Industrial Society and its Future
When I read this about 20 years ago a lot of thing resonated with me, but his targeting of the leftist ideology as the root of so many of the problems we are facing, then and now, only rang true in my recent reading after an extra few decades of life under my belt. Again, I find it so apropos that he focuses like a laser on people who 'interpret as derogatory almost anything that is said about him' which seems to be the a reasonable definition for the modern trigger/safe space culture. Similarily he states 'This tendency is pronounced among minority-rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend.' which we see again when 'white' people march for BLM or Hamas/Israel while simultaniously championing their self-loathing by saying 'white' people are the problem. There is so much to unpack in a relatively short 100-odd pages that I can't recommend this book any higher; reguardless of your political leaning I guarantee if you put aside your predjudice and bias, you will learn something either about your 'enemies' or the world you may already despise. Agree or disagree, but violence got his message out there and Uncle Ted, RIP in Peace, has become something of folk hero.
Godel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid
The book builds in a very approachable manner, for even the most uninitiated reader, from basic formal systems to DNA and artificial intelligence. Each step is presented first with a humorous take in the form of a dialog between characters like Achilles and Tortoise and then the idea is elaborated on in a more formal manner with intellectual exercises that should engage the reader. Also the progression is made with a great many analogies where things like music, memory, DNA, and other seemingly unrelated topics are woven together to give a purchase point from many angles and thus be accessible to a great many people with a variety of backgrounds. I can say that I personally, with those 40 years of hindsight, don't give much credibility to some of the future (current) prospects of AI, but non-the-less find the book interesting and a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the topics. Overall the book is funny, informative, and a great introduction to some topics that 40+ years later we are still grappling with.
The Analysis of Mind
After introducing the main views as that of the materialists; the idealists; and the newest, behaviorists; Russell starts in with the assumption that man is not much different than a protozoa, physically or mentally. While his stance is generally against Watsonian behaviorism, he dances around outright rejection when discussing things like memory as being more than habit. Physics (physiology) are later completely removed from his psychology and he asserts that both mind and matter, which he insists is a logical fiction (pointing toward the quantum), are both made of the same, neutral, substance. There is also discussion regarding language -whether we think in words or not- and truth; the latter is tacked on almost as an afterthought. All of this leads, (ill-)logically, to the denial of causality.
The Art of Intrusion
Like Mitnick's first book, this is presented as a series of unconnected stories. Also like the other book, this one is somewhat dated after 13 years, although it is more than worthwhile to those interested in the history of hacking. It is a light, fast read and not at all technical, so don't expect to learn anything. Some of the social engineering attacks seem almost silly as of 2018 and I hope they would no longer work, but honestly some of the probably would work, given the right mark. Of the stories, there are two that take place in Las Vegas that for some reason struck my fancy; how I do love reading about the casinos losing.
The Power Elite
The book begins wonderfully by looking at the grammar and defining exactly what is mean and assumed by 'elites.' With a solid grammar in place, Mills begins building his argument with an expose on the decline of the local towns level society whose replacement have lead to the rise of national the national level society. This subsequently, and in hindsight we can see Mills was correct, leads to the centralization and concentration of power, both governmentally and privately. Obviously this centralization, a confluence of military, politics, and business, becomes self reinforcing so that you see the so-called elites emerging from the same schools, the same milieu, and the same background; a concurrent rise of militarism, globalism, and consumerism ensues. Finally the killing stroke is delivered when Mills rails against the fact that advertising (also known as propaganda) has taken over the what is left of the minds of the masses with such low-brow tactics as the creation and promotion of the cult of the celebrity.
While the first 40% of the book, dealing with the various states of emotion and character men can take, feels like it should be broken out into its own work, the concepts are nonetheless required to show how the different styles of arguing can be applied depending on the demeanor of your audience. Once the emotion and character are out of the way, the parts of types and parts of an argument are discussed. For example you have political speech, which will deal primarily with the future, and forensic speech, which will deal primarily with the past; ceremonial speech is also covered, itself dealing with the past but being distinct from the forensic. The parts of an argument range from the body of evidence put forth, to the metaphors, fables, and other techniques that can be used to cement your view in the collective mind of the audience. All of this is tied together showing you how the emotions, passions, and character of your audience, plus your disposition, how you appear, and how you sound, are all as, if not more, important than your argument itself.
The Republic of Plato
It doesn't matter whether this work a serious, satire, or a warning because the take-away is that the ideal state (which looks communistic) is impossible in reality. Total control of the citizens of such a city would be necessary. From treating women and children as common goods of to men to maintain control of the family to the state sticktly censoring music, poetry, and theater to prevent individuals from being inspired by uncontrolled emotions and dreams, there would be little left but a robotic (slave) society. The lies (as in noble) and oppression of various kinds, like keeping people poor so they don't have time to plot, are probably the easiest, and thus common, way to rule. Ranking of the various regimes one might encounter, from best to worst, would look like: kingly, timocratic, oligarchic, democratic, tyrannic; history seems to suggest that the lowest common denominator societies devolve to is tyranny.
The History of Western Philosophy
The book is divided into three main sections. First the early ancient philosophy gives way to the middle Catholic philosophy, which acts as a connection to, lastly, modern philosophy. These three sections cover an enormous amount of history, but usually only scratches the surface. Each chapter, which briefly covers what could and is be a book in its own right, looks, usually, at a single philosopher. Overall I think the book is useful for not only its overview of the history of western philosophy, but as a look into Russell's thought process.
The Scientific Outlook
This propaganda cloaks itself in the history of science's big names and methods like induction and deduction. It openly promotes a one-world, soviet style, government predicated on a caste system that degenerates into haves/have-nots and finally two different species (Brave New World -> Time Machine). To bring this to fruition there needs to be some irresistible world fighting force (UN?, NATO?, who to fight?) and a system of propaganda, education, indoctrination, endless entertainment, and free sex. The issue of scarcity will be solved with artificial everything: food, wood, rubber, etc. Finally scarcity won't be a long term problem because of population control via sterilization, eugenics, embryology, family destruction, and fleeting hollow (LGBT) relationships.
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion
Weather these strategies have been carried out for thousands of years, hundreds of years, or merely a single century is not relevant; they were employed in the recent past and are being employed now. The first phase in gaining control over a people is to control what is in their heads - the media can be used to normalize behavior and induce fear whereas the universities can instill foreign values in the youth. To completely corrupt the youth, the foundation for the future, the family, the foundation of the past and present, must be destroyed. Economics is the name of the game when it comes to the task of eroding families, with desires and envy keeping most people focused away from home and on a future, however unlikely, that they have been sold via the media. Most of these tactics are deployed under a banner of freedom, freedom from want, freedom from pain, freedom from restriction, freedom to love, and endless other variations, when really the opposite is true, for the more vices a man has, so to the more masters he has.
Manifesto of the Communist Party
In short, communists unabashedly call for the abolishment of nothing short of everything. The final goal is to build one world, a global village without national distinction, ruled by the workers of the world; how this will function is conveniently omitted. The first step is to educate a new generation, to free the children from the education come indoctrination of the ruling class (and replace it with their own indoctrination). To accomplish their goal of world revolution, all other revolutionaries shall be supported in the name of solidarity. Finally, if push comes to shove, the employment of force to overthrow all existing structures is explicitly sanctioned.
Mein Kampf - Stalag Edition
First, it should be stated again and again that, at least from these pages, there is no reason to think that Hitler hated or wanted to exterminate Jewish people; what he hated was Marxism that happens to be guided primarily by Jewish actors. One of two main brunts of the work is economic in nature, showing how all decisions in life, all the way down to marriage and childbirth, are being subjugated under the erosive banner of economics. The economic tactics discussed, that of international finance and joint stock corporations, leads to the undermining of national sovereignty as well as the destruction of the families that live in the soon dilapidated nation of interest. The second major point covered, which is mostly an extension and promotion of the first, is propaganda (and education, basically the same thing) and how new messages are inculcated into a population via smut filled Marxist media. The last topic that is covered, organization, gives theoretical and practical advice on how one might structure an organization to be most resilient and effect at combating Marxist forces.
Chronology 2 - History - Fiction or Science?
The main thrust of this book is to drive home the striking similarities between many historical event series separated by time periods occasionally spanning millennia. One such similarity is outlined by a number of wars where Fomenko concludes, 'Our reconstruction is as follows - the Trojan War had been a famous mediaeval event, possibly dating from the 13th century A.D., also known as 1) the Gothic War; 2) the Tarquinian War; 3) the destruction of Constantinople (or the New Rome) by the crusaders in 1204 A.D.; 4) the Judean war of Joseph Flavius. The city of Troy is most likely to be identified as the New Rome = Constantinople.' Each of these wars bears eerie similarities including the legend of a woman being raped or kidnapped (that may be an allegory for defiling a religion) to instigate the war, a siege on a city ending through guile involving horses and canals to conclude the war, as well as dozens of others. Other similarities are seen when examining the stories of Adam and Eve, Paris and Helen, Perseus and Andromeda, Jason and Medea, St. George and the princes, Plato, Gemisto Pleton, Plotinus, the 300 Spartans, and the 300 knights of Jean de la Roche. These stories, generally shifted by some 330, 1053, and 1800 years, also span continental distances and brook no cultural differences while revealing a reason why so very little mediaeval Greek literature survived, but so many of the supposed ancient texts have survived; the ancient texts are, in fact, mediaeval.
Chronology 1 - History - Fiction or Science?
The author, a mathematician, was initially attracted to the validity of historical dating by a discrepancy in the D`` parameter of lunar motion discovered by Robert Newton that was essentially remedied by N.A. Morozov's revised historical dating scheme. Upon digging in to the textbook chronology familiar to most everyone, we find that the entire modern chronology is essentially the work of two 16-17th century scholars - Josephus Iustus Scaliger and Dionysius Petavius. The veracity of the work of these two men has been questioned many times before by the likes of Edwin Johnson, the aforementioned N.A. Morozov, and even Isaac Newton, all of which claimed that the Scaligerian dates had to be moved forward by hundreds of years. Looking deeper we see that, even today, there are massive discrepancies in what are accepted historical dates; for example, French and German historians produce ancient Egyptian datings that can disagree in the range of as much as 3600 years! Finally, the author puts forth a mathematical approach for statistically locating similarities in dynasties and epochs whose results are troubling at best and call into question the veracity of many so-called 'ancient' and lost original works as well as the entire Scaligerian timeline.
The Anglo-American Establishment
This book covers the progression of Cecil Rhodes' secret society through his and his friends' positions of influence and later through his scholarship program. The society orbits a nucleus of statesmanship and is fueled by longstanding wealth, guided by long term plans, and realized with the control of the media and universities, the latter from which new recruits are identified and the rest are indoctrinated with ideals that lead to unwittingly serving the secret society. There have been several iterations of the group that include such configurations as the initial period in which Cecil and his close friends their families were central to the later version in which Milner rose to lead his 'kindergarten' in a less nepotistic manner. The group has gained influence and control through propaganda delivered via newspapers, magazines, and later radio and presumably television. While they generally don't attempt to influence the masses directly, the do, successfully in most cases, influence the influencers - those that write other papers, teach at other schools, or preach in other churches to bring about the distinctly stated goal of the group - the bringing about of a Commonwealth of Nations.
No History, No Family, No Future
The historical division of cultures is being eroded by an amalgamated global culture that is in turn leading to the destruction of familial foundations required to perpetuate our dwindling heritage.
Introducing Evolutionary Psychology
An evolutionary look at psychology assuming that the mind is made up of modules that have evolved independently and in different environments. This view follows the older behaviorist belief that actions were caused, not by the mind, but by environmental stimulation. A core of evolutionary psychology is to look at the mind's computer modules made for processing information. Some of these modules are supposed to lead to certain innately human abilities including language, physical attractiveness, and food preferences that seem to span all cultures. The conclusion is that our minds have evolved in an environment that is totally foreign to our current environment; we are essentially monkeys living in the fast lane.
Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon - Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops and The Dark heart of the Hippie Dream
The book offers a chapter for each of the major bands of the scene and offers numerous interesting connections for each to the military and intelligence, often parents and sometimes artists, families that come from old lineages, big money, and sometimes even royalty. The families and the members of the scene are plagued with strange deaths, often ruled suicides, and a lot of houses end up burned to the ground. At the center of success you have the permanent fixture, Vito and his freaks, which the author purports was the cause of the scene's success and not the music that was supposedly quite bad, at least when listened to live. At the physical center of the canyon you have a state-of-the-art studio/military base known as Lookout Mountain Laboratory - an odd hub in such a hippie paradise unless you take into account the military families these hippies hail from. There is also a lot of gun loving, authoritarian, often violent, dual personalities in many of the otherwise hippies of the scene.
From Versailles to Cybernetics
The most important things in Bateson's life, as he tells it, were the Treaty of Versailles and the cybernetic 'breakthrough'. All mammals, and thus humans, are concerned only with the patterns of relationship that give rise to abstractions like love, hate, and trust. The Treaty of Versailles was full of deceit to demoralize the Germans and should have been seen to provide the foundation for with WW2 sprung from. We must understand how we got to the present to have any chance at understanding the present. The 'rules of the game' that were laid down with the Treaty of Versailles and the advent of cybernetics need to be changed before the computers lead us into a more rigid world.
Tragedy and Hope - A History of the World in Our Time
It begins with a look at the ancient and less recent history of both the west and east. Next there is a long and extremely interesting discussion of economics where the different phases, ranging from very local to global, of economic systems are outlined. Once the more modern economic system is understood if allows for the exploration of economic and media controlled manipulation of nations, specifically the Round Table group and its most prominent member Cecil Rhodes. This manipulation gives great insight into the world wars and depressions as being not failures of organization but were rather the foundations the new, technocratic, age would be built upon. Finally this technocratic world and some of its main features, like Weiner's cybernetics and Shannon's communication theory, are shown to be the true forces, thrust on the world by war, that have been the driving force behind all of the technological changes the world is still undergoing 50+ years after this book was first published.
Cultural Patterns and Technical Change
First, a culture must be understood by closely watching and documenting the interactions between its members. Next, determine which of the current cultural tendencies can be exploited to introduce a, usually minor, change in habit. Care must be taken to limit the negative consequences, when possible, of the introduced change, which can be far reaching and non-intuitive. Education of the, primarily, younger generation can smooth the transition towards industrialization - children are educated to accept the constant change the new society will be subject to. Money economies and cash crops often obliterate a community - children can skip rites of passage by buying a herd of their own, cash crops introduce malnutrition, and foreign goods often displace traditional roles, such as factory produced clothing replacing woman spinning the family's clothing.
The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
The ancient peoples of the modern Middle East had worshipped a fertility god that Allegro posits was based on the rain being seen as the sperm of god, giving life to the desert each spring. The mushroom, as Allegro sees it, was a microcosm of the universe in that it would grow quickly after a rain, it had some resemblance to a womb and of course a penis, and it imparted those who ingest it with a kind of communion with god. Allegro gives as evidence the evolution of the written Sumerian language cuneiform into Aramaic, Hebrew, and Indo-European languages such as Greek. The language used in the bible may have been to hide the true purpose, passing down knowledge of the mushroom, of this fertility cult. While it would be impossible for any lay person to make heads or tails of the 'translations' within, this book provides a unique perspective on the roots of modern religions.
The Philosophic Corruption of Physics
After an initial review of Newton's numerous contributions to science, his rejection of the arbitrary is likened to modern objectivism. Next the corruption begins with Hume and then Kant rejecting the primacy of existence for the primacy of conciousness. This leads then to Mach and the positivism movement essentially rejecting reality. Einstein still wanted to test reality, but instead placed another nail in the coffin of objectivism with his interpretation of the Lorentz transforms. Lastly we reach the 'crowning achievement' of modern physics, quantum theory and its particle-wave duality triumphing over the little regarded pilot theory of de Broglie (now resurrected by Lewis Little).