Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Working Recently

As I forewarned in some earlier post, I don't post as much when I'm not getting high every other day. I'm more inhibited, neurotic, and frankly less insightful. When I read books and I'm not high I find myself skipping over lines, but when I'm high I tend to dwell on passages for way too long.

I sat around the house for a while upon coming back home after school, but now I'm back at work -- if you can call it that. I work for the government and get to sit around reading all day. So I visited the library. Here's what I checked out:

    Basic Writings of Nietzsche translated and edited by Walter Kaufmann
    The Shadows of Power: The Council on Foreign Relations and American Decline by James Perloff
    Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart
    Remember Everything You Read by Stanley D. Frank
    Master The GRE 2005

Other books that I own and have been reading are:

    Explaining the Atom by Selig Hecht
    The Most of S.J Perelman
    Play Poker Like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth, Jr.

The nice thing about my job is that I basically sit around outside for long periods of time, and get paid over twice the minimum wage. Gives me plenty of time to read, even if it can get cold.

All of these books (with the exception of Remember Everything You Read and Master The GRE) are pretty interesting, but the most interesting has been The Shadows of Power. It is a well-researched and thoroughly incriminating look at the organization founded by J.P. Morgan which, up till 1988, produced "14 secretaries of state, 14 treasury secretaries, 11 defense secretaries, and scores of other federal department heads" since it was founded in 1921. According to Perloff, every Secretary of State since 1949 has been a member of the Council, although one joined the Council after being appointed.

The other very interesting book was Explaining the Atom. I never realized that chemicals were so interconnected, or that atomic chemicals had been so necessary for further research into the atomic particles. (I never took chemistry!) For example:
...consider spot 32 in the fourth horizontol coil of the Periodic Table. This element lies in the vertical column between silicon and tin, and is now called germanium. Medelejev in 1871 predicted its existence and called it eka-silicon. He said it would be grayish-white in color, and would give a white oxide when burned, and would not be affected by acids and alkalis. Moreover, he gave definite values for its atomic weight, its density, its atomic volume, and even its boiling point. Fifteen years later ... found Mendelejev's predictions almost perfectly fulfilled.
The book has inspired me to memorize the the periodic table and get the basic gist of every chemical on the list. (Up to number 26!) The last half of the book is all on the atom bomb, and I don't remember a whole lot of the details.

I hardly feel like I can do justice to an overview of these books, but I'll probably attempt to do an overview of the Shadows of Power. Really, I recommend that one out yourself, though.

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