Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: max weber

Lack of Interest and Another DNF

Due to a lack of interest in the subject matter, I’m proud to say that I’m adding another DNF to my reading list. Let me explain why because it’s just as important as finishing a book that I’m thrilled with.

I started reading “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” on August 11 and gave up six days later. I’m only just now getting back to telling you about it. I’m falling behind on my schedule, folks!

lack of interest

I think I gave this book a respectable chance, especially given how hard it was to read. One-hundred and eight pages in and I gave up, not because it was a bad book, but because I just wasn’t getting anything useful out of it. I was only a third of the way through (already over five hours) and that 5000-piece puzzle I was sorting through wasn’t giving up any edge pieces for me to start to see the picture. Maybe I need something easier to start the subject with?

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of fascinating information, little tidbits that never occurred to me about the differing sects of Christianity and how they grew up and evolved in different cultures. It was just that I couldn’t put any of the information into any context that would help me today. I felt lost the whole time I was reading it.

I believe I got more out of the introduction to the text than the text itself, and that’s ok. I know of the book and some of what the author was trying to do. I know a little of the history of it and why it was important. The details must not be something I need at the moment.

In the future, maybe I’ll look up some articles or videos that explain it more in, but for now, I don’t see a reason to spend ten more hours of my precious reading time here.

A lack of interest is a legitimate reason not to finish a book and a DNF does not mean a failure to complete. I cannot read every book ever written, even if I limited it to books that I know are amazing classics. There just isn’t the time available in one life! Like most things in life, I must be consciously selective. This book isn’t serving me, so I’m setting it aside.

What’s next? (Shuffles through the ever-expanding shelves of her TBR pile) Ahh… “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson. I love that guy!

The Protestant Ethic: A New Read

Why am I reading “The Protestant Ethic and the ‘Spirit’ of Capitalism” by Max Weber? I don’t know. But it sounds interesting, doesn’t it? Eventually, my TBR pile will catch up with my new system of documenting where I got the idea to put the book there in the first place, but not yet.

the protestant ethic
Photo by Author

So far, it’s a rough one. I keep reading, thinking, “wow…this is dry stuff…I have no idea what I’m reading…” and then come across some line or paragraph that makes me think. It’s like sifting through a 5000-piece puzzle.

Here’s what I know so far. Wax Weber originally wrote this in 1905 in response to the rise in popularity of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto written in 1848. The Protestant Ethic was controversial then and now, but I’m still not sure why. I’m still reading it and, since I’m pretty much lost on every page, I’ll probably have to find some articles that explain the context.

Right now, I’m a bit floored reading about Calvinism and Puritanism. These two religions had major influence in the colonizing of America, and we still feel their effects on our culture. For one thing, I’ve always found it strange how much we attempt to hide sex and alcohol in our country, well…more so in the past, but still. Laws about where and when we can buy alcohol, where we can drink it and at what age, marriage laws, and laws still on the books about which sex acts are legal, modesty laws, etc., all stem from our nation’s Puritan roots.

Things are changing, have changed, dramatically, but not in any kind of healthy way, in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to go back, but it seems to me that we are all acting a lot like kids who were never allowed to have any kind of sweets, running amok alone in a candy store, ever since the 60’s. We still haven’t figured out how to take the reins of our passions and use them to our advantage. How many generations will it take?

The United States is different from the rest of the world. We have a very strange mix of cultures, races, and religions, that makes things that seem easy in some countries very complicated in ours. I’m hoping this book might begin to shed some light on why that is.

Searched back and found this old post, Mourning Political Change: A Passing Feeling. Still feeling it and more so these days.

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