(FB 1544198921 Timestamp)
—“Curt: Post the covers of the ten books that most influenced you over the past ten years over 10 days. Tag me in your posts.”—Lance Kennedy
You have me thinking here …. You know, books that affect you, books that helped you articulate ideas, and books you would recommend in retrospect are three different things. That which affects you is a function of your condition at the moment in development time and space. Books that are useful in your work are something else. Books that you would recommend to others would be something else yet again.
Books that affected me more than any other were reading Encyclopedia Britannica and … (can’t remember the other one) all the way through three or four times… lol. There is a ‘pattern’ across the NPOV, and Western Tradition, and “Nobility” in which those books were written. And in retrospect I think it was that ‘education’ combined with study of war through the ages, and reading science fiction, that affected me most.
Even today, the readiness of wikipedia, amazon, google scholar, and economic web sites – to find an idea and work through references is more influential than any given book.
Why? Context. Contemporary education (by design) is context free in an attempt to undermine western civilization and it’s narrative, and therefore our moral and normative perpetuation of it.
Teens it was 20th C Technology Mythology:
– Time Enough For Love by Heinlein
– Everything by Clarke
– Everything by Bova and Ellison
– A Wizard of Earthsea
– Neuromancer and Snow Crash
I find today, that people on ‘our side’ have abandoned the optimism of the technological era (sci fi) given our failures and have returned to the secular-theological era of the essayists (most commonly, the pessimism of nietzsche and evola and their anglo peers. Noticeably different from the hopefulness of the 20th c conservatives that ‘the left will learn’.)
In college it was the study of art – without question – rewriting my mental image of mankind from military, technological, and scientific to artistic and civilizational was helpful, just as rewriting it into institutional, economic, and geographic was helpful. Just as rewriting it as what I call the grammars has been helpful.
I might say that programming and designing software systems served me the way mathematics and logic did not – due to the operational logic of programming transforming the ideal to the real.
I might say that Huntington, Hayek, Popper, Becker, and Hoppe, influenced my thought the most – but it wouldn’t be a single book – it would be learning how they thought by reading all their books.
I might say that certain people’s works helped me a great deal: Hawkins on intelligence, Everyone’s IQ research, Everything by Simon Baron Cohen on autism and male-female brains, Haidt’s work in toto, Dawkins’ Selfish Gene, Diamond’s Third Chimp, and GST, everyone’s work on genetic history of man – particularly Reich’s new book. (What’s her name’s) book on mathematical philosophy. Olson’s on commons. Hick’s postmodernism definitely helped a great deal. Armstrong, Keegan, Mallory, and Todd on civilizational development helped. Nietzsche’s birth of tragedy was definitely a huge influence – even if I found it better to read ABOUT it by others, than in his own words translated into english – continental prose makes me intellectually gag.
So what books influenced me most in the past ten years vs what books would I recommend over the past ten years, over what authors would I recommend over the past ten years…. hmmm…
Well I’ll give that some thought, and see what I can post….
(My recommended reading list is here: propertarianism.com/reading-list/