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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Lovers of Books and Sophistry's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, October 9th, 2005
12:30 am
hokey details
I've just invited a number of people to the community, and they're probably looking at this page wondering what's up. Essentially, this community used to be a reading and discussion group that met once a week to discuss interesting topics.

Now, it is a group for discussions along the line of "thinking about thinking", which involves taking a look at AI, psychology, metaphysics, chaos theory, self-reference and recursion, symbology, philosophy, and patterns. Meetings of the group are largely unstructured discussion and exploration of concepts and ideas, with the occasional argument thrown in. For the next few months, we will be using articles form the book "Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern" by Hofstadter, which you can find descriptions of and links to in the previous post, as our baseboard for discussions. I will be posting the intended general topics (and associated reading, if you so desire) every week before the meeting.

This group is intended to be structured so that if you find an interesting article relating to any of the above subjects, or if you were in the shower this morning and had an epiphany about it, you can bring these to the meeting and seamlessly inject them into the discussion. We do not go over the material in porous detail, but rather use it as a muse and reference for the concepts contained within it: If you haven't read the material, all you lack is that particular reference, because we discuss the ideas presented and not merely the author's words.

If this sounds interesting, we will be meeting once a week, at Trabant Chai Lounge in the University district, on Thursday at 6:30pm. The next few chapters are on topics that require little introduction, so feel free to just drop in.
Sunday, September 4th, 2005
4:42 am
the phoenix rises from the ashes, once again
After a long silence, I have decided that I would like to try breathing new life into exegeses.

Currently, most of the members have moved on to larger, greener pastures, so this is really more of a reincarnation than a continuation. After obtaining the approval of the previous two maintainers, galith and troglodyteking, I am now the sole maintainer of the community. In the interest of keeping members limited to the currently interested people, and in not depending on people who are no longer interested to de-list themselves, I am removing (nearly) all members of the community and rebuilding the group from ground zero. This is not a hostile takeover; if anyone is interested in rejoining the community, please feel free.

For those of you interested in possibly coming to meeting, Fall Quarter we will be going over Metamagical Themas: Questing for the essence of Mind and Pattern, by Douglas R. Hofstader. To give you an idea of the subject material, "Metamagical Themas" is an anagram of "Mathematical Games", the title of Martin Gardner's column that Hofstadter's column succeeded in Scientific American. The book is a collection of articles, written by Hofstadter, exploring the ideas of creativity, artificial intelligence, the concept of "self", mathematical games, and a dash of chaos theory. Most of the articles first appeared in some form or another as articles in his column in Scientific American, although in the book they are organized and structured according to a larger theme. The table of contents can be found on Amazon's book listing.
Monday, October 4th, 2004
2:27 pm
Organizing exegeses:

Waiting till the last moment for assigning readings, is not working out well. Here is a list of dates and possible topics: What other things would people like to read.

5th None?? More Sophies world, or a movie?

12th Three Articles (copies will be available the 5th or I can get copies to you during the week)
1. The Pronouns of Power and Solidarity - Brown & Gilman
2. Social class, Language and Socialization - Bernstein
3. The Female Register: an empirical study of Lakoff's hypotheses - Crosby & Nyquist

19th C.S. Lewis The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

25th Magician's Nephew

November (Looking for ideas)

2nd Magic and Divination (Mark)

9th Privacy and Porn (Maybe 2 weeks)



Monday, September 27th, 2004
3:14 pm
I will not be attending on Tuesday.
Monday, September 20th, 2004
12:53 pm
It looks like no one has posted readings for this week...

Here are two short readings. I think they are on the more entertaining side, but might give us something to talk about before moving to part 3.

Jonathan Swift:

A Modest Proposal

An Essay On The Fates Of Clergymen

Current Mood: contemplative
Tuesday, August 17th, 2004
12:52 pm
Reading for next week
Here are the two reading for next week 8 - 24

Schizophrenia -- the Inward Journey
By Joseph Campbell
taken from Myths to Live By


The Economy of Ideas

A framework for patents and copyrights in the Digital Age. (Everything you know about intellectual property is wrong.)

By John Perry Barlow


Current Mood: amused
Sunday, August 8th, 2004
11:15 am
Reading for 2004.08.17: Mere Christianity
For Tuesday, August 17th (a week next session) we will be reading and discussing part of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. Read the Preface, Foreword, and Books I (Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe) and II (What Christians Believe). It is about 65 pages, but it is pretty big type so goes quickly.

The book is adapted from a series of broadcast talks Lewis gave on the BBC during the Blitz, while England was being bombed by German. He was asked to give a straightforward account of what Christianity, at basic, really is (what "mere Christianity" is), and what Christians (of all or at least most denominations) believe. His account is particularly interesting coming from the fact that Lewis was for a long time an avowed atheist, then later converted to Christianity. Lewis was an Oxford professor, prolific author (his most famous books being the Chronicles of Narnia, although he wrote several science fiction and Christian 'apologist' books as well), and was a member of the Inklings, a group of writers at Oxford who got together regularly to read and critique each other's stuff, the other famous member of which was J.R.R. Tolkien.

Several people have copies (galith, zanfur, and myself at least) so those can be pasted around to those who do not have a copy, or if there is demand the pages can be scanned and put on the web.
Thursday, August 5th, 2004
1:15 pm
readings for 2004.08.10 online
The new readings for next week have been lovingly scanned and uploaded by smirkingjustice, and are available at our new shiny domain name, http://www.exegeses.org. w00t.
Monday, August 2nd, 2004
6:01 pm
Readings and other buisness matters
Tomorrow we will be discussing two psychology articles, The Case for Motivated Reasoning and What Does Sexuality Orient? A Biobehavioral model distinguishing Romantic love and Sexual Desire. Next week we will be reading two chapters from Ethics for the New Millennium which smirkingjustice will have scanned and posted for us shortly.

For the 17th, troglodyteking has expressed an interest in reading part of Mere Christianity. Or we could read something else. What would people like to do?

zanfur was kind enough to register www.exegeses.org for us, so future readings will probably be posted there.

We've also changed our starting location. We'll be meeting at Espresso Roma at 6:30 (northwest corner of 43rd and the Ave, 1 block west of Cafe Allegro) instead of Cafe Allegro, because they apparently have better coffee.
Monday, July 26th, 2004
7:53 pm
Oh, hey, almost forgot this one!
So, given the rambling and somewhat disconnected nature of the Essays in Metamagical Themas, it looks like it's a good idea to trim the list of which chapters to actually read. So, which chapters do people feel like reading? I've italicized the ones we've already read (as of 2004.07.27), striked out the ones we want to avoid, and bolded the ones that have been suggested so far. Here's the list:

Section I: Snags and Snarls

  1. On Self-Referential Sentences
  2. Self-Referential Sentences: A Follow-Up
  3. On Viral Sentences and Self-Replicating Structures
  4. Nomic: A Self-Modifying Game Based on Reflexivity in Law

Section II: Sense and Society

  1. World Views in Collision: The Skeptical Inquirer versus the National Enquirer
  2. On Number Numbness
  3. Changes in Default Words and Images, Engendered by Rising Consciousness
  4. A Person Paper on Purity in Language

Section III: Sparking and Slipping

  1. Pattern, Poetry, and Power in the Music of Frederic Chopin
  2. Parquet Deformations: A Subtle, Intricate Art Form
  3. Stuff and Nonsense
  4. Variations on a Theme as the Crux of Creativity
  5. Metafont, Metamathematics, and Metaphysics

Section IV: Structure and Strangeness

  1. Magic Cubology
  2. On Crossing the Rubicon
  3. Mathematical Chaos and Strange Attractors
  4. Lisp: Atoms and Lists
  5. Lisp: Lists and Recursion
  6. Lisp: Recursion and Generality
  7. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle and the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

Section V: Spirit and Substrate

  1. Review of Alan Turing.- The Enigma
  2. A Coffeehouse Conversation on the Turing Test
  3. On the Seeming Paradox of Mechanizing Creativity
  4. Analogies and Roles in Human and Machine Thinking
  5. Who Shoves Whom Around Inside the Careenium?
  6. Waking Up from the Boolean Dream, or, Subcognition as Computation

Section VI: </em>Selection and Stability</em>

  1. The Genetic Code: Arbitrary?
  2. Undercut, Flaunt, Pounce, and Mediocrity: Psychological Games with Numbers
  3. The Prisoner's Dilemma Computer Tournaments and the Evolution of Cooperation

Section VII: Sanity and Survival

  1. Dilemmas for Superrational Thinkers, Leading Up to a Luring Lottery
  2. Irrationality Is the Square Root of All Evil
  3. The Tale of Happiton
  4. The Tumult of Inner Voices, or, What is the Meaning of the Word "I"?

Sunday, July 11th, 2004
7:28 pm
As I understand it, we will be reading chapters three and four of Hofstadter's Metamagical Themas this Tuesday. Then after discussing it we will be playing Nomic. With luck we will be having qazwsxmko joining us.

There has also been some question about whether Metamagical Themas is really very fruitful for discussion, so that might be brought up as well.
Sunday, June 27th, 2004
6:07 pm
Readings for the next two weeks
This Tuesday we'll be wrapping up Nietzsche, talking about What is Noble?, the Aftersong, and anything else Nietzsche related people want to bring up.

We will be reading the first two chapters of Metamagical Themas for July 6th.

The group is getting kinda small again, zanfur and I are hopefully bringing a few new people but if you know anyone who could make valuable contributions to the group and would be interested feel free to invite them along.
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2004
11:34 am
Readings tonight and other logistics
As for tonight I would like to cover the rest of the book although I expect we'll only ge through the last half of "Our Virtues" (most notably Nietzsche's views on women) and "Peoples and Fatherlands". I expect we'll be spending one more week on Nietzsche and then we'll be starting Metamagical Themas.

Also, upon further consideration zanfur and I would like to move the meetings back to Tuesdays (or rather keep them there after the exceptional Wednesday meeting this week). We would be keeping them there for the duration of the summer. Thoughts?
Tuesday, June 15th, 2004
12:39 am
Meeting on Tuesday this week!
Just so there's no confusion, this week's meeting will still be on Tuesday. We'll figure out which day to meet during summer quarter at this week's meeting, I'd wager.

[Edit: galith requests that I mention that he hopes to cover both chapters 6 and 7 this week. Come to think of it, so do I. :-P]
Sunday, June 13th, 2004
12:20 pm
zanfur has requested that we switch our meetings to from Tuesday to Wednesday evenings starting this coming week. Any objections?

Now that school is out do people think we can reasonably get through 2 chapters of Nietzsche a week?
Monday, June 7th, 2004
10:54 pm
It's finals week but we should still be meeting. I plan on being there at least. This week we'll be discussing part 5 of Beyond Good and Evil. I'm guessing we'll also end up talking about part 4 a bit more.
Sunday, May 30th, 2004
2:20 pm
movies! moviesmoviesmoviesmovies
Alrighty, we're going to be watching A Clockwork Orange, Grosse Point Blank, and possibly more. We have a few people with cars, and I figure will people will converge upon my residene over the course of a couple hours. I'll be at Solstice at 6:30 (if I'm not there, check Shultzy's next fdoor) to pick up anyone who doeasn't have a car and would like a ride. Also, some people really want to go to Compline, so I figure we'll wait to actually start the two requested movies until after that. We'll just play cards while watching the Princess Bride or something until then. :-) I believe there will be people with cars at Compline, as well -- galith, at the very least.

I'm going to be without internet for the next few hours, so if anyone needs to get a hold of me my phone is the best way: 206/909.0262 as always.

Current Mood: chipper
Friday, May 28th, 2004
12:04 pm
Movie Night!
Here are the stats so far:
decutoClockwork Orange
decutoBreakfast Club
zanfurRosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead
mortimervVolcano High
mortimervGrosse Point Blank
ariataRocky Horror Picture Show
ariataPulp Fiction

If anyone has any other suggestions, or wants to express a preference, let it be known now, before I just arbitrarily pick my favorites from the list :-) I'm thinking we'll watch at least two, and probably not more than four, unless we're more insane than usual.
Wednesday, May 26th, 2004
4:48 pm
Movie Night!
I have been informed by smirkingjustice that there will be an exegeses movie night at my place on Sunday. So, the questions remains: Which movies? What time? Do we go to Compline or not? These and many more exciting questions to be answered right here, at your convenience. :-)

Current Mood: witty
Tuesday, April 27th, 2004
3:12 pm
When / where is the exegeses thing tonight? Cafe allegro?
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