Wednesday, September 06, 2006


# One Book That Changed Your Life

I started looking at my bookshelf and saw many such books. I would like to choose one that has had the most profound or lasting effect. "Understanding Media" by Marshal McLuhan is one that stands out. The book helped dissolve the old ideas I had about each person being his or her own little bubble, only letting stuff into the bubble when they wanted. Humans and their surroundings are intimately tied, no one is an island, in dependency terms and in media terms. You cannot drive down the highway and completely ignore the billboards. You cannot watch TV and say the ads didn't affect you. The tools that humans shape, in turn shape humans. Mass media effects us on more than just the level of its content. This book made me see the puzzle of the world with me included in it, instead of the puzzle with an empty spot where I should be. The latter view is an illusion we often create to our own confusion and detriment.

# One Book That You Have Read More Than Once

The Once and Future King by T.H. White.

# One Book You'd Want On A Desert Island

Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead, because I always wanted to read it, but never had the time or the sheer determination that I know would be needed. Being stuck on a desert island would certainly offer both.

# A Book That Made You Excited

Most good books make me excited. Recently I have been driven half-insane by the Dune books by Frank Herbert.

# One Book That You Wish Had Been Written

"The Universe: A Design Manual" would be kind of cool.

# One Book That Wracked You With Sobs

Wracked? I read "Journy to Ixtlan: The Lessons of Don Juan" by Carlos Casteneda recently, and there was a part where the author was to kill a rabbit he managed to catch in a trap. Don Juan said, "You are the rabbit's Death. Its time is up." Very vivid, and very terrifying if you become the rabbit.

# One Book That You Wish Had Never Been Written

The bible. I think more people have been convinced by this book to do horrible things than by any other.

# One Book That You're Currently Reading

"Eccentrics" by David Weeks and Jamie James. Very amusing book that makes me feel special.

# One Book You've Been Meaning To Read

"Game Theory and the Social Contract" by Ken Binmore. I would like to understand the gap between what game theory tells us about an action and the actual choices humans make.

Should any lurkers drop by and read this post, consider yourself tagged. Be sure to provide me with a link to your post.


Blogger Mookie said...

I'm afraid that one tendril of the chain breaks here; I don't know any other bloggers other than those who frequent mine. The only person whom I do not know well that I would want to ask would be atomjack (, but he already lists the books he has read.

06 September, 2006 19:12  
Blogger SH said...

I think it's okay. I only found a couple of people to tag. I hope it's okay with them. If not they will just have to ignore my tag.

"Principia Mathematica" on the desert island sounds like a pretty crazy, but good idea. :-)

"The Universe: A Design Manual" would be kind of cool.

On the other hand it might get a little boring if we knew everything.

06 September, 2006 21:34  
Blogger Delta said...

On the other hand it might get a little boring if we knew everything

Not to mention being a VERY long book =)

07 September, 2006 01:45  

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