New: Book Report: The Breeze from the East

Mostly, I am not reading books. While I work on the Hogwarts write-up, I am not reading books. Mostly. I've posted some book reports in the past few weeks--but I'd read those books beforehand, written the book reports halfway.

I've been reading comic books and magazines. Quick reads, they don't distract me for long. I guess if it takes me much longer to finish the Hogwarts write-up, I can post some book reports about comic books.

But. But today I read a book. Today I went to the post office. I had recieved a slip of paper, a slip of paper saying that a registered letter was waiting for me. This was worrisome. Who sends registered mail? I have sent registered mail twice in the past, each time to a dishonest landlord. Registered mail means that you're edging towards a lawsuit, doesn't it? Who would send me registered mail? Who had a grievance towards me?

Anyhow, it was a relief when the registered mail turned out to be a book from R. S. J. Reddy, that crank who mailed me a book full of fake proofs that Pi is 3.1464. He might have a grievance against me after the mean things I said about his Pi book. Yet today he had not sent me a lawsuit. Instead he had sent me a book of his poetry. I was so relieved that it wasn't a lawsuit that I read it on my bus ride.

This book was titled "The Breeze from the East", and it is Book 1 of a translation of some presumably even longer poem called "Sarvam Jagannadham". Reddivari Sarva Jagannadha Reddy wrote the original; and A.L.N. Murthy took the time to translate this part of it.

It's a sort of devotional poem, saying that the world is a wonderful place and that we should live wisely and well. It's pretty vague about how one should do this. This allows the reader to project their own beliefs onto the poem and convince themselves that they agree with it, and that it thus must be wise.

I am no doubt being harsh in this summary of the poem. After reading several of Reddy's false proofs that the value of Pi is 3.1464, I look for snake oil in everything associated with him. If anyone else had written this poem, I would think it harmless.

I'll point out the third poem, which mentions Ramanujan.

Einstein, who worked in a patent office, became a great scientist
Ramanujan, who worked in a port office, became a great mathematician
Madame Curie, who engaged little children in tuition, became a gem of womanhood
Raman won the Nobel prize with a small instrument

I guess that these are Reddy's heroes. Ramanujan is one of his heroes. Did Reddy convince himself that he must discover a new value of Pi so that he, too, could be a great mathematician?

Later on, in poem 89:

My intellect solved more skillfully than my imagination

Except for that value of Pi. He pulled that one out of his... imagination.

That was a cheap shot, wasn't it? I guess it's tough to overcome a first impression. My first impression of Mr. Reddy is someone who tells false proofs. Should I hold that against his poetry?

Finally, from poem 117:

A critic knows the imaginative power of the poets.

Ah, "a critic". I guess that's me. To see how I waste the imaginative power of the poets, I guess you can look in the comments of this recent blog post by lessachu. I wrote a couple of haiku there, the one that starts "My development" (arguably funny to people who study software development methodologies) and the one that starts "Dashdash dashdashdash" (arguably funny to people who like Morse code).

OK, not many people will find those poems funny, but at least I'm not propogating false math proofs.

Tags:  |  |  |

Labels: , ,

Posted 2006-10-13