Books are among the first methods for the collaborative engagement of ideas  They remain among the best.

512BblrQFqL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_[1]Douglas Hoftstadter

Gödel, Escher, Bach Explores “common themes in the lives and works of logician Kurt Gödel, artist M. C. Escher and composer Johann Sebastian Bach,”.

It is “a metaphorical fugue on minds and machines in the spirit of Lewis Carroll

1909812[1]Gregory Bateson

Steps to an Ecology of Mind  …a “meta-science” of epistemology to bring together the various early forms of systems theory developing in different fields of science.”

Lewis Carroll

The Annotated Alice It has extensive annotations explaining the contemporary references (including the Victorian poems that Carroll parodies), mathematical concepts, word play, and Victorian traditions.

…. and so we come full circle.

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Reza Aslan

Zealot  I’m a self-described History Geek, so it’s that contextually-rich grounding that appeals. Makes the story more human, in many ways. Couple of my favorites from the Wayback Machine were “The Day Christ Was Born” and “The Day Christ Died” (1957) by Jim Bishop (I read when about 14). These were you-are-there historical treatments more than scholarly investigations, but I appreciated the storytelling richness.

Aslan’s Zealot is more heavily researched – and I believe that he does a good job of acknowledging different interpretations while still putting forward his own thesis. Which is:

Israel was in a state of profound political & cultural upheaval at that moment in time. Therefore, historical Jesus – and his message(s), as interpreted by multiple contributors – deserve to be viewed in an appropriate context.

It’s a remarkable piece of scholarship … and a darned good read.

 

Pat Conroy

Knew him when we both lived in Beaufort (me: 1962-65) circa “The Great Santini“.  My Dad also USMC aviator. Love for the Carolina lowlands … plus some truth about us. He wrote the intro for my favorite: “Military Brats”

Just talking with my sister Val about that place & that era – and ordered “The Pat Conroy Cookbook” from local library, which has many stories from Beaufort SC of the early 60’s. Looking forward to lots of high school stories…

“Because their impact cannot be measured, the teachers of the world drift through their praiseless days unaware of the impact and the majesty of their influence. I want to fall on my knees in gratitude whenever I conjure up the faces of those nameless men and women who spent their finest days coaxing and urging me to discover the best part of myself in the pure sunshine of learning. Because this country dishonors its teachers and humiliates them with lousy pay and a mortifying deficiency of prestige among other professions, they do not receive the gifts of gratitude that brim over in men and women like me when we remember and honor their patient, generous shaping of us into citizens of the brighter world”

-Pat Conroy: The Pat Conroy Cookbook

What’s the ‘user experience’ connection?

Probably along the lines of  : “The confluence of diligent research and accessible writing.

… if you like reading (like I do), then check out – and join me at – GoodReads

 

 

 

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