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Excerpts

Understand a novelette by Ted Chiang (Full Excerpt)

Ted Chiang writes…

The initial impulse to write “Understand” arose from an offhand remark made by my roommate in college; he was reading Sartre’s Nausea at the time, whose protagonist finds only meaninglessness in everything he sees. But what would it be like, my roommate wondered, to find meaning and order in everything you saw? To me that suggested a kind of heightened perception, which in turn suggested superintelligence. I started thinking about the point at which quantitative improvements — better memory, faster pattern recognition — turn into a qualitative difference, a fundamentally different mode of cognition.

Something else I wondered about was the possibility of truly understanding how our minds works. Some people are certain that it’s impossible for us to understand our minds, offering analogies like “you can’t see your face with your own eyes.” I never found that persuasive. It may turn out that we can’t, in fact, understand our minds (for certain values of “understand” and “mind”), but it’ll take an argument much more persuasive than that to convince me.

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Excerpts Psychology

The Gift of Fear – Survival Signals by Gavin De Becker (Excerpt)

The following is respectfully quoted from “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker:

Many homicides have occurred at the courthouse where women were seeking protection orders, or just prior to the hearings. Why? Because the murderers were allergic to rejection. They found it hard enough in private but intolerable in public. For men like this, rejection is a threat to identity, the persona, to the entire self, and in this sense their crimes could be called murder in defense of the self. In To Have or To Harm, the first major book on stalking, author Linden Gross details case after case in which court orders did not prevent homicides. Here are just a few:

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Book Reviews

Some strong quotes from “The Book Thief”

I absolutely loved “The Book Thief” – a story about the Second World War, about the killing of Jews and concentration camps, about death and fatherhood and a little girl.

I re-read my favourite passage from the book – the day before the Jews marched towards the death camp – the last day of peace on the street:

Now more than ever, 33 Himmel Street was a place of silence, and it did not go unnoticed that the Duden Dictionary was completely and utterly mistaken, especially with its related words.

Silence was not quiet or calm, and it was not peace.


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Excerpts

Best sex scene in Atlas Shrugged * Ayn Rand

Whoever told you that Atlas Shrugged is a boring book, they never mentioned that it features some pretty cool characters, love triangles by the truckload and one sex scene that would make Anne Rice blush! Well, maybe not Anne Rice but it’s definitely better than Murakami’s approach.

The sound came from his engine, from the control of his hands on the wheel; she held onto that; the rest was to be endured, not resisted.
She lay still, her legs stretched forward, her hands on the arms of the seat, with no sense of motion, not even her own, to give her a sense of time, with no space, no sight, no future, with the night of closed eyelids under the pressure of the cloth-and with the knowledge of his presence beside her as her single, unchanging reality, They did not speak. Once, she said suddenly, “Mr. Galt.”
“Yes?”
“No. Nothing. I just wanted to know whether you were still there.”
“I will always be there.”

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Excerpts

Atlas Shrugged * The crying song of the people * Excerpt

This is what happens when inept people rule the country and prioritize budgeting for friends and luxury rather than food and subsistence and jobs:


“Soybeans make an excellent substitute for bread, meat, cereals and coffee-and if all of us were compelled to adopt soybeans as our staple diet, it would solve the national food crisis and make it possible to feed more people.

The greatest food for the greatest number-that’s my slogan.

At a time of desperate public need, it’s our duty to sacrifice our luxurious tastes and eat our way back to prosperity by adapting ourselves to the simple, wholesome foodstuff on which the peoples of the Orient have so nobly subsisted for centuries. There’s a great deal that we could learn from the peoples of the Orient.”

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Excerpts

Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations Excerpt

We enjoy publishing our thoughts and those of our writers, but we also love going to primary sources whenever possible. Today we’re sitting at the feet of ancient Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius to hear his timeless thoughts on what matters in life—and what doesn’t. The following is excerpted from Book II of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

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Excerpts

Robin Hood – The most immoral human symbol – Excerpt from Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)

I freakishly love Atlas Shrugged. This mammoth of a book from the Objectivist Ayn Rand.

This is a small excerpt from the middle of the book – just after laws were given to rob from the rich and give to the poor, to make all men equal (which is in today’s world called The Robin Hood Tax).

“I’m after a man whom I want to destroy. He died many centuries ago, but until the last trace of him is wiped out of men’s minds, we will not have a decent world to live in.”
“What man?”
“Robin Hood.”
Rearden looked at him blankly, not understanding

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Excerpts

Woman Boss – Quote from Robber Bride (Margaret Atwood)

This is the story of Roz – the CEO of a woman’s magazine. She’s good with her money and she has some good insight as to what it means to be a woman boss.

Quote from “Robber Bride” from Margaret Atwood (p112)

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Excerpts

He doesn’t love you – Excerpt from Robber Bride (Margaret Atwood)

This book is full of raw dialogue – raw because you can sometimes feel it resonate within you. Raw because it makes you think … would have I reacted the same way? Would I have done the same things? Would I have known?

Excerpt is taken from Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood – a discussion between kind Charis who is allowing Zenia (who poses as a friend) to stay with her and her boyfriend until she gets well. PS: Zenia’s refusal to say Charis’ taken name shows how little he cares about her and her glee in destroying a loving relationship is real.

Read on and tell me if you can spot the manipulative behaviour. It’s all in the pauses.

two Woemn.jpg

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Excerpts

The Lovely Bones – Excerpt about death

This is one of my favourite parts from The Lovely Bones

“You don’t notice the dead leaving when they really choose to leave you. You’re not meant to. At most you feel them as a whisper or the wave of a whisper undulating down. I would compare it to a woman in the back of a lecture hall or theater whom no one notices until she slips out.Then only those near the door themselves, like Grandma Lynn, notice; to the rest it is like an unexplained breeze in a closed room.