Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The 306 Greatest Books #128 - Critique of Pure Reason

The next book up on my reading of the 305 Greatest Books is Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant. This book can be found on the Sybervision Book List.

The Critique of Pure Reason is one of eight books under the "Philosophy" section in the Sybervision Book List. Traditionally, these, along with the Science books, have not fared too well in my opinion since I read these stories mainly for entertainment and judge them under that criterion. The most notable exception being Walden, which I greatly enjoyed. Well, the Critique of Pure Reason also has many of the same flaws as the other Philosophy or Science books. The text is often hard to decipher and the author frequently uses vocabulary words that the reader is more than likely never to encounter again. I stopped reading the chapter and section titles because they were more often than not undecipherable. I read the unabridged version of the text, and I can now understand why they have abridged versions. More than once I found myself thinking that the author takes 10-20 pages to say something that he sums up in one line, and likely could have been left at just that one line. This book would improve greatly with a good abridgment. As I trudged my way through the first half of the book, I thought that the book was essentially nonredeemable, with the author bloviating on about "simple" concepts that should have been wrapped up hundreds of pages earlier. Kant breaks down every possible concept imaginable using strictly a priori (independent of experience) reason. Starting with the second half though, he starts to explore the foundations of God and whether he exists or not using the a priori reasoning. In the end he concludes that no, you can neither prove or disprove the existence of God. I would equate this to one of the most fundamental Agnostic reading materials created and it actually got rather interesting to read (for the majority of the second half). In summary, although the text could use for quite a bit of shortening, I was pleasantly surprised about the topics that were addressed. Even though I would not recommend others to read this, I am glad I did. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Personal Goals - Month 11 Update

11 months in. 1 to go.

1. Finish 1st Draft of my Novel
Start - Again on the list.

2. Drop weight to 167
Start - This has also been on the list since the beginning. Starting at 183.8
Month 1 - 182.0
Month 2 - 185.2
Month 3 - 190.7
Month 6 - 187.2
Month 7 - 190.2
Month 8 - 186.3
Month 9 - 181.4 - Yay, weight loss!
Month 10 - 180.4
Month 11 - 183.1 Yay Thanksgiving

3. Read 1 of the Top Ten Books on Zane's List
Start - In the middle of The Stories of Anton Chekhov.

4. Read 7 books on the Sybervision Book List (including 1 in the Science or Philosophy sections)
Start - Current count is at 78.
Month 1 - Finished The Prince and the Pauper. 6 to go.
Month 2 - Reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
Month 6 - Finished reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. 5 to go.
Month 7 - Reading The Way of All Flesh.
Month 8 - Finished The Way of All Flesh. 4 to go.
Month 9 - Finished The Tragedy of Faust. 3 to go.
Month 10 - Finished Tess of the D'Urbervilles. 2 to go.
Month 11 - Finished Lady of the Lake. 1 to go.

6. Finish 1 more Geological Movie Review
Start - Earthquake still looks like the best bet.

7. Watch 10 of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time
Start - Current count is at 75.

8. Finish 56 things on the Blog/Website Things to do List (~1 a week)
Start - The list currently has ~150 things on it.
Month 1 - Started working on some stuff but have nothing finished.
Month 2 - Finished 3/56. 53 to go.
Month 3 - Finished 4/56. 52 to go.
Month 6 - Finished 5/56. 51 to go.
Month 7 - Finished 10/56. 46 to go.
Month 8 - Finished 15/56. 41 to go.
Month 9 - Finished 19/56. 37 to go.
Month 10 - Finished 28/56. 28 to go.
Month 11 - Finished 34/56. 22 to go.

9. Finish 10 things on the House Things to do List
Start - The list currently has 29 things on it.
Month 1 - Finished fixing all the "sweating" toilets. 9 to go.
Month 7 - Finished fixing the crawl space door. 8 to go.
Month 8 - Busy month, fixed 6 more things. 2 to go.

10. Finish skinning the top of the hovercraft
Start - I started working on it 2 years ago but with wood purchased lat year I hope to finish that part.

11. Get my Sprint Triathlon time under 1:25:00
Start - My current official best is 1:41:45.2

12. Get my 5K time under 23 minutes
Start - My current unofficial best is ~28:30
Month 6 - New Nike Running app keeps a record of these things now. Current record is 28:32.

13. Catalog and Photograph the Comics portion of my Star Wars Collections
Start - Currently I have some of the comics photographed so if I get the time this should
Month 11 - Been working on organizing my comics for some time and finally got time to take some pictures. Need to finish up before the end of the month.

15. Submit 3 Scientific Manuscripts to Journals 
Start - I have 3 manuscripts in the almost there phase. I hope to get these submitted soon.
Month 1 - These will get submitted once the dissertation is completed.
Month 6 - With the dissertation finished, these are mostly complete and ready for submission.
Month 8 - One of the manuscripts is in the preparation stages and should be submitted early this month.
Month 9 - One manuscript submitted. Now working on prepping the next one. 2 to go.
Month 10 - One more manuscript is all set to be submitted and should be done this week.
Month 11 - Second manuscript has been submitted.

16. Defeat 5 Star Wars Games
Start - With collecting so many games that I have not had time to play I want to set aside some game time.
Month 3 - I finished Angry Birds Star Wars. 4 to go.

-------------------------------------------Other items of Note-----------------------------------------------

      Again spent a large amount of my spare time organizing my Star Wars stuff which went into one of the tasks on the list. It's nice to have some spare time to work on things besides work.


(DONE) 5. Read 2 books on the BBC Book List
Start - Current count is at 48.
Month 2 - Finished Vicky Angel. 1 to go.
Month 7 - Reading Watership Down.
Month 9 - Finished Watership Down. Done.

DONE! 14. Finish Dissertation
Start - Currently I have to finish up analyses, finish writing, and format it. Not much work at all.
Month 1 - Working steadily on this. Finished 1 chapter out of the remaining 3, with another one almost done.
Month 2 - Continuing to work on this almost every day. Down to one set of analyses left.
Month 3 - Finished up my analyses and 1 out ~5 appendices that needs to be built.
Month 6 - The dissertation is currently written and approved by my committee. I am awaiting the thesis office to get back to me with formatting edits that need to be made.
Month 7 - The dissertation is DONE!!!!