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review 2020-03-25 07:22
How do you talk to an ocean
Solaris - Stanisław Lem,Steve Cox,Joanna Kilmartin

(but maybe, we should worry more about how the ocean would try to talk to us)


It's a very disturbing read from the start, and you can feel the disquiet grip you into the pages immediately, but it's pretty dense and it can get dry.


Know what this reminded me off a lot? "Moby Dick". It's those essays, and the way everyone keeps approaching that ocean from a description of the components because the whole is unfathomable. Also quite a bit of "Arrival", and the inherent difficulties of communications.


Around the middle, I found that I started to like Snaut because he was saying everything that Kalving wouldn't even admit in his own internal narrative. Snaut was a ruthless bastard that angered Kalvin, but there was this sense that the reason Kalvin got angry all the time was because he was voicing what he did not want to see.


I did not expect it to end where it did, though that is likely the fault of my vague memories of the last movie made. There is so much that it leaves you speculating on, the concepts of a god that evolves and a god cradle in that final conversation specially, with Snaut wishing to stay, and that we never see anyone else's visitor but Kalvin's (oh, and the fact that Kalvin is the only one that does not obsessively hide his, the things that says).


There a lot more odds and ends that keep running around my mind for such a short novel, so I'll likely be chewing on my book hangover for a while.

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text 2020-03-05 04:55
From where will I Find Sociology Assignments for College Students?

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text 2020-02-26 06:36
How Am I Going To Get Sociology Homework Help Online?


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review 2020-02-25 22:35
Nine Lives by William Dalrymple
Nine Lives - William Dalrymple

This is a fascinating book, in which the author captures nine particularly compelling stories of lives defined by religion in India, generally in unusual or extreme ways. The most intense stories come at the beginning: the Jain nun who ritually starves herself to death while her best friend looks on; the prison warden who spends three months of the year as a dancer believed to be possessed by a god. But they’re all interesting, including a Tibetan monk who renounced his vows to fight the Chinese; an illiterate performer of ancient epics; and a manufacturer of idols. The author relates the stories in his subjects’ own words (presumably cleaned up a bit for print), without judgment, and supplements them with information about the history and wider context of their particular practices. The book makes no pretensions to being representative. These nine people – five men and four women, and their communities – simply happened to be striking to him. Most of the stories focus on distinct traditions within Hinduism, though there’s one Sufi story set in Pakistan, as well as the Tibetan monk and Jain nuns. They’re all intensely invested in their faiths, which for most of them have come to form their entire community. Except perhaps for the idol manufacturer, they’re also quite marginalized: they have always been poor, or they gave up relative privilege, possessions, even family relationships, to take to the roads as a spiritual calling. Many talk about having been spiritual since childhood, but most of these lives are also examples of people picking up the pieces after trauma and loss. All of which makes for a heartfelt, captivating book that promises no more than it can deliver, that doesn’t water down these people’s stories by trying to universalize them. And the book can stand on its own; it doesn’t need to deliver a lecture on religion in India, beyond providing background for these specific people. I think it’s more powerful that way, though I couldn’t help wanting to draw a larger meaning from it. These nine people’s relationships to religion were remarkable to me, as an American: I’m used to religiosity being largely about righteousness, power, and complacency, an excuse to look down on others or refrain from addressing social or environmental problems, or at best a way of staking a claim on a particular social identity. For these nine people, it’s something different: they seemed to be searching, rather than claiming to have all the answers, and one of the things they’re seeking are worthwhile and meaningful lives. But is this actually a difference between India and the U.S. overall? – I don’t know. (And perhaps if I had grown up around their traditions I would have seen more self-righteousness in these folks too.) Marginalized people all over the world turn to religion for the same reasons these nine people do, and India is hardly free of people who use religion for political and exclusionary ends. I would have liked Dalrymple to have drawn some conclusions – notably, the book has no epilogue – though I recognize that wasn’t his goal here. At any rate, quite a good book and one I would recommend, so long as you’re interested in reading about the lives of a few striking individuals rather than a broader sociological study.

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text 2019-11-29 21:07
Reading progress update: I've read 110 out of 183 pages.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed - Richard Shaull,Myra Bergman Ramos,Paulo Freire,Donaldo Macedo
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