News from Too_Too_Solid_Flesh

  1. No. Because I read for the quality of writing. Even if AI could be trained to understand how to place plot points in a coherent unfolding series, it would be impossible to train them how to choose the most artistically harmonious word. So I'd end up with a badly written list of plot points, and I might as well read the Wikipedia summary if that's all I can expect.

  2. So when I spent Wednesday night listening to the opera Lulu by Alban Berg in my house alone on the Metropolitan Opera station, to whom was I pretending?

  3. Oh I'm sure there are people who actually enjoy it, but I'm sure there are those who pretend to, in order to appear cultured.

  4. There might conceivably be people who say they do but don't listen in order to appear cultured—though I've never met any—but when you get to the point of actually attending performances of operas or listening to them on CD/the radio/online, it's a different thing entirely. Opera performances don't really give you a chance to network, and it would be absurd to single out and praise someone for doing the exact sane thing every other attendee is doing.

  5. What richness? Shakespeare wrote to entertain the masses, not philosophical commentary on the human condition.

  6. Of course, because working-class people can't think or feel. Frankly, we're damned lucky that Shakespeare's plays aren't just a series of grunts.

  7. The fact is that in his own time, he was seen as just another playwright. He was respected, but not considered to be particularly exceptional. He wasn’t knighted!

  8. Any of the exploitative modern-day freak shows on TV like My 600-lb. Life. I can't believe they've been commissioned, I can't believe people are happy to be filmed on them, and I can't believe people happily watch them. I stopped watching TV entirely over a decade ago, but even when I did watch it regularly I'd never watch crap like that.

  9. My top two favorite books are The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio and William Shakespeare: The Complete Works. My favorite nonfiction is The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, and my favorite autobiography is The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini (which I also have in an edition titled simply My Life, published by Oxford World's Classics).

  10. I generally prefer text to audio, because I read while listening to music, so audiobooks are obviously counterproductive. Sometimes I'll listen to them on long drives, however. I don't really have a preference between paperback/hardback/e-book, and I'm always reading a good mix of physical and e-books.

  11. I think that Hilary Mantel's Cromwell Trilogy has what it takes to be a future classic.

  12. I think it's the most probable outcome given that the second law of thermodynamics exists, and everything about neuroscience suggests that what we think of as "our consciousness" is the result of underlying brain activity and that damage to the brain can cause personality shifts or even the loss of sense of self, as in stroke victims who don't believe that the paralyzed half of their body is even theirs. Given that, it's reasonable to conclude that when your brain dies, it takes what makes you "you" with it.

  13. Physical book/e-book/newspaper/audiobook (however I make the least use of audiobooks because I like to listen to music as I read)

  14. If you’re processing the information and experiencing the text, then, yes, you’re reading. People are just being pedantic bastards. Coming from someone who never listens to audiobooks because I tend to dislike the narrators’ voices.

  15. But you're not experiencing any text with an audiobook. You're experiencing an audio recording.

  16. Other: I buy huge numbers of books from the Friends of the Library book sales because I know when I find something good that I'll likely never see it for that price again. Most of the time they don't have anything I'm interested in, but when they do I'm all over it.

  17. I like them both (so "no preference"), but in practice most of the time the "short" works aren't necessarily any shorter than the "long" works because I read them in anthologies and collections.

  18. That's what people don't understand about keeping the dead. There's nothing like coming home from a stressful day at work and having your corpse greet you at the door with its unmoving gaze and one eye starting to fall out of the socket and then just cuddling your problems away.

  19. Technically, anyone can talk to the dead. It’s the “talking back at you” that is the challenge.

  20. For me, reading is better because I like to listen to music as I read, so audiobooks are obviously counterproductive. If you're asking which is objectively better, I don't think that determination has been made and I doubt one is possible given the number of ways different people learn best.

  21. The foul and the assasin ( Le Fou et l'Assassin in french idk thé title in english )

  22. The title would be The Fool and the Assassin if it were translated directly, but sometimes books have different titles in different countries.

  23. Scientologists use the term "Clear" to refer to the status of someone who they deem free of the influence of "engrams", or unwanted emotions, traumas, mental burdens, etc that are obtained during this or a past life. You usually try to reach this "Clear" status by progressing to higher levels in "The Bridge" which typically costs a LOT of money.

  24. However, they also believe that "engrams" are parasitic spiritual beings left over from billions of years ago when the evil galatic overlord Xenu solved his overpopulation problem by bringing millions of aliens to Teegeeack (Earth), dropping them in a Hawaiian volcano (Hawaii itself didn't physically exist at the time this supposedly happened), and exploding an H-bomb.

  25. I respect the choice, but don't think I could listen to him exclusively for a year.

  26. Frankly, I wouldn't know if I could either until the experiment were made. However, it is possibly telling that when I started to feel jaded about classical music, because our local radio station played the same few famous pieces over and over again, that the one composer I never got tired of hearing was Bach.

  27. You never got emotional at the very end at the Grey Havens where Frodo leaves the gang? I'm not saying you need to cry a river but at least tear-up?

  28. No, I didn't. Frankly, the entire book didn't make that much of an impression on me. I liked it well enough to keep going, which is no mean thing for a book that length in three volumes, but still when it was over I didn't really feel any further connection to it. It was just something I'd read and now it was over. I don't really like fantasy fiction, therefore I don't emotionally identify with it or get invested in its characters.

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