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Old April 29th 07, 20:56   #21
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 725
Re: What books or media help make you who you are today?

Many things.

Books which I:
- learnt to read with
- used to inform myself of an approximation of history
- used to inform myself of an approximation of nature
- read of plain interest, usually interest about distant places or times
- used to consider and reject certain ways of trying to explain it all
- used to gain more perspectives on the multiple faces of past and present life
- used to improve my understanding of nature, its regularities and methods of studying them

- used to better understand the links between laws of nature and systems made possible or impossible by their combinations in different environments, methods of modeling it (even if crude ones) and methods of using these predictions for useful things

- one television show which I quite liked, and its characters (though quite different from me) whose words, and models of whose behaviour, and models its interaction with their environment, and speculation about the outcomes... caused me to examine closer and modify some of my opinions

(I think that television show is called Babylon 5.)

- and more books, some down-to-earth about systems and technologies, others fictional about imaginary future societies

Alltogether, many of them have clarified my understanding of where I probably stand... which opportunities I likely have or lack... which of those are disappearing and which appearing, for which reasons, on which conditions, when... and where I probably need to dedicate my work to achieve more of what I want and less of what I don't... and what I should consider from time to time, to check if I'm still on a sensible path... and how I need to change myself if I want to be more efficient.

It's a too long tale, and a too private one, to recount in detailed manner, without brushing everything over with generalizations as I just did.

But Babylon 5 is a story which did influence my thinking, significantly too. So I'll mention it as the foremost influence, though I have no way of really measuring how much a particular work or story has influenced me.

As a sidenote, playing with quotations often brings to my mind this one:

"We are the universe, trying to figure itself out.
Unfortunately we as software lack any coherent documentation."

It's not from B5 proper, but from somewhere in the array of colorful bits which are related to that story.

Last edited by puzzle; April 29th 07 at 21:23.
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