The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children. What will be the world like if humans are unable to produce children anymore? Will the world become more miserable than it already is? The first part of the book was engaging but the second half becomes ‘too filmi’ when we are taken on a journey with the dissidents.
The petty bureaucrats of tyranny, men who relish the carefully measured meed of power permitted to them, who need to walk in the aura of manufactured fear, to know that the fear precedes them as they enter a room and will linger like a smell after they have left, but who have neither the sadism nor the courage for the ultimate cruelty.
People have no persistence. They take up enthusiasms but quickly tire, particularly if their interest isn’t continually stimulated.
The world is changed not by the self-regarding, but by men and women prepared to make fools of themselves.
We live in the same house, but we’re like dodgers or guests in the same hotel.
Has any book changed my life? First, I have to reflect what does the phrase “changed my life” represents for me? For now, not doing the reflection!
Books introduce you to ideas which you have not yet encountered. Or maybe you have felt or experienced but you read someone’s writing and experience that aha! moment.
‘The Art Of Happiness’ introduced me to Buddhism. And, the main idea which I took away was that ‘Life is suffering’. It is not a negative idea. It just means that don’t ever expect that you will reach a state in life when everything happens as you wish. Everyday we end up facing some unpleasant experience as we interact with external stimuli in the real world.
Howard Roark, in ‘The Fountainhead’ represents the idea of idealism. He was not ready to compromise.
‘The Kite Runner’ is a beautiful story. For me, it was about redemption. This paragraph is unforgettable
Then I realized something: That last thought had brought no sting with it… I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.
Code Complete – Oh! I read this book almost 8 years back. I was amazed by the writing and the ideas which I got introduced to. I was inspired to explore further and then dived into Agile philosophy; learned unit testing, writing clean code etc.
Maths Novel -A Certain Ambiguity – This novel surprised me! A novel woven around maths!! This novel and the paper ‘A Mathematician’s Lament’ inspired me to look at maths again.
I have started reading ‘Makers of Modern India’ by Ramachandra Guha. In a way, the title of the book is a misnomer. The title could be ‘thinker-activists who influenced modern india’. He has chosen 19 thinkers. He has chosen those ‘politicians who were also writers’. So, Subhas Chandra Bose and Vallabhbhai Patel do not make it. The author says,
In each case, the decision to leave them out was taken owing to the paucity of original ideas contained in their published work. Both were out-and-out doers, whose writings were either insubstantial or humdrum.
The author has not mentioned what does he mean by ‘modern india’. Does ‘modern india’ implies India since independence?
He feels India is the most interesting country in the world, especially because 5 revolutions are taking place simultaneously – the urban revolution, the industrial revolution, the national revolution, the democratic revolution and the social revolution.
Some interesting historical facts -
Bengal was the first province to come under the control of East India Company, around 1765.
In 1793 the British instituted a ‘Permanent Settlement‘ in eastern India, following what they had done in Ireland, they promoted a class of large landlords responsible for collecting revenue.
Another major impact was import of printing press from the British into Bengal. This led to publishing boom. and the author says – ‘Through their reading, educated Indians became acquainted with their own sacred texts as well as with the most recent rends in Western science and philosophy‘.
One group of CPI(M), in 1960′s started armed struggle – The Indian Maoists are commonly knows as ‘Naxalites‘, after the north Bengal village of Naxalbari where their struggle began.
1. Brain Pickings – “Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness”. You can subscribe for weekly digest.
2. Long Form – I loved ‘The Story of Suicide’.
3. Good Reads – Create your list of books read, you want to read, read reviews etc. A good site but sluggish in performance.
4. Standford Encyclopedia Of Philosophy – A great resource for those who love to explore philosophers and their ideas.