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    #240405 - 11/09/17 01:00 PM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4146
    The satire, The Screwtape Letters, by C.S. Lewis (1941), and its prequel, Screwtape Proposes a Toast (1959).

    The Saturday Evening Post offers a free download of the Toast, published nearly 60 years ago. In proposing his toast, the character Screwtape provides prognosticator's insight into how changes in society and especially education may help bring about the downfall of humanity. A few brief excerpts follow:
    the individual has willed (though he did not know it) whatever the Government tells him to do.
    ...
    What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence - moral, cultural, social, or intellectual.
    ...
    individual differences must be disguised. This can be done on various levels. At universities, examinations must be framed so that nearly all the students get good marks. Entrance examinations must be framed so that all, or nearly all, citizens can go to universities, whether they have any power (or wish) to profit by higher education or not. At schools, children... [who are not learning] languages and mathematics and elementary science can be set to doing the things that children used to do in their spare time. Let them, for example, make mud pies... Whatever nonsense they are engaged in must have... "parity of esteem." ... Children who are fit to proceed to a higher class may be artificially kept back, because the others would get a trauma... by being left behind. The bright pupil thus remains democratically fettered to his own age group throughout his career, and a boy who would be capable of tackling Aeschylus or Dante sits listening to his coeval's attempts to spell out A CAT SAT ON A MAT.
    ...
    Incentives to learn and penalties for not learning will vanish. The few who might want to learn will be prevented: who are they to overtop their fellows?*
    ...
    Of course, this would not follow unless all education became state education. But it will. That is part of the same movement. Penal taxes, designed for that purpose, are liquidating the Middle Class, the class who were prepared to save and spend and make sacrifices in order to have their children privately educated.

    * reminds me of the article small poppies, in which the author saw flowers which towered over others being topped off, leaving a bare stalk, to give the impression, when viewed from a distance, of all flowers growing to a uniform height.

    The forced uniformity reminds me of this old post on collectivism.

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    #240698 - 12/12/17 09:38 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4146
    UNDOCTORED, by William Davis, MD copyright 2017

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    #240727 - 12/14/17 11:23 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    RRD Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/16
    Posts: 278
    Just some of my favourite non-fiction:

    - A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (laugh out loud funny)

    - A Short History of Nearly Everything (for anyone NOT with a science background mostly, but very funny with tons of anecdotes)

    - The Brain that Changes Itself (on neuroplasticity)

    - Life and Death in Shanghai (political prisoner in the Cultural Revolution)

    - The Walmart Effect

    - The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz (why too much choice can be a bad thing)

    - Guns, Germs and Steel

    - Collapse (lesser known but amazing by Jared Diamond about how and why societies collapse)

    - Bitter Chocolate by Carol Off (about the not so lovely history of the chocolate industry)

    - The Brain that Changes Itself

    - My Stroke of Insight

    - Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin

    - Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin

    I could add more but I'll stop here for now! smile

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    #240733 - 12/14/17 08:35 PM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    I haven't read it yet myself, but I bought a book for my mother on the strength of a few reviews, that might be a good one for people here: Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

    I knew about the people at Bletchley Park in the UK, but I had no idea there were women doing similar things in the US.

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    #240734 - 12/15/17 05:41 AM Re: books for adults [Re: ElizabethN]
    RRD Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/04/16
    Posts: 278
    Originally Posted By: ElizabethN
    I haven't read it yet myself, but I bought a book for my mother on the strength of a few reviews, that might be a good one for people here: Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

    I knew about the people at Bletchley Park in the UK, but I had no idea there were women doing similar things in the US.

    Love this recommendation, I'm going to pick it up. And that reminds me of a similar (and fascinating) read:

    The Code Book by Simon Singh

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    #240742 - 12/15/17 06:08 PM Re: books for adults [Re: indigo]
    Archie Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/08/16
    Posts: 41
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    *reminds me of the article small poppies, in which the author saw flowers which towered over others being topped off, leaving a bare stalk, to give the impression, when viewed from a distance, of all flowers growing to a uniform height.


    Or of Livy's account of King Tarquin cutting down the tall poppies.

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    #242629 - 05/10/18 04:55 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2592
    Loc: MA
    Looks interesting. Amazon link.

    ‘In Defense of Troublemakers’ Review: Rocking the Boat
    Wall Street Journal
    By Philip Delves Broughton
    May 9, 2018 6:40 p.m. ET

    Quote:
    If you want anyone to pay attention to you in meetings, don’t ever preface your opposition to a proposal by saying: “Just to play devil’s advocate . . .” If you disagree with something, just say it and hold your ground until you’re convinced otherwise. There are many such useful ideas in Charlan Nemeth’s “In Defense of Troublemakers,” her study of dissent in life and the workplace. But if this one alone takes hold, it could transform millions of meetings, doing away with all those mushy, consensus-driven hours wasted by people too scared of disagreement or power to speak truth to gibberish. Not only would better decisions get made, but the process of making them would vastly improve.

    As Ms. Nemeth demonstrates, peer pressure can be a major motivator in business. Marketers use majority opinion to staggering effect, and recommendations prompt our natural instinct to follow the herd, nonsensically sometimes. (Just think of Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature.) But for management, peer pressure can lead to bad ideas going unchallenged as people fear that disagreement could imperil their jobs.

    Ms. Nemeth, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, has spent decades studying the effects of groupthink in multiple settings. Her original research was in decision-making by juries—how they went about reaching them and whether their verdicts were correct. What she found was that juries that included dissenters “considered more facts and more ways of viewing those facts.” Consensus, she found, “narrows, while dissent opens, the mind.” In the process of her research, she also discovered how susceptible we all are to majority opinion. Even when we think we aren’t being swayed, we are being subtly yanked by our desire to stand with others rather than alone with our crackpot views.

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    #242632 - 05/10/18 09:27 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2269
    Viktor Frankl- "Man's Search for Meaning"

    This short read is divided between Frankl's personal experience as a psychiatrist/neurologist interned at Auschwitz, and the meaning-based school of psychiatry he spawned from it which was inspired by the ability of some concentration camp survivors to maintain hope and humanity.

    It's a fascinating book that should be mandatory reading for passage into adulthood.
    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #244702 - 01/24/19 04:14 PM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4146
    More books for adults:

    Digital Minimalism (2019) by Cal Newport, author of Deep Work (2016), How to be a High School Superstar (2010), and several other books on defining and achieving success. Related thread here.

    Everyday Millionaires (2019) by Chris Hogan. Related thread here.

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    #244707 - 01/25/19 05:13 AM Re: books for adults [Re: Bostonian]
    mckinley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/03/18
    Posts: 114
    Gifted Workers: Hitting the target by Noks Nauta. There aren't a lot of books that deal with gifted adult issues. This is a nice one that goes through about 11 case studies presenting the issues experienced, reflection, and proposed solution with followup.

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