I have been reading quite a bit since I have gotten here. I seriously have not read this much since University, and perhaps not this much, then! (sh! Don’t tell!)

Just this last weekend, I finished a book on multi-cultural representation in government and that sort. (I shamefully can’t recall the title at time of writing. Ask me if you want it.) It laid out some fantastic ideas and chains of thoughts. There were 2 key things that I got out of it. The first is differentiating between National Minorities and ethnic minorities, and examining them as separate rights and representation cases. I am sure to oversimplify, and butcher this a bit, but: Native Americans had no choice, so they are National Minority. Irish immigrants came voluntarily. The rights afford these 2 groups should be different. Or, at least, they must be thought of differently.

I also read a book by the fellow who wrote “Fight Club” (which I read a few weeks ago) called “Invisible Monsters.” It was an interesting read, but didn’t impress me either way.

I read the “Code Book”. I think that is the title. I need to pay more attention. Anyway, this excellent book started with ancient codes, and worked through present day, and then did a bit of conjecture on the future. It examined the nuts and bolts, like how the codes worked, and their strengths and weaknesses. The strength of the book is putting all the developments into a historical context. This angle made it quite heard to put down. I eagerly followed the logic of cracking the Enigma code that would give the Allies a leg up in World War II. I mentally took pause as I read that the fellow who made PGP readily available for our modern age was taken to court, but later let go. It’s a great read.

I also began, this last weekend, a book of Rawl’s collected writings; essays mostly. He is a political theory fellow that I am led to believe is quite good. I also started a book on the philosophy of the internet. The first essay of Rawl’s was a little queer to read, but was written in 1951 in an outline form. The internet book has already given me some great things to think on just 2 chapters in. Like the idea the television wasn’t really so earth shattering new. It can be viewed as an improvement and extension of radio. Hmhmrrrm…

A couple weeks back I read Dahl’s “On Democracy”, which I highly recommend. It is easy to digest, and he nicely lays out what should make up a democracy. Given his thoughts, which I find myself in general agreement with, the United States has got some issues. Big Ones. See that? So big I needed a capital ‘O’.

I also read “Animal Farm”. I had started years ago, but never quite got through. I somehow managed to avoid reading almost every classic when I was in school. So thorough is what I missed that you might be tempted, though wrong, to say the aversion was willful on my part.

Ah! I just remember I read the original “Pinocchio” this last weekend. Let me tell you, the little bastard didn’t deserve to become a little boy, however reformed he was! It is a pretty quick read. I think you ought to check it out to help increase the buffer and filter strength between your mind and the Disney world. You have a buffer, right? Right?!

I also started reading “American Pharaoh” in Sarajevo. I will leave it there for when I visit. It is a (thick) book chronicling the rise and times of Mayor Daley Sr. of Chicago. So far, it is good stuff, and provides some good insight to political and thought ripples you can experience even today.

Stuck in the last weeks are also a book called “Don’t Read This if You’re Stupid”. I found it pretty bad. It read well enough, but left an icky taste in my mouth. I almost wish I were stupid. All the stories in it had outright miserable people, and messed up glimpses of their life. Perhaps I would enjoy it another time, but not this one. I also read “Elements of Style”. I think that is the title. One event is written in a ton of styles. I don’t feel like going into it, but you all would appreciate it.

This all doesn’t count the volume of materials I have read at OSCE to try and get my head around what the deal here is. I know I really need to get something down for “all ya all” about what that deal really is.

Posted by Andrew     

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