The 'Currently reading' thread...

Discussion of other topics not necessarily Keats or poetry-related, i.e. other authors, literature, film, music, the arts etc.

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Postby Becky » Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:46 pm

Hero and Leander.

And Cymbeline.
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Postby Malia » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:25 pm

I've just started a Penguin edition of Chaucer's Troilus and Cresyde. So far, it's been a good read--especially as it is a modern English translation. Back in school, I had to read Chaucer in the original and let me tell you, though it is beautiful, it is slooow going.
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Postby Credo Buffa » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:38 pm

Malia wrote:Back in school, I had to read Chaucer in the original and let me tell you, though it is beautiful, it is slooow going.

Definitely! I love reading early English works and studying earlier forms of the language. I had a prof for both a Chaucer class and Arthurian lit class who was very adamant on not only reading the original, but reciting it properly. We had to write our own pilgrim portraits in Middle English (a chore, let me tell you. . . I was practically camped out in the reference room of the library in front of the Middle English Dictionary), and I was part of a fun special project to act out scenes of Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur in 15th century dialect (one of the group members was involved in SCA, so we had costumes and everything. . . I got the pleasure of being Lancelot because I was the tallest and the armor was really massive).

Ah, the memories.

And I'm still reading North and South. . . and probably will be for a few weeks yet :P
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Postby Saturn » Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:39 pm

I've read the Canterbury Tales in the original and modern editions.

It was pretty slow reading it in the original but, like with Shakespeare, after a time you get used to the language and learn the 'olde Englishe 'words - it's fascinating to see how the language has changed over 600 years.
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Postby Despondence » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:23 pm

Image
The strangest thing happened at work today. A power faliure totally fracked up the computers in our building while I was out to lunch (I don't suppose you had anything to do with this, Credo?) Meanwhile, I stopped by Borders on my way back, and picked me up some Potter paperbacks. Back in the office, nothing is working, network is down, and I can't do any work. And right next to me, there's a stack of new books on my desk. Hmm.
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Postby Saturn » Thu Feb 02, 2006 11:46 pm

Coincidence or the Hand of Fate? :wink:
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To Despondence

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:00 am

This is a reply to Despondence who took the time to check out the Riemann for Anti-Dummies:


I would recommend trying to read the entirety of the series before making such Criticisms. As for references I mean come on! The material is easy to find. And as a matter of fact some of the material cited can be found on our website www.WLYM.com under classics. Now it is eay for people who aren't intending to change people's souls to criticize Bruce's work but Bruce is fighting to change mankind. Now look, Newton is a failure! He didn't discover anything and it is demonstrable that he plagirized everything (Leibniz created the Calculus not Newton).

Anyways I wish I had a Gauss but don't worry one day the Euro shall collapse and Germany shall have the Greatest Mathmatician on their currency once again!
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Postby Credo Buffa » Fri Feb 03, 2006 3:41 am

Despondence wrote:The strangest thing happened at work today. A power faliure totally fracked up the computers in our building while I was out to lunch (I don't suppose you had anything to do with this, Credo?) Meanwhile, I stopped by Borders on my way back, and picked me up some Potter paperbacks. Back in the office, nothing is working, network is down, and I can't do any work. And right next to me, there's a stack of new books on my desk. Hmm.

Who me? :lol:

Nah, I've been exercising and working on press releases all day. Too much physical and mental strain there for me to concentrate all my powers on such a task as knocking out the computer network at an unknown location over 1,000 miles away. . . no matter how nice the weather was :P
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Re: To Despondence

Postby Despondence » Fri Feb 03, 2006 4:11 am

MonroeDoctrine wrote:This is a reply to Despondence who took the time to check out the Riemann for Anti-Dummies:

I would recommend trying to read the entirety of the series before making such Criticisms.

True, I don't have the complete picture, I just read two chapters. But then my "criticism" wasn't so detailed either, just my preliminary impression, and you needn't take it personally ;)

MonroeDoctrine wrote:As for references I mean come on! The material is easy to find. And as a matter of fact some of the material cited can be found on our website www.WLYM.com under classics. Now it is eay for people who aren't intending to change people's souls to criticize Bruce's work but Bruce is fighting to change mankind. Now look, Newton is a failure! He didn't discover anything and it is demonstrable that he plagirized everything (Leibniz created the Calculus not Newton).

Ahem. Well, not having read the whole treatise I can not know what new research discoveries are presented. But traditional teachings have it that Leibnitz and Newton arrived at the principles of differential calculus independently of each other, as they were studying different problems, and they used very different notation, which is evident still today in the way we write mathematics. The standard story is rather the contrary, that Newton developed his methods long before Leibnitz, but didn't publish any of it until several years after Leibnitz, and thus the row over copyrights ensued :)

As to Newton not discovering anything, that's absolute guff. Classical mechanics is called Newtonian for a reason, gravity likewise (Principia Mathematica, 1687); he formulated the first comprehensive theories (that "worked"!) of physical optics and refraction; he built the first reflective telescope (guess what it's called? a "Newtonian" telescope...), which is the principle for all modern large telescopes, and he was the first one to realize the limiting effects of atmospheric turbulence on astronomical observations (Opticks, 1704). Hence, the Hubble space telescope today :) These just off the top of my head.

To me, the epitaph by Alexander Pope says it all:

"Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;
God said 'Let Newton be' and all was light."


So, he was also an alchemist and into mysticism and the occult. So what? Nobody's perfect, and it might have seemed like a good idea at the time. And so was Kepler for that matter ("music of the spheres" ring a bell?), whom this author Bruce rather places on the list of the "good guys", completely arbitrarily.
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Ahem

Postby MonroeDoctrine » Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:03 am

Ahem; here is my rebuttle. Most of what Newton supposedly discovered was published and discovered way before him. Kepler was no mystic; most of his ideas are demonstrable. Now Kepler way before Newton discussed Gravity in dept in his New Astronomy; all Newton has is a bunch of formulas.

Now listen; Newton's ideas on light are lame. Christian Huygens wrote a treatise on light that showed Newton's ideas were in fact like old antiques! Anyways I've got to go but I shall post up more messages soon.
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Re: Ahem

Postby Despondence » Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:03 am

Well, I hardly think this is the place for such discussions....however. Who cares what I think. Your insistance that Newton was a copycat and a faliure is just ridiculous. Do you know anything about science? The scientific method? Do you think that your precious Leibnitz, Huygens or Kepler did not also base their ideas and investigations upon the works of those before them? Of course Newton used the ideas of his predecessors - that's how science progresses.

Newton even admitted as much himself: "If I have seen further [than certain other men] it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." Referring to Gallileo and Kepler, in a letter to Robert Hooke in 1675.

MonroeDoctrine wrote:Ahem; here is my rebuttle. Most of what Newton supposedly discovered was published and discovered way before him. Kepler was no mystic; most of his ideas are demonstrable. Now Kepler way before Newton discussed Gravity in dept in his New Astronomy; all Newton has is a bunch of formulas.

*choke*

My, you have some funny ideas. Kepler was, demonstrably, more than half astrologer. The sad story about Kepler is that he never understood the physics behind his equations. By assuming heliocentricity and allowing the orbits to be elliptical, he was able to derive mathematical formulas that very accurately described the orbits of planets, without the ugliness of epicycles. This was a huge step forward - this provided the most accurate answer to date to the question "how", i.e., how do the planets move. But the formulas did not answer the question "why", and in his search for that answer, Kepler turned to metaphysics and divine intervention.

Kepler wholly embraced the Pythagorean idea of the "harmony of the spheres", that there is some relationship between the ratio of planetary orbits and the harmonies of a plucked string. He says in his Harmonice Munde (1619) that he wishes "to erect the magnificent edifice of the harmonic system of the musical scale . . . as God, the Creator Himself, has expressed it in harmonizing the heavenly motions." And later, "I grant you that no sounds are given forth, but I affirm . . . that the movements of the planets are modulated according to harmonic proportions." This is one of his "demonstrable ideas", you suggest?

But the true answer was not so far away - do you know what it is? Newton's inverse square law of gravity, which Kepler was not able to arrive at, is the answer to the question why, (to first order - next level, enter Einstein :) ). That is, bodies of a given mass at a given distance to each other experience a force according to Newton's law of gravity, and that is why they move in the orbits described by Kepler. It wasn't God. It was just an inverse square law of attraction.

Of course, that only moved the "why" up ahead a few steps (so why is it a square law, and not a cubic law, huh?). But in any case, it was progress of sorts :)

Sure, there were theories of impetus and inertia way before Newton. And sure, there were theories of gravity before Newton. But never before had all these elements been successfully unified into a self-consistent and coherent framework, which suddenly explained all of "classical" mechanics, including motion, mass and inertia. While he could not have known it, Newton started a trend which goes on still today, when he delivered the first "grand unified theory" in his laws of mechanics and gravity.

Why do I feel like a high school teacher all of a sudden..
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Postby Despondence » Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:27 pm

Image
One down, two to go..
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Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:05 pm

Aghh no, please don't tell me you've fallen under their spell :? :lol:

I just noticed this on amazon while searching for something else.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASI ... 98-4175845

Does anybody have this or have they seen it anywhere?:shock: :shock:
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Postby Saturn » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:25 pm

Anyway I got this today:
Image

I think I'll read it on Valentine's Day, get completely drunk and curse my total inability to form relationships with the opposite sex :(
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Postby Despondence » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:49 pm

Saturn wrote:I think I'll read it on Valentine's Day, get completely drunk and curse my total inability to form relationships with the opposite sex :(

Ha ha! Sorry, not meaning to add insult to injury...but that sounded sort of funny (and I've been known to take a stroll down desponency lane too, with a bottle of claret and a book of poems!). Things will brighten for you one day, I'm sure, never you worry ;) Anecdotally, last time I asked someone out for valentine's, she blew me off with: "nah, I'm gonna stay home and read a book, I think". That's how interesting I was to her! Maybe I should give you her number..

On another note, that book looks very interesting though, please let us know what you think of it. (or maybe I have most of the contents in other Shelley compilations?)
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