December 29, 2012

A couple of books.

I was just asking for some ideas for a conversation about end-of-the-year things, and now I've had the conversation, which I'll be showing you when it's up, but right now, I'm buying 2 books that were recommended in that conversation:

1. "When the State Speaks, What Should It Say?"

2. "Veil Politics in Liberal Democratic States."

After I bought them, Amazon started making recommendations in the philosophy category, and I noticed that "Complete Works of Plato" (only $1.99) was ranking at #5. Maybe you think that's about where it belongs, but that would depend on what else is ranking. Here are those best sellers in philosophy. #4 is "Fifty Shades of Grey Decoded: A Man's Playbook." I can understand why it's #4, but I can't understand why it's philosophy. By the way, it's only 19 pages long, which is to say, it's not only not philosophy, it's not a book. You can get the first page free at the link, and it tells you that "sex slave" contracts are all over the internet, so the author isn't going to write one out for you. You should just "find one that suits your needs and tweak it." And "keep in mind that this is not 'real' slavery." Noted.

What was the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the year, do you think? "Fifty Shades of Grey" or "Gangnam Style"? Those are 2 things that, in the future, will seem so 2012. We're not taking them with us into the new year, '13.

30 comments:

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Plato might be OK if you are interested in "how things got started" in Philosophy, but it would make as much sense, other than the historical interest, as would a modern doctor using a medical text from the 1300's.

We've moved on from Plato. Progressed. Shoulders of Giants applies, of course, but for the best that has been produced in Western Philosophy, I would highly recommend Schopenhauer.

edutcher said...

The biggest pop culture phenom, once again, is the Awesomeness of Barry.

But, no, girl porn does not count as philosophy.

Ann Althouse said...

Seems to me, re Plato, the translation is a huge deal. That edition is cheap, but I would look into the translation.

They have lots of cheap or free great books on that philosophy list, but I would be wary of the translations.

Something more recent is probably desirable.

Michael K said...

I read The Republic as a teenager. It's pretty obvious that he is too impressed with Sparta and later I realized he didn't care for women.

The 2012 phenomenon that will be looked back at in 2013 is the hope for prosperity.

Aridog said...

Yee Gawd..."Fifty Shades of Grey" ...a cheap clone for "The Story of O" ...then "Gangnam Style" a almost hip hop bit by the fattest Korean of his age I've ever seen, talking about where he was born, an area of Seoul, Korea that is rich like the Hamptons. Catchy tune and choreography .... hope for his sake he's not another "Silver Convention."

No matter, given those two choices BDSM and a chubby Harry Reid imitator ....COME ON 2013!

mtrobertsattorney said...

Stick with Plato.

Shopenhauer is merely a 19th century version of Thrasymachos the Sophist. Thrasymachos' contribution to confusion in philosophy was his definition of "justice" as nothing more than "the will of the stronger."
In the Republic, Plato's Socrates exposed him as a fool and sent him packing.

Shopenhauer is an interesting eccentric but that's about it.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Stick with Plato.

Shopenhauer is merely a 19th century version of Thrasymachos the Sophist. Thrasymachos' contribution to confusion in philosophy was his definition of "justice" as nothing more than "the will of the stronger."
In the Republic, Plato's Socrates exposed him as a fool and sent him packing.

Shopenhauer is an interesting eccentric but that's about it.

Shouting Thomas said...

Now that I have time, I'm thinking of re-reading my favorite writer, Henry Miller, to see how he stands up to the test of time.

I'm also interested in reading some religious philosophy. Don't knew exactly where to go here. Any ideas?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Obamaphone wins it in a walk.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Meanwhile, I am reading "Seeing Like a State"

Smilin' Jack said...

What was the biggest pop culture phenomenon of the year, do you think? "Fifty Shades of Grey" or "Gangnam Style"?

Oh God no...even if the Mayan apocalypse didn' t happen it was still still better than that shit.

Baron Zemo said...

I must say that I am really enjoying my kindle this year. I got it at the beginning of the year and it has been a revelation.

The best part of it is how many books you can download for free or for a dollar. Every day I get an email about free stuff and download another one. Some great mystery and science fiction stuff.

It is just great.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

mtrobertsattorney said...


Shopenhauer [sic] is an interesting eccentric but that's about it.


LOL.

You were joking, right?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

re Plato:

Translations ARE important.

For example, "The Republic" would be more correctly titled (based on content) "The Fascist State"

Lem said...

Check.

wyo sis said...

ST
You could try Solzhenitsyn, Locke and/or C S Lewis.

XRay said...

Pop culture.. would be Barry O., of course, with all the ramifications that includes.

For some realness, I'd, like ST, recommend Miller, as well. That SOB could write.

Martin said...

Once while working in a bookstore, I was approached by a would-be customer looking for our philosophy section. I pointed out the shelves in question, and asked her if there was anything in particular she was looking for?

"Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them"

It turns out that there IS a philosophy for that. It's called gynophobophilia.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Re: someonehastosayit on what he thinks should be the correct title of "The Republic":

I think he is probably confusing Plato's Republic with John Dewey's "The Influence of Darwinism on Philosophy." More likely though, he is thinking of that crown prince of progressivism, Herbert Croly, and his "Promise of American Life."

mtrobertsattorney said...

Re: someonehastosayit on what he thinks should be the correct title of "The Republic":

I think he is probably confusing Plato's Republic with John Dewey's "The Influence of Darwinism on Philosophy." More likely though, he is thinking of that crown prince of progressivism, Herbert Croly, and his "Promise of American Life."

Chip Ahoy said...

These philosophy books sound very intellectual.

But you know what really breaks the ice with people, puts them right well at ease and draws them together? Pop-up books. You may scoff but I'm telling you the charm of pop-up books spans the generations, the new ones that they make today. They can be read forward or back, or started from the middle. There are pages within pages and layers upon layers. They can jump right out and fold onto your lap, they can fly off away from you. They can be read from behind to expose and entirely different story with its own new layers of wonderment.

I ragged on Sendak. :-( But that book of his I mentioned is outstanding. Here is Sendak in better form imho, although the more interesting person is Matthew Reinhart.

But here's the top video for that book. And DO NOT click on it or you will die and come back to life just to reek revenge on me for having linked it. Reak reik it. Reke revenge on me xxxxxxx bash my head in and wreak havoc on my brains for those awful green fingernails.

And she features them. OMG I could only last 10 seconds and then I had to have my ears replace and eyeballs dug out to stop the pain. The fucking ugliest hands you ever seen loaded up with cheap ass bling and dragging her green nails agains the hard cardboard like she's totally grooving on her gross-ass Kermit green fingernails sensing texture and making your ears hear it. Ew, I f'n hate long fingernails. So there you go. It probably shows the book really well but I cannot watch it myself. Too bad.

The thing is, it's so cheap. A brand spank'n new one for $18.00 ATTAAP free shipping for Prime customers, but there are even better deals for used books below, divided into two groups for some reason, with different shipping rates.

And if you don't care about new, and I don't care because I like to repair them, and you don't care to use the portal all the time, then Abe books offers an even better deal, book + shipping. They're very reliable.

Just get the book. You'll love it. I'm certain of that. And it does have a good philosophy without all those words.

Astro said...

Relaxing sounds? Too much like fingernails scraped across a chalkboard. I kept waiting for that spine-searing scree.e.e.e.e.k sound, but it never came. Though the waiting was bad enough.

But pop-up books are cool. I knew a guy who flew helicopters in Viet Nam during the war. In later years he liked making pop-up greeting cards. Not two activities I'd expect together. Theraputic maybe.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

mtrobertsattorney said...

Re: someonehastosayit on what he thinks should be the correct title of "The Republic":

I think he is probably confusing Plato's Republic . . .


Nope. I got it exactly right. Did you ever read the book? Hope, for your clients sake (if you ARE a lawyer), you are better at law, than philosophy.

In case you HAVE read the book, and still think I am wrong, why don't you try reading Popper's "The Open Society and Its Enemies - Vol I".

You're welcome.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Re: someonehastosayit and his failure to grasp Plato's philosophy

One good turn deserves another.

To assist you in your struggle to correctly understand Plato, let me recommend R. Levinson's "In Defense of Plato."

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

If you think Plato is still philosophically dispositive, perhaps you should insist your doctor treat you based on the wisdom and remedies of Hippocrates.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Oh, and at least the book I recommended is still readily available in print. :)

wyo sis said...

That video gave me the scalp crawlie shivery thing. I listened to it twice.
Loved it.

Crunchy Frog said...

Is there anything so insipid, so 2012, than Honey Boo Boo?

Crunchy Frog said...
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