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Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL! 
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Professor

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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Its what I do!

Now if I could only keep YOU in line!

Mr. P.
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The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jun 06, 2006 12:12 pm
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The Pope of Literature


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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Three votes for "A Peace to End All Peace".

Thanks for making the change, Chris. I figured there must have been some mistake.

And incidentally, I'm not against reading about religion. I'm constantly reading about religion, and not just from a theistic perspective. I recently read "Good Sense", by Baron d'Holback, one of the landmarks of Enlightenment atheism, and I'm currently reading Hume's "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding", which has been the philosophical basis for just about every piece of atheistic literature I've ever seen.

Three things bother me about the religious readings here. One is that the dominate the quarterly readings, and I think that we get short-changed as a group by not travelling down some other avenues every once in a while. If we mixed it up on a regular basis, I'd probably be more inclined to join in on a book like "The End of Faith". When it comes close on the heels of a number of other books that criticize religion, I'm less likely to pick it up. The second is -- and I know that this probably isn't going to change -- that nearly all of our religious readings are about the dangers of Judeo-Christian religion. I'd like to know a lot more about Shinto, Jainism, Native American religion, Druidism, and so on, but those aren't the sort of books that we as a group choose when we discuss religion. It doesn't offend me; I just find it tedious. And the third is that we haven't been picking very good books on (or against) religion. I didn't read "The End of Faith", but it got a lot of criticism even from people who agree with its basic standpoint. I did read "Value and Virtue", and was pretty disappointed on the whole. I'm not against reading about religion, even books that criticize religion, but it seems to me that BookTalk gives preference to those books, even over better argued and written books in other fields.




Tue Jun 06, 2006 2:29 pm
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Professor

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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Banner of Heaven - 5

Breaking the Spell - 7

Directive - 1

Peace - 8


Mr. P.

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:57 pm
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Genuinely Genius

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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Again, I feel I need to address the complaints about polls. First of all, the poll should not be the first time we hear about how you feel about a book that makes it to the poll. Please consider voicing your opinions more loudly and clearly in the nomination thread. I am not trying to say that anyone did/didn't do that, but am just reminding you to be clear about what books you would and would not like to see make the poll. Also, I would like to point out that Chris does not make the poll choices on a whim or on his own. For years Chris and I have tried to discuss with members in the chat room which books make it to the poll. We also read the nomination thread and together discuss what books would be best for the community. There are several factors that we consider before placing a book on the poll. Just to give you an example of one of the communications between Chris and I regarding this poll, I am pasting a communication from me to Chris about this current poll:
Maybe American Theocracy, Breaking the Spell and either Banner... or Directive 19 should make the poll. American...was suggested by Nick and supported by Dissident and God. Breaking...was suggested by Julian and supported by Nick, Tomiichi, and Tara. Directive 19 has garnered a bit of discussion already and the author is aware of our interest in his book. Banner...might make for good discussion as Big Love has been mentioned in another thread and has been airing on HBO. Those are my thoughts, for what they're worth! Of course, I like Ancestor's Tale, personally, but without much support from the community a longer book like that wouldn't do well on a poll or in a forum. The four I mentioned in my first sentence are the ones I think are best for the community.
Note: The nominated book I personally wanted to read, is not even one I suggested for the poll! However, I understand that what I like and what I'd like to see make the poll, may not always be what is best for the community. I don't get angry if the kind of books I like aren't on every poll. Lastly, we are not perfect and you just can't please everyone all the time!
My votes are:
2 for Breaking the Spell
1 for Banner Under Heaven




Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:02 pm
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Professor

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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Banner of Heaven - 6

Breaking the Spell - 9

Directive - 1

Peace - 8


Anyone wants to check me, please do...sometimes I trail off into senility...

Wha..?

Mr. P.
::72

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:07 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Mad has great points and I agree with them. Some may recall that in the previous Q2 Poll, Mad predicted a poor showing for End of Faith. Turns out that End of Faith did quite well for discussion, which says a lot considering I don't think any one participating in the disucssion thought it was a good book, well argued, or mad logical arguements even if most agreed with many of the premises. I ascented to Mad's suggestion that if a religiously oriented book failed in Q2, we should consider other alternatives. Well, End of Faith generated a lot of good qualitity discussion and I am still going to advocate for other alternatives. The last two readings were heavy on the Athiestic perspective so I am ready for something a little different. This IS a Freethought Book Discussion group, but that does not mean that every book we read need be about religion. Quite frankly, I am tired of the same old arguements and the same old end points of members going back and forth for several points before agreeing to disagree.

Thank you for adding "Peace" to the poll Chris. That seemed like an odd omission. While Directive looked interesting, it just isn't grabbing me for a discussion and I have no immediate interest in the other two books. Put me down for three votes for Peace, this title really interests me, and I plan to read it regardless of whether or not it is discussed on BookTalk.




Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:11 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Quote:
It may be too late to derail this train, but I recommend against A Peace to End All Peace. Though it's a very good book, we'd have nothing to discuss.

The book is a diplomatic narrative history: this British ambassador did X, this Turkish leader did Y, etc. I honestly don't see what topics we would bring up. We could comment on Turkish stupidity for entering World War I or British arrogance in dividing the Ottoman Empire. Beyond that, the conversation would be stillborn.

this reasoning would tend to indicate that any history class ever taught should be straight rote learning and dictation with no discussion. i believe discussion in history is incredibly important. i am currently reading a history title that brings up the important topic of how history is recorded, who records it, when it is recorded, how soon after the events is it recorded, etc. essentially, it proves through a very interesting example that history can be altered and perceptions changed, even when reporting strictly on the facts.

peace looks like a title that has a very diligent historian researcher as the author, so i suspect facts presented will be very factual and not containing much if any social/political/cultural bias or interpretation. but such things could easily be discussed. alternative solutions, what should have been done, if something different was done would the situation be better, etc. are all important discussions. the popular saying is if we don't learn from history we are destined to repeat it, or something like that. we clearly haven't learned much from history yet, so i think if anything, there isn't enough historical discussion taking place. with a history of the middle east, surely we will touch on various aspects of government, economic systems, international politics, etc. that all could be very applicable to today's events and our own knowledge.

mad makes a very good point using End of Faith as an example of great discussion branching off the book in new and unexpected directions. a book may be a dry but still allow for decent discussion. just my two cents.




Wed Jun 07, 2006 4:20 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
I think this poll can come down on the evening of Wednesday the 14th. This is giving us one extra day to vote or change votes, due to adding the extra book a few days into the polling process.




Thu Jun 08, 2006 1:11 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
I'm definitely going to participate, and I'm glad the two books in the running are the two I would have chosen.

Breaking the Spell appeals to me because it is a cultural studies look at the phenomenon of religion (and I can just see the claim of it being 'scientific and rational' discussed at length here!).

A Peace to End All Peace appeals to me because it is an area of history/current affairs that I always feel I don't understand, and definitely should. We'll have lots to discuss, with perceptions of history, and extrapolation to current events...my only hesitation with this book are the uncomfortable flashbacks to a Poli Sci course on Middle Eastern history that I failed in 2nd year university (actually, I didn't know how to study, and I just sort of ...stopped going to class. At the 3-hour final exam, I spent 30 minutes writing a story about an Arts student's hopes dashed against the rocks of reality when she couldn't understand Political Science. Not my brightest moment.)

So...If you'll accept my vote after such a long hiatus:

2 for Breaking
1 for Peace

"All beings are the owners of their deeds, the heirs to their deeds."

Loricat's Book Nook
Celebrating the Absurd




Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:36 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Banner of Heaven - 6

Breaking the Spell - 14

Directive - 1

Peace - 15

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:53 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
At this point I am thinking of changing my votes and want to encourage anyone that wants to do likewise to feel free.




Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:05 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
I really wanted to vote for Banner but since it's so far behind I don't want to waste my votes, so I will vote:

2- Peace
1- Spell

Edited by: tomiichi at: 6/11/06 4:36 pm



Sun Jun 11, 2006 3:35 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
I'll change all 3 to "Breaking the Spell"




Sun Jun 11, 2006 4:53 pm
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Banner of Heaven - 3

Breaking the Spell - 18

Directive - 1

Peace - 17

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.

The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"

I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper




Mon Jun 12, 2006 8:29 am
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Post Re: Official Poll - 3rd Quarter 2006 NONFICTION book POLL!
Classical Celt edits his first post and changed his vote to be 3 votes for "A Peace to End All Peace."




Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:08 pm
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