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 Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?

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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 9:57 pm

Fixed. !

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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 10:00 pm

*WARNING* Do not enter this thread fresh from an Sibín Reoite!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 10:01 pm

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy LMHO A-T.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 10:06 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy LMHO A-T.

I thought it better be said, since my head is being wrecked looking at those screen-shots, and I'm sober! God help someone looking at those drunk!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Tue May 27, 2008 10:08 pm

EvotingMachine0197 wrote:
Fixed. !


I'm dyslexic, it made more sense to me the other way!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:14 am

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
*WARNING* Do not enter this thread fresh from an Sibín Reoite!
Very Happy




http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Deception-Secret-History-European/dp/082647652X

Quote :

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book deciphering the enigma of the EU, 8 Jul 2005
By Campbell Griffith (Westerham, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I found the book totally absorbing with its clear explanation of this extremely important and complex subject that is usually confused by coded Euro-speak. Such a well written and researched work leading to compelling conclusions is a pleasure to read and revisit.

The results of the recent Referendums in France and The Netherlands in conjunction with subsequent events show how sound the authors are in their analyses and arguments. Some people may be confused by the odd reactions of the political elite of the European Union to the 'No' votes. This book explains the origins and culture of the EU which makes it easier to understand the detachment of the Euro elite from the norms of democracy.

Having read university law degree modules on UK and EC constitutional law I was intrigued by a paradox. The general lack of knowledge and discussion of the development of the EU exists in spite of the fact that it increasingly controls our lives standing in place of many of the previous functions of the UK Parliament. But the British people have not been consulted in a Referendum since 1975. How can this be in a liberal democracy?

Furthermore, anyone who criticises the EU seems generally to be labelled 'Eurosceptic' which implies the critic is innately biased against European people (xenophobic even) and is incapable of forming a balanced and objective opinion. This strategy seems designed to prevent open debate and, if so, it has been extremely successful. But, why are discussion and dissent so discouraged in a liberal democracy?

'The Great Deception' fills a void in current public literature on the subject by explaining how the EU has evolved by stealth and the unswerving dedication of its original founders: Arthur Salter and Jean Monnet. Democracy was distrusted and politicians were despised. The ingenious solution was to devise a self perpetuating secretive supranational bureaucracy that would construct the United States of Europe by slowly acquiring powers from the nation states by a process of osmosis. Bureaucrats would lead the way.

Exactly what the goal is eludes definition as the 'European project' is a path to the United States of Europe which is constantly reinvented when it meets resistance and is protected by myths and metamorphosis. The "Monnet method" eschews public discussion that would inconveniently lead to seeking a democratic mandate; referendums so often go wrong.

The book explains how the façade of democracy hides the activities of the law making process in the EU. The unelected Commission has the exclusive right to initiate new laws - which is a key to development control. It is supported by the powerful bureaucratic 'high priests' of the Committee of the Permanent Representatives (Coreper) who organise the highly complex process of drafting and promoting new legislation. The proposed new laws are often little understood by others including ministers and the parliaments of nation states. Indeed, the UK House of Commons Committee that decides what EU legislation can be discussed by MPs even meets in secret.

A senior Government Minister tells us that the Constitutional Treaty is "Just a tidying up exercise". If that is the case, the result of the Referendums in France and The Netherlands can be interpreted as rejecting the current consolidated EU Treaties as they stand. But, yet the discredited and unaccountable organisation goes on regardless - business as usual. The book will assist in understanding this strange phenomenon.

The long and awkward gestation of the EU is charted with its successes and failures described in some depth and detail. The Chapter on 'Why de Gaulle Kept Britain Out' is illuminating and the Chapter on 'The Real Deceit of Edward Heath' is profoundly shocking. The trials and tribulations of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Tony Blair are depicted in colourful detail that I found fascinating and informative. I had always been perplexed by some EU related events and this book painted in many missing parts of the picture for me.

I would recommend this book to everyone and in particular to the so called Euro-philes who may find it a blinding light on the road to a better balanced understanding. It certainly should be placed in every public library and place of learning in order to give everyone an opportunity to discover how they are governed. If there is a text which puts forward the contrary view with such cogent clarity I would like to see it on the shelf too but most Euro-philes seem oddly silent.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:16 am

ibis' and Edo's reaction to this book could be interesting.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:18 am

Another one which I have collecting dust


Amazon

Quote :
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars You don't need to be an economist to read this book., 18 April 2000

By A Customer
'How economic growth has enriched the few, impoverished the many and endangered the planet.'

This is an excellent book, clearly written so that those of us not familiar with the world of economics can follow the author's arguments with ease. Richard Douthwaite shows us the proof that undirected, economic growth leads to unemployment, breakdown of family life, soaring crime rates and environmental destruction. It stands to reason that infinite growth cannot occur in a finite world, but that fact is exactly what most governments seem to ignore. Accordingly, they set their economic policies in motion as if there were no tomorrow. The introduction starts with a quote from Kenneth Boulding which states 'Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist' sets the tone for the rest of the book. The mind boggles at the shortsightedness of those who direct the world's economy. This book is a fascinating look at the nature of capitalism and whether or not continued economic growth is realistically or even morally feasible. It'll make you think. A must read.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:24 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis' and Edo's reaction to this book could be interesting.
Indeed

Exactly.

That second one you've pulled up is good as well. Itdeals with one of the major things any good Economics textbook will have, ie, the limitations of National Income statistics.

I, personally, believe that we can indeed have virtually infinite economic growth through the transformational process of technological innovation. All else is Malthusian scare-mongering which has been successively proven to be wrong in the way in which the overall standard of living for humanity is, overall, on a constant upward path.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:37 am

What's National Income statistics? Maybe you should give us a crash course before I open that yoke. I also think we can have unlimited growth of a sort - land, energy and space (personal) as well as availability of expertise will always be limited but other stuff - music, film, software etc. is literally infinitely producible if that's a word. Once created initially of course. As the world is built on the Net and computers these days, software is the new oil and it is infinitely reproducible. That's the word. Through this man's ideas, a book which won't ever be on this club unless yourself and Zhou want a go.

Sorry the image is bad, it's just that there's so much dust ... (have you read/read about this stuff?)
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:59 am

Auditor #9 wrote:
What's National Income statistics?

I will post a thread soon on the topic, I did do something similar on Perfect Competition and Monopoloy, I must give another economics lecture again, I just love a perfectly inelastic supply curve!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 11:14 am

Aaargh. affraid I wish I had read that one about the EU in time to decide how to vote.

So many good books, so little time. Shocked I think I must draw up a short list today so that people will be able to get hold of a book in the next two weeks. But perhaps people will carry on using this thread to make suggestions and talk about books they have read.

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 11:48 am

Auditor #9 wrote:



How about reviews from someone not flogging the book?
http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-156054199.html - some praise but largely critical.
http://www.free-europe.org/blog/?itemid=301 Generally quite positive.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 pm

Agh indeed, too many good books.

... I'm going to retreat into Richard Mabey's Nature Cure and recharge, before tackling Ard-T's economics stuff.

http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/biography/0,6121,1406253,00.html


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Nature-Cure-Richard-Mabey/dp/0701176016

(has it's faults, as the Amazon reviewers point out).
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 12:11 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis' and Edo's reaction to this book could be interesting.
Indeed

Exactly.

That second one you've pulled up is good as well. Itdeals with one of the major things any good Economics textbook will have, ie, the limitations of National Income statistics.

I, personally, believe that we can indeed have virtually infinite economic growth through the transformational process of technological innovation. All else is Malthusian scare-mongering which has been successively proven to be wrong in the way in which the overall standard of living for humanity is, overall, on a constant upward path.

Ellul's The Technological Society deals with this comprehensively from another perspective. He demonstrates very well how technology destroys the socoilogical structures of civilisation. In fairness to him he is clear that there is no way back and the damage cannot be reversed.

Essentially he points out that when technological methods and advances are introduced to a country such as in Asia or Africa, the methods demand total adherence in every aspect of a person's life in including in the areas of production working and living. Technology seeks to create an environment which is conducive to technology flourishing including a technological conscience amongst a mass atomized society. All the sociological back-up which people had previously is wiped away (cites UNESCO). This is a function of technological advance under communist rule as well as under communist rule. The west had a slow lead in of approximately 200 years and yet technology is still causing the breakdown of western sociological civilisation (cites western scholars acceptnce of the end of many classical sociological structures).

The effect on the developing nations has been overnight. The lightning quick change from local and community governance to central goverrnance aimed at technological progress has created a situation where these countries can only be kept functioning by totalitarian dictatorship or else they sink into anarchy (cites examples in Africa and Asia).

Another intersting point he makes is that with technological progress society inevitably breaks up into its component parts, i.e. individuals and different interests, but communities do not re-form. This was written in the sixties, before DARPAnet or any of that jazz. It certainly gives you another perspective when you read Microtrends (a good, fun book) which is essentially an american politicians handbook on how to identify the component parts and how to target them for votes.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 12:13 pm

This is the "Long List"- anything with a 1 next to it has been mentioned by more than one person.

We will be shortly asking for your vote on a book that you would like to read and discuss on Sunday evenings at the MN Book Club.

INTERNATIONAL POLITICS
Tariq Ali – The Book of Saladin or The Clash of Fundamentalism
Chris Patten - Not Quite the Diplomat 1
Samantha Power – A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide 1
Tim Butcher Blood River – A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart
Shirin Abadi – Iran Awakening
Dahr Jamail – Beyond the Green Zone
Charles Brandt - I Hear You Paint Houses
Martin Meredith - The State of Africa

IRISH AND EUROPEAN POLITICS
Christopher Booker and Richard North – The Great Deception – The Secret History of the EU
Jonathon Powell – Book on Northern Ireland ?

PHILOSOPHY, ETHICS, RELIGION
Jacques Ellul – The Technological Society
Chris Hitchens- God is Not Great – How Religion Poisons Everything
Gilles Kepel - Jihad – The Trail of Political Islam
Richard Mabey - Nature Cure

HISTORY
Tom Holland – Rubicon 1

MEDIA
Mohammed El-Nawawy, Adel Iskandar Al-Jazeerah - The Story of a Network

CULTURE
Alex Ross – The Rest is Noise
Richard Sennett – The Craftsmen 1

ECONOMICS and SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Fareed Zakaria – The Post American World
Parag Khanna – The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order
David Strahan - The Last Oil Shock
Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine 1 1
Richard Douthwaite – The Growth Illusion 11
W Brian Arthur Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy
James Howard Kunstler - The Long Emergency
Joseph Stiglitz – Globalization and its Discontents or “Making Globalisation Work”. 1

SCIENCE, AGRICULTURE and THE NATURAL WORLD
Mary Roach – Stiff
Lee Smolin The Trouble With Physics
Mark Kurlansky – Salt and Cod, a Biography 1
John Reader – Propitious Esculent: The Potato in World History


Last edited by 905 on Wed May 28, 2008 12:25 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Added The State of Africa)
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 12:26 pm

I added a '1' to Making Globalisation Work on the list.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 1:26 pm

How do we shortlist it now? Everyone put up their best ten then we'll see how they overlap?

I've picked some below but will have to research a bit about the others which I'll do later when I get some time. Could we do this by the weekend, Friday or Saturday then leave the vote there for a week or would you want to start voting sooner and leave it there for shorter period of time? Collapse ends Sunday week but then there's another week after that to begin The Trouble with Physics or whatever.

cactus flower wrote:
This is the "Long List"- anything with a 1 next to it has been mentioned by more than one person.

We will be shortly asking for your vote on a book that you would like to read and discuss on Sunday evenings at the MN Book Club.

Christopher Booker and Richard North – The Great Deception – The Secret History of the EU
David Strahan - The Last Oil Shock
Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine 1 1
Richard Douthwaite – The Growth Illusion 11
Joseph Stiglitz – Globalization and its Discontents or “Making Globalisation Work”. 1
Lee Smolin The Trouble With Physics
Mark Kurlansky – Salt [and Cod??], a Biography 1
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 1:40 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
How do we shortlist it now? Everyone put up their best ten then we'll see how they overlap?

I've picked some below but will have to research a bit about the others which I'll do later when I get some time. Could we do this by the weekend, Friday or Saturday then leave the vote there for a week or would you want to start voting sooner and leave it there for shorter period of time? Collapse ends Sunday week but then there's another week after that to begin The Trouble with Physics or whatever.

cactus flower wrote:
This is the "Long List"- anything with a 1 next to it has been mentioned by more than one person.

We will be shortly asking for your vote on a book that you would like to read and discuss on Sunday evenings at the MN Book Club.

Christopher Booker and Richard North – The Great Deception – The Secret History of the EU
David Strahan - The Last Oil Shock
Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine 1 1
Richard Douthwaite – The Growth Illusion 11
Joseph Stiglitz – Globalization and its Discontents or “Making Globalisation Work”. 1
Lee Smolin The Trouble With Physics
Mark Kurlansky – Salt [and Cod??], a Biography 1

Chris Patten - Not Quite the Diplomat 1
Samantha Power – A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide 1


Tom Holland – Rubicon 1
Richard Sennett – The Craftsmen 1
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 1:44 pm

Is the time up for nominating other books? Here's my ten based on the list so far:
1. Not Quite The Diplomat - obviously.
2. Iran Awakening
3. A problem From Hell
4. The Shock Doctrine
5. The Post-American World
6. Salt, a Biography
7.The craftsmen
8.Clash of Fundamentalism
9.The Great Deception
10. Making Globalisation Work
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:00 pm

And here is my 10 based on range and popularity so far - I am suggesting pairing some of the books on some themes so that Book Club people could read either or both and discuss them together. In no particular order

1. Christopher Booker and Richard North – The Great Deception – The Secret History of the EU

2. David Strahan - The Last Oil Shock

3. Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine 1 1

4. x 2 books on Economics
Richard Douthwaite – The Growth Illusion 11
Joseph Stiglitz – Globalization and its Discontents or “Making Globalisation Work”. 1

5. Lee Smolin - The Trouble With Physics

6. x 2 books on the influence of food on history:
Mark Kurlansky – Salt and Cod, a Biography 1

7. x 2 books on diplomacy - realpolitik
Chris Patten - Not Quite the Diplomat 1
Samantha Power – A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide 1

8. Tom Holland – Rubicon 1

9. Richard Sennett – The Craftsmen 1

10. Tariq Ali - Clash of Fundamentalism.



I like 905' list too, and would happily read anything on it.

Very Happy study

The other books suggested looked great too. There were no definitely nots on it for me
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:02 pm

Oh I didn't mean to nominate Stiff, I was just mentioning it. It's not really good enough / relevant enough for nomination here.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:04 pm

If we wanted to make a run at "The Great Deception" it would be best to do it right away maybe - could be difficult to get copies? I'm definitely going to read it at some stage though.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:19 pm

Good reviews of The Great Deception here - scroll down to them:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-Deception-Secret-History-European/dp/082647652X

My preference is still for The Shock Doctrine but TGD would be an interesting read too.

When does the voting close - how about setting up a poll of some sort to make it easier to tally? No idea how to do that but if some kind mod (ahem) would do it it might make this process a bit less head scratchy Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 2:43 pm

Thanks Aragon: I think Auditor #9 is going to set up a list of 10 as a poll we can vote on. If you are interested in joining the Book Club, you'll be able to vote on what you'd like us to read. So far I have found it has made me make time for reading, which is great.
How do the short lists look to you?
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