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Vlerchan
December 20th, 2015, 07:12 PM
Or Just: The VT Reading Group

I first discussed this project in this (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/showthread.php?t=2023312) suggestions thread. You can pop into that thread to read the discussion. It's intended for academic works under the headings of:
Government and Governance.
Culture and Society.
Philosophy.
These are broad areas and are open to some amount of interpretation. That's the point. There will be one work read each five week period and the effort will culminate in a separate thread and discussion. The discussion will last as long as it needs to. There is some restrictions on choosing the works. These are as follows.
The work - or sum of works - consist of less than 200 pages. This condition is open to alteration.
The work is written in or translated to English.
Books that excessive use of allegorical or esoteric techniques are avoided because the average participant isn't going to have a clue what's happening.
There is a preference for non-pop material.
Highly technical material is to be included as supplementaries and not as the main focus.
So for the most part I would prefer English-language academic-orientated pieces that a person of median intelligence - that's us - would be able to handle with perhaps a little work.

The person that selects the works will be chosen through a combination of lottery and democracy. Each participant is assigned a number on a die and then I roll twice to choose two participants. Each participant selects a work and we vote on the one we read. People will PM me their votes. The 'loser' is then placed back into the pot and I repeat the process until some round n whereas each person has a turn choosing the book. Then we start again. I will - below - list the people who are in the pool. This list will be updated as required.

Otherwise I'll be acting as chairperson and facilitating events. That means I'll be doing the dice-rolling and announcements and so on.

The current pair selected to nominate a work of their choice are:
@Oakheart
@Popoise101
Because it's the holidays selection can occur until the 28/12/2015 and voting continues until the night (GMT) of the 01/01/2016.

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@Vlerchan
@Paraxiom
@JudeanZealot
@phuckphace
@Uniquemind
@Oakheart
@Porpoise101
@Microcosm
@Salad_Baby
@Reise
@Abhorrence
@mai-rin
@Zac The Zebra
@Melodic
@xdanosaurx
@lliam
@kissban
@aEON

Kahn
December 21st, 2015, 12:53 AM
My nomination is Neil Postman's The Disappearance of Childhood.

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRHH9ItcD0P1G0EofkDAlCam6aPqSZFzmxdkgJM8YskqKkFSGH7

"In The Disappearance of Childhood Neil Postman persuasively mobilizes the insights of psychology, history, semantics, McLuhanology, and common sense on behalf of his astonishing and original thesis. And it's fun to read, too."

From the vogue for nubile models to the the explosion of juvenile crime rate, this modern classic of social history and media traces the precipitous decline of childhood in America today- and the corresponding threat to the notion of adulthood.

Deftly marshaling a vast array of historical and demographic research, Neil Postman, author of Technopoly, suggests that childhood is a relatively recent invention, which came into being as the new medium of print imposed divisions between children and adults. But now these divisions are eroding under the barrage of television, which turns the adults secrets of sex and violence into popular entertainment and pitches both new and advertising at the intellectual level of ten-year-olds.

Informative, alarming, and aphoristic, The Disappearance of Childhood is a triumph of history and prophecy.

"Postman uses cogent arguments, sharp needles and gentle humor to challenge readers."

Judean Zealot
December 21st, 2015, 01:00 AM
How many pages, and is it available as a PDF?

Kahn
December 21st, 2015, 01:03 AM
How many pages, and is it available as a PDF?

177 pages including the index and notes.

You can purchase the book digitally here, (http://www.amazon.com/The-Disappearance-Childhood-Neil-Postman/dp/0679751661) I don't know where a free pdf version is available. I own a paperback copy of the book. I'm sure local libraries carry it, for those who use that resource.

I wouldn't go and purchase it until a work is chosen though (unless you plan to read both nominations).

Vlerchan
December 21st, 2015, 07:37 AM
[..] and is it available as a PDF?
I had a look around - inc. on less reputable sites - and couldn't find a PDF.

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I also read Technopoly by either yourself or phuckphace's suggestion. Didn't find myself coming away with much agreement but it had me thinking.

Judean Zealot
December 21st, 2015, 08:35 AM
I had a look around - inc. on less reputable sites - and couldn't find a PDF.

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I also read Technopoly by either yourself or phuckphace's suggestion. Didn't find myself coming away with much agreement but it had me thinking.

Not mine, I'm no Luddite. I've read it too. Although I do believe some of his points applicable to social media, it didn't give me any fresh ideas.

Kahn
December 21st, 2015, 03:19 PM
I also read Technopoly by either yourself or phuckphace's suggestion. Didn't find myself coming away with much agreement but it had me thinking.

It was on my suggestion. I'm glad it was thought provoking.

Not mine, I'm no Luddite. I've read it too. Although I do believe some of his points applicable to social media, it didn't give me any fresh ideas.

I'm no luditte either. From what I've read of Postman, he's not opposed to the advances of technology, though alert to both the consequences (which are far too often overlooked) and benefits of its perpetual improvement. Instead, I believe he advocates careful examination of why we're taking the direction we're taking with technology, today.

Judean Zealot
December 21st, 2015, 03:34 PM
It was on my suggestion. I'm glad it was thought provoking.



I'm no luditte either. From what I've read of Postman, he's not opposed to the advances of technology, though alert to both the consequences (which are far too often overlooked) and benefits of its perpetual improvement. Instead, I believe he advocates careful examination of why we're taking the direction we're taking with technology, today.

That's what he says, but his tone struck me as more radical.

Either way, the subject matter you've chosen in something I have thoughts on, so it should be interesting. Let's just see what Porpoise101 presents. :P

Vlerchan
December 21st, 2015, 03:45 PM
That's what he says, but his tone struck me as more radical.
I got this this impression too. Whilst he presents himself as a wide-eyed moderate his rhetoric seemed laced with more technophobic sentiments.

I also found a PDF for Postman's Technopoly (https://mafhom.files.wordpress.com/2013/06/technopoly-neil-postman.pdf) for those looking to give his writing a look before deciding.

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I also meant 'yourself' to refer to Oakheart above. Though why I thought that was sensible is beyond me reading back.

Porpoise101
December 21st, 2015, 10:24 PM
Does it have to be fiction or nonfiction? I have an idea in mind but it is probably fictional but it fits within culture and society.

Kahn
December 22nd, 2015, 01:36 AM
Does it have to be fiction or nonfiction? I have an idea in mind but it is probably fictional but it fits within culture and society.

From the suggestions (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/showpost.php?p=3273188&postcount=1) thread.

I mean for this to focus around non-fiction works.

Judean Zealot
December 22nd, 2015, 03:38 AM
From the suggestions (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/showpost.php?p=3273188&postcount=1) thread.

What I wonder is if that extends to works such as Animal Farm (George Orwell) and Utopia (Thomas More). Technically speaking, the books are fictional, but they're clearly written to express an idea.

Kahn
December 22nd, 2015, 03:46 AM
What I wonder is if that extends to works such as Animal Farm (George Orwell) and Utopia (Thomas More). Technically speaking, the books are fictional, but they're clearly written to express an idea.

Speaking for myself, I'd like to stick to pure non-fiction. However, I wouldn't be opposed to reading a fictional piece that was written with that objective in mind, we're it voted for by the majority of readers.

Porpoise101
December 22nd, 2015, 12:02 PM
Ok in that case here is my suggestion: *Chaldea: From the Earliest Times to the Rise of Assyria

It is an archeological report on one of the oldest civilisations. Not only is the subject matter interesting, but also the style of writing. It's actually quite opinionated for a report and it can be even funny at times. I think it's important to read it though because it puts us in the mind of a man 100 years ago discovering something really new to them. It's on Gutenberg
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24654/24654-h/24654-h.htm

Judean Zealot
December 22nd, 2015, 12:58 PM
Vlerchan

With both nominations in, perhaps we can cut straight to the polling?

Vlerchan
December 22nd, 2015, 03:44 PM
Chaldea: From the Earliest Times to the Rise of Assyria
That looks real interesting but I was hoping to keep the length of each work to below 200 pages [the one chosen is about 350 pp.]. That is - at least to start and we figure out what people are capable of reading.

Is there any others that you might want to nominate?

Technically speaking, the books are fictional, but they're clearly written to express an idea.
I'd been considering allowing books in that have a clear philosophical idea underlining the content. Though the difficult place would be where this might begin and end. Unlike with a fiction/non-fiction divide it's a lot more ambiguous.

However like Oakheart I wouldn't be against reading something clearly intended to be a philosophical work if it was voted in.

Porpoise101
December 22nd, 2015, 03:51 PM
That looks real interesting but I was hoping to keep the length of each work to below 200 pages [the one chosen is about 350 pp.]. That is - at least to start and we figure out what people are capable of reading.

Ok I found something that may be good. It is about the Yoruba people in Nigeria nowadays. The text is 700+ pages but we could read part 1. This part discusses the language, customs, and traditions. I think that would work because it is about 130 pages. It's on the internet archive which has millions of free stuff. https://archive.org/details/historyofyorubas00john

Judean Zealot
December 22nd, 2015, 04:07 PM
We seem to be having difficulty with this first time. Perhaps, if Porpoise101 Oakheart find this agreeable of course, Vlerchan, as chairman of the project, should run the first month. The currently selected candidates will have a month to work through their nominations.

Edit: we seem to have two nominations now.

TeenSpectral
December 23rd, 2015, 04:16 AM
Great idea, i like it

phuckphace
December 23rd, 2015, 08:21 AM
I joined this mainly because I'm not very well read at all and figured you guys can introduce me to some interesting material - basically this means I'll be following along with whatever is nominated but more than likely won't be nominating anything myself.

Judean Zealot
December 23rd, 2015, 03:41 PM
I joined this mainly because I'm not very well read at all and figured you guys can introduce me to some interesting material - basically this means I'll be following along with whatever is nominated but more than likely won't be nominating anything myself.

I'll get you something fun. :D

Vlerchan
December 24th, 2015, 08:36 AM
The Disappearance of Childhood.
History of Yorubas.
Ok. That's our two nominated works. I'm still giving people until the end of the month to nominate a work being that most posters are celebrating Christmas. To cast a vote PM me the name of the preferred work and then at the end I'll count up all the votes.

I'd set up a poll in-thread but I'm unable to alter choices for the next round so that's a non-runner.

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I'm also having issues with my broadband at the moment so if there's question on the procedure or anything I'll get to them if not straight away.

Judean Zealot
December 25th, 2015, 07:48 AM
Vlerchan. We should draw next month's candidates from now, so they have a month to decide.

Vlerchan
December 28th, 2015, 11:39 AM
We should draw next month's candidates from now, so they have a month to decide.
Sorry. Forgot to respond.

The issue is that we don't have the pool to draw next month's candidates from until we decide the work for this month.

Kahn
January 1st, 2016, 02:22 PM
Where is voting at, currently?

Judean Zealot
January 1st, 2016, 03:15 PM
Where is voting at, currently?When Vlerchan gets over his hangover he can tell us. :P

Vlerchan
January 1st, 2016, 03:34 PM
Voting's finished. Thanks for voting, whoever did. Turnout was higher than I'd expected which was real nice to see. Counting up all the votes the winner was Postman's Disappearance of Childhood which participants have until the 04/02 to read.

I also rolled to see who would be next up and those are Uniquemind and Abhorrence. Yous have until the end of the 28/01 to choose a work for election.

When @Vlerchan gets over his hangover he can tell us.
For however bad I was this morning it's 8.30 pm Irish time and my younger brother's still in bed.

I'd like to think I'm quite fine in comparison :P.

Uniquemind
January 1st, 2016, 03:40 PM
I pick "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael pollen.

There is an audiobook version available on iTunes.

But it is a traditional book and probably an ebook.

Microcosm
January 3rd, 2016, 12:57 AM
It's great to hear that there will be many people participating.

Edit: Vlerchan, when do you suppose a discussion thread should be formed? I'm kind of eager to see some opinions on the first parts of the book I've already read(I'm on chapter 3, now).