Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 224503 times)

triste

  • Posts: 78
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3225 on: November 14, 2019, 10:37:36 PM »
Because the Armageddon MUD Discord channel was reminding me a lot of The Lord of The Flies last month, I decided to read the book The Lucifer Effect by the researcher who designed the Stanford Prison Experiments. It's a fairly old book (2007-2008) but quite good if you have the stomach for detailed descriptions of war crimes, torture, and murder. If anything the book is a playbook for this MUD's theme, Murder, Corruption and Betrayal.

Not a quote from that book, but one I like from an author often cited in that book:
“Power and violence are opposites; where the one rules absolutely, the other is absent. Violence appears where power is in jeopardy, but left to its own course it ends in power's disappearance.”
- Hannah Arendt
I don't have much time to play currently but will do my best to maintain https://tristearmageddon.github.io/arma-guild-picker/, message me if something there needs an update.

Riev

  • Posts: 5611
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3226 on: November 15, 2019, 09:27:45 AM »
The Lucifer Effect was a very interesting read, and a great way for Zimbardo to kind of debrief the reader on what happened during the SPE.

Unfortunately, his future research never quite got the same level of national acclaim, and the last thing I knew he was looking into was his so-called "The Demise of Guys", attempting to cash in on a national trend buzzword rather than the science behind it.

The Lucifer Effect also seemed incredibly narrow, as it explained a few specific instances with research that is now like 50 years old and probably could have been done better or had more appropriate controls.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

triste

  • Posts: 78
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3227 on: November 15, 2019, 02:25:05 PM »
Yeah Riev I agree about the weaknesses of his research (and he acknowledges that himself in the book), my favorite parts of the book actually concern the sections before and after the discussion of the SPE, such as research on Abu Ghraib and other war crimes. I appreciate your review of his other works, thank you. I would still say The Lucifer Effect is a good read because it's not about Zimbardo himself as much as it is about corrupt and cruel human behavior and the banality of evil which is why I didn't even mention Zimbardo's name in my original post and quoted Hannah Arendt.
I don't have much time to play currently but will do my best to maintain https://tristearmageddon.github.io/arma-guild-picker/, message me if something there needs an update.

triste

  • Posts: 78
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3228 on: November 15, 2019, 02:32:56 PM »
Oooh speaking of "questionable research but a fun read" I also recommend I'll be Gone in the Dark by Patton Oswalt's deceased goth wife. Again only for people who can stomach graphic descriptions of abuse. Fun read by an admittedly amatuer crime investigator; after her death the killer was caught and in many ways he fit the profile she builds in the book. The audiobook version is also well narrated and it will leave you feeling haunted.
I don't have much time to play currently but will do my best to maintain https://tristearmageddon.github.io/arma-guild-picker/, message me if something there needs an update.

Barzalene

  • Posts: 7745
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3229 on: November 15, 2019, 10:12:09 PM »
I need a new series.  Bonus points for hitting as many of the following as possible.

Dark-ish tone but not exclusively doom and gloom
Low fantasy
Complete or being released at a steady pace
Celtic or ancient Egyptian vibe
Decent mix of action and political/social scenes
Focused more on individuals than the big picture
Multiple viewpoints
Some sort of unique hook
Minimal Mary Sues
Not the Black Company

You're looking for Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence's Red Queen's War

If you don't mind modern check out John Birmingham's Disappearance series. (Not fantasy. Thriller. But good.)
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

CatRambo

  • Posts: 2
    • My Website
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3230 on: November 16, 2019, 11:22:12 AM »
I just finished Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth, which I think a lot of Arm players would like, particularly if you like Joe Abercrombie. It's got a Gormenghast vibe, but with a lot more fresh air at times. Think lesbian necromancers in space.
Yes, I am Sanvean. :)  Nice to see you too!

Barsook

  • Posts: 8012
    • The Sense of Openness
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3231 on: November 16, 2019, 11:43:04 AM »
!!!

RogueGunslinger

  • Posts: 19133
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3232 on: November 17, 2019, 07:28:29 PM »
When Cat Rambo recommends it, you read it.

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 61
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3233 on: December 01, 2019, 05:26:39 PM »
http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog/2011/03/27/i-think-therefore-i-roleplay/ is really lovely I bookmarked ages ago and I think it should be linked on the website :) In the Intro section it doesn't have anything to point people towards knowing think and feel exist at the moment that I could find, it could help a lot maybe



I was meaning to just casually read about this and the more I read the more I wanted to look for just to see how much of it was true, and the deeper I went the more stories of horror I found, but also some really beautiful things... This is a bunch of kind of "not safe for life" stories considering it's real stuff and some really upsetting stuff, but at the same time I think that it is so relentlessly dark and still the good isn't able to be stamped out forever? That's really nice... (skip to "Dancing the New World")

When I read the stuff about the way they use dogs it feels like learning from this kind of "lost" history that isn't taught so much is really important when people in some countries are starting to design robots to be human predators...
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The Taíno ("people of the good") were the first New World peoples to be encountered by Cristóbal Colón during his 1492 voyage.

In his diary, he wrote, "They traded with us ... and they took great delight in pleasing us ... Your highness may believe that in all the world there can be no better people ... They love their neighbours as themselves, and they have the sweetest talk in the world, and are gentle and always laughing.
...They should be good servants."
"...In the name of the Holy Trinity, we can send from here all the slaves..."

Columbus also told of how the Taíno would only “work” for a few hours a day, “spending” the rest of their time relaxing, socializing, and creating their culture in the ways that people most enjoy. They had no “shame”, being able to walk around naked or make love whenever they pleased. With the tiny amount of gold on their island, they fashioned jewelry to adorn themselves.

Millions of people today spend thousands of dollars and their precious couple of weeks of vacation trying to experience modern conditions resembling these ancient ones.

On his first voyage, Columbus kidnapped some ten to twenty-five Taino and took them back with him to Spain. Only seven or eight arrived alive. Ferdinand and Isabella provided Columbus with cannons, crossbows, guns, cavalry and attack dogs for a second voyage.


Early narratives - particularly those written by Columbus himself - note the delight of the Taino people when they were introduced to hawk's bells and glass beads, which were a success in barter. They immediately hung the bells on their bodies and began to dance to the chiming sounds they made. And so we see that one of the first encounters between Europeans and natives in the New World precipitated a dance.

In his journal, Columbus mentioned his surprise at learning such a fondness for dancing. To Columbus, dancing was a sign that they could be easily manipulated, excited as they were to exchange precious gold for bells.
Hawk's bells were soon to become a very different kind of symbol.

On Christopher Columbus' second voyage to their culture, he began to require tribute from the Taíno in Quizqueia (the island now shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic), now renamed to "Hispaniola", or "little Spain." Ferdinand Columbus wrote, "Where the gold mines were, every person of 14 years of age or upwards was to pay a large hawk's bell of gold dust; all others were each to pay 25 pounds of cotton.
A brass or copper token which must wear about neck as proof." If these were missing or found to be past the three months, the conquistadors cut off the hands of the Taíno and left them to bleed to death.

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One time I saw four or five important native nobles roasted and broiled upon makeshift grills.  They cried out pitifully.  This thing so troubled our Captain that he could not sleep.  He commanded that they be strangled to end their misery.  The Sergeant (I know him and his friends from Seville) would not strangle them but put bullets into their mouths instead. 

I have seen all these things and others infinite.

Most tried to flee.  They tried to hide in the mountains.  They tried to flee from these men.  Men who were empty of all pity, behaving like savage beasts. They are nothing more than slaughterers and enemies of mankind.  These evil men had even taught their hounds, fierce dogs, to tear natives to pieces at first sight.
From the writing of rebel Spanish priest Bartolomé de Las Casas, the first great historian of the Americas.

Women seem to have participated in all levels of the Taíno political hierarchy, occupying roles as high up as being cazicas. There is evidence that suggests that the women who were wealthiest among the tribe collected crafted goods that they would then use for trade or as gifts.

Dr. Chanca, a physician who traveled with Christopher Columbus, reported in a letter that conquistadors took as many women as they possibly could. Despite women being free and powerful before the contact era, they became the first commodities.

The invaders began to make more and more demands on adjoining Taíno towns for food and also for labour services. Only when these demands exhausted their small food surpluses and imposed culturally intolerable work ethics did the local towns unite under Caonabo in an organized resistance movement.

His capture in 1494 led to the first native American uprising. One way to visualize what happened next is with the help of the famous science fiction story War of the Worlds. H. G. Wells intended his tale of earthlings' encounter with technologically advanced aliens as an allegory. Wells wanted us to sympathize with the natives, or Australia in 1788, or in the upper Amazon jungle today. Their sticks and stones were no more effective against the armed and clothed conquistadors than the earthlings' rifles against the aliens' death rays.
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They attacked the towns and spared neither the children nor the aged nor pregnant women nor women in childbed, not only stabbing them and dismembering them but cutting them to pieces as if dealing with sheep in the slaughter house, ’’ de Las Casas wrote. “ They laid bets as to who, with one stroke of the sword, could split a man in two or could cut off his head or spill out his entrails with a single stroke of the pike. They took infants from their mothers’ breasts, snatching them by the legs and pitching them headfirst against the crags or snatched them by the arms and threw them into the rivers, roaring with laughter and saying as the babies fell into the water, ‘Boil there, you offspring of the devil!'
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In 1495, Bartholomew Columbus, Christopher’s brother, used 20 mastiffs in a battle waged at Santa Maris el Antigua, Darien - with his brother employing the same approach a year later. These dogs were trained to pursue, disembowel and dismember humans and to increase their ferocity, some conquistadors were said to have kept them on a human diet, "The quarters of Indians hanging on a porch to feed his dogs with."

The forebears of these dogs, and their handlers, had learned the art of 'la monteria infernal' the infernal chase, in the Canary Islands in 1480, when they literally ran to ground, maimed, killed, and devoured the natives. But the fell beasts were even better known for feasting on children abandoned at the doors of churches and mosques by their desperate parents during Ferdinand and Isabella's successful campaign to seize Granada from the Moors.

Spain at that time was fixated on the concept of blood purity, limpieza de sangre, which its soldiers and priests applied to humans as well as animals... The same concept was applied to breeding livestock, horses, and dogs - mastin, or mastiff; sabueso, a bloodhound; and alano or wolfhound, a rough combination of the two types - with different monasteries and nobles maintaining their own lines.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02442235 "to avoid captures, systematically committed suicide and mass abortions."
www.sci-hub.tw

Even though the conquistadors were aware of deadly diseases such as smallpox, there is no mention of them in the New World until 1519. A third of indigenous workers died every six months from lethal forced labor in gold and silver mines on an enormous scale. In thirty years, between 80% and 90% of the Taíno population died. Las Casas tells us that fewer than two hundred full-blooded were alive in 1542.



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In December 1511, a Dominican preacher Fray Antonio de Montesinos preached a fiery sermon
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On what authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who dealt quietly and peacefully on their own lands? Wars in which you have destroyed such an infinite number of them by homicides and slaughters never heard of before. Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them of the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them, and they die, or rather you kill them, in order to extract and acquire gold every day.
The colonists, led by Diego Columbus, dispatched a complaint against the Dominicans to the King, and the Dominicans were recalled from Hispaniola.

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From his accession to the throne (1556), the dominant motive of Philip's Indian policy was to augment the royal revenues in order to overcome the Crown's desperate financial crisis. Simultaneously the influence of Las Casas and his Indianist movement virtually disappeared from the Spanish court. His immense prestige served for a time to prevent the publication of such attacks upon him as that of Captain Vargas Machuca, who claimed that a "Huguenot translation" of the Very Brief Account spread lies about Spain and her work in the Indies.

But sensitivity to foreign criticism of Spain's colonial record grew as her power in the Old and the New World declined. After 1600 the memory of Las Casas fell under a heavy cloud. Only one edition of Las Casas' Very Brief Account appeared in Spain during the seventeenth century; appropriately enough, that edition was published in Barcelona during the Catalan revolt of 1646 against Castilian imperialism.

In 1659 the Aragonese Inquisition banned the Very Brief Account, and the ban was later extended to all of Spain.

..
Revisionist scholarship has exerted a marked influence... Hubert Herring declared: "There never were great populations ... Spain did not destroy ancient systems of noble moral standards: the Indians were masters of gluttony, drunkenness, sexual excesses"
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Bartolomé de las Casas has also come to be seen as an early advocate for a concept of universal human rights. He was among the first to develop a view of unity among humankind, stating that "All the peoples of the world are humans" and "all the races of humankind are one," and that they had a natural right to liberty .. He is also featured in the Guatemalan quetzal one cent (Q0.01) coins.

Dancing the New World
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One of the most popular "literary stagings" of an areito in Caribbean music and literature is the "Areito de Anacaona," a nineteenth-century "song-poem" about and attributed to Anacaona ("Golden Flower") (ca. 1474-1503), the legendary Taina chief (cacica) of Quizqueia (renamed to Hispaniola) at the time of Columbus' landfall. Anacaona was royal both by birth and marriage. She was born in Xaragua, one of the five kingdoms of Hispaniola - the "heart and core of the whole island," according to Bartolomé de las Casas - where today stands the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince. She was married to Caonabo, the cacique of Maguana, a neighbouring kingdom.

Xargua was ruled by her brother, the cacique Behechio, until his death, at which point Anacaona seized power and led native revolts against the Christians with whom she had previously established trade agreements. For her resistance, she was ultimately hanged in 1503 at the behest of Nicolas de Ovando (ca. 1460-1511), the first governor in the New World. The "Arieto of Anacaona" honours her place as a leader of native resistance. "A very remarkable woman, very prudent, very gracious", she was "reputed to be talented in the composition of areitos, that is to say poems."

https://culturacolectiva.com/history/anacaona-haitian-queen
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Despite both tragedies, Anacaona was now chief of both territories, and with such a great responsibility, she was determined to do the best for her people. She decided that fighting the Spaniards in small rebellions was nonsensical and only made everything worse.

Though many might see her policies as weak and cowardly, they were, in fact, what a good politician and analyst would’ve done. Anacaona knew very well that, although they outnumbered the Spaniards, the latter had better weapons that the Taíno wouldn’t be able to compete against. As she saw it, rebelling against the invaders would be like signing a death sentence. So, instead, she decided to play the diplomatic card and started building a relationship of integration. This was achieved through intermarriages between Taíno royalty and high-ranking soldiers. However, this relative submission wouldn't last very long.

In 1502, Spain named a new governor of Hispaniola, Nicolás de Ovando, who had very different ideas about how to exploit the island. For Ovando, the most dangerous local was, in fact, Anacaona. He was sure that through her charms she had been seducing Spaniards and making them submit to her. So, of course, she had to be gone if he wanted his plans to succeed.

https://www.rejectedprincesses.com/princesses/anacaona
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He grew suspicious that Anacaona — who had done nothing but give money, food, and friendship to all Europeans, even after ten years of them consistently murdering her people — was plotting to overthrow him. So in a feat of counter-plotting, he lulled her into a false sense of security by announcing he was going to visit her to sign a peace treaty. He requested she bring together all the other Taino caciques for the event.

Although Anacaona had no reason to trust him, her desire for peace after a decade of slaughter outweighed her suspicions – so she did as requested. Once again, she went to the trouble of arranging a massive welcome, putting together music and dances and gifts. After the Taino displays of festivity, she and the other caciques, all unarmed and largely unclothed, sat back and watched the armored colonialists engage in some friendly jousting.

As you might have surmised, it did not stay friendly for long.

https://www.amazon.com/Curse-Flower-Legend-Anacaona/dp/1726306739 The Curse of the Flower: The Legend of Anacaona (Volume 1) by  Isadora Ortega (Author), Hagit Damto (Illustrator), Christina Cromer (Illustrator), R.I.O Sirah (Illustrator)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areíto
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Guarionex taught the lyrics and the dance choreography to Mayobanex, connecting them to each other and to the history, mythology, and power of Guarionex's ancestry.

Even though both caciques understood that there was great risk of defeat in the upcoming attack of the conquistadors, Mayobanex agreed to defend Guaironex and his people to honor the pact they had made in the sharing of the areíto.
:'(

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In the first decade of the 1500s, one of the Taíno kacikes/caciques, Hatuey, escaped to Cuba with a party of four hundred in canoes, where he warned some of the Native people of eastern Cuba about what to expect and organized armed resistance against the Spanish invaders. After a brave but uneven struggle, he was captured and burned alive.

As the flames leaped upwards, a priest attempted to convert him to Christianity so that Hatuey could go to Heaven. Hatuey asked if there were Spaniards in Heaven, and when the priest answered, "Yes," Hatuey refused his blessing. "The chief then said without further thought that he did not want to go there but to hell so as not to be where they were and where he would not see such cruel people."
"Cuba's First National Hero" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatuey

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enriquillo "a hero in the modern day Dominican Republic and Haiti for his resistance"

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/02/genes-extinct-caribbean-islanders-found-living-people

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Guanikeyu_Torres

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/what-became-of-the-taino-73824867/
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Carlalynne Melendez Martínez, an anthropologist who has launched the nonprofit group Guakia Taina-Ke, Our Taíno Land, to promote native studies. Her goal is to boost Taíno culture by reviving the Arawak language
..
What I’m really excited about is that there’s a lot of youth coming into this and challenging the status quo,” said Roberto Mukaro Borrero, president of the United Confederation of Taíno People.

..“Anybody who talks about the extinction of the Taíno has not really looked at the record,” said Alejandro Hartmann Matos, the city historian of Baracoa, Cuba’s oldest city, and an authority on the island’s earliest inhabitants.
..
Panchito radiated a natural authority, which had earned him the title of cacique in the community of La Ranchería .. Ramirez took the opportunity to search for useful plants in the woods along the Toa River. Striding up to a cedar, he patted the rough trunk as if it were an old amigo. “This tree is a relative,” he said. “It has feelings like we do, so it should be treated with respect. If you make tea from the bark of this tree, it has a lot of power. It’s good for colds and respiratory problems. But if you don’t ask permission before you cut the bark, it may not work. So I always say a little prayer so the tree knows I’m serious and I want to share its power. ‘Give me your strength for healing.’ That’s what I ask.”

“If we expect to get food from the earth,” he says, “we have to give something back. So at planting time we always say a prayer and bury a little stone or a coin


https://www.museoanacaona.com/443512659 MUSEO ANACAONA  - Taino Museum

http://archive.today/www.indigenouspeople.org

http://taino-tribe.org

http://uctp.blogspot.com
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 06:21:46 PM by tiny rainbow »

WarriorPoet

  • Posts: 4665
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3234 on: December 02, 2019, 09:44:13 PM »
Think lesbian necromancers in space.

This is a ringing endorsement. Sold.
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...

Akaramu

  • Posts: 6796
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3235 on: December 04, 2019, 12:06:15 PM »
I recently re-read R.A. Salvatore's dark elf trilogy (because I'm playing a Drow on Arelith) and really enjoyed them, more than other books I've read recently. Except for the antagonist named Roddy. He's one of the lamest 'villains' ever, without even a single redeeming quality (physical strength doesn't count) and motivations that are over the top and not believable.

But the ebil drow are cool, of course. Much cooler than Roddy.

ShaLeah

  • Posts: 5380
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3236 on: December 05, 2019, 08:58:49 AM »
I'm taking an indeterminate break from Armageddon for the foreseeable future and thereby am not available for mudsex.
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In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so.

Barsook

  • Posts: 8012
    • The Sense of Openness
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3237 on: December 07, 2019, 05:42:31 PM »
The Star Wars novels, I finished the ones based on the movies and now I'm on to Aftermath. Not sure what to read next after that trilogy. I'm into the era when Luke and Leia were growing up, mainly Leia and her journey to Senator. Also the era when the Jedi Order first started to split between Jedi and the Sith.