lotus dweller
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Sorry about the age limit for demolishers but there is a point to be made. Which clearly justifies anything.

Here's a nice fresh thread for the demolition of the philosophy promoted in Daniel Quinn's book Ismael.

Links for the soon to be less intelligent
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishmael_%28novel%29
http://www.amazon.com/Ishmael-Adventure-Spirit-Daniel-Quinn/...
http://www.ecobooks.com/books/ishmael.htm
and finally one from an institute of higher learning http://www.ugcs.caltech.edu/~miles/works/Ishmael.html


Just be clear in your demolition whether you are arguing from a relative point of view or absolutist position. Or a non-rational position.

And let it rip.
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lotus dweller
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Awful but undemolished here.

We are counting on you Drew!
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True Blue Jon
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thereofone wrote:
There is an entire class of books like this, see Ayn Rand, Robert M. Pirsig, etc. Books that you read in high school, become infatuated with, and then realize how mind-achingly awful they are.


Aw, man! I had to read Cannery Row and Moby Dick and all that old stuff! How come I never got to read entertaining stuff like these sound like they are?

P.S. Seriously, should I read them? I never have.
 
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Reading some Ayn Rand gives insight into the libertarian mind.
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Destiny's got her hand way, way up in their puppets! It's an unpleasant tingling! The deepest of wriggles!
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Here's a snip from one negative review on Amazon. Enjoy!

To make a very long list of grievances very short, I will say this: Quinn is reminiscent of nothing so much as a college freshman, so drunk with the recent loss of his apparently total ignorance that he is convinced that he is the first person in human history to understand elementary philosophy, theology and anthropology. Reading his book is like being lectured by an idiot, in the sense that no arrogance rankles like that of the truly dumb. I had to restrain myself from tracking down the author's email address out of pure human compassion: Mr. Quinn is somehow living under the terrible delusion that humanity is composed entirely of idiots. Over and over I had the feeling I was reading a hideous rewrite of 'Waiting for the Barbarians', one in which the narrator never figured out who the damn barbarians are.

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Harald Korneliussen
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Haven't read it, but can't quite see what the outrage is about. This Quinn guy wants to present his views of the world. It's a genre. He does it in a kind or amusing, kind of hipster way with a talking gorilla, so?

From what I've seen so far, it seems better than "The celestine prophecy" at least (OK, not saying much).
 
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Harald Korneliussen
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Seems whatever else he has done, Daniel Quinn could have done something good if the police had called him in to negotiate with his unhinged disciple.
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
The Gorilla espouses his monkey-philosophy....


It's still an ape, dammit!
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
The solution is to head back to a sort of existence where life is nasty, brutal, and short.


You must admit that's better than a life that's nasty, brutal, and long.
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Drew1365 wrote:
One of the major problems -- found in all books with an agenda -- is that Quinn doesn't really allow his human protagonist to question any of the Gorilla's teachings. The Gorilla espouses his monkey-philosophy, and the dumb human just goes "Oh, gee . . . I never thought of it like that before, Mr. Monkey!


OK, that makes it less "socratic". And I can see how it is annoying, especially if you are inclined to disagree with what Mr. Gorilla says. But a dull and annoying delivery of the message doesn't mean the message is poor.
 
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I've Googled this and I can't find a decent exampled and argued demolition of these Quinn books. I keep finding reviews by people who love them.

I see the position promoted in the books as potentially more destructive to the values of civilization than violent fundamentalist Islam. The most likely outcome of of a mass following of Quinn's ideas are small, constently warring tribes, that see only themselves as deserving of the title "human", and only themselves deserving any rights that go with that title.
Think New Guinea highlands or the Amazon jungle. Or "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" but applied to folks in the next suburb.

If some-one has Great GoogleFu and can find a link to a reasoned critique or can force themselves to re-read the book/s just maybe you'll save civilzation
 
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As a collection of interesting ideas that make you think, it's a great book. As a coherent philosophy intended to be ingested and perceived as a whole, not so much.

I love all three books and reread them occasionally. Not for the same reasons I reread Ender's Game every few years. Maybe it's more like Freakonomics: the details get hazy, even though you remember the big bullet points. And sometimes lack of those details make discussing the ideas with other people difficult.
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