South African Skeptics

Recommended reading

bluegray · 92 · 51066

Offline bluegray

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Please post any interesting books or links that influenced you.

The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
I have terepace and then various pow


Offline EM

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Almost done with "How the mind works" by Steven Pinker. 
A very nice read with some interesting ideas.

Then of course almost anything by Richard Dawkins, but especially "The blind watchmaker" and "The selfish gene"

"A short history of nearly everything" by Bill Bryson was good, although I did skip almost an entire chapter where he got heavily into Taxonomy.

And the last one I want to mention is "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out"  a Collection of short works by Richard Feynman.  It gives a good insight into the life and views of an extraordinary person.
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
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Offline Mefiante

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Apart from those sceptical books already mentioned, a short list of those I consider either important or very readable, or both:

Martin Gardner - Fads and Fallacies (Actually, anything by Gardner is worth reading)
Theodore Schick and Lewis Vaughn - How To Think About Weird Things
Nicholas Humphrey - Leaps of Faith
David Mills - Atheist Universe
James Randi - Flim Flam

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline qrios

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Interesting link on what the Pope actually said...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/featherstone/featherstone62.html
This life is a test. It is only a test.
Had this been an actual life, you would have received further instructions as to what to do and where to go.


Offline SecretCode

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Almost done with "How the mind works" by Steven Pinker. 
A very nice read with some interesting ideas.
If you enjoyed that, you'd probably like "Consciousness Explained" by Daniel Dennett.
And "Words and Rules" also by Steven Pinker.

"A Brief History of Time" by Stephen Hawking is definitely worth a recommendation. But for a book that really influenced me: "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter.


Offline EM

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I have been searching for something by Daniel Dennett, looks like I will have to resort to the Amazon route...
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
 - Isaac Asimov


Offline qrios

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I have been searching for something by Daniel Dennett, looks like I will have to resort to the Amazon route...

Got Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren - Essays On Designing Minds in e-book if you want.....
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Offline SecretCode

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I have been searching for something by Daniel Dennett, looks like I will have to resort to the Amazon route...
When I get my copy of Consciousness Explained back from the person who's reading it now ::) you could borrow it ... whereabouts are you?


Offline EM

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SecretCode,
That would be great!  Maybe we can do a temporary swap.

I am in the Ormonde area during the day...

Qrios,
That e-book sound interesting. How big is the file?
"Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right."
 - Isaac Asimov


Offline Mefiante

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For those who don't know about it, Project Gutenberg also has many thousands of free titles, which can be downloaded in a variety of file formats (TXT, HTML, PDF, Plucker).

However, it is unlikely that one will find modern titles (like Daniel Dennett) there, although there's a fine selection of old titles, both fiction and non-fiction, for the ardent bibliophile.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline bluegray

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That is a great source for interesting books. I can recommend Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions by Charles Mackay.
What really is interesting, is that he deals with mostly the same issues we do today, but he wrote about it 150 years ago.
I have terepace and then various pow


Offline Mefiante

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Yes, Mackay's book is a wonderful compendium of human stupidities, from marketing hype, through the Crusades, witch hunts, and alchemy, etc.

But be warned - the book isn't for the faint-of-heart.  The three volumes come to over 700 ordinary pages, and, having first been published in the mid-1800s, the language use is very different to what one encounters these days.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline bluegray

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I found the language not too difficult to get used to - qrios might have a problem though :P ;)
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Offline qrios

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Oh bollocks and hogwash!!!! ;D

I can read ... its just the middle english that takes a bit more time.....

Thanx...

There goes my self-esteem :-\

BTW... the Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren - Essays On Designing Minds - e-book is about 3 Meg's so I  can mail it, or upload it if someone wants it.....

I stay here - http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=-33.883036&lon=18.701942&z=12.7&r=0&src=ggl

Just zoom out.....  quite a nifty little tool.... I can actually see my house If I zoom in on the correct area... ;D
This life is a test. It is only a test.
Had this been an actual life, you would have received further instructions as to what to do and where to go.


Offline bluegray

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Oh bollocks and hogwash!!!! ;D

I can read ... its just the middle english that takes a bit more time.....
:D Yes it does take some effort. I still haven't read all of it yet.
There goes my self-esteem :-\
Dont worry, you will get it back ;)
BTW... the Daniel C. Dennett, Brainchildren - Essays On Designing Minds - e-book is about 3 Meg's so I  can mail it, or upload it if someone wants it.....
I think it's better to share stuff like this privately.
I have terepace and then various pow