Thursday, January 24, 2008


Awhile back, I was pointed to a book called The Authoritarians, and after reading a bit of it I recommended it to my vast audience here. Anybody have any thoughts?

I promised a bit of a review and discussion once I was through a chapter or two, but I reckoned without the difficulty of reading it online. With as much "ah hah!"ing and "of course, that makes perfect sense"ing as I was doing while I read, I didn't feel like I was reading very critically. So, an actual review will have to wait until I read this book "for real."

I've ordered it from Lulu so that I can have a hard copy in my hot little hands and it's easier to make notes etc. It ran me about $20, slightly less than if I'd had the PDF printed at the Kinko's up the street. Your mileage may vary. Whether you read it on your computer or in paper form, I'd love to get a discussion going about this book.

To further convince you, gentle reader, that this is a worthwhile book to try, I'd like to say the following. There is so much "news" and "information" out there that it either becomes overwhelming or fades to noise. I do best when I have a framework for thinking about the information at hand. For example, reading Fark (the book) gave me a nice framework for identifying, and understanding the life-cycle of, junk news. It's helped reduce some of the nonsense to noise so I can focus on the stuff that matters.

My experience with The Authoritarians, so far, is that it is doing something similar for my understanding of the great cultural divide in this country. The lunatic things that my fellow citizens do are not random even though they seem like it. Understanding what's going on is the first step in making positive change. Let me know if a read of The Authoritarians does something similar for your perspective.

No comments: