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joined 2022 November 02 19:35:21 UTC


User ID: 1782



0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 November 02 19:35:21 UTC


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User ID: 1782

The Stranger Beside Me and I’ll Be Gone In The Dark are both good. Ted Bundy and The Golden State Killer.

Why are you looking at MAOIs? Those are the most restrictive anti-depressants out there.

It's been a few weeks since I've responded to this thread as I have been abroad. But in the two weeks that I was out of the country I finished two books and am halfway through the third!

I picked up Notes From Underground based on the discussion from this thread: https://www.themotte.org/post/970/smallscale-question-sunday-for-april-21/205968?context=8#context.

I really enjoyed this book. It's been a while since I've read any Dostoevsky, and I recall him being long-winded and dry. Underground, being a bit shorter than some of his other work, was much more approachable.

While reading it, I was reminded of Elliot Rodger's manifesto. If you don't know, Rodger, a school shooter and notorious "incel", wrote a "manifesto" which was widely publicized and diseccted. You can find it on the internet if you feel like searching for it, but I won't link it here. The alienation in both works is profound, the scene where Underground's protagonist meets with four "friends" for dinner and insists on displaying his own greatness is a masterclass in uncomfortable writing. It reminded me of Rodger's own massive sense of superiority and narcissism, mixed with his incredible feelings of inferiority and self-loathing. Yet instead of shooting up a school, the protagonist of Underground visits a prostitute, where he is able to feel comfortable for just a moment before reverting to his sniveling self.

What I find so interesting about both of these works is that we all have a little bit of Rodger and the protagonist in us. We all have feelings of superiority and self-doubt. That is what makes Underground so compelling. Of course, what Rodger did was despicable and the way he is praised in certain corners of the internet is sickening, but I can also empathize with his plight. Feeling so alienated and alone from the rest of humanity is a curse. People can become socially isolated for a variety of reasons; mental illness, autism, social phobia, and traumatic experiences. It's not necessarily an individual's fault for experiencing this isolation. But it's absolutely their fault in how they respond to it. Maybe Rodger should have visited a prostitute, like the protagonist of Underground. Anyway, there's a lot to mine from this book and I am much obliged to that discussion and recommendation.

The second book I finished was 1984. I last read this when I was 16 and I don't think I appreciated how good this book is. I'll write more on this book next week.

I am now midway through All the Light We Cannot See. I remember the title being vaguely familiar, but didn't realize how big this book was until I did a little research. I'm don't typically gravitate toward the "Oprah book club" type, but this book is just really fucking good. Hope it keeps up.

Golf, housecleaning, beers with the fellas, a long hike with my dog. Cooking a good meal.

What are your thoughts on Zyn?

Well done, I’ll give you an 8/10 for this.

I agree. I kept waiting and waiting for Claudius to finally become emperor and realized about 50 pages from the end that the book would likely end right at the point where he did become emperor.

I think my issue with the book is that once Livia died, the intrigue and backstabbing and villainy became far less subtle and interesting. Caligula was indeed a villain, but a far less interesting one than Livia. His villainy was right up in your face while Livia’s villainy was in the shadows.

Surely You're Joking? Funny story about this book. In high school physics, my teacher would offer students the opportunity for extra credit once a quarter. To get the credit, you had to read a book from her pre-approved list and then have a 30 minute conversation about the book. I, as a bookworm, took advantage of this and read Surely You're Joking. I thought it was awesome as well. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I read his second autobiography What Do You Care What Other People Think, which, while not as good as his first, was still worth reading.

I didn't learn much physics in that class, but her booklist stuck with me.

Thanks for the rec, I've got it saved in my cart.

Done with I, Claudius and onto A Thread Across The Ocean.

A couple thoughts on I, Claudius

  • Historical fiction is a very cool concept and I would like to read more of it. It gives the author a nice structure to work with and he can then just make up interesting stories to fill in the unknown. It's fun to read the Wikipedia entries on all the Roman emperors/politicians after finishing the book.
  • In the same vein, I'm currently rewatching The Sopranos, and I kept thinking how much the palace intrigue and murder in I, Claudius reminded me of the show. There's a scene in the The Sopranos where a couple mafia guys are torturing a Jewish man who refuses to submit and he says "900 Jews held their own against 15,000 Roman soldiers...and the Romans, where are they now?" Tony Soprano answers "You're looking at them asshole." Great bit of writing from The Sopranos, and I like the idea that the mafia are the descendants of these debauched and violent Roman emperors.
  • *Overall, I thought the book was very good, though it did waver a bit at the end when Caligula became emperor. It felt rushed and not fully fleshed out, especially in comparison to the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius.

I'm about a quarter of the way through A Thread. It's about the construction of the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean in the 1860s. It's a pretty interesting bit of trivia.

I miss when our billionaires were fat, drank bourbon, and smoked big cigars. That was the real America.

I believe they call these questions the human condition. If you find an answer, please let the rest of us know.

My after-work routine depends on the day. I'll usually do one of the following:

-Hit the gym

-Go to the driving range

-Go to the movie theater (solo)

-Meal prep (almost always a home-made caesar salad with chicken)

-Group therapy (every thursday)

-Softball team (spring and summer only)

-Hang out with my girlfriend

I'm lucky that I only need to be in the office two days a week, so I have a lot of flexibility in my after-work regiment. I spend a lot of time (too much, tbh) by myself during the week, so I really try to stay active instead of sitting alone in my apartment.

This sounds like a good, social life.

Probably the Duomo in Florence. I lived next to it for a time and walked by it everyday. It always looked like a movie set.

Agreed. By the time I got to the 60 page speech at the end of Atlas Shrugged, it was a battle of willpower to finish the book.

I, Claudius.

I’m really enjoying it so far. It’s interesting to me how older books (I, Claudius was written in the 1930s) tend to have much longer paragraphs compared to todays ADD-riddled one and two sentence paragraphs. I’m thinking particularly about NYT articles where you hardly ever reach four sentences in a paragraph. But modern books are written that way as well.

Reading these older books takes some getting used to, but I find they can be just as compelling and page-turning as the modern stuff.

Anyway, the book itself is quite interesting and I’m looking forward to finishing it.

QS Watermelon (also known as Suika game) on my iPhone. It’s like a slower version of tetris. Highly addicting.

Glad you’re back, I was wondering what happened.

Damn, that's a nice chunk of money.

The Inca Trail is super cool. It might be difficult to get a ticket in the next few months, but it's worth looking into. If you can't get a ticket for the "traditional" Inca Trail, you can also look at the Salkentay Trail, of which I've heard good things. I used Action Trek Peru for my hike and they were terrific.

Lots of things.

Audition for a play/musical.

Pick up golf and play 3x a week.

Take classes (cooking, mechanics, woodworking, etc.)

Go get SCUBA certified and visit the Great Barrier Reef.

Hike the Inca Trail.

Visit the best National Parks.

Out of curiosity, how much were you getting paid at your email job?

Cops are not the only blue collar workers who make good money. Electricians, plumbers, welders, surveyors, electrical infrastructure maintainers, oil and gas workers…these guys make bread and the list goes on and on.

are there enough middle class jobs available? No, we have too many retail and fast food jobs because we are a service economy and no longer build things in this country. But construction, energy, and manufacturing is still well-paying for those who can get it.

Part of the problem seems to be that everyone wants to be an influencer these days. People watch others make hundreds of thousands of dollars on social media and think “why the hell would I want to work in an oil field when I can just shoot movies with my friends?” It’s this ability to compare ourselves to the most successful Americans that fucks us up. And not only are we able to compare ourselves, it’s piped directly into our brain without us even asking for it.

Deciding whether to start I, Claudius or The Darkness That Comes Before. The latter was recommended to me by my brother, but I’m always hesitant to start a long fantasy series. The older I get, the more I want to read books that are one and done. I don’t need to spend thousands of pages in the same world.

I finished MJ and while an interesting chronology of Michael Jackson’s life, it really didn’t give me any insight into what made Michael tick or his core personality. It was a lot more of “this event happened, then this event happened, then this event happened, etc”. It has helped me get more into MJs music, which I have to say, is really really fucking good. Do I feel any guilt about enjoying a kid diddlers music? Not really. Im able to keep the two separate in my mind, but I wouldn’t judge anyone who can’t listen to him.

So many books, so little time!

How’s I, Claudius? I almost bought a copy from eBay the other day.

Did she allow something like 10 men to gangbang her at the same party? Absolutely bizarre and pretty disgusting behavior.