As the summer wears on, my enterprises of great pith and moment start to lose the name of action . . . at the outset of summer break, I bulled my way through some dense tomes covering recent history, fairly recent history, macro-political-historical synthesis, and psychology and I ambitiously queued up another stack of erudite works, but I didn't get very far in these:
1) Nick Bostrom's Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies . . . a book which details the approaching age of artificial superintelligence and how we should tackle this . . . I read fifty pages and I might read more, or I might just wait twenty years and see what happens;
2) The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer, which is a lot of fun if you're not a fanatic as it implies that fanatics have nothing going on upstairs, not much self-esteem, and are psychologically incomplete and thus "find themselves" in whatever mass movement they join . . . I'm halfway through and I think I've got the main idea;
3) Fernand Braudel's The Structures of Everyday Life: Civilization and Capitalism 15th - 18th Century Vol 1 . . . this book is more entertaining than it sounds and I'd really like to have read it, but I doubt I'll actually read it;
4) The Paranoid Style in American Politics by Richard Hofstadter . . . I probably don't need to read this one because we're all living it;
5) The American Language by H.L. Mencken . . . this is free on the Kindle and for good reason, it's mainly a list of words that are American as opposed to British, and some fun assessment of the American character . . . we Americans, we'll steal any word we want, use it any way we want, and we'll spell it however we damn please . . .
meanwhile, realizing that my ambition was fading, I checked out a bunch of mysteries and thrillers from the library, so I had some books I would actually finish, and I whipped through Agatha Christie's The A.B.C Murders . . . Hercule Poirot is a lazy French douchebag, but he comes through in the end and solves an utterly ridiculous case . . . everything had me fooled and I learned absolutely nothing about anything (except that you can trick people into confessing if you pretend to find their fingerprints in a compromising location) and now I'm getting into a gritty Boston-area Dennis Lehane thriller.