So I’m taking advantage of LOTS of reading time and have started Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. It’s an interesting read so far. I wish it had been required in high school, or at least parts of it. The introduction explains that his writings have been used to support positions all along the political spectrum. While that made me immediately think that he was so vague that he could mean anything, I’ve realized that it’s more because he takes an outsider’s view of the great experiment that was – and is – the United States. His analysis of our system of government points out the strengths and weaknesses, compares it to other existing republics/monarchies, and does not automatically assume much of anything. The flexibility of Democracy in America is similar to how flexible The Art of War or The Prince are – the conclusions are general but they have applications in real life.

I’ve almost tabbed this book more than the regulations / references I’m using for the class I’m in. Many things to ponder later and post about. If you haven’t read this book and have an appreciation of the founding fathers, I suggest you find a copy and get ready to enjoy a timeless piece of literature.

On another note, Fermat’s Enigma was very interesting. I don’t think I could muster the resolve to work on one problem (possibly impossible to prove) for over 7 years in total secrecy without going insane – regardless of whether or not I have the grey matter to combine seemingly dissimilar mathematical processes and create new ones to make up the difference (I’m guessing not). For those who think math is boring, I just want you to know there is drama, tragic deaths, heroic effort, and other good stuff in this book.