April 25th, 2003

pencil

wake up - time to go

Meeting faintheart for lunch today. That will help the day tick along faster. [Ed. - rain check]

Picked up a book yesterday called The Lucifer Principle by Howard Bloom. (Apparently paying too much for it, based on the price on the web site, but that's the harsh life of the impulse buyer.) Mostly because much on my mind of late has been the question of why people are the nasty little shits they so often are. How does someone become an "evil dictator"? I haven't noticed a lot of ads in the paper "Wanted: black-hearted scoundrel to oppress medium-sized country. Love of torture big plus. Salary: DOE (dependent on extortion)".

I know the author's name from somewhere, I swear - but not from any of the many venues listed that I've encountered so far. Or at least no resonance has surfaced yet. Apparently Mr. Bloom has been poking around in the pop-culture milieu (define that puppy as you will) for a while, so maybe I've simply seen the name out and about.

The writing on the website seems a bit bombastic; the book (so far) less so, although I'm still only in Chapter 1 so I reserve judgment as yet. The tone is just brassy enough that I am not really surprised to find this review critical of the foundations of Bloom's argument, if not the execution. But it looks like an entertaining read, and certainly a jumping-off point for further research - the Notes and Index section are as long as the book itself. Add in the references from van der Dennen's review and it ought to keep me busy for a little while.
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