It's tempting to judge what you read:
I agree with these statements, and I disagree with those.
However, a great thinker who has spent decades on an unusual line of thought cannot induce their context into your head in a few pages. It’s almost certainly the case that you don’t fully understand their statements.
Instead, you can say:
I have now learned that there exists a worldview in which all of these statements are consistent.
And if it feels worthwhile, you can make a genuine effort to understand that entire worldview. You don't have to adopt it. Just make it available to yourself, so you can make connections to it when it's needed.
I find both of these reactions to be equally subversive. Whenever I find myself agreeing with something, I'm unwilling to poke around for holes in arguments or question the accuracy of facts presented. Similarly, whenever I disagree with something, I'm unwilling to concede the strong points of an argument or approach the problem from the presented perspective.
To minimize the effects of these emotional reactions, it helps making my judgments as granual as possible. (Don't judge the person: judge each individual action separately. Don't judge actions, judge consequence and intention separately, etc.)
Furthermore, to minimize the polarizing effects of true-false dichotomies, I instead assign ratings (1-6) for a statement's probability of being true.
For opening myself to contradicting world views, it helps to ask what would have to change in the world for this statement to be true?. Instead of forward-reasoning, where you admit your world view and reason forwards to correct conclusions, this mental trick fixes the conclusion and makes you reason backwards towards hypothetical worlds and asks you to identify their properties. It's then easier to diff your view against the proposed worlds and shift your beliefs accordingly.
Also, it sounds you might be interested in LessWrong.com - if you haven't stumbled upon it yourself already.
His latest with Emmanuel Sander, "Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking", is comparatively much more straightforward and less obfuscated, and still fascinating.
I wrote a script to create the list for amazon
links at least:
# Script redacted - I think HN isn't happy
# with my scraping. Fair enough.
 Using the `mojo` cli tool for ad-hoc HTML parsing
The 'unique presentation' also seems to mean no alt-text (bad) and no title-text (disappointing)...
Edit: Added a little more. Maybe someone else will add some while I go write an exam :)
I'm just putting this here as Bret Victor's link no longer works.
Also, if you ever need to give a gift, http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Turing-Omnibus-Excursions/dp/0...
We live in a society where it's fine to make shocking arguments about just about anything, but if anyone were to dare argue "What Dostoyevsky and Shakespeare had to say is pretty irrelevant and uninteresting at this point" they are a social pariah.
Fact and fiction are one and the same in storytelling, that is, in the conveying of ideas from one person to another.
A mathematical system of symbolic logic is just a strange loop. It is a fiction. It is rooted in nature, in the world that we observe, but so is a poem.
There's been a trend since the Enlightenment to split the world in to RATIONAL SCIENCE and OTHER THINGS. The goal was mainly to finally remove all of the religious mumbo-jumbo and superstition from the realms of science. In the process however, we ignored our qualities of perception and language. Not only is the majority of what is important and true in our lives expressed through words and feelings but it also colors every aspect of mathematics and science. It basically took those fields eating their own tails to realize the ultimate folly of their philosophical pursuits.
Thoughts like these are often misinterpreted as attacks on reason and rationality. They are merely illustrations of the limitation of pure reason, a topic that has been broached by the great thinkers time and again. The lessons never seem to sit. Language and metaphor are constantly shifting yet our written records are set in stone, destined for misinterpretation.
But life without folly, without mystery, what life is that?
Edit: I also find a lot of technical/programmer/etc... types don't really know much about film, which is really an amazing art form if you look beyond the typical hollywood stuff (e.g. Kurosawa, Herzog, Tarkovsky, etc...)
If you read more than a few interviews with professional writers of literature, you'll see them mention how they don't read much fiction but a lot of non-fiction.
But better yet, all his lectures from which the book is derived are on youtube.
And the entire series of lectures is on youtube:
How about supporting smaller local book stores, instead of making billionaires richer?
Personally, for the reviews, the price and the very fast workflow from "What's this book about, is it good?" to "It's on its way".
>> Is he getting an money from Amazon?
Hopefully.. why not?
>> How about supporting smaller local book stores, instead of making billionaires richer?
In my book stores, there are unfortunately very few books about business and technology. I don't buy from amazon "to make the billionaire richer" but just because they're great at what they do.
I have several books stores in my town where I can order these books. Even online.
No need to support ONE particular book store.
As for the idea of supporting large corporations vs. local stores, it's a complicated economic argument. I don't really know enough to say which is better for the society, but I'll just note that Amazon seems to be a very customer-centric company, and their size and talent lets them innovate in ways that small stores can't, thus benefiting the customer.
Isn't Amazon is a tax avoider, union hostile and privacy hostile company?
Well, it's his blog, and he can even put refferal ids in those links if he likes.
>How about supporting smaller local book stores, instead of making billionaires richer?
You can go and buy those books anywhere. The existence of Amazon links doesn't prevent this. They are just useful to gauge the price, read book details (pages, publisher etc) comments and reviews, find other works by the same author, see the cover, etc.
What have you contributed?