is not like other people
I'm thinking more of your Nietzscheian, magick-with-a-k, do-what-thou-wilt, Crowley/P-orridge types. As opposed to people who whinge on the internet about taxes on sugary drinks.
Oliver Sudden

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I've just, belatedly, found that you can no longer get proper San Pellegrino with an adequate amount of sugar in it, due to the government's idiotic and regressive sugar tax. All you can get now is this garbage with "stevia" in it, whatever the fuck that is, and it tastes like a tramp's arse.
Shit like this makes me want to go full libertarian. If I want to juggle live hand grenades while ripped to the tits on 300 micrograms of Hofmann's finest then that's my own fucking lookout, OK?
6Ravi Juneja and 5 others




call me big papa
I'm reading Three Philosophical Poets by George Santayana

It's tough going but I'm enjoying it, feels like it's good for my brain

I'm reading it because I read that T.S. Eliot read it.

Same goes for a G.K. Chesterton biography of Dickens which I plan to read next (it's only 100 pages).


Well-known member
Staff member
You're going to read a biography of Dickens but you won't finish David Copperfield?


call me big papa
I'm tempted just cos it's so short and it feels good to get a "Win" under your belt, doesn't it? Get some momentum up for the big push.

But I see your point and I promise not to.


call me big papa
"The sole advantage in possessing great works of literature lies in what they can help us to become. In themselves, as feats performed by their authors, they would have forfeited none of their truth or greatness if they had perished before our day. We can neither take away nor add to their past value or inherent dignity. It is only they, in so far as they are appropriate food and not poison for us, that can add to the present value and dignity of our minds."
"If we think of philosophy as an investigation into truth, or as reasoning upon truths supposed to be discovered, there is nothing in philosophy akin to poetry. There is nothing poetic about the works of Epicurus, or St. Thomas Aquinas, or Kant; they are leafless forests."
"But poetry cannot be spread upon things like butter; it must play upon them like light, and be the medium through which we see them."
"The reasonings and investigations of philosophy are arduous, and if poetry is to be linked with them, it can be artificially only, and with a bad grace. But the vision of philosophy is sublime. The order it reveals in the world is something beautiful, tragic, sympathetic to the mind, and just what every poet, on a small or on a large scale, is always trying to catch."
"Nevertheless, even if we grant that the philosopher, in his best moments, is a poet, we may suspect that the poet has his worst moments when he tries to be a philosopher, or rather, when he succeeds in being one. Philosophy is something reasoned and heavy; poetry something winged, flashing, inspired. Take almost any longish poem, and the parts of it are better than the whole."
"Is not the poetic quality of phrases and images due to their concentrating and liberating the confused promptings left in us by a long experience? When we feel the poetic thrill, is it not that we find sweep in the concise and depth in the clear, as we might find all the lights of the sea in the water of a jewel? And what is a philosophic thought but such an epitome?"
"It is the acme of life to understand life. The height of poetry is to speak the language of the gods."
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call me big papa
Those are cherry picked quoations btw, not meant to be read in one order (though they seem to hang together quite well).

This is good too:

"Our ignorance of the life of Lucretius is not, I think, much to be regretted. His work preserves that part of him which he himself would have wished to preserve. Perfect conviction ignores itself, proclaiming the public truth. To reach this no doubt requires a peculiar genius which is called intelligence; for intelligence is quickness in seeing things as they are. But where intelligence is attained, the rest of a man, like the scaffolding to a finished building, becomes irrelevant. We do not wish it to intercept our view of the solid structure, which alone was intended by the artist—if he was building for others, and was not a coxcomb. It is his intellectual vision that the naturalist in particular wishes to hand down to posterity, not the shabby incidents that preceded that vision in his own person. These incidents, even if they were by chance interesting, could not be repeated in us; but the vision into which the thinker poured his faculties, and to which he devoted his vigils, is communicable to us also, and may become a part of ourselves."


call me big papa
"The man who discovers the secret springs of appearances opens to contemplation a second positive world, the workshop and busy depths of nature, where a prodigious mechanism is continually supporting our life, and making ready for it from afar by the most exquisite adjustments. The march of this mechanism, while it produces life and often fosters it, yet as often makes it difficult and condemns it to extinction. This truth, which the conception of natural substance first makes intelligible, justifies the elegies which the poets of illusion and disillusion have always written upon human things. It is a truth with a melancholy side; but being a truth, it satisfies and exalts the rational mind, that craves truth as truth, whether it be sad or comforting, and wishes to pursue a possible, not an impossible, happiness."


call me big papa
I was really struggling with this bit last night (and that probably shows how blunt an instrument my brain has become)

"There are two maxims in Lucretius that suffice, even to this day, to distinguish a thinker who is a naturalist from one who is not. "Nothing," he says, "arises in the body in order that we may use it, but what arises brings forth its use."This is that discarding of final causes on which all progress in science depends. The other maxim runs:" One thing will grow plain when compared with another: and blind night shall not obliterate the path for thee, before thou hast thoroughly scanned the ultimate things of nature; so much will things throw light on things." Nature is her own standard; and if she seems to us unnatural, there is no hope for our minds."


Wild Horses
I am trying to read a book a week this year. This obviously necessitates reading lots of short books to counter the whacking great huge ones I want to read, so far it's been quite good for pulling the great unread off of my shelves. I'll highlight the ones I think were particularly great. The scores on the doors thus far:

Here Comes Everybody - Clay Shirky
The Sugar Barons - Matthew Parris
A Wizard of Earthsea AGAIN
Isis: Inside the Army of Terror - Michael Weiss & Hassan Hassan
Yaksini Magic - Mike Magee
Corbynism - Matt Bolton & Fred Harry Pitts
The Loosening Skin - Aliya Whitely
Hello World - Hannah Fry
Hine's Varieties: Chaos & Beyond - Phil Hine
Semiosis - Sue Burke
Voodoo & the Art of Haiti - Sheldon Williams
Pit Sense & the State - David John Douglass
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
Haitian Vodou - Mambo Chita Tann
A People's Tragedy -Orlando Figes
The Miracle Club - Mitch Horowitz
Monstrous Cults - Stephen Sennitt
The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sexual Revolution - Wilhelm Reich
The Skeleton's Holiday - Leonora Carrington
Still Here - Danielle See Walker
Maoism: A Global History - Julia Lovell
Ode to Charles Fourier - Andre Breton
Arcimboldo - Werner Kreigskorte
Torre David - Brillenbourg & Klemper
The Supermale - Alfred Jarry
Making the most of it - Bryan Magee
Shoot the Damn Dog - Sally Brampton
The Man who solved the market: Jim Simons& the quant revolution - Greg Zuclerberg
Guede a Mo: A Workbook - Houngan Ya Sezi Bo
The Big Short - Michael Lewis
Things Can Only Get Better - John O'Farrell


call me big papa
This is the last book I finished (just the other day)

Nonfiction is very easy to read. Was fascinating for me cos the Troubles were slightly before my time (or at least before the time my brain had developed enough for me to take an interest in it). So I knew nothing about it all.

empty mirror

remember the jackalope
I am 600 pages into The Stand (Stephen King) and just dipping my toes into High Weirdness (drugs, esoterica, and visionary experience in the 70s) by Erik Davis.


Umberto Eco - Baudolino... promising looking historical novel type thing involving a dishonest peasant with a gift for languages who becomes a favourite of Barbarossa and ends up in Constantinople during its sacking. I like this sort of historical sweep and Eco's knack for adding in extra ideas so have high hopes after a couple of pages.