I read this some time ago and found it interesting, but unsettling. After reading a lot of other philosophers, developing an independent view of my own, and coming back to it, I appreciated it much, much more. The problem with Rand is her dogmatism toward her views. My own belief is that ethical frameworks are like solutions to problems, some are better than others, but we can theoretically test for fitness of solutions, in the midst of practical difficulties. She is certain that her view is 'correct', rather than superior to the other views she criticizes, and this turns people off. So you have to look past that. The thing is, I happen to think her ethical framework is an exceptionally good solution, which I appreciate more after reviewing the solutions of many other philosophers. The other thing she does is make rambling inferences along the lines of: altruism is self-loathing, self-loathing is destruction, destruction is murder (sorry I can't remember a real one). Some I agreed with, and some I didn't, but the very mechanism is just sloppy intellectualism, and she can do better. These sound very critical for a 5 star review, but the point is to understand this bathwater so that you don't throw out the baby.
I read Stephen King's book on the writing craft to help me with my own efforts, and it made me want to read one of his books. I'm not into horror, so I thought this would be good. It was, unequivocally, a page turner. I normally read a lot of intellectual non-fiction about philosophy, psychology, physics, and evolution. I didn't find myself making a lot of bookmarks for good quotes, but he really knows how to suck you into a story and want to keep reading.
This book starts out interesting but not that relevant to writing. Be patient.
So many writing books are written by someone you've never heard of whose written a few books. Many of them are wishy washy about how variable good writing can be, and they're factually correct. But Stephen King goes straight to what he thinks is important and makes his points efficiently.
I'm not a particular fan of his fiction just because I don't care for his genre. But no matter what you think of him, he is a master of the craft. He knows how to grab the reader and persuade them to keep reading. No matter what you want to write, that's a useful skill.
He makes me want to read one of his books.
I'm generally a skeptic for the free model at a deep philosophical level. I read this book to get the counter case. Ultimately, he didn't convince me that free is such a great idea, but he does his research and makes a well thought out case. He certainly convinced me that free will be bigger and more enduring than I thought. It's also more complex and multi-faceted than I realized. At the very least he explains the economics of free pricing models admirably. Certainly worth the time to read it. I paid nothing for it, but think it's worth paying for. True to his argument, his price got me to read it, and I will probably read some of his other stuff too.
Someone who wants to go back to the good old days with no real analysis of the bad things of those old days.
She throws together every conservative complaint about the degeneration of our society even going so far as to argue that self-esteme isn't necessarily a good thing.
She does have some valid criticisms that are interesting to think about, but the reactionary lens of her evidence is pretty useless.
Disclaimer: I only read about a third of the book, but that was enough. I'm neither conservative nor liberal in the modern senses, but this book reminds me why I'm not a conservative.
I'll disclaim that I only read about half the book, giving it a solid try because I've liked other books by Dawkins. But this just had nothing that interesting or new for someone with a even cursory science education.
This books tells a shocking bit about US foriegn policy (not that most of it isn't shocking). Is very well written and enjoyable to get through. It is also clear what are is politics (which I don't agree with) and what are the facts. You can come to your own conclusions.
I thought I'd read all the great Heinlein books when I stumbled across this little juvenile gem on sale. It is such a well written human story comparable with "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".
uninteresting and anti-climactic
For a political philosophy junkie like me, barely, for most people I think not.
This book is about what communists and socialists dream about, what's called anarcho-syndicalism. As such, it's very well executed. As an aspiring writer, I find anarchy a very interesting topic. This was a good book to get a feel of what what these types are thinking. I believe, the anarchists you heard about among the occupy wall st crowd were essentially of this variation. What I found interesting was to identify the inconsistencies with this vision. But I find Anarcho-capitalist's arguments much more compelling. For an understanding of that perspective, read 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' in fiction or 'A Market for Liberty' in non-fiction.
These people are supposedly free, but they can't leave their planet, and no one is allowed to come to theirs, they can't name their own children, and a computer runs their lives even separating families which are very loosely sanctioned. And nobody who's in charge of keeping the 'ruling computer' uses it corruptly for their benefit, though there are hints of corruption that don't seem to spin out of control like we witness in every pretty much every society with a power structure.
Every effort at communism end's in very big, corrupt government and severe poverty if not outright starvation, so this vision is totally impossible. Le Guin recognizes that such 'equality' means a more meager existence, but she under-appreciates the complete societal breakdown which ensues.
This book has nothing to do with reality, but gives insight into a very odd and dangerous political philosophy.
The book, while reasonably engaging and well written, is also overly philosophical and insufficiently story-based. The science fiction ideas are totally weak and erroneous. The protagonist travels around near light-speed without having to worry about aging differences with his loved ones. She doesn't seem to fully understand her invention of the Ansible which is reused from an earlier novel.
Very digestible presentation. Does a reasonable job of presenting ancient philosophers' views, then separately asserting his opinions.
He read's well for a content author, so the emphasis is perfect. Philosophy is particularly awkward when read by the average author.
His philosophical positions are totally absurd from my thinking. Example: He asserts that if God exists and is morally perfect, then god must be the basis or our morality. I can't even begin to understand how someone who calls himself a philosopher could sling together such a collection of unsubstantiated claims. "if god exists and is morally perfect?" That seems utterly impossible for any creature, sentient or not but fine, we'll just assume it's true even though we can't begin to understand the implications. "Then our morality must be based on god's" What!? God is a completely different kind of organism from us and there's only one of him. His social morality would be fundamentally different from ours. He is far more powerful than we are. His morality requires him to show far greater restraint in using his power to his own benefit than humans do. I can go on, but you get the point.
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