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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 05:35PM

A friend of mine challenged me to read 2 books this year written by people whose I philosophy I disagree with. He said it would help me develop my critical thinking skills (something people are not encouraged to develop in Mormonism.) So I am looking for ideas. What books do you suggest I read?

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Posted by: Dave the Atheist ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 05:37PM

The bible refutes itself better than any other source.

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Posted by: Space Pineapple ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 06:22PM

Dave the Atheist Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The bible refutes itself better than any other
> source.

^.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 10:28PM

Not looking to refute or prove the bible. Looking for alternative ideas to consider. Not limited to religion.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 06:24PM

An answer kind of depends on whose philosophy you disagree with.

In novels, anything by Ayn Rand or Margaret Atwood, depending on your politics.

Recent works of George Will or David Frum (essays or books, both write current event columns], or columns or Arguing with Zombies, by Paul Krugman, again, depending.

Recent books by Madeline Albright or John Bolton, again, depending.

Richard Bushman - Rough Stone Rolling

Or you can just read here and try to figure out which posts are from Jordan.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 06:27PM

Sadly Jordan is but one of many refugees from the Island of Misfit Minds.

Build.The.Wall.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:42PM

I thought we were ALL Jordan - except you, of course ;-)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:46PM

Hey!

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:51PM

This post is dedicated to our fellow poster Chicken'N'Backpacks :-)

How about the (not) great Michael R. Ash's (not) masterpiece: Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt
(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DHW49JG/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0 if you're really interested...)

I've always wondered if his apologetic friends call him Rash, as in skin problem, behind his back.

As professional apologists, I feel they should perhaps start by apologizing for themselves ;-)



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2021 03:31PM by Soft Machine.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 07:55PM

Ask Lot's Wife how to learn critical thought, she's got The Right Stuff

Here a simple idea offered:
Instead of reading some other person's ideas, observe the world around.
See very clearly with own eyes what's actually going on.
Contrast the observed to the fairy tales we've been taught from kiddohood, or contrast the observed against the (unknowing) self-deceptions being told to us us by those we are observing. (Eez not to be judgmental, eez just to look & be curious)

Seeing the discrepancies, that delta, and asking questions to the self is the beginning.
(The reason why judging kills it, is we're just comparing it to some random ruler or measurement created by others we've been instructed to use)

Otherwise, in reading the books of others, we just get someone else's already partially digested meal.
Which can be interesting, but doesn't help develop our critical thought.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 08:08PM

I would suggest the humble route. One learns less from reading than from being corrected.

Every time I write a professional or academic piece, I send it to readers--friends who know a field better than I and who are rude enough to be honest--and ask them to tear it to pieces. If I get three or four or five hatchet jobs back from experts, I can use that to refine my arguments to make sure they are correct. Then I send the next iteration out, possibly to new readers, and go through the process again. The end result is often very different from what I intended at the beginning of the project.

The key to critical thinking isn't reading as much as it is subjecting oneself and one's ideas to toe-curling, sanguinary critique. What makes great schools different from mediocre ones is, sure, the professors and resources; but even more so the ability of really smart students or other peers who will call you on your bullshit. That's why seminars are better than taught classes. And ideally, if you go through some years of such constant training, you end up thinking clearly.

So rather than looking for books, I'd recommend choosing your book or theory, writing it up or verbally summarizing it, and looking for smart people to show you how stupid you are. And if people won't tell you that you are stupid, you need to find new and more thoughtful friends.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 10:31PM

Im a journalist. I have plenty of people who will give honest feedback, including the friend who suggested I broaden my reading horizon. I tale your point and it is an excellent one, but I also feel the more sources, the better.

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Posted by: G. Salviati ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 12:19PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I would suggest the humble route. One learns less
> from reading than from being corrected.

The humble route? That may get you to, well . . . humility. But, how does that get you to critical thinking?

Sorry, but none of this has anything whatever to do with critical thinking. Critical thinking is NOT about absorbing information--either from books, one's peers, experts, or wherever. This includes information about who agrees with you, or who disagrees with you, or what their expertise or arguments might be. By soliciting the critical opinions of others one gets only their critical opinions. Taking such opinions at face value because they "sound good" or because the author is "an expert" is not critical thinking. Critical thinking requires the further step of a personal, systematic, evaluation of the logic and language of an argument (or response to an argument); and you cannot circumvent critical thinking by appealing to friends and experts who you think know more than you do.

Thus, the OP can read 10 books that challenge her philosophical or other point of view--whatever that might be--and even come away with a changed worldview after absorbing all that information. She may then delude herself into thinking that her changed perspective was the result of "critical thinking." But, again, critical thinking had nothing to do with it. All that happened was persuasion.

Moreover, simply being persuaded to accept an argument is also NOT the engagement of critical thinking. Critical thinking is an active operational mental process: It is the process of logical evaluation. After all, 10 experts might share a view. In such a case, it may be reasonable in context to assume that the view is correct and act accordingly; it may even intuitively seem like the argument for the view is correct. But critical thinking runs much deeper than intuitions and persuasion. It goes to the heart of the matter--an argument's logical structure, validity, and soundness independent of bare information it contains, including its conclusion. Thus, what counts is an argument's stated factual premises and the validity of its inferences. Logic is about the use of language; including concepts, propositions, grammar, and rules of inference. It is not about what your friends happen to think.

So, your closing recommendation:

"I'd recommend choosing your book or theory, writing it up or verbally summarizing it, and looking for smart people to show you how stupid you are."

is misguided. The opinions of "smart friends" who don't mind offending you have nothing whatever to do with critical thinking. It assumes that the smart friends are critical thinkers themselves, when what you want is to develop your own critical thinking skills. To do that you have to understand and practice logic and language evaluation as you absorb information relevant to your inquiry. The opinions of "smart friends" are only valuable when you know how to evaluate *their* arguments, and accept or reject them on their own terms.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:10PM

You really don't know what you are talking about.

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Posted by: G. Salviati ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:57PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You really don't know what you are talking about.

So much for your humility; not to mention your critical thinking skills.

As a matter of fact, I have studied logic, language, mathematics, and critical thinking for 40 plus years, and have read and engaged numerous academics on this subject.

As usual, you have nothing specific to point to as a challenge what I have said, only a rhetorical insult. I know you are not interested, but for other readers, here is a quote from Patrick Suppes' Introduction to Logic:

"Our everyday use of language is vague, and our everyday level of thinking is often muddled. One of the main purposes of this book is to introduce you to a way of thinking that encourages carefulness and precision. Our approach shall be through the study of logic. . . The principles of logical inference are universally applied in every branch of systematic knowledge. . . A correct piece of reasoning, whether in mathematics, physics or casual conversation, is valid by virtue of its logical form. Because most arguments are expressed in ordinary language with the addition of a few technical symbols particular to the discipline at hand, the logical form of the argument is not transparent. Fortunately, this logical structure may be laid bare by isolating a small number of key words and phrases. . . To bring logical precision to our analysis of ideas, it is not ordinarily enough to be able to construct valid inferences; it is also essential to have some mastery of methods for defining in an exact way one concept in terms of other concepts."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrick_Suppes

Needless to say, nowhere does Suppes, nor anyone else, mention a need to secure critical thinking skills through criticisms of friends or associates, who may themselves not have such skills.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 04:00PM

> So much for your humility; not to mention your
> critical thinking skills.

Okay. Let's see if you can back that up.


---------------
> As a matter of fact, I have studied logic,
> language, mathematics, and critical thinking for
> 40 plus years, and have read and engaged numerous
> academics on this subject.

Appeal to authority. If you were as bright as you claim, you wouldn't need to produce your resume to convince us.


-----------------
> As usual, you have nothing specific to point to as
> a challenge what I have said,

An embarrassment of riches.

My post was on the inculcation of critical thinking skills; more than half of yours is on books, which I did not mention. Now you want me to treat your non-sequiturs as substantive arguments?

As for my asking smart people to criticize my work, what would you have me do--ask dumb people? Is that the secret of your success?

My point was that critical thinking requires stepping aside, often with the help of others, and separating your ego from what you write or say; seeing it objectively. That's what Socrates taught, wasn't it? It's what Confucius taught. Both men said that you need to find the wisest teachers and learn through critical dialogue with them.

You would have us abandon them and their pedagogy.


---------------------
> I know you are not interested, but for
> other readers, here is a quote from Patrick
> Suppes' Introduction to Logic:

Suppes is another non-sequitur. But what the hell. . .


--------------------
> "Our everyday use of language is vague, and our
> everyday level of thinking is often muddled."

Given your syntax and the substitution of your resume for argument, your quoting this sentence brings a wry smile to the face.


------------------------
> One
> of the main purposes of this book is to introduce . . . in an
> exact way one concept in terms of other
> concepts."

Are we really supposed to learn something from a prolix introductory paragraph without further explication? What exactly does he recommend? Have you read the book?


--------------------
> Needless to say, nowhere does Suppes, nor anyone
> else, mention a need to secure critical thinking
> skills through criticisms of friends or
> associates, who may themselves not have such
> skills.

Is it logical of you to assert something and then say "no one" disagrees? Of course not.

Second, why the dependence on Suppes? You quote a paragraph from his book and then pretend that it is an endorsement of your reasoning. That's another appeal to authority.

Third, you contradict yourself when you say that a danger in seeking others' opinions is they "may themselves not have such skills," for you just said above that we shouldn't rely on "experts" and expertise. Exactly whom do you want us to shun: smart people or dumb people?


---------------
"Our everyday use of language is vague, and our everyday level of thinking is often muddled. One of the main purposes of this book is to introduce you to a way of thinking that encourages carefulness and precision."

Again, the irony! Your post contains multiple appeals to authority and multiple non-sequiturs. If that is not "muddled," then God save the queen.

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Posted by: G. Salviati ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 05:33PM

Lot's Wife Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ---------------
> > As a matter of fact, I have studied logic,
> > language, mathematics, and critical thinking
> for
> > 40 plus years, and have read and engaged
> numerous
> > academics on this subject.
>
> Appeal to authority. If you were as bright as you
> claim, you wouldn't need to produce your resume to
> convince us.

First, I did not claim to be 'bright.' That is your mantle. Second, it is perfectly legitimate to appeal to one's own credentials when they have been questioned. ("You don't know what you are talking about.") I did not appeal to authority in my original post. If you knew what the fallacy of "appeal to authority" is, you would not have misapplied it here.
_______________________________________

> My post was on the inculcation of critical
> thinking skills; more than half of yours is on
> books, which I did not mention. Now you want me
> to treat your non-sequiturs as substantive
> arguments?

Exactly, your point was to try to teach OP on how to acquire critical thinking skills. And, as pointed out clearly and succinctly, your suggestion was demonstrably misguided; and demonstrated a complete lack of understanding as to what critical thinking is all about.

__________________________________________

> As for my asking smart people to criticize my
> work, what would you have me do--ask dumb people?
> Is that the secret of your success?

I do not have a problem with asking "smart" people to criticize your work. That is a legitimate way for you to gain input as to what may be unclear, or factually mistaken, to even to point out logical problems that you may have overlooked and need to consider. However, it is not a method to acquire critical thinking skills, for reasons I clearly explained. After all, even assuming such smart people point out what they deem to be a logical flaw; you need critical thinking skills to assess such criticism. You do not gain such skill by taking such criticisms at face value.
_____________________________________________

> My point was that critical thinking requires
> stepping aside, often with the help of others, and
> separating your ego from what you write or say;
> seeing it objectively. That's what Socrates
> taught, wasn't it? It's what Confucius taught.
> Both men said that you need to find the wisest
> teachers and learn through critical dialogue with
> them.

Again, I am not minimizing the help of others, including effective teachers; particularly those who have good critical thinking skills. But, again, the bottom line is that you--yourself--must acquire such skills. And, again, you do not gain such skills by taking arguments at face value--even from people with great critical thinking skills themselves. Sooner or later you have to personally try to figure out just what critical thinking is, and how to acquire it.
> ---------------------

> Suppes is another non-sequitur. But what the
> hell. . .

I cited Suppes because you desperately need to study an introductory logic textbook in order to understand what critical thinking is about. READ THE BOOK!
___________________________________________
> --------------------
> > "Our everyday use of language is vague, and our
> > everyday level of thinking is often muddled."
>
> Given your syntax and the substitution of your
> resume for argument, your quoting this sentence
> brings a wry smile to the face.

Is this an example of your humility; and teach-ability?
_______________________________________

> Are we really supposed to learn something from a
> prolix introductory paragraph without further
> explication? What exactly does he recommend?
> Have you read the book?

I have about 20 books on logic; this one is the simplest by far. So, at this point--thankfully--I don't need the book. What he recommends is that you gain an understanding of logic and language; and the book attempts to provide that in a basic, introductory way. Once you have that understanding, and much practice, you will be able to recognize bad arguments in an instant, just as I can with you. Otherwise, you are left "muddled" as your responses to me make clear.
______________________________________

> Is it logical of you to assert something and then
> say "no one" disagrees? Of course not.

Yes. If in fact no one does disagree who understands the issue being discussed. In other words, it is not controversial--except with those who clearly do not understand the issue.
_____________________________________

> Second, why the dependence on Suppes? You quote a
> paragraph from his book and then pretend that it
> is an endorsement of your reasoning. That's
> another appeal to authority.

I quoted Suppes, as I said, for your and other readers' benefit, not as an appeal to authority. It was the simplest, most basic logic book I had on my shelf. See, you don't even understand the application of basic logically fallacies, as you repeatedly appeal to them improperly.
_____________________________________
>
> Third, you contradict yourself when you say that a
> danger in seeking others' opinions is they "may
> themselves not have such skills," for you just
> said above that we shouldn't rely on "experts" and
> expertise. Exactly whom do you want us to shun:
> smart people or dumb people?

Again, you don't understand what contradiction, and inconsistency means (more logic). It doesn't matter if you rely upon someone who is an expert on critical thinking--even if they are right! The point is that this only gives you THEIR critical thinking, and not your own. You remain in the dark. They have not transferred to you THEIR critical thinking skills.

__________________________________________
> ---------------
> "Our everyday use of language is vague, and our
> everyday level of thinking is often muddled. One
> of the main purposes of this book is to introduce
> you to a way of thinking that encourages
> carefulness and precision."
>
> Again, the irony! Your post contains multiple
> appeals to authority and multiple non-sequiturs.
> If that is not "muddled," then God save the queen.

"YAWN!" (As you are so fond of saying when belittling the views of others, often incorrectly.)

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 05:56PM

^^^^^^^^ Speaking of "Jordan posts".......

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 07:19PM

Okay, Henry. Here you go.


-----------------
> First, I did not claim to be 'bright.' That is
> your mantle. Second, it is perfectly legitimate
> to appeal to one's own credentials when they have
> been questioned.

Saying that you have spent 40 years thinking about something and "engaging" with academics does not give you credibility. It merely indicates your emotional defensiveness. What matters is whether your arguments are coherent and accurate.


------------------
> Exactly, your point was to try to teach OP on how
> to acquire critical thinking skills. And, as
> pointed out clearly and succinctly, your
> suggestion was demonstrably misguided; and
> demonstrated a complete lack of understanding as
> to what critical thinking is all about.

You didn't show that at all. What you showed was that you think Socrates was a fool and the Socratic method a fraud.


----------------
> I do not have a problem with asking "smart" people
> to criticize your work.

Then why did you criticize my enlistment of "experts" above? You can't have it both ways: experts are good or they are bad. If their utility changes with your mood, the problem isn't theirs.


----------------
> That is a legitimate way
> for you to gain input as to what may be unclear,
> or factually mistaken, to even to point out
> logical problems that you may have overlooked and
> need to consider. However, it is not a method to
> acquire critical thinking skills,

Of course it is. Critical thinking is developed through the practice of criticism, through the engagement of skeptics. That's why it's called "critical thinking" instead of the "accumulation of knowledge." By confusing the two, you demonstrate the limits of your own analysis.


-----------------
> for reasons I
> clearly explained. After all, even assuming such
> smart people point out what they deem to be a
> logical flaw; you need critical thinking skills to
> assess such criticism. You do not gain such skill
> by taking such criticisms at face value.

Where did I say "take criticism at face value?" That's your interpolation, a straw man. I said, consult many experts and learn from the crossfire.

Assail what I wrote, not what you wish I'd written.


------------------
> But, again, the bottom line is that you--yourself--must
> acquire such skills.

You think? Really?


-------------------
> And, again, you do not gain
> such skills by taking arguments at face
> value--even from people with great critical
> thinking skills themselves.

Again, mischaracterizing what I said by inserting "taking arguments at face value." I said the opposite of that. Your attempts to poke a voodoo doll of me are both transparent and silly.


----------------
> I cited Suppes because you desperately need to
> study an introductory logic textbook in order to
> understand what critical thinking is about. READ
> THE BOOK!

Not credible. If you cared about the substance, you would have quoted substance. Instead, you simply lifted a paragraph from the book's preface outlining what the author hoped later to do. If you had well-developed critical thinking skills, you would see the problem with that.

Or you might conversely query your psychological need to include the name of a scholar--the substance of the quote was obviously not important--from six decades ago, when, you know, people punctuated their writing with what were, strictly speaking, too many commas.

This seems to underscore my suspicions about your self-confidence. "I have forty years of speaking to smart people--and here, look, I even own a book written by a smart person!"


------------------
> Is this an example of your humility; and
> teach-ability?

Nice, that Mormon definition of "humility" as "teachability."

But again, you missed the point. I am humble when I encounter people who know more than I or are more skillful than I. Sometimes I make an initial mistake and have to re-evaulate a person who's more substantial than I'd previously thought, but if I can learn I will get humble very fast. That (genuinely) self-serving humility, however, does not extend to suffering fools.

Life's too short for that.


-------------------
> I have about 20 books on logic; this one is the
> simplest by far. So, at this point--thankfully--I
> don't need the book.

Again, the resume. . .


-----------------------
> What he recommends is that
> you gain an understanding of logic and language;
> and the book attempts to provide that in a basic,
> introductory way. Once you have that
> understanding, and much practice, you will be able
> to recognize bad arguments in an instant, just as
> I can with you. Otherwise, you are left "muddled"
> as your responses to me make clear.

Hahaha. Can you produce a quotation from Suppes where he says you should not learn from experts or engage in the practice of critical exchange with smart people? Because that was, and remains, my position--you know, the position you purport now to be attacking.


--------------------
> Yes. If in fact no one does disagree who
> understands the issue being discussed. In other
> words, it is not controversial--except with those
> who clearly do not understand the issue.

I love this. "I can't explain my position logically but it's true. . . and people as smart as me know it's true. . . So it's true!"


------------------
> I quoted Suppes, as I said, for your and other
> readers' benefit, not as an appeal to authority.
> It was the simplest, most basic logic book I had
> on my shelf.

But you didn't summarize his point or even let him summarize it. You reproduced verbatim a preamble and then dropped him as if his name alone would impress.

I do think you own the book, Henry, and that you read it. But that was so very long ago . . .


---------------------
> Again, you don't understand what contradiction,
> and inconsistency means (more logic). It doesn't
> matter if you rely upon someone who is an expert
> on critical thinking--even if they are right! The
> point is that this only gives you THEIR critical
> thinking, and not your own. You remain in the
> dark. They have not transferred to you THEIR
> critical thinking skills.

What a foolish thing to say. I never said that the student should take the teacher's words "at face value," as you have insisted more several times now. I said a person learns from exchanges with multiple experts and the crossfire between them.

And yes, if you learn from Socratic dialogue with Socrates, it is perfectly acceptable to claim that you obtained logical and thinking skills from the great man. Whether they are "yours" or "his" really misses the point, doesn't it?


----------------
> "YAWN!" (As you are so fond of saying when
> belittling the views of others, often
> incorrectly.)

Excellent! "You make lots of mistakes, LW, but I won't name them." Well Henry, I think your socks smell--and not just from your feet.

I make lots of mistakes and learn from people who explain them to me. You, by contrast, lack the confidence to engage on substance and to admit error. To the contrary, you seem fixated on the need to assert your status. "I have thought about this for 40 years and I talk to smart people. . . Suppes! I have a book by Suppes! . . . My library's REALLY big. . . Lots of smart people agree with me!"

Is that really "logical" thinking?

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 05, 2021 07:57PM

I can't believe you dissed the humble comma!! Who are you?

Also, he finds no fault with SchrodingersCat!

The only way a jury would delay its verdict, in this case, is if the lunches supplied by the court system had a really great reputation and the jury was sent to deliberate at 9:45 a.m.



I kid, I kid ...

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 05, 2021 08:11PM

Not your most coherent post, EOD. If it included some references to the failing New York Times, I'd have thought Josephssmmyth wrote it.

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Posted by: Dr. No ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 12:51PM

What happens when ye suspect the corrector, who is correcting?
And then who/what corrects the corrector? And then, who corrects the correctors corrector corrector?? Correctors??

(:-0 oh no! Not another priesthood!! The Horror! Egads!! Doomed am I so youngly be?

How do we know corrector he/she/it (don't say that too fastly) isn't a part of that Global Conspiracy and trying to mind control us and turn us into a minion of Q?? (Who all things knoweth, Amen, Amen, Amen, Q almighty Dominus Ineptias)



I kid ye <3 LW :)=)

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 03:36PM

I agree, Lot's Wife, but your approach only works when built on a firm foundation acquired, frequently if not only, from reading. It's clear you have read widely and probably deeply too ;-). That firm foundation allows you to apply your method (which requires a tough skin that I do not possess... ;-)

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 04:09PM

I agree, Tom.

My point is that there are two interrelated processes: gaining knowledge and critical thinking. There is a difference. There are a few posters on this board who have read widely but failed to comprehend what they consumed. The obvious example is our friend who thought that 1984 was about the USSR, but there are others.

Imparting knowledge is great, but what distinguishes great teachers from good ones is the former's ability to nurture critical thinking. That was the point I was trying to emphasize not as a substitute for reading but rather as an accelerant to learning.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 05, 2021 07:59PM

Awww, thank you! Sometimes you can be so sweet!

Don't worry, I won't let it go to my head.

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Posted by: Just a Lurker ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 10:22PM

Not sure what side of the culture wars you fall on but here is some on both sides
https://www.amazon.com/Parasitic-Mind-Infectious-Killing-Common/dp/162157959X/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=The+Parasitic+Mind&qid=1609557417&sr=8-1
https://www.amazon.com/Madness-Crowds-Gender-Race-Identity/dp/1635579988/ref=pd_bxgy_img_2/142-0779103-0164527?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1635579988&pd_rd_r=41de0788-cb97-4835-a171-66730925e331&pd_rd_w=tj4hC&pd_rd_wg=P8BPP&pf_rd_p=f325d01c-4658-4593-be83-3e12ca663f0e&pf_rd_r=YM10GSB3AVCZ4QYY2PCJ&psc=1&refRID=YM10GSB3AVCZ4QYY2PCJ
https://www.amazon.com/Cynical-Theories-Scholarship-Everything-Identity_and/dp/1634312023/ref=pd_sbs_14_2/142-0779103-0164527?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1634312023&pd_rd_r=c822adf3-0b3c-4042-97f4-0d36eddbee18&pd_rd_w=NKOKx&pd_rd_wg=vgNcS&pf_rd_p=ed1e2146-ecfe-435e-b3b5-d79fa072fd58&pf_rd_r=V8NRMBSK13A1H9E39EBB&psc=1&refRID=V8NRMBSK13A1H9E39EBB
Here is the other side
https://www.amazon.com/White-Fragility-People-About-Racism/dp/0807047414/ref=sr_1_1?crid=286XER3YUWQXK&dchild=1&keywords=white+fragility&qid=1609557633&s=books&sprefix=white%2Cstripbooks-intl-ship%2C248&sr=1-1
https://www.amazon.com/How-Be-Antiracist-Ibram-Kendi/dp/0525509283/ref=pd_sbs_14_1/142-0779103-0164527?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0525509283&pd_rd_r=9cbcedbf-8a0c-44bc-93be-fa9727301238&pd_rd_w=WW6XO&pd_rd_wg=xAEPC&pf_rd_p=ed1e2146-ecfe-435e-b3b5-d79fa072fd58&pf_rd_r=T6YADNMR9W2PF43STD0F&psc=1&refRID=T6YADNMR9W2PF43STD0F
https://www.amazon.com/You-Want-Talk-About-Race/dp/1580058825/ref=pd_sbs_14_3/142-0779103-0164527?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1580058825&pd_rd_r=4ada4429-f506-48c8-b440-2e216c6eb7e1&pd_rd_w=6N12q&pd_rd_wg=KuAy8&pf_rd_p=ed1e2146-ecfe-435e-b3b5-d79fa072fd58&pf_rd_r=HXHA9T3CB25W2V425PER&psc=1&refRID=HXHA9T3CB25W2V425PER

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Posted by: Bibliophile ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 08:11AM

Thanks, that is a long list, albeit a forest of Amazon links! I've read many of them. I should also point out "Cynical Theories".is written by people who self-identify as leftists, and so belongs in the other section. The concluding chapter of the book is quite clearly from a left wing POV.

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Posted by: Nontheist For Reason ( )
Date: January 01, 2021 10:55PM

After leaving Mormonism I became a Huxley Agnostic, and remained a kind of Christian-Nontheist as a politically liberal secular humanist like many atheists and agnostics. Then a few years ago I decided to delve into reading Nietzsche. He not only challenged my conventional notions of morality as a secular humanist with my own Platonist leanings, but he caused me to question my liberal political leanings as well. I recommend Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Graham Parkes and/or Paul Douglas translation; I actually read many different translations for greater clarity) and Beyond Good and Evil and Genealogy of Morals. Agree or disagree with him, he makes you think and question your foundations yet also inspires you with his positive existentialism toward building your own meaning in life and your own personal values as a self-creator.

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Posted by: Bibliophile ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 08:01AM

You should ALWAYS read people you disagree with. I have. If you don't end up agreeing with them, then you can at least know what drives them. Also if a novelist is any good, their appeal should extend beyond their political tribe.

To keep things balanced, I'm suggesting books from either end of the spectrum, and have tried to avoid bores who are trying to shill for some candidate or party.

Left:
My vote for left wing science fiction writer doesn't go to Margaret Atwood but Ursula le Guin. Atwood once tried to disown her science fiction, whereas Le Guin always stuck by it, which should tell you everything.

* "Capitalist Realism" by Mark Fisher. This is one of the better left wing books I have read in recent times. Occasionally it strays into jargon (not as badly as others!) and he quotes Slavoj Zizek, but if you can get past that, it makes some thought provoking arguments against the current economic system and the crass elements of its materialism. Take with a heavy pinch of salt.

* "Cynical Theories" by Helen Pluckrose and James A. Lindsay. This is probably one of *the* books of 2020. The writers identify as "left liberal", but are highly critical of current trends in the left and in mainstream culture, along with how pseudoscience is affecting many branches of academia. I do not agree with the conclusion which suggests various fixes to the left, which in my view just compound its other faults, but this is a constructive book overall.

* "Why Americans Still Don't Vote: And Why Politicians Want It That Way" by Frances Fox Piven and Richard A. Cloward. This book is probably a bit out of date now, but it documents voter suppression in the US over the course of over a century. Its letdown is that it tends to see this process through the lens of one party, but it is certainly thought provoking and worth studying.

* "The People of the Abyss" by Jack London. George Orwell stole the idea of this book for his much more famous "Down and Out in Paris and London". London's is the original, and unlike Orwell, he did not come from a moneyed background, so understood poverty better.

Right:
Definitely not Ayn Rand, she can't write! Robert Heinlein is much more worth your time.

* "The Long March" by Marc Sidwell. Again I don't agree with some of Sidwell's conclusions, but this is worth reading if you want an idea of how some of the right views the left and their criticisms of it.

* "Confessions of a Mask" by Yukio Mishima. Mishima is one of post-war Japan's most talented and notorious writers. Confessions is a kind of fictionalised autobiography, where Mishima portrays his childhood growing up in a traditionalist Japanese family. If left wingers can get past Mishima's infamy, they'll discover a modern classic about a young man's struggles with his masculinity and homosexuality, and his relationship with western culture.

Others:
* "Can you ever forgive me? Memoirs of a Literary Forger" by Lee Israel. This is a short read and good fun. Israel certainly has a way with words, which makes me wonder why she had to turn to this line of crime in the first place.

* Since this is an exmo forum, readers may also want to check out "Americanist Approaches to the Book of Mormon" - a handy collection of recent (non-LDS) scholarship on the BoM, often referring back to the political and historical landscape it emerged from.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 12:49PM

George Orwell -- whose real name was Eric Arthur Blair -- described his background as "lower upper middle class."

Come to think of it, that was my background too.

Jack London was a blatant white supremecist who made it clear he thought Africa-Americans were genetically inferior.

Just thought I would throw that it.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 01:11PM

Nathaniel Brandon. That was her lover's name. Nathaniel Brandon. I knew it would come to me eventually.

Or at least that was the name he chose for himself. I guess the first thing you do if you want to be a writer is change your name.

He was 25 years younger than Ayn, or Arissa or whatever she called herself.

They had a HUGE falling out when he decided he didn't want to be her lover anymore.

I think I'll check out his self-help books. I am a self-help book junkie, though I have to admit none of them helped out that much.

Charles Manson was a huge fan of "How to win Friends and Influence People." I never read it, but maybe I should.

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Posted by: josephssmmyth ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 01:13PM

loislane Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> George Orwell -- whose real name was Eric Arthur
> Blair -- described his background as "lower upper
> middle class."
>
> Come to think of it, that was my background too.

Oh ho ho.. you're no blair and dare I suggest gladly so.

Lifestyle (Wikipedia)
"By putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk, whereas one is likely to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round"
— One of Orwell's eleven rules for making tea from his essay "A Nice Cup of Tea", appearing in the Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.
Orwell was a heavy smoker, who rolled his own cigarettes from strong shag tobacco, despite his bronchial condition. His penchant for the rugged life often took him to cold and damp situations, both in the long term, as in Catalonia and Jura, and short term, for example, motorcycling in the rain and suffering a shipwreck. Described by The Economist as "perhaps the 20th century's best chronicler of English culture",[201] Orwell considered fish and chips, football, the pub, strong tea, cut price chocolate, the movies, and radio among the chief comforts for the working class.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 04:24PM

>>>Oh ho ho.. you're no blair and dare I suggest gladly so<<<<

Roger that. No Blair am I. You are a brave man to gladly suggest the truth.

I was just trying to compare my social status with his, but since I'm American, and from Utah, that is like comparing apples and oranges.

So what social status did I come from?

My father was an end-of-the-worlder who did not work. No job no money. He was kinda like Chad Daybell, only he never killed anyone, at least not any of his children.

My mother's family were of the holey order of the Hole-in-the-rock.

Growing up I thought we were poor, but now I realize we were no such thing. Judging by the way we lived, someone was providing money to my mother, and it wasn't my father, and it wasn't The Church and it wasn't the state. I rather suspect it was her siblings.

And we all knew we would make good if we could only get out of that teeny tiny house.

I never could figure it out. The LDS church encourages large families but most of the houses in SLC are tiny houses with two or three tiny bedrooms.

I didn't want to steal George Orwell's thunder. Only his social status -- Upper lower middle class. I love it.

Plus he could make a mean cup of tea, which no one ever taught me that skill.

I admire George Orwell. He not only advocated for the working man, he lived the life.

Down and out in Paris and London was great. The part about working in a grand restaurant put me off wanting to go to Paris for a culinary holiday. I'll stay home and eat cheerios and jello, two staples in our household.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 06:08PM

Damn, you should write your story.

As for your class, compare to PDQ Bach's degree from the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 07:29PM

You are right. I should write my story.

And the sooner the better. Time's a wasting.

Another time, another place, a different reality.

I will write it all down. One thing Mormons and ex-Mormons have in common is writing it all down. People of the book.

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Posted by: Lot's Wife ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 07:35PM

I agree on Down & Out. I remember where I was when I first read it and some of the passages--like when he explains why the homeless liked one benefactor-priest and disliked the rest--are truly memorable.

In my opinion Orwell's most famous--Animal Farm and 1984--are prominent because of their timing whereas some others are actually better books. Down & Out, Burmese Days, and Homage to Catalonia are all great.

Of course the ironic God of History has rendered 1984 and Animal Farm timely again; the former because we see incipient totalitarianism so readily, the latter because of its description of political movements eating their young.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 01:00PM

Maybe Ayn Rand couldn't write, but she DID write, compulsively I might add, and a lot of people have read her books and have been influenced by her ideas.

The book I remember most concerning Ayn rand (born "Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum) took the name "Rand" from the brand of typewriter she used) was the biography written by her lover's wife (I forget her lover's name, but no matter, he got a new one like everyone else. He became some kind of self-help guru.

She was born in Russia and led a VErY interesting life.

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Posted by: loislane ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 08:42AM

Anything by Ayn Rand should do the trick.

Be sure to read some biographical stuff about her too, and her last disastrous "love affair."

I'm finding a novel by Finicum Lavoy (martyred fried of Ammon Bundy) a fascinating read. Not because I am a believer in what he believes, but because I am amazed at the degree to which he believes it.

I keep wanting to have a little discussion with him, but I can't because he is dead. The FBI agent killed him, thereby turning him into a martyr. I'm amazed Finicum didn't kill the agent first. If there is one thing Finicum believed in, it is the right to bear arms. Preferably, loaded guns.

This guy got my critical thinking skills working overtime, but I am glad I read his novel (little more than a personal manifesto) because it is important that I know that there are people out there -- lots of people -- who believe the way he believes. Passionately. Enough to die for those beliefs. Enough to kill for them.

Plus by the time you finish this book, you will know more about guns than you really want to.

I think Finicum Lavoy and Ayn Rand would have been great friends.

I also believe Finicum and Chad Daybell would have gotten along just great. They both were end-of-the-worlders.

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Posted by: Twinker ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 08:56AM

But if I were up to the challenge, I'd read "The United States of Socialism" by Dinesh D'Souza, someone I loathe with an unsettling intensity.

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Posted by: josephssmmyth ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 09:30AM

Twinker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But if I were up to the challenge, I'd read "The
> United States of Socialism" by Dinesh D'Souza,
> someone I loathe with an unsettling intensity.

For me, why not toss a favorite tea into the stove water and have a read?

https://books.google.com/books/about/United_States_of_Socialism.html?id=Z1C9DwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button

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Posted by: Twinker ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 09:45AM

So many books, so little time, so many books to instruct, delight, inspire, make one cry.

Maybe if I were locked in a cell, solitary confinement, being fed watery porridge, not seeing sunshine days on end, listening to a constant clanging from a floor above me, and D'Souza's was the only book available, then maybe.

Or I could watch my toenails grow!

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Posted by: josephssmmyth ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 10:19AM

Twinker Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So many books, so little time, so many books to
> instruct, delight, inspire, make one cry.
>
> Maybe if I were locked in a cell, solitary
> confinement, being fed watery porridge, not seeing
> sunshine days on end, listening to a constant
> clanging from a floor above me, and D'Souza's was
> the only book available, then maybe.
>
> Or I could watch my toenails grow!

That'll be motivation for the many alread dead and dying in the bowels of communistic prisons but never getting the chance in learning how free enterprise is quashed and stifeled. Freedom of the press and pure generosity has the potential for truth to shine for anyone who chooses to see for themselves.

https://books.google.com/books/about/United_States_of_Socialism.html?id=Z1C9DwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 10:37AM

Who do you agree with?

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Posted by: dagny ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 12:08PM

Another interesting thing is to reread the same books you read when you were young. It will help you see how much you have grown. You will see things in the books you missed and things you now disagree with. Ayn Rand is a good example.

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:26PM

Michael Tellinger's "The slave Species of the gods"
Any of Sitchen's books
Looking out For Number One



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2021 02:27PM by thedesertrat1.

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:55PM

If you're looking for things to read that you disagree with in order to develop critical thinking, then I'd suggest you already have a strike against your goal...

Claiming disagreement before reading it is like saying you don't like the taste of calamari because even though you've never eaten it, the looks are a turn off...

It's not about what's being read, but how it's being read.

For example, with non fiction... Are the sources credible? How much uncertainty is involved? What are the holes in the arguments? Are the premises valid?

And for fiction, it's important to keep in mind that by it's very definition it is contrived and metaphorical, with the specific purpose of swaying your view... How accurate is the metaphor? What are the inaccuracies? What isn't included in the story that would invalidate the message? And so on... Ayn Rand, mentioned several times here, is a perfect example of a story writer that many find compelling; but her views, like anyone else's, are full of holes if you know how to look for them.

Critical thinking is a skill that requires practice. Think along the lines of learning to play the piano... It takes time to get good at it, and no one ever reaches perfection.

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Posted by: Humberto ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 02:59PM

I forgot to add: I'd recommend starting, if you haven't done so, by understanding the common logical fallacies that we humans are susceptible to:

https://bookofbadarguments.com/

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Posted by: Human ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 03:12PM

If you think reason, being rational, and ‘critical thinking’ can save us from ourselves, read Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West, by John Ralston Saul:

https://bookshop.org/books/voltaire-s-bastards-the-dictatorship-of-reason-in-the-west/9781476718965


If you think things can’t get worse, read America: The Farewell Tour, by Chris Hedges:

https://bookshop.org/books/america-the-farewell-tour-9781508264705/9781501152689


If you think introversion is solipsistic or an illness, read Solitude: A Return To Self, by Anthony Storr:

https://bookshop.org/books/solitude-a-return-to-the-self-reissue/9780743280747


If you are a liberal centrist, read Listen Liberal, by Thomas Frank:

https://bookshop.org/books/listen-liberal-or-what-ever-happened-to-the-party-of-the-people/9781250118134


If you think Middlemarch too big and boring, read My Life In Middlemarch: A Memoir, by Rebecca Mead (wink to Dagny):

https://bookshop.org/books/my-life-in-middlemarch-a-memoir/9780307984777


If you think Christianity displaced Paganism, read Sexual Personae: Art & Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, by Camille Paglia:

https://bookshop.org/books/sexual-personae-art-decadence-from-nefertiti-to-emily-dickinson/9780679735793


If you support Israel’s Apartheid State, read Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel, by Max Blumenthal:

https://www.powells.com/book/goliath-9781568589510


If you think atheism and the scientific method deliver the final truth of who we are, read The Soul Of The World, by Roger Scruton:

https://bookshop.org/books/the-soul-of-the-world-9780691169286/9780691169286

(If you think conservatives have nothing of value to say, read almost anything from the above author.)


I could go on forever, but if you think Shakespeare is an impenetrable bungle of words, well, read him again.


Your friend’s challenge is a good one. I’ll challenge myself to read something this year that I profoundly disagree with, as disagreeable as that would be.

Human

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 03:17PM

My goal in life is to be "happy", a state of being that defies precise definition. Certainly, definitions may vary greatly as to what it is, along with how to achieve it.

Why would I read a book that inspires or promotes moving away from happiness?

And here's a notion I'm still gnawing on: "happy people don't write books on how to be happy."

Luckily, learning makes me happy.

I think there are a few here who practice 'confirming' rather than learning, a nasty carry-over from practicing mormonism.

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Posted by: schrodingerscat ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 05:06PM

elderolddog Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My goal in life is to be "happy",

Like a pig in shit?

a state of being
> that defies precise definition.

Happiness It is a fleeting emotional state, one of many on the whole spectrum of human emotions between grief and joy. It is my default setting, but not what I feel when a loved one dies. I feel grief. And on the rare occasion I see a particularly beautiful sunset over the sea with Giant whales breaching in the foreground I feel joy, hope and
When I see it with my soul mate I experience what Chinese call “double happiness”, which is the same symbol used to symbolize Confuscianism, joy and serenity.

Certainly,
> definitions may vary greatly as to what it is,
> along with how to achieve it.
>
> Why would I read a book that inspires or promotes
> moving away from happiness?

Maybe because happiness is only the middle of the hierarchy of needs. I aim for balance, between all ‘needs’, through eliminating ‘needs’
By eliminating ‘expectations’
And Ego
And by being grateful for what I have
And by giving to others, my loved ones especially.

> And here's a notion I'm still gnawing on: "happy
> people don't write books on how to be happy."

Nor do they “pursue” it.
But Americans are brainwashed to believe we have a God given right to happiness because our founding Fathers said we are free to pursue happiness.

But how did that work out for their slaves?
Or how has that worked out for black American families who have 10pct the net worth of white/Asian/Jewish Americans?
>
> Luckily, learning makes me happy.
>
> I think there are a few here who practice
> 'confirming' rather than learning, a nasty
> carry-over from practicing mormonism.

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 04:15PM

How about "The Book of Mormon?"

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Posted by: josephssmmyth ( )
Date: January 02, 2021 04:28PM

thedesertrat1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How about "The Book of Mormon?"


Finally! That nearly almost took, like forever..

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Posted by: thedesertrat1 ( )
Date: January 05, 2021 06:38PM

Damn near everybody who doesn't see it my way!!

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