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« Thanksgiving 2007 | Main | Warning: Excessive Server Usage »

Matto's Mantra & Downloading Free Books from Wowio

Back when I was living in Pennsylvania, a friend there (Michael Matto) was fond of saying » "You'll be the same person 5 years from now except for:
  1. Engines of Creation 2.0 at Wowiothe books you read, and
  2. the people you meet."

I joked by adding, "And the lotteries you win."

Joking aside, I never forgot that saying, tho I doubt Matto was the originator. He claimed the reason books were included was because » you can meet people thru books. [Matto was an extrovert (Sales), so I could understand his attraction to the phrase.]

Taking his concept a step further, I feel the *real* reason behind this principle is cuz » both people and books carry ideas. Ideas are really the things that change people.

Another saying I once heard goes something like » a mind stretched by a new idea can/will never fully return to its original size. This is why I've always enjoyed meeting people from other cultures » they often carry new (stimulating, interesting) ideas.

Free Books

Along these lines, I stumbled upon a new site yesterday called » Wowio, which offers free books (for download, PDF format). I was skeptical at first, but it actually seems legit.

You have to register (via valid email addy), and you can only download 3 books/day (enough for even the most voracious reader). In the spirit of Matto's maxim, I downloaded the following 3 titles:

  1. Einstein in His Own Words
  2. Engines of Creation 2.0. (See the Wikipedia entry for more.)
  3. The Art of War (Sun Tzu)

••• today's entry continues below ••• 

I read the first chapter in each book. The PDFs came with two pages appended to the beginning of the file/text » advertisements from Verizon Wireless (which led me to believe Wowio is legit), and the first page contained my name.

Anyway, it's worth checking out. Many interesting titles are hosted there. Read a book, change your life. (I found the ideas contained in EoC 2.0 particularly mind-expanding.)

Also on the topic of mind-expanding ideas .. we have (the book) » Great Thoughts (by George Seldes), which contains (nothing but) a compilation of quotes from the likes of Nietzsche, Plato & Dylan (among others, many others, who have had an influence on Western culture).

What I really like about the book is that » you can open and begin reading at any page. It's the single-most idea-rich book I've ever read (tho not offered at Wowio).

PS - If any of you know/see Matto, say "Hey," for me. I've lost contact. He's the most upbeat person I've ever met.


I first met Matto when he rang my doorbell and said, "I'm having a Halloween party Saturday, and have way too many girls coming. Do you think you can help me out?" I later learned he was delivering the exact opposite line to girls. =) It was one of the best parties I'd ever been to (and right across the street).

At the time, he was selling athletic/exercise equipment/attire to girls at aerobic spas/gyms, so there were lots of hard-bods there, dressed in costumes that made it obvious they'd spent countless hours working out. I was fresh out of the Navy, and accustomed to parties where 50 guys entertained 2 girls (only one of which still had all her teeth). So this party definitely rocked my newly-civilian world.

The next day (Sunday) I stopped by to thank him for inviting me and .. (after looking around at the disaster) offered to help clean up. That's when we became friends.

He used to crack me up. I remember one time, at a restaurant, we were on our way to a Stevie Wonder concert with dates. Matto said to the waitress (glancing at his watch), "Vicki, we're running a little late. Does the word *tip* mean anything to you?" =) You never seen such good service.

At dance-clubs he often asked which girl I wanted. (The first time it happened, I thought he was joking.) Ten minutes later he'd show up at our table (girl in tow) and introduce me, saying what a great guy I was, before heading off to find one for himself. The girls would usually say things like, "Is he *always* like that?" (I'm more cautious with women, myself.)

Winnebago - A great way to spend New Years eveMatto is also the guy who rented a Winnebago one New Years eve, and drove a group of us from party to party. That was a lot of fun. Party-central on wheels.

When I bought my first house, Matto threw me a house-warming party .. in conjunction with his birthday (July). We roasted a pig on a spit. Besides waterbed and stereo, I barely had any furniture. People came from 4 other states. (Yeah, lotsa hard-bods.)

Matto knew a DJ who brought tapes of the best underground dance music. The place was rockin' before nightfall. Unfortunately, the cops came, too .. around 1AM, to break things up. "We could hear you a block away," they said.

Years later, people were *still* coming up to me, saying » "That was the best party I've ever been to." "Took me all day to clean up," I'd reply. I used Matto's line » "Can you help me out?" It worked great.

Matto is a graduate of Messiah college. You should hear him sing Handel's Messiah. After college, he played semi-pro basketball in Germany (for a year or two), which is surprising, cuz he's not very tall. Where are you, Matto?

For more along these lines, here's a Google search preconfigured for the query » download free books


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