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An Education

Discussion in 'All-Star Threads' started by Senna Vs. Prost, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. dixiebandit69

    dixiebandit69
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    Books:
    Anything by Iceberg Slim, starting with Pimp. It doesn't get much more real world than that.
    The Stand by Stephen King. He has an uncanny way of describing emotions that has helped me many times.
    Get him a subscription to MAD magazine. The kid will go a lot farther if he has a good sense of humor.
    As far as movies go, just make sure that he has seen Heat. No particular reason, it is just a kickass movie.
     
  2. xrayvision

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    I enjoy Edgar Allen Poe tremendously. Yes, he was a very dark and twisted individual but if you want to see who modern thriller authors were influenced by, read, "The Pit and the Pendulum" or "The Cask of Amontillado", just to name two. Any of his numerous short stories all have their own special brand of wrong. Don't be afraid of the fact that "The Raven" is required reading in middle or high school and must be boring. Its not. It's one of the few poems I'm glad I was forced to read.

    He only lived to be 40 but it seems like a miracle with the amount of drugs and alcohol he consumed. I believe he was cripplingly addicted to opiates and ether. His style of English can be hard to follow and a dictionary close by can sometimes be helpful. But once you pick up on his style, I promise that he will become one of your favorites.

    Robert Frost.

    Hunter S. Thompson was also an excellent writer. If you just accept what he is saying in his stories and don't ask why, you may find it more enjoyable. This personal rule was especially helpful when I read, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

    I read Jack London stories a lot when I was a kid. His stories of adventure and survival were just amazing to me.

    Listen to lots and lots of music. Anything of substance is good and broadening your horizons with styles outside of your comfort zone is important.

    Learn a musical instrument.
     
  3. theking23

    theking23
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    This thread is pure awesomeness my reading list has ballooned out of control now. I actually read through this whole thread and categorized the books to make it easier to manage and look through.

    I'm putting it in spoiler tags cause it's long.

    Biography
    The Autobiography of Malcolm X
    The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
    Theodore Rex-Edmund Morris
    Dreams from my Father-Barack Obama
    How to Lose Friends & Alienate People-Toby Young
    Pimp-Iceberg Slim

    Business
    The Dip-Seth Godin
    Tribes-Seth Godin
    Purple Cow-Seth Godin

    Economics
    Capitalism and Freedom-Milton Friedman
    Free to Choose-Milton Friedman
    The General Theory-John Maynard Keyes
    SuperFreakonomics-Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
    Economics in One Lesson-Henry Hazlitt
    More Sex is Safer Sex-Steven E. Landsburg
    Thomas Sowell's complete body of work

    Evolutionary Science
    Sperm Wars-Robin Baker
    The Moral Animal-Robert Wright
    The Selfish Gene-Richard Dawkins
    Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters-Alan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa
    Why We Get Sick-Randolph Nesse and George C. Williams

    History
    A Brief History of Nearly Everything-Bill Bryson
    A People's History of the United States-Howard Zinn
    Guns, Germs, and Steel-Jared Diamond
    Lies My Teacher Told Me-James Loewen
    King Leopold's Ghost-Adam Hochschild
    Nixonland-Rick Perlstein

    Mental Health
    Man's Search for Meaning-Viktor Frankl
    Darkness Visible-William Styron
    Lincoln's Melancholy-Josua Wolf Shenk

    Novels
    Gravity's Rainbow-Thomas Pynchon
    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test-Tom Wolfe
    Bonfires of the Vanities-Tom Wolfe
    A Confederacy of Dunces-John Kennedy Toole
    The Road-Cormac McCarthy
    No Country for Old Men-Cormac McCarthy
    Blood Meridian-Cormac McCarthy
    Slaughterhouse Five-Kurt Vonnegut
    Starship Troopers-Robert Heinlein
    The Godfather-Mario Puzo
    The Sicilian-Mario Puzo
    The Appeal-John Grisham
    Snowblind-Robert Sabbag
    The Gold Coast-Nelson DeMille
    The Stand-Stephen King

    Philosophy
    The Republic-Plato
    Politics-Aristotle
    Discourses-Machiavelli
    The Prince-Machiavelli
    Meditations-Marcus Aurelius

    Self-Help/Advice
    Think and Grow Rich-Napoleon Hill
    The 4-Hour Work Week-Tim Ferriss
    I Will Teach You To Be Rich-Ramit Sethi
    The Magic of Thinking Big-David Schwartz
    The Slight Edge-Jeff Olson
    Personality Plus-Florence Littauer

    Strategy
    The 48 Laws of Power-Robert Greene
    The 50th Law-Robert Greene
    The Art of Seduction-Robert Greene
    The 33 Strategies of War-Robert Greene
    On War-Carl Von Clausewitz
    The Art of War-Sun Tzu

    Travel
    Vagabonding-Rolf Potts
    Travels-Michael Crichton

    Uncategorized
    The End of Faith-Sam Harris
    Class-Paul Fussell
    BAD-Paul Fussell
    The Closing of the American Mind-Allan Bloom
    Siddhartha-Hermann Hesse
    Broca's Brain-Carl Sagan
    Click-Bill Tancer
    The Tipping Point-Malcolm Gladwell
    Blink-Malcolm Gladwell
    Outliers-Malcolm Gladwell

    War
    Lone Survivor-Marcus Luttrell
    Black Hawk Down-Mark Bowden
    Killer Angels-Michael Shaara

    I didn't include blog, movie, or any other media suggestions. Also, a couple of books on my personal reading list that may or may not have been suggested are mixed in, sorry for that. (Or look at them as other suggestions maybe) I made up the categories as I went along and I'm tired so sorry if there's any mistakes. Let me know if you want me to change anything.
     
  4. Crazy Wolf

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    In a similar vein, H.P. Lovecraft.
     
  5. Evildreams

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    Most of the books suggested by the other posters were spot on, however we're assuming the kid is already an avid reader. If not, you should first make sure that the kid starts reading books, as long as it's something he enjoys reading it doesn't matter, he will progress to good books on his own.

    Another important aspect of getting a good education (which nobody mentioned) is speaking another language, you said that your younger brother already speaks Spanish, make sure he becomes fluent in Spanish or another language.
     
  6. Crazy Wolf

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    Too late to edit the previous post, but I'd recommend a language more removed than Spanish for an English Speaker. If they can figure out the Arabic or Russian, then they shouldn't have any problems with the basics of language, and they won't have as many cognates to use as crutches.

    For books: A Child's History of the World is interesting, if not exactly 100% up-to-date on recent findings.
     
  7. Evildreams

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    I mentioned Spanish because his younger brother spoke it while he was in Guatemala, that said, while I think it would be great if he could speak a language like Russian, it's difficult, I don't know if you speak a second language, but to quote a poster from the old message board "to learn a language on your own requires superhuman effort" and this is true. English isn't my native tongue, and it took me about a decade to reach complete fluency (from age 5-15) and during this time I studied English at school, watched movies/tv shows in English, read books etc.
     
  8. Crazy Wolf

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    I understand it is difficult, but it is least difficult the earlier you start. If you came to this country at age 35 and tried learning English, do you think you would have attained fluency by age 45?

    Where are you from, and what language did you first speak?
     
  9. Evildreams

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    Of course not, if you're in a country and you're interacting with native speakers you'll learn the language much quicker. My problem was that while I wrote, read and listened to english, I didn't speak it much before I started University. I'm Maltese, and the language is Semitic, with a strong influence of Italian and some English (Although the language may resemble Arabic, I'm not, I'm of Northern Italian stock) Also I would like to clarify that it took me ten years to master the language completely, before that I could speak it well enough to hold a conversation with an English speaking person.
     
  10. KIMaster

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    Another topic of lists. Well, I'll try to go for both intellectual and entertaining here, not just pure entertainment;

    Meaningful Books

    Gulliver's Travels- Surprised no one has mentioned this one. Really changed my entire perception of the world. A very comedic, prescient work of misanthropy. Kind of strange people recommend "Confederacy of Dunces", but not this one. I liked the latter too, but Swift's work is way cooler, smarter, and funnier.

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Maybe the most well written and introspective book I've read.

    The Joke- An extremely tragic, depressing look at the misery of human life...interspersed with a humor that is as horrifying as it is funny.

    Heart of Darkness
    1984- I'm not being very original here, so what?
    Madame Bovary Another very cold view of human nature, particularly with regards to romantic relationships.
    Gates of Fire- Another recent read I really wish I had read even earlier.

    Cup of Gold
    The Pearl
    In Dubious Battle- I love all of Steinbeck's works, but these last three in particular.

    Also, short stories by Maugham, Akutagawa, Dreiser, and Fitzgerald are fun, and reveal a lot about human nature.

    Meaningful Movies-

    Seven Beauties
    Beat (1997)
    That Obscure Object of Desire
    Croupier
    Wild Strawberries
    Les Bonnes Femmes
    Seven Samurai
    Rashoman
    Coolhand Luke
    No Country for Old Men (everyone knows this one, though!)
    Kanal
    Les Carabiniers
    I, Cladius (Great historical novel too, by the way)
    Six Shooter (Great short film, same director as "In Bruges", takes 30 minutes to watch)

    All that being said, let your brother do what he wants. If it's reading books about mixed martial arts, and training to be a pro fighter, that's great, too!
     
  11. Coquette

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    All suggestions are good in their own way. But as a potential collegiate, his focus does NOT need to be on multi-variable calculus, but on the real world. I have a friend who is 34, has a PhD, and has never held a job in her life. Thus, when we talk, it's a pretty miserable time. She has absolutely no real world experience. So let me give this advice to your brother:

    1. Get a job. Part time, not at a bar, and use the earning to fund this incredible book war TiB has put upon you.
    2. Read Freakonomics. And The Goal, if you're into manufacturing (I am). But read them while slightly tipsy off the beer your fraternity brothers so graciously paid for.
    3. Use your TA's, and ask them for information in any class you enjoy. Chances are, they got there the same way you did.
    4. Some people aren't business oriented. Let him find himself. How many of us knew what we wanted at 18? This is the reason I had 7 majors (literally). Business is a great avenue, but if he wants to be an environmentalist, let him have his run.

    And whoever suggested that he stay away from Ayn Rand, right-o. I've yet to find someone who actually read any of her stuff and liked it. It was more of a "Look at me, and look at this huge book I am carrying in hopes that you will find me intelligent". I've read Atlas Shrugged, and was thoroughly disappointed. Just my .02.

    A high school piece that I still read almost annually is A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Light and easy, but a great HS read anyway. Better than Catcher, by about 300 pages....
     
  12. Allord

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    Hell if you want awesome and informative I've got a couple to contribute. Granted they're not actually books, but extremely informative nonetheless.

    This year I've actually been really fucking good, studying-wise, so Santa better bring me a solid gold hooker made of chocolate and awesome who sprays love and puppies everywhere with her sloppy-soggy fleshlettuce wizard-sleeve-of-justice this year. She also has to be perpetually lactating high quality lager from her quintuple D tits and be able to cook fine French/Indochinese fusion cuisine using only the contents of my fridge, a saltshaker missing a few grains of salt, and frozen peas in a can.

    Oh yeah, and she's gotta have her own car so I can nap on the drive to buy videogames CALL OF DUTY YEEAHH!!!

    Hang on I got a bit distracted there, was having flashbacks to combat in the future. That motherfucker shot my face off. MY WHOLE GODDAMN FACE. Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes.

    I've been studying from the first week to the last, taking breaks from studying only to watch in-depth documentaries that, I think, are applicable to this thread. Most of what I've watched so far are from a YouTube user named "damoosebelly" who uploads World War II documentaries.

    Here is a series of 25 one-hour documentaries covering in extreme detail the events of World War II from all sides of the conflict and from the rise of Hitler to the aftermath of war-torn Europe.

    Here's a series specifically about the Nazis: their social programs, their indoctrination of children, the means by which they came to power, etc. I'm not sure exactly how many are in this one, there are 61 videos and the videos are either 5 or 6 parts, so its between 10 and 12 documentaries.

    I'd finished every video on damoosebelly's page, and was rather discontented until I found this today. It's James Burke, and pretty much everything he's done. He did "Connections" which is a fascinating show in which he takes two seemingly disparate points of history, culture, science, or invention and through a fascinatingly detailed series of steps connects them. There are 40 one-hour episodes of that. He also did the series "The Day the Universe Changed" which is a brief history of, well, history. It is 10 one-hour documentaries.

    There you go, I've just provided you with 35 - 37 enthrallingly in-depth WWII documentaries, 10 in depth general European history videos, and 40 quirky-interesting insights into history, science, culture, and technology. That's 85 hours of pure information, and it's fascinating stuff, all of it. Definitely worth a look.

    You're welcome.

    The combination of my watching these documentaries, and my taking an extremely intensive class requiring 8 books on Scientific Racism, Eugenics, social darwinism, etc. has given me a vastly broader picture of the United States and the world in the first half of the 20th century. 10 weeks ago all I knew was what I learned in history class, which is frighteningly emaciated compared to my relatively corpulent contemporary perception of the era.

    It makes me wonder how much else I don't know. I need to get back to my research.
     
  13. TheDucksNuts

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    While Hemingway's "For Whom The Bell Tolls" is undoubtedly a great book, it pales in comparison to "The Old Man and the Sea". This book is at once both highly accessible and highly educative. I reread it every couple of years and find something new in there each time I pick it up.

    Hesse's "The Glass Bead Game" is also an excellent read, and highly educative about the threat of dilletantism, unwarranted intellectual elitism and pursuit of your own dreams.

    Finally, Kundera's "Immortality" is at times both super intelligent and really very witty. I typically hate contemporary European literature but really got into this when I picked it up recently.
     
  14. xrayvision

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    I can't believe I overlooked this before but go to www.ted.com This website has tons of 20-30 minute lectures from all sorts of people who are masters in their field. The videos are categorized based on subject. Some are really interesting and mind-blowing and others can be boring, unless you find the fields of quantum mechanics and particle physics interesting. I like this website because if I don't have a lot of time but want to learn something new, I can always find 20 minutes to listen to a genius.