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November 04, 2012


Years and years ad years ago I lived in Balck's gaslight village, and eccentric apartment complex in Iowa city, Iowa. The owner, Balck, died the year I moved out, and I don't know what his heirs di dwith the place.

Black was not an artist but he did the sorts of things that avant garde artists do. He owned several Victorian houses and had turned them inot college rentals in part by dividing large rooms inot smaller ones by satckingup walls of books. My room had such a wall. He also had a sink garden in the yard, a limosine full of bowling balls in the garage, and Christmas decoratios out all year round on the clothes line. The furniture in one of the dwellings- was all up on cement blocks. the gal that rented that room found out why whe it flooded.

He had the scariest furniture, too, the ugliest most involved weird convoluted Victoriana imaginable. The chair in my room had ferocious gargoyal faces on the ends ot he aarms right where my fingers would naturally fall had I not been afraid to sit there.

I do't know if Balck's stil exists. Any readers from Iowa City?

Our local recycling center has a book bin. There are people who hang around there collecting books they might want to resell on ebay or elsewhere. The rest are probably pulped. I assume it all works out one way or another.

"It's really emotionally wrenching to get rid of books when it's not "to a good home". "

Man, got that right: When I left Michigan, I had to leave behind several thousand SF paperbacks, (The hardcovers I held onto.) because I'd simply run out of room in the moving van. The accumulation of a lifetime. Really classic stuff, like the Rimworld series, that you simply can't get today. Broke my heart to sell them to a used book dealer for cents on the dollar. But nobody wanted them.

I repeat, that you can't get anymore. Not available in digital, not re-released, books that are essentially gone now. The literature of my youth is dead, I might as well have been transplanted to some parallel Earth where it never existed.

we're currently in the process of moving, and i had to pack up all the books this weekend.

day by day, i'm leaning more towards going all-digital. i mean, am i really going to re-read Neil Young's biography? is there a reason to hold onto it other than as a signal (if even to myself) that i have read it?

Brett, I bet you could get those childhood faves via your local library. If they don't have them, they can interloan them from another library. That's if you want to read them; owning them is another matter, but I bet they're available on the used-book market, too.

I think the distinction between content and physical object is important. By and large, I care about the content, not the format, because mostly I read fiction and it's all about the story. When it comes to children's picture books and coffee table books and the like, I'm more sentimental about the hard copy.

As a librarian, I can tell you that half of us cling desperately to the books and the other half are eager to toss the outdated, the damaged, the never-read to make room for new books. There's a finite amount of shelf space in most libraries, and if you want new material, something has to go. Most homes are the same. Are you really going to reread all those dust collectors or are you hanging on to them for the memories? If it's the latter, set up an account with LibraryThing or GoodReads or even just an Excel spreadsheet and keep track of what you've read that way.

Oh, and I'm sure your Friends at the library will be delighted with the donated books, but they are going to Dumpster the outdated computer books, so you might as well try Freecycle or Goodwill for those.

Almost anything can be purchased through Amazon. If Amazon doesn't have it, some used bookstore somewhere on planet earth will.

I've been buyting books of my childhood lately. Nothinng too obscure: Thurber's The Thirteen Clocks. old Pogos. The Horse Without a Head.

Still readable and fun, but somehow with out the magic of childhood.

Well, I have to say that you're right. I actually CAN get the Rimworld novels from Amazon, some of them even on the Kindle. Remarkable.

Not that I can afford to replace 3500 volumes that way, but I guess I *can* find some of my old favorites. Time to hunt down that floppy with my RBASE list of books, and see if I can find a way to read it...

When I move, the limited space in the U-Haul forces a choice -- books or ammo.

The Complete Dickens in hardback or the dozen 100-round drum clips?

Something's gotta go.

In one instance, I've solved the problem by hollowing-out a hidden space inside my hardback copy of "Atlas Shrugged" for a small-caliber pistol.

Sort of a merging of the First and Second Amendments into one handy carry-on.

Plus when I get to one of those 35-page speeches in the book that unfortunately didn't disappear from the hollowing-out, I can choose between dozing off or shooting myself.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

We found the same thing that you did during our most recent move. We had boxes of software guides and obsolete disks and CD ROMs that were good for nothing, (in terms of their information, rather than their material), except a historical genealogy of software.

Informational lifespan of a mayfly in the body of an elephant.

i've thrown out two garbage bags full of software manuals, Dell driver CDs and .. floppies(!) so far this week.

it's amazing how much stuff you can get on a bookshelf... or does that stuff just expand when you take it off the shelf and put it into garbage bags and moving boxes?

The only moral justification to get rid of books is to make space to buy more books.

Just for fun I goggled Black's Gaslight Village, the shabby rat's nest I lived in as a student back in the early seventies, the place with the walls made of books. To my surprise I got lots of hits including a site with revenues of places to rent in Iowa. Here's an excerpt from one revue:

The same house is fully occupied to this day. Gaslight Village has always been fully rented (except summers of course) and remains a delightful place to live and visit. It has amazing homespun architecture. Its folk art you can live in. You have to see the inside to really appreciate it. And the tenants over all these years has consistently been the coolest group of artists, writers, theater students, PHD candidates and other brilliant people to live with and make friends with, it great. It has a gothic element to its aura. An ancient patina for character, and a rich history of interesting intelligent students spanning back to 1946..."

I like the bit about "folk art you can live in" but it wasnot a delightful place to live when I lived there. There were legions of bugs and the gaslights leaked making the whole place smell like a death trap. When the sink in the bathroom fell off the wall, the owner accused me of breaking it while engaged in sexual intercourse.

Everything was broken because everything was cobbled together out of older stuff, a weird mix of beautiful and ugly. For example my bed had a haedboard that covered most of one wall and was replete with drawers, balconies for knicknacks, carvings, little pieces of embedded mirror...but one leg was missing and had been jerry rigged with a cement block. I discovered that by stubbing my toe on it.

There were quite a few artsy type people there. I was one myself. But there were also some boarder line dangerous people there. As I recall the guy on the other side of the wall of books was a definite creep. The wall of books was pretty solid, though, and had good oise insulating qualities.

Countme-in, I assure you that a couple 100 round magazines take up a LOT less space than 3500 paperbacks. Have you ever seen 3500 paperbacks in one place? Picture a cube 4 feet on a side.

But I actually left the guns at my mom's house for the move, and came back for them on a holiday. No room for them, either. Still got stuff in that garage, including my manga collection.

I'm getting ready to wrap up today, because tomorrow I have to get up at 4:15 to be a pollworker. Get to polling place at 5:15, polls close at 8, home around 9 bearing Young's Chocolate Stout for watching the returns.

I'm bringing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to read during the early-afternoon doldrums, but I expect it'll be a *very* busy day, with a turnout of well over 80%.

I voted two weeks ago -- I'm a pollworker in a district which is not where I vote, so I always vote by mail so I can snooze on my lunch break.

Could one of the other front-pagers put up an election day post? I don't want to put one up when I won't be around to scrape spam out of the comments.

Good luck to us all.

I read the Immortal Life--it's fascinating.

that "information desk" in the picture must weigh a ton, literally.

Do you have a Little Free Library in your neck of the woods?

I can understad the anst over throwing away a book. It's a lot easier to de-book a Kindle.

On the subject of de-booking: there are some books that deserve to be thrown away. Our community clubhouse has a book exchange. It's organized like a library and people can bring books in and take them out. There is no obligatio to return a book. I routinely take out hate literature and throw it in the dumpster.

And how exactly do you decide what constitutes "hate literature"? Beyond The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that is.

I'd say any kind of writing where the main purpose is to foment hatred against a person or group. The borders are of course notoriously fuzzy since a lot of it these days is deliberately disguised as 'neutral'. And not everything racist is also hate literature. Enid Blyton's books are full of bad racial stereotypes (before modern editions cleaned them up at least) but they were not written as mere vehicles to incite kids to hate gypsies and Jews and mistrust non-whites unlike some notorious German books for children that were written with that sole purpose in mind.
What definitely counts is incitement to violence. 'We will not have [ideal] until the last [target] has been drowned in his own blood.' counts, 'we will strive to curb the influence of X on Y' does not; 'God hates X and all X will burn in hell' is borderline and depends on context. 'X now is in hell' imo does not count unless it is in the context of approving that someone murdered X.
Although I am tempted, I can not fully approve of lily's actions without further details. If someone else uses the system to get the stuff in, I have sympathies for using the same to get it out again. Otherwise I'd try other means first.

I am not at all sure that I trust any one person (lily or myself or anyone else) to decide for me what books should be thrown in the dumpster.

But it depends on what she's throwing out. If it's pamphlets and booklets printed by neo-nazi groups, I don't much care. But if it's just the lates crap published by Coulter or the like, let people choose for themselves. I would say in general let people choose for themselves, because nearly everyone knows that the aforementioned Protocols are crap.

You can't be everyone's mom.

IT's a book exchange,not a library. There is no expectatioin that books taken will be returned. If it was a library I would speak to the ladies tht manage it about having a slef labeled "hate literature" and Coulter's books and the End TImes series could go there.

Coulter advocates that peolple like me get shot. Somebody chose to read her book and then choose to put it in the exchange. I choose to throw her trash in the dumpster.

That's nice, lily. Other people might choose to take books and never return them, because there's no expectation that they will be returned.

Maybe fill up a personal library or two.

I personally wouldn't do that, but other people may be more apt to take things that aren't theirs than I am.

I'd guess lily does have the advantage of knowing how well her community book exchange functions, how full the shelves are, and if there are significant complaints about the lack of the kinds of books she deems to be "hate literature."

There may be a prevailing sentiment that someone is leaving books in the exchange that are offensive to everyone else and are wasting space. That would be pure speculation on my part. But lily would be in a much better position to know such things than I would.

I tend to trust her judgment, particularly considering her personal involvement and my total lack thereof. YMMV.

Some folks de-book; others de-people:

via Balloon Juice

Gotta say I'm always amused to see Ayn Rand's books shelved at the local library, if you think about it.

I suppose it would be even funnier to find her "work" at the local book cooperative.

It's always mind-f*cking to see her stuff lined up on the bookstore shelf in the philosophy section. I've heard even Aristotle, proclaimed by Rand to be her benefactor, has submitted a request from Purgatory worded along these lines: "Look, either she goes or I do. Put me in the cookbook section if you want. I don't care."

Of course, if you come upon Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book" at the local book cooperative, it kind of loses it's anarchic, street theater edge, especially the part where it says $12.99 on the price tag and you figure Abbie could use the dough, so you feel guilty waiting for it to be issued in paperback or worse, humping down to the local library to check it out.

It's not titled, "Share This Book".

So you buy two and you can kind of hear Hoffman cackling.

I just looked it up at Amazon and kind of stared at it on the screen for a few minutes trying to think what to do.

Abbie should have named it "Buy This Book Used".

It's rumored that Rand's working title for "Atlas Shrugged" was "Overpay For This Book".

I wonder what the pilferage rate is at Amazon?

Just the same, I always feel the joke is on me when I see "Das Kapital" on the bookstore or Amazon shelf, especially an anniversary edition for $89.50, or whatever.

Makes my capital-less carbuncles flare up.

Same with exotically-priced books with titles like "Start Your Own Commune".

Really. How bout we start with "share that book with me".

Instead of tossing or separating out Coulter or the Left-Behind series, I'd suggest book cooperatives provide a sonorous spittoon to register the inevitable dyspepsia.

When Anarch shows up an Obsidian Wings thread, as he happily did the other day, I often feel the urge to re-read the thread comments out of order, but I don't, because I'm an anarchist and no one is going to tell me what to do.

Coulter is hate-speech? Slippery slopes, anyone?

I've gone sledding on slippery slopes.

Coulter is always at the bottom in a heap, all sharp elbows and knees, bleeding from the impact.

She's been banned from ski-slopes across the country for her inability to brake and slalom.

Yes, Coulter is hate speech.

I don't advocate banning however.

Rather, I think societal norms should be relaxed so that I can punch her lights out.

CM-I--is hate speech predominantly a right wing phenomena?

Coulter is hate-speech?

When speaking, yes. In text, it's hate literature. ;)

I think the right wing is better at it.

Also at making money engaging in it.

I also think that right wing hate speech finds better reception among a larger percentage of the electorate (I've heard estimates of 27%), than does left wing hate speech among their iffy percentage.

Also, until Tuesday and temporarily, I expect, winning elections by engaging in it.

So, yes predominantly.

But by no means exclusively.

For example, I hate Ann Coulter.

But I don't hate you.

Cause I'm a moderate hater. Indiscriminate hate seems so, I don't know, right-wing to me.

Now, Coulter is a professional hater. Who hates you, the moderate conservative, for engaging in moderate speech at OBWI.

In fact, I'll bet she hates you more than she does me.

Which makes me jealous.

But a question for you, my friend.

Do you believe President Obama is engaging in predominantly left-wing hate speech by calling for returning the top marginal tax rate to 39.5%?

Cause I've heard predominantly right wing haters in very high positions on Wall Street and in the media and serving in Congress refer to such a move as worse than the Holocaust during World War II.

Which I guess would make Nazi hate speech against the Jews moderate on the new hate-speech scale we're becoming accustomed to.

Everyone thinks the Jews were the victims during the Holocaust.

Well, not everyone, because a quick look through Hitler's hate speech, revealed through the German Regnery publishers and right-wing media outlets of the day reveal that in Hitler's Coulterian mind, HE was the victim.

Thus the hate speech.

No, wanting to raise taxes is not hate speech, but a lot of the rhetoric in support of it has undertones of class divisiveness. Who says otherwise? Lilly, among others, accuses Romney et al of pitting groups of Americans against each other. Who cast the last race as the wealthy vs everyone else? Sorry for Brie, choppy sentences. I'm off site and using I-pad.

Before we get drowned out by the hate-fest about to go full bore within the republican party (giving the rest us a welcome hiatus, until the haters once again win and come for us for good) ........

......from Richard Viguerie, hate-mail entrepreneur and hater of all things French and European, except for the word "entrepreneur":

'[A]n assortment of conservative groups sent representatives to the National Press Club to vent their anger at the Republican Party “establishment.”

“The battle to retake the Republican Party begins today,” railed Richard Viguerie, a veteran of the conservative movement, who called on “the failed Republican leadership” to resign, and then named the leaders of the GOP in the House and Senate, as well as the head of the Republican National [Committee].'

... let me answer .. "Who cast the last race as the wealthy vs everyone else?"

Well, silly, the Republican Party of course. And in all of the races before that.

Obama and company just cribbed the line.

"Sorry for Brie, choppy sentences."

I forgive you for the choppy sentences.

But the Brie is going one cheese too far. I suppose you eat crackers in bed, too.

Actually, the Republican Party hated Brie and all things French and Muslim after 9/11, preferring Cheez-Wiz, the mongrels.

Liberals, even most of the rich ones, went on liking Brie and higher marginal tax rates, considering them a privilege of our high standard of living.

We hated al Qaeda too, but that wasn't good enough nor all-inclusive enough for today's Republican Party, who prefers the big circus-sized holding tent for all of the Others they hate.

Not you McTx, "they".

Advice to the Republican Party:

When Richard Viguerie grabs the mic at this upcoming internal hate-fest, cut the sound system and drag him upstairs and have Dick Lugar defenestrate him head first.

I used to hate Dick Lugar too, but the Republican Party always violates even my low standards.

Who cast the last race as the wealthy vs everyone else?

Thanks, Countme-in, for pointing out that it was the Republican party. To be more specific, they were:

1) The guy who said

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

2) And the guy who said:

"Right now about 60 percent of the American people get more benefits in dollar value from the federal government than they pay back in taxes," he said on the June 2010 edition of Washington Watch. "So we're going to a majority of takers versus makers."

I believe that those two people were the Presidential and Vice-Presidential nominees of the Republican party.

McKT's was not directed at me but I am willing to answer. Yes, there is leftist hate speech too but precious little on your side of the pond. Over here we have a lot of it but it's usually not the kind you effectively stir up a mob with unless it consists of eternal philosophy students. It takes pride in its (pseudo)hyperintellectualism that noone outside their circles can understand. When they try to sloganeer, it sounds like from ancient (=early 20th century) history.
The effect is therefore usually quite limited. Proper RW hate speech works even (or especially?) on drunks and room temperature IQ guys. A proper LW hater needs half an hour to express what in RW speech would be a simple "Beat up X!".
But be careful when they have finished. The 'Autonomes' tend to be the more dangerous streetfighters, not just a mob like their Nazi counterparts.

It's not the wealthy against everyone else so much as wealthy financiers, the ones who don't create value, versus everyone else. They gambled with everyone else's money, even other wealthy people's. And they made a lot of money doing it, at everyone else's expense, natch. Bill Gates isn't the problem. He doesn't need to be reigned in or thrown in jail.

Raising the top marginal rate isn't hateful, at least not raising it from its current historical low. Neither are regulations that prevent financial crises.

I don't know if throwing the people who knowingly caused a financial meltdown in jail is hateful, but I'm okay with it even if it is.

Hsh, I think it would become hateful when we would add that we hoped they would be thrown in with violent anal rapists (a wish not uncommonly aimed at percieved enemies of the Right).

sapient, the extra irony is that the red states tend to be the takers and the blue ones the makers as far as federal tax money is concerned.

I can picture it now.

Akin and Mourdock and their financial backers, the latter of whom could look the other way on a little "legitimate" rape if they could get the votes to repeal the entirety of Dodd-Frank (not that it won't be tweaked out here in moderate meat world) being greeted by the ghastly convicted rapists at the penitentiary with:

"Now, about that legitimate rape plank in your campaign platform. Since there will not be any fetuses involved, perhaps a quick shower and then we can begin implementing your policies as you voiced them in your campaign.

Can we get you a glass of the house Chardonnay before we begin the preliminaries, or shall we just dispense with the, uh, foreplay and start down the well lubricated slippery slope?

What was that about hate speech? My man, these are the words of love, sweet love."

Re: the book exchange. It's an exchange, bring a book, take one. I usually bring in novels. Sometimes, if it is there, I take hate literature. And yes, if the author advocates violence toward other Americans based on race or gender or voting preference, or if the author is wsritiig for the purpose of rousing hate toward others then it is hate literature. Coulter, who did advocate that liberals be shot as traitors, counts. And yes, hate literature is more of a rightwing phenomenon than a left wing one at this point in time.

No advocating for a tax cut for rich people is not hate literature. And who plays the country off against each other ? The party that calls it's voters "little pockets of real America" and uses niggers, bums, gay people, immigrants, and the 47% as scapegoats for the budget problems caused by their tax cuts for the rich.

Raising the top marginal rate isn't hateful, at least not raising it from its current historical low.

Exactly. And it's not class warfare either. I'm directing this at McKinney. Obama acknowledges that he is in the income group who should have to pay a bit more. He cites the fact that a lot of people in his income bracket agree. This isn't a discussion of class warfare, it's a discussion about what's fair, and whether people who make a lot of money can afford to give some of it back to a society which (because of our parents) made it possible to have opportunities.

The conversation is about making sure the "rags to riches" story can perpetuate itself. It used to be the American story. Now Europe has more upward mobility than we do. That should make "conservatives" ashamed.

It's great to see creative ideas like this come into action. The picture of the library desk made out of books is very interesting. I wonder how many books in total it took to make this.

She has been banned in national ski resort for she couldn't brake and obstacles.
Yes, Kurt is hate speech.
I don't advocate banning but.
On the contrary, I think that social norms should relax, so I can impact she turn out the lights.

Directions in the Philosophy of Mathematics. I have to say looking at Putnam's paper he is talking about not merely repeating proofs, calculations or the like, but rather informal (non-deductive) inference in mathematics, as in say our relative confidence that the Goldbach conjecture is more than a mere conjecture. Lakatos of course emphasized this back in the 1960s and is another figure Tymoczko admits a debt to.

Now, rendering t

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