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kleinbl00  ·  2181 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: List yer favorite "Great Books" Hubski.

'k. So THING 1:

Toynbee is the Matterhorn. It's 13 volumes, a gajillion pages, took the dude 35 years to write. The '60s coincide with the abridgement of those 13 volumes into 2, primarily by eliminating all the examples used to prop up the arguments. To no one's surprise, nobody reads the 13-volume version anymore (hasn't been published since '61).

THING 2:

The religious and spiritual outlook is valuable to me for reasons that may or may not become apparent within the next 12-18 months. More than that, he said mysteriously, I prefer not to say.

THING 3:

All anthropology is bullshit and all anthropologists eat their own. Having watched Chagnon and Diamond fall in to and out of favor just since I've finished college I don't give a flying fuck what modern "scholars" think is nifty these days. The entire field of evolutionary psychology convinced me that modern anthropologists have lost their way just as thoroughly as modern architects have.

I think that there are certain fields that can't demonstrate they're moving forward unless they burn the books they learned from in school. Anthropology is one of them.

There's a great quote at the beginning of Spycraft. It's from GK Chesterton:

    History is a hill or high point of vantage, from which alone men see the town in which they live or the age in which they are living.

Old, obsolete ideas are still useful. You just need to know how to use them.