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Why I am crazy about "Anathem" - Maximum Verbosity [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Lewis Powell

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Why I am crazy about "Anathem" [Dec. 22nd, 2008|10:48 pm]
Lewis Powell
Lewis Powell
have you started reading anathem yet?

Ben Heaton
No, but I did put it on a list of books I would like when my mom asked for such a list.
So I'm on the path to reading it.

Lewis Powell
i want to share with you some brief dialogue that does not contain plot spoilers, that will make it clear what I love about the book
does that sound ok?

Ben Heaton
Wait, if you haven't finished the book, how do you know if it has plot spoilers?

Lewis Powell
"If you can't test it, it's not theorics--it's metatheorics. A branch of philosophy. So if you want to think of it this way, our test equipment is what defines the boundary separating theorics from philosophy"

"Wow...I'll bet a philosopher would really jump down your throat for talking that way. It's like saying that philosophy is nothing more than bad theorics"

"There are some theors who would say so, but those people aren't really talking about philosophy as philosophers would define it. Rather they are talking about something that theors begin to do when they get right up to the edge of what they can prove using the equipment they've got. They drive philosophers crazy by calling it philosophy or metatheorics."
it doesn't spoil anything that comes before that passage, and if it spoils something after that passage, you have to fault stephenson, not me

Ben Heaton
It doesn't have the feeling of a spoiler passage.
So this book really was written for you.

Lewis Powell
i know

Ben Heaton
That's close enough to being written for me that I think I'll enjoy it.

Lewis Powell
you will probably feel less of an impulse to write neal stephenson a thank you note for writing the book than me

[User Picture]From: factitiouslj
2008-12-23 09:44 pm (UTC)
11:07:30 PM Lewis Powell: do you know how rare it is for a book in popular culture to think its about philosophy, and actually be about philosophy?
11:08:04 PM Ben Heaton: What about the Tao of Pooh?
11:08:29 PM Ben Heaton: Or Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance?
11:09:40 PM Ben Heaton: Or Deconstructing Ayn Rand: The Philosophy of Quantum Society?
11:09:46 PM Lewis Powell: what
11:09:50 PM Lewis Powell: you made that one up
11:09:54 PM Ben Heaton: Yeah.
11:10:42 PM Lewis Powell: which is a shame
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