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Author Topic: wat books do you read  (Read 7138 times)
Triarius Fidelis
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« on: July 28, 2008, 06:02:56 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 Roll Eyes

  • 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.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2008, 06:04:30 am by Epic Fail Guy » Logged

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M0E-lnx
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 06:03:45 am »

None Wink
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exeterdad
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 06:44:56 am »

None Wink
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.
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tomh38
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2008, 07:43:18 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 ...
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blurymind
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2008, 12:56:34 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
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 05:54:31 pm »

None Wink
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...
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rbistolfi
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2008, 06:03:26 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 Tongue, 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 Cheesy
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exeterdad
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« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2008, 06:57:33 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 Smiley

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. Smiley
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sledgehammer
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2008, 08:30:02 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
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2008, 10:31:15 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 Cheesy

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. Smiley

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"?
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« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2008, 12:10:12 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.
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« Reply #11 on: July 29, 2008, 02:34:53 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.
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tomh38
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« Reply #12 on: July 29, 2008, 03:57:45 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.
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Triarius Fidelis
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« Reply #13 on: July 29, 2008, 05:15:47 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.)
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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2008, 07:02:35 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.
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
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--
Jumalauta!!
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