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Thread: Living without books

  1. #1
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Living without books

    I am obsessed with books and I can not think about living without books at all and infact books have been an inseparable part of my life.

    There are many sources of information and medias yet books appeal to me more than anything.

    Thinking about a world without books is unthinkabkle.

    My intellectual level and my patterns of thought are immensely shaped by the books I read.

    Now I share my ideas with you across is also my bookish knowledge.

    Yet I imagine of a world wihout books and without second hand knowledge of things and wherein we live thru direct experiences of things.

    Books at times take us away from real expereinces in life and we tend to behave the way we have learned from books.

    In point of fact we live in a world that is so much artificial.

    If there are no books, we will not have opinions about things and no preconceived notions. No preoccupations.

    At times all I feel is books burden us and push us to things that are very unreal.

    All artificial intelligence we find in books.

    All these do not include books about scinece and technolgy. I limit it to books of philosophies, literature and the like.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

  2. #2
    veni vidi vixi Bakiryu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post

    If there are no books, we will not have opinions about things and no preconceived notions. No preoccupations.

    All artificial intelligence we find in books.
    Yes, but what about television? radio programs? ipods? All mediums of mass comunication? since very early in life these also shape our thought patterns.

    Removing away books would only make the subject more interested in these.
    Shall these bones live?

  3. #3
    Ace of Spades
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakiryu View Post
    Yes, but what about television? radio programs? ipods? All mediums of mass comunication? since very early in life these also shape our thought patterns.

    Removing away books would only make the subject more interested in these.
    Books and internet (the information age) are vital.

    Besides educational programs, I have very little hope in television and cinema. Though I love films.

    What does television overindulge viewers with... sitcoms, crime drama, and MTV.

    Television and cinema are so preoccupied in creating the next BIG pop icon especially the latter which 90% (for lack of a decent word) garbage.

  4. #4
    A ist der Affe NickAdams's Avatar
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    The oral tradition was fine for small numbers, but our history ideas and such has been perserved thanks to books.

    We progressed through the exhaustive work of others and continue, because their findings can been viewed by anybody with a library card.

    "Do you mind if I reel in this fish?" - Dale Harris

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  5. #5
    The Sound of Silence
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    Quote Originally Posted by blazeofglory View Post
    At times all I feel is books burden us and push us to things that are very unreal.

    All artificial intelligence we find in books.
    This realy depends on your perception of reality. We all live in our own little realities, none of which are completely accurate. I think of reality as a map and each of us contains a small portion of this map, thus our ideas of what is "real" and imaginary are rather incomplete. We live a miniscule duration of time when compared to the history of the earth, the universe, and all being; so how can we even know what is real? Surely what is reality for us today would have seemed rather ludicrous 200 years ago.

    I agree with you that focusing too much on books and the ideas of others can push you to see things that aren't really there, but this can be avoided by just using your common sense, reason, empiricsim, conscience..whatever you want to call it.

    Books allow us to see things in ways that we would have never thought of on our own. I refer back to the life span thing; by reading books we are able to draw upon ideas from men and women from thousands of years of human history. There is a quote that I rather like, goes something like "He who can not draw upon 3 thousand years, is living hand to mouth." If we were just living by our own experiences and were only being influenced by our friends, co-workers, and god-forbid pop culture, we would remain horribly ignorant people. Sadly this is how a large part of our generation has become.

  6. #6
    Blaze of Glory, I too share, at least partly, your opinion, or I wouldn't be in this forum in the first place Though I'm quite addicted to books myself, I won't be drawn into praising books; I'd rather present a viable alternative.

    There's really, really good cinema out there, that makes you think as much as a book might, and it has the advantage of using both verbal language and visual language. You don't need to only look for European movies either; American independent films are somewhat gaining momentum and respectability.

    I'd also like to point out the fact that documentaries can provide a good deal of general culture, again with the advantage of being able to provide visual aid, which sometimes can be crucial to understand the topic better.

  7. #7
    Wow, I am so glad to read this thread!!

    "I am obsessed with books and I can not think about living without books at all and infact books have been an inseparable part of my life. "

    I quite agree with this!!!

  8. #8
    Haribol Acharya blazeofglory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cicilin View Post
    Wow, I am so glad to read this thread!!

    "I am obsessed with books and I can not think about living without books at all and infact books have been an inseparable part of my life. "

    I quite agree with this!!!
    This is really good to know that you like this thread and that promoted me to communicate more and more.

    “Those who seek to satisfy the mind of man by hampering it with ceremonies and music and affecting charity and devotion have lost their original nature””

    “If water derives lucidity from stillness, how much more the faculties of the mind! The mind of the sage, being in repose, becomes the mirror of the universe, the speculum of all creation.

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    There are much worse obsessions.

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    This thread reminds me of Farenheit 451. What would it if books were not allowed?
    Or more likely, if books became obsolete? There will always be other forms of expression, but books are my way of connecting with the world in a more concrete way than through the internet.

  11. #11
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    I can't imagine a world without books, but I do fear that my children may see such a world. That isn't to say that there will be no written word, only that in recent times printed works are not always being published in a physical text. Rather, things are being published and discussed online.

    In some ways I view the online world as the coming death of books, but I do think that there are good trade offs. Two hundred years ago information and ideas could only be passed through written texts. Now ideas are passing at a much quicker rate. Almost from the time that an idea is conceived it is available to the masses. It is a bit of a scary thought, but it is a good thing too. Collaborative efforts do not only include people in the near vicinity any longer. People can talk, discuss, debate and pass their ideas from all corners of the globe. This allows what I think is a better grouping of thought, and I imagine that it also helps to avoid a crossing of theories. From a scientific standpoint, it would allow for theories to be formulated and disproved or accepted at a rate much faster than before. The days where theories are formed and only disproved in a handful of years are over, and perhaps that is a good thing too.

    That said, if there is ever an end to written texts, it will be a sad sad day. I can't imagine ONLY reading from a computer screen, no matter how well it apes a book

  12. #12
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    there is an inscription on an edifice outside the paterno/patee library on the penn state campus:

    "the true university is a collection of books."

    over the past few years ive been writing inmates and during covid one of the recurring responses I got to my letters was that the prisons shut down the libraries. I was aghast by that.

  13. #13
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    "prisons shut down the libraries" - I wonder why ? Maybe easy to hollow out and conceal stuff ? Perhaps access to the internet for reading/research was increased ?

    re: "the true university is a collection of books.": The ancient library at Alexandra was a great example, though it had 3-horrific fires if I recall... an excellent reason to digitize and make available to the world nowadays.

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    no, it was the ridiculous and overbearing bureaucratic response to covid.

    none of the inmates I wrote had access to the internet in the broadest sense. some could email, but only through a prison vendor that cost both parties, me and them, money to send them.

    tough for me to imagine a life without books.

  15. #15
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    No books in prison!?
    No prison library!?

    That’s outrageous, egregious, preposterous!
    I am mortified and stupefied!
    Shocked and chagrined!

    (Thank you Jackie)
    https://youtu.be/dbG4P-AYzzA?si=aG4cx3G3-Lb4wOie

    Also it seems to me to violate our rights under the Constitution of the United States, specifically the the 8th Amendment, which protects us against cruel or unusual punishment.

    I have an idea. But we gotta get Amazon involved — Kindle users are encouraged to upgrade their old E-readers and they get a certain credit if they donate their old one to a prisoner. Amazon wins - corporate good will and they sell a bunch of new Kindles. Kindle users win - they get an upgraded e-reader at a discount. Prisoners win - they get to while away their time reading rather than doing any of a number of other things people do while incarcerated. The prison system wins - inmates while away their time reading rather than doing any number of other things they could be doing. And society at large wins - the very act of reading works towards rehabilitation rather than recidivism. (Depending of course on what’s being read)

    Kindles for Konvicts
    E-readers for the Encarcerated

    **WARNING WARNING**
    Sancho is about to launch into a rambling personal story…

    So I had an impromptu book-club meeting with a convict once. Back in the late 90s I was a member of the Louisiana National Guard. My unit drilled at Camp Beauregard, which is a state-owned facility near Alexandria, LA. The Guard shared the post with a minimum-security prison and consequently we always had a few inmates working in our building. One day I found a book in the break room that had been checked out from the prison library. It had an old-style card envelope inside the back cover with a bunch of date stamps indicating it was a popular book. It also had a small hole through the front cover and the first hundred pages or so that looked like it’d been made with an ice pick. (books make good body armor too)

    My curiosity was piqued, so I started reading. Fascinating book. It was more or less a memoir, written from inside California’s San Quentin State Prison by a member of the Crips, a gang in South Central Los Angeles. The writer had been a gang banger from a very young age and gave a very intimate and raw description of gang life. He also described the gang warfare in South Central. He described the warfare as, well, warfare. There was strategy, tactics, maneuver, rules of engagement, all the elements of warfare, the same as organized armies understand it. He talked about the information technology of the day - graffiti. He said he got his news and current intel about what was happening in the ‘hood from the graffiti spray painted all over the place. At one point after a long stretch in prison he returned to the neighborhood and had difficulty reading the graffiti because the language of it had morphed while he was away.

    So I was sitting there in the break room, reading this book, when an inmate walked in. He saw me there and said, “Oh hey, you got my book.”
    I said, “Yeah, sorry, here you go” and handed it to him.
    He said, “Naw, man, keep it. I already read it. Take it with you.”
    So I did. I took it back to my room and read the rest of it that night. The next day I brought it back and the inmate and I sat in the break room for an hour or two and talked about the book. It was my most memorable book-club meeting ever. He and I had different takeaways.

    The book:
    Monster: The Autobiography Of An L. A. Gang Member
    by Sanyika Shakur, aka Monster Kody Scott
    Uhhhh...

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