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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 ?   Wed May 28, 2008 3:34 pm

cactus flower wrote:
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?

Hi CF

Here's your last reckoning of the books nominated so far, if Im following the plot properly:

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

Just about every book on this list sounds really interesting - save possibly 'Increasing Returns and Path Dependence in the Economy' which sounds like a bit of a chew - but that is said from total ignorance of the book - it may well be great. Anything with formulae or number-laden theories makes smoke come out my ears. At the same time though, Im really keen on Naomi Klein's book but will happily defer to another choice if its more popular.

Do I have to formally join the book club or register in some special way?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 3:47 pm

no
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 3:59 pm

Just turn up Aragon, you will be very welcome. Very Happy
The sofa needs re-covering, as Audi let his dog chew all the cushions, but I'm sure you won't mind.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 4:04 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Just turn up Aragon, you will be very welcome. Very Happy
The sofa needs re-covering, as Audi let his dog chew all the cushions, but I'm sure you won't mind.

The book club is an online pheonomenon, right? i.e the discussion takes place online - or is it a real world thing - in which case I've been under a misaprehension. Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 4:07 pm



It's all right Aragon, the sofa is on-line too.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 4:07 pm

Aragon wrote:
cactus flower wrote:
Just turn up Aragon, you will be very welcome. Very Happy
The sofa needs re-covering, as Audi let his dog chew all the cushions, but I'm sure you won't mind.

The book club is an online pheonomenon, right? i.e the discussion takes place online - or is it a real world thing - in which case I've been under a misaprehension. Embarassed
don't worry Aragon, you forget that cactus flower has a vivid imagination. It's online, though you're welcome to bring a virtual throw for the settee.

We none of us as actually real. Well, I'm not.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 8:04 pm

The time period for the book club does not work for me but I have read some of those suggestions. The book I hear you paint Houses is a great read. It is very credible as the mentallity of the hitman is the same as I have seen any time I come accross this type of charactor which is common enough in the bar business here. The Long Emergency is a great read but would be too close to the same vein as Collapse to have them back to back.
My suggestion would be The Sovereign Individual. I would not mind the Klein book or the EU book though as they would be new to me and I am interested. Why not everyone make their best suggestion.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 8:50 pm

youngdan if we get 10 then we can have a vote on them

I'll leave it at 8 for now.

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
The Craftsmen.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 8:56 pm

These all got "votes" too.

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.1
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 10:23 pm

cactus flower wrote:


8. Tom Holland – Rubicon 1


Vote for Rubicon! One of the great things about it is that it can be got in many book-shops nationwide, it's been published a few years and therefore it has wide dissemination.

Easy to find, easy to read-Vote Rubicon!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 11:28 pm

In no special order....

1. Christopher Booker and Richard North – The Great Deception – The Secret History of the EU
2. Naomi Klein – The Shock Doctrine
3. Richard Douthwaite – The Growth Illusion
with Joseph Stiglitz “Making Globalisation Work”.
5. Lee Smolin - The Trouble With Physics
6. Mark Kurlansky – Salt and Cod, a Biography
7. Chris Patten - Not Quite the Diplomat and
Samantha Power – A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide
8. Tom Holland – Rubicon
9. Richard Sennett – The Craftsmen
10. Tariq Ali - Clash of Fundamentalism.
?


Last edited by cactus flower on Thu May 29, 2008 1:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Wed May 28, 2008 11:49 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
cactus flower wrote:


8. Tom Holland – Rubicon 1


Vote for Rubicon! One of the great things about it is that it can be got in many book-shops nationwide, it's been published a few years and therefore it has wide dissemination.

Easy to find, easy to read-Vote Rubicon!
Do you want us to end up in a Federalist Superstate? Vote Salt!/The Stiglitz Book!
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:23 am

I feel that Salt and Cod have a certain congruity, and should be imbibed together.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:28 am

cactus flower wrote:
I feel that Salt and Cod have a certain congruity, and should be imbibed together.

As do I, I'd like us to cross the Rubicon and then enjoy Salt and Cod.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:39 am

will have to read back thru this thread and see how the EU book got to Pole Position Suspect

Thanks to 905 for reminding us all of Chris Patten, certainly the most interesting Tory of the last ... 20 yrs, would it be? I shall certainly be reading that one at some point anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:41 am

Never having made it to Sunday night book club yet, what does the dog do while Audi and CF are slogging away with Jared Diamond?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:44 am

So Atticus, why should I read the Chris Patten book? If it was about George Patton I might be interested... can you sell it to us?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:59 am

Well, i haven't read it either but I will.

From memory, Patten always stood out as a bit different in the Tory party - did he practically mastermind the '92 election victory for Major while losing his own seat? Was rewarded with the job in HK, so I guess he might have some interesting things to say bout the Chinese and Britain's place in the world. He was also famously far more pro-EU than just about everyone else in the Tory party. Was also for many years one of the most prominent Catholics in British public life - that was before the early 2000s when famously all 3 major Party leaders were (assume Blair). And, unlike so many politicians, seemed to have a "hinterland", ie more interesting than the usual automatons. I think he's now a Master of one of the Oxford colleges.

... considering I haven't read the book ....


Last edited by Atticus on Thu May 29, 2008 1:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 1:04 am

Atticus wrote:
Never having made it to Sunday night book club yet, what does the dog do while Audi and CF are slogging away with Jared Diamond?

If you saw the state of the sofa Atticus, you shouldn't have to ask.

I don't think the list is in any special order. Naomi Klein probably got the most mentions so far.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 1:25 am

Thanks for that Atticus - I'm not sure I have the concentration for biographical type works - I might have read about 5 in my life. Usually Richard Ellman who biographed Joyce is good if you are into academic literature. And academic works I loved were by Hugh Kenner and Guy Davenport on the modernists.

Another I should have supplied is Jeremy Rifkin who writes on energy and eating cows and all that big stuff too.

Rifkin's Books


How about Frijtof Capra the Systems dude? Or is he way too New Age which is now old hat or is it?

Fritjof Capra's books
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 12:48 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
So Atticus, why should I read the Chris Patten book? If it was about George Patton I might be interested... can you sell it to us?
I'll sell the book it's my nomination. Patten was a Tory cabinet minister, governor of Hong Kong during the transfer of power to China, head of the Patten commission which called for major police reform in the North, and the EU commissioner for external affairs.

His book mainly deals with geo-political issue, such as the EU, American foreign policy and the Neo-cons, the Middle-East, and Oriental powers such as Russia, China and India. Despite some serious disputes with the Chinese over Hong Kong, he has a very positive view of their future. Russia he regards as a disaster and a threat to Europe, especially under Putin.

On the EU, he is a very strong supporter. Much of his book deals with the relationship between Britain and the EU and the attitudes represented in the book The Great Deception (whose author gets an unflattering mention). He was supportive of the constitution is its day.

On America, he has a very rose-tinted view of the US's former foreign policy and America's ideals. Both of which have been betrayed, he says, by the neo-cons. Despite being conservative himself, he really hates these people. They have betrayed America, its reputation and the Western world's reputation by their actions and dismissal of European concerns. This ties in with discussion of the Middle-East, which he thinks is a disaster thanks to the neo-cons and Israel's hawks.

The book is very undiplomatic. He takes no prisoners (he loathes Cheney, Putin and Robert Bolton, and he has very little time for Blair or Chirac) and there is very little ideology (apart from some Thatcherite free-trade stuff and praise of the EU). For the most part, the book is an exercise in pragmatism and common sense; a cop-on realistic view of the world's problems. It gives a broad view without being too deep. It even spends some time on the environment. What more could you ask for?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 4:25 pm

905 wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
So Atticus, why should I read the Chris Patten book? If it was about George Patton I might be interested... can you sell it to us?
I'll sell the book it's my nomination. Patten was a Tory cabinet minister, governor of Hong Kong during the transfer of power to China, head of the Patten commission which called for major police reform in the North, and the EU commissioner for external affairs.

His book mainly deals with geo-political issue, such as the EU, American foreign policy and the Neo-cons, the Middle-East, and Oriental powers such as Russia, China and India. Despite some serious disputes with the Chinese over Hong Kong, he has a very positive view of their future. Russia he regards as a disaster and a threat to Europe, especially under Putin.

On the EU, he is a very strong supporter. Much of his book deals with the relationship between Britain and the EU and the attitudes represented in the book The Great Deception (whose author gets an unflattering mention). He was supportive of the constitution is its day.

On America, he has a very rose-tinted view of the US's former foreign policy and America's ideals. Both of which have been betrayed, he says, by the neo-cons. Despite being conservative himself, he really hates these people. They have betrayed America, its reputation and the Western world's reputation by their actions and dismissal of European concerns. This ties in with discussion of the Middle-East, which he thinks is a disaster thanks to the neo-cons and Israel's hawks.

The book is very undiplomatic. He takes no prisoners (he loathes Cheney, Putin and Robert Bolton, and he has very little time for Blair or Chirac) and there is very little ideology (apart from some Thatcherite free-trade stuff and praise of the EU). For the most part, the book is an exercise in pragmatism and common sense; a cop-on realistic view of the world's problems. It gives a broad view without being too deep. It even spends some time on the environment. What more could you ask for?

Im sorry 905 but I reckon this book is little more than Tory party propaganda - none of those ex ministers have ever written anything seriously revealing - they can't. I bet he gives his pal John Major an easy ride. Ill wade through it if I have to but don't expect to find anything particularly illuminating.
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 4:43 pm

I made a tentative suggestion that this book could be 'paired' with Samantha Power's book on the US and genocide, which is a critical examination of US foreign policy. My thinking was that looking from diplomacy and international relations from two different perspectives at once might be more revealing. I think the books cover the same period of time, more or less, so readers could choose which book to read and focus the discussion on the events. As I admit to not having read either of the books, I can't guarantee enough common topics for this to work. What does anyone think?
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PostSubject: Re: Machine Nation Book Club - Vote on Your Next Book Choice ?   Thu May 29, 2008 5:25 pm

Aragon wrote:

Im sorry 905 but I reckon this book is little more than Tory party propaganda - none of those ex ministers have ever written anything seriously revealing - they can't. I bet he gives his pal John Major an easy ride. Ill wade through it if I have to but don't expect to find anything particularly illuminating.
It's true that he goes very soft on Thatcher and Major, and funnily enough the conservatives only seem to have gone astray when he lost an active role (apart from poll tax). A lack of criticism or revelations about the party does not automatically mean propaganda though. He devotes a chapter to the Tories, and there he rips chunks out them over their EU policy. He sums up their attitude with an extract from Winnie the Pooh:
Quote :
'I've got a sort of idea', said Pooh at last,
'but I don't suppose it's a very good one.'
'I don't suppose it is either,' said Eeyore.

The focus of the book is wider politics, not the Conservative party, so don't expect lots of revelations.
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