Author Topic: What are you currently reading?  (Read 260536 times)


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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
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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.


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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.
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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.
will do my best to maintain, message me if something there needs an update.


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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..."


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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!


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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3231 on: November 16, 2019, 11:43:04 AM »


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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

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3233 on: December 01, 2019, 05:26:39 PM » 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...
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.

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.
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!'
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. "to avoid captures, systematically committed suicide and mass abortions."

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.

In December 1511, a Dominican preacher Fray Antonio de Montesinos preached a fiery sermon
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.

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"
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
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."
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.
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. 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)íto
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.

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" "a hero in the modern day Dominican Republic and Haiti for his resistance"
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 MUSEO ANACAONA  - Taino Museum
« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 06:21:46 PM by tiny rainbow »
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."


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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...


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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.


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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.
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.


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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.


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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3238 on: January 04, 2020, 06:57:05 PM »*ck&qid=1578181683&sr=8-1
Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America
The most common phrases in the customer reviews include "must read" and "required reading." I'll spare you all my review and say I agree.
It's also incredibly timely, just yesterday one of the people involved in this scandal (who also comes up in the books) leaked more documents related to this, and is set to leak 100,000 documents about it in the coming months.
will do my best to maintain, message me if something there needs an update.

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 221
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3239 on: January 10, 2020, 03:42:21 PM »
Çetiner-Öktem, Züleyha. Dreaming the middle ages
Umberto Eco attributes the constant return to the Middle Ages as a result of an eternal search for our roots. Eco builds his argument on the fact that the problems encountered in our modern world are all inherited from the medieval models. Therefore:

   Modern languages, merchant cities, capitalistic economy [...] are inventions of medieval society [...] the rise of modern armies, the modern concept of the national state [...] the idea of a supernatural federation [...] the struggle between the poor and the rich, the concept of heresy or ideological deviation, even our contemporary notion of love as a devastating unhappy happiness [...] the conflict between church and state, trade unions [...] the technological transformation of labor. (64)

"We", continues Eco, "are still living under the banner of medieval technology" (64). Consequently, "[t]he Middle Ages are the root of all our contemporary 'hot' problems, and it is not surprising that we go back to that period every time we ask ourselves about our origin" (65).

[..]as a political strategy, Rome would send off her legions to the lands she wished to incorporate within her body and after the conquests, by supplying armed forces to the territory, she would reap it of its wealth. The original inhabitants would be left with nothing but an idealised vision of a great city. The vision of Rome, being at first satisfactory, would sway towards the urge to realise this vision. After Theodosius' death in 395, the Roman Empire was divided among his two sons: the West was given to Honorius and Arcadius ruled the East. Although "the myth of imperial unity was maintained, tension grew between the two courts" (Brown 7).

[..]In both periods the select elite debates written texts with alphabetic mentality, but then translates into images the essential data or knowledge and the fundamental structure of the ruling ideology" (Eco 81).

[..]Norman F. Cantor sums up the current condition:
   [t]here is something about the Middle Ages that appears integral to the collective memory of Western civilization. There are traces of medieval inspiration and positive reinforcement that lie below the level of consciousness as well as within the received and cultivated heritage of the European world. For any educated person and just possibly archetypically for anyone at all, the Middle Ages are integral to our understanding of people and the world and are therefore essentially above reproach. The memory of the Middle Ages endures only to be explored and refined, but never, it seems, to be rejected or forgotten. (410)

[..]neomedievalism proves to be an instrumental tool in recreating history and if applied to other diciplines such as architecture, politics, music, visual arts, and so forth, has the potential of yielding fascinating results (Eco, Umberto. The Return of the Middle Ages, Travels in Hyperreality)
The Middle Ages are the root of all our contemporary "hot" problems [..]Thus looking at the Middle Ages means looking at our infancy, [..]in the same way that the psychoanalyst, to understand our present neuroses, makes a careful investigation of the primal scene. (Nineteenth International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. Flashes of the Fantastic: Selected Essays from the War of the Worlds Centennial)
Viewed as a subcultural text-centered community, fantasy, with its heavy reliance on an image of the medieval, constitutes as Sylvia Kelso says, "a cultural response to the postmodern moment that has been ignored or downgraded" (Cerny, P. G. Neomedievalism, civil war and the new security dilemma: Globalisation as durable disorder)

[..]Roman-era trade routes were abandoned, Imperial  legal norms  forgotten, and political power fragmented an  diffused.  The feudal order subsequently emerged essentially in bottom-up fashion through the exchange of obeisance and sharecropping (often imposed through predatory expansion) on the part of village and local societies for military protection from  other relatively localised predators.

[..]Empires represented high family rank and prestige but little, if any, actual power or control, and borders were merely multilevel, shifting frontiers between patchwork patrimonial estates.

[..]opportunities - for those operating more or less 'outside the law'. Exit from political society is likely to become a more viable option for a wider range of actors and activities.

[..]as the reliability of interstate balances of power declines, and as alternative possibilities for global and transnational security are found wanting - as the governance gap grows - the growth of 'insecurity from below' will create conditions in which increasingly intractable and complex civil and cross-border wars will become the norm

[..]a steeper pyramid of power than had existed in the Dark Ages - or, rather, a set of steeper pyramids, each rooted in the rise to wealth and power of one of a small number of competing dynastic families across Europe. Out of the entropy of the feudal system grew a structured competition that engendered the emergence and consolidation of hierarchical nation-states, states which could consolidate because they were multitasking and because they could afford  to make increasing side-payments to new and increasingly indispensable groups  -especially the bourgeoisie and the popular classes - seeking to be included in a growing range of political and economic processes.

Hogg, Norman. Neomedievalism and rebooting History
As Rapley himself describes, the new medievalism has an omnipresent and troubling subtext; “just as the original medievalism was built atop the triumph of the triumph of Germanic tribes over the Roman Empire, the new medievalism can itself degenerate into a cold ruthless struggle over resources

Shaw, Jon K; Reeves-Evison, Theo. Fiction as method (intro)
Art practice is the production of fictions that allow - almost as a side effect - for a glimpse of the real

« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 10:25:57 PM by tiny rainbow »
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 221
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3240 on: February 04, 2020, 12:52:01 PM »
A bunch of interesting things... Into the dreaming :D

Mice Inherit Specific Memories, Because Epigenetics?, 2013, Nature
F1 generation) show an increased startle to the fruity smell even when they have never encountered the smell before [..]“I don’t know if it’s a memory,” Dias says. “It’s a sensitivity, for now.”
Epigenetic markers of stress, a half-opened door to the unconscious, 2014, L'Information Psychiatrique
all of the biochemistry of the brain is not subjectively appliable to all (that creates) consciousness. [..]Many of these stimuli probably do not leave much molecular trace: they will therefore be molecularly forgotten, others will leave a very long-lasting and lasting trace in the epigenetic brain. If we finally dared to attempt a biological definition of the unconscious, we could conceive of it as: [..]indelible marks not being registered in the cells of our brain at a given moment of our life; but which may remain partly possible to bring back to consciousness.
Epigenetics Has Become Dangerously Fashionable, 2016, Nautilus
most of the transgenerational epigenetic effects have been demonstrated in rodents, who reproduce every few months; the extrapolations to long-lived humans are in most instances conjectural or based on unreliably small samples [..]human babies would never fly with a university ethics committee
Adaptive Behavior and Learning, 2016, J. E. R. Staddon
Behavioral differences. How much evidence is there for such effects? The answer, realistically, is not much. But there is some, and new cases seem to emerge every few years. [..]These are puzzles for developmental biology. What matters from a behavioral point of view is to recognize the complexity of heredity and development and the simplism of the nature-nurture dichotomy

The Age of Insight review
explores the neuroscience of aesthetics, attempting to explain why some works of art, such as Klimt's "Adele Bloch-Bauer I," continue to haunt us.

A comparison of Christopher Booker's theories of story with Melanie Anne Phillips and Chris Huntley's theory of Dramatica
Following the rules of Dramatica, writers can create an almost infinite variety of stories (over 32,000 in its current form, and potentially four times as many).
The Seven Basic Plots (Literature) - TV Tropes

The Plot Thins, or Are No Stories New? - The New York Times
belief that archetypal stories are rooted in the human unconscious to his arguments about Tragedy and Comedy -- are highly familiar, lifted in part or whole from a wide spectrum of influential, even canonical works by writers and thinkers as varied as Jung, Freud, Joseph Campbell, Bruno Bettelheim, Sir James George Frazer, the Shakespeare scholar A.C. Bradley and the folklore experts Peter and Iona Opie.

Not only is Mr. Booker a voracious magpie (who does not always acknowledge the sources of his ideas), but he also turns out to be an annoyingly biased and didactic one. As "The Seven Basic Plots" progresses, it grows increasingly tendentious. Mr. Booker evaluates works of art on the basis of how closely they adhere to the archetypes he has so laboriously described

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations (short list)

The thirty-six dramatic situations (1921)
Two hundred of the examples cited have been taken from other literary genres akin to the dramatic: romance, epic, history,—and from reality. For this investigation can and should be pursued in human nature, by which I mean in politics, in courts of justice, in daily life.

Amid these explorations the present study will soon seem but an introduction to a marvelous, an inexhaustible stream,—the Stream of Existence, where meet momentarily, in their primordial unity, history, mystic poetry, moralist (and amoralist) writings, humor, psychology, law, epic, romance, fable, myth, proverb and prophecy.
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."

James de Monet

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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3241 on: March 10, 2020, 08:07:11 PM »

Heh, the new posts link dropped me on this old page.  Did you finish it?  Like it?  Find it still relevant?

I just finished book three of the Stormlight Archive.  I thought this series was finished when I started it!  I didn’t need another waiting game.  :P
You know I think if James simply retitled his thread "Cheese" and apologized for his first post being off-topic, all problems would be solved.


  • Posts: 6115
    • I have a writing page.
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3242 on: March 11, 2020, 09:31:31 AM »
I've been struck on early middle ages primary sources right now, like the Battle of Maldon.
A Kuraci regular shouts, in sirihish:
     "Bad move, fool!"
A Kuraci regular slashes a filthy grey rat on its body.


  • Posts: 4702
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3243 on: March 12, 2020, 07:35:20 PM »
Powder Mage trilogy(?). Rrrreally enjoying it! High magick but LOADS of fun violence. 4/5 stars.
We were somewhere near the Shield Wall, on the edge of the Red Desert, when the drugs began to take hold...


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Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3244 on: March 12, 2020, 10:55:44 PM »

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 221
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3245 on: March 19, 2020, 11:51:10 PM »
Bill Gates Ask Me Anything about COVID-19.
Quote from: thisisbillgates
The question of which businesses should keep going is tricky. Certainly food supply and the health system. We still need water, electricity and the internet. Supply chains for critical things need to be maintained. Countries are still figuring out what to keep running.

Eventually we will have some digital certificates to show who has recovered or been tested recently or when we have a vaccine who has received it.
“Different people and different cultures will probably feel differently about having an invisible medical tattoo.”
delivered, along with a vaccine, by a microneedle patch .. quantum dots, tiny semiconducting crystals .. invisible to the naked eye but easily seen with a special cell-phone filter, combined with an app that shines near-infrared light
conducted by M.I.T. bioengineers .. The work was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and came about because of a direct request from Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates himself
infrared quantum dots delivered to the skin by microneedle, Science Translational Medicine
mitigates the potential cultural opposition to visible skin markings .. this invisible, “on-body” technology opens up new avenues for decentralized data storage and biosensing applications
video attached ("780  nm  LED illumination  source  focused  on the  shaved  area of  the  rat, a  NIR-adapted  smartphone,  a spring-loaded microneedle applicator, and a QD-loaded microneedle patch. Prior to application, no NIR signal was visible on the rat, but was apparent in the microneedle patch")
(apparently anesthetized but uncomfortable viewing)

Trusteeship Council chamber, UN, Geneva, [source]
program to leverage immunization as an opportunity to establish digital identity was unveiled by ID2020 in partnership with the Bangladesh Government
Since last year’s summit, the ID2020 Alliance has been joined by the City of Austin, UC Berkeley’s CITRIS Policy Lab and Care USA .. several other partners are working together with homeless people and the service providers who engage with them
Biometric fingerprint technology from Simprints, NEC’s reinforced authentication engine, and Gavi’s immunization experience and expertise will be combined by the organizations to help create digital identities for children between one and five years of age, linked to complete and accurate medical records.
New York, 19 May 2016 -- ..ID2020 Summit to create technology-driven public-private partnerships to achieve the United Nations 2030 .. Goal .. identity for everyone on the planet.
Enabling a sustainable Fourth Industrial Revolution
openly and actively promote a global ‘tech for good’ campaign .. disseminate, in conversation and collaboration with the media and technology firms, information about how unintended consequences and adverse effects are being mitigated, and how technologies are being developed and deployed to realise social and environmental goals.
14. The G20 should recognise and support the work being done to give every person in the world a unique digital identity .. by 2030 .. identity for all, including birth registration’. ID2020, in partnership with the Gavi foundation (an alliance who collectively vaccinate circa 93% of the world’s population), aims to harness the 4IR .. recognition before the law .. access to justice, public services, banking, visas etc.

"Galvanizing event/crisis" for sure
I feel like there's some really good intentions from some (less so PWC's motivations for having every potential employee in the world is barcoded!) for people that might consent (but why not just talk and ask instead of cattle-stamping?), if scaled back a lot more from "everyone in the world" megalomania :o

MIT Technology Review
breakthroughs that will truly change how we live and work.
    Unhackable internet
    Hyper-personalized medicine
    Digital money
    Anti-aging drugs
    AI-discovered molecules
    Satellite mega-constellations
    Quantum supremacy
    Tiny AI
    Differential privacy
    Climate change attribution
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 221
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3246 on: March 20, 2020, 07:42:45 PM »
I should mention the invisible tattoo thing is a prototype that doesn't last permanently yet and wouldn't won't be ready for covid-19 anyway so at the moment very little chance of anything but lifesaving goodness in a vaccine

It reminded me though I forgot to actually finish reading this it has a similar thing in the plot with identity becoming corporate
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 07:51:49 PM by tiny rainbow »
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."


  • Posts: 6734
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3247 on: March 22, 2020, 04:43:15 AM »

I've been struggling with some stuff and this was recommended to me.
Quote from: LauraMars
Quote from: brytta.leofa
Laura, did weird tribal men follow you around at age 15?
If by weird tribal men you mean Christians then yes.

Quote from: Malifaxis
She was teabagging me.

My own mother.

tiny rainbow

  • Posts: 221
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3248 on: April 10, 2020, 04:01:38 AM » - Directory of Open Access Journals - Directory of Open Access Books - Make a text-based game

Things from the last month or so:

- myths in Six Ages

- myths recounted in Six Ages

How to Fix the Future: Staying Human in the Digital Age
If it's less about the government, that seems harmless enough, right? [..]While we were writing this report and analyzing all the facts for it, we became increasingly appalled[..]

After setting the world aflame, the authors are good enough to provide some insights on how to best build it back up. While they advocate for increased corporate transparency and education, they also provide innovative, thought-provoking criticisms and solutions aimed toward propelling humanity towards a better future, ideas that seemed fresh and different
What are the societal and ethical implications of these practices? And how can we move forward?
[..]practices presented in this book have rarely been examined in depth,or not at all
Networks of Control, Wolfie Christl, Sarah Spiekermann, Cracked Labs

- How Companies Use Personal Data Against People, societal ramifications

- How thousands of companies monitor, analyze, and influence the lives of billions

Can Technology Support Democracy?, Digital Government: Research and Practice, Feb 2020
any digital project with the conviction that technology can and will solve “problems” of democracy are likely to be disappointed. Technology can be a boon to democracy if it is informed technology
[..]quarterly offspring of the Whole Earth Catalog, sported a psychedelic and apparently jacked-in Benjamin Franklin
[..]There is an uphill battle facing those who favor democracy. Democracy is radical, critical, complex, and fragile. Sometimes it is resilient and even powerful. What shapes it takes in the future depends, of course, on what we do now.


The Complicated Legacy of Stewart Brand’s “Whole Earth Catalog”
At the height of the civil-rights movement and the war in Vietnam, the “Whole Earth Catalog” offered a vision for a new social order—one that eschewed institutions in favor of individual empowerment, achieved through the acquisition of skills and tools. The latter category included agricultural equipment, weaving kits, mechanical devices, books like “Kibbutz: Venture in Utopia,” and digital technologies and related theoretical texts, such as Norbert Wiener’s “Cybernetics”
garnered a cult following that included founders of Airbnb and Stripe and also early employees of Facebook.
[..]at Stanford, Steve Jobs described the “Whole Earth Catalog” as “Google in paperback form

Brand said. “We didn’t know what government did. The whole government apparatus is quite wonderful, and quite crucial. [It] makes me frantic, that it’s being taken away.

Digital Government: Looking Back and Ahead on a Fascinating Domain of Research and Practice
analytics of big data already allow with great precision the accurate prediction of consumer/citizens’ preferences, dislikes, and their probable future behaviors and actions.
When considering the rapidly evolving metropolization and rise of megacities, in which the vast majority of humanity will live soon

the uses of systems like the Indian Aadhaar and Chinese SCS might become not only a possibility but rather also a necessity
Quote from: From: Fiction and Power - Texts on the Future of Cultural Policy, Konrad Becker, Felix Stalder Ed., Löcker 2016
pseudo-Darwinian killer monkeys [..]
"A mass that is free of iron chains has to accept silver chains [..]Transform facts into stories in order to be able to remember them better
[..] Narratives beyond a fiction of transparent communication convey not only the unsaid, but the unspeakable and incommensurable. Communicating incomprehensible about what is impossible to understand.
I imagine it will take at least a decade for the mirrorworld to develop enough to be used by millions, and several decades to mature. But we are close enough now to the birth of this great work that we can predict its character in rough detail.

Eventually this melded world will be the size of our planet. It will be humanity’s greatest achievement, creating new levels of wealth, new social problems, and uncountable opportunities for billions of people. There are no experts yet to make this world; you are not late.

Quote from: wikipedia
Anne Herbert (1950-2015) was an assistant editor of CoEvolution Quarterly, a precursor to the Whole Earth Review. She coined the phrases, "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty."
Handy tips on how to behave at the death of the world, Anne Herbert
Falling in love has always been a bit too much to apply to one person. Falling in love is appropriate for now, to love all these things which are about to leave. The rocks are watching, and the squirrels and the stars and the tired people in the street. If you love them, let them know, with grace and non-invasive extravagance. Care about the beings you care about in gorgeous and surprising ways. Color outside the lines. Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.
Walk on dirt, and feel what kind of art is needed in a bumpy world

« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 10:06:01 PM by tiny rainbow »
"A time of ash shall mark the rise of the cities. Days of old shall be new once more."


  • Posts: 1488
    • they fight crime
Re: What are you currently reading?
« Reply #3249 on: April 14, 2020, 04:51:27 PM »
I'm finally reading City of Bones by Martha Wells.

Here's the first chapter:
Do you kill your sparring partners once they are useless to you, so that you are king?