This Book Needs No Title

By Raymond Smullyan, TBNNT is a delightful assortment of playful jests. At times it tends toward being too pleased with its own smarts, and a little too heavy-handed, yet it is still quite fun, and really the word is frolicsome. Where it is too heavy-handed, it is that it is too insistent upon frolicking where sobriety may be preferred. It reminds me of Richard Feynman.

One pattern it brings into  how to recognize the pattern of lacking knowledge only available from first-hand experience. A person who has never enjoyed a joke will think laughter some kind of disease, or, if they become convinced it is pleasant, may try to “get” the joke by simulating the sound made by those who do. That’s not what humor is about, duh.

Particularly for those on the Myers-Briggs who are NTs, this book may be a helpful route to escaping the trap of overthinking things, or being dictatorial toward those whose experiences and thoughts differ from one’s own. At any rate, it’s quite fun.

Edited lightly 24 Jan 2017. Note, I plan a second post, approaching the ideas of being “egotistical,” being “selfish” and having “free will” that also rely on the idea I found at less wrong, of a rhetorical argument called “Motte and Bailey.”

Quiet by Susan Cain

Actually the best thing in this book, so far, has been the occasional asides. One thing I noticed that resonated was her comment that prior to around 1920, when the “culture of personality” (vs character as the key to success) took off–prior to that, the primary interests of psychologists and other would-be wise ones was to deal with male delinquency and pre-adulthood female sexual promiscuity. What a strange fact to learn, if it is indeed true? Some parallels that I noticed include Song of Solomon’s (the book of the bible) refrain: “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not call up love before it is ready.” (at 8:4).

Anyway, more from Quiet later.

The Wise Man’s Fear

A very short list of some lessons from The Wise Man’s Fear include:

* The most dangerous emotions are your own. If you are acting strangely because you are angry, or afraid, or experiencing any other emotion, you need to be able to notice that.
* When markets reward innovation, innovation is lucrative. Hence, Kvothe’s arrowcatch makes him a tidy income stream. Contrast with the relative challenge of earning money as a musician (even an excellent one), or making money at something that other people make relatively good substitutes at.
* Denna’s conversation with a young woman in a tavern, which Kvothe overhears, is worth a book on its own.

Ahh, there’s just so much.

A vocab list from To Kill a Mockingbird

Touchous: means the same as touchy, i.e. excessively sensitive, primed to take offense or become upset.

Tight: means affected by alcohol: “a little tight” is buzzed, “very tight” is drunk.

Phillipic: a tirade or screed, a nasty attack, usually a verbal one, as opposed to a written one.

Lane Cake: a bourbon-soaked layer cake. Think pound cake, except this one can get you drunk.

Shinny: a southern word for booze.

Catawba worms: these are a kind of caterpillar that are found on Catalpa Trees. (Catawba is a less common way to say Catalpa.) The caterpillars grow to be about the length of two nickels edge to edge–pretty big as American caterpillars go. The reason Scout would have seen a bucket of catawba worms is because they were (and still are) prized as fishbait.

Scuppernong: a large grape native to the American South and usually green or bronze, but similar in shape and texture to a “white” grape you’d see at the grocery store. Apparently the oldest living wine-making vine is a 400-year-old Scuppernong (also called scupanon) on Roanoke island in North Carolina.

Scuppernong Arbor: an arbor is (in this context) a wooden scaffold built to support growing grapes.
Morphodite: a comic pronunciation of “hermaphrodite”

Obstreperous: noisy and difficult to control. I almost didn’t look this word up, because I felt like I knew what it meant, but really I didn’t know whether it meant obstinate or objectionable or obnoxious–I just knew it meant something like what the “ob” means in all of those words–but those words have basically entirely different meanings, so I made myself look it up.
Chifferobe: The term itself is a portmanteau of the words chiffonier and wardrobe. It’s a kind of wooden furniture with a tall compartment for hanging clothing and a series of drawers alongside. The wikipedia entry for Chifferobe and Chiffonier really helped me figure this out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chifforobe
Ex Cathedra: spoken or issued with authority derived from one’s office. Example: The pope may say his own opinion, but when he speaks ex cathedra, he speaks for the Catholic Church.
Yaws (from wikipedia): is a tropical infection of the skin, bones and joints caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum pertenue. The disease begins with a round, hard swelling of the skin, 2 to 5 centimeters in diameter. The center may break open and form an ulcer.
Largo: a very slow tempo, or a musical piece or movement in such a tempo
Sibilant: sounded/spoken with a hissing effect

Edited 24 Jan 2017 for spacing only.