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What the College Freshmen Reading List Looks Like Today

Books have always been the vehicle to share knowledge and inspire imagination in people's minds. Sure, we have the internet and other digital means of sourcing information but as a book lover, it is just a different experience holding a paperback in your palms and flipping through its pages one by one.

Schools also try to instill the thirst for knowledge in their students and have launched initiatives such as reading programs to get them to pick a book, read it, and spark some discussion and critical thinking among students.

With the changing times, certain books become more relevant than others. Sara Ernst and Courtney Rozen of NPR explored what college freshmen are reading these days. Look at the list that they have collated at NPR.

(Image credit: Heather Kim/NPR)


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Human beings are determined to destroy the oceans, determined to destroy the atmosphere, determined to repress and destroy the animal kingdom and all forests. There's over 500,000 pieces of space debris in space orbiting earth (we put there) that we can't ever remove. There are currently over 7.5 billion humans on planet earth, with us net-gaining a person every 14 seconds (people are born faster than they are dying). No matter what metric you use, humans are not only repressing each other, but every other system on this planet. To say the government or globalists or whatever you want to call it, are "repressing us" is an infantile theory. The system doesn't make us cattle - the system is only giving the cattle what they already want. If people weren't naturally cattle, and they wanted to "free will" their way to a better world, they've had millions of years to do so. But they didn't. Because people do not possess free will.

So that's why I say 1984 isn't impressive. It takes reality and reverses it. If language is being used to repress us, we democratically voted it in ourselves. We voted for 140-character twitter. We notified Facebook who our family was, and tagged everyone in the photos. We ate Mcdonalds when we didn't have to. We pushed 500k pieces of space debris into orbit because our ego was more important than clean outer space. We repress we.

https://www.census.gov/popclock/
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It's not the authoritarian and cruel part that makes 1984 so memorable. After all, like you said, Colin, there's a long list of autocratic, authoritarian and cruel empires/societies/governments throughout history. It's the absurdity of it, particularly how language is used as a tool of repression. That's how the English language got the terms Big Brother, doublethink, Newspeak, thoughtcrime, etc (as part of the "Orwellian" adjective).
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1984 is far less impressive the older you get. You begin to realize that everything inside of modern civilization is authoritative, cruel, petty, pragmatic, etc. If you were in a tribe in the Amazon, it would be exactly as authoritative and cruel (except no wi-fi or pumpkin spice latte). Life is always pushing against you - forcing you to either quit or keep going. And whether you like it or not, you will have to interact with "2+2=5" people. The good news is, if you eat healthy, save your money, and with the right amount of luck, the authoritative elements of life will affect you less.
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