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Archive for November 18th, 2002

book pottering

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Quiet weekend, with only some shopping to relieve the tedium. I bought some shirts, and books including A New Kind Of Science by Stephen Wolfram, a mathematician who is best known for developing the commercial software package Mathematica, which I’m still learning to use. This is my new “pottering” book, one I can pick up and hopefully get something out of at any time, joining Rem Koolhaas’ S,M,L,XL, which I’ve discussed already, and which is still filling that position after 4+ years. Both are heavy and will be a pain next time I have to move, but worth it.

Another book purchase: Genius – Richard Feynman and Modern Physics by James Gleick. It’s interesting, but a little disconcerting to someone who has read some of Feynman’s memoirs in the book Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman? Gleick draws heavily on that work, but seems to taking his subject far more seriously than the subject took himself. At one point he’s even trying analyze the way Feynman told stories about himself, looking for character flaws. The Feynman stories I have read that are sometimes self-glorifying, sometimes self-deprecating, sometimes what-the-hell-just-happened? Personally, I can’t see much more to them than the simple pleasure storytelling affords both teller and listener.

I forgot that I set my alarm to go off 2 hours early this morning, so I was up and dressed by 05:40. I did this in advance of tomorrow morning, when I will attempt get up at 03:00 to try to watch the Leonid meteors. The forecast (as of Friday) is for a good display in this part of the world.

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Written by brian t

November 18, 2002 at 6:13 am

Posted in books, science