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June 5th, 2008

June Books 3) When Nietzsche Wept

3) When Nietzsche Wept, by Irvin D. Yalom

I enjoyed this novel, even though I know very little about the philosophical or medical background to it. The year is 1882, the place Vienna; the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche seeks treatment from Josef Breuer, who with his young colleague Sigmund Freud is experimenting with a new "talking cure" for cases of mental illness. Yalom, himself a psychiatrist, is gently didactic about both the earliest days of his own profession and Nietzsche's philosophy, and even manages to work the two into something resembling a plot. A helpful postscript explains which bits of the book are based on established historical fact and which are fictional. Rather a good read.

June Books 4) The Phoenix Exultant

4) The Phoenix Exultant, by John C. Wright

I read the first in this series, The Golden Age some time ago and quite enjoyed it. This second volume is also enjoyable - still the same dense writing, but our hero turns out to be pretty fallible on a human level and appears to learn and change as the book goes on, and Wright appears to be questioning the underside of his affluent networked society. Indeed at one point I almost hoped the book was going to turn into a series of vignettes of different groups functioning on the margins, but it turned out a bit different. Anyway, it was fun.

Hitting the blogging big time

I do occasionally get funny correspondence about my web page on US Presidential elections and facial hair. But over the last 48 hours I have hit the bigtime: Andrew Sullivan, whose "The Daily Dish" is one of the top US political blogs, linked to it under the flattering title The Ultimate Dish link. Seeing as he is so widely read, I'm not surprised to find others picking it up and linking to it, and reading things I never wrote into it. These guys think I am telling Obama and McCain to stay clean shaven. This guy is glad I cited one of his friends. This blogger expects that I am happy Hillary didn't get the nomination (I am, but not for the reason he probably thinks). This person thinks we need more number-crunching. Thanks to all of that, I've had over 3000 extra hits - five times normal. The Internet is a small place sometimes...

Facebook games

Anyone want to play Scrabble or Reversi/Othello?

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