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the-prince-1910-by-niccolo-machiavelli-cover

Entertainment > Reading >

(on Wikipedia)

A tactically-minded man creates an instruction manual for action and understanding in the realm of high-lords of kingdoms.

At under 70 pages, this book may be thin but it's incredibly dense. I found myself reading paragraphs three times before moving on. Although nothing in it surprised me, I can still easily recommend it. It's been, somehow, given a bad name. I only found a slight tinge of "evil" creeping in at about the half-way mark, but nothing inexcusable.

I understood it well enough to add strong commentary, and to give much improved explanation in the latter half which draws from the former. It's interesting to me that the author himself didn't catch on to the trends in his own advice.

When people use the word Machiavellian, they are referring to a mindset in agreement with this work.



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bushido-1924-01-03-book-minoru-tanaka-cover

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(on Wikipedia)

A book on Bushido, the old way of the samurai, as created in conversation with an old master-turned-monk.

In a time when the others were softening up, a samurai who had lost his master and left to live in a monastery spoke in hushed tones to a friend about the old ways he grew up in. Although he and others insisted the manuscripts be burned, the promises were broken when they were kept secret. They would be later compiled and published, and even later translated from its original Japanese.

A particularly interesting book. Although most of it is definitely not directly-applicable today, I think anyone who already has a sufficient "wisdom" (whatever that means) will find bits and pieces of insight.



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propaganda-1928-by-edward-bernays-cover

Entertainment > Reading >

(on Wikipedia)

The author works to sell the notion of propaganda as a skill and service, inventing what is best described as "ethical propaganda". He used this to manufacture his relevancy and sell his career. This book is particularly interesting in that the author and what he writes can itself be understood by what is written. The teaching can be used on itself.

Its first half is boring as hell to me, but I guess it would have been fascinating back then. A little after the half-way point it has grown very dark, talking about leaders instead of elected officials and manipulation instead of representation.

It does show its age in a number of places, but its stories are trivially generalizable.

So far I guess I'd put this on an intellectual's book shelf, though it all seems obvious and not even particularly collectible. I'm not sure if it would "red pill" an everyday person or even be interesting to one.

zen-and-the-art-of-motorcycle-maintenance-1974-05-01-book-by-robert-m-pirsig-cover

Entertainment > Reading >

(on Wikipedia)
example.com

An father takes his kid on a motorcycle road-trip across the United States, and recalls his past life, when he was insane, and the philosophies he had drowned in.

A terrible book, full stop.



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TODO - re-read and especially the other essays.

Not the cover of my edition.
Not the cover of my edition.

Entertainment > Reading >

I'm either stupid or arrogant to say that this isn't particularly good. I'll have to re-read it yet again before I can either give a description or a proper opinion.

  1. 1942 - The Myth of Sisyphus

    • First translated into English in 1955.
  2. (other essays noted below) TODO

nightwork-2003-book-by-t-f-peterson-cover

Entertainment > Reading >

(on Wikipedia)
hacks.mit.edu

A book on a particular aspect of culture and events in the history of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

It glimpses into one aspect of "playful hacking", pranks and practical jokes.

  • Properly titled Nightwork - A history of hacks and pranks at MIT
  • ISBN 9 780262 661379
  • "Institute Historian T. F. Peterson" is likely a play on the MIT cultural acronym "IHTFP".