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  #1  
Old 11-02-2013, 11:55 PM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default One book which changed your life

I made this thread with a little inspiration from the "pre-destiny" thread.

There have been many influential books and essays which changed my outlook of society and in general "life"; it was Daniel Quinn's "Ishmael" which caught my attention and forced me closely examine how we've been programmed from birth to accept principles and understandings which are incoherent and contradictory.

The book is a fairly well-known philosophical and somewhat inflammatory critique of mankind and it's continuous conquest of earth. Being somewhat criticized, I'm wondering if anyone else has read this, and any thoughts?

Highly recommended reading, IMO.

And finally what have you read, or are reading, that made a significant impact on your world view and outlook?
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Perpetual Motion: The History of an Obsession by W.J.G. Ord-Hume

Excellent book. Not philosophical, but it blew my mind some of the engineering ideas and hoaxes society has come up with to achieve the impossible. Half the ideas were legit, and were geared towards making life easier, while the other half were for nothing more than fame and financial gain. I found it fascinating how long people have been obsessing over perpetual motion, and how time and changes in technology helped to drive the obsession. It is a great read for anyone who is interested in mechanics and history.
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Old 11-03-2013, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Perpetual Motion: The History of an Obsession by W.J.G. Ord-Hume

Excellent book. Not philosophical, but it blew my mind some of the engineering ideas and hoaxes society has come up with to achieve the impossible. Half the ideas were legit, and were geared towards making life easier, while the other half were for nothing more than fame and financial gain. I found it fascinating how long people have been obsessing over perpetual motion, and how time and changes in technology helped to drive the obsession. It is a great read for anyone who is interested in mechanics and history.
Sounds very interesting, I'm checking it out now. Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

A little book called "The Rudiments of Music" taught me to read and speak the language of musicians.

Around the turn of the century The Idiots Guide to HTML sent me on a path of web design; until then I didn't know where to start in creating a "legit" (ie. non Homestead) website. That was followed by years of happy hobbying plus some graphics work for a while.

Philosophically, no one book. Lots of self help, popular psychology and Buddhism books when I was young - the ones that started me were "Your Erroneous Zones" and "I'm OK, You're OK". I've since spent many years gradually shooing out the many bats in my belfry - it's a work in progress.

I only recently noticed "how we've been programmed from birth to accept principles and understandings which are incoherent and contradictory", mainly from listening to rationalist speakers on YT. I was amazed to notice all the archaic and illogical misconceptions that I once simply accepted as fact - they were really programmed into me and never questioned.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Dianetics Jr. much better than fiction.
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Old 11-03-2013, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

"The Geography of Nowhere" by James Howard Kunstler. Never looked at cities in the same way since then.
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Old 11-03-2013, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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"The Geography of Nowhere" by James Howard Kunstler. Never looked at cities in the same way since then.
That looks like a great read. On the surface, reminds me of Adam Curtis's excellent doc "The century of the self", minus the resulting political theory(s).

USA of course = where the culture remains the lack of culture. ;)
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

A tie..

"Healing the Gerson Way", Charlotte Gerson
"Thugs, Drugs & the War on Bugs", Brad Case

Realized that most health issues are tied to your diet and that drugs do nothing to improve health.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:41 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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A tie..

"Healing the Gerson Way", Charlotte Gerson
"Thugs, Drugs & the War on Bugs", Brad Case

Realized that most health issues are tied to your diet and that drugs do nothing to improve health.
Funny, one of my old friends had just mentioned Mr. Gerson's book to me....................he said the results from just a dietary change was amazing...........................going to get the book and research some more
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2013, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

...

The Sears Catalogue


...
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  #11  
Old 11-04-2013, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

There's a book called," Flyfishing Through the Midlife Crisis" by Howell Raines,that offers wisdom and insightful perspective ,that led to a few" Ah Ha" moments for me.

A great read.

Steve B
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Be Here Now - Baba Ram Dass

Pulling Your Own Strings - Dr. Wayne Dyer

Both had/have equal influence ....
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Old 11-05-2013, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Syncopation by Ted Reed, or Playboy :-)
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

The Third Wave - Alvin Toffler.
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:18 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

"Sound Recording" by John Eargle. It made me shift out of pre-med, and into mass communications, and later music production and engineering.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

"Boundaries of Order" by Butler Shaffer

http://mises.org/document/4223/Bound...-Social-System
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2013, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

"Black Spring" by Henry Miller
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2013, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Einstein's Dreams-Alan Lightman
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Old 11-06-2013, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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Originally Posted by RickVandeven View Post
"Boundaries of Order" by Butler Shaffer

http://mises.org/document/4223/Bound...-Social-System
Excellent, I also enjoyed Butler Schaffer's "In Restraint of Trade"
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Old 11-07-2013, 03:10 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Mission: Success! by Og Mandino
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  #21  
Old 11-10-2013, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

complete Beatles songbook.
not exactly a life changer but it is the book i used to learn the beginnings of guitar playing so yeah maybe it did.
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Stick Control- account of the fact that I've been a slave to it since 1980.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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Stick Control- account of the fact that I've been a slave to it since 1980.
The book that I would marry, if I weren't already hitched.

I haven't read a book that has actually changed my life, but there have been one or two that have clarified a few things.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:45 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

Life changing? Big order.

Prophets and Kings, E.G. White. Reading about Elijah the Tishbite brought me back from spiritual devastation 30 years ago.
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Old 11-15-2013, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

'Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea' by Barbara Demick.
It changed my perspective on a number of things. Before reading it a few years ago, i never understood how much privilege I take for granted.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

I read The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) as a young teen and the idea of art before commerce really resonated with me. As I got older, I came to see Rand as more of a whack-job, but to this day The Fountainhead's core principal with regard to the arts is still intact.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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I read The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) as a young teen and the idea of art before commerce really resonated with me. As I got older, I came to see Rand as more of a whack-job, but to this day The Fountainhead's core principal with regard to the arts is still intact.
From what I remember, the Fountainhead's core principal regarding the arts is: don't do what you have to do to make a living, do what you want to do even if you starve doing it.

No thanks. And you're right, Rand was a very nasty whack job.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

"Ishmael" is a favorite of mine. It made me realize why I felt such conflict about so many social norms - they don't make sense!

The author hopes that enough awareness will turn things around, but I am not really so hopeful. Nevertheless, I appreciated the impetus the book gave me to look at things in a new light. Understanding is important, even if it doesn't change the world.
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:38 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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From what I remember, the Fountainhead's core principal regarding the arts is: don't do what you have to do to make a living, do what you want to do even if you starve doing it.

No thanks. And you're right, Rand was a very nasty whack job.
My take away was that it's better to take a day job to keep from starving than to compromise your aesthetic sense if you have one.

Case in point - after many years of making great records and wowing audiences with The Dregs and Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstien decided it would be a good idea to take the Winger gig, swapping out his trademark big smile and tie-dye shirts for big teased up hair and surly sex-god facial expressions, all at the specific direction of the marketing dept, but he went along with it.

Sure, he got paid alright, but I'd say his "brand" took a huge hit and that move did him more long term harm than good. Plus now he has to live down having played in one the most egregiously awful corporate shit-rock bands in history.

All for what, money? No thanks.
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Last edited by MikeM; 11-15-2013 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:09 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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My take away was that it's better to take a day job to keep from starving than to compromise your aesthetic sense if you have one.

Case in point - after many years of making great records and wowing audiences with The Dregs and Steve Morse, Rod Morgenstien decided it would be a good idea to take the Winger gig, swapping out his trademark big smile and tie-dye shirts for big teased up hair and surly sex-god facial expressions, all at the specific direction of the marketing dept, but he went along with it.

Sure, he got paid alright, but I'd say his "brand" took a huge hit and that move did him more long term harm than good. Plus now he has to live down having played in one the most egregiously awful corporate shit-rock bands in history.

All for what, money? No thanks.
Well said, once you lose your artistic integrity, what else is there?
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Old 11-16-2013, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
"Ishmael" is a favorite of mine. It made me realize why I felt such conflict about so many social norms - they don't make sense!

The author hopes that enough awareness will turn things around, but I am not really so hopeful. Nevertheless, I appreciated the impetus the book gave me to look at things in a new light. Understanding is important, even if it doesn't change the world.
Glad someone else chimed in!

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Old 11-16-2013, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway. It started my thirst for learning about the historical events during WW1 and WW2.
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Old 11-16-2013, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

"The Joy of Sex"
Oh goodness Me! ......... And on the serious side "Iron John" by Robert Bly It will blow your mind.
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  #34  
Old 11-24-2013, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: One book which changed your life

I've been wanting to reply to this thread, but I couldn't narrow it down to ONE book. But then, inspired by another thread today, I recalled there is one book and one book only that has complete changed and inspired my life: the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu. I think the Stephen Mitchell translation is the best.

If you want to check out Taoist ideas in a simpler format, The Tao of Pooh is really good:
“Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully.
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever."
"And he has Brain."
"Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain."
There was a long silence.
"I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything.”
― Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh
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