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CanadaOne

Books - What are you reading?

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10 minutes ago, raaaid said:

yeah i feel identified with socrates, i think  very different to state indoctrination and hence im not killed but chemically lobotomized which is worse

 

Quit ruining a good topic with rubbish like this.

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49 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

 

Quit ruining a good topic with rubbish like this.

It’s the only thing he knows how to do. 

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1 hour ago, raaaid said:

yeah i feel identified with socrates, i think  very different to state indoctrination and hence im not killed but chemically lobotomized which is worse

 

 

I enjoy your posts. :friends:

 

I enjoy freedom of expression no matter how weird. The envelope of free expression always has to be pushed, otherwise it contracts. Which brings us back to "1984". Truly a great book which speak to this very issue.

 

One of the scariest things about "1984" was the organized devolution of language in order to suppress free speech and free thought, indeed, thought itself. The Party and it's minions celebrated how the dictionaries got thinner and thinner each year, the desired end result being where a person would have access to only a few hundred words that could convey only the simplest and most direct ideas. The capacity for the average man to protest his condition, or the condition of what surrounds him, in words was to be removed by removing the words themselves. This was being done in order to protect The Party of course, who, being a bunch of tyrannical mutts, could not handle free speech because it would ruin their ability to dictate truth to the masses. Any deviation from the party line was seen as an existential threat to The Party itself. It's interesting how Orwell draws the dichotomy between The Ministry of Truth having all the power to control speech, yet still being cowards and afraid of the smallest utterance that did not fit their one-size-fits-all totalitarian viewpoint. Orwell was a genius.

 

Damn, might be time to jump back into "The Gulag Archipelago". Stalin was certainly the muse for Orwell. And speaking of Solzhenitsyn, his book "A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich" is wonderful. It's like a whole book about prison camp oatmeal.

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2 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

Different Vermeer, my esteemed friend.

You remind me of a colleague of my father (himself a maths-teacher, his colleague being responsible for teaching mechanics), who cried out in enthusiasm upon stumbling upon a Bosch catalogue on my shelf, and he felt a bit embarrassed when it came out that the catalogue was about the painter Bosch. 😀

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32 minutes ago, CanadaOne said:

I enjoy freedom of expression no matter how weird. The envelope of free expression always has to be pushed, otherwise it contracts. Which brings us back to "1984". Truly a great book which speak to this very issue.

 

Oh, so now opposition and dislike of what raaid posts is akin to the behavior described in 1984? Wow, what an interesting leap in logic that is. :scratch_one-s_head:

Edited by LukeFF

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7 minutes ago, LukeFF said:

 

Oh, so now opposition and dislike of what raaid posts is akin to the behavior described in 1984? Wow, what an interesting leap in logic that is. :scratch_one-s_head:

 

It's a weird and wonderful world, baby. :cool:

 

 

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38 minutes ago, CanadaOne said:

 

 

I enjoy your posts. :friends:

 

I enjoy freedom of expression no matter how weird. The envelope of free expression always has to be pushed, otherwise it contracts. Which brings us back to "1984". Truly a great book which speak to this very issue.

 

One of the scariest things about "1984" was the organized devolution of language in order to suppress free speech and free thought, indeed, thought itself. The Party and it's minions celebrated how the dictionaries got thinner and thinner each year, the desired end result being where a person would have access to only a few hundred words that could convey only the simplest and most direct ideas. The capacity for the average man to protest his condition, or the condition of what surrounds him, in words was to be removed by removing the words themselves. This was being done in order to protect The Party of course, who, being a bunch of tyrannical mutts, could not handle free speech because it would ruin their ability to dictate truth to the masses. Any deviation from the party line was seen as an existential threat to The Party itself. It's interesting how Orwell draws the dichotomy between The Ministry of Truth having all the power to control speech, yet still being cowards and afraid of the smallest utterance that did not fit their one-size-fits-all totalitarian viewpoint. Orwell was a genius.

 

Damn, might be time to jump back into "The Gulag Archipelago". Stalin was certainly the muse for Orwell. And speaking of Solzhenitsyn, his book "A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich" is wonderful. It's like a whole book about prison camp oatmeal.

For some reason, I always felt that 1984 shared a common ground with farenheight 451 in that they both showcase the use of literature and propaganda in manipulation on the populous. I always figured that the scariest part of 1984 was basically the fact that being educated, and freethinking, much like farenheight 451 is prohibited. To me it is a very scary thought that in the book, being able to be independent and thoughtful is absolutely forbidden. 

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1 minute ago, angus26 said:

For some reason, I always felt that 1984 shared a common ground with farenheight 451 in that they both showcase the use of literature and propaganda in manipulation on the populous. I always figured that the scariest part of 1984 was basically the fact that being educated, and freethinking, much like farenheight 451 is prohibited. To me it is a very scary thought that in the book, being able to be independent and thoughtful is absolutely forbidden. 

 

Very true.

 

One thing that got me about "1984", was when O'Brien told Smith "we're going to abolish the orgasm". That just seems so... mean.

 

Schmucks!

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17 minutes ago, CanadaOne said:

 

Very true.

 

One thing that got me about "1984", was when O'Brien told Smith "we're going to abolish the orgasm". That just seems so... mean.

 

Schmucks!

Such a haunting book. It really is disturbing when you think about it. I couldn’t imagine having everything I say, do and think controlled, but alas, I am glad it is merely a cautionary tale and not a full on history book. For me, it made me really think about how the luxuries of human life are not always physical, but merely the ability to freely think.

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11 minutes ago, angus26 said:

Such a haunting book. It really is disturbing when you think about it. I couldn’t imagine having everything I say, do and think controlled, but alas, I am glad it is merely a cautionary tale and not a full on history book. For me, it made me really think about how the luxuries of human life are not always physical, but merely the ability to freely think.

 

They say the ability to think is the only unrestricted right in an organized society. Everything else comes with boundaries of some manner. Not to get too political, but our constitution guarantees freedom of thought, the US constitution does not. An interesting discussion could ensue from that for sure.

 

I love what O'Brien said to Smith about freedom of thought: "We make the brain perfect before we blow it out." Such evil depth in that statement. You don't even get to die as yourself, you die as you have been reconstructed. Orwell was a genius for making you depressed, that's for sure. Even the way O'Brien was portrayed. The way he told Smith "They got me a long time ago", showing that the people who suppress free speech in others are often as not victims themselves. They might have the ability to exercise a certain amount of power and threaten others who try to speak freely, but really they are just victims all the same. But they carry the additional baggage - immorality -  of being malevolent as well, even if they try to hide it by citing "virtue" in an adherence to pre-existing rules. You could make the jump and cite Hannah Arendt and the banality of evil. Or as another person remarked, the evil of banality.

 

In the film version of "1984", Richard Burton, dying at the time I think, played the role and showed the face of that imprisoned pain perfectly. Whereas most book characters are best imagined in the privacy of the reader's thoughts, I have no problem seeing Richard Burton as the perfect O'Brien.

 

 

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30 minutes ago, CanadaOne said:

In the film version of "1984", Richard Burton, dying at the time I think, played the role and showed the face of that imprisoned pain perfectly. Whereas most book characters are best imagined in the privacy of the reader's thoughts, I have no problem seeing Richard Burton as the perfect O'Brien.

Was 1984 a good movie? I never watched it. Might have to start up the ol’ television if it’s worth the time.

 

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7 minutes ago, angus26 said:

Was 1984 a good movie? I never watched it. Might have to start up the ol’ television if it’s worth the time.

 

 

I thought the version with John Hurt and Richard Burton was very good.

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I must admit when I saw Canada and chopping down tree's and being a true Brit a certain Monty Python scene crossed my mind, but I digress :).

 

I am actually multi-tasting my book reading as well as listening, just read through Short Stirling Units of WW2. My Grandad gave me a box he had retrieved from a downed bomber, unfortunately I don't know where that is anymore. Reading through Ghosts of the Air: True Stories of Aerial Hauntings which is fun to read as we lead up to Halloween as well a book on the Meteor.

 

On the Audible front I have just finished Sharpe's Tiger, now waiting for my credits to refill, previously completed Waterloo by the same author and the "The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors" by Dan Jones.

 

 

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6 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

 

You got game, brother. :drinks:

<snip>

 

For my part, I enjoy your posts, and I enjoy your ability to punch back with style.   

 

Interpreting an event from another culture over two thousand years ago documented in a limited way by people with their own agendas is never going to be straightforwards. In cases like this where the story takes on a wider moral meaning it is not even clear that an objective view is possible.

 

So let us just say that there are (at least) two possible interpretations of the Socrates story:  he was a wise man seeking to improve his pupils' critical thinking skills in order to prepare them to become better rulers, or he was an elitist who undermined the collective identity of Athenian democracy by ridiculing the "deplorables".  Or both....

 

Anyway, congratulations on a  fun thread. :salute:

 

8 hours ago, ChiefWH said:

 

Blimey, this forum has it all.

 

Including it's own taboos. ;)  

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i think people should read less books and write books themselves, thats what i do with my internet prosa here in the forum

 

maybe then someone would figure out freedom of speech is a fallacy to look good

 

hows there gonna be freedom of speech if theres no freedom of thought

 

should i go to an inquisitor and tell him i think everybody is good for things are not what they seem(loads of dopelganger terminators) and that the universe talks to me and tells me things like lights are alive watching you and they never stinguish?(in some universe)

Edited by raaaid
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7 hours ago, unreasonable said:

 

Interpreting an event from another culture over two thousand years ago documented in a limited way by people with their own agendas is never going to be straightforwards. In cases like this where the story takes on a wider moral meaning it is not even clear that an objective view is possible.

 

So let us just say that there are (at least) two possible interpretations of the Socrates story:  he was a wise man seeking to improve his pupils' critical thinking skills in order to prepare them to become better rulers, or he was an elitist who undermined the collective identity of Athenian democracy by ridiculing the "deplorables".  Or both....

 

Anyway, congratulations on a  fun thread. :salute:

 

 

Including it's own taboos. ;)  

 

I guess a lot of the fun is in the interpretation. :)

 

But!... (it had to happen) You said Socrates might have been seeking to improve his pupils critical thinking skills in order to prepare them to become better rulers. I think it was just so they could lead better lives. Socrates never went into politics because he said  - well Plato said for him I think - that he would have to sell his soul to become a politician. Which is often as not the case, as people with authority over the masses are often weak people, or at least become weak people, certainly in the sense of intellectuality and morals, and most certainly if its petty authority. That's where you find the true mental and moral delinquents who sell their souls for a buck's worth of the pleasure of hearing their own voice telling someone else what to do or what not to do. The evidence of that is clear and abundant. Socrates wanted people to be individuals exploring their own lives. He saw that as a far more productive use of their time than entering into politics, and a far less dangerous route to take in one wanted to keep their souls intact. I think that was his prime concern.

 

As for Socrates undermining Athenian democracy, we have to go back to the notion of Plato being pissed at Athens for killing Socrates. No question Plato had a bone to pick.

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Possibly: but who is "Socrates"? We only have the words of Plato and Xenophon to go on, and they give interpretations of the man that differ in important respects.  But they are both apologists for Socrates, hardly making an objective assessment.    The Symposium, Republic etc are not factual accounts: there may well have been similar dinner parties, and similar conversations, but Plato is using a literary form to make a point.  His point.

 

What is clear is that Plato - and perhaps Xenophon - were against democracy.  It is implausible to me that this is because of what happened to Socrates.  Plato's political writings in the Republic and Laws are a carefully thought through and systematic examination of politics, based on the premise that only clever, well bred people (like Plato and Socrates, naturally) were capable of distinguishing truth from illusion once provided with the right education,  and therefore only they were fit to rule as Philosopher Kings. 

 

I do not think that trying to separate leading a good life from being a good ruler is a realistic distinction when you consider that Socrates' pupils were predominantly the highly privileged sons of aristocrats who lived in a society where involvement in politics is a primary duty of a citizen, along with military service, especially for the rich from whom more was expected. Teaching such pupils to look down on the constitution and citizens of their own state was a political act: which is what got him killed.

 

Since most clever and well bred people tend to agree with Plato's assessment of who should rule, and these people also write the history, it is hardly surprising that the positive gloss on Socrates has become so entrenched.  Anyway, try to find the book I mentioned earlier: I think you would enjoy it.

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Excellent post.

 

Just a quick response to your last point. I think the high gloss on (Plato's portrait of) Socrates is well deserved. His efforts and desire to examine and break down beliefs, layer by layer, until the thinker barely knows what he thinks, is fantastic. Obviously this can be taken too far and paralysis can ensue, but that would mean the thinker has simply gotten too far off track and probably doesn't have a firm grasp on his own mind anyway. But the idea that everything should be questioned and examined, deliberately, thoughtfully, provocatively, and out in the open, is a great idea. I think Socrates deserves the praise he gets.

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Great One, subversive thinking is just subversive thinking. You can find it enlightening now that it doesn't hurt anyone, but imagine what fathers felt when their sons and heirs came back from the gym talking as raaaid does. ;)

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16 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

 

:biggrin:

 

Different Vermeer, my esteemed friend.

 

I wouldn't know art if you beat me over the head with it. My Vermeer catalogue is for tree stuff.

IMG_20180712_163703.jpg

 

:biggrin:

That is the last Vermeer I would ever have thought of.

Especially in relation to your afore mentioned philosophy books.

 

14 hours ago, sniperton said:

You remind me of a colleague of my father (himself a maths-teacher, his colleague being responsible for teaching mechanics), who cried out in enthusiasm upon stumbling upon a Bosch catalogue on my shelf, and he felt a bit embarrassed when it came out that the catalogue was about the painter Bosch. 😀

 

Something similar indeed. :)

 

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1 hour ago, Uufflakke said:

 

:biggrin:

That is the last Vermeer I would ever have thought of.

Especially in relation to your afore mentioned philosophy books.

 

 

Something similar indeed. :)

 

 

 

I know there is a movie called "Tim's Vermeer", I should watch it. It might inform me a bit as to what you appreciate in you art hobby/passion. As I said, I know nothing about art, but I did see a Michelangelo sketch once that was on loan to a museum in Ottawa and it blew me away.

 

 

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14 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

They say the ability to think is the only unrestricted right in an organized society. Everything else comes with boundaries of some manner. Not to get too political, but our constitution guarantees freedom of thought, the US constitution does not. An interesting discussion could ensue from that for sure.

 

Well, then please don't. It's apparent to me that you know as much about the U.S. Constitution as I know about the Canadian one. 

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1 hour ago, LukeFF said:

 

Well, then please don't. It's apparent to me that you know as much about the U.S. Constitution as I know about the Canadian one. 

 

You are incorrect. I am a longtime and enthusiastic student of US history, and well versed on the political and military events of your great country.  

 

That said, indeed, let us do as you say not get political. Back to the books. :)

 

You mentioned Barbara Tuchman previously. Have you read her book "The Zimmerman Telegram"? It's a wonderful and colourful little book that adds significant detail to the relationship between Britain and the US during the war years.

 

 

IMG_20180713_125906.jpg

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2 hours ago, CanadaOne said:

 

 

I know there is a movie called "Tim's Vermeer", I should watch it. It might inform me a bit as to what you appreciate in you art hobby/passion. As I said, I know nothing about art, but I did see a Michelangelo sketch once that was on loan to a museum in Ottawa and it blew me away.

 

 

 

No, do yourself a favour and skip it.

The movie is heavily critized from the day it got released. He oversimplifies Vermeer's artworks. As if it is just a simple lense/mirror trick.

And do yourself another favour and also forget about the movie  'The Girl with the Pearl Earring'.

The only thing Scarlett Johanssen does is looking sensual in the camera with her mouth half open (nothing wrong with that actually...).

I can't remember though if she said one single word in the movie.

 

Better stick to contemplating Socrates' words or reading lumberjacker magazines. :biggrin:

 

Edit:

When you want to watch a movie akin to Tim's Vermeer watch David Hockney's documentary 'Secret Knowledge'.

About the possible use of lenses and mirrors as instruments for making better paintings by projections.

 

 

 

 

Or, to stay on topic buy the book.

 

 

DHSK.jpg

Edited by Uufflakke

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11 minutes ago, Uufflakke said:

 

No, do yourself a favour and skip it.

The movie is heavily critized from the day it got released. He oversimplifies Vermeer's artworks. As if it is just a simple lense/mirror trick.

And do yourself another favour and also forget about the movie  'The Girl with the Pearl Earring'.

The only thing Scarlett Johanssen does is looking sensual in the camera with her mouth half open (nothing wrong with that actually...).

I can't remember though if she said one single word in the movie.

 

Better stick to contemplating Socrates' words or reading lumberjacker magazines. :biggrin:

 

Edit:

When you want to watch a movie akin to Tim's Vermeer watch David Hockney's documentary 'Secret Knowledge'.

About the possible use of lenses and mirrors as instruments for making better paintings by projections.

 

Or, to stay on topic buy the book.

 

 

(Edited for space by C1)

 

 

I'll check out those videos. The wife will like them too. Thanks. :)

 

I guess the one thing I know about art is that I don't like modern art. I like classical art that shows real talent.

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11 minutes ago, CanadaOne said:

I guess the one thing I know about art is that I don't like modern art. I like classical art that shows real talent.

Don't tell me that modern art is not fun.

 

F-117-Stealth-Fighter.jpg

Edited by sniperton
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i didnt use to like modern art,  but then i realized it was all about the ancient art of trolling, now im even considering trying going abstract which would be unthinkable by me before

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1 hour ago, sniperton said:

Don't tell me that modern art is not fun.

 

F-117-Stealth-Fighter.jpg

 

 

I went to an airshow at McDill AFB in Tampa years ago and they had that same setup.  :biggrin:

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That "Stealth Plane" is analogue to the life of Socrates.

Enigmatic, surrounded by mistery, only a few traces reveal its existence.

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like unrealized platonic loves

 

not doomed to cruel reality but the perfect never stained ideal

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Going back to last page, if you want a pretty good Vietnam book that takes about half a day to breeze through, maybe check out "The Things They Carried" or "Going after Cacciato" by Tim O'Brien. Also from MN where our snow is the biggest.

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13 minutes ago, Cpt_Cool said:

Going back to last page, if you want a pretty good Vietnam book that takes about half a day to breeze through, maybe check out "The Things They Carried" or "Going after Cacciato" by Tim O'Brien. Also from MN where our snow is the biggest.

 

 

The biggest snow you say? We might have to have words about that. :cool:

 

Here's a book that I think is almost required reading for military history buffs. The story about the early evolution of the steel industry reads like a techno-thriller. What a fantastic book!

 

 

IMG_20180713_162830.jpg

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i cant stand realism, reality is my enemy and i fight it with all my will, so dont read much about wars

 

how about the neverending story or momo, boy ende was definitly more insane than me

 

and momo from 86 i think its a good movie too

Edited by raaaid
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29 minutes ago, raaaid said:

i cant stand realism, reality is my enemy and i fight it with all my will,  . . .

 

 

You are a prime candidate for some Cordwainer Smith.

 

He's amazing:excl:

 

c57902eb9d443a5175f5681089542af0fecaa8ed

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I'm afraid that I can't compete with you philosophers on here, but these are the last five books I've read:

 

Treasure Island - Robert  Louis Stevenson

Monte Cassino: The Story of the Hardest-Fought Battle of the Second World War - Matthew Parker

A Book of Dreams - Peter Reich

The Fairey Battle - A Reassessment Of Its RAF Career - Greg Baughen

Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy

 

Treasure Island is a second reading - fifty years on! - and I'm now ploughing through

 

Paradise Lost - John Milton

 

for a second time.

 

Cheers.

Edited by 216th_Cat
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58 minutes ago, 216th_Cat said:

 

 

Paradise Lost - John Milton

 

for a second time.

 

Cheers.

 

 

I've been listening to lectures recently that reference Paradise Lost, I really want to read it this year.

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I think that you'll like Paradise Lost. It takes time, but is worth it. Which is why I'm going through it again.

 

Farewel happy Fields
Where Joy for ever dwells: Hail horrours, hail
Infernal world, and thou profoundest Hell
Receive thy new Possessor: One who brings
A mind not to be chang'd by Place or Time.
The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.

 

Cheers.

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On 7/11/2018 at 8:57 PM, CanadaOne said:

That's some good reading. I can't remember the name of it, but Kafka has this one-page story, it's awesome. Very, very... Kafka-esque. If I can remember the name, I'll mention it. Haven't read it in years, but I remember listening to a lecture about it and the breakdown was fascinating. The story is just a few paragraphs. Well worth your time. Kafka also has a twisted tale about a torture device on a prison island. Not pleasant, but an interesting read. Can't remember the name of that one either.

The twisted tale about a torture device was titled "In the Penal Colony". Short and to the 'point'.

https://thefunambulist.net/architectural-projects/cruel-designs-the-precise-design-of-torture-in-kafkas-penal-colony

Quote

“The needles are arranged as in a harrow, and the whole thing is driven like a harrow, although it stays in one place and is, in principle, much more artistic. […] So, here is the Bed, as I said. The whole thing is completely covered with a layer of cotton wool, the purpose of which you’ll find out in a moment. The condemned man is laid out on his stomach on this cotton wool—naked, of course. There are straps for the hands here, for the feet here, and for the throat here, to tie him in securely. At the head of the Bed here, where the man, as I have mentioned, first lies face down, is this small protruding lump of felt, which can easily be adjusted so that it presses right into the man’s mouth. Its purpose is to prevent him screaming and biting his tongue to pieces. Of course, the man has to let the felt in his mouth—otherwise the straps around his throat will break his neck.”

 

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