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The End Is Always Near: Apocalyptic Moments, from the Bronze Age Collapse to Nuclear Near Misses
Do tough times create tougher people? Can humanity handle the power of its weapons without destroying itself? Will human technology or capabilities ever peak or regress? No one knows the answers to such questions, but no one asks them in a more interesting way than Dan Carlin.In The End is Always Near, Dan Carlin looks at questions and historical events that force us to consider what sounds like fantasy; that we might suffer the same fate that all previous eras did. Will our world ever become a ruin for future archaeologists to dig up and explore? The questions themselves are both philosophical and like something out of The Twilight Zone.Combining his trademark mix of storytelling, history and weirdness Dan Carlin connects the past and future in fascinating and colorful ways. At the same time the questions he asks us to consider involve the most important issue imaginable: human survival. From the collapse of the Bronze Age to the challenges of the nuclear era the issue has hung over humanity like a persistent Sword of Damocles.Inspired by his podcast, The End is Always Near challenges the way we look at the past and ourselves. In this absorbing compendium, Carlin embarks on a whole new set of stories and major cliffhangers that will keep readers enthralled. Idiosyncratic and erudite, offbeat yet profound, The End is Always Near examines issues that are rarely presented, and makes the past immediately relevant to our very turbulent present.
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything
In the tradition of Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian and Sam Harris's recent bestseller, The End of Faith, Christopher Hitchens makes the ultimate case against religion. With a close and erudite reading of the major religious texts, he documents the ways in which religion is a man-made wish, a cause of dangerous sexual repression, and a distortion of our origins in the cosmos. With eloquent clarity, Hitchens frames the argument for a more secular life based on science and reason, in which hell is replaced by the Hubble Telescope's awesome view of the universe, and Moses and the burning bush give way to the beauty and symmetry of the double helix.
The Stoic writings of the philosopher Seneca, who lived from c. 5 BC to AD 65, offer powerful insights into the art of living, the importance of reason and morality, and continue to provide profound guidance to many through their eloquence, lucidity and timeless wisdom. This selection of Seneca's orks was taken from the Penguin Classics edition of Dialogues and Letters, translated by C.D.N. Costa, and includes the essays On the Shortness of Life, Consolation to Helvia, and On Tranquility of Mind.
The History of Sexuality (Vol.1)
Why has there been such a veritable explosion of discussion about sex in the West since the seventeenth century? How did we ever come to believe that our increasing talk about it would make us less repressed? In this first volume of his ambitious multi-part study, Michel Foucault offers a dazzling, iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the question of what we are to what our sexuality is.
Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work
Crawford, Matthew B.
A philosopher/mechanic's wise (and sometimes funny) look at the challenges and pleasures of working with one's hands Called "the sleeper hit of the publishing season" (The Boston Globe), Shop Class as Soulcraft became an instant bestseller, attracting readers with its radical (and timely) reappraisal of the merits of skilled manual labor. On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew B. Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a "knowledge worker," based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. Using his own experience as an electrician and mechanic, Crawford presents a wonderfully articulated call for self-reliance and a moving reflection on how we can live concretely in an ever more abstract world.
The Consolations of Philosophy
De Botton, Alain
The internationally heralded author of How Proust Can Change Your Life presents the wisdom of some of the greatest thinkers of the ages as advice for our day-to-day struggles in this remarkable new book. Solace for the broken heart can be found in the words of Schopenhauer. The ancient Greek Epicurus has the wisest, and most affordable, solution to cash-flow problems. A remedy for impotence lies in Montaigne. Seneca offers advice upon losing a job. And Nietzsche has shrewd counsel for everything from loneliness to illness. The Consolations of Philosophy is a book as accessibly erudite as it is useful and entertaining.
How Good People Make Tough Choices: Resolving the Dilemmas of Ethical Living (Revised Edition)
Kidder, Rushworth M.
Should you take a much-needed vacation or save money for the kids' education? Protect the endangered owl or maintain jobs for loggers? Have a heart-to-heart with a lying employee or fire him on the spot? All of us face ethical choices. Sometimes they're easy: One side is wrong and the other is right. But how do we handle the really tough "right vs. right" dilemmas, where each side has strong moral arguments and we can't do both? This book helps us build Ethical Fitness - a values-based decision-making process so definitive that it's now a registered trade mark. Rushworth M. Kidder, founder of the Institute for Global Ethics, teaches us how to think for ourselves in order to resolve ethical dilemmas ranging from the intimately personal to the broadly philosophical. Unique in its approach and rich with illustrative anecdotes - updated with examples of real-world conflicts from today's political realm and from Dr. Kidder's own observations - How Good People Make Tough Choices is an indispensable resource for spotting, understanding, and resolving our toughest decisions.
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (25th Anniversary Edition)
A book to raise the spirits and warm the heart. Includes the famous Kindergarten essay that was read on the floor of the U.S. Senate.
I and Thou
Today considered a landmark of twentieth-century intellectual history, I and Thou is also one of the most important books of Western theology. In it, Martin Buber, heavily influenced by the writings of Frederich Nietzsche, united the proto-Existentialists currents of modern German thought with the Judeo-Christian tradition, powerfully updating faith for modern times. Since its first appearance in German in 1923, this slender volume has become one of the epoch-making works of our time. Not only does it present the best thinking of one of the greatest Jewish minds in centuries, but has helped to mold approaches to reconciling God with the workings of the modern world and the consciousness of its inhabitants.
One of the great works of Western literature, from perhaps the most important thinker of Christian antiquity, in a revolutionary new translation by one of today’s leading classicistsSarah Ruden’s fresh, dynamic translation of Confessions brings us closer to Augustine’s intent than any previous version. It puts a glaring spotlight on the life of one individual to show how all lives have meaning that is universal and eternal.In this intensely personal narrative, Augustine tells the story of his sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. He describes his ascent from a humble farm in North Africa to a prestigious post in the Roman Imperial capital of Milan, his struggle against his own overpowering sexuality, his renunciation of secular ambition and marriage, and the recovery of the faith his mother had taught him during his earliest years. Augustine’s concerns are often strikingly contemporary, and the confessional mode he invented can be seen everywhere in writing today. Grounded in her command of Latin as it was written and spoken in the ancient world, Sarah Ruden’s translation is a bold departure from its predecessors—and the most historically accurate translation ever. Stylistically beautiful, with no concessions made to suit later theology and ritual, Ruden’s rendition will give readers a startling and illuminating new perspective on one of the central texts of Christianity.
Sudo, Philip Toshio
Zen Guitar unfolds through fifty-eight lessons that establish a beginner's mind and provide focus and a guide to common missteps, continuing through technical excellence and advanced levels of Zen. Philip Sudo offers his own experiences with music to enable us to rediscover the harmony in each of our lives and open ourselves to a Zen awareness uniquely suited to the Western mind. This harmony is further illuminated through quotes from sources ranging from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis and Andres Segovia.
The Art of Living: Peace and Freedom in the Here and Now
Hanh, Thich Nhat
In troubled times, there is an urgency to understand ourselves and our world. We have so many questions, and they tug at us night and day, consciously and unconsciously. In this important volume Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh - one of the most revered spiritual leaders in the world today - reveals an art of living in mindfulness that helps us answer life’s deepest questions and experience the happiness and freedom we desire. Thich Nhat Hanh presents, for the first time, seven transformative meditations that open up new perspectives on our lives, our relationships and our interconnectedness with the world around us. Based on the last full talks before his sudden hospitalization, and drawing on intimate examples from his own life, Thich Nhat Hanh shows us how these seven meditations can free us to live a happy, peaceful and active life, and face aging and dying with curiosity and joy and without fear.Containing the essence of the Buddha’s teachings and Thich Nhat Hanh’s poignant, timeless, and clarifying prose, The Art of Living provides a spiritual dimension to our lives. This is not an effort to escape life or to dwell in a place of bliss outside of this world. Instead, this path will allow us to discover where we come from and where we are going. And most of all, it will generate happiness, understanding, and love, so we can live deeply in each moment of our life, right where we are.
An up-and-coming visionary in the world of philanthropy and a cofounder of the effective altruism movement explains why most of our ideas about how to make a difference are wrong and presents a counterintuitive way for each of us to do the most good possible. While a researcher at Oxford, William MacAskill decided to devote his study to a simple question: How can we do good better? MacAskill realized that, while most of us want to make a difference, we often decide how to do so based on assumptions and emotions rather than facts. As a result, our good intentions often lead to ineffective, sometimes downright harmful, outcomes. As an antidote, MacAskill and his colleagues developed effective altruism--a practical, data-driven approach to doing good that allows us to make a tremendous difference regardless of our resources. Effective altruists operate by asking certain key questions that force them to think differently, set aside biases, and use evidence and careful reasoning rather than act on impulse. In Doing Good Better, MacAskill lays out these principles and shows that, when we use them correctly--when we apply the head and the heart to each of our altruistic endeavors--each of us has the power to do an astonishing amount of good.
Aristotle for Everybody
Adler, Mortimer J.
Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.) taught logic to Alexander the Great and, by virtue of his philosophical works, to every philosopher since, from Marcus Aurelius, to Thomas Aquinas, to Mortimer J. Adler. Now Adler instructs the world in the "uncommon common sense" of Aristotelian logic, presenting Aristotle's understandings in a current, delightfully lucid way. He brings Aristotle's work to an everyday level. By encouraging readers to think philosophically, Adler offers us a unique path to personal insights and understanding of intangibles, such as the difference between wants and needs, the proper way to pursue happiness, and the right plan for a good life.
The Basic Works of Aristotle
Preserved by Arabic mathematicians, and canonized by Christian scholars, Aristotle's works have shaped western thought, science, and religion for nearly two thousand years. And in print as a Random House hardcover for 60 years, McKeon's Basic Writings has long been considered the best available one-volume Aristotle. Appearing in paperback at long last, this edition will include a new introduction by distinguished philosopher C.D. Reeve.
Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement (P.S.)
Since its original publication in 1975, this groundbreaking work has awakened millions of people to the existence of "speciesism" - our systematic disregard of nonhuman animals - inspiring a worldwide movement to transform our attitudes to animals and eliminate the cruelty we inflict on them. In Animal Liberation, author Peter Singer exposes the chilling realities of today's "factory farms" and product-testing procedures - destroying the spurious justifications behind them, and offering alternatives to what has become a profound environmental and social as well as moral issue. An important and persuasive appeal to conscience, fairness, decency, and justice, it is essential reading for the supporter and the skeptic alike.
The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently...and Why
Nisbett, Richard E.
When psychologist Richard E. Nisbett showed an animated underwater scene to his American students, they zeroed in on a big fish swimming among smaller fish. Japanese observers instead commented on the background environment - and the different "seeings" are a clue to profound cognitive differences between Westerners and East Asians. As Nisbett shows in The Geography of Thought, people think about - and even see - the world differently because of differing ecologies, social structures, philosophies, and educational systems that date back to ancient Greece and China. The Geography of Thought documents Professor Nisbett's groundbreaking research in cultural psychology, addressing questions such as: Why did the ancient Chinese excel at algebra and arithmetic, but not geometry, the brilliant achievement of such Greeks as Euclid? Why do East Asians find it so difficult to disentangle an object from its surroundings? Why do Western infants learn nouns more rapidly than verbs, when it is the other way around in East Asia? At a moment in history when the need for cross-cultural understanding and collaboration have never been more important, The Geography of Thought offers both a map to that gulf and a blueprint for a bridge that might be able to span it.
Assholes: A Theory
What does it mean for someone to be an asshole? The answer is not obvious, despite the fact that we are often personally stuck dealing with people for whom there is no better name. Try as we might to avoid them, assholes are found everywhere and in multiple iterations: smug assholes, royal assholes, the presidential asshole, corporate assholes, reckless assholes. The list goes on. Asshole management begins with asshole understanding. Much as Machiavelli illuminated political strategy for princes, this book finally gives us the concepts to think or say why assholes disturb us so, and explains why such people seem part of the human social condition, especially in an age of raging narcissism and unbridled capitalism. These concepts are also practically useful, as understanding the asshole we are stuck with helps us think constructively about how to handle problems he (and they are mostly all men) presents. We get a better sense of when the asshole is best resisted, and when he is best ignored - a better sense of what is, and what is not, worth fighting for.
The Te of Piglet
The sequel to The Tao of Pooh explores the te (a Chinese word meaning virtue) of A. A. Milne's Piglet and features dialogue between the author and Piglet, Pooh, Eeyore, and other characters
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
Newly urgent, The True Believer is Eric Hoffer's classic examination of nationalist movements, fanatical causes, and the psychology of authoritarian leaders and their followers. "It's theme is political fanaticism, with which it deals severely and brilliantly," hails The New Yorker.
This Thing Called You
The inspiration of Ernest Holmes has reached hundreds of thousands of readers through his classic works. Originally published in the first half of the twentieth century, these meditative, concise volumes have never previously appeared in paperback. Whether a newcomer to the philosophy Holmes founded or a veteran reader, you will find great power and practicality in the words that render Holmes one of the most celebrated and beloved mystical teachers of the past hundred years.
How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness
A forgotten book by one of history's greatest thinkers reveals the surprising connections between happiness, virtue, fame, and fortune. Adam Smith may have become the patron saint of capitalism after he penned his most famous work, The Wealth of Nations. But few people know that when it came to the behavior of individuals--the way we perceive ourselves, the way we treat others, and the decisions we make in pursuit of happiness--the Scottish philosopher had just as much to say. He developed his ideas on human nature in an epic, sprawling work titled The Theory of Moral Sentiments. Most economists have never read it, and for most of his life, Russ Roberts was no exception. But when he finally picked up the book by the founder of his field, he realized he'd stumbled upon what might be the greatest self-help book that almost no one has read. In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life, Roberts examines Smith's forgotten masterpiece, and finds a treasure trove of timeless, practical wisdom. Smith's insights into human nature are just as relevant today as they were three hundred years ago. What does it take to be truly happy? Should we pursue fame and fortune or the respect of our friends and family? How can we make the world a better place? Smith's unexpected answers, framed within the rich context of current events, literature, history, and pop culture, are at once profound, counterintuitive, and highly entertaining.
The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST, NPR, AND KIRKUS REVIEWS A scathing portrait of an urgent new American crisis Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world's wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends--growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration--come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime--but it's impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side. In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice--the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistleblower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights. Through astonishing--and enraging--accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide's punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all.
Escape from Evil
"An urgent essay that bears all the marks of a final philosophical raging against the dying of the light. . . . The beauty - and terror - of his final testament lies in his unsparing analysis of how men from time immemorial have sought scapegoats and victims in order to bolster their intimations of immorality. . . ." - Newsweek
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