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Books - When the student is ready the teacher will come
Old 07-26-2008, 10:14 PM   #1
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Books - When the student is ready the teacher will come

Really big book suggestions
In June of 2006 I asked for a for book recommendations.

I purchased
The Laws of Our Fathers - Scott Turow
When Red is Black - Qiu Xiaolong
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson

In the last two weeks I finished reading the first two and am into the first 100 pages of the the third.

Without realizing I appeared to pick books with a common thread - coming of age in turbulent times.
Laws - USA 1960s
Red - China's cultural revolution & new economics
Cryptonomicon - WWII and
So far the USA 1960s hippies/intellectuals aren't faring too well in comparison - a bunch of self involved & self centered people who didn't accomplished much - considering what they had. This is not meant as a slam against the 1960's just an observation when comparing the books.
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Old 07-26-2008, 11:14 PM   #2
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There is a reason I caution people against reading books.

My picture went in Katrina:

Apollo 8, 1968, Earthrise over the moon. (begining of my enlightenment)

"Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda.

The hippies et al moved the world.

DO NOT READ BOOKS! They don't know what they are talking about.

All knowledge - should be a few sentences on an internet forum/or Blog. Or some U tube boogy woogy.

heh heh heh - don't confuse me with books! - I am a legend in my own mind! .
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:59 AM   #3
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Young people read the internet. Old pharts read books. So says the NY Times today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/27/bo..._r=1&th&emc=th

Literacy Debate: Online, R U Really Reading?

By MOTOKO RICH
BEREA, Ohio — Books are not Nadia Konyk’s thing. Her mother, hoping to entice her, brings them home from the library, but Nadia rarely shows an interest.
Instead, like so many other teenagers, Nadia, 15, is addicted to the Internet. She regularly spends at least six hours a day in front of the computer here in this suburb southwest of Cleveland.
A slender, chatty blonde who wears black-framed plastic glasses, Nadia checks her e-mail and peruses myyearbook.com, a social networking site, reading messages or posting updates on her mood. She searches for music videos on YouTube and logs onto Gaia Online, a role-playing site where members fashion alternate identities as cutesy cartoon characters. But she spends most of her time on quizilla.com or fanfiction.net, reading and commenting on stories written by other users and based on books, television shows or movies.
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Old 07-27-2008, 09:43 AM   #4
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Young people read the internet. Old pharts read books.
When I married in 1975, I flew to the mainland with a mere 38 (standard 1'x1'x1.5') boxes of books. As life continued, my collection of books increased and were dragged from Missisissippi to Virginia to California to Texas as life and jobs pulled us around the country.

By the time I eventually moved to Louisiana by myself, I arrived with 85 boxes of my own books having left his books with him in Texas. What an albatross they were for me!!! Even though I was younger, they were simply more than I could handle or even unpack. I could not afford enough bookshelves for them anyway, so I couldn't find what I wanted despite making notations on the boxes with marker. The stacks of boxes filled a perfectly good family room and nothing else would fit in there.

Books are so sentimental and it is hard to get rid of them, but they can grow to take over, use all your spare space, and become an albatross that discourages moving. I have culled and culled, gotten rid of obsolete technical books, thought twice about books I haven't read in a long time, and so on. By now, I am down to about 15 boxes of books and I am hoping to reduce my book burden to 10 boxes of books by the time I move north after ER. I will probably get a Kindle at that time, when I have more time to read. And, I will probably buy many more books than I should, since old habits die hard.

Had the internet been available when I was young, I probably would have found what I needed there and I wouldn't have had to lug 38-85 heavy boxes of books through countless moves in seven states. I love books but as in most aspects of life, moderation is prudent.

As for the 60's, having been there I feel that without question those that I knew at that time were the most selfless, idealistic people I have ever encountered in life by orders of magnitude.
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:13 AM   #5
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Hi, Dex.

I don't know the books you are reading--not retired yet! so what is this that UncleMick and Eagle are saying?

If you google "don't read" with "Steve Jobs" there are some lively discussions on this topic. Apparently the genius of Apple has found a unique marketing technique by saying it is so and assuming the public is either already there or will follow soon. He's implying that the future is with iPhones, iPods and the internet rather than eBooks. (I am typing this on a Mac but originally read your posts on the Kindle.)

OMG, W2R, the blonde is gone. Starry Night--he was nuts when he painted that. Is that eSpam whirling in the sky? We do appreciate you!

Moving with books--we usually stop and take a break to enjoy them while packing--15 minute break becomes hours, like browsing in a bookstore. I will always keep my art history books. Old pharts rule!
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:23 AM   #6
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OMG, W2R, the blonde is gone.
I thought it was time for a change! Besides, I'm tired of telling people who she is, and she has inspired enough threads already.

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Starry Night--he was nuts when he painted that. Is that eSpam whirling in the sky? We do appreciate you!
Thank you!! I guess that maybe art is innately insane, when viewed with Spock-like logic. Van Gogh, in his insanity, could clearly communicate things that are buried so deeply shallowly within all of us. I suppose that is why so many of us find Starry Night to be so moving. We hesitate to articulate what he screams. I am in awe of the beauty and simplicity of his bared soul as revealed in this painting.

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Moving with books--we usually stop and take a break to enjoy them while packing--15 minute break becomes hours, like browsing in a bookstore. I will always keep my art history books. Old pharts rule!
Amen to that!!
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:28 AM   #7
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As far as moving heavy boxes full of books goes, it could be worse. I used to live with a woman who was a geologist...
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:11 PM   #8
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I'm sure she had more sense than a box of rocks....

Sorry, couldn't resist.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:37 PM   #9
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Yeah, that was an easy one. Considering who she was living with, maybe not.

She had about 8 or 9 boxes of rocks. I packed them down three flights of stairs and into a u-haul trailer, drove them across the country and unpacked them.

Several years later she 'set them free'.

I remain somewhat concerned that we may have disrupted some sort of natural balance by carrying non-native rocks into an environment that they werent meant to be in.
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Old 07-27-2008, 12:54 PM   #10
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When I married in 1975, I flew to the mainland with a mere 38 (standard 1'x1'x1.5') boxes of books.

By the time I eventually moved to Louisiana by myself, I arrived with 85 boxes of my own books.
OMG W2R, you're worse than I am!

I have accumulated most of my books since my last move so I don't know how many boxes there would be. As well, I still have printouts of old research studies that I was obliged to keep for years just in case someone who read the scientific papers had a question. I guess it's time to toss the pre 1990 stuff....

One idea that occurs to me is for the bookworms on the Forum to start cataloguing their books so we could start an exchange. We could do it for the price of mailing.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:05 PM   #11
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As well, I still have printouts of old research studies that I was obliged to keep for years just in case someone who read the scientific papers had a question. I guess it's time to toss the pre 1990 stuff....
I tossed out research notes and papers generated prior to 1989. Really, I doubt any inquiries about material more than 10 years old will materialize, but questions of my own might arise that I would want to examine. I tossed out all intermediate analysis products from any date.

I even tossed out most of my class notes (which I had kept for every single class back to 1966), except for the notes from a couple of classes taught by my Ph.D. advisor. That left me with DOZENS and dozens of white 3-ring binders, more than I could ever use. I guess that eventually I will take them to work, for people to give to their school-aged children.

Haven't touched my engineering books. They are well used and will be hard to let go. They need to be culled, though. The first one to go will be the book from my power and machines class. That wasn't my cup of tea, and I have not revisited or used what I learned in that class after passing the EIT.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:20 PM   #12
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I tossed out research notes and papers generated prior to 1989. Really, I doubt any inquiries about material more than 10 years old will materialize, but questions of my own might arise that I would want to examine. I tossed out all intermediate analysis products from any date.

I even tossed out most of my class notes (which I had kept for every single class back to 1966), except for the notes from a couple of classes taught by my Ph.D. advisor. That left me with DOZENS and dozens of white 3-ring binders, more than I could ever use. I guess that eventually I will take them to work, for people to give to their school-aged children.
Since starting work at my present location I have had several office moves. They proved to be excellent opportunities to purge old files. Basically, anything I haven't used for 2 years and that I have on a backed up file server is OUT. This includes published articles (thank goodness for electronic libraries). The most recent move was five years after the previous one and generated the equivalent of approximately 10 packing boxes of recycled or shredded files. Unfortunately, one of the people who works for me refuses to let anything go. Her office is a mess. But otherwise she is wonderful, so I have to tread carefully.
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Old 07-27-2008, 01:29 PM   #13
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Basically, anything I haven't used for 2 years and that I have on a backed up file server is OUT.
Wow!! You are TOUGH!! I am so impressed, and intend to emulate your attitudes and make you my role model.

At work, I am already going through my e-mails and trying to delete what I can. I had saved nearly all e-mails for the past ten years, but this would be a nightmare to anyone moving into my position after I reach ER/nirvana. I got rid of many of my paper files during my last office move, , but they could still use some work in that regard.

My predecessor in my present job left a huge amount of junk behind, and I had to go through all of her stuff, read it, and decide on what to do with it. Most of it ended up being thrown out. I don't want to leave my stuff as an albatross for the next person.
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Old 07-27-2008, 02:36 PM   #14
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He's implying that the future is with iPhones, iPods and the internet rather than eBooks.
The more senses one uses in learning something, the better one learns the material.

I like to own books because I can use a highlighter to indicate important points as I read them. eBooks are a problem in that respect (unless I print them out first).

I also like the on-demand audio and video segments (3 minutes to 60 minutes or more) that are widely available on the Internet now, including Apple's iTunes.com. Sometimes watching a few minutes of video is better for me than reading the corresponding article that has the same material.
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:03 PM   #15
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....
I like to own books because I can use a highlighter to indicate important points as I read them. eBooks are a problem in that respect (unless I print them out first).
....
Here comes another unpaid endorsement for Amazon's Kindle (eBook): The highlighting system is amazing. I use is it several ways. If I highlight the main points in a book, I can hit "my notes and marks" and see them all together--would have to leaf thru the book to see all the yellow marks, etc. Also, i mark things on my calendar/planner so that I can again hit "my notes and marks" and see, say, all of my expenses for July. If I choose to have Amazon store my book off-site, and later retrieve it, my highlighting will still be there. The Kindle has changed my MO!
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:20 PM   #16
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Had the internet been available when I was young, I probably would have found what I needed there and I wouldn't have had to lug 38-85 heavy boxes of books through countless moves in seven states. I love books but as in most aspects of life, moderation is prudent.
I agree that books can make you heavier on your feet. Yet if I could afford a big enough apartment here in the city I would bring most of my books that are boxed at my old house.

I do not believe that the internet can substitute for books. Some books show us genius, some great skill- compared to good books the interent is a giant gossip club.

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As for the 60's, having been there I feel that without question those that I knew at that time were the most selfless, idealistic people I have ever encountered in life by orders of magnitude.
Perhaps during the rare times when 60-ites were not stoned or having group sex or throwing bricks through shop windows to selflessly demonstrate how opposed they were to Viet-Nam? (Which certainly made personal sense since it was a lot easier to get killed in Viet-Nam than in Berkeley, CA.)

Ha
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Old 07-27-2008, 03:41 PM   #17
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I used to have books everywhere but now I have it down to a science . Lots of library usage . Books I buy are either sent to my mother or my daughter to read and recycle after I've read them or they are sold on amazon unless they are a reference book which gets to stay .
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:51 PM   #18
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Hey I was quoting the mighty NY Times, bearer of all the news that's fit to print. I love books and have a house full. Nowadays though, I go to the library instead of buying them. I can wait as I have plenty to read.

I will agree that the Times article has some merit. I know my grand kids rarely pick up a book, but live on the internet. When they start the game "World of Warcraft" (? title might be wrong) you have to pry them off. It's like another life to them with their own community. And they pilot airplanes on the computer and do Grand Theft Auto and many of the other distractions games. Reading has got to be a bore, to them.

I have taken a couple of boxes of books to the library. I would like to keep them, but they take up too much space. What's a good rule? If you haven't looked at it in 2 years get rid of it.
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Old 07-27-2008, 06:40 PM   #19
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I tossed out research notes and papers generated prior to 1989. Really, I doubt any inquiries about material more than 10 years old will materialize, but questions of my own might arise that I would want to examine. I tossed out all intermediate analysis products from any date.
I even tossed out most of my class notes (which I had kept for every single class back to 1966), except for the notes from a couple of classes taught by my Ph.D. advisor. That left me with DOZENS and dozens of white 3-ring binders, more than I could ever use. I guess that eventually I will take them to work, for people to give to their school-aged children.
Haven't touched my engineering books. They are well used and will be hard to let go. They need to be culled, though. The first one to go will be the book from my power and machines class. That wasn't my cup of tea, and I have not revisited or used what I learned in that class after passing the EIT.
Man, I'm livin' with one of those people too. She still has her high-school English papers (typed on a Smith-Corona) in case she can recycle them into some other assignment. Our daughter was most amused by the idea but has declined to perpetuate the tradition.

We also have the storage boxes and bookcases filled to overflowing with decades-old textbooks & notes. I'm told that it's offline memory storage and not subject to negotiation.

I've tossed all my old texts & notes but I still have four shelves of science fiction & action-adventure. I suspect it'd be a little difficult to find some of the older & less popular books by Asimov, Heinlein, Chalker, Fleming, and Hamilton at my local library. As soon as I can find them in a Kindle format, though, the paper is outta here.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:00 PM   #20
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I used to have books everywhere but now I have it down to a science . Lots of library usage . Books I buy are either sent to my mother or my daughter to read and recycle after I've read them or they are sold on amazon unless they are a reference book which gets to stay .
I do not understand the assumed air of virtue created by having physical possession of many books. Most stuff can be looked up on the internet. A physical book can be borrowed from the library or purchased and passed on.
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