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I Wanna Be Literated #191
BOOKS

Fear City: New York’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Policis Kim Phillips-Fein (Metropolitan Books) Books about financial crises shouldn’t be this exciting. Books about financial crises that happened 40 years shouldn’t be this exciting. But, somehow, Kim Phillips-Fein has achieved the impossible. One would think a book dealing with such a serious and complicated subject would read like dry homework, but Phillips-Fein has managed to tell the story in a riveting way. I don’t want to say that...

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Thursday, 16 August 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #190
BOOKS

The Evolution of Beauty Richard Prum (Doubleday Books) Richard Prum seems to think he’s a Richard Dawkins type, which he’s not, and that’s probably at the heart of the problem with the Evolution of Beauty. What could have been a book that elevates our awareness of the world we live is instead just a clunky fragmented book. First of all, Prum is the arrogant showoff type. Richard Dawkins is too, but Prum seems not to notice that he keeps it...

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40
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Tuesday, 14 August 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #188
BOOKS

October Song by Paul Le Blanc (Haymarket Books) I’ve read a lot of books on the Soviet Union and the Bolshevik victory, good and bad, and it’s about time a book like this came along. October Song is essentially a detailed account of how the events after the October revolution led to the totalitarian and authoritative state of the Stalinist era. Be forewarned: this book feels longer than it is because of the dense subject matter, so it’s not for...

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Thursday, 26 July 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #181
BOOKS

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker Boy, this is a tricky one. On the one hand, Steven Pinker is one of the most respected scientist and thinkers worldwide, and he’s responsible for some of the most enlightening books out there. On the other hand, he just might be out of his league with this one. Enlightenment Now should be commended for the scope of its subject: measuring trends of health, advancement, and human...

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118
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Tuesday, 01 May 2018
I Wanna Be Literated #170
BOOKS

Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur Think back to the morning of November 9th, going to work and thinking “How exactly did this happen? How could we not have seen this coming?” Now imagine you’re journalist Katy Tur, on the campaign trail for 500 days, and on election night wondering the same thing. It wasn’t until it was too late that she realized what was going to happen. By then it was...

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191
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Thursday, 09 November 2017
I Wanna be Literated #169
BOOKS

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson I’ll never quite understand all the shit that gets flung at Neil deGrasse Tyson (NDT). Sure, he can come across as arrogant at times, but often we try to shoot the messenger. I think part of the problem here is that we like living in our fantasy worlds and cherish mystery and wonderment when in fact there is a clear scientific explanation for many of them. It’s healthy to have...

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211
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Thursday, 02 November 2017
I Wanna be Literated #168
BOOKS

Fascism: What It Is and How to Fight It by Leon Trotsky It’s strange to think that fascism is getting so much attention these days. In our current political climate things are getting so divisive that it’s much too common to label people as either fascists on the right or I-don’t-know-whats on the left. But for a word that gets thrown around so much, maybe we should know precisely what it means before we fling it around so carelessly. Leon...

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210
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Wednesday, 25 October 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #167
BOOKS

The Prospects of Industrial Civilization by Bertrand Russell My first impression when researching this book is finding out that even admitted Bertrand Russell “fans” don’t hold this book in very high esteem. Although better and more thorough analyses of this book exist, I still have to argue that there’s a lot to learn in the Prospects of Industrial Civilization. I do agree with critics that this probably should have been a longer book as Russell spends too little time on...

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223
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017
I Wanna be Literated #166
BOOKS

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist by Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins is someone who has been impressing me ever since I started reading him more than 10 years ago. It’s surprising the kind of shade that gets thrown his way, because if you read his books, they are quite enlightening and he comes across like a perfectly sane (albeit a bit arrogant) man. Dawkins’ books vary between his major theses, autobiography, and short essay collection. This...

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246
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Monday, 16 October 2017
I Wanna Be Literated #165
COLUMN

Total Chaos: The Story of the Stooges by Iggy Pop (Editor), Jon Savage (Editor), Jeff Gold (Editor), Johan Kugelburg (Contributor) The Stooges are a great example that you can’t keep a good thing down, for better or worse. At least not in this day and age. For whatever reason, the Stooges were revived more than 10 years ago, with as original of a lineup as possible and Mike Watt on bass. Aware that he was not and would not ever...

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Thursday, 12 October 2017