How ya’ going? Bitpost experienced site troubles yesterday, hence two blog posts in under twelve hours. It has been a quiet day, having some time to myself working a little on some design templates for work. I’ve also begun a new Honā commitment. I plan to read a minimum of one hour per day until the end of the year.
My first book will be ‘On Bullshit’, by philosopher and Princeton University professor, Harry G. Frankfurt. In a nutshell, it explores the concept of what we define as bullshit in the context of communication. Frankfurt determines that bullshit is speech intended to persuade without much regard for the truth.
Sifting through the bullshit online is nothing new, as I’m sure you are aware. I hope this short read will be beneficial in scoping out and analysing the ever-growing art of bullshit we see so often.
Anyway, I hope this daily commitment will thrust me into a habit of reading all the works I’ve put off over the past six months. There are many things upon my bookshelf I’m keen to delve in to. Now that I can breathe with a more open schedule, it will be nice to head out to some cafes or parks with a good novel or essay to indulge in.
My Reading List
Here are a few books I’ve pinned to read as reference. I hope I can get through most of them by the end of the summer break. Summaries from online sources are also posted below…
On Liberty by John Stuart Mill – Published 1859
‘On Liberty applies Mill’s ethical system of utilitarianism to society and state. Mill suggests standards for the relationship between authority and liberty. He emphasizes the importance of individuality, which he considers prerequisite to the higher pleasures—the summum bonum of utilitarianism. Furthermore, Mill asserts that democratic ideals may result in the tyranny of the majority. Among the standards proposed are Mill’s three basic liberties of individuals, his three legitimate objections to government intervention, and his two maxims regarding the relationship of the individual to society.’
The Odyssey by Homer – Written 8th century BCE
‘The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still read by contemporary audiences. As with the Iliad, the poem is divided into 24 books. It follows the Greek hero Odysseus, king of Ithaca, and his journey home after the Trojan War. After the war itself, which lasted ten years, his journey lasted for ten additional years, during which time he encountered many perils and all his crew mates were killed. In his absence, Odysseus was assumed dead, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus had to contend with a group of unruly suitors who were competing for Penelope’s hand in marriage.’
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – Published 1957
‘This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor—and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.’
Atomic Habits by James Clear – Published 2018
‘People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big. But world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way. He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions – doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call. He calls them atomic habits.’
Depends What You Mean by Extremist by John Safran – Published 2017
‘No one turns up where they’re not wanted quite like John Safran. In this hilarious and disorienting adventure, he gets among our diverse community of white nationalists, ISIS supporters, anarchists and more, digging away at the contradictions that many would prefer to be left unexamined. Who is this black puppet-master among the white nationalists? And this Muslim fundamentalist who geeks out on Monty Python? Is there a secret radicalisation network operating in John’s own Jewish suburb? And ultimately – is hanging with all these radicals washing off on John himself?’
Permanent Record by Edward Snowden – Published 2019
‘The book describes Snowden’s childhood as well as his tenure at the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and his motivations for the leaking of highly classified information in 2013 that revealed global surveillance programs. Snowden also discusses his views on authoritarianism, democracy and privacy. The writer Joshua Cohen is credited by Snowden for “helping to transform my rambling reminiscences and capsule manifestoes into a book.”’
Hope you have had an enjoyable and relaxing weekend or Monday in Australia. Time certainly isn’t slowing down, where did the year go?
Here is a tune from a New York based instrumental outfit: