PHILIP PULLMAN RELEASED A NEW BOOK and this made me so excited that of course I had to go and buy it straight away.
While I am, in general, an obscenely fast reader, some books deserve to have an entire week dedicated to them. Metamagical Themas is one such book.
The book is a great philosophical work that spans many different subject areas, from language to artificial intelligence to Rubik’s cubes. It is an accumulation of Hofstadter’s columns written for Scientific American, along with a few lectures he gave on other occasions.
Today I came to a realisation that can be summed up in a sentence that sounds fairly simple, but has taken me an embarrassingly long time to grasp:
Just because you’re good at something, that doesn’t mean you have to do it.
I finally have my brain fully back! It’s been switching on and off over the past year based on the number and strength of pills I’ve been on at any given time. So more like a dimmer switch than a straight on/off affair. However, as of yesterday I am off aaaaallll the meds. Let’s see how this goes.
The most exciting thing about this, of course, is that I can read books again. And not just novels and things that require zero brain power, but real books. Big books. Thick philosophical books. (I know novels can be all those things too, but boy have I missed philosophy.)
Here’s what I read this week.
The ways in which people interpret the world have always amazed and intrigued me. How two people can look at the same situation, be armed with the same knowledge about it, and yet still come out with different conclusions (aka ‘politics’). How two people can have a very similar experience and yet react in wildly different ways. How something that can floor one person won’t bother another.
But even more subtly: how the individual ways in which we think about the world – our personal hermeneutics – help us to see things through a unique lens.
Finally, things are starting to stabilise. Rather than having no energy at all, I have a teensy bit of energy, which lets me do about one thing requiring exertion per day, unless I am having a Particularly Bad Day, in which case no things are done.
That’s much better than being able to do one thing per week, though.
The doctors have said I can try doing a bit of exercise again, and as someone who normally swims every day, the fact that they recommended swimming was highly pleasing.