15.10.15

the man is NON-STOP!

...AS ARE HIS BIOGRAPHERS, OF LATE.
(where were y'all when we needed you five years ago?)

IIRC from my days as a young(er) follower* of Alexander Hamilton, there was only one authoritative biography on the market: the one on which Hamilton is based, Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton**. 

Now, there's a proliferation of such biographies! See below for a passing snapshot of books with post-2010 publication dates from the first 4 pages of Amazon search results for "Alexander Hamilton." (I realize that one of these is just a new edition of the Federalist Papers, but why now?)

2.10.15

listen up, y'all

"Well, God has arrived. I met him on the 5:15 train." — Keynes

Everything in my life came together in the space of three seconds earlier tonight. I found the connection; the universe is telling me something. Now, what that something is, I don't know — but I am nearly 100% certain that the ghost of Ludwig Wittgenstein has everything to do with it! If you would, consider the following:




  1. The book I've most thoroughly digested (and enjoyed) since I moved to Philadelphia: The Broom of the System, David Foster Wallace. WITTGENSTEIN.
  2. I have been on time to one linguistics lecture this semester. (This isn't my fault, mom. My programming class is in a biology building, and the walk takes ten years on a good day.) And who did we discuss in that lecture? Only a "very interesting fellow by the name of... WITTGENSTEIN."
  3. On a lark (lark, what a! plunge, what a!), I went rooting around for books in West Philly last Thursday. I found four, as mentioned earlier. the first one I read is about Alan Turing and Kurt Gödel (A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, Janna Levin, I recommend it). Whose ideas hold the book together? Why, those of WITTGENSTEIN.
  4. My father's primary piece of advice to me has always been "when you have nothing to say, say nothing." This is a corruption of "whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent," which hails from the TRACTATUS-LOGICO-PHILOSOPHICALUS, which is the only book ever written by WITTGENSTEIN. This is something I mutter under my breath often while in the library, for there is inevitably some blockhead Skyping sans shame in the No-Cell Zone.
This is it, y'all. I am an unwitting Wittgensteinian, devoid of wit but full of gene snit. Updates on the haunting to follow... perhaps.