Reading the Encyclopedia

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by miloblithe, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    So, inspired by the book, "The Know-It-All", about a man who reads the Encyclopaedia Britannica in about a year http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0743250621/sr=1-1/qid=1137529321/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-2292950-9171913?%5Fencoding=UTF8, I've started reading Wikipedia from ! to z. I only started recently, so I'm still on the '$'s, and I'm beginning to think I'd rather read something else, but I'm not sure what else to read. There are two things I like about Wikipedia: 1) it's free. I'm not interested in paying for Britannica online, or any other pay service, and 2) it's online, so I can read it at work (when I suppose I should be working). But there are also things I don't like about Wikipedia: 1) too much contemporary pop-culture (I want to read about wrestlers and game shows, but not quite as many and not quite as exhaustively), and 2) the pack-of-lies factor (While I like the Wikipedia concept, it's clearly got some suspect entries).

    So, does anyone else have any suggestions for things I could read while at work that contains random and broad information about many, many subjects, and also has the makings of a project: something that will take me at least a year or more to actually do.
     
  2. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #2
    Yes, read the religious literature from these sects: Jew, Christian, Muslim, Jehovas Witness, Mormon, and Satanist. Then tell us which one is more full of crap. :D

    No, seriously though. Ic an't think of anything else really. Maybe the last ten years of the Farmer's Almanac?
     
  3. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    #3
    When the woman's brother was 8, he read the dictionary. Now he's in medical school and his vocabulary is crap. In other words, I'm not sure how much I buy into the value of reading reference guides.

    I've been reading one poem a day in Emily Dickinson's collected poems since 2003 (currently on poem 952 of 1775, so I should be done around 2009 or 2010!). The great thing about Dickinson's poetry is that it's poetry that you can carry in your head (so much is so short) without necessarily resolving it (her poems seem to open the more you close them off to a given reading). Especially once you get into the 300s.

    For good measure, today's poem ...

    952

    A Man may make a Remark --
    In itself -- a quiet thing
    That may furnish the Fuse into a Spark
    In dormant nature -- lain --

    Let us deport -- with skill --
    Let us discourse -- with care --
    Powder exists in Charcoal --
    Before it exists in Fire.
     
  4. AuburnTiger macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    #4
    You could always get an anthology set of World Literature. The Beford Anthology or the Longman Anthology would be a good place to start. I believe there are 6 volumes in each set.
     
  5. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #5
    thedude110, I agree that I'm not necessarily going to learn much y doing this. That's not really why my intention though. It's more for entertainment at work (and therefore I need a free website). I was thinking of switching over to literature though. There's plenty of literary content out there. Wikisource and lib.ru (mostly in Russian) come to mind. I was thinking of trying to read everything by Pushkin (in Russian).
     
  6. Patmian212 macrumors 68020

    Patmian212

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    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    If you want a good book to read I suggest either the count of montecristo by dumas or The way of the peacefull warrior by millman. Or try reading the World Book Encyclopedia that comes free with some macs :D
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
  8. Deepdale macrumors 68000

    Deepdale

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    #8
    Great suggestion, Blue ... too bad I just finished all of those this past weekend. :)
     
  9. TMA macrumors 6502a

    TMA

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Location:
    England
    #9
    To the OP...

    Have you worked out the maths for how long it would take you to read the entire thing?

    As it's ever increasing in size you might find you need to read several hours worth a day, just to get to Z in 2050. Or it might even become impossible to keep up.
     
  10. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    VA
    #10
    miloblithe, my word, good luck with that. Hopefully you'll learn a few new things! :)
     
  11. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #11
    The thought had occurred to me. I'm currently working off the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Allpages page, reading through:

    ! to "William J. Fishman"

    and

    "Windows Driver Wrappers for Linux" to (152) Atala

    I'm nearly done with the second page, meaning that I'm nearly up to the numbers and out of the punctuation marks (I've got a long way to go to get to A). There are apparently 1875 pages on the allpages page that go from x to x. So I'm nearly through two in about a week, but I haven't really been going at a good pace. I could easily increase it, lets say (4x), but you're right that I'd still be looking at about a decade of reading Wikipedia.

    Also, I'm not reading redirects so that I won't have to read the same thing multiple times, and I'm starting to think that I'll skip (or heavily skim) a lot of entries on things such as darkwave bands and game show rules. I'll also probably skim a lot of things that I haven't gotten to yet on topics I won't really understand on any deep level, such as programming, or stuff like this, "In theoretical physics, 't Hooft-Polyakov monopole is a topological soliton similar to the Dirac monopole but without any singularities. It arises in the case of a Yang-Mills theory with a gauge group G, coupled to a Higgs field which spontaneously breaks it down to a smaller group H via the Higgs mechanism."

    I'm more interested in people of note, historical events, places of note, literature of note, etc.
     
  12. TMA macrumors 6502a

    TMA

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2003
    Location:
    England
    #12
    If it were me doing it I would stick to a theme. Perhaps computer or technology related articles only.

    The point I was trying to make in my earlier post; Is it possible the amount of new articles added every day will accelerate to such a point that it would become impossible to read them all?

    It reminds me of the time I went through my iTunes library song by song to remove all the track numbers from track names. It took hours!
     
  13. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Washington, DC
    #13
     
  14. miloblithe thread starter macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    Washington, DC
    #15
    less than three eh? Well that isn't very much.
     
  15. Apple Hobo macrumors 6502a

    Apple Hobo

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    #16
    Wikipedia has everything.
     
  16. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #17
    Solzhenitsyn. The Gulag Archipelago set is huge.

    Then go to War and Peace.

    You'll be a busy little man.
     

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