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links for 2010-08-30


Terror Rats II: Now with Pictures.

The story that literally sucked the traffic from this blog is coming up soon.

And this time, I figured the best way to avoid a huge decline in traffic was to pre-decline the traffic through neglect beforehand:

That’s right, let’s see you people read this blog any less! I dare ya.

The second part of the Terror Rats story appears in September.

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links for 2010-08-23

From the Notebook

Cover of "Chosen Prey"

Cover of Chosen Prey

– Read “Golf in the Year 2000” by J. McCullough. Originally published in the 1890’s, this little book is filled with fascinating prognostications about the future, from a golf aficionado’s perspective.  Superfast trains, PRT (seriously), live broadcasts of golf matches, etc. Some of the ideas are quaint. There’s the electric caddy that follows golfers around. Specialized drivers that can send a golf ball almost 200 yards! Other areas are very humorous. In this book, women are the drivers of politics. They hold most of the seats in Parliament (book is from the UK), they do most of the jobs; men don’t work. They just play golf. This look at feminism from the nineteenth century sits at a very odd place on the philosophical spectrum, in that area where misogyny and militant feminism overlap. A wonderful book

– Finished Introduction to Arithmetic by Nicomachus. This ancient book is on the Great Books reading list. As an introduction to math, it’s poor. There are some interesting mathematical concepts (including definitions for what constitutes a “brick” or “beam”) but this work is noteworthy for promoting the philosophy of mathematical realism (that math is more than a mere convention), numbers represent the mind of God.

– Read John Sandford’s Chosen Prey. It’s his typical book. There’s a killer. And Lucas Davenport. I really liked this book because the serial killer was an interesting sophisticate, and there wasn’t any liberal crap (Sandford has been inserting his politics more and more into his books). So far, I’ve not read a Sandford book that I’ve regretted.

– Read Hobbes’ Leviathan, Part I, as part of the Great Books reading program. In Part I, we get the famous line from Hobbes about life without civil government being “nasty, brutish and short” and “war of all against all.” We also see his materialism. But mostly, we see the inside of our eyelids. Hobbes is one of the least compelling philosophers to ever put their thoughts to paper. I can’t wait to be done with him.

– Worked through Precalculus Mathematics in a Nutshell by George F. Simmons. This handy little reference book, with brief descriptions of basic precalc math (with practice problems) was actually enjoyable to go through. I wish I had had a copy while struggling with this stuff in school. (The mathematical readings from the Great Books series started this year, so I decided to refresh my skills a bit).