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Walden Two by B. F. Skinner
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Walden Two (1948)

by B. F. Skinner

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read while in college and even then educational reform was an issue ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
I first heard of this book while reading a paper comparing it to A Clockwork Orange and became interested in finding it after that. I came across the book at a sale the English department of my university was having that I had volunteered for. Before starting it, however, I felt in necessary to read the original Walden in order to have a complete understanding of the themes I would be dealing with. I highly recommend to anyone who plans on reading this to read the original Walden. It isn't entirely necessary, but it will give the reader a basis of understanding over many of the subjects covered in the novel.

An enormous chunk of this book consists of the creator of the community, Frazier, describing what Walden Two is and how it outshines modern government and societal standings through behavior modification and a genuine reflection of natural human laws. He explains these aspects to the narrator, a philosophy professor by the name of Burris, along with his colleagues that join him through the tour of the town. Castle, another philosophy professor, Rodge and Steve, who work for the military, and their respective girlfriends Barbara and Mary. These characters cover different opinions over the community for Frazier to answer at a level of confidence that suggests bragging, but later becomes a little more fleshed out.

If you're looking for a gripping story with interesting characters and an explosive plot, I will have to ask you to turn away from this book. This story's purpose is not to entertain like traditional science fiction but instead to describe a hypothetical community that one would dare call a "perfect haven." Skinner's ability for scientific and cultural detail paints this town much deeper than what lies on the surface. It serves as a different look from our current standing of a community and has caused me to question aspects of the education system and behavioral understanding in our country even more than before. Again, it isn't the most fulfilling read, but it exists for the reflection of your own community lifestyle, and in that it succeeds. ( )
  IAmQuigg | Jan 4, 2015 |
An interesting and sometimes unsettling look at the darker side of social engineering. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
It's interesting and not horribly-written for a doctor, but then you get to the end and realize he's propounding living in giant Brave New World type societies where everyone's behavior is rigorously controlled by doctors and science. Scary, damn behavioral psychologists. ( )
  blake.rosser | Jul 28, 2013 |
Interesting description of a society based on behaviorist psychology. ( )
  bbstroll | Jul 30, 2011 |
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He turned up one day in the doorway of my office.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
This fictional outline of a modern utiopia has been a center of raging controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it provocatively pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct - and in which many of our contemporary values are obsolete.
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Skinner's book is a challenging read. Honestly, I found some of the ideas intriguing (especially his ideas about childcare and education) and others appalling (the subversion of the individual's right to vote), and the fact that any form of religion or spiritual praxis is considered irrelevant/unwelcome. That said, with some tweaking, I'd find W2 rather appealing, at least for an extended vacation.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0872207781, Paperback)

A reprint of the 1976 Macmillan edition. This fictional outline of a modern Utopia has been a centre of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct. FROM THE PREFACE: It is now widely recognised that great changes must be made in the American way of life. Not only can we not face the rest of the world while consuming and polluting as we do, we cannot for long face ourselves while acknowledging the violence and chaos in which we live. The choice is clear: either we do nothing and allow a miserable and probably catastrophic future to overtake us, or we use our knowledge about human behaviour to create a social environment in which we shall live productive and creative lives and do so without jeopardising the chances that those who follow us will be able to do the same. Something like a Walden Two would not be a bad start.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

This fictional outline of a modern utopia has been a center of controversy ever since its publication in 1948. Set in the United States, it pictures a society in which human problems are solved by a scientific technology of human conduct. It is now widely recognized that great changes must be made in the American way of life. Not only can we not face the rest of the world while consuming and polluting as we do, we cannot for long face ourselves while acknowledging the violence and chaos in which we live. The choice is clear: either we do nothing and allow a miserable and probably catastrophic future to overtake us, or we use our knowledge about human behavior to create a social environment in which we shall live productive and creative lives and do so without jeopardizing the chances that those who follow us will be able to do the same. -Back cover.… (more)

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