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eclectic academia

Finishing off my thesis; but once that's done, this place will be buzzing, I'm sure.


Currently reading

The Mathematical Brain
Brian Butterworth
Progress: 62/400 pages
Sarah Waters
The Predictive Mind
Jakob Hohwy

About the blog

Hey! Thanks for the visit. Welcome to eclectic academia! Thanks for the visit. I'm Neil, a PhD student working in the Philosophy of Logic at the University of Bristol*. My reading habits are quite eclectic; I dabble in all areas of fiction, be it Fantasy, Crime, 'literary' novels, Science Fiction and so forth. But my real love is in that even broader category 'non-fiction'. 

My reading habits in this area are eclectic (hence the name!) - ranging from works in 
disciplines directly relevant to my research (Philosophy, Cognitive Science and Mathematics) through to obscure subjects I've never heard of before. I'll happily get my teeth into an advanced technical textbook (and likely suffer the consequences) or a light friendly `pop` introduction by a best-selling author. 

This, then, is the focus of this blog: I call it 
eclectic academia (even though it sounds terribly pretentious!) because (a) it sounds nice, and contains two wonderful words (isn't eclectic such a great sound? Eclectic. ECKlectic. Gives me shivers.) and (b) it's wonderfully descriptive; the blog will contain random snippets, reviews, accessible overviews of topics, my attempts at introductions, some notes, weird thoughts, and general bits and bobs I pick up on my literary travels.

I can't guarantee I'll update that regularly; particularly not at the moment, as I'm coming to the end of my thesis and hunting around for a postdoctoral position. Even so, I will certainly do my best!

I hope you enjoy it!

Neil (the `eclectic' academic)

P.S. For the curious: the header is made up of excerpts from Newton's notebooks (pre-Principia). You can find scanned copies of all of his original notebooks here. They're great fun to look through; see if you can't find his stuff on medicine and alchemy. It's bonkers!

*Just on the off chance you're curious about my research, there's more info on my academic web page.

**Okay, to be fair: it's rare that Gödel comes in handy outside a very narrow range of circumstances. You never know, though! Not-so-fun fact: Gödel, a friend of Einstein worked at the IAS in Princeton (and, in fact, was one of the first members). While his work and life are interesting, his death was particularly unusual (and regretfully, quite unhappy). He passed away in '78, after becoming increasingly paranoid that his food was being poisoned. After his wife, Adele, began to become ill, she was less able to support Gödel. Effectively, Gödel starved himself to death.