I do, what to some is, a lot of reading. I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Due to my space and budget limitations, I purchase very few books. My main source is the library. I like to do a lot of things they way it is recommended not to, therefore I select many of my books by the cover. I usually check out more than I can read before they are due. If I start reading and the writing is poor or the subject is presented in an uninteresting manner, I just close the book and move on to the next. I have started keeping a list of the books that I have finished. I didn’t keep track of when I started the list, but I will guess it was around September of 2022. I can see that most of the books on the list have impacted the way I think. The last week or so, the reading has been a little heavy, so I cleansed by binge watching the first season of “The Good Place” on DVD, also checked out of the library. I am providing the list here, not as recommendations, but as background to my writing.
how truth can be selectively manipulated to create competing truths
his argument is we don’t have it
CLEARY, SKYE C
HOW TO BE AUTHENTIC
The Big thing
how to tackle a big project of your own making
Useful Delusions: the Power & paradox of the Self-deceiving brain
The Life-changing Science of Detecting Bullshit
STUMBLING ON HAPPINESS
HOW THE IMAGINATION WORKS
BENNETT, MICHAEL AND BENNETT, SARAH
pragmatic approach to feelings, and life problems
The Sunny Nihilist
a different take on philosophy
Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart
This was a saying my grandfather used to say. The book contains 31 short pieces of wisdom
How nature effects our physical and mental wellbeing.
A Brief History of Equality
a good primer on equality and the reasons for growth and some needs for the future. Told from the French perspective.
The Solitude of self
biographical essay on Elizabeth Cady Stanton
The Trouble with Reality
short but very informative on the current political scene
LOVE AFTER 50
BENNETT, MICHAEL AND BENNETT, SARAH
pragmatic approach to relationships
BISHOP, GARY JOHN
good advice in general
Thaler, Richard H
Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics
A Little History of Economics
REICH, ROBERT B.
The problems with capitalism and some possible solutions
How to Avoid a Climate Disaster
COLE, JONI B
Good Naked: Reflections on How to Write More, Write Better & Be Happier
Numbers Don’t Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World
Teaching Black History to White People
good read, good campanion to “A Brief History of Equality” by Piketty
In a recent post, I mentioned the 50-75 year cycle of our relative humanity to our fellow man. Months ago, I saw a Tweet with an image of the 1956 Republican platform (66 years ago). I have written the items from that Tweet here:
Provide federal assistance to low-income communities
Protect Social Security
Provide asylum for refugees
Extend minimum wage
Improve unemployment benefit system so it covers more people
Strengthen labor laws so workers can easily join a union
There are many other points in the text including strong voting rights, belief in science, need for better education, better health care, stronger NATO and the list goes on. The text is long, and it took me an hour to assimilate. Today’s Republican party would agree with less than 10% of it’s contents. What has happened? They wrote this. This is what they stood for.
As I sit here, in my new writing chair, in the last week of 2022, I am struck by the thought of what a mess the world is in. That’s not to say everything is bad. We have made some genuine progress in 2022. The travesty is the progress came from such a low base. I read a lot. Someplace in my reading I saw we (the world, the US, you pick) go through cycles of our levels of humanity. They usually last about 50-75 years. We are at the bottom now. The bottom seems to be coated with some sticky shit that is making it difficult to get out. I really hope it doesn’t take 75 years to dig our way out, because I don’t think we have 75 years left if we don’t make some huge strides very soon. Things like climate change, income inequality and social justice are hurtling to the point of no return. I have also read about some cause for optimism. I only hope the crossover point is before we are looking up from the abyss and can’t reach the top.
I have many ideas running around in my head on how I would address the problems of the world. I don’t know if all of them are workable and I’m certain we don’t have the fortitude to implement them in a timely manner. I don’t know if I will be able to stay at the task long enough to get them all published
It’s too easy to find reasons not to write. Depending on the situation and subject, writing can be difficult and motivation scarce. About 9 months ago, I moved into an RV. I’ve written a little about this and will write more. The reason I mention this is I’ve used the logistics of writing in an RV to stall my writing. The space just wasn’t convenient enough. I finally came to a solution. I built a desk that fit the space available and functioned the way my peculiar tastes wanted. Then I found an excellent sitting solution (some might call this a chair) on evil Amazon (more about Amazon’s “evils” later). It was more than I wanted to pay but I “bit the bullet” and ordered it. It works perfectly for my situation, and I am sitting on it now as I write this. I have exhausted all my excuses for not writing. Now I am only left with that well known NIKE advertising slogan “Just Do It.” I have ideas swirling around in the noggin.
I just finished reading a book on writing motivation and how to have fun writing. One of the pointers was to just start writing. Its not necessary to start at the beginning. Just put something down and keep typing and life will fill in around it. This little ditty is an example of that in practice. It does feel good to get something down on paper, even if it is of little social import.
I’ve been reading a lot in the interim on many different subjects. My views on many things have been colored by this reading. These authors will be heard in the background as part of the chorus that hopefully gives depth to my writing.