Friday, February 17, 2006

Books To Keep Me Busy


I did it again (no, not Britney. Me!). In fact there were many books in my bookcase, listed to read for upcoming period, I couldn't resist to buy some more after visiting my favourite bookstore in last weeks. I saw the result when I checked my bank account but what the heck!!. These will keep me busy for sometime hopefully. I put all the books on my desk and was reading the covers and written notes at once. This was it generally:

  1. A Beginner's Guide To Reality - Jim Baggott : "What is real? How do we know? Are the things we take for granted in our everyday lives - money, work, marriage - real, or just elaborate constructions that exist only in our minds? Is the physical reality that we experience - from colours to chairs - what we think it is? And what about the tiniest sub-atomic particles that we know exist but can't see?" It's a small book, very lightly written and easy to read. There are heavier books written on this subject but the writer looks at what films from the Matrix trilogy to Memento (that's why I bought this book) and great thinkers from Aristotele to Kant can tell us and goes on to explore what science has to say from bizarre reality of quantum to tantalizing ideas of other worlds and dimensions.

  2. Introducing Nietzsche - Laurence Gane (illustrated by Piero) : It's a small -kinda- comic book to enter the world of Nietzsche. I love comics and the way you can use this medium to tell different subjects is something that I always was interested. It's really a beginner book for Nietzsche, so unfortunately no heavy discoveries here.

  3. Introducing Postmodernism - Richard Appignanesi (illustrated by Chris Garratt) : Same as above only about postmodernism. I love when heavy subjects like philosophy (or science) are explained in comic medium (maybe because I draw comics too, who knows).

  4. Philosophical Writings - Arthur Schopenhauer : Schopenhauer is one of the most important philosophers but -sadly- I discovered him quite late: the philosopher of pessimism. "With Schopenhauer one may finally give voice to the secretly held belief that the world is essentially bad. This blunt honesty is Schopenhauer's trademark. Perhaps no philosopher matches him in relating metaphysical speculation to the seemingly random events of everyday life. This books includes his most well-known writngs."

  5. History of Western Philosophy - Bertrand Russell : How do you want to look at the history of western philosophy? Of course through a philosopher's eye! And who that philosopher could be? Bertrand Russell, who made major contribitions in the areas of logic and epistemology, politically active and who believes in his ethical principles (like his student, friend, colleague Ludwig Wittgenstein, my other favourite 20th century philosopher). This book provides a sophisticated view of western philsosophy -until Russells death. The late 20th century philosophers like Deleuze, Foucault, Derrida and Baudrrillard are missing of course :-)

  6. The Art Of Ridiculuos Sublime - Slavoj Žižek : "This detailed analysis of David Lynch's movie Lost Highway by Czech philosopher Slavoj Žižek based on the premises of Lacanian psychoanalysis. It interprets David Lynch's unique universe of the "ridicilous sublime" as a simultaneous playful staging and traversing of the fundamental ideological fantasies that sustains our late capitalist society. Žižek invites the reader to examine easy assumptions, received opinio, and current critical trends, as well as poses questions about the ways in which we understand our world and culture."

  7. Welcome To The Desert Of The Real - Slavoj Žižek : The desert of the real was a term first used by French philosopher Jean Baudrillard (sorry folks, The Matrix was not the first, actually they stole the term from him :-) ) But this small book is a philoso-political essay about the events after 11 september. "It takes a step back from the hype, hysteria and rhetoric, in order to problematise the options we are being offered. It proposes that global capitalism is fundamentalist and that America was complicit in the rise of Muslim fundamentalism. It points to dreaming about the catastrophe in numerous disaster movies before it happened, and explores the irony that the tragedy has been used to legitimate torture. Last but not least, he analyses the fiasco of the predominant leftist response to the events."

  8. The Age Of Spiritual Machines (When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence) - Ray Kurzweil : Kurzweil is a living "genius" and a visionary technology futurist! "Imagine a world where the difference between man and machine blurs, where the line between humanity and technology fades, and where the soul and silicon chip unite. This is not a science fiction. This is the 21st century according to Ray Kurzweil, the inventor of the most innovative and compelling technology of our era.. In his inspired hands, life in the new millenium ... promises to be an age in which the marriage of human sensitivity and artificial intelligence fundamentally alters and improves the way we live."

  9. The Singularity Is Near (When Humans Transcend Biology) - Ray Kurzweil : In previous book Kurzweil presents the argument that with ever-accelerating rate of technological change, computers would rival the full range of human intelligence at its best. "In this book Ray Kurzweil examines the next step of our evolutionary process: the union of human and machine, in which the knowledge and skills embedded in our brains will be combined with the vastly greater capacity, speed, and knowledge-sharing ability of our own creations. The merging is the essence of the Singularity, an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today". An extraordinary book!

  10. The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins : Ordered. (This is -quite old actually, 1976- a book that will change the way you look at humans, faith, beliefs, science, evolution, God and a book that will basically change your life :-)! Written by evolutionary theorist and biologist mr. Dawkins. Info later)
Check out Ray Kurzweil's Accelerating Intelligence website : . " features the big thoughts of today's big thinkers examining the confluence of accelerating revolutions that are shaping our future world, and the inside story on new technological and social realities from the pioneers actively working in these arenas."

« last ________ next »

1 Noises:

At Tuesday, February 21, 2006 4:34:00 AM, Blogger Sphinx said...

Nice selections!!

You will have to let me know what you think of them all. I'm sure you have many pleasurable hours of reading ahead of you.

PS...the Brittany comment...HAHAHAHAHAHAHA :-)


Post a Comment

<< Home