User talk:Ragga

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Words and distance

My current commute book Aldous Huxley's "Brave new world", published in 1932. It is about a utopia where everything and everyone is in a state induced and mandated compulsory happiness. Books are verboten. People are conditioned and created in castes to fullfill their role in society. I have read only until chapter 5 and although the book is captivating, it is also depressing. Perhaps not a good book to read on a typical Tokyo commute. Is Tokyo a utopia or going towards one ? Contrast it to Osaka and you might think so. Slowly but surely every landpiece is replaced by a "mansion" or office tower that screams utopistic shiny happiness... not!

Somehow this song reflects my state of mind quite well 8^D

Update 2008/3/27
Finished the book. Wow, Shocking ending. Recommended reading for people who still wonder what human life is about. I also found the book rather funny at times.

Update 2008/4/2
Read Dan Brown's "Da Vinci code". I was sure it was the xxxx guy who was behind the whole thing, but in the end there was an interesting twisting of the plot. The historical references were quite fascinating. While the book is not anti-religion per se, it made me really think of what kind of damage organized groups can do.

Some earlier books I've read. Putting here for further elaboration.

"On the Road", 1957, Jack Kerouac
"No god but God", 2006, Reza Aslan
"Man's search for meaning", 1946, Viktor Frankl
"Pattern recognition", 2003, William Gibson

Update 2008/5/3
"On the road" by Jack Kerouac is a great road-book. It tells about the longing for the road, for the west - or the east. It reminded me of "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance" by Robert Pirsig. Not for the metaphysical part, but for the part describing some remote areas and the life there. When I got my drivers' license, some friends and I started going on the road each summer. We were usually headed for France. Once, we got there via a camping trip through Poland, Tchequoslovakia and Switzerland. Once we were on the fast road with an old Peugeot 504. It dropped half of the muffler somewhere and we had to patch it every couple hundred kilometers. And then, the life changing trip was a sleepless ride to a french language school in Rouen, France. Perhaps I should start a journal about those days. It's a pity most of the pictures taken on the road are gone, thanks to some - not gentleman - burglar...

--ragga 14:24, 3 May 2008 (JST)

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