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View Poll Results: How long should be given to read each book?
30 Days 7 46.67%
45 Days 5 33.33%
60 Days 2 13.33%
Other (Please Specify) 1 6.67%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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Old December 14th, 2015, 09:00 PM   #21
Kahn
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[*]Each participant is assigned a number on a die and then I roll twice to choose two participants. From there a book is chosen. 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. Let's call that non-simple rotation.
I'm in favor of this method, as everyone participating will get an opportunity to choose a piece of work before someone chooses two themselves.


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I was hoping we'd construct something like this as part of a group effort. So far I have in mind:
  • The work - or sum of works - consist of less than 200 pages. I want to see if we can all get through a 200 page piece before increasing that.
  • I would prefer we excluded pop-material.
  • It's 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.
So for the most part I would prefer academic-orientated pieces that a person of median intelligence - that's us - would be able to handle with perhaps a little work. That's up for discussion here though and I have no problem renegotiating that standard.

Then we've to consider genres.
  • The Humanities. I'm thinking this would entail philosophy, political-philosophy, jurisprudence, classical studies, international relations, history, anthropology.
  • The Social Sciences. Economics, Politics (political-science, political-sociology, political-psychology, [current affairs]), sociology, psychology.
  • Natural Sciences. Literally not a clue about accessible sub-disciplines here. I'll let someone else advise.
That's also biased towards interests of mine. Really I don't think we need a strict guide on what genres we can choose from. The above should be considered as more of a guideline.
As far as a list of criteria goes, I like everything you've proposed here. I read mostly fiction, although I dabble in some social criticism and light philosophy, so I feel I'm not fit for developing the list. You've covered more topics with those three genres than I would have proposed, personally.

As for the Natural Sciences, biology and physics are the two that I'm immediately interested in. Astronomy as well.
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Old December 15th, 2015, 05:15 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Vlerchan
Each participant is assigned a number on a die and then I roll twice to choose two participants. From there a book is chosen. 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. Let's call that non-simple rotation.
This is what I want, so that everyone gets a chance.

Also, the natural sciences, while both their practical use and interest value are indisputable, I do not think are suitable for this project. One can freelance in the humanities, and even a beginner can contribute much, whereas a data based science is much more rigid. There would be much less to say for the previously uninitiated.

"Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things."
-Leo Strauss, Liberalism: Ancient and Modern

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Old December 15th, 2015, 04:04 PM   #23
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Also, the natural sciences, while both their practical use and interest value are indisputable, I do not think are suitable for this project. One can freelance in the humanities, and even a beginner can contribute much, whereas a data based science is much more rigid. There would be much less to say for the previously uninitiated.
Very valid points. I doubt very many of us, if any at all, have a a very deep background concerning the natural sciences. Instruction would be suspect at best.
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Old December 15th, 2015, 04:42 PM   #24
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This is what I want, so that everyone gets a chance.

Also, the natural sciences, while both their practical use and interest value are indisputable, I do not think are suitable for this project. One can freelance in the humanities, and even a beginner can contribute much, whereas a data based science is much more rigid. There would be much less to say for the previously uninitiated.
Archeology, natural history, and even biology have some connection I believe to the humanities. Perhaps instead of certain classifications of knowledge we choose a theme or context to read about. To discard such a huge realm seems inappropriate to me.

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Old December 15th, 2015, 04:45 PM   #25
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Very valid points. I doubt very many of us, if any at all, have a a very deep background concerning the natural sciences. Instruction would be suspect at best.
I've got a pretty thorough background in motion physics, astronomy, and mathematics, and lesser background in biology, particularly evolutionary biology, but even so.

I wonder what we would consider anthropology, though. Data based or theoretical sociology?

@Porpoise101 Obviously biological data or observations can be submitted insofar as they contribute to a point in the social sciences, but they shouldn't be allowed as a topic in themselves (ie a discussion about whether evolution proceeds in steady increments or is a 'punctuated equilibrium').

"Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things."
-Leo Strauss, Liberalism: Ancient and Modern

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Old December 15th, 2015, 07:50 PM   #26
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@Judean Zealot: I'd thought similar on the natural sciences. Least from the experience I had in school it never seemed like a subject that an amateur might be able to jump into at will.

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Originally Posted by Porpoise
Perhaps instead of certain classifications of knowledge we choose a theme or context to read about.
I second a thematic approach. It's a much better than what I suggested on consideration.

---

I'd also agree with Judean Zealot - I believe - that data and observations should be allowed in as supplementaries as opposed to a focus in themselves.

".... the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth, and truth be defamed as lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world - and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end - is being destroyed ... [H.A.]"
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Old December 16th, 2015, 09:07 AM   #27
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I'm for it, and was going to reply till I forgot but was reminded
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Old December 16th, 2015, 10:50 AM   #28
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I'm in.

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Old December 16th, 2015, 03:29 PM   #29
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I have themes in mind.
  • Government and Governance.
  • Culture and Society.
  • Philosophy.
Is that OK? It covers more or less all the basis I described without the pitfalls of specific inclusions or exclusions.

People should also suggested competing themes.

".... the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth, and truth be defamed as lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world - and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end - is being destroyed ... [H.A.]"
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Old December 16th, 2015, 07:51 PM   #30
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@Vlerchan - I'm in.

I'm also not picky about the particular theme or topic. I fully expect to start out having no clue what I'm reading, which is also fine.

[insert joke about starting with Mein Kampf here]

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Old December 16th, 2015, 08:02 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Vlerchan View Post
I have themes in mind.
  • Government and Governance.
  • Culture and Society.
  • Philosophy.
Is that OK? It covers more or less all the basis I described without the pitfalls of specific inclusions or exclusions.

People should also suggested competing themes.
I was just thinking: why not include some more of the less "hard" humanities? I'm talking about something like a comparative study of T.S. Eliot's works or something of the sort. I'm not sure what I think- on the one hand I enjoy that sort of thing (just imagine a discussion over Ezra Pounds Hugh Selwyn Mauberley ), on the other hand, the allegories employed in poetry may be too much for some people.

"Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things."
-Leo Strauss, Liberalism: Ancient and Modern
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Old December 16th, 2015, 09:39 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Judean Zealot View Post
I was just thinking: why not include some more of the less "hard" humanities? I'm talking about something like a comparative study of T.S. Eliot's works or something of the sort. I'm not sure what I think- on the one hand I enjoy that sort of thing (just imagine a discussion over Ezra Pounds Hugh Selwyn Mauberley ), on the other hand, the allegories employed in poetry may be too much for some people.
godmode: Plato's Republic in the original Greek

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Old December 16th, 2015, 09:47 PM   #33
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godmode: Plato's Republic in the original Greek
Unfortunately, Idk Greek. It's on my hit list, for when I finish with my current projects of French and Spanish.

But any Plato would be awesome, I just think I'd probably get more original.

"Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things."
-Leo Strauss, Liberalism: Ancient and Modern
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Old December 17th, 2015, 07:22 PM   #34
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It's a good idea and I would like to participate.

We could perhaps start on New Year's Day.
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Old December 18th, 2015, 01:44 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Vlerchan View Post
I have themes in mind.
  • Government and Governance.
  • Culture and Society.
  • Philosophy.
Is that OK? It covers more or less all the basis I described without the pitfalls of specific inclusions or exclusions.

People should also suggested competing themes.
Would "Law" fall under "Government and Governance" and/or "Culture and Society"?
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Old December 18th, 2015, 02:58 AM   #36
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Would "Law" fall under "Government and Governance" and/or "Culture and Society"?
Governance, at least if we're talking about the law itself. If we examine the development of particular laws as a manifestation of a sort of national evolution, however, it would probably fall under "society"

Edit: Any thoughts anybody on allowing or disallowing discussion on English poetry?

"Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things."
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Old December 18th, 2015, 02:23 PM   #37
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Would "Law" fall under "Government and Governance" and/or "Culture and Society"?
I'm in agreement with Judean Zealot. Law itself - inc. the likes of comparative law - would fall within Government and Governance and Sociolegal studies would fall within 'Culture and Society'. Then Jurisprudence would fall under philosophy.

What sort of law do you have in mind though?

---

I'd also imagine Government and Governance to include the natural sciences insofar as this relates to questions of public-policy. What's the thoughts on that? It narrows the field to what I'd hope would be more accessibly formatted material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judean Zealot
Any thoughts anybody on allowing or disallowing discussion on English poetry?
I'm just not sure. Perhaps it's just academic-snobbery (it almost certainly is) but I'm not so inclined to see poetry as furthering knowledge in the same sense the other mentioned disciplines do.

---

For reference the suggestions I made surrounding themes and rotation is going to sit there as a 'suggest otherwise or forever hold your piece' thing. If people could raise all their issues now please.

On timeframes. Looking at the results I'm considering two options as compromises.
  • The more simple option is that the timeframe is 5 weeks.
  • The more complicated option is that there is two timeframes. The first group reads a work a month. The second group reads a work each two months - the work being the earlier work of group one in that period.

    Thus group 2 joins in on every second discussion.
I'd put up a poll if I could. Thoughts though?

".... the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth, and truth be defamed as lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world - and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end - is being destroyed ... [H.A.]"
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Old December 18th, 2015, 02:40 PM   #38
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I'm in agreement with Judean Zealot. Law itself - inc. the likes of comparative law - would fall within Government and Governance and Sociolegal studies would fall within 'Culture and Society'. Then Jurisprudence would fall under philosophy.

What sort of law do you have in mind though?
I'm interested in learning about the development of American law since the inception of the United States.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlerchan View Post
I'd also imagine Government and Governance to include the natural sciences insofar as this relates to questions of public-policy. What's the thoughts on that? It narrows the field to what I'd hope would be more accessibly formatted material.
Makes sense.

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Originally Posted by Vlerchan View Post
I'm just not sure. Perhaps it's just academic-snobbery (it almost certainly is) but I'm not so inclined to see poetry as furthering knowledge in the same sense the other mentioned disciplines do.
I'd be alright with studying poetry, though it doesn't offer much in the way of practical value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlerchan View Post
On timeframes. Looking at the results I'm considering two options as compromises.
  • The more simple option is that the timeframe is 5 weeks.
  • The more complicated option is that there is two timeframes. The first group reads a work a month. The second group reads a work each two months - the work being the earlier work of group one in that period.

    Thus group 2 joins in on every second discussion.
I'd put up a poll if I could. Thoughts though?
I like the simple method of everyone reading it in 5 weeks. Simplicity is just, simpler. Those who can and desire to participate will participate.
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Old December 18th, 2015, 02:50 PM   #39
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Quote:
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I'm just not sure. Perhaps it's just academic-snobbery (it almost certainly is) but I'm not so inclined to see poetry as furthering knowledge in the same sense the other mentioned disciplines do.
I'm in agreement here: you know my position on the arts. I just don't see how the fact that poetry doesn't further knowledge as relevant to a recreational reading group.

"Absolute tolerance is altogether impossible; the allegedly absolute tolerance turns into ferocious hatred of those who have stated clearly and most forcefully that there are unchangeable standards founded in the nature of man and the nature of things."
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Old December 18th, 2015, 03:08 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by Oakheart
I'm interested in learning about the development of American law since the inception of the United States.
I also wouldn't mind this [even if I'm Irish]. Law is a real interesting way to study a nation's history [I'm a law student].

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judean Zealot
I just don't see how the fact that poetry doesn't further knowledge as relevant to a recreational reading group.
I won't deny this. There's no specific reason to exclude it other than it having gone against the spirit of the criterion so far [which is so vague I wouldn't blame anyone for outright rejecting it].

".... the result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth, and truth be defamed as lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world - and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end - is being destroyed ... [H.A.]"
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