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Author Topic: what are you reading recently  (Read 7703 times)
Triarius Fidelis
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« on: November 08, 2009, 04:08:28 am »

I got done with Jonathon Baron's Thinking and Deciding recently. Well I didn't get done with it, there were some chapters I skipped towards the end and I might read those before I return the book this weekend because someone else wants it apparently. It was pretty cool and stuff, taught me more about true skepticism (the organizing principle of the book is "active open-mindedness") and I'm glad I didn't pass it over, since it looked so turgid at the outset, what with the cmr10 typesetting

I was reading War on the Mind. At first it was about some solid cognitive psychology of warfighting but then it descended into more and more psychoanalytic garbage and even the chapter on atrocity became thoroughly unenjoyable after the author mentioned the use of Rorschach blots to figure out who would be more likely to commit an atrocity. Dammit, I was looking for some sound scientific research about how to dehumanize people but to no avail. Maybe I'll be the first to carry it out one day ... I find that learning the methods of rational decision making leads a person to see others as mental children, or even dangerous pests. Under the right circumstances, teaching a person how to think rationally could be used as a means of dehumanization. I can definitely think of some ways that might work now. That might be cool. After all most societies dehumanize people on a regular basis so then it's a matter of figuring out what they do right and then tweaking and extending it

I am currently reading Fundamentals of Natural Computing, having completed the genetic algorithms section and now moving on to neurocomputing. Those first two I was already kind of familiar with but swarm intelligence and the entirely exotic field of immunocomputing come next. Then there's something about fractals which are explained well enough to implement on a computer without any tedious analysis. That's pretty cool. I'm probably going to try the traveling salesman problem with genetic algorithms some time this week in fact. (Oh and btw evolution is a lie: sah-en-tists is STUPID.)

Eh let's see what else

I was also reading Gödel, Escher, Bach but it seems like a pile of thhhhpppBBBBBBtthhhhh, or at least the stupid little dialogues do, and the rest of the book is stuff I know, or don't need to know, or is essentially outdated, so I'm going to return it

How to Solve It by George Polya on the other hand appears to be a legit classic and I'm going to read that for sure. It's not long neither

I'm done with Cognitive Psychology and Its Implications, a thoroughly enjoyable text which is a solid foundation for more advanced readings in cognitive psychology, as in Thinking and Deciding. It is really full of win. Every chapter section ends with a brief summary of what came before. I thought I remembered nothing after I read the book but it came flooding back in my cog sci class and probably improved my test grades. It is a model textbook, exceedingly well written. Among the important take home lessons from this book was that most of what you learn in developing a skill comes fairly soon after inception and then after that it's mostly fine tuning. So if you want to learn several things you can conceivably get pretty good at several rather than just zealously spending lots of time on the one. Another is that becoming skilled at one thing does not readily lend itself to anything without a similar structure. So, while learning Latin would certainly facilitate learning Spanish or a similar language, or Latin loan words, it wouldn't necessarily facilitate learning anything else. The education system tells us otherwise for years and it was awesome to have the illusion shattered

I've got Flight From Science and Reason and Mathematics and War but these are essay compilations, can be read piecemeal, largely uninteresting, so I'm probably just going to pick and choose here. The Lanchester square model from the latter of the two might be useful for a simulation I want to write, pretty cool

There's some other things I want to read, like Neural Network Models of Cognition which I have here by my side. The general plan is neuroscience, cognitive psychology, biochemistry, biologically inspired artificial neural networks and maybe a little skepticism and decision making reading on the side. There's more I'd like to read, you know, but sometimes you just have to prioritize. Career goals and all
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henryxcrudos
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2009, 04:43:49 am »

Umberto Eco: Foucault's Pendulum. M.I.N.D.B.L.O.W.I.N.G.
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2009, 04:51:24 am »

isn't Foucault that postmodernist dude
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2009, 09:03:42 am »

Umberto Eco: Foucault's Pendulum. M.I.N.D.B.L.O.W.I.N.G.
Well, if you like Eco, you got a lot of reading ahead.  Smiley

I really would like to read the new book of Mark Z. Danielewski: http://www.onlyrevolutions.com/
I am going to ask it for my birthday (far away from now)

And I am actually thinking of reading John Irvings Praying for Owen Meany again

And reading Terry Pratchett on the netbook (lot's of scrolling).

So much to read in so little time (That general psychology book is waiting for me, sometime I just open it to read a random piece and I am happy to go to sleep.

(Well and sometimes I reread a bedtime story that I made myself, for the kids)
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henryxcrudos
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2009, 02:55:21 pm »

isn't Foucault that postmodernist dude

The other one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Léon_Foucault
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2009, 08:20:30 pm »

Just arrived:

Apes of Wrath by Steve Bell

and

Hoshruba, a first translation of the world's first magical fantasy epic.

Reading: Aelteste Geschichte der Deutschen bis zur Voelkerwanderung, Leipzig 1806.
Got that one from Google downloaded.

Further NY Review of Books keeps me busy as well, especially when 3 issues arrive at the same time.
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henryxcrudos
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2009, 10:41:15 pm »

Plus: Alan Moore - Voice of the Fire. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Smiley
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2009, 11:14:19 pm »

well hey speaking of that natural computing book

I figured I'm going to do my required presentation in this microbiology seminar elective I have about either immunocomputing or genetic algorithms

furthermore, I'm going to present the material as if the people in my class are smart

it's going to be cool

uh huh huh huh
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 12:51:56 pm »

Finished The Lost Symbol two days ago weekend.  good, but kind of predictable.
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2010, 04:34:55 am »

I'm nearly done with Scientific Method in Practice

I intend to finish Affective Neuroscience before long idk
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2010, 11:22:39 am »

I'm now reading ANSI Common Lisp, by Paul Graham.  It's a nice lisp intro (provided you already know some basics), fairly easy to read and it introduces some of the unique lisp features.

When I finish it, I plan to give another try to SICP (http://mitpress.mit.edu/sicp/full-text/book/book.html), now that I bought a used copy of it.  One of the most amazing CS books ever writen.
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 02:31:08 pm »

I'm reading manga, called "battle angel : Last order".. again.

James Cameron has started working on a movie based on it. I hope he doesnt work on it as long as he did on avatar ( 8 years?!!)
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2010, 03:11:40 pm »

avatar looked like crap

I'm looking for an introduction to Bayesian inferential statistics without a lot of multiple integrals and whatnot like I see in a lot of Bayesian statistics texts
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

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franklin1k
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« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2010, 01:45:07 am »

Matt Crawford's Shop Class as Soulcraft

Be the Pack Leader by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier

First Mountain Man  07 - Blackfoot Messiah by Johnstone, William

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Jack Kerouac

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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2010, 11:12:25 pm »

I'm reading probability; decision; statistics

I realized that existing reading on Bayesian statistics tends to be aimed at mathematical statisticians

or just sucks

so frequentism it is for now
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"Leatherface, you BITCH! Ho Chi Minh, hah hah hah!"

Formerly known as "Epic Fail Guy" and "Döden" in recent months
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