Dead Souls: more shitty rich people

I read Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol recently, and found it quite agreeable, as the narrator would say. The story features an enigmatic land owner named Chichikov, who, at the beginning of the story is a stranger in town who everyone finds intriguing. He travels around to all the landowners in the area, and attempts …

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how ‘the customer is always right’ culture is ruining our society

Happy May Day! Workers' rights are important, and are ignored quite a bit in this capitalistic country (one of the few countries that doesn't have May Day as a day off for workers... quite ironic.) Here, it seems, even workers treat other workers like crap. And I don't think it's necessarily because they are bad …

digging ditches: the ultimate human achievement?

How many Potential Einsteins, Hawkings, or Nabokovs or Woolfs or Monets or O'Keeffes are out there stuck digging ditches or scrubbing floors in order to survive? How much art and literature and scientific discoveries are the rest of us missing out on in favor of that floor being cleaned by a person rather than a …

The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

A very powerful book that will change the way you think about migrants/refugees/the poor. I thought I had a socialist bent, I thought I was a person sensitive to these things. This book magnified my socialism/humanism by 100. When we are divided out as millions of individuals, we are weak, and will be taken advantage …

More spies

I liked The Spy Who Came in from the Cold  so much that I got another le Carré novel,   The Looking Glass War. Once again it is very good, I might find myself burning through a lot of these... This one is about a different agent, and he so far seems to be surrounded by …

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré

I finished The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and it was not what I had expected. What comes to mind when you think of a spy novel? Action? James Bond gadgets and iconic villains with plans for world domination? Explosions and murder in the dark? le Carré writes perhaps the complete opposite of …

Time stopping powers

Very often, unusually often probably, I wish I could stop time and just sit and read or write all day. Now I wonder why our world is such that I need to imagine fantastic powers for myself, just in order to read all day... In the future, unless things change, even when we have robots …