Progamer to Programmer

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sleep Synchro

The last three books that I've read:

  • Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley - Everyone is familiar with the stereotypical Frankenstein's monster that grunts, walks around like a zombie and goes on a killing spree. I was a bit surprised when I read this classic, and the monster turned out to possibly be the most eloquent speaker of all the characters in the book.

    Apparently, Frankenstein's monster is so hideous that you lose all reason and loathe him deeply as soon as you lay your eyes on him. The monster's physical appearance overrides all his speaking eloquence and he ends up with a Charisma attribute of -18.

    The predominant theme that I found in the story were the problems that could be compounded due to closed-minded and rigid views, together with the lack of communication. Most other literary works that cite this story usually focus on the "created being turns on his master" theme, and how "some things were just not meant to be studied/harnessed". Both of which I disagree with.

  • Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov - by a strong coincidence, I picked both books up on the same visit to a booksale store (this one was picked up because it only cost 12 Php). The story is about a detective who is forced to solve a murder by working with a robot detective in a society that hates robots.

    The reason I call it a coincidence is because the Introduction discusses the origin of Asimov's concept of robots, and the "Three Laws of Robotics". Frankenstein is cited as a book that embodied the general sentiment of Asimov's time period: "there are some things Man was not meant to know".

    A very nice passage illustrates Asimov's view of the situation:

    Even as a youngster, though, I could not bring myself to believe that if knowledge presented danger, the solution was ignorance. To me, it always seemed that the solution had to be wisdom. You did not refuse to look at danger, rather you learned how to handle it safely.

    That served as a very nice afterword to Frankenstein and a good transitory to Caves of Steel. The story itself is a bit outdated, though, and I like his Foundation series more.

  • Harry Potter IV: Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling - Each book gets better than the last. Details should probably be left out for now, since the moving is coming up and people are probably interested in remaining spoiler-free.

DoTA tournament tomorrow! Typing this entry was a good way of remaining awake so that I can sleep (and wake) at the proper times. =) GL HF!

Monday, July 04, 2005

Keep-Alive Heartbeat

Work cures depression. I always get into a good mood after having completed a task at hand. Maybe its the combination of relief from any deadline pressure, and the feeling of being productive and contributing something. Even the state of being immersed in the current problem is enough to make me forget any blues.