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 Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?

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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:21 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
That sounds like a good choice for a book. I'm not sure about the idea of direct Democracy but I definitely think it should be tried and explored. There is also the 'herd mentality' as well. We kinda saw what happened with the Celtic Tiger, house prices and panic buying - I think this could have been an example of panic and herd mentality. This could be very dangerous.

A mild example of vilification as a result of herdish exploitation has been the quarantining of short sellers too - these are people who tend to want prices to fall. Even though there is a possibility that they can organise and collaborate, this can also be done by those who want shares and prices to rise. Therefore it's not fair if there's a yang but the yin is locked in jail.

It shows perhaps that a select group could manipulate a crowd mentality. Again, the crowd is by and large correct if given the correct information - it behaves like a mechanism without bias - but if the information is skewed towards an end then it might behave like a mechanism gone bananas ...

You've got it. I'm still reading the book, but I think that information flow is an very important. Thats why I think transpareny is of utmost importance. Thats why I think that the obfusication displayed by the government(discussed in the Next emergency budget thread) towards the opposition is so reprehensible.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:21 pm

Aragon wrote:
905 wrote:
What's this strange obsession with reading oudated nonsense like Marx and Smith? Why don't we all start with the Bible and be done with it? There is an alarming amount of idealism on this site and I won't stand for it.

Might I suggest something recent, realistic and practical: Chris Patten!

905, have [you] actually noticed what is happening in the world of economics lately? Marx has never been so relevant! Smile There is no obsession, just an interest in understanding one of the most influential and original thinkers of the last two centuries.

The idea of a non fiction book is nice though.
I've noticed that there's a MIDDLE-CLASS. Hindsight's great but he should have seen that coming. Besides Marxist-inspired economies haven't done a whole lot better in the greater scheme of things. Incidentally I've just read a little quip by Keynes (who, in fairness, would be my fall-back economist) who claimed that pragmatic untheoretical types such as myself are merely under the spell of long dead theorists.

I read that in a book I've just started called 'Differently Irish', which is largely about Vietnamese-Irish identity; it's a bit niche but what about it? It's also only fair to point out that a lecturer of mine wrote it so I might be biased on this one.

By the way, I thought this book-club was non-fiction anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sat Dec 13, 2008 3:57 pm

Sorry, I've been slacking on a winter Book Club choice. With Christmas break coming and a lot of long dark evening left, is there anyone who would be interested in getting stuck into a book with related chat?

There was a poster yesterday who said he/she had hundreds of on-line books - who was it now ??
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:59 pm

"Angler" by Barton Gellman.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:44 pm

So - suggested books are

"Angler", Barton Gellman - Recommended by Slim Buddha
"Capital", Karl Marx - Recommended by Aragon
Chris Patten's book - sorry 905, don't remember the name of it - Recommended by 905
James Surowiecki - "The Wisdom of Crowds" - Recommended by Respvblica
and Robert Harris's "Conspiracy" - Recommended by Ard Taoiseach.

I would read any of them. Would any of the nominators be prepared to follow through by talking their book through in a weekly session?
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:21 pm

cactus flower wrote:
So - suggested books are

"Angler", Barton Gellman - Recommended by Slim Buddha
"Capital", Karl Marx - Recommended by Aragon
Chris Patten's book - sorry 905, don't remember the name of it - Recommended by 905
James Surowiecki - "The Wisdom of Crowds" - Recommended by Respvblica
and Robert Harris's "Conspiracy" - Recommended by Ard Taoiseach.

I would read any of them. Would any of the nominators be prepared to follow through by talking their book through in a weekly session?

That is a big ask, cactus. Shocked This book, more than any other I have read in recent times, left me really unsettled. The last days of this administration are being played out against a backdrop of a ruined economy, rising unemployment and the distinct possibility of the USA going into Depression and......what does the White House do? It uses the Detroit debate as a smokescreen while it introduces "midnight rules". These are regulations which will be difficult for Obama to remove when he is in power. Disgusting. The worst administration in living memory.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/14/george-bush-midnight-regulations
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:27 pm

Slim Buddha wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
So - suggested books are

"Angler", Barton Gellman - Recommended by Slim Buddha
"Capital", Karl Marx - Recommended by Aragon
Chris Patten's book - sorry 905, don't remember the name of it - Recommended by 905
James Surowiecki - "The Wisdom of Crowds" - Recommended by Respvblica
and Robert Harris's "Conspiracy" - Recommended by Ard Taoiseach.

I would read any of them. Would any of the nominators be prepared to follow through by talking their book through in a weekly session?

That is a big ask, cactus. Shocked This book, more than any other I have read in recent times, left me really unsettled. The last days of this administration are being played out against a backdrop of a ruined economy, rising unemployment and the distinct possibility of the USA going into Depression and......what does the White House do? It uses the Detroit debate as a smokescreen while it introduces "midnight rules". These are regulations which will be difficult for Obama to remove when he is in power. Disgusting. The worst administration in living memory.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/dec/14/george-bush-midnight-regulations

If Obama's any good he'll get the whole lot overturned starting the minute he gets into office.

Fianna Fail's speciality is stuffing Boards full of its own people just before leaving office.

A government is a government. If it finds legacy legislation that cuts across its strategy then that has to be dealt with.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:31 pm

Problem facing Obama is that the Government in America does not control the legislature to the same extent as in Ireland. Of course that is a good thing 99% of the time.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:38 pm

I wonder is there a book on Obama that people would like to read - or even the book by Obama?
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:40 pm

That could be an interesting run into his Presidence. I think we have all his books here but I haven't read any of them. Could spur me on to do so.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:56 pm

johnfás wrote:
That could be an interesting run into his Presidence. I think we have all his books here but I haven't read any of them. Could spur me on to do so.

Is there one that looks like a good read?
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:05 pm

I'll take them off the shelf this evening and have a look to see which one I think looks the best.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:02 pm

johnfás wrote:
I'll take them off the shelf this evening and have a look to see which one I think looks the best.

"Angler" is a very depressing read. You will almost feel some sympathy for Dubya at the end.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:04 pm

Ah I don't think Dubya is a demon. I have sympathy for some of the strangest people and the fantastical (and fanatical) conundrums which they get themselves into and thereafter continue to dig into.

My opinion on his policies is an altogether different matter.
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:07 pm

johnfás wrote:
Ah I don't think Dubya is a demon. I have sympathy for some of the strangest people and the fantastical (and fanatical) conundrums which they get themselves into and thereafter continue to dig into.

My opinion on his policies is an altogether different matter.

George Bush has just finished a whistle stop tour of Iraq - a "Farewell Tour". In one of the meetings, a man threw a shoe at him, and was dragged out screaming in rage (Fox News reported).
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PostSubject: Re: Book Club Winter Choices - Your Suggestions Please ?   Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:11 pm

Not surprising, you ever see them tazing the lad who shouted at John Kerry? If only that facility had been available in my day in UCD when we had to listen to Richard Waghorne at the L & H.
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PostSubject: Obama's books   Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:17 pm

cactus flower wrote:
johnfás wrote:
That could be an interesting run into his Presidence. I think we have all his books here but I haven't read any of them. Could spur me on to do so.

Is there one that looks like a good read?

Dreams from my Father is a great read even without an interest in American politics. A personal memoir of his search for identity. Interesting to compare with identity politics in the campaign.
Audacity of Hope is more a political manifesto, with individually great chapters such as the ones on race and faith. It also has insights into the fundraising pressures and lobbying groups from his Illinois senatorial campaign. Would be good to re-read after the event if I can get it back from the person what borrowed it. (Must see if Blagojevich is mentioned.) Either would be good choices though the first is a must.
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