<= 2004.12.15

2004.12.17 =>

weight gain 4000

My last paper is finished and requires nothing more than a grammatical sanding down, which will not mitigate its essential sloppiness but will provide a bit of cover. Rest? No no! Just new and, one hopes, more rewarding work. Starting today, that word count up there ought to move by leaps and bounds. If it does not, you have the right and perhaps the obligation to send a comment or email and demand that I start pulling my weight.

There's also a big stack of reading that I haven't got to, because I have not read so much. Today I am reading Descartes. From the year 2004, it's pretty easy to mock his faith in formal inference—you throw Wittgenstein at him and he melts like an ice sculpture—but it's better than constructing syllogisms out of Scripture, which once upon a time was an acceptable thing for grown men to do. What I like most about the Rules for the Direction of the Mind and Discourse on the Method is that they're essentially workout videos: Descartes will help you think HARDER! FASTER! BETTER! On anyone who follows his method, "In a short time he will see with amazement that he has made much more progress than those who are eager about particular ends, and that he has not only obtained all that they desire, but even higher results than fall within his expectation." On repeated trains of inference: "In fact the memory, on which we have said depends the certainty of the conclusions which embrace more than we can grasp in a single act of intuition, though weak and liable to fail us, can be renewed and made stronger by this continuous and constantly repeated process of thought." By the end of the book I expect to be bench-pressing extension, figure, and motion with my forebrain, all at the same time. Rar!

 

<= 2004.12.15

2004.12.17 =>

up (2004.12)

The Warm South
The Roof Rat Review