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Books that changed the way you look at the world
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Thiuda



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Religion ist für Sklaven geschaffen, für Wesen ohne Geist.

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Books that changed the way you look at the world Reply with quote

I just finished reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear. While I don't agree with its central thesis that the science behind global warming is too incomplete to draw any meaningful conclusions from it, the book was a great exercise in critical thinking. State of Fear changed the way I look at the world because it convincingly set forth an alternate viewpoint to global warming. It also made me consider the politics of scientific research and raised my consciousness towards some of the more base forces behind environmental activism.

A non-fiction book that changed/enhanced my viewpoint was Jarred Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel. Prior to reading GGS I don't think I would have been able to provide a satisfactory answer to the question posed by Diamond in his book: Why are Eurasian nations dominant?

What books have changed the way you look at the world? How?
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Faunaki



Joined: 15 Jun 2007

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Tao - read it for the first time when I was in my early twenties. It opened my mind to eastern philosophy and thought. Although the ideas can be difficult to grasp, they are also very calming.

The biggest thing for me is that there is a recognition that the Tao is both negative and positive whereas if you read the bible there is no such thing. Anything that is evil is because of the devil and God is only pure goodness. The bible makes no sense because God created the world, therefore evil and goodness but you will not find that anywhere in the bible.

That one small point really got me thinking a lot about religion and my beliefs.
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Fishead soup



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lost Horizon by James Hilton.
The movie is good too
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espoir



Joined: 09 Oct 2008
Location: Incheon, South Korea

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An educated imagination by: Northrope Frye
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dharma bum



Joined: 15 Jun 2004

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Way of Zen by Alan W. Watts
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itaewonguy



Joined: 25 Mar 2003

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1984 - George Orwell

enough said!
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positive



Joined: 05 Nov 2008

PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Animal Farm. It really got me thinking about who benefits from the hard work of the average person.
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Paji eh Wong



Joined: 03 Jun 2003

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Black Swan by Nicholas Nassem Taleb

The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
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rubric



Joined: 28 Oct 2006
Location: Pongdongfongyong

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.amazon.com/Improve-Vision-Without-Glasses-Contact/dp/0684814382
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Tater



Joined: 13 Oct 2008
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
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FMPJ



Joined: 03 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Oppen's Collected Poems

Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari's A Thousand Plateaus

Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach

William Vollmann's Rising Up and Rising Down

Baruch Spinoza's Ethics

Nathalie Sarraute's Between Life and Death

And, when I was a kid haha:
Bob Burden's masterpiece.
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Bondrock



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Location: ^_^

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guns Germs and Steel was a disappointment to me. It should have been named food, food, and food.

the book was okay, but i heard so much hype i was let down in the end. it did not change the way i look at the world.

The World is Flat... did change the way I look at the world. Now I see the world as flat...
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Thiuda



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Location: Religion ist für Sklaven geschaffen, für Wesen ohne Geist.

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good responses so far. I'm very interested in hearing how these books changed the way you view the world, since I'm hoping to select some of them as future reading material!

Another great book, one that really changed the way I look at morality and ethics, was Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate. Whereas prior to reading The Blank Slate I was inclined to believe societal conditioning played a major role in who we are and become, I now feel that nature contributes more significantly than nurture. Other books contributed to this paradigm shift, notably Jarred Diamond's The Third Chimpanzee and The Adapted Mind by Barkow, Cosmides and Tooby, but Pinker kicked my rethinking of the issue off.

As a kid my favourite book was Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. The idea of living on an island all by myself still seems appealing a lot of the time...
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Join Me



Joined: 14 Jan 2008

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Maximum Achievement" By Brian Tracy

http://www.briantracy.com/catalog/product.aspx?pid=139&cid=16

At one point during my time in Korea, I got myself into a funk I just couldn't get out of on my own. Like everyone I experienced ups and downs in my life but never one I couldn't pull myself out of or just ride out. I just happened to be reading a lot of marketing related books at the time of this funk and stumbled on this book. I read it and it changed my life.

The most important lesson Brian Tracy taught me is that you have almost total control over what you choose to think at any particular moment and what you choose to think greatly effects your mental and physical well being. Using the simple methods he described (certainly not methods of his own invention as he states) I changed my way of thinking and rather quickly restored my mental well being. I still use some of these techniques daily (out of habit now) and find life's challenges much easier to sort through.

I think this book should be mandatory reading for anyone coming to Korea.
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Shauneyz



Joined: 26 May 2008
Location: The land of Nod

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Join Me wrote:
"Maximum Achievement" By Brian Tracy

http://www.briantracy.com/catalog/product.aspx?pid=139&cid=16

At one point during my time in Korea, I got myself into a funk I just couldn't get out of on my own. Like everyone I experienced ups and downs in my life but never one I couldn't pull myself out of or just ride out. I just happened to be reading a lot of marketing related books at the time of this funk and stumbled on this book. I read it and it changed my life.

The most important lesson Brian Tracy taught me is that you have almost total control over what you choose to think at any particular moment and what you choose to think greatly effects your mental and physical well being. Using the simple methods he described (certainly not methods of his own invention as he states) I changed my way of thinking and rather quickly restored my mental well being. I still use some of these techniques daily (out of habit now) and find life's challenges much easier to sort through.

I think this book should be mandatory reading for anyone coming to Korea.


bleh
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