I've not read that, but when I was in Oslo, Norway earlier this year I went to the Kon-Tiki Museum to see Thor Heyerdahl's raft and then to the Fram Museum next door wehere I saw the Fram - -the boat that was used by Roald Amundsen in his southern polar expedition from 1910 to 1912
I wasn't able to finish Winter's Tale at the time, many years ago, so I might revisit it. I do remember that I was impressed that Helprin's word processor was, exclusively, a Mont Blanc fountain pen.
I would not have thought that it would be especially hard to find someone willing to read and talk about The Dispossessed (if you can find people willing talk about science fiction).
While it has been a long time since I read it, I remember it being a nicely balanced, if necessarily incomplete, view of anarchy (syndicalism?)--e.g., social conformity can be a worse tyranny than dictatorship (driving a satirist crazy).
I do not fully agree with the cynical view of academic grading being only about ego; grading provides a relative quality measure to the student and to organizers of talent (employers in a capitalist system).
I also feel that committed partnership is contrary to Odonism; exclusive sharing--sharing all of oneself with a single other--is still exclusive. This is more a failure of the Odonist principle than of partnership.
Responsibility is a difficult problem. Partial identification with the object of responsibility can corrupt the "owner" ("I am no more than my property") or the "owned" ("It must conform to my self concept.").
Stewardship can lack the intensity and intimacy of ownership ("Well done, good and faithful servant" is a small reward unless one loves and admires the true owner--'The praise of the praiseworthy is above all rewards' [LoTR, approx.]).
Ownership can justify irresponsibility ("It is my X, I can do with it as I please." This would not be a problem if one's pleasure was in maximizing the true value of X.).
"I would not have thought that it would be especially hard to find someone"
It's relatively obscure -- and certainly under-appreciated.
"social conformity can be a worse tyranny than dictatorship"
/The Stalin in the Soul/, also by U.K. LeG.
Brilliant essay, but hard to find...
Perhaps you could find a person that likes speculative fiction and do a book trade ("I'll read a book from you and you'll read a book from me, and later we can discuss both.").
I admit The Dispossessed is probably not popular even among SF readers, and many SF readers (it seems) are more interested in action-adventure and technology than sociological, psychological, or philosophical speculation.
I have not had a deep philosophical conversation in quite a while, but I am almost a hermit, so this is more a failing on my part.
I do hope you find someone to discuss this book with; it certainly has significant food for thought.
@Bar-Rollin, I'd be happy to share thoughts with you any time... how can we contact each other?
I believe that you'll agree with me that /The Dispossessed/ is *not* about social systems; it's about what it means to be human, and the prices we pay.
Why must I suddenly mention /The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas/?
:-) cheers, - vic
"The Emporers New Mind" by Roger Penrose. QED, religion, philosophy, ZEN..all connected?? Offers something for the most technical of us to the casual contemplator. Nver met anyone who even heard of him.
I also love Ursula K LeGuin, 'The Lathe of Heaven' and a great PBS movie too. Protagonist's dreams become reality, and each day he wakes up in the previous dream. Seeking help, he visits a psych that realizes he is right, and has him create 'effective' dreams with suggestions that build him a fantastic new office.
On the EE side, I am reading some really famous 'fossils' that are at the beginning of electronics and semiconductor design using computers:
Introduction to VLSI Systems - Carver Mead
Analysis and design of Analog Integrated Circuits - Paul Gray
Circuit Design Using Personal Computers - Thomas Cuthbert
I highly recommend these, for anybody wanting to know circuit simulation with working code (Cuthbert) examples, and straight forward math for analog design (Gray)
Meade's book is without a doubt the landmark book that started CMOS design, and its very readable.
I have never seen these three books on any engineers bookshelf. Maybe I am the fossil.