Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Started reading this book tonight. Then I stopped. Tried to read it again. When I woke up 39 minutes later, I couldn’t remember a better nap. It is now officially my new nap pill. Here's a sample.

"There are few circumstance among those which make up the present condition of human knowledge more unlike what might have been expected, or more significant of the backward state in which speculation on the most important subjects still lingers, than the little progress which has been made in the decis..... asl;dfkd " oh sorry dozed off there.... ahem, "which has been made in the decision of the controversy respecting the criterion of right and wrong."

Now, he is right and the subject matter is interesting, which is why I picked up this book. It's good to hear the other side of things sometimes. But sometimes I wonder what these guys must have been like in real life.

"Hey dad, tell me a story..."

"Okie dokie,son. Once upon a time there was the square root of 394534839 and it met a mizltofflebutialtormaximizingmifflestator ... ograph. I took the content of the fifth quadratic formula and antidisastablishmentaniarianism'ed it until the quadrant 23,9450 of quasar 39, Vector 3 supernova'd. The end."

What's the most boring book you've ever read? Or were forced to read?


Chaotic Hammer said...

Hey look! It's available on-line!

I'm not anti-knowledge or anything, but damn that's dry reading.

The Cachinnator said...

I had a hard time with "Heart of Darkness" in high school. I don't know why. John Donne came easily and I devoured Shakespeare. But Conrad just about killed me.

Brant said...

I hate Dickens. I know I shouldn't, but I do.

It's like the guy had to use 423 semi-colons in every sentence. I told my English teacher, "You say he's great, but if I write like this, you'll fail me."

Utilitarianism is another "elegant contrivance", and makes no sense. The question remains, "Why should that moral calculus have any bearing on what *I* do?" It just tries to confirm the law on our hearts, without all that Jesus stuff.

And it gave us Peter Singer.

Susanne said...

I'm with Brant...never got into Dickens. And I had to read "The Stranger," by Albert Camus, in college. Yaaaawwwwwwnnnnn.

Seth Ward said...

A damn dry read indeed. However, nothing in the book is as terrible as that opening paragraph. Would have never been published today.

The worst book that I have ever read is the Last of the Mohicans. The most BORING read ever.

Dickens, I'm afraid, bores me as well. However, if I can make it through the first half of the book, I'm okay and into it. But who wants to wait that long for crying out loud? Especially when there is HARRY POTTER!!!!!! (jk... kinda) However, the first part of A Tale (sounds like a rap song) is pretty much the greatest few paragraphs by an Englishman in a novel.

Favorite book of his is Chirsmtas Carol. Short and funny.

Books that I can't seem to get into are postmodern theology books. They always take the old great thinkers and put a new 'twist' on them when what's wrong with the original for crying out loud? People would rather read a commentary on Polycarp or Aquinas than actually read the real thing.

About the util. I've been into reading the other side of the coin again lately. Its good to flex those muscles from time to time lest they get flabby. The Antichrist by ole' Fred N. is the best of them if you can call it 'best'. At least it is interesting and appeals to the worst part of your psyche which is the part that makes you feel like you are a god. It's moraly atrocious in the worst sense but makes for a challenging read and in the end the faith is stronger. I'm going to blog soon on the Antichrist.

Sussane, haven't read that one and I'll avoid it. I also really don't like intentionally depressing books.

Cach, I have never read "heart of darkness" A bout Bill, I heard someone else wrote all his works (old news I know but I saw a new novel out about it with a pretty convincing theory, argues that Bill was too underexposed to the world to know a darn thing about it, with such accuracy. I also didn't know that his vocab. practially doubles and other authors and that he invented words like 'alligator') Any thoughts on that one? Will the real bill shakespeare please stand up.

Douglas_Coombs said...

Funny how you are reading a book by a philosopher, but in your example of a boring book it sounds like a math paper.

The most boring reading assignment I ever had was some papers on derivations on the limits of motion of robotic arms in 3-D space... but maybe I'm projecting my impressions of the professor. 6 students in a small lab and I fell asleep every single class over the course of the semester. That may have something to do with my grade.

Funny too how time changes people. I just printed out a paper on Kane's equations of multi-body dynamics for free time reading. If I had to read those papers now, I'd probably be all over them, but as an undergrad I never got past the first 3 paragraphs.


PS: If anybody else wants to read about Kanes equations, you can find them here..

The Cachinnator said...

Eh... all the conspiracy theories about Shakes are shite. No one wonders whether Donne wrote his works, and he was a contemporary of Shakes. So the historical records aren't in question. His work is internally consistent. His vocabulary is a sign of towering genius. He wasn't underexposed to the world, he was well-read and brilliant on a monumental scale. don't believe the fools.

operamama said...

you should have guessed by the title that you were being ambitious with your attention span.

operamama said...

oops, i forgot to read everyone's comments. now, i sound silly, and that's okay.

euphrony said...

That paper was interesting reading. Not my forte, but I followed it all. I've actually been preparing a "geek" post with an excerpt of the paper I've been busy writing on drilling fluid thixotropy and yield, so everybody stay tuned! And remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Or maybe gives you a nice nap.

Seth Ward said...

So one of you guys explain to me what that paper was all about...

Intrigued. No, doug... No offense to math. I was just to lazy to come up with a really long and boring sentence... the math one was the quickest stream-of-conscience one I could think of. btw, you can actually pronounce those words, I spoke them as I typed them.

And antidisastablishmentanarianism is a real word. Second longest i think.

euphrony said...

Seth, the paper is well summarized in the first sentence. Duh!

"The design of a general-purpose multibody simulator that runs in
real-time and features haptic display is presented."

Picture, if you will, a computer screen that shows a number of solid objects (balls, bats, a barcalounger with a slightly dazed and confused musician in it). You can touch the screen, on one of the objects, and make it move. What would happen if you "grabbed" the bat and quickly moved it on the screen into near proximity to the musicians head? Would it pass through that head? Would it speed up as the user swiftly moved it up and down atop this virtual head? Would it slow down, and how much would it slow, on impact? This is perhaps a basic illustration of what this paper is talking about: a set of equations that describe how these solid objects would interact through some kind of touch (haptic) interface.

Or, for a cooler and more realistic example, I have seen and played with a demo of a surgical training program. The screen displayed a basic cut that required suturing, and there was a manipulator "pen" that the trainee would hold and move through the air, causing a virtual needle and thread to sew up the wound. But, in addition to seeing it as the needle passed through the virtual skin and tissue, you felt an added resistance in the manipulator pen - it felt like you were actually trying to pass a suture through the skin. Kinda cool, eh?

Seth Ward said...

Pretty stinking amazing. Thanks for the link and description. I love to learn. Who says that we know enough?...