Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ON READING AND BOOKS

"When we read, another person thinks for us: we merely repeat his mental process. It is the same as the pupil, in learning to write, following with his pen the lines that have been pencilled by the teacher. Accordingly, in reading, the work of thinking is, for the greater part, done for us. This is why we are consciously relieved when we turn to reading after being occupied with our own thoughts. But, in reading, our head is, however, really only the arena of some one else’s thoughts. And so it happens that the person who reads a great deal — that is to say, almost the whole day, and recreates himself by spending the intervals in thoughtless diversion, gradually loses the ability to think for himself; just as a man who is always riding at last forgets how to walk. Such, however, is the case with many men of learning: they have read themselves stupid."

Attn: lonely males, the above is a quotation. 

14 comments:

Mene Tekel said...

I disagree, largely in part because most reading is a dialogue with the reader and self. I know that as I read this I was arguing the entire way through and I do this with most stimulating things I read.

But perhaps you are right in part. Too much of anything can be bad and there's definitely some evidence of "reading yourself stupid" in some people who can only regurgitate ideas without coming to their own conclusions. I think that has more to do with the person than the action.

Hamilton Morris said...

Reading oneself stupid is definitely possible, but not reading is a surefire way to be stupid. I would prefer the risk of reading myself stupid...in any case this was written by my bro Schopenhauer.

Josh's Science said...

Speaking of reading yourself stupid, could you recommend a good book for someone to learn more about Biochemistry or Neurology?

I spent over 8 hours today researching the medications my mother is taking. Lorezapan, Vimpat, Carbamezipine, and Benazephril/Amlodipine.

I found out that the Carbamezipine is metabolizing the Lorezapan faster and is causing an inhibition function on action potentials via the Vimpat. It looked to me, but I couldn't confirm, that the Carbamezipines' main function is speeding up metabolism of the other medications. I couldn't find anything on metabolism with the Vimpat.

I don't know the chemistry, but I do know that the doctor is trying to inhibit action potentials to prevent my mother from having seizures.

Anyway, I think I am in love.

plustax said...

Josh, this is a good biochem book overviews a lot of processes:

http://www.amazon.com/Lehninger-Principles-Biochemistry-eBook-Albert/dp/1429224169/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299207799&sr=1-1

Give that a whirl.

http://www.amazon.com/Lehninger-Principles-Biochemistry-eBook-Albert/dp/1429224169/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1299207799&sr=1-1

That's the older edition for about 10 bucks. Hella worth it

Josh's Science said...

Thank you so much! Ordering them right now!

Josh's Science said...

I have some hypothetical questions for you, Hamilton.

If I created a chemically perfect clone of you, and ensured that both of you awakened after the procedure at the same time, standing right next to each other, would the two Hamiltons be able to see through each others' eyes or think the exact same thoughts?

What if I addressed one of you, and ignored the other? At what point would Hamilton 2 become a completely different from Hamilton 1?

Would something so small as position after the procedure immediately cause a difference in the two Hamiltons that would prevent them from being identical?

What if you were facing each other in a bare room, with every feature appearing exactly the same, with no reference point to differentiate position between the two Hamiltons, would both Hamiltons act and think the exact same way until an external stimuli caused a differentiation between the two?

plustax said...

man you are so high.

Josh's Science said...

Just forget it. I won't post anything here again. I was just hoping for a tiny bit of insight from someone with the knowledge I don't have yet about something I want to know more about.

I'm not going to waste my time discussing the fastest way to get high on pencil erasers.

And no, I wasn't high and the hardest thing I have ever done was pot but I lost interest. Just because I am interested in Hamiltons' work and his posts doesn't mean I am an addict or looking for new drugs to try.

Indite said...

I just want to expand upon the idea that people "read themselves stupid".

First off, hell yes.

Second off, i dont think it's stupidity that takes hold, i think that in this case, one can lose their own opinion and view in the flood of fresh data being presented by perspectives that appear to have more time and/or energy invested in the subject matter.

but all in all you are right. aint nothin like experience.

estyque said...

is there any available opiods on u.s. weirdo markets -don't care if its a plant- that don't show up on drug tests / are not kratom. im trying to use kratom to taper from oxy/opana/heroin proclivities and its not workng and also i must get money. can you help me, smart cool and funny man???

Hamilton Morris said...

Sorry, despite popular belief to the contrary, opioids are not my forte.

maddyrose said...
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Matt Wheeler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hamilton Morris said...

It is neither plagiarization nor me being "ironical". Simply an excerpt from the beginning of a famous Schopenhauer essay, which is easily recognizable, and the title of which ("On Reading And Books") is used as the title of the blog post. I understand we live in a world filled with lonely, pedantic men gifted with immense amounts time to make snarky comments but moralistic accusations of plagiarism are a little much.

Just in case any other male pedants stop by I've added some quotation marks. Enjoy!