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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Readers of my comments may remember that perennial troll (and, unbelievably, my cousin) Mike T. proposed a wager back in June regarding the results of the presidential election.

I'll call it now, McCain will win by a much larger margin than Bush did in the 2000 election.

...I propose the bet be who will win, instead of odds that one candidate will defeat another. Also, I think the stakes should be something more interesting than a money amount. I suggest that the loser must read a book of the winner's choosing.
I have not forgotten about this.

The natural choice would seem to be Dreams from My Father, but I worry (a) it's too obvious (b) he's not in a place where he would get much out of it (c) I think he might have told me (unbelievably!) he's already read it.

At one point I was leaning towards Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, just because his nonsense assertions about ecology drive me completely up the wall. But again I wonder how much he would actually get out of reading it.

I sort of like the idea of picking A Theory of Justice, and not only because it's so long.

The absolute best thing, I think, would be something that would teach the concept of empathy to a person that doesn't have much. But I'm not sure what that book is.

Failing that, something really punishing.

Any ideas?