Anyway, something I was reading on the Web yesterday reminded me of it and, since I just got a Kindle, I thought I would see if there were an inexpensive Kindle edition, which there was. So last night I downloaded it. I didn't get a chance to look it over until today.
This afternoon I dropped into my favorite coffee shop for a double expresso. They were really busy so I looked around and grabbed a chair on one side of a little table on the other side of which was a matching chair, occupied by an older gentleman. It might seem as if I were intruding in his space, but the way it was set up, I wasn't really. They were separate chairs that just shared a little side table.
Then I got my expresso and sat down. I opened up my Kindle and decided to have a look at the Wittgenstein. There is a long, long introduction by Bertrand Russell that I decided to breeze through. I think I prefer my Wittgenstein without a side of Russell! Anyway, I read my way into the first part of the Tractatus. It is in the form of a series of propositions, the first couple of which are:
1 The world is everything that is the case.
1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.And so on. After a while I had finished my coffee and I closed up my Kindle, preparing to leave. The gentleman across the side-table said something about getting my work done--I guess he thought I had a tablet. So I said, "just reading in my Kindle". We chatted about Kindles for a couple of minutes and then came The Question: "what are you reading?"
I really didn't want to say. Oh sure, when I was in my 20s and 30s I loved for people to ask me what I was reading. But now? I said, "are you sure you want to know?" He said sure, so I had to tell him:
The Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.
He paused a beat and replied, "oh, sure, I saw the movie."
I think that the next time I may just lie and say "Tom Clancy".