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Review of 'The Language of Creation : Cosmic Symbolism in Genesis' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Glad I read this before tackling the Bible. I was definitely suffering from a materialistic outlook that made even older philosophy harder to understand.

I wish it gone more into the two different interpretations in current culture, and used more Biblical examples, instead of naming more and more of the symbolism for the same thing.

But I can't blame the author for sticking to the scope so it doesn't become too big.

James Clear: Atomic Habits (EBook, 2022, Avery) 4 stars

No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving—every day. James Clear, …

Review of 'Atomic Habits' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Not surprising, because I've been told, from many different reliable sources that this isn't the typical self help book. So I'd be lying if I said I was expecting a bald guy telling me it takes hard work to get a yacht.

I loved this. It provided a simple, comprehensive framework for improving your life. It even gets into the typical excuse of limiting your freedom with good habits (which was a big issue of mine). It doesn't try to pretend human limitations don't exist, or that you're supposed to be able to just shut off all your flaws to achieve your goal. It gives you tips, and the framework mostly aims at working around your stupid lizard brain. It gives you practical ideas on how to make things work, not just lofty statements and out of context quotes.

It has a predetermined scope, and gives you the freedom to …

John Stuart Mill: On Liberty and Other Essays (Paperback, 2016, 4 stars

Review of 'On Liberty and Other Essays' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

This guy repeated himself so much. I was going in and out of consciousness. Some good points, some general wisdom. Mostly things that we've adopted by now, not sure if it's because of him or someone else.

It definitely dragged on, felt a bit unstructured, and overall didn't really "hit". The points were dragged out for pages, the sentences themselves, just never stopped sometimes. He'd use his heuristic in practice, and end up at the beginning. He'd make a value judgment, develop it, then stopped, or kept going until he reached his original judgment. You end up with convincing arguments if taken one by one, but as you combine them in your head, you just get confused. Probably something I've missed when I got too bored to really think about it, but oh well. Review's a review.

reviewed The Ego and Its Own by Max Stirner (Cambridge texts in the history of political thought)

Max Stirner: The Ego and Its Own (1995, Cambridge University Press) 4 stars

The Ego and Its Own (German: Der Einzige und sein Eigentum; meaningfully translated as …

Review of 'The Ego and Its Own' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Finally. After almost 2 months I completed it.

It starts off strong, and ends strong. This guy goes after everything and anything that constituted his current society with a pretty refreshing point of view. Unlike most philosophy I've engaged with, it doesn't really bother all that much with "this idea is harmful, we should be doing this instead, it's going to be better for everyone". Everything is presented from the point of view of an egoist.

I've been down the egoism rabbithole myself before deciding to read this. However, I quickly noticed that I approached everything from an entirely different angle. I had (and still do, honestly) think that people ARE egoistic, and that most things, even if counter-intuitive (such as cults, ideologies, societies) are built out of egoistic roots by powerful individuals, and the weak individuals seeking self-preservation. Morality is the best litmus test for this. The moral statement …

Candide, ou l'Optimisme ( kon-DEED, French: [kɑ̃did] (listen)) is a French satire first published in …

Review of 'Candide: Candide: Bilingual Edition (English - French) by Voltaire (2015-01-06)' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This one starts off being a satyrical banger. Over-the-top tragedy, comedy, story, characters. I can easily see this being an expression of a brilliant man looking at contemporary fiction and thinking "I can do better than this". Then actually proving that he can.

The wonderful thing is, that, it's not just good satire, it's also a decent book by itself, that holds up really well.

My only problem with it is the style. Maybe it's the translation, but it feels very dull, maybe blunt is a better word. There is not much inner life going on, it's just point A, point B, few lines of dialogue, repeat. Maybe this is part of the satire, but I haven't read enough books from that time to really be able to tell.

Overall an enjoyable read, but not one I will think about in 3 years.

Henrik Ibsen: A Doll\'s House (2006, Hard Press) 4 stars

Review of "A Doll\\'s House" on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A surprising banger. Well written, short, great characters, and what I assume is a groundbreaking plot for the time. Makes me wonder just how many modern thought processes we take for granted started out as a simple story that tackles the way we always thought of things.

What bothered me is just how much set up there was for a certain event, only for it to happen in what I consider a very lazy way. It just happened. The main character figures out something, and makes a cold, rational choices contrary to all of her traits shown so far. This is my main gripe. The author clearly had a point to convey, a status quo to challenge so much he got over-eager.

Overall an enjoyable read, I'd equate it to eating at a 5 star restaurant, having great meals, only for the signature dish to disappoint you in the end.

Bronze Age Pervert: Bronze Age Mindset (2018, Independently published) 3 stars

Review of 'Bronze Age Mindset' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

I'll share my scattered thoughts on this, because in the end I did enjoy it thoroughly.

Many things make this a very enjoyable read. Mostly the style and the humor (the insane guy at the bus station kind of funny) sprinkled all over. The extremism itself is refreshing, because it's not a petty restatement of hundred year old ideologies that dominate the discussion. There is no pussyfooting, this book will make enemies in every corner of the political spectrum, ranging from the modern liberal, to the anarchist, to the communist, and the conservative.

There really isn't much to argue with. Not because he's right all the time, but because there isn't many arguments made. Just statements, presented as the perennial truth, hiding any sort of complexity behind "spirit", "vitality" and the adjective "higher". Your job as the reader is to accept everything this guy says as ancient well-known truths that …

Albert Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus (Penguin Modern Classics) (2006, Penguin Books Ltd) 4 stars

Review of 'The Myth of Sisyphus (Penguin Modern Classics)' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

After a few dozen pages of what I felt like was mostly incomprehensible abstract talk he drops down to Earth. After that it becomes a pleasant read. Ignoring the epic one liners that are seemingly taken out of context everywhere he gets his point across pretty well. Personally, I don't get it, and probably will never understand how an absurdist can end up anywhere but in misery. Do something for nothing? No thank you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Nature (1985) 4 stars

Nature is an essay written by Ralph Waldo Emerson, published by James Munroe and Company …

Review of 'Nature' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Not an easy book. Unlike Self Reliance, I feel like I interpreted less than what was said. Not many clear passages, and I'm still kind of trying to figure out what the main point was.

In general, he is still a pleasure to read. The feeling you get while reading (when you're not reading dictionary definitions) is still heartwarming and hope-inducing.

But I won't pretend I get it. Maybe I'm just not in the mindspace for it, but there was a lot of meandering, highly abstract terms, which are very hard to follow after a while.

Review of 'Birth of the Communist manifesto' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

I thought it'd be all about worker rights, but I'm seeing how the sociopaths that actually went to implement communism did all those mass murders "for the common good". It makes sense why, almost globally, in anything but extraordinary circumstances communism is really only supported by urban proles, and the idle.
I had many biases before reading this, and who knows what translation I got, but it just felt so insidious. It talks about humans like worker ants in an ant colony.

D.  W. Kreger: The Wheel of Time (Paperback, 2020, Windham Everitt Publishing Co., Windham Everitt Publishing) No rating

Review of 'The Wheel of Time' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Many emotions were felt. A rollercoaster ride... in a non fiction book. That's new. I've ranged from "why the fuck is he implying ancient aliens" to "damn I'm never gonna look at this the same way ever again".

The author is an atheist. This is the most important fact you need to know when reading. It explains why he's targeting Christianity the most. It explains why he clearly states that early neolithic people worshipped nature, but is hesitant to ignore the similarities of pantheons of these religions. It's implied that the ancient Greeks didn't really believed in their own gods, it was just some form of metaphor. Of course, unsourced (as are many other statements). Socrates was put on trial for being impious against a metaphor I'm sure.

The author's atheism then makes it clear that maybe you don't need a God to be spiritual. He claims that losing our …

Review of 'Manifesto for a European Renaissance' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Pretty hard read. Spot on in some ways, feels extremely theoretical and utopian in other ways. In the end, it doesn't really synthesize a simple and coherent world view beyond criticism of modernity and simpler structures that allow for case-by-case decision making.

But on its own, it's a great way to escape the classical ideological battles between liberalism, communism etc. For right wing ideologies it is easy to get trapped in modernist thinking where the only wiggle room is who to hate.

The new right seems to actually give a shit about the environment, celebrates diversity and tradition.

Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol: Dead souls (2004, Penguin) 3 stars

Dead Souls is a socially critical black comedy. Set in Russia before the emancipation of …

Review of 'Dead souls' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Enjoyable read, and I do remember distinctly being really interested in just about every character. However, this really didn't hit very hard. Pages flowed, I loved the subtle humor, and the rants from the author. Feels a bit disjointed at times but that makes sense because Gogol kinda went schizo mode and burnt some pages, or something.