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I'm reading Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach right now and it's probably one of the best books I've ever read. It lays down the true foundations of Mathematics and introduces you to formal systems in a really accessible and insanely interesting way. The whole book is an argument on how to explain human consciousness using the idea of a "Strange Loop," which is a fundamental concept in Mathematics (and is beautifully reflected in Escher's and Bach's work).
I still have 2 more weeks until I get back to school (I've been home since November 24th). I don't have a license which means I've been stuck in my house all day, waiting to finally get back! Upside: I've had a ton of time to work on personal projects.
This seems an interesting idea!
I'm Sean. I'm 18, go to college in Boston (just did a semester in Melbourne, Australia!), but home is Birmingham, AL. I guess I'll follow the format of a list of past times as well.
- I play Cello, but only as of about a year ago, before that, I played violin and piano for about 13 years
- I like programming, mostly lower-level stuff, but I'm interested in web development as well
- I try to learn math in my free time to get a head start on my classes
- Singing and acting are great, I was in my high school's musical theater department for all 4 years
- I like to read. I read Sci-Fi, psychology and sociology, and more recently the ASOIAF series. I'm also in the habit of reading self-improvement books (I'm a big fan of Cal Newport's work)
- I'm a big fan of the outdoors in general. Hiking, backpacking, geocaching... If it's outside, chances are I'm up for it
- I'm trying to gain weight / become more fit
- I would like to start writing, but I'm not sure where to start
I'm sure I'm missing tons of stuff, but this is what I could think of off the top of my head.
I love Jonathan Coultan! His music is so fun.
This is a map of Cimarron, New Mexico, specifically the Philmont Scout Ranch. I'm an Eagle Scout and Philmont was one of the most important things I've done in my life.
Basically, BSA (Boy Scouts of America) owns this enormous plot of land in the mountains of New Mexico. Your scout troop enters a raffle to be able to go to with a crew over the summer about a year in advance. Once you find out if you get to go, you and your crew (we had 12 people, 10 scouts and 2 adults) start doing practice treks for the year leading up to it. Our trek was 85 miles in 10 days. It was backpacking, so we carried all of our food, tents, sleeping bags, etc. with us. You learn a lot about yourself when you spend time in wilderness. You learn a lot about yourself when you have a job that crew relies on you to do. It was a transformative experience for my teenage self, and I look back at it all the time.
Personally my favorite lyricist is John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats. What strikes me about them is the "rawness" they seem to have. They run the gamut of human emotion: from a sort of naïve optimism to soul-crushing cynicism and depression. He also manages to encompass these emotions in some of the most striking imagery I've heard in song lyrics.
Here's the first verse from his Spent Gladiator 2: Like a spent gladiator,
If you decide to give him a listen, I'd strongly recommend you start with his album Tallahassee, which follows the story of a couple whose lives crumble around them.
Crawling in the Colosseum dust, Who can count on his remaining limbs, All the people he can trust. Like the one who stands behind him, Cheering him on. Ecstatic when he stands defiant, Wild with abandon when he's gone.
It's very powerful, raw, music and I encourage you to given it a chance (some people are turned off by his somewhat jarring voice at first, but I think it adds to the air of desperation he tries to convey).
As a new user, I really like this idea. Are you suggesting this as an integral feature to the site? As in, would it be an additional mechanic to how the site worked? Or would this be a separate, community-run list of new users?
Overall, like I said, I love the idea (and as I get more familiarized with the community I'd like to help newcomers that arrive after me).
Also, would you mind explaining pubski a little bit? Just from lurking I'm getting the sense that it's a tag dedicated to kind of just updating the community about what's going on in your life?
Yeah I'd agree with you there. Seems like they're really focusing on education, rankings be damned. It's a bit of a rebellion against the current educative norm isn't it? I'd be really interested in talking to a graduate or a teacher at Shimer to better understand what they're doing / trying to do.
Hey! I'm actually subscribed to that, it is pretty cool. In general, though, reddit seems to have reached a point where a good 50-60 percent of the comments are only made to get karma, ya know? Seems like everything anyone says in the site is just a regurgitation of something/someone else.
Thanks for the warm welcome!