# VectorLinux

## The Vectorian Lounge => The Lounge => Topic started by: Triarius Fidelis on July 28, 2008, 07:02:56 am

Title: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 28, 2008, 07:02:56 am
Lately, out of all books, I'm really addicted to Irving M. Copi's Symbolic Logic.

With a few very difficult exceptions, the examples are pretty easy, here's one of them. I'd be more than happy to explain it, but even without knowing symbolic logic you can see how a logic proof unfolds like a geometric proof, one thing comes after another. It's like looking at the insides of a mechanical watch.

This is how I wrote the proof, of course my answer was longer than strictly necessary ::)

• A → ¬(BC)
• (DB) → ¬C
• D
• ∴ ¬A
• ¬(DB) ∨ C (2, Impl.)
• D ∨ ¬B) ∨ C (5, De M.)
• ¬D ∨ (¬BC) (6, Assoc.)
• ¬BC (7, 3 D.S.)
• BC (8, Impl.)
• ¬¬(BC) (9, D.N.)
• (BC) → ¬A (1, Trans.)
• ¬A (11, 10, M.P.)
And here's how it was solved in the back of the book

• A → ¬(BC)
• (DB) → ¬C
• D
• ∴ ¬A
• D → (BC) (2, Exp.)
• BC (5, 3, M.P.)
• ¬¬(BC) (6, D.N.)
• ¬A (1, 7, M.T.)
Yeah using exportation would have been a better idea. I should have known better. Well I've been chastised hard enough to avoid this kind of excess in the future but not hard enough to give up altogether.

The advantages of reading about formal logic are twofold. It will strongly reinforce my ability to write proofs, which is tbqh not so good right now. I tend to skip steps and sometimes use shaky assumptions in doing so. When I get proofs right they often have a weird structure. Someone told me that the statements should form a chain where one obviously follows from the next, and that is definitely what I  learn to do here. The other advantage is that formal logic is one step of the way to eliminating guesswork and 'feelings' from programming. One long-term goal of CS, as far as I know, is to make programs fully provable. I guess that won't happen soon, but it sure helps to have some kind of framework for approximating the same.

I recently finished most of an undergrad text on probability theory, I don't even remember what it's called now except that I learned a lot from it. (library ofc)

I'm like halfway done with Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times

I should really start China: A New History soon because these data will probably be v v important for me in the near future!

I was reading something called Logic and Mr. Limbaugh earlier (yeah I'm sure you can guess how charitable that one is), but I got rained on as I was leaving the library that day and there was some minor water damage. They said it's chill, but I don't like looking at the stains and will probably try to replace the book at some point. (Now my backpack is lined with a double layer of trash bags for all-weather use.)

Uhh, I have Applied Combinatorics out too but I'm not really 'into' it yet. I'll know it when I feel it. So far I'm only reading it for the sections on graph theory but I hope it will absorb me eventually since combinatorics is one of the most challenging and practical maths around.

And I dreamed that I had Cosmos hidden in the house somewhere and read a few pages out of it again, maybe that counts for something.

That's my favorite book ever, I have no idea why I don't own a copy.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: M0E-lnx on July 28, 2008, 07:03:45 am
None ;)
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: exeterdad on July 28, 2008, 07:44:56 am
None ;)
Thanks M0E! Nice to know I'm not alone. It's been so long (10 years or more) since I've read a book, I can't even remember the title of the last one. Of course I'm not counting various programming books I've read and enjoyed in recent years and months. Google is my never ending book also, but I'm sure that doesn't qualify.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: tomh38 on July 28, 2008, 08:43:18 am
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Lord of the Rings
All of the Far Side collections (does that count as reading?)
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
The Razor's Edge
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Book of the Long Sun

just a few of my favorites ...
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: blurymind on July 28, 2008, 01:56:34 pm
science fiction!

Robert Silverberg, Frank Herbert, Roger Zalazni, Paul Park .. and so on

last book i read was Sugar Rain... pretty dark and cool

what is a god
http://youtube.com/watch?v=cqi5F5MqqTQ
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 28, 2008, 06:54:31 pm
None ;)
Thanks M0E! Nice to know I'm not alone. It's been so long (10 years or more) since I've read a book, I can't even remember the title of the last one. Of course I'm not counting various programming books I've read and enjoyed in recent years and months. Google is my never ending book also, but I'm sure that doesn't qualify.

Ah but they do count. Please name them here.

Maybe list a few long, book-like websites as well...
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: rbistolfi on July 28, 2008, 07:03:26 pm
As I studied  philosophy for some years, that is the basic topic for me. Aristotle was the first author I liked a lot, in particular his practical philosophy. I think Aristotle's Politics and Ethics are probably the best books of the ancient world.  As someone said, few persons started a science, Aristotle started many of them as a systematic work. Logic, Biology and Economics come to my mind.
I have a lot of interest in some kind of discourse, what I call the mythic word. Legends, myths and religion stuff. Robert Graves studies are awesome, and also Campbell (Friend of George Lucas, he influenced Star Wars, I heard.)
After some time, I started to read Kant, Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger. I got fascinated about the time problem in the German philosophy. Sein und Zeit was my bible for some time.
Since my first reads, I liked logic a lot. Russell, Wittgenstein and Quine. Lately, Tarsky become one of  my favorites on that topic.
About my fav books, "Cronicas del A
ngel Gris" (The Gray Angel Chronicles)by Alejandro Dolina is the one I love more.  It is an Argentinian author. He also makes a radio show, where he speaks about philosophy, history, literature and gambling :P, every midnight.  It has a lot of quotes and references, it basically introduced me to all the big authors and the essential topics. There is Borges also, "Fictions" is the best I think. I love some kind of genre he invented, the "fictional essay". Dolina takes that for his book. He writes about, for example, a fictitious country, but in a realistic, scientific tone. As Tolkien, he emulates the mythic and ancient discourses many times in some way. I read Tolkien a lot. Poe, Lovecraft,   Carlyle , Wilde, I enjoyed them too.
Programming books are totally allowed here, I am on python now, reading the basics, the tutorial, learning python, dive into python and such.
I don't believe books are "sacred" or something like that, and no book is a must for everybody,  but I do think the custom of reading is something desirable. I have had many of my best  moments with books. Formal Logic is probably the more useful thing you can find. If you know that, you can read the rest of the books in the half of the time :D
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: exeterdad on July 28, 2008, 07:57:33 pm
With that said...  many of the printed books I've read lately were checked out from the library so I can't remember the titles offhand.  I'm bad with names so this is no surprise. The topics were bash, C, C++ and PHP.  The last printed book I've purchased was a couple years ago. "PHP and MySQL Web Development" third edition. I had to dig it out to name it :)

As I type, I have to give myself more credit for the amount of printed books I read. I'm reading 3 to 5 childrens books a day to the kids.  Some are very primitive, some are about a 20 minute read.  I guess, even though I'm not sucked in to the story, I'm at least reading.
I'm currently working my way through these blender tutorials at wikibooks: http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro Though not printed, I'd say the content is equivalent. I've also read a few others at wikibooks, the topics were pretty much what I mentioned earlier in this post.

I don't own a single Linux book. :)
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: sledgehammer on July 28, 2008, 09:30:02 pm
I don't much like to read books written after I was born.  Figure everyone else will be reading them.  My most recent two books were Fantastic Paris, written during the lead up to the Second World War (can't remember the author) and an autobiography by Epheran or Epheram Tutt, a lawyer of some note who grew up during the first part of the last century.  He mostly smoked stogies and fished. I am now reading some Alan Bennett plays.  They are fun.

New York Times had article the other day that said the main difference between reading on Google and reading a printed book is that with Google, you write the beginning, middle and ending of the book, but in printed works, someone else does that for you.  Article also said that kids learn "texting" without taking a class and that modern tests still don't test for internet reading abilities.

John
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 28, 2008, 11:31:15 pm
science fiction!

Robert Silverberg, Frank Herbert, Roger Zalazni, Paul Park .. and so on

Roger Zelazny looks interesting. (From playing Zelazny Angband.)

I could never understand the plot of Dune and didn't finish reading it.

I read Tolkien a lot. Poe, Lovecraft,   Carlyle , Wilde, I enjoyed them too.

Tolkien's writing style is almost ideal for his genre, so much so that I have a hard time getting into anything else.

Edgar Allan Poe was a great writer. I'm sure he would have a black metal band if he were alive in this era. The Masque of the Red Death is one of my favorite stories, period.

H.P. Lovecraft wrote great stories but he was a (deliberately) terrible writer. Extremely turgid prose.

Programming books are totally allowed here, I am on python now, reading the basics, the tutorial, learning python, dive into python and such.

Good for you.

I don't believe books are "sacred" or something like that, and no book is a must for everybody,  but I do think the custom of reading is something desirable. I have had many of my best  moments with books. Formal Logic is probably the more useful thing you can find. If you know that, you can read the rest of the books in the half of the time :D

I consider them sacred, at least some of them.

On my route to the library, I see the church I used to attend when I was young and always remember that I have a new temple, except that I can walk out with the liturgy.

If it were not for learning, I would actually have to care about what other people think in order not to be bored.

That would be shameful.

And, yes, formal logic is very useful but there are a million other things I still have to find out.

With that said...  many of the printed books I've read lately were checked out from the library so I can't remember the titles offhand.  I'm bad with names so this is no surprise.

Names are immaterial.

I don't own a single Linux book. :)

I have two and I haven't seen them in years.

Article also said that kids learn "texting" without taking a class and that modern tests still don't test for internet reading abilities.

What are "Internet reading abilities" as opposed to "printed media reading abilities"?
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: blurymind on July 29, 2008, 01:10:12 am
oh i forgot to mention that i love Lovecraft and Poe and have read the majority of their work... Stephen King is good too.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: BlueMage on July 29, 2008, 03:34:53 am
If we're including texts, then I must admit to reading through - in detail - an accounting text.  Yes, I'm that boring.

Recreationally, however, I just finished several Star Wars novels (Triple Zero and Darth Bane: Rule of Two) as well as the Dawn of War Omnibus, which was awesome enough to get me to play Dawn of War through again.  My appreciation and understanding of strategy seems to improve each time, now that I understand how to play Space Marines as the "oh shi~ where did all these Dreadnoughts come from?!" army they are.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: tomh38 on July 29, 2008, 04:57:45 am
I could never understand the plot of Dune and didn't finish reading it.

H.P. Lovecraft wrote great stories but he was a (deliberately) terrible writer. Extremely turgid prose.

Regarding Dune, it took me three tries to finish it, but on the third try I not only finished it but really enjoyed it.  Regarding Lovecraft, I read his stories for the first time when I was in my early teens, so I didn't know how turgid the prose was; I only knew that the stories either kept me awake or gave me horrific nightmares.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 29, 2008, 06:15:47 am
I could never understand the plot of Dune and didn't finish reading it.

H.P. Lovecraft wrote great stories but he was a (deliberately) terrible writer. Extremely turgid prose.

Regarding Dune, it took me three tries to finish it, but on the third try I not only finished it but really enjoyed it.  Regarding Lovecraft, I read his stories for the first time when I was in my early teens, so I didn't know how turgid the prose was; I only knew that the stories either kept me awake or gave me horrific nightmares.

I don't know if I can ever read Dune now. I identify with characters in most fiction less and less every year, and when I do they're usually villains (or characters who are functionally villainous). Paul Atreides wins in that story right?

One time I tried to feed The Call of Cthulhu into a Markov chain thingie but I quickly figured out that the result wouldn't be as hilarious as expected. It seems any given phrase in the text is followed by only one other one on average, so it basically spits out the original verbatim.

In any case, Lovecraft's stories manage to save themselves with a brand of horror that you usually only feel only in sleep paralysis. I understand he suffered a lot from this condition in his youth, so the characters of his stories tend to feel invisible malicious presences, are suddenly paralyzed, etc. In fact I'd say it's hard to understand his stories fully until you have experienced sleep paralysis at least several times.

I usually sleep on my side, as this position will minimize the occurrence of hypnagogic episodes, with my face to the near wall so that not seeing the doors, windows, etc. when they do occur will limit any canvas for visual hallucination but I'm tempted to try to sleep on my back sometime so that I can experience the full range of horror that sleep paralysis offers.

(Or not.)
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: rbistolfi on July 29, 2008, 08:02:35 am
I agree on Lovecraft, he's not a good writer, I couldn't sleep for a week after reading that story with two dead brothers coming back from dead though. It is good as a "starter". My very first books were ones from a collection my mom used to buy for me. "Pick your own adventure" was the collection title. They are regular books, but at some point the reader has to make a decision, like "if you want John Smith opening that door, jump to page 128". I used to read all the possibilities in one single day. Now I think about it that could be my first experience with "software".
Amazing, The Masque of the Red Death is my favorite Poe story also. "Silence" was great too.

Yeah, maybe some of them are sacred. but what I wanted to say is I really don't like some type of saying about how important is to read, how some books are a must for everybody, and how stupid people is if they watch tv instead reading books. I don't think that is necessarily true.

One difference I see between printed and electronic internet books is the hypertext thing. Of course, there is hypertext in a printed book (like quotes from another authors, footprints, etc) but is not so easy to follow them. In an internet book, you can easily get lost following links, and I can imagine the story about a guy trapped forever in an infinite referenced network. One "internet reading ability" could be the one needed to discern when is proper to follow a link, how much you have to read from the referenced page and when to come back to the original test, if that ever happens. I am putting in a side the ability of actually find what are you looking for, and differentiate pertinent information from garbage. Even when you can make mistakes with books, is more easy to find garbage in the net.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 29, 2008, 08:43:22 am
I agree on Lovecraft, he's not a good writer, I couldn't sleep for a week after reading that story with two dead brothers coming back from dead though.

He was a deliberately bad prose writer though. I'm sure he could have elected to be better.

Haven't read his poetry.

It is good as a "starter". My very first books were ones from a collection my mom used to buy for me. "Pick your own adventure" was the collection title. They are regular books, but at some point the reader has to make a decision, like "if you want John Smith opening that door, jump to page 128". I used to read all the possibilities in one single day. Now I think about it that could be my first experience with "software".

I want to write a textbook like that some day.

Like I'll put down a difficult problem and write "If you feel the answer is x, turn to page 556. If you feel the answer is y, turn to page 237."

[page 556] "You are correct. Loser!"

[page 237] "You are wrong. Idiot!"

Amazing, The Masque of the Red Death is my favorite Poe story also. "Silence" was great too.

I didn't read Silence. Probably should.

Yeah, maybe some of them are sacred. but what I wanted to say is I really don't like some type of saying about how important is to read, how some books are a must for everybody, and how stupid people is if they watch tv instead reading books. I don't think that is necessarily true.

No it isn't necessarily true. But television lends itself to idiocy. The combination of highly visual + passive audience in television makes it really really easy to produce a lot of crap.

One difference I see between printed and electronic internet books is the hypertext thing. Of course, there is hypertext in a printed book (like quotes from another authors, footprints, etc) but is not so easy to follow them. In an internet book, you can easily get lost following links, and I can imagine the story about a guy trapped forever in an infinite referenced network.

What if he gets stuck at a vertex (page) with no edges (links) leading out? :)

* footnotes, btw

One "internet reading ability" could be the one needed to discern when is proper to follow a link, how much you have to read from the referenced page and when to come back to the original test, if that ever happens. I am putting in a side the ability of actually find what are you looking for, and differentiate pertinent information from garbage. Even when you can make mistakes with books, is more easy to find garbage in the net.

It is easy to find garbage on the Interwebs, but I see a fair amount of printed garbage as well. I think one of the utmost important goals of the public education system should be to teach students about logic and rhetoric. It doesn't matter whether you later go into a mathematical or humanities field, because propositional logic is common to both, although in somewhat different forms. If you don't attend higher education after secondary school, you'll still have a useful tool for looking at advertisements, politicians' speeches, etc. critically. There's absolutely no way to lose.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: rbistolfi on July 29, 2008, 01:35:35 pm
Quote
I want to write a textbook like that some day.

Like I'll put down a difficult problem and write "If you feel the answer is x, turn to page 556. If you feel the answer is y, turn to page 237."

[page 556] "You are correct. Loser!"

[page 237] "You are wrong. Idiot!"

HaHaHa. One structure I found in some detective novels, including "The name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco (great book) and one Borges story at least, "the man and the compass", is one criminal making fake clues, marks and enigmas. The detective follows them thinking how smart he is finding this secrets symbols in the crime scene, but he finally finds he is being fooled, the inductive reasoning sucks and there is no sense or order in the universe. Good material for this kind of book, where the reader can pick which clues to follow. I would make him to lose in all of them, he still can have fun finding new ways to lead the detective to death.

Quote
I think one of the utmost important goals of the public education system should be to teach students about logic and rhetoric. It doesn't matter whether you later go into a mathematical or humanities field, because propositional logic is common to both, although in somewhat different forms. If you don't attend higher education after secondary school, you'll still have a useful tool for looking at advertisements, politicians' speeches, etc. critically. There's absolutely no way to lose.

Exactly. Important decisions have been made in economics in my country lately. I have heard a lot of arguments in tv involving corrupcy acussations, political inclinations, etc etc, but none about economics.
There is applications of logic in literature as well, I like this one by Alejandro Dolina, from my memmory: "Two mans have born exactly at the same time. The astrology says they will have the same destiny. They finally fall in love of the same woman. They fight for her and one wins love and life, the other one is dead. Or astrology is a lie, or love and death are the same."
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: kidd on July 29, 2008, 02:36:58 pm
Gödel, Escher, Bach ,
an Eternal Golden Braid

written by Douglas R. Hofstadter, is one of the most mind blowing books I've ever read.

From consciousness, to formal systems, relationships with art, and lots of
self-references, this book won't let you read another piece of text with your
old way of seeing letters and text in general.

I won't adventure myself to define it, as it's one of the most missunderstood
recent book, but its structure is really funny and mind-blowing.  Along the book
(talking about consciousness, and the limits of computational
self-understanding) it introduces lots of little games for the reader to
discover (yes, first you have to find out there's a game to play, and then try
to solve it).

Note that its title and subtitle, has the same initials, but in different,
that's one of first things that you see when you read it. Well,

Douglas deals with some of most famous paradoxes like russell's one

Any chapter is preceeded by a dialog between Aquile and the turtle (remember Zenon
paradox?), explaining in a funny and tricky way some of the contents of the
following chapter.  Every dialog refers to a mathematical concept, a Bach piece
and an Escher picture.

Now it's up to you to read it or not.

Oh, it's >900 pages, so it's not a book to take to the beach ;)

Unfortunately, the book is quite expensive, but for me, it's worth the price.

Not to say this post has a similar structure as one brief text in GEB called
'Contracrostipunctus'.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: blurymind on July 30, 2008, 08:46:32 am
I could never understand the plot of Dune and didn't finish reading it.

H.P. Lovecraft wrote great stories but he was a (deliberately) terrible writer. Extremely turgid prose.

Regarding Dune, it took me three tries to finish it, but on the third try I not only finished it but really enjoyed it.  Regarding Lovecraft, I read his stories for the first time when I was in my early teens, so I didn't know how turgid the prose was; I only knew that the stories either kept me awake or gave me horrific nightmares.

i dont like dune quite as much as some of his other award winning books that are not that long and a lighter read- i mean "whipping star" and the "something about ant people,forgot its name,lol"

lovecraft is stylistically very simular to Poe. :P
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: gacl on July 30, 2008, 08:57:05 am
I have a pile of books that i haven't finished reading. Most i started a long time ago. Mostly related to my line of work:

Teaching Music In The Twenty-First Century
Music Lessons For Children With Special Needs
Music In Special Education
Manuel Pratique
Conducting Technique
Harmonic Practice In Tonal Music
The Complete Poetical Works Of Tennyson

And a bunch of sheet music for various instruments.

Why haven't i finished them? Well, dealing with a computer's quirks certainly takes some time. Although i've been visiting Slashdot a lot lately. Well, come September, no more computer!

I like Lovecraft, i read a book of collected stories many, many years ago but i'm not sure if i want to read more because of his _blatant racism_. I think it would color my reading.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: blurymind on July 30, 2008, 09:22:00 am
i never thought that he was racist... hmm,maybe i  am forgetting something.. He does have many personal obsessions and i do find them amusing in a way, although  racism is a silly and wrong one
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on July 30, 2008, 09:55:16 am
Well, it's true. From The Call of Cthulhu:

Quote
Examined at headquarters after a trip of intense strain and weariness, the prisoners all proved to be men of a very low, mixed-blooded, and mentally aberrant type. Most were seamen, and a sprinkling of Negroes and mulattoes, largely West Indians or Brava Portuguese from the Cape Verde Islands, gave a colouring of voodooism to the heterogeneous cult. But before many questions were asked, it became manifest that something far deeper and older than Negro fetishism was involved. Degraded and ignorant as they were, the creatures held with surprising consistency to the central idea of their loathsome faith.

Honestly, I could not give two s―ts about whether Lovecraft's stories were racist or not. Social justice doesn't concern me at all and, regardless, you may as well just enjoy the damn story. Mind you, Lovecraft was biased not only against non-whites but, specifically, non-Anglos. i.e., he disliked Dutch, Scandinavians, Arabs, Greeks and IIRC French―among many others―just as much as blacks. The only people portrayed in a positive light in his stories are people of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic background (including a doctor of Celt-Iberian extract). His biases could apply to me just as well.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: gacl on July 31, 2008, 08:04:05 am
Quote
He does have many personal obsessions and i do find them amusing in a way, although  racism is a silly and wrong one

He did write a poem called On The Creation Of Niggers:

"A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure, Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger."

Quote
Lovecraft was biased not only against non-whites but, specifically, non-Anglos

It's interesting that his wife was Jewish. Maybe that's why she divorced him. According to her, he made anti-Semitic remarks in her presence.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: exeterdad on July 31, 2008, 08:34:27 am
He did write a poem called On The Creation Of Niggers:

"A beast they wrought, in semi-human figure, Filled it with vice, and called the thing a Nigger."

:o
Yep! I would consider that racist. Wow!
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on August 03, 2008, 08:28:27 pm
Yep! I would consider that racist. Wow!

Well it was the early 20th century; you can't expect particularly egalitarian views towards race from that period.

Has anyone had this experience in doing problems from a textbook?

• Hm, interesting exercise.
• My answer doesn't agree.
• What did I do wrong?
• I'm right.
• Or maybe I didn't think hard enough.
• Let me think about why the author is right.
• He really can't be right.
• I'll look at the Amazon reviews.
• Yeah, he's definitely not right.
• Time to put this book down.

I've done this with two books now, it's irritating.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: gacl on August 04, 2008, 08:03:13 am
I do remember finding plenty of problems in college textbooks. From printing mistakes to arrogant authors that want to present their particular unpopular view as the accepted consensus. There are also the included CD-ROMs which have to be installed on a Windows machine. Most of the time the files themselves are common, like PDF or AVI, but they go to great lengths to prevent people from finding the files in the directories.

Back when i was working on my BS, in the required orchestration book there was an entire page missing. I e-mailed the company (Norton) about the problem and a couple of weeks later they sent me a brand new book! The good thing was that this was an _expensive_ book and now i could sell the copy and recoup some money. The bad news was that this was the _exact same book_! . . with the same missing page! I had to find an older edition to find that page. Thankfully the change between editions is minimal.

Gus
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: rbistolfi on August 04, 2008, 08:08:52 am
I remember finding important mistakes in the translations of some Greek books from the Gredos label. They are the most important Greek / Spanish bilingual books publishers. I mean important stuff for the interpretation of the author, like "essence" instead "substance" in Aristotle's Metaphysics.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on August 04, 2008, 12:24:33 pm
I do remember finding plenty of problems in college textbooks. From printing mistakes to arrogant authors that want to present their particular unpopular view as the accepted consensus.

I haven't run into that much, for obvious reasons. Most of the errors I have come across were provable factual inaccuracies, i.e., the 'view' presented at some point was not just unpopular but wrong, period.

There are also the included CD-ROMs which have to be installed on a Windows machine. Most of the time the files themselves are common, like PDF or AVI, but they go to great lengths to prevent people from finding the files in the directories.

'find' is your friend

find /mnt/cdrom/ -iname '*.pdf' -or -iname '*.avi', etc., very flexible

I remember finding important mistakes in the translations of some Greek books from the Gredos label. They are the most important Greek / Spanish bilingual books publishers. I mean important stuff for the interpretation of the author, like "essence" instead "substance" in Aristotle's Metaphysics.

I'm a noob at this kind of thing, what is the context? I want to see why the translation is wrong.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: rbistolfi on August 04, 2008, 05:25:32 pm
I'm a noob at this kind of thing, what is the context? I want to see why the translation is wrong.

Aristotle usually uses ousia in many senses. Sometimes to refer the concept, idea or eidos, of a particular thing, like what a thing has of universal and abstract. Other times, to refer the matter of a thing, as in chemistry. And finally the most commonly accepted as the main meaning, to refer both of them, that is a particular being, which is in Aristotle's thoughts some kind of complex, like matter with form. His hole metaphysics seems to be based in this use of ousia, a particular thing which exists by its own right. In this way he takes some distance from Plato, who thought the idea, universal , abstract and immutable, is the proper being. The particular things has no proper existence, only as a projected image of the immutable concept. My Latin knowledge is poor, but iirc the term essentia was invented by Latin speakers to translate Aristotle's to ti esti, something like "the what it is", because the Latin structure doesn't allow that kind of construction. It is an abstract noun derived from esse (to be), must be something like "beingness" in English, and it is usually used to denote the abstract part of a particular, the concept, the universal, the thing that does not change as opposed to the accidents or attributes, the being in Plato's sense and a long etc. depending on the philosophical preference of the writer. It takes only one aspect of Aristotle's uses of ousia and can be used sometimes, and sometimes it can't, depending on the context.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on August 04, 2008, 07:16:42 pm
Well I'm familiar with the idea of eidos, mainly because it is essential to math, e.g., the ultimate reality behind the seven bridges of Königsberg problem is its graph, which is isomorphic to many other graphs that might have the same use in that context or not. But I haven't heard about ousia yet. I feel I'd have to read a lot more about Greek philosophy to understand what Aristotle really means.
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: rbistolfi on August 04, 2008, 07:40:53 pm
Right, actually many problems of philosophy are now in hands of math, like what infinite means. Aristole's uses of ousia as the central concept of metaphysics seems to be a real turn around from the eidos concept, at least as Plato uses it, because it implies the particular being. Eidos is still there because a particular thing can't exist without the concept that define it as what it is (i.e., there is nothing  like pure matter, without form), but we always get the concept empirically, by a process of abstraction. From this point of view the particular being is always more fundamental than the concept used to think about it, since the concept would never exist without a process of abstraction from many particulars. The former concept of eidos implies a causal relation and a hierarchy where the eidos is always superior to the particular and the last exists only as a shadow of the first.
I read some where (maybe from Heidegger) that eidos and idea are originally forms related to "looking" verbs. That is, a concept is something like "what is visible in a thing", and the terms related to vision are originally related to picking with the hand, so "to pick with the soul". I dunno if there is some truth in this but it does sound interesting. The sciences related to language will soon replace many others (if they didn't already).
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: gacl on August 04, 2008, 08:38:19 pm
Quote
'find' is your friend

What i meant was that sometimes there's only and exe file in the CD-ROM. Or an exe file with a whole bunch of weird looking files in a bunch of folders. But then you execute the exe file (in Windows) and you get a stupid little program just to see an avi or a pdf. Do they do that just to mess with non-Windows users?
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on August 04, 2008, 09:06:48 pm
They probably just don't want people redistributing their content.

In any case, I'll bet the types can be identified pretty accurately by using 'file', which examines the content and not the name
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on August 04, 2008, 11:00:36 pm
LOL @ dis

"Having seen what happens when we pile a great many conditions on the graphs under discussion, we will now abandon the escalation of conditions and return to plain old graphs. Despite the title, crayons will not be required for this chapter [titled Coloring]."
Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: sledgehammer on August 16, 2008, 09:53:14 am
So, how do you apply ousia or eidos, concepts I sure don't understand, to this?

It seems that The Guy has decided that internet reading is superior, because the "author" can prevent the reader from concentrating on content.  Advertisements can easily be made to flash on the screen, lest the viewer get too comfortable.  Now, our local paper has figured out how to do roughly the same thing in print, by interspersing the content around the form of an ad.  Once was that the news was in one column.  Ads in another. No long. Now the whole page is one column filled with images from advertisers.  "News" is found in spaces which are not consumed by the image.  Pretty hard to find the news then, without seeing the ad. "Internet reading ability" may be simply the ability to concentrate on content despite the best efforts of the content provider to the contrary.

Title: Re: wat books do you read
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on August 16, 2008, 02:18:34 pm
It seems that The Guy has decided that internet reading is superior, because the "author" can prevent the reader from concentrating on content.

No, on the contrary, I prefer printed reading material with one exception: it's not so good for searching. Indices are tolerable but not optimal. I read from and write on paper because it doesn't require power.
Title: Re: what books do you read
Post by: tomh38 on October 20, 2008, 09:21:58 am
I didn't want to start a new thread, since we already have this one ...

Recently a friend lent me his copy of Neal Stephenson's Anathem.  I'm not very far into it yet, but so far it's excellent.

If you're interested in science fiction, mathematics, history, philosophy ... I could go on but there's so much in this tome I can't list it all.  If you like Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, the Baroque Cycle, et al.) I think it likely that you would enjoy this book.

Right now Anathem is only available in hardback, so you may want to wait for the paperback, e-book, borrow it from a library or friend (as I did) or something like that.

Stephenson also wrote a piece on operating systems back in 1999 (In the Beginning... was the Command Line).  Many of you may be familiar with this piece, but for those who aren't I recommend it.  Here is a link (http://garote.bdmonkeys.net/commandline/index.html) to the full text with comments, annotations, and critique by Garrett Birkel (written with Stephenson's permission) from 2004.

Tom