What I’m Reading
Natural History, Volume III, Books 8-11 by Pliny the Elder (8-11 are the books about zoology and animals. it is the funniest book I have read in a long time. good anecdotes on Roman bloodsports. it’s online)
Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt (he has the amazing ability to write in the present, even about events that are 50 years old)
The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout (not as good as Gift of Fear but something you should read)
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin (meh)
Love, War and Circuses: The Age-Old Relationship Between Elephants and Humans by Eric Scigliano (love elephants)
This lecture on Marcus Aurelius is one of the best lectures I’ve seen in my life. His take is that Marcus is a “standing reproach to our self-indulgence.” You should watch it.
What Are Your Flaws? (I don’t think I’m mature enough yet to answer this question but I am thinking about. )
Voices from the Suburban Blogosphere New York Times (I think this is going to be a very important trend)
James Baldwin is one of my favorite writers. Read “The Fire Next Time.” And then TRY not to read it again, in one sitting, immediately. Nothing else I’ve read by him is as good.
The relevance of the animal world to the inner workings of humanity is really quite astounding. It’s a shame more books that expound the similarities don’t make it into the mainstream. Philosophically speaking, I’m not sure there is a greater analogy for human nature than animal instinct. The question is what separates us, and all I have found is a superior neocortex allowing a heightened sense of self-awareness. But who can truly say that animals aren’t just as self-aware as we are.
I’m going to check out The Sociopath Next Door next. Thanks for the suggestion.
In regards to the Marcus Aurelius lecture the fundamental fallacy with his reasoning is the assumption that there is a concrete self (a la Hume, Wittgenstein, Dennett).