Journal: 2022-01-20 18:54:08.992037

Reading progress

Who was it that said I should check in on my reading progress on the 15th of each month? Someone who doesn't know me very well, perhaps. I'm only a few days late, though.


I completed several Very Short Introductions on topics in philosophy. They weren't spectacular, but the time wasn't wasted, I guess.

I'm in the middle of Chapter 8 in The Great Conversation, on Plato. I've read enough about Plato that I'm not seeing anything new here, but I'll stick with it. The next chapter is on Aristotle, which I expect will be more helpful to me; I find Aristotle rather harder to understand.

I read Plato's Cratylus. Some interesting ideas about how names and things correspond, but bloated by too much uninteresting (to me, since I don't understand ancient Greek) discussion of etymology.

I read through all of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality over the course of a few days (a substantial undertaking–it's about 2000 pages). It's entertaining, but I found Harry to be even more annoying in it this time through than I did a decade ago. And since he's really channeling Yudkowsky, I've found that I similarly don't enjoy Less Wrong as much as I did a decade ago. It introduced me to some interesting ideas, so I'm glad I met it, but there are better places to learn philosophy.

I've resumed reading Reasons and Persons. It's very interesting, but it is really hard, sometimes, to keep a sense of where the argument is headed. Probably this is due at least in part to how slowly I'm reading it–I should bump up the priority in my scheduler so I see it more often. Anyway, at this point Parfit is working on discrediting the Self-interest Theory, and will be doing so for the next fifty pages or so. Then it's onward to the question of personal identity.

Everything else

I've begun reading Probability Theory: The Logic of Science. Jaynes argues that probability theory should be understood as an extension of logic, and its results interpreted as reasoning from uncertain information. Seems very interesting, so far.

Also begun reading Chemical Principles by Zumdahl. Chemistry class in high school was so very long ago, but it's really worth understanding at least a bit of chemistry, so I hope this will be worth the time investment. I'll probably combine this with some MOOC or other.

Intertwingled: The Work and Influence of Ted Nelson continues to be moderately entertaining, but not really informative.




  • From Dead-End to Cutting Edge: Using FMV Design Patterns to Jumpstart a Video Revival
  • Gender Composition of Teams and Studios in Video Game Development
  • Ethical Considerations for Player Modeling
  • Fan Translation of Games, Anime, and Fanfiction
  • Rereading the Romance
  • “Kirk Here:”: Using Genre Sounds to Monitor Background Activity