Welcome to the Utopia Forums! Register a new account
The current time is Mon Dec 18 05:04:09 PST 2017

Utopia Talk / General Talk / + The UGT Book Club + (chapter 2)
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Apr 10 00:37:19
First thread:
http://www...hread=65504&time=1426986926448
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Apr 10 00:37:24
Rules may not have helped the last thread, so! Just make sure that you don't use this thread to brag about the things you're reading — this isn't Facebook! No one cares! No one cares on Facebook either! They hate you! They wish you would die so that they can win the vanity game!

Instead! Let's talk about books themselves and maybe suggest stuff to each other :D
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Apr 10 00:42:01
After seeing how crazy wtb is about determinism.. decided to read Diderot's « Jacques le fataliste et son maître ». It's pretty good. Would recommend if you want a proto-postmodern type thing. Kind of shows how ridiculous it can be to believe in determinism. It even manages to foresee Einstein and Hawking's error judgements. Blerg.

Has anyone read Solaris? I liked the George Clooney movie but never got around to reading the book..
Billah
Member
Fri Apr 10 04:24:20
Can anybody recommend some good ancient grimoires?? Translated from Arabic or Hebrew, preferably??
Billah
Member
Fri Apr 10 04:24:48
Cherub Cow, we should be facebook friends.
Palem
Person.
Fri Apr 10 06:46:19
What brand of determinism CC? Like a "God makes everything happen and for a reason" determinism? Or a "Everything is just physics working itself out" kind of determinism? I've always found determinism to be a pretty compelling stance if you leave any mystical mumbo jumbo out of it.
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Apr 10 07:52:38
The "'Everything is just physics working itself out' kind of determinism". The short version against it being that while neo-Spinozism recognition that "matter and mind are one substance" holds, choice still cultivates itself through the chaos machine of the consciousness. Determinism at the human level is typically a product of cultural inflictions, and even then it cannot produce certainty.
Palem
Person.
Fri Apr 10 11:01:53
Sounds like a lot of fancy words that cover up the temper tantrum of stomping your feet and saying "I made the choice!" lol

Anyway, haven't been reading...like at all. Just don't have anything that demands I read it lol
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Apr 10 15:14:08
"Sounds like a lot of fancy words that cover up the temper tantrum.."

r u 2 making fun of my pedantry? :(
I was trying to be compact! ;p

..
"haven't been reading"

We should both read Solaris, then!! :D
Wiki says that author Stanisław Lem has an important. Oo! Or we could re-read Twilight?? :D :D
Read Divergent?? :D :D
Taken by the T-Rex ?? :D :D :D
Palem
Person.
Fri Apr 10 15:36:32
I can promise you with every drop of my being that there's no way in hell I'm going to read either Twilight or Divergent lol
Cherub Cow
Member
Sun Apr 12 16:36:31
I'm glad that you didn't rule out "Taken by the T-Rex" :D
Palem
Person.
Mon Apr 13 07:35:47
Why would I rule that out?


Started reading "The Lies of Locke Lamora", which was a Christmas present from a friend of mine. The prologue and start of the first chapter have been entertaining lol
Cherub Cow
Member
Fri Jun 19 16:37:17
Decided to re-read Jurassic Park and Lost World for the chaos theory talk. Finished Jurassic Park, but am just starting Lost World.

Crichton was definitely better at just stating and explaining his ideas rather than trying to make his plots work, because you can tell when he's added something in just for thriller status (like when the T-Rex follows Grant and the children in the raft). Plus, characters don't behave reasonably in a lot of scenes and there were some strange (unintentional?) plot lapses. Like in JP there's a scene where Muldoon has hidden in a pipe and raptors wait outside. Then the next time you hear about him (a few chapters later), he's safely inside Malcolm's room — no talk of how he made his escape. And also in JP when the raptors were on the roof, peeps were just hanging out in Malcolm's room while the raptors were breaking through the ceiling, and instead of rushing out of that room to another, they just sat there waiting for the power to go on. Spielbergo fixed a lot of this, it seems..

Anyways! :p
Palem
Person.
Fri Aug 28 15:29:24
I've spent the last couple weeks reading what's been published of the Gentleman's Bastard series (3/7 books, 4th to be released early next year afaik).


Story draws you in pretty quick and does a nice job pressing you to keep turning the pages. I didn't care too much for the 2nd book because I felt it didn't add much to the story as far as adding depth to the characters, but the way things ended it might have just been setting up a lot of things for future books, so I'll hold my judgement for now. The writer does a nice a job of keeping you informed enough to stay interested in their plots and feeling like you're "in on it", but out of the loop enough that when shit goes down you still have that "Ooo, ahhh" moment.

One thing I don't particularly care for about the books is that the chapters are interlaced with Interludes/Flashbacks that basically give you the origin story of the thieves. It's not that it's tough to keep up with the 2 stories simultaneously or that the interludes aren't entertaining, it's just kind of annoying when you really start getting invested in the story and then you need to wait another 50 pages to pick back up. A minor annoyance, but still an annoyance.


If anyone's a fan of fantasy and looking for something to read I recommend them. A little hard to rate a series that's not even half written, but thus far I'd give it an 8/10
Cthulhu
Tentacle Rapist
Sat Aug 29 20:05:11
'It's not that it's tough to keep up with the 2 stories simultaneously or that the interludes aren't entertaining, it's just kind of annoying when you really start getting invested in the story and then you need to wait another 50 pages to pick back up. A minor annoyance, but still an annoyance. '

You think thats bad the wheel of time makes you wait 700 pages
Palem
Person.
Fri Sep 11 19:38:30
Started reading Light in August. First book of Faulkner's I've read. Only 2 chapters in, but I must say it's strang how interesting his characters are, since there's really no good reason for them to be lol
Marlboro man
Member
Fri Sep 11 20:47:01
Hans Hellmut Kirst, ww2 stories and soviet era type stuff.

Currently reading "No one is going to survive" don't know what it's called in english.
Cthulhu
Tentacle Rapist
Fri Sep 11 22:21:49
'Can anybody recommend some good ancient grimoires?? Translated from Arabic or Hebrew, preferably??

Ars Goetia
Ars Theurgia Goetia
Ars Paulina
Ars Almadel
Ars Notoria

If you want them all in 1 bundle, the Lemegeton.

I'd reccomend the greater key but that gets harder to find.

Written by King Solomon himself!
Palem
Person.
Wed Oct 14 18:03:48
About halfway through Light in August and it's slowed down quite a bit. Hopefully the plot can actually continue at some point...lol
McKobb
Member
Wed Oct 14 18:22:43
All I need is my Malleus Maleficarum.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Sun Jan 24 17:46:00
'Trump Temptation: The Billionaire & The Bellboy' excerpts:


My loins trembled as the scent of toupee adhesive and spray tan swept through my nasal cavity.

His gorgeous ass flapped behind him like a mouthwatering stack of pancakes in his pants. My hunger for pancakes had never been stronger.

I had to admit it, I wanted his geriatric 2006 Perez Hilton jello body, and I wanted it bad.

The door creaked open and there he was, handsome as ever, like a giant melting fat carrot with fake hair.
Cherub Cow
Member
Sun Jan 24 22:22:05
XD
Palem
Person.
Mon Jan 25 00:47:58
For Christmas I got "Love in the Time of Cholera", "Winesburg, Ohio", "1984", and my buddy got me the Mistborn trilogy.

Don't plan on rereading 1984, so I'm starting the first book the mistborn trilogy...however it's winter and I never get any good reading done in the winter lol
Cherub Cow
Member
Sun Oct 16 23:14:47
I did this write-up for someone on Imgur.. thought I'd post it here first :p

[This basically addresses some criticisms of Tyler Durden's character in "Fight Club". It's become kind of popular to reject him outright in meme-land, but the character still has a good role]:

The narrator starts disenfranchised and his consumer behavior makes him a modern "underground man" (like Dostoevsky's, but also like Faust, Dr. Jekyll, and even Patrick Bateman). He has trapped himself in society's linear formula (its consumerism, debt, career/marriage expectations, etc. — things which make identity highly reproducible, hence the snowflake quote), and despite being aware of how little choice he has he cannot think of a way to find choice again (the underground man proves aware of the prison but typically cannot escape due to his obedience to rule). Society has formatted his mind so heavily that the narrator's own thought processes have become enemies, leaving him with "bad conscience" (Nietzschean concept: with no "proper" avenues left in society to secure his freedom/choice, he turns inward and moves against himself). So the narrator resents himself and society's role in his becoming, but he cannot find an object against which to discharge his will — he is powerless to do anything.

Enter his doppelgänger. Durden lets the narrator reevaluate society's morality so that the narrator can discharge his will. Palahniuk does this with the idea of "hitting bottom"; the narrator has to remove all behaviors that made him complicit with society in order to build his own morality. So hitting bottom actually comes *close* to nihilism because shedding conventional morality *could* make people feel that life has no meaning, but the narrator passes through nihilism almost instantly with the idea of fight club, which lets him see that living entirely by societal conventions would actually be the nihilistic act (i.e., consumerism and debt produce a meaningless existence; they produce "identity" via servitude to the products of other peoples' labors). Fighting has an object (hitting other people), but for the narrator it seems mostly about taking punishment in order to feel mortal/animal and thus feel the immediacy of life (he *himself* most often becomes the object of the discharge of his own will; he gains control of his own consciousness by learning to discharge his will within himself while also seeing himself to be an object). So the doppelgänger fulfills a role already: usually the horror of seeing one's doppelgänger externally comes from recognizing that one is just another physical body which will decay and die — i.e., the doppelgänger forces confrontation with "the fear of death" and the absence of an immortal "soul" (this doppelgänger logic comes from Freud's "The Uncanny", btw).

But, despite attempting to face his fear of death, the narrator still clings to his Durden/doppelgänger until very late in the story. Clinging to the doppelgänger becomes in part an incomplete acceptance of mortality — a way to avoid death by pretending that only someone else will die (only others considered objects). His internalized fight also plays again into bad conscience; his aggression towards himself may improve his critical perception, but it remains a discharge of power invisible to or ignored by normal society, at least for a while. And just like with the Jekyll and Hyde story, while the doppelgänger at first allows liberated moments and the discharge of the unconscious will (Durden and Hyde do the satisfying, illegal, and "immoral" things that underground men would never do), the unchecked, unconscious energy that the doppelgänger represents eventually produces a morality which becomes problematic just like the societal morality that the conscious actor (the narrator, Jekyll, etc.) was trying to escape. That is, Durden gets out of control, and the narrator no longer agrees with everything that Durden says and does. Discharging power in problematic ways is part of a "ressentiment" logic (a Nietzschean concept but also from Kierkegaard); in frustration a person with bad conscience may at last discharge personal will against the wrong objects when translating from one's own "will to power" to the physical world of other, willful objects (in Freud: the end of primary narcissism where the ego must now come in conflict with other egos).

In Fight Club problematic discharge was in building demolition. Even with the knowledge that no "other" people would be harmed by the demolition, the narrator still sees that this type of discharge of the will — while freeing for the self — was not necessarily an act that he could condone in the wills of others (like in the will of his doppelgänger or the wills of the Project Mayhem people who would glom onto the symptoms of the movement rather than understanding fully its critical perspective). This was why it was necessary for the narrator to finally "kill" Durden: by collapsing the identity back into himself, he has to accept his own position as an object in the world while taking responsibility for all the conflicts that may result from discharging his own will. Symbolically the act reigns in his new morality while still accepting his newfound understanding of choice (choice here being the recognition that while society demands particular behaviors, individuals must still *choose* to participate in or reject those behaviors; recognition of "bad faith"). But Durden was still necessary initially for the narrator to find this choice; Durden was a way for the narrator to reject the self-denying (ascetic) pseudo-moralities of society and see himself to be an object being ordered by that same society. So, specifically, in the end of the book, the narrator rejects Durden's idea that "[people are] crap or trash," but he still admits that "We just are, and what happens just happens," which was not meant like a new retreat to nihilism but instead like a show that any new morality must realize its lack of foundation in disembodied goods ("disembodied goods" like the doppelgänger, its ego-preserving states which feign immortality, eternities, or ascetic principles). So a "Tyler Durden" imperative of dissent becomes necessary for a free mind, but managing that imperative demands heavy criticism to prevent it from itself becoming a new, self-denying system.

TLDR: Durden's specific view of the world may become increasingly problematic while the story proceeds, but he still represents a way for the "underground man" (itself symbolic of most people locked into formulaic lives) to find a means of expressing his or her own personal will. Durden also becomes cyclic; he breaks systems when they crush people (good), but people may create a new system based upon him (bad), necessitating his removal. He almost seems like Palahniuk's version of Nietzsche's Übermensch: a system-breaker not meant to be followed but whose ideology would have individuals demand their personal liberation. Kind of a popular theme: Riddick and Mad Max come to mind.
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Sun Oct 16 23:54:50
i hope the imgur person is really smart cause you're operating at a whole nother level

...and why does 'a whole nother' sound fine orally but doesn't work at all when written...
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Oct 17 00:16:57
I guess it's one of those weirdly condensed slangs..: "wholly another"/"whole other"/"pineapple" ;)

thx! ;D .. but yeah, I think I overdid it :P .. I kept re-reading it thinking, "this person just wanted to know what I meant by referring to Durden as a doppelgänger.. not all of this other stuff. plz stop" ;p .. I hope they just read the TLDR and ignore everything else :)
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Mon Oct 17 00:42:36
maybe they just didn't know the definition <.<
(i would've though since it's a Magic card... and possibly for other reasons)
i wouldn't worry about it though :p

and i wonder what other slang only works orally...
Cherub Cow
Member
Mon Oct 17 00:59:31
Lots of double-negatives? :D

It was a response to this: "I'm actually not finding much in depth about Durden's role as a doppelganger. I get he's the Narrator's sense of disenfranchisement and depression, and likewise is the domestic antagonist trying to overtake its host. I just don't get how that grants any of his ideas any validity or deeper meaning. His literal described dream society is all of us as tribal hunters. Completely ignoring things like currency exists in that society through trade, or that his childish view of masculinity runs parallel to savagery as opposed to self-reliance or competence."

And then I went ahead and ruined my Sunday with that response ;D
tumbleweed
the wanderer
Mon Oct 17 10:04:53
nah, maybe your answer was fine, he's using big words too :p

my level of analyzing Fight Club is trying to find the Starbucks cup that's supposedly in every scene
show deleted posts

Your Name:
Your Password:
Your Message:
Bookmark and Share