A Little Night Reading

Perhaps I should take some time and explain what I hope to get out of this blog. The sub title above says that it will be a brief glimpse into the stuff in my head and that's mostly right.

Right now I'm re-reading Metamagical Themas by Douglas Hofstadter. I'm going to borrow something he said in that book about writing his column at Scientific American. To paraphrase, he said that he thought of each column he wrote as a point in a great space of ideas, and that over time each new point would serve to better identify the space that he inhabited. Not that his space could be ever completely identified but that you could get a better idea of where it was the more points there were.

I'm hoping to get at least 365 points into my mental space. Who knows what will be identified by those points. But I'm going to try.

The odd thing about Metamagical Themas is that it's one of my favorite books and it's also one of the few books that I've re-read several times and yet never managed to finish. That's not to say that I've never not finished a book... I've given up on quite a few bad or boring books. It's odd, somehow this book provokes some twist of thought, or some creative spark each time that I get side tracked into something else. This time it's my blog. So who knows if I'll actually finish the book. I also think, counter intuitively, that one of the reasons I like the book is also one of the reasons I find it so easy to put down and walk away. The book is a collection of his Scientific American articles interspersed with Post Scriptum where he revisits or expands on the concept of the article. It's this modularity (granularity?) that makes it so easy to be "done" whenever you want.

I'm still fleshing out how wordy I want to be so I'll close with this... in my first post I said that you could ask my family to define a "Matt Story". I'll spare you the trouble. I've been told that when I was little I would start describing something and go on and on. Eventually my mom or dad would stop me and ask "Matt... Does this story have an ending?" So in my family a Matt Story is code for a long winded story that doesn't seem to be going anywhere. To a degree I still have that babble endlessly trait. To put it another way... where is the boundary between unreasonably long winded and reasonably long winded.

To put it another way. Good night.