I recommend The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. It gives a broad perspective of paradigms, shifts in scientific discoveries, and also gives examples relating to physics. (Thomas Kuhn being a former physicist)
I'm taking some summer courses at Johns Hopkins, so coming from a community college, I became delirious from its massive library. Looking through the shelves, I came across a book that interested me, "Poetry and Mathematics" by Scott Buchanan.
There was an excerpt near the beginning that is nearly identical to what Lewis stated earlier:
"A great many sometime students of mathematics try to persuade themselves that they haven't mathematical minds, when as a matter of fact they have only had non-mathematical teachers."
Not the most witty of all quotes, but still a pleasant coincidence I'll say...
Yep that's correct. I agree with you, though, on people not teaching me the reasons for such rules in mathematics. I was pretty descent in math in elementary and middle school, I even got into the honors program in high school. However, I got lazy, and soon laziness turned to ignorance, and soon enough I was close to failing nearly every math class up until pre-calculus. I somehow passed all of them, and returned to math in college, and I'm having pretty descent results after a summer of meditation.
If you only intend to play games, get the Xbox 360. However, if you are the least bit interested in watching high quality movies, you should definitely get the PS3. Blu-ray won the high-def war, so that gives PS3 an immediate upper-hand. Also, PS3 has Metal Gear Solid 4, which I hear is one of the most incredible games in a long time. Then again, from what I hear, Xbox Live > Sony Online. But Sony Online doesn't cost money per month.
If you want a sickest home gaming system (outside of a PC ), get an Xbox 360. If you want the best bang-for-your-buck all-around entertainment system, get a PS3.
I loved Collateral. I even think Collateral did some things better than Heat, but I won't go into that.
Concerning action movies, the most impressive action film I've seen to this date is RoboCop. It's finally starting to get appreciation from academia, so I can't it's underrated, but I will say it's under-appreciated by the film school crowd, because they seem to hypnotized by whatever Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarintino does. (Nothing against the two, I'm just speculating )
I still have to see "Escape from NY," though. I've heard nothing but things about that film. And after seeing The Thing, I'm very eager.
Heat was magnificent, one of my favorite films. I'm still waiting for Michael Mann to do another masterpiece. I really liked Miami Vice, but still, I'm not impressed with his recent produced works. (The Kingdom and some other movie that I forget right now)
If you haven't seen it, I recommend Thief. It's one of Mann's earliest works, and I like it mainly because it's similar to Heat in terms of deep character development and a strive for realism accompanied by a very atmospheric soundtrack.
I like the uneveness of Summer of Sam, honestly. While I do loathe many films that are self-indulgent (why I'm not a big fan American Beauty) I think the somewhat non-sequitir segments added substance to what could've been a simpler story. For example, I just loved the references to Reggie Jackson's number 44, and the interviews that were given to the black community.
I have to disagree with you on films not borrowing from comics. If anything, Hollywood needs to recruit more of its writers from the comics industry. American and English comic book writers are miles ahead of television and film writers (though, of course, they are the same thing sometimes) in originality in all genres. People think 'Hancock' was a creative plot, obviously they haven't read 'Ex Machina' by Brian K. Vaughn or 'Pax Romana' by Jonathan Hickman. Of course, the comics industry has its own less-than-stellar works, however, in comparison to what's being shown in theaters...theres no contest.
Juno. Quite possibly the most overrated garbage since "Crash." I just didn't get the point of this movie, unless it's point was to just remind you that it's hip with a "witty" Oscar-winning screenplay. The movie had ridiculous amounts of dialog concerning crappy grunge rock and obscure Japanese horror movies...where was the humor? I laughed maybe...2 times? I couldn't even finish the last 10-15 minutes.
Iron Man. For some reason, I thought it was boring the first time. However, I'll admit that it's the best Marvel movie since X2. I loved the character, I just hated the 30 minute 'building-of-the-suit' sequence.
The Incredible Hulk. Okay, once again, I don't understand today's critics. This movie sucked on nearly every level except special effects, and not being as bad as the original 'Hulk.' The acting was just...atrocious. Everything was cliche, the romance was ripped straight out of King Kong, the antagonist's actions were random and didn't make any sense. Not to mention this whole movie was just completely boring in the process. Apparently, Hulk fans liked it, but I thought it was just a train wreck of a movie.
To make up for Juno and The Incredible Hulk, I saw two amazing movies on serial killers:
Summer of Sam. As a Spike Lee fan, I'm surprised this isn't considered one of his finest works. Amazing acting, incredible cinematography, realistic dialog, smart but in no way pretentious symbolism, and best of all, a very original and socially significant story. It's about the 'Son of Sam' murders in NY during the 1970s, and the effect it has an middle class Italian neighborhood. Brilliant movie.
Henry: Portrait of A Serial Killer. I saw this two days ago, and it automatically became one of my favorite films of all time. While the brilliant "Silence of the Lambs" portrays 'smarter' and intellectual (Hannibal Lector) serial killers with more precise motives/targets, Henry violently shows sociopaths on the other side of the spectrum: two former convicts who kill civilians just to pass the time. Sometimes the acting felt a bit rushed, particularly the romance scenes, but the characters are original, realistic, and complex. A recommendation for anybody, though it is VERY disturbing on a lot of levels.
I'm loving the bhangra/Indian music that qualia posted in April. Anyways, here's some artists that I enjoy in absolutely no organized order:
Atari Teenage Riot
Busta Rhymes (1996-1999, not his newer stuff)
Etienne De Crecy
VHS or Beta
Return to Forever
My taste constantly changes, however I've had a consistent love for French house music. (Especially from the mid/late 90s era) Lately, I've been listening to mostly post-rock, (not Yes-style progressive rock) electronic music, jazz-rock-fusion, and movie soundtracks. However, lyrics-wise, I prefer hardcore hip-hop with nihilistic and violent themes.
I was doing research on the Science Wars and came across the excellent thread on Post-Modernism and the Science Wars. Once I saw the message board dedicated to History & Philosophy of Science I was sold.
In relation to software, software seems to get more inefficient by each year. (Better technology requires more ram, more HD space, etc.)
However, at the same time, things needed to run this software cheaper. RAM, as the original poster stated, has gotten cheaper. So has faster CPUs, bigger hard drives, (though HD drives remained expensive until recently) graphics card, etc. etc.
I'm a PC gamer, so it's pretty much worked to my benefit, because I buy a new computer every 2-3 years ANYWAYS, and I never spend over $700 for a very very stable/good system.
Old-schoolers and people who only use computers for text and internet have it best, because honestly, their computer doesn't even need to cost over 200, and thats including the monitor. They really only need to upgrade every 5 to even 10 years, depending on how much computers are innovated.
The people who get screwed over seem to be musicians and creative artists. They always need the most cutting-edge up-to-date software which require expensive PCs and even more expensive (but preferred) Macs. Don't even get me started on how much space high quality raw video footage takes up. A video making hobbyist needs at least 100gb of hard drive space and 1 gb of ram. A serious amateur or small professional needs well over 500, a rack load of DVD-Rs, and a good amount of ram. (Probably 2gb)
You could say "serious" gamers have it bad, constantly spending money on the newest video cards, sound cards, etc. However, building the PC is just as much as their hobby as playing on it, so it's not really a negative thing.
And lets not forget, there ARE hardware manufacturers and software developers who designate their work for people who do worry about HD space, ram, etc. Examples in the hardware realm include VIA, Trident, and others. In the software area, we have many open source projects such as Open Office, Gimp, and of course, the OS everybody loves, Linux.
Edit: Apologies for not reading previous posts, I'm new here, so I'll keep that in mind next time.