Difficult Decisions

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Reply Thu 28 Feb, 2008 05:47 pm
Imagine being banished to a deserted island for the next decade. Before marooning you on your isolated rock, your captors allow you to request five books to keep you company.

Which five books would you chose?
de Silentio
Reply Thu 28 Feb, 2008 07:23 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
The Holy Bible (KJV)

The Collected Works of Plato (If I can only have one of Plato's books, it would be the 'Plato's Great Dialogues' Barnes and Noble Edition)

The City of God (Augustine)

The Critique of Pure Reason (both editions in one book)

Stages on Life's Way(Kierkegaard)

(Notice they are all 'philosophical' works, I don't really enjoy reading fiction to much)
Reply Fri 29 Feb, 2008 09:27 am
@Didymos Thomas,
wow nice idea. Well there are many. I start by
1) Like the flowing river by paulo Cohelo
2) Trial by Kafka
3) Any book from Nietzsche, cant pick one sorry!
4) Sophie's world, Jostein Garader
5) Sukudo puzzle book, so that I can finally learn this silly game for once!
Reply Fri 29 Feb, 2008 09:40 am
In no particular order.

  1. "The Classics of Philosophy" by Louis P. Pojman (1,261 pages long!)
  2. Benjamin Jowett's "The Works of Plato"
  3. Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged
  4. "Beyond Good and Evil" Translated with introduction and running commentary by R.J. Hollingdale
  5. "War and Peace" by Leo Toylstoy
Reply Fri 29 Feb, 2008 10:32 am
@Didymos Thomas,
The MOQ trilogy, Robert M. Pirsig.

The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann

Qritique of Pure Reason, Kant.
Reply Fri 29 Feb, 2008 03:44 pm
1) Das Parfum also known as Perfume: The story of a murderer (Patrick Suskind)
2) One of the 13 A series of unfortunate events books (Lemony Snicket)
3) In the Miso soup (Ryu Murakami)
4) A short history of nearly everything (Bill Bryson)
5) The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (containing all stories and a short novel from the series) (Douglas Adams)

This list is subject to change since I'm reading several other books, and really am looking forward to read some Plato and Socrates.
Sarah phil
Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2008 05:45 pm
the bible
2 very large blank books
1 satchel of pens and pencils
Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2008 08:13 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
The Brothers Karamazov (Dostoyevsky)

The Sea of Fertility (Mishima)

Gravity's Rainbow (Pynchon)

Ulysses (Joyce)

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Garcia Marquez)
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 01:56 pm
Well they better not give me 5 books to read because these are the 5 I'd get:

1. The "Concise Oxford English Dictionary" 11th edition
(1708 pages will come in handy for survival...I can already think of one function off the top of my head: fire fuel)

2. "SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild in any Climate, on Land or at Sea"

3. "Primative Outdoor Skills: More Wilderness Techniques from Woodsmoke Journal"

4. My old Boyscout Handbook

5. My old First Aid Merit Badge booklet
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 02:48 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Why are so many people bringing dictionaries? Would you really read a dictionary?
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 02:54 pm
Why are so many people bringing dictionaries? Would you really read a dictionary?

I've only seen one other person besides me who would bring a dictionary, but my reasoning for bringing one has nothing to do with reading.
Sarah phil
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 04:05 pm
of course you would read a dictionary. why not?
if you had "blank pages", a dictionary would prove invaluable.
Didymos Thomas
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 04:18 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
But if you are alone, who needs to understand what you fill those blank pages with other than yourself? If you have a meaning, but no word to express it, you could as easily make up a word, and if you liked provide a brief description of meaning to avoid confusing yourself when you read your work.

My five books would be:
Plato's dialogs
The Way of Chuang Tzu
Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail - HS Thompson
The Upanishads
Crime and Punishment - Dostoevsky
Sarah phil
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 04:23 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I do like to know the uses of words unknown to me but heard by me.
Who is to say that rescue or future discovery of what is written wouldn't be appreciated. pictures and words. pictures of dictionary words.
I must be older than you then.
Didymos Thomas
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 04:35 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
I'm merely 19. I imagine the bulk of our members are older than myself.

But I'm not sure why a dictionary is useful if the concern is others appreciating what you write on those blank pages. Context is a wonderful guide to meaning when meaning is otherwise unknown to the reader. Also, as I said, a quick explanation of some invented term would do no harm to the value of your text. Aldous Huxley did not suffer for inventing words.

Honestly, I think inventing words to express some meaning you have in mind would be superior to adapting some other term that closely resembles the meaning you have in mind. Learning a name for something means we learn how to distinguish between X and non-X. We do not understand "cat" if we call a spider a cat. Thus, we learn X and not-X as a single, socially shared way to make a distinction. You're on a deserted island, not a metropolis. What need have you of socially imposed meanings?

Of course, this presupposes a general familiarity with whatever language you use. If, for example, someone is unfamiliar with grammar, a dictionary might be invaluable. But if we understand syntax, we can use whatever terminology we please, even if the terminology is invented.
Inventing all of this might even be a blessing - we are alone for the next decade on this island.
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 04:50 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
If you were put on a deserted island and did nothing but read you wouldn't even survive a month let alone a decade. It would be foolish to assume that there'll be a Super 8 waiting for you there with free continental breakfast every morning.
Didymos Thomas
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 04:54 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Who said anything about doing nothing but reading?
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 05:01 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Who said anything about doing nothing but reading?

Well unless you're a wilderness survival expert (I know I'm not) that's virtually all you're going to know how to do when you're marooned on an island with no electricity no previous prepared food and likely no fresh water, but only salt water.

P.S. I don't necessarily mean you specifically.
Didymos Thomas
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 05:42 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
To be honest, the scenario could be nearly anything - I was mostly trying to elicit a response to 'which five books are most dear to you' or something to that effect. Which do you find most valuable, that sort of thing.

I didn't really put much thought into the survival aspects. Maybe that's because I'm not personally concerned with them.
Reply Sat 22 Mar, 2008 05:47 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Eh well it was just a hypothetical anyway, but a very good hypothetical.

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