than two hours long. Extra-innings and extensive overtime periods can be incredibly boring.

>There is no strategy

>no heart

>no skill

I assume you have never heard of Messi

>it will never be embraced in United States


u/EvilMortyC137 · 3 pointsr/OldSchoolCool

There's a book called Panzram: A Journal of Murder and it's partially an autobiography of a serial killer and rapist from the early 1900's. It has his candid correspondence with one of his guards. If you can stomach it, he talks at length about how he became who he was, and the justifications he concocted for his evil deeds. You almost feel sorry for the guy. But then you read that he raped over 1k men and you lose that pretty quickly.

u/GOD_Over_Djinn · 3 pointsr/vancouver

>As income disparity rises, the majority of people must work harder to maintain their standard of living.

That is not obviously true. It would be if we lived in a world with a pie of fixed-size. If the pie were fixed, then a bigger slice for me necessarily means a smaller piece for someone else. But that's not the world we live in. The pie is growing, so there is at least the mathematical possibility that, although the distribution is changing, the size of everyone's piece is growing. So in order to show that's the case, you would need to show conclusively that the super rich are getting so much of the growing pie that the middle class and poor are actually losing out. There is very little data to support this. The best that some people have been able to do on that front is claim that wages have stagnated since the 70s. But even this isn't clear. First of all, it's hard to measure, because today if you're poor you have a colour TV and a computer and an iPhone and in the 70s you did not. Does this make you richer? It must, in some sense at least. So the whole thing about income disparity is actually a lot less clear-cut than people think. I'm not saying it's not an issue. I'm saying that I haven't been convinced that it's an issue. I don't mind if a millionaire becomes a billionaire and my income stays constant. I'm perfectly content with that, and not because I am convinced that I will become a millionaire, but because I live comfortably enough to be happy. I'm not rich. I just don't need much more than what I have.

So, summing up, it'll take more than blind assertions that income disparity will destroy civilization for me to believe it. I'm open to being convinced but you can't just assert it. And I am definitely sure that the art gallery stairs are not the place for debate on this. It's not an open-and-closed issue, and people behave as though it is. "Occupying" should be reserved for times when something needs to be done immediately but if we're not even sure if there is a problem, or what that problem is, I think protesting is entirely misplaced.

u/erikmyxter · 3 pointsr/Economics

Vindicates it to a certain level yes. is a great book mostly talking about America's economic decline but also speaks a little to China as well. China has seen impressive growth by the numbers and in some real world cases but that doesn't mean the system is incredibly corrupt and inefficient. A state managed system can work wonders when all you have to do is do the simple things all the other developed countries have done already (build infrastructure, factories with cheap labor, open up borders). This is especially true seeing what China was coming from in the 1970s, there wasn't much room to go but up. Now in the coming decades we will see how well this development approach will work into the future.

u/chookilledmyfather · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

You reminded me of the story of William Minor, the American army surgeon who was one of the largest contributors of quotations to the Oxford English Dictionary.

It was many years before OED's editor, Dr. James Murray, learned Minor's background and that he'd been found not guilty of murder and declared clinically insanity. Minor had been a patient at Broadmoor Asylum for many years.

Minor's condition deteriorated and in 1902 he cut off his own penis.

You can read about the book here: The Professor and the Madman

u/HugeTitAddict · 2 pointsr/mycleavage
u/peppermind · 2 pointsr/books

Dava Sobel writes about science in history, and she's fantastic. Longitude, in particular was great!

I also really like Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman about the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary

u/ahlksdjycj · 2 pointsr/AskHistorians

I can't give a good explanation myself, but The Professor and the Madman, which I read not too long ago, gives quite a bit of insight to that question.

u/Psyladine · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

Read The Professor and the Madman, wonderful account of the writing of Oxford.

Many, many entries completed by a schizophrenic who thought the Irish were out to get him.

u/geekender · 2 pointsr/Frugal
u/Mispelling · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

In the US, it's titled The Professor and the Madman. In the UK, it's titled The Surgeon of Crowthorne.

It's non-fiction, by the way.

u/rchase · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman

u/butwhykevin · 2 pointsr/HongKong

Yes. A brilliant work!

Gulag Archipelago (Volume one , Volume two , & Volume three ) – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

These books are quite long. There is an abridged version by the same translators in the links above. The abridged version is all volumes in one book. In my opinion, his experience and the effect he had upon this world is too great to only read the abridged version.

u/GingerJack76 · 2 pointsr/AskLibertarians

>On what basis are we assuming a libertarian conception of freedom exists?

>How do you think we decide what should and should not be a right? I think we engage at least some degree of ethical reasoning to do this.

Easy, rights are natural and inherent to human beings. Going agaisnt that would be restricting what human beings are naturally capable of, whether through a state or through harm. Thus freedom exists.

Think of it like this. You have an island with no one else on it. Anything that you can do on the island is a right.

Oh and don't give me the "but people live with other people" nonsense. Obviously they do, but we're talking about a way to show what a right is and what a right isn't and in order to do that we must eliminate all other moral actors from the equation. You can't ask for a definitive way of showing rights and then deny any kind of scientific method in the process of finding it.

>However, what if the individual was raised to be religious, or raised in such a way that the outcome was decided for him (thus his autonomy violated).

He still has the ability to choose. I was raised christian, and although I still think religion is important, I consider myself atheistic.

>Then freedom of religion does not exist,

You severely misunderstand what freedom of religion is. This seems to be more of a problem with projection, because I only see this kind of argument from people who believe in social planning. Here's how the logic goes: I, as an individual, do not have freedom because I can be affected by the outside world, therefore the world is a battleground of people trying to influence each other as a zero sum game. Now you could be argumentative and say you don't believe that but that's the underlying logic that you're using. Essentially it's power politics, which is why a lot of people who believe in this also make statements like "everything is political." It's an attempt to legitimize their authoritarian behavior by claiming people influence each other anyway, so why not just have complete control over everyone' lives?

Freedom of religion is being able to choose for yourself which religion to follow and no one stopping you physically or practically from doing so. Freedom of religion is not having the right to isolate yourself and not be influenced at all. Although individuals do have the right to self isolate, they don't because that would be harmful for them. And they do not have the right to not be influenced because that's impossible.

>Then freedom of religion does not exist, and that which does not exist does not need protection.

Here, let's play that game. Whoever suppresses the other first wins. Oh, that game ends in people dying, sometimes in the hundreds of millions? Better not play that game then. I mean really, you're undermining liberalism and advocating for authoritarian societies, do you think there's going to be a happy ending for you? Or are you hoping that you'll screw over as many people as possible to make your life just a little bit better and gain some semblance of power that will be taken from you the second you are no longer necessary.

>Also, on what basis should we value a libertarian conception of freedom if we use to make our lives worse?

The problem with this is that you personally do not believe that. You think you're making the right choices in your life, you just don't think anyone else is. So what are you exactly? Some kind of special human capable of seeing the flaws in others and showing them the way to true enlightenment? It's a power fantasy that you've projected onto your politics. You're not better than anyone else, and stopping people from making mistakes will only end in you making mistakes for them.

>wouldn't the state be right to weigh into the private lives of citizens and prevent people from taking drugs

But what is too far? I drink coffee and smoke? These are bad things for me, but should the state intervene. You can't draw a line that isn't arbitrary. And plus, people take drugs because there's something else wrong. I know because I grew up in a town with a severe meth problem. The state intervened but all it did was drive them underground where they couldn't get help. You have no idea what these people need and neither does the government. Leave it to the local community to help them rather than trying to apply your stupid and short sighted ideas so that everyone suffers from your mistakes.

>subscribing to bad ideas (e.g. holocaust denial),

I consider your beliefs to be harmful, is that a line we can draw? Should I be able to suppress you? Any line you draw will be arbitrary because beliefs, although can be based in reality, will always have bind spots and thus will make mistakes. And who the fuck is even a holocaust denier, what, one out of every million people? We both know this will be taken much further, you just don't want to say that because you already know it will.

>being reckless with money, etc, etc.

How many bodies does socialism have to produce before you change your mind? We're at 100 million at least, 260 million at most, I think 100 million is enough for me. And sure, maybe you don't actually believe these numbers to be the case, but you just advocated for censorship of holocaust denial, shouldn't we, by your own logic, silence people who deny the horrors of socialism and attempts at communism as a bad idea that we need to repress?


You need to sit down and listen to this audio book. I know, it's long, but it's the best summery as to why the ideas you're promoting are not just wrong, they resulted in tens of millions of people dead. You want to be well read? You want to hear the best argument against authoritarianism? This is it. This book is the single most well constructed, well sourced, and well written argument against your ideology. I got through it, and I will never advocate in favor of authoritarianism. There is no argument that you could make because the results have been so terrible it's too great of a risk to attempt another instance of authoritarianism.

Edit: You can also find the abridged version here

I can't personally recommend the abridged version because the book as a whole is pretty packed. You can't take away anything without losing some of the punch of the argument. But if you won't sit down and take your time with the full version, then at least read the abridged.

u/JackFucington · 2 pointsr/watchpeopledie

History is cyclical and it tends to repeat itself. Maybe you should be a little more concerned with educating yourself on what your side of the political spectrum was responsible for in the 20th century. I could care less about your personal experience fallacy, those tend to be extremely bias based on the worldview the person wants to portrait and they tend to ignore what statistics say, and in this case the statistics for Europe are quite damning.

If you don't think that it can happen again you are very naive. You live in a world where it is still happening. Socialism has destroyed Venezuela right before our eyes, plain as day, and there is nothing you or I can do about it and no government that cares to intervene, nor should they. North Korea is a relic from the 20th century and one big Gulag. China, a world superpower is a great example of a country that censors the data in/data out that you are referring to. Read The Will to Power by Nietzsche, The Gulag Archipelago by Solzhenitsyn (even if its just the abridged version, it is a masterpiece and changed my life), and Orwell's 1984. Read these and then cross reference what you learn with current political climate regarding political correctism, left wing authoritarian political systems in your countries over there that compel speech and ban certain idea's and criticisms, your governments collectivist policies and your firearm policies. After you read them you should be able to see striking similarities to your current political landscape and you will know just how close you are to the edge. At very least you will escape the ideological bubble you seem to be in.

u/biscuitpotter · 2 pointsr/PhilosophyofMath

First math book I read for pleasure was Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. Its focus is more on the history side of things, which come to think of it makes it weird that I liked it since I normally am not interested in history.

But it's pretty amazing to imagine living in a society where zero was not was an accepted concept--in fact, it hadn't just not been thought of, it was actively denounced by the Church.

It's been maybe a decade since I read it, but I still remember the BS proof they used back then.

God cannot do evil.
There is nothing God cannot do.
Therefore,"nothing" is evil.

And with that, you were disallowed from using the concept of 0. Which makes a lot of math really difficult.

u/samtrano · 2 pointsr/politics

There's a nice book about it!

u/OphioukhosUnbound · 2 pointsr/math

Foolproof is a good example of this. Lots of self-contained chapters on random fun problems. (My only large critique is that the first chapter is very out of place; being basically a history schpiel. Mischaracterizes the book.)

Then there’s math adjacent stuff like Zero: the history of a dangerous idea that look at the history of math development.
(Side note: the first chapter of Pinter’s A Book of Abstract Algebra is a top knotch example of that. And very much in place, unlike the foolproof chapter I mentioned.

Then there are things that aren’t quite “pop”, but make themselves more accessible. Like An Illustrated Guide to Number Theory, which is both a legitimate intro to number theory and a reasonably sexy coffee table book that guests can leaf through. (Though I’d like to see a book that pushes the coffee table style accessibility further.)

u/DJ_Molten_Lava · 2 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

Read this book.

The author recants the history of the notion of nothing and how that notion shaped our current world. Or something. I was ordered to expand on my post so here I am doing that.

u/linusrauling · 2 pointsr/math

Assuming by "numbers" you mean the set of numbers {0,1,2,.....} (commonly known as the "Natural" numbers) you should first know that there is some debate as to whether or not to include 0.

Whether you decide to include 0 or not, no one knows where/when the concept of the Natural numbers originated. In some cultures, notably the Piraha, they appear to have never been developed so if you believe Kronecker's "God gave us the integers...", God appears to have forgotten to tell to the Piraha.

My own view on the origin of the natural numbers is that they probably arose from trade. A scenario, which may or may not be true but I find particularly appealing, is given in Eugenia Cheng's book "How to Bake Pi". As an example suppose that I want to trade 1 salt cake for each sheep you have. I could line up all the sheep and parade them by one by one. As each sheep passed I could hand over 1 salt cake. This involves lining up the sheep, which, having lived with sheep as a kid, I can tell you is not the easiest thing to do. So instead you could just point at each sheep and hand over a salt cake, perhaps, as Cheng proposes in a likely nod to her musical background, singing a song while doing so. Then the song itself becomes the counting mechanism. The reason I like this so much is that it fits well with Eeny-Meeny-Miny-Mo

If you want to learn more about the historical origins of zero you might try: Zero:The Biography of a Dangerous Number be forewarned that this is a pop-sci book and it's tone is a fairly hyperbolic, here's a review that I think sums up this up pretty well.

u/nEmoGrinder · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Zeno's paradox isn't really a paradox. it's actually REALLY simple to explain:

You take limit as the distance between two points reaches 0. This is the fundamental operation in calculus.

Why is it not a paradox now but it was back then? Because they didn't believe in the number 0. There is a really good book called Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea (

A great read! I recommend it!

u/Simaul · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

this fantastic book mentions the very same event

u/gkskillz · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

One of the best courses I've had in college was the history of math. It was a one quarter class so it obviously couldn't cover everything but instead focused on the universal problem of measuring areas and volumes, starting roughly some discovered papyrus scrolls from Egyptians trying to measure plots of land to Newton and Leibniz inventing calculus.

As others have said, it didn't really teach you math. I had already taken several higher level math classes and calculus was a requirement, but it was really interesting to see how trying to answer that question was refined over time.

I think one problem with learning math along side the history of math is we have much better techniques for solving problems now. One of the touch things about the course was trying to figure out the various proofs because they went through very complicated steps which we now take for granted.

Not related to the course, but I really recommend the book Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea which talks about how the number 0 came to be, what problems it caused when people were coming up with the concept, and what ideas it continues to cause today.

u/melance · 2 pointsr/todayilearned

You should check out Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea. It's an very interesting read.

u/MelSimba · 2 pointsr/math

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea




The Golden Ratio


are two of my favorites

u/InsideOutsider · 2 pointsr/todayilearned
u/lshift0 · 2 pointsr/EDH

Interesting. There is a good book on the history of the number zero but I honestly don't know if you'd like it or not. if you happen to be interested.
People have definitely run mazes end decks before but they certainly aren't common. Thanks for taking the time to reply.

u/drewjr · 2 pointsr/

If this interests you, I cannot recommend highly enough Charles Seife's "Biography of a dangerous idea":

One of the most enjoyable books on science that I have read.

u/wrathofoprah · 2 pointsr/Battlefield

Required reading, Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger.

The churned-up field was gruesome. In among the living defenders lay the dead. When we dug foxholes,we realized that they were stacked in layers. One company after another, pressed together in the drumfire, had been mown down, then the bodies had been buried under showers of dirt sent up by the shells, and then the relief company had taken their predecessor’s place. And now it was our turn.

u/peenoid · 2 pointsr/Games
u/blackstar9000 · 2 pointsr/books

One you should definitely consider is Irene Némirovsky's Suite Francaise, about the German invasion of France, and told from the viewpoint of several displaced French citizens. Némirovsky herself died in Auschwitz in 1942 (little more than a year after the events portrayed in her master work!) and the book lay undiscovered until her daughter found it in the late 1990s. It's only been available in English for a little over three years, but it's already been hailed as a classic of the 20th century. It's also bound to be somewhat distinct from the other books likely to be chosen for a class like this because a) it's very much about the disruption of "normal" life rather than the immersion into war, and b) it's one of the few books that I can think of that deal with way not so much from the viewpoint of a woman (several of the main characters are men), but rather from the pen of a woman.

I'd also recommend Ernst Junger's Storm of Steel, a classic autobiographical depiction of WWI from the German side by a brilliant author who has tended to get short shrift in favor of (also brilliant) figures like Remarque. Steel is notable in part because Junger's use of language emulates the uncertainty of war -- it's percussive, assaulting, and unpredictable. Even in translation that comes through. It is, in effect, a view into the German side of the literary revolution that took place when soldiers in the war returned home and began writing about their experiences, and changing the accepted literary tropes in order to encompass the chasm that stood between their perceptions and those of the news-reading public.

If your friend can find enough copies of it, I'd also recommend Junger's On the Marble Cliffs, a kind of grim fantasia that seems to have predicted the Nazi rise to power and the fascistic impulse of the late 30s and 40s. It's eerie, beautiful and startling, but unfortunately it seems to have been out of print for some times now.

A lot of people have suggested science fiction books, and I think a lot of students would see a quick sci-fi read a nice reprieve from all of the historical material, but I'm surprised that no one has yet suggested Ender's Game, which better than just about any book I've seen makes a parable of the blindness war induces with respect to the consequences of our actions.

u/Maximum__Effort · 2 pointsr/WarCollege

I highly recommend Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger. It’s a very non-political look at WWI from a German soldier’s perspective. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the war.

u/Mann_Aus_Sydney · 2 pointsr/history

I would recommend Storm of steel for anyone who is interested in a German take on the experience. Remarque is not a bad writer and i do thoroughly enjoy All quiet. But he was on the western front for around a month before being wounded. Most of the things that occur in all quiet were collected from soldiers that Remarque met. Ernst Juenger's Storm of steel is, while perhaps not as linguistically beautiful, a true tour d'force of WWI. Juenger signed up in 1914 and fought on the front line until being wounded in the Kaiserschlacht in the middle of 1918. Unlike Remarque, Juenger does not try to make some emotional stance on whether war is good or not. He simply tells the story that he endured. If you want a good fictional novel then by all means read All quiet on the western front. But if you want a gritty factual story read Storm of steel.

If i could make make a comment on the Ernst Juenger in Storm of steel and Paul Bauemer in All quiet. I would say that Juenger was a warrior and Bauemer was a victim.

Storm of Steel

u/loose_impediment · 2 pointsr/wwi

Graves gives a good account of a personal experience of the the war from a British subaltern's point of view. Others giving the bottom up look are from the French soldier's perspective in the trenches 1915-1916 Under Fire: The Story of a Squad by Henri Barbusse free here, another from a German perspective Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger. More graphically violent than All Quiet, but more a memoir than a novel. And unlike Remarque, Jünger was a combat soldier wounded 14 times, Iron Cross 1st Class, youngest recipient of Pour le Mérite (The Blue Max) and when he died in 1998, he was last living Blue Max recipient. From the American Doughboy's perspective, there's Toward the Flame a memoir by Hervey Allen who served in the "bucket of blood" the 28th Keystone Div in the Aisne - Marne offensive and leaves you contemplating being on the receiving end of a flamethrower attack. A harrowing compilation of vignettes running chronologically through each month of the war on the Western Front is The Hazy Red Hell Tom Donovan ed. It has been described as terrifying. I'll not dispute that. A more balanced view of the experiences of the fighting men is Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There I'm reading that right now.

u/hoseramma · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

Storm of Steel my Ernst Junger. This freakin' guy LOVED war. You could consider this the antithesis of All Quiet on the Western Front. It glorifies war. "According to Jünger, war elevates the soldier's life, isolated from normal humanity, into a mystical experience"

u/Khatib · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Check out Storm of Steel if you wanna read the memoir of a WWI German soldier who's not exactly apologetic for fighting in the war, just very straightforward about what happened. It's pretty insane to realize just how much bombardment the average front-liner went though for such extended periods of time.

u/slacksonslacks · 2 pointsr/running

Not sure if it's spiritual in the sense that you're looking for, but it's an interesting read. If you're interested in running and Christianity specifically, I'd check out Ryan Hall's blog. He's a very outspoken Christian and a phenomenal runner. He also has a book, here:

That might be more in line with what you are looking for.

u/2_old_2B_clever · 2 pointsr/CGPGrey

I'm personally getting a lot of great recommendations who cares if Grey's assistant likes them.

[TLC: High middle ages]
Really interesting professor does a very broad overview of the changes happening in Europe during this time period.

[Unfamiliar Fishes]
( Actually most Sarah Vowell books are pretty interesting and entertaining. This one covers the time period of Hawaii from when it was a kingdom to a state, when it's soul is being fought over by missionaries, fruit companies and shipping.

[What I talk about when I talk about Running]( I'm not a runner, neither is Grey, still a really interesting reflective book.

[Cod: The biography of the fish that changed the world](
You need to read this just for the charming cod wars Iceland engages in, also a ton of history and geography.

[Stephen King: On Writing]( Very nuts and bolts book about the physical act of writing and a lot of inside baseball about the state of mind King was in while writing some of his most famous books,

u/indorock · 2 pointsr/running

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. Such a nice read, whether or not you're a (ultra)marathoner.

u/sasha_says · 2 pointsr/running

Have you ever read Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? It's his memoir as a Japanese author who writes all of his books in English and his love of running. When he talks about running and writing it's all about endurance. He says that sometimes his running is probably slower than walking but he just keeps going.

u/trying_to_remember · 2 pointsr/tipofmytongue
u/beeblez · 2 pointsr/

In the modern literature category

Dave Eggers - What is the What. Or A Heart Breaking Work of Staggering Genius by him is also pretty good.

A.S. Byatt - Possession

Also, someone else mentioned Neal Stephenson, I cannot second this recommendation strongly enough! Very fun reads that don't shy away from intellectual engagement. I read Cryptonomicon by him recently and loved it.

I also note you don't mention Don DeLillo although you mention many of his contemporaries. Check out White Noise by him and go from there.

I could probably make some more suggestions, but it depends what genre's and styles you're really into? Do you want hugely post-modern? Do you enjoy the classics? (I notice your list had no Shakespeare, his tragedies are as famous as they are for good reason)

u/onomatoleah · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

It's hard to follow The Glass Castle - such a compelling read. I'm also a fan of memoirs and really enjoyed Her Last Death by Susanna Sonnenberg. I have mommy issues, so I identified with the author quite a bit. Also, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggars. Emotionally taxing at times, from what I recall (need to give this another read), but really worth it.

u/Wilmore · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

I know this is a little late, but you should check out A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. It's memoir-like, a true story, but it's written in a very light and readable way. The author lost his parents within a few months of each other and ended up having to raise his 8-year-old brother. As depressing as that sounds, the book is really brisk and often hilarious. It's a book I think everybody should read, but it sounds like it may be exactly what you're looking for as well.

u/johnhutch · 2 pointsr/raisingkids

While counseling definitely sounds like the best course of action, and while I doubt free time is limited, if you can get your hands on this book and read it, you might, at least, not feel so alone in the world. Who knows, you might even glean a few strategies from it:

tl;dr: famous author, david eggers in his early 20's, becomes guardian of his younger brother.

u/Delacqua · 2 pointsr/booksuggestions

I hate to recommend the opposite of what you're asking for, but Dave Egger's memoir A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius definitely has that "hyperactive" rhythm to it.

u/utahphil · 2 pointsr/weedstocks

Oh, it ain't mine--you've got some homework to do.

Check these out too.

Into the Wild


u/GODHATHNOOPINION · 2 pointsr/homestead

Here is a great book on what not to do.

u/underpressure221 · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

I recommend you read Into the Wild if you doubt that it can be done. It can.

u/alpinefallout · 2 pointsr/CampingandHiking

I enjoyed Ed Viesturs book: No Shortcuts to the Top, it was a self focused memoir, yet he shares his views and opinions in a way that came off genuine and down to earth. It is probably different than something you are writing since the focus of the book is entirely on something that made him very famous (First American to climb all 8000m peaks)

I like John Krakauer's books. Into Thin Air was a great firsthand account of a major disaster. It has some controversy, but like anything else firsthand accounts rely on the writers memory of events and those can change wildly from person to person.

Into the Wild is obviously another one of his more famous works. I liked it writing style and level of research, but I disliked the man the book was written about with a passion. Hardly the writers fault there though.

u/LDR-Lover · 2 pointsr/books

Try On The Road by Jack Kerouac (if you haven't read it already) and perhaps even Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. When I read that it really introduced me to the counter-culture movement.

u/5462atsar · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

My favorite book is Into the Wild, by Jon Krakauer. It is breathtaking, inspiring, tragic, and yet has a sense of accomplishment along with it. It's a beautifully written novel, and much better than the already great movie based off of it. I highly recommend it to anyone I can!

This book is only $2.99, and is an ebook (if that's okay with your contest rules), so it has free shipping.

Thanks for the contest! :)

u/talkingwires · 2 pointsr/vandwellers
u/chocolate_bread · 2 pointsr/lotr

See my earlier comment which quotes from The Letters of Tolkien.

u/fquizon · 2 pointsr/lotr

The current print paperback is perfectly nice, for what it's worth. Very sturdy feeling. I have no plans to upgrade.

u/EyeceEyeceBaby · 2 pointsr/tolkienfans

You might try getting your hands on a copy of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. There's a lot of great information on his work there, and I find them generally a little easier to read than the History of Middle-Earth.

u/SirPringles · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I propose that you read Maus. It's a graphic novel about World War 2 and the holocaust, but at the same time about a man and his father. The father is the one who tells his son the story of the holocaust, and his son then tells us. Really, it's quite moving.

Also, Jews are mouses and Nazis are cats.

u/dacoobob · 2 pointsr/mildlyinteresting
u/ThereCastle · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

1.Maus by Art Spiegelman. I know it is a graphic novel, but it is amazing.
2. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King, Including the newest one The Wind Through The Keyhole

u/admorobo · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Somewhat similar in tone and absurdity of Vonnegut is Tom Robbins, perhaps start with Jitterbug Perfume.

For Brautigan, I'd recommend perhaps Charles Bukowski, try Factotum,or Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a good place to start).

u/doctechnical · 2 pointsr/books

Based on the number of readings, I'd say Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (if you're only going to read one Thompson book in your life, this is it) and The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien.

u/revchu · 2 pointsr/books

Aesthetics are simply important to me when I am buying a physical product, especially in this day and age. I can buy an ebook without any aesthetic value whatsoever, but if I decide I like something so much that I want a physical copy, be it a movie or a CD or a book, if it applies, attraction will play a factor in my purchase. I've been looking for a non-movie cover version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas for ages, simply because I don't like the glossy, absently considered DVD cover version that is most common. It doesn't need to be beautiful, since I was more than willing to buy the 70s-esque commonplace cover of Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, and there are always exceptions to the movie cover rule. For instance, I bought the 80s movie edition of the Great Gatsby with the Robert Redford cover because it was comically cheesy. I can't even find a picture of it on the Internet.

u/muenchener · 2 pointsr/climbing

Getting married seems to be traditional. Alternatively

u/Tilane · 2 pointsr/TrollXChromosomes

It's more that it made me uncomfortable because I knew how people who never suffered from similar abuse would take it.

Similarly, The Glass Castle was... not received well. I had to read it in college. In a class where no one would know abuse if it slapped them in the face. Needless to say, when I explained my situation to the teacher, she gave me the option to sit out discussions.

u/vodkey77 · 2 pointsr/ConfessionBear

I'll have to check out this was close to 20 years ago that this happened. was it this book? i fail at links...

u/LucyGoosey5 · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I understand it's used :) this is such a great giveaway!!
My favorite book that comes to mind is probably The Glass Castle which is one I randomly picked up in one of those bookshops that is overflowing with books. I also found out this week that it's possibly being made into a movie?! And I'm not sure how I feel about that.

I like to think I do at least one kind thing a day :)

u/Tealbark37 · 2 pointsr/CasualConversation

The Glass Castle, by Jennette Walls was the last book I remember enjoying before school killed my love for reading. (They made us annotate purely Charles Dickens, making us ignore plot, but rather focus on rhetorical devices; and even then I wasn't too fond of his tales). As of now, my English AP class is having us read Narrative of the Life of a Slave by Frederick Douglass. This is the first book we are reading in-class this school year, but this is the first time I get to read without annotating and can actually enjoy the book!!

u/laterdayze · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

That one is a memoir by Jeannette Walls. It's about her and her family. She grew up in poverty, although I think those in poverty live better than what she and her brothers and sisters went through. WOW, I'll tell you It's a crazy story. The glass castle comes from something her father would say to her. I don't want to go into it too much in case you decide to read it. Here is the link on Amazon.

u/Defenestresque · 2 pointsr/tifu

Well, thanks for the advice then!

I just wish that the particular subset of Western society that considers young men like yourself who have grown up with a strict, fundamentalist family as having ideals fundamentally opposed to their "western values" had a chance to meet or interact with you.

Here you are, living in a place and surrounded by values that are so unlike anything many of us in the Western world have experienced and you're cracking jokes about 'fursonas' on Reddit. If you didn't tell us in this TIFU post, I doubt anyone would be able to tell that you're not some 20yo from New Jersey.

I know the world is unfair, but it seems to be almost cruelly so when -- based on your interactions with people on this site -- someone like yourself, who clearly would fit perfectly into a society whose values align with your own is not in a position to actually become a part of that society.

I've enjoyed our conversation and not to harp on this point, but please continue to consider leaving your country. Any other place would be lucky to have you. I know that family ties are strong, but you didn't pick your family and ultimately you do not owe your life to them.

You truly do not need to live the rest of your life unhappy, feeling like you don't belong, married to someone you have to "learn to love." There is so much shit in the world but there is a lot of good too. I know it seems impossible to leave, but that's an illusion. It would be hard and dangerous as fuck, but not impossible. (Edit: as I wrote here, claiming asylum is absolutely something you can do and your situation is exactly the kind of thing it was designed for)

There is a fascinating book I read some time ago called "Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea", written by a high-level North Korean official who does something like what you've done: he accidentally gives a prohibited magazine that he signed out from a "restricted" NK library to a friend who then forgets it on the subway, leading to the magazine being turned into the secret police and the author interrogated. He talks his way out of the interrogation for the moment, but knows that his life as he knows it is over and that he'll be re-arrested and likely killed the next day.

He ends up on the run and eventually ends up in China, with no money, no family and no friends. It's an absolutely fascinating read and I highly recommend it.

I figure it might be difficult for you to purchase books online, so I've uploaded my epub copy (and a PDF conversion if you have trouble opening the EPUB). I'll PM you the link so the mods don't delete my comment if they stumble across it.

Have a good life and like I said, if you ever need anything feel free to PM me.

u/rko281 · 2 pointsr/Gunners

Read Fever Pitch for one. Also Arsènal: The Making of a Modern Superclub is helpful. Going back through Arseblog's archives and the matchday threads on r/gunners couldn't hurt either.

u/translunar_injection · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook
u/Shepherd0401 · 2 pointsr/trees

The #1 best place would be this book:

All of the studies are referenced and the book is both objective and fair.

As far as the cancer thing, here is the link to the U.S. Government's patent on cannabis as a neuroprotective anticancer agent:

But seriously that book is well worth it.

Edit: Pubmed is an incredibly reputable site, and here is the link for the search term "cannabis cancer"
Notice how all of them have to do with it's therapeutic applications. If you do a similar search for tobacco, alcohol, or even caffeine effects it's a whole different story.

u/Nocturnal_waters · 2 pointsr/trees

I am also a girl, best friend and I both love marijuana. Its the only thing that keeps us grounded and stable. No matter how bad our day gets, we always have something great to look forward to. So many people have hard lives and sometimes its hard for people to deal with reality or its hard to think about your past. Many people have different ways of relief. Some drink, smoke, gamble, cut them selves, and much more but to each their own. And if its NOT an uncontrollable habit, or screwing up your life or family then why would it be bad? At the least, its just so you can unwind and chill out.

If she's worried about the health aspect I recommend that you buy the book Marijuana Is Safer: So why are we Driving People to Drink?. If she isn't convinced that marijuana is a safe drug then theres no hope for swaying her opinion. It's a true argument on why Marijuana is safe and how it has saved peoples lives.

u/Delta009 · 2 pointsr/IAmA

I'm surprised that nobody in this thread quoted [this book]("Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?") yet.

This is one of the most interesting books I have read in the last year or so, and it definitely changed my opinion about marijuana (I used to be against decriminalization, because the governement was constantly telling me it was the Devil's weed).

Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink? is, surprisingly enough, very objective in its comparison of alcohol and marijuana. I think that marijuana smokers and non-smokers alike will learn interesting facts by reading this book.

u/hip_ennui · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

Can't agree more with the people suggesting Hesse, DF Wallace, Camus, Orwell, Huxley, Borges and Bulgakov. I think most of mine are taken, but I want to throw one more out there:

Killer: A Journal of Murder, which is finally back in print under the title Panzram: AJOM, is a tremendous and disturbing memoir about the darkest parts of the human mind. Carl Panzram was a man capable of almost unbelievable cruelty and hatred, and reading his justifications and explanations for his detestable mindset and actions is something that, while perhaps not totally relate-able, reveals a dark truth about life. The fact that, in the end, this monster reveals itself as a human - capable of fear, pain, and even love amidst all that hate - is something that elevates this book beyond the typical True Crime fare.

u/Squirrel_Chaser_ · 2 pointsr/serialkillers

Agreed. Here is a link to the book. I have read many SK books and this one has always stayed with me. Also, 2nd I would recommend this one of Albert Fish. Crazy all this guy became and did in his old age.

u/TwoStepsFromThursday · 2 pointsr/suggestmeabook

Maybe try Carl Panzram's book He's an absolute monster of a human being, but a surprisingly decent writer.

Fun note: Have you ever tried The Last Podcast On The Left? They do a lot of true-crime stuff that you might like!

u/eataflapjack · 2 pointsr/TrueCrime

Carl Panzram wrote a book piece by piece when he was in prison.

u/PoorLittleQuail · 2 pointsr/serialkillers

"Panzram: A Journal of Murder" Thomas E. Gaddis & James O. Long

It's a highly interesting read, very thought-provoking. The reviews I've seen often put it in about the same way; The story of Carl Panzram truly is one that you would never think of yourself, and once you read about it, it never really leaves you.

u/BosAnon · 2 pointsr/serialkillers

The book "Panzram: A Journal of Murder" is well worth the price if you're interested in his story.

u/strychnineman · 1 pointr/books

The "Oxford English Dictionary"

the story of its creation is a pretty good read, too.

u/gedankenexperimenter · 1 pointr/Cortex

A random selection of non-fiction recommendations for /u/MindOfMetalAndWheels:

u/Hind_Teat · 1 pointr/TILpolitics

I enjoyed the book, penis-lopping or not.
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary (P.S.) by Simon Winchester

u/disputing_stomach · 1 pointr/books

Simon Winchester is really good. I enjoyed Krakatoa and The Professor and the Madman.

u/mborrus · 1 pointr/books

My favorite book in a long time which I'm currently reading is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It doesn't have much to do with anything but it keeps me entertained. Definitely check it out.

Second favorite is A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Both are rather obscure of meaning but have a fun precedence (this possibly more comical than the other)

If you are looking for a semi-serious book I recommend The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester. It does have to do with an ex-military doctor but it is hardly the focus of the book. It follows the creation of the Oxford American Dictionary, but it isn't quite what you'd expect. I don't believe I could give you in depth analysis for any of these nor if you'd like them. They are my favorite books (minus Calvin and Hobbs) and are worth a read.

u/miketr2009 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Cool! Birthderp present from my Mom. Have your read these? I think they are great:

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary

u/Baron_Wobblyhorse · 1 pointr/books

Apologies if these have been posted already, but I'd highly recommend Simon Winchester's work, particularly The Professor and the Madmad and Krakatoa.

Well researched, well written and thoroughly enjoyable.

u/CrispBottom · 1 pointr/CasualConversation

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
Prior to reading, it never even occurred to me how difficult it must have been to compile the dictionary.

u/celeryroot · 1 pointr/books

I'm in the same boat as you and just started reading a lot of science stuff.

It might be a good idea to pick up an edition of The Best American Science [and Nature] Writing for lots of topics all at once.

I also second the Brian Greene books, early Dawkins, and The Red Queen. But I don't really understand all the Hofstadter hype... I really didn't like I Am a Strange Loop--I found it extremely poorly written, off-topic, at times pretentious, poorly constructed, and overall not a very pleasant experience.

Most of my interest is in biology and evolution, so my recommendations would be:

My favorite animal rights book: Created From Animals - Rachels

A really fun read about poisonous plants: Wicked Plants - Stewart

Another Stewart book about earthworms: The Earth Moved - Stewart

Also anything by Michael Pollan, and to complement that, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

u/workroom · 1 pointr/Cooking

That's just wrong that Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle didn't even make the list... it was one of the top 3 imo. (I loved the audiobook, her whole family reads their chapters)

u/Innotek · 1 pointr/videos

If anyone is interested, the lexicographer that wound up in the insane asylum in Chapter 7, had a book written about him, that's pretty darn interesting.

...and where the fuck is Chaucer?

u/dunmalg · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The Professor and the Madman and The Meaning of Everything. Both are about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, the latter about the actual making, and the former about the specifics of one of the most prolific contributors to the OED: a US Army officer and civil war vet in a British insane asylum. Great reads, the both of them.

u/DerangedDesperado · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/reverb256 · 1 pointr/canada

I don't need an echo-chamber to be anti-government, just a basic understanding of history. Have you ever read about the 20th century? 100 million people were murdered by their own leftist-totalitarian governments - you know that right?

There are a lot of stupid people hellbent on making the same mistakes in current year.

u/bantuftw · 1 pointr/JoeRogan

I bought Volume I, this edition.

u/NoahFect · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The works of Solzhenitsyn are a good place to start, for those unfamiliar with just how far down the rabbit hole to Hell statism can take us. The Gulag Archipelago is actually three volumes but the first one will be enough to get the point across.

Another book I thought was worthwhile was Ma Bo's Blood Red Sunset: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution.

There are plenty of others but those are the ones that impacted me the most as a kid. (Edit: The East German Stasi would be worth looking into if you're not already familiar with it. The Lives of Others is awesome; I understand it was based on some real characters and events.)

Union Carbide didn't actually think they were carrying the banner of human progress when they gassed Bhopal. Dow Chemical didn't manufacture Agent Orange in the service of the CEO's personality cult. Phillip Morris and General Motors? Hell, they just want your money. If you're stupid enough to set some chemical-soaked leaves on fire and deliberately inhale the smoke, or drive yourself into a tree at 100 MPH, then yeah, I guess they're your worst nightmares.

But a statist regime wants everything you have, everything you are, everything you will ever be. You have a tough job ahead if you want to convince me that the evils of berserk, out-of-control governments are in the same league as the worst crimes perpetrated by for-profit corporations. Not saying it can't happen, just saying you have some hard work ahead of you.

u/Aro2220 · 1 pointr/BitcoinCA

We have way better technology now than they did in the Soviet Union. Read that book and then imagine what they could do when every single phone has a far field microphone, satellites can see every hair on everyones head everywhere, and every transaction you make is recorded and analyzed with AI.

The argument I used to hear growing up about why our loss of privacy wasn't such a big deal was that "what do you have to hide?" Well, when your data is all out in the open you can program behaviour. That's what was such a big deal.

One day people will see.

u/CommentArchiverBot · 1 pointr/RemovedByThe_Donald

I'm about half way through Gulag Archipelago, and OP's comic is too true.

Add another one to the list!

-reiduh, parent

This subreddit and bot are not in any way affiliated with the moderators of /r/The_Donald. Direct questions about removal to them.

u/IMMA_MORMON_AMA · 1 pointr/books

If it helps, I read the unabridged (Solzhenitsyn approved) version. Amazon link If you end up not wanting to continue unabridged, I might recommend going on with this one. Good reads!

u/Smoke_Me_When_i_Die · 1 pointr/russia

Well of course the first place to start would be Wikipedia. You could look up:

1936 Soviet Constitution, Gosplan, five year plans, collectivization, kolkhoz, Gulags, the Virgin Lands campaign, TASS, Izvestia, Pravda, Elektronika, their incredible space program, etc. And of course the leaders. And the various republics (SSRs) would be good to know. In fact the country itself was CCCP = SSSR.

Read about all the post-collapse conflicts: Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia, Chechnya, Transnistria, Russia-Georgia war, Ukraine Crisis. And about how turbulent the 90s were.

There are personal accounts of the gigantic conflict with the Germans, like those of Vasili Grossman and Marshal Zhukov. There are transcripts of interviews with Khrushchev and the books that Gorbachev wrote on Glasnost and Perestroika. Historian David M. Glantz writes almost exclusively about the Soviet military. There are the accounts of dissidents like Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Andrei Sakharov.

There are some classic pieces of literature like Master and Margarita and Dr. Zhivago. And music on YouTube by people like Shostakovich.

There are surplus stores like that sell helmets, medals, coins, busts, and the like if that is what you are into. And blogs like English Russia.

r/history here on reddit probably has some articles to peruse. r/HistoryPorn often has old Russian photos.

And of course I've talked to several people on this forum who lived during Soviet times. I'm sure some here or elsewhere on reddit would be happy to tell you.

u/mookiemookie · 1 pointr/history

The go-to book is "The Cold War - A New History" by John Gaddis.

"The Gulag Archipeligo" by Solzhenitsyn is also excellent:

"Truman" by McCullogh has some nice insight into the early years of the Cold War:

u/stasome · 1 pointr/AskReddit

The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

It documents the history of penal camps used by the Soviet Union to squelch political dissidents, terrorize the populace, and get slave labor.

If you've read read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and want to learn more, pick up The Gulag Archipelago.

Don't go for the unabridged version, it's another 2000 pages.

u/tethercat · 1 pointr/bestof

Everyone else has said great things to you. Here's my input.

For some light reading (a term used loosely here, but hey, I found it entertaining in my off-hours), check out this book. Enjoy!

u/GMendelent · 1 pointr/AskReddit

You should read the Biography of Zero. Great read.

u/dorkrock · 1 pointr/atheism

Also, Western mathematics hadn't really incorporated the concept of zero when the calendar was formalized.

Here's one of the more interesting books I've read in awhile:

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

u/mazbot · 1 pointr/engineering

Absolutely. I got a real love of science reading various books through school. A few recommendations:

Achilles in the quantum universe

Absolute zero

Zero: Biography of a dangerous idea

I suppose Achilles and Zero are more about math than science or engineering, but I really liked them.

u/homercrates · 1 pointr/nfl

the actual boring stuff.. i dont do popsci crap click bait weak ass shit "10 ways the earth will end!".
This isn't theoretical physics but its ... mathish.. does stuff like this count as popsci crap?

not sure if I know what popsci articles are.. I assume its like some cute lil blog article about half a concept.. Shit I am not a scholar by any means. I just prefer to pass the night away in my bed reading this stuff while the calming sounds of snores wash over me. (wife snores every so slightly) and I am night owl. this was on netflix for a bit.. that was an amazingly good series put together. Most would find it boring as hell. I watched that at least 4 times through before they took it off. (provided thats not reading...) I just don't know if i fall into popsci or not.

u/slick8086 · 1 pointr/atheism

> Equations do not solve themselves.

Yes they do. The solution exists whether someone finds it or not.

> If some crazy religious group were to decide that mathematics is evil, and put a mathematician on trial for practicing mathematics, then you obviously would want to argue that mathematics is an extremely useful body of knowledge without which modern civilization as we know it could not exist. You do sometimes have to defend people by defending their ideas.

> You might say that this is a ridiculous hypothesis since no one has ever claimed that mathematics is evil

actually no, it isn't ridiculous for that reason, it just isn't logically consistent. Your conclusion doesn't follow from your premise.

(also several times in history, several mathematical concepts have been deemed "evil." One example is the concept of the number zero. see Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea which turns out to be an excellent example of why free thought (and free speech) is crucial to free society and progress.

> If mathematics was not discussed or written about by anybody, then it would be forgotten and would effectively cease to exist.

This is just silly. Mathematics exists apart from the symbols that describe it. 2 + 2 = 4 whether you those symbols or not. It doesn't require a person to discuss it or know it or agree with it. Just like other ideas.

> Conceivably it would be up to future scholars, if any still existed in our hypothetical world devoid of mathematics, to re-invent it or to re-discover forgotten texts.

The language to communicate ideas is invented, but ideas exist whether or not language has been invented to describe them.

I could say II + II = IV or 2+2=4 or communicate that idea in any number of ways, but even if there was no mind to think it, the concept would still exist, just waiting there for a mind to come along and discover it.

u/Aiwayume · 1 pointr/books

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
Amazon Link:

u/ownworldman · 1 pointr/pics

Zero is a whole number, and pretty awesome at that. If you want, this book tells the story of zero. And explains why the phones and calculators are different.

u/GilesPennyfeather · 1 pointr/tipofmytongue

My guess is Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife. Very interesting read. Not focused on programming, though.

u/DarthJessinator · 1 pointr/AskReddit

as a math major, nothingness is zero. I recommend this book on the history of people trying to understand "nothingness"

u/zonination · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I can post a few links from some books about numbers. I haven't read a few of them, but the history of some numbers like phi, pi, zero... all of them are fascinating.

u/DrejmeisterDrej · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I really like just about anything. I read Zero: A Biography of a Dangerous Idea and absolutely loved it. I took a stab at this Set Theory book but it was way over my head. I don't like it if the book is too technical, but I have a somewhat extensive knowledge of computers, mathematics (number theory mostly), computer science, physics, etc

u/TheLeaderIsGood · 1 pointr/AskReddit

There wasn't a year zero because zero didn't exist in the first number systems. This is because numbers were for counting so you didn't need zero. Also people didn't like zero because it suggested infinity (the opposite of nothing is everything basically) and that was a scary concept. If you're really interested, I recommend Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea which I finished recently. It's really well-written.

u/2718281828459045235 · 1 pointr/math

One of my favorites on the history of zero by Charles Seife. Short, interesting, and well-explained. Has some challenging math concepts later in the book.

u/sidoh · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I read Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea a few years ago and found it pretty fascinating. It's a really interesting mix of history, philosophy, math, and physics.

u/Smocken · 1 pointr/Battlefield

Please read [Storms of steel] ( I think you will have a second opinion regarding the pace of fighting.

u/Esteesmithrowaway · 1 pointr/FitForSexOver30

First of all have you read Murakami's book on running? just curious, as a book nerd.
Surely you've read The Oatmeal?

Ok ok first question. Why do you run Raisin? What do you like about it?

Now a less philosophical one:

So, what kind of stretches do you recommend before running? And after? I've noticed alot of stiffness around my knees and the muscles on the sides of my legs so I'm thinking I'm not stretching properly.

u/iamleoooo · 1 pointr/running
u/elephantii · 1 pointr/infp

New to the sub. I'm from China so I read him in translations mostly and however the translators differ from each other the author comes across as consistently a J type..the way he structures the story and sticks to a preferred structure over time.

Also, have you read his book on running?

It demonstrated how J he is - 30+ years being a runner with strict training regime, daily schedule and diet.

TJ is the feeling I get from many of his writings, although he apparently has strong emotional capacity too. It's just that the thinking and logic are almost equally strong.

BTW Ryu is another Murakami that's very worth reading.

u/P-dubbs · 1 pointr/running

My two favorite running books are What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and Run Gently Out There. The /r/AdvancedRunning Book Club also has a good list.

u/mojowo11 · 1 pointr/humor

You might enjoy this book by my favorite author.

u/Zoobles88 · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Hmm...well, the writer of The Circle wrote a memoir about his post-college days, with a really pretentious title. I have always really liked it, but the reviews are mixed.

The Stolen Child is pretty cool. It's a little different, I hadn't read anything like it before, and got through it quick.

My personal favorite is American Gods. Little weird, but if you're into it, it will really pull you in quick.

And if you're into something creepier, Heart-Shaped Box (not to be confused with the Nirvana song) is probably one of the scariest things I've ever read.

And then as far as YA is concerned, I just discovered Jennifer Hubbard last week - met her at a writing conference.

And then I had never heard of House of Leaves - but it looks SO cool, so thank you haha

u/rarelyserious · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Dave Egger's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius; it's poignant, touching, and hilarious.

u/margalicious · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

/u/rarelyserious just recommended me this book, and now I'm itching to read it. :3 It's a physical book!

Thank you for thisssss. I looove you.

u/downtown14 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Good luck, reading A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius might help you feel a little less alone:

Based on to the true story. At the age of 22, Eggers became both an orphan and a "single mother" when his parents died within five months of one another of unrelated cancers. In the ensuing sibling division of labor, Dave is appointed unofficial guardian of his 8-year-old brother, Christopher. The two live together in semi-squalor, decaying food and sports equipment scattered about, while Eggers worries obsessively about child-welfare authorities, molesting babysitters, and his own health. His child-rearing strategy swings between making his brother's upbringing manically fun and performing bizarre developmental experiments on him.

u/random-mash · 1 pointr/AskReddit

At 22, Dave eggers lost his mother, and began raising his 8 year old brother on his own. He wrote a book about his experience dealing with his loss: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: a true story Your post reminded me of it in many ways, including your reactions as you've described them. There is nothing Oprah about this book. Maybe it will help you work through things. Or maybe you should avoid it at all costs. I don't know.

u/FranktheCheetah · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
This link will lead you to one of the best books I've ever read. Written by a guy in his early 20's as well who also lost both parents almost simultaneously, in a type of English everyone in their 20's will appriciate. Absolutely hilarious and heartfelt. Seems like it would give a bit of peace of mind right now.

u/sameoldsong · 1 pointr/books

The Talisman-by Stephen King and Peter Straub. The authors then continued the story with a second book called Black House.
An amazing fantasy adventure for any age. A good bridge for you as well. Other adventure fantasy type books that I felt were ageless, A Boys life- by Robert McCammon. Anything and everything Jack London. Read Stephen King short stories then move onto Edgar Allen Poe. To kill a mocking bird- by Harper Lee A Watership Down- By Richard Adams Of Mice And Men- by John Steinbeck
Then you may want to move on to another type of adventure.
Into the Wild- by Jon Krakauer. Every book is a bridge to another and so on. I could name so many more, but each book will lead you to them.

u/dormedas · 1 pointr/



Now he's going to go "Into the Wild"

u/matthank · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Here you go: the manual for suicide by bush

That's what you made it sound like you wanted

u/blp9 · 1 pointr/camping

We were all 18 once...

Specifically, the problem with "go out to eat or go to a convenience store" is that both of those are going to basically nullify the benefit you have to backwoodsing it. Nearly anywhere in the US you can get a room to rent for something like $250/mo if you're willing to drive a bit. This doesn't apply to big places like New York or San Francisco... but if you're able to camp there, you can probably find a place to live for cheap. But if you're buying prepared food, I don't see that being less than $20 a day.

But look at dry goods like rice and beans. You can actually eat a 1:1 ratio of rice and beans and get a complete protein for a few dollars a day. A fridge (see above about renting a room) is going to be able to stretch your food dollars much further than if you have no refrigeration.

Regardless, you should use this summer as an opportunity to test-run some of this. Go find some dispersed camping sites, try camping for a week.

Also, I want to highly recommend you read Into the Wild: -- maybe A Walk In the Woods, too:

u/yttrium39 · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/Folkariffic · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Hey! This is my kind of contest. Here's my list:

  1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Horari -
    From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”
    One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? (copied from the Amazon page)

  2. [Name of the Wind - Kingkiller Chronicles by Pat Rothfuss] ( -
    My name is Kvothe.
    I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
    You may have heard of me. (copied)

  3. [The Golem Cypher: T.R.I.X. by B.V. Bayly] ( - Once one of the best assassins in the galaxy, Cadell is now the hunted. The Ascendency, the ruling galactic empire and Cadell’s ex-employer, has stripped him of everything and placed a significant bounty on his head. Forced to live with the shadows of his past, Cadell hides on the backwater planets of the outer rim. Away from anyone who would recognize him.
    When his old friend and mentor, Salis, dangles a job in front of him that will get him an Ascendency pardon and let him clear his name, Cadell is ready to take it on. Armed with his constant companion, a strange alien symbiote named T.R.I.X. and his skills as an assassin, Cadell sets off to complete the strange job. ( A nifty book but a relatively new author, worth the read!)

  4. [I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid] ( - All I'll say about this is that it's quite volatile when it comes to the reviews it's received. I enjoyed it, but many other didn't... It's quite a ride if you end up enjoying it.

  5. [Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer] ( - In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. (One of my favorite books/stories of all time. I
    also hold the movie close to my heart.)

    This took me a good few minutes, I hope you find something you like through this contest :)
u/Cirion_Spellbinder · 1 pointr/2meirl4meirl

Have you ever read Jon Krakauer's "Into the Wild" ? Your story reminds me of the book.

u/Provenzer0 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Not a novel but "Lone Survivor" is a great book. As is "Into the Wild"

u/robertbobberson · 1 pointr/trees

Read Into The Wild.

The movie isn't the same, but the book delves heavily into this subject.

u/BitcoinBoo · 1 pointr/MovieSuggestions
u/j4nds4 · 1 pointr/CapitalismVSocialism

> you have usage rights so long as no one else vetoes your usage rights of the claim. if someone does so, you cannot use that property. you are also free to veto any and all from the same claim, excluding him and anyone, or everyone, else from that claim.

So it's "I called dibs" vs "I called dibs first"?

> on a functionality note, i would say this veto for usage rights is done through giant computer system to manage such disputes in real time.

People are going to have to make sure that computer keeps running, and more are going to have to make sure that computer stays coded for impartiality. Getting them to sacrifice time needed to grow food so that they can keep the system in check will require compensation. Otherwise you'll effectively end up with "automated cronyism" or a dead computer.

And since the earth is not a homogenous environment and some areas are more lush than others, how will this system determine who gets the best plots? What if those who are stuck in places where natural disasters or droughts or harsh winters are common try to wrest control of land from those who are in a comparative paradise?

And if someone says "I don't care what the computer says, I'm willing to use violence to take your farm", then what? Does the computer have the capacity to violently enforce its decisions, or can it simply be ignored by those who don't like the answers?

You're describing a system that has the ultimate authority of land ownership effectively giving IT full ownership, a system that takes significant resources to run, a system that could be corrupted, and a system that would be worthless in the long run with an inability to use enforcement when those whose rights it dictates are challenged or attempt to subvert it. Sound familiar?

We've burned the Capitalist system! Live off the land!

> this actually allows for today's system to function exactly as is, so long as everyone participating consents to that distribution. which i don't think would happen, but it doesn't rule out the possibility.

By saying that you don't think it would happen, you are acknowledging that this either is an exercise in futility or will necessitate brainwashing and/or genocide unlike anything humanity has ever experienced. I'm going to assume that you don't plan on the latter. So given your general admittance of futility, what is the best alternative that:

  • is realistically attainable
  • provides an improved standard of living for as much of the population as possible
  • enables continued growth and prosperity as a species
  • and may be sustainable for centuries, millennia, or more?

    Borrowing from Churchill, I'm of the opinion that Capitalism is the worst economic system except all the others.

    To be fair, I have no idea what system you're implying other than "The system sucks, I want to live off the land and abandon modern medicine and have an omnipotent supercomputer dictate who can live where and have everything function identically to today's system other than these things and have everyone else also willingly live this lifestyle", which is hard to fit in the standard boxes.

    Now if you don't want to change the system, and you just want people to leave you alone so you can go build your farm or go Into The Wild, what's really stopping you? Take the book for inspiration; or do as someone else mentioned and buy some land inexpensively in the southern US, even less if you look globally. Despite your insistence, there are many people in the US who have shunned society and found a little place to call home away from civilization. You can do that too, with enough determination. It's a free country!
u/m-town · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

No offense, but you are disillusioned if you think you can live alone in the wild. Into the wild is about an over-idealitic Christopher Mccandless who unfortunately died because he unknowingly ate poison berries after trekking into alaska. One chapter details the stories of other individuals who had "enough of the system" and sought out solitude in nature (many of which died).

I get the whole escape into nature, I used to think like that as well. but the more I think about it the more i realize my skinny white ass would probably get eaten by a bear.

u/AbelPhillips · 1 pointr/vandwellers

Ken ilgunas' book Walden on Wheels is a great read about just this.

u/scottishclaymore · 1 pointr/Catholicism
u/eyeoffrodo · 1 pointr/books

If you want to read it.

You might also enjoy two of my favorite short stories published in The Tolkien Reader, "Tree and Leaf" and "Farmer Giles of Ham." Tree and Leaf is always a great reminder read for me about the importance of spending your time in life on the things that are meaningful, and of devoting yourself fully to the moment rather than worrying about the past or the future.

u/WalkingTarget · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

Here for one. You could also check any libraries you have access to. I bought mine at a Borders several years ago (obviously before they shut down).

u/Xyllar · 1 pointr/lotr

There is a book of 300+ of Tolkien's letters compiled by his son: The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

u/unsubinator · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

If you're read or seen "The Fellowship of the Ring", you'll remember that when Frodo noticed they were being stalked by Gollum in the Mines of Moria he said to Gandalf, "It's a pity that Bilbo didn't kill him when he had the chance."

To which Gandalf replied:

>>Pity? It was pity that stayed Bilbo’s hand. Many that live deserve death. Some that die deserve life. Can you give it them, Frodo? Do not be too eager to deal out death and judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends. My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play yet, for good or ill before this is over. The pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many.

In his letters, Tolkien writes concerning the "Passion" of Frodo:

>>Frodo ‘failed’. It is possible that once the ring was destroyed he had little recollection of the last scene. But one must face the fact: the power of Evil in the world is not finally resistible by incarnate creatures, however ‘good’; and the Writer of the Story is not one of us.

And in another place he wrote:

>>In this case the cause (not the ‘hero’) was triumphant, because by the exercise of pity, mercy, and forgiveness of injury, a situation was produced in which all was redressed and disaster averted. Gandalf certainly foresaw this. See Vol. I p. 68-9. Of course, he did not mean to say that one must be merciful, for it may prove useful later – it would not then be mercy or pity, which are only truly present when contrary to prudence. Not ours to plan! But we are assured that we must be ourselves extravagantly generous, if we are to hope for the extravagant generosity which the slightest easing of, or escape from, the consequences of our own follies and errors represents. And that mercy does sometimes occur in this life.

And just one more quote:

>>[Gollum] did rob him and injure [Frodo] in the end – but by a ‘grace’, that last betrayal was at a precise juncture when the final evil deed was the most beneficial thing any one cd. have done for Frodo! By a situation created by ‘forgiveness’, he was saved himself, and relieved of his burden.

What may we take from this?

One, that "pity" or "forgiveness", in order to be worthy of the name, must be something done contrary to prudence, contrary to our "best interests".

In Luke's Gospel, Jesus says:

>>If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return...Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

You write:

>I tell my friend that I can forgive people who honestly apologize (something my father never has) and who make a true effort to better themselves. I can forgive people who ask for help and seek help when their problems become too much for them or their family.

But that's just as much as to say you can forgive the forgivable--as if forgiveness, as if mercy (pity), is something that has to be earned. But is that forgiveness? Is that love? To love only the lovable?

And you write:

>From a humanistic perspective, I think there is very little reason to forgive my father for the decades of hell and unnecessary stress he has put us through. My mom has wished several times that he would die soon - but God must have other plans because he will be in his mid-70s in 2017.

Indeed. Plans that we can neither imagine nor foresee. But just as the pity of Bilbo created a situation in which the Cause (though not the "hero") was successful, so your own forgiveness of your father--even though he doesn't deserve it, even if he hasn't merited it through genuine repentance--may have positive effects that you can't predict.

None of this is to excuse your father's behavior or to minimize the consequences of the pain your father's behavior has brought upon you, your mother, or your family. But hopefully I've shown why maybe you should forgiven him--not that by doing so you might hope for some positive outcome in a utilitarian sense, but simply for the ultimate belief in the "value-in-itself of pity and generosity even if disastrous in the world of time."

(Quotes taken from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Humphrey Carpenter and Christopher Tolkien, and The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien)

u/ebneter · 1 pointr/tolkienfans

Yes, they were published as a book (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien), which I'm sure many libraries have copies of.

u/Kiltmanenator · 1 pointr/Fantasy

There is absolutely zero textual evidence within the written narrative or the reams of paper published in Tolkien's letters and other materials to support that. Though he began as an angelic spirit, he ended up as a tyrant.

>In my story Sauron represents as near an approach to the wholly evil will as is possible.
> The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 1995

u/dkitch · 1 pointr/IAmA

If you could time Maus to work in with the history/social studies WWII/Holocaust module, it would work great. If anyone questions won a Pulitzer, and made Time's Top 10 Graphics Novels list. Tell them to shove it.

u/electricfoxx · 1 pointr/pics
u/cnvandev · 1 pointr/promos

To that claim, sir, I offer the gripping narrative of Maus.

u/jaskmackey · 1 pointr/WTF
u/euric · 1 pointr/WTF

Surprised no-one has recommended Maus I+II, by Art Spiegelman.

Read it, seriously. A graphic novel that won a Pulitzer.

u/simism66 · 1 pointr/Psychonaut

Beyond the obvious choices, Watts' The Book, Ram Dass' Be Here Now, Huxley's Doors of Perception, Leary’s The Psychedelic Experience, and of course Fear and Loathing (all of these should be on the list without question; they’re classics), here are a some others from a few different perspectives:

From a Secular Contemporary Perspective

Godel Escher Bach by Douglass Hofstadter -- This is a classic for anyone, but man is it food for psychedelic thought. It's a giant book, but even just reading the dialogues in between chapters is worth it.

The Mind’s Eye edited by Douglass Hofstadter and Daniel Dennett – This is an anthology with a bunch of great essays and short fictional works on the self.

From an Eastern Religious Perspective

The Tao is Silent by Raymond Smullyan -- This is a very fun and amusing exploration of Taoist thought from one of the best living logicians (he's 94 and still writing logic books!).

Religion and Nothingness by Keiji Nishitani – This one is a bit dense, but it is full of some of the most exciting philosophical and theological thought I’ve ever come across. Nishitani, an Eastern Buddhist brings together thought from Buddhist thinkers, Christian mystics, and the existentialists like Neitzsche and Heidegger to try to bridge some of the philosophical gaps between the east and the west.

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way by Nagarjuna (and Garfield's translation/commentary is very good as well) -- This is the classic work from Nagarjuna, who lived around the turn of the millennium and is arguably the most important Buddhist thinker after the Buddha himself.

From a Western Religious Perspective

I and Thou by Martin Buber – Buber wouldn’t approve of this book being on this list, but it’s a profound book, and there’s not much quite like it. Buber is a mystical Jewish Philosopher who argues, in beautiful and poetic prose, that we get glimpses of the Divine from interpersonal moments with others which transcend what he calls “I-it” experience.

The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila – this is an old book (from the 1500s) and it is very steeped in Christian language, so it might not be everyone’s favorite, but it is perhaps the seminal work of medieval Christian mysticism.

From an Existentialist Perspective

Nausea by Jean Paul Sartre – Not for the light of heart, this existential novel talks about existential nausea a strange perception of the absurdity of existence.

The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus – a classic essay that discusses the struggle one faces in a world inherently devoid of meaning.

I’ll add more if I think of anything else that needs to be thrown in there!

u/bombos · 1 pointr/pics
u/apostrotastrophe · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer. Definitely not boring.

Also maybe some Hunter S. Thompson - try Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or The Rum Diary or Hell's Angels (if you're looking for something a little more in-depth and serious).

And if I can use your having picked up Fast Food Nation as a guide... I also recommend Mad in America (about the way the country has dealt with mental health in the past and how they deal with it now) and Say You're One of Them (fiction-but-could-easily-be-true short stories about Africa). That last one was really unsettling.

u/luvtoseek · 1 pointr/movies

To anyone unawares, the film is based on a book!

It's my favorite Depp performance!

u/QuakePhil · 1 pointr/atheism

Any particular video games/novels/tv? Which ones are you hooked on the most right now?

I've been hooked on R6: Siege lately, and just got Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, going to start reading that after I finish Cosmos

u/some_random_kaluna · 1 pointr/writing

>Journalism demands briefness and articles have rigid schemes to follow, so creativity wasn't always welcome.

Fuck them.

Black Hawk Down, by Mark Bowden.

Seabiscuit, by Laura Hillenbrand.

Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, by Hunter Thompson.

Roughing It, by Mark Twain.

These are four books--all creative, funny, dramatic, informative and beautifully written--by reporters.

Read them and study them. Copy the techniques they use, how they craft sentences, how they lead into the stories they tell, how they turn interviews into characters narrating their events.

And then practice. Over and over and over.

u/wolfram184 · 1 pointr/books

For a quick read: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Great story, hilarious, lots of layers, if you want to go looking for them. Fun read even if not.

Two excellent novels that you might identify with. Both long, but fantastic:

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes. Novel about a young officer in the Vietnam war (around your age), based on the author's experiences. Great book, long, but very engaging and entertaining read.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts: Just go to the amazon page, can't do it justice here, fantastic book.

A cool part about these is that each could be considered a "Roman a clef" (should be some accents there), at least loosely, as both are based to some degree on actual events in the author's lives. Though liberties are certainly taken, still neat to remember.

u/thenuff · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson. Not 100% non fiction, but definately one of the funniest books I have ever read.

u/southern_boy · 1 pointr/funny

The first hour's all waiting...
and then about halfway through its second hour...
you start cursing the creep who burned you because nothing's happening.
And then... zang!
~hst, f+l

u/Fr_Time · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I will always suggest reading this. One of my favorite books ever. Trumps the movie by leaps and bounds.

u/BrainBrain · 1 pointr/books
u/sayhey36 · 1 pointr/casualiama

Have you ever read the book Glass Castle? You might relate in some (but not all) ways.

u/smk3509 · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

The Glass Castle

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

u/DrDefenestrate · 1 pointr/casualiama
u/jaywalker1982 · 1 pointr/NorthKoreaNews

Let me cross check my library when I get a little more awake but off the top of my head you HAVE to read Dear leader by Jang Jin-sung who now runs New Focus international. He was a poet laureate with access to outside media and let one of those pieces get caught on a citizen who shouldnt have had access to it. It led to both them fleeing and ill leave the rest for you to read. I STRONGLY suggest you get it. Most NK books are hard for me to put down, but this was one so hard to put down I believe it was read over 2-3 days.

The rest of your list seems close to mine, I know I have read 15 books on NK, so let me cross check and see what we have read jointly vs. the differences and we can compare. I also have (like the Hidden Gulag) various reports written that may or may not interest you.

u/Comrade0gilvy · 1 pointr/politics

This is an incredible book on this exact subject. The author worked in the heart of the propaganda machine and was responsible for coming up with the stupid, mythological stories about the amazing feats of the Dear Leader that are taught to North Korean kids as fact. He knew it was all nonsense but his life was relatively great so it wasn't in his interest to rebel. He did start to doubt the regime though, inevitably, and eventually escaped.

I read this book in about two sittings - I couldn't put it down, it's so gripping! What was incredibly fascinating was how he explained the ascent of Kim Jung-il, the son of Kim il-Sung. Kim Jung-il hated his father and wasn't actually chosen to succeed Kim il-Sung, as it's commonly believed. Kim Jung-il orchestrated a power grab before his father's death using his relatively low-level job in the propaganda office. In his job, he realised the true potential of propaganda and how it could be used to manipulate and control. He used his position to control the flow of information to his father before eventually cutting him off completely. This allowed him to set up an alternative centre of power around himself, the real power, alongside the pretend power of his father. Fascinating stuff.

u/zeptimius · 1 pointr/funny

Amazon link to the book. If you "look inside" and search for the word "paper", on page 3 it says,

> After [Kim Il-Sung's] death [...] the status of novelists changed. Poetry became the literary vogue. This was not due solely to Kim Jong-Il's preference for the form. The phenomenon was reinforced, if not triggered, by a shortage of paper when the North Korean economy collapsed and people scrambled just to survive. When there wasn't even enough paper in the country to print school textbooks, not many people could afford to own a hefty revolutionary novel. With poetry, however, the necessary tenets of loyalty to the Kim dynasty could be distilled potently into a single newspaper page. Thus poetry emerged as the dominant literary vehicle through which Kim Jong-il exercised his cultural dictatorship.

Of course, it's probably not easy to independently confirm Jang Jin-Sung's version of events. Someone with more knowledge of North Korea than me should probably answer that.

u/zoot_horn_rollo · 1 pointr/worldnews

China would likely move south in order to expand their borders and create some sort of buffer zone. They would also secure their border to contain refugees. They are not fond of North Korean civilians. This book talks about it, as the guy escaped and travelled through China to get to South Korea, all while being hunted by authorities who would have sent him straight back to the North.

u/MarylandBlue · 1 pointr/MCFC

Definitely Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson
It's a bit dry, but it's a great history of the tactics of football, and how they & the game in general spread across the world.

Even though it's about Arsenal, Fever Pitch by Nick Hornsby does a good job describing what it's like to be a fan.

I haven't read this yet, but have heard very good things about Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Soccer by David Winner

Those are the ones that jump to my head immediately.

u/Contra1 · 1 pointr/soccer

A nice read it's a book about the authors life as an Arsenal fan. Talks about the games and supporter life in the stands.

A must read for all football fans imo.

u/Bloopie · 1 pointr/soccer

Warning: this will make you an Arsenal fan.

u/asyphus · 1 pointr/trees


I'm sure there are some other good books out there, but I just finished this one and it makes some very good comparisons about the dangers of alcohol vs marijuana. For those who don't know a whole lot about the subject, i think it would be a good place to start.

u/classical_hero · 1 pointr/Marijuana

Read the book Marijuana is Safer:

That's all you need right there. Unless you're arguing for medical marijuana, in which case you would probably want to start at NORML's website.

u/wytewydow · 1 pointr/trees

someone send this book to this kids parents.
Marijuana is Safer: So Why Are They Driving People to Drink

u/Ostrich159 · 1 pointr/Marijuana

r1b4z01d said it first, but I'll say it again. The book, Marijuana Is Safer, is a sensible discussion of why marijuana deserves a better reputation, and why it should be legalized. It's all based on good science and history, and is an overall good read. Check your local library for a copy, and leave it on their night stand.

u/ken_dotcom · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

I recommend two books.

Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World by Jeffrey Burton Russel

Panzram: A Journal of Murder (A detailed memoir and self-analysis by a mass murderer himself)

u/lm103 · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

Don’t know if it check’s your „serial“ requirement, but „Panzram“ is written by a mass murderer himself if I‘m not mistaken

Panzram: A Journal of Murder

u/nevernotlost1 · 1 pointr/serialkillers

Try reading A journal of murder, telling the messed up story of Carl Panzram in his own words when he was on death row.

u/barryhakker · 1 pointr/suggestmeabook

"Panzram - A Journal of Murder" by Gaddis & Long.

From the sleeve: "In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and last but not least I have committed sodomy on more than 1.000 male human beings. For all of these things I am not the least bit sorry. I have no conscience so that does not worry me. I don't believe in man, God nor Devil. I ahte the whole damn human race including myself"

This dude lived a life full of rape and murder and when he finally was on death row he started writing about his life. This book goes through these writings and gives you context about the things he is describing (he lived between 1892 and 1930). He was a huge and powerful dude full of malice. Not only is it remarkable how anyone could grow to be that monstrous but also how lucid and (considering his lack of education) well spoken he was. No delusions here - he was fully aware of what he was doing but he did it anyway because that's how much he fucking hated the world.

u/dick_long_wigwam · 1 pointr/Economics

I highly recommend The Great Stagnation to you. It sheds some optimistic light on the role of the internet while simultaneously stressing that we need gear up America again for the new century.

u/ThatOtherGhost · 1 pointr/neoliberal

Oh I've seen this argument before in pop culture form. Personally, I don't think it passes the sniff test for a couple reasons but I'll read these resources and check it out!

u/indyguy · 1 pointr/politics

Economists don't agree about much, but there is almost universal agreement that free trade deals like GATT and NAFTA are good for society. They make most of society much, much better off than they would be absent free trade. That goes for people as well as corporations.

The problem is that there will always be some people who lose out and find that their skills are no longer necessary. I don't remember anyone ever saying that wouldn't happen, at least to some extent. I think what's been unexpected is the extent to which we haven't been able to find productive things for those displaced workers to do. Tyler Cowen calls it "The Great Stagnation." And again, I think that problem is largely due to broader changes in the nature of our economy. If globalization had occurred fifty years ago, the displaced workers would just have shifted over and applied the same skills to make different products. But because manufacturing in the U.S. has become so specialized, there's just not much need for low-skill people. I don't see how "corporate interests" are responsible for that trend, except to the extent that they've decided -- rightly, I would argue -- to adopt efficiency-enhancing technologies.

u/chitturding · 0 pointsr/QuotesPorn

I know the song. It was on the radio for like a year and a half. I believe that Hunter Thompson is the best (or at least most publicly exposed) example of a person that has taken this quote to heart.

That's why they wrote the song... the quote, plus the excerpt from Fear and Loating equals that song.

u/kjlafs · -1 pointsr/SBU

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Fast Food Nation is one of the books for the course, but not the one you are asking about.

u/tdave22 · -1 pointsr/personalfinance

The short answer is: you need to save more of your salary, 15%/year isn't enough. At 100K a year, you could feasibly save $50k a year or more if you really tried, even in New York. Instead of an apartment downtown, rent a bedroom in someone's house to bring rent down to $6-700 a month in rent (can you move in with a sig. other?), cancel all extraneous costs (expensive cell phone plans, CABLE, internet too - use starbucks wifi or work). Take your whole bonus and don't spend any of it. Put it into the 401k, which you'll then draw down on to buy your house. If you live frugally for two years you'll have your down payment by the time you're 33.

To buy my house, I spoke with my parents and lived at home for about 14 months at 26 years old, socking away every penny of my $51k salary (I contributed 36% of my salary to my 401k, and paid off almost $15k of student loans - in a year!). I only drove to work and biked everywhere else. I inherently saved on groceries since food was always around. Work paid for my phone plan. I NEVER carried money, just so I wouldn't spend it. I tutored and picked up odd jobs on weekends. When I bought my 4 bed, 2 bath house for $185k (for 3% down taken as a loan from my 401k), I immediately rented out rooms to cover the mortgage plus some. If I couldn't have lived at home, I would have bought a van and a gym membership near my work (no shit). I'd live in the van for a year and keep myself clean at the gym (ask yourself: what is being a homeowner worth to you?). I think if you're like me, a year or so of discomfort is more than worth it to own your own property.

You can do it, you just need to be dedicated to the cause and do what it takes, regardless of what people say. Everyone told me that I was crazy for living with my parents again and that they "couldn't do it". Most, and maybe all, of them do not own where they live.

It's a lot easier to spend less money than make more, esp. at $100k/year (that's a shit-ton of money)! I recommend these sites and resources - they are a constant source of motivation for me:
"Walden on Wheels" by Ken Ilgunas

Making $100k, you can easily do this. Find a way to save at least half of your salary for 2 years and you'll have your down payment and set yourself up with good habits as a homeowner. Easy, you can do it!

u/iamyoursuperior_4evr · -1 pointsr/pics

The gullibility and smarmy naivete in this thread is just pathetic. Yes. War is bad. What a revelation. Why hasn't anybody else thought of that before?

If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside go buy a Hallmark card or go browse /r/aww.

People living in the real world understand that geopolitics is a game of advantage that you can't circumvent by pleading for everyone to join hands and sing Kumbaya. When you appease dictators and cede ground to them you simply enable and embolden their behavior. Furthermore, the South Korean president is hugging and holding hands with a mass murderer who has enslaved over 20 million people, condemning them to a live a life of near starvation and physical/psychological imprisonment. You're the leader of an extraordinarily prosperous, democratic country; have some dignity. You're meeting a piece of human excrement who is feeling on top of the world right now. You shake the man's hand for diplomacy's sake. You don't hug and caress him.

It's just so god damned pathetic how naive people are. What's happening here is that South Korea learned to live under a nuclear DPRK a long time ago. What they can't abide is constantly ratcheting up brinksmanship that is eagerly stoked by a senile reality tv star with the strongest military in the history of the world at his beck and call.

China, RoK, and DPRK have cooked up this appeasement scheme to dupe Trump into thinking he's quelled the DPRK threat. DPRK will keep its nuclear weapons (the announcement that they've completed their nuclear weapons program and no longer need the facility they're shutting down should have been a good indicator of DPRK's intentions for people that were too blind to them up until now) and as we can see here, the Kim regime gets boatloads of photo opportunities, diplomatic prestige, increased security internally, increased legitimacy externally and inevitably sanctions relief. China will benefit from further DPRK stability and increased trade opportunities (and leverage on Trump as well). And South Korea gets to see the sabre-rattling cease and they receive the same benefits China does from prolonged security for Kim regime. They don't want to deal with that humanitarian crisis either. Trump gets a plaque on his wall that says "Best Negotiator Ever" and a polaroid of a North Korean testing facility with a "closed" sign on the gate.

But don't let me get in the way of everyone "awwwwww"ing over this like it's a picture of a cat hugging a golden retriever. Bunch of rubes.

edit: Can't wait to see all the memes come out of this. Kim Jong Un is gonna have his image rehabilitated the same way GWB did lol... But I don't want this to just a useless rant yelling at silly people. So, before you guys start memeing up KJU let me give you guys a short reading list of DPRK books I've greatly enjoyed (I've been fascinated with DPRK for at least a decade):

  • Dear Leader: My Escape from North Korea. This is a great firsthand account of an "inner" party member who lived the relatively high life in Pyongyang as a propagandist.

  • Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea Exactly what it sounds like: biographies of normal people who live(d) in DPRK over the last 30 years. This book is shocking, sickening, heart wrenching, triumphant, and any other superlative descriptor you can think of. Can't recommend it enough.

  • Aquariums of Pyongyang. Nothing to Envy describes gulag life in detail but this book delves into it exclusively and I found myself enthralled but revolted at the same time. You'll have to take breaks to process the horror and atrocities it describes.

    So yeah, check any of those books out then come back here and see if you're still inclined to "oooo" and "awww" and talk about how sweet this is.
u/tinspoons · -2 pointsr/Frugal

I'm reading this book right now: can't say if the whole thing is great, but the first chapter and half are (although he uses a thesaurus a little much for my tastes) excellent; it's about his adventure from to independence. Walden on Wheels by Ken Ilguskas

u/PinkHatPurpleNipples · -4 pointsr/streetwear

If you'd like an intellectual discussion, I'm all for it, but you don't know enough about me to claim that I am bigoted or anything equally as reprehensible. If you think that you're going to change anyone's mind by typing "lmfao" as many times as possible, then you need to orient yourself and discover your true virtues as an individual instead of using manipulative language for dramatic effect.

> you literally tried comparing the guys 'intentions' to Stalin

Your critical thinking skills are lacking; I drew parallels between intention and action and used idealistic Marxist ideologies as an example of how they can be dangerous when misaligned.

> I'm commenting right now, to shut you the fuck up.

Your intentions are that you're trying to be as boisterous and obstinate as possible to attempt to shut me down without a single sound argument on your side. You lack fundamental understanding of the humanities and haven't educated yourself enough to present yourself as anymore than an uncompromising ideologue with weak rhetoric.

If you really want to sort yourself out, here's a quick reading list:

u/eagletusk · -13 pointsr/Frugal

This is a classic case of framing the situation the wrong way.

What you did was kick ass and get out of debt! There is another person that did the same as you and wrote a book about how awesome it was. Walden on Wheels.

Where is living in a Van illegal? Almost nowhere. Keep on keeping on.

check our r/vandwelling for more people doing what you did.