Open Book 10

Five-century-old philosophy is still potent.
The title of this week's book, written nearly 500 years ago, was coined by the author and is now a common word. It's divided into two parts: The first is a critique of the society of the time in which it was written, the second is another era that's fantastical in nature.

An excerpt: "The Senate has the practice of debating nothing on the first day it is proposed to them, but it is put off for a full meeting of their body. This is to prevent someone from babbling the first thing that comes into his head, and then from a perverse and unnatural fear of seeming to have been shortsighted in the beginning, thinking up arguments to defend his plan rather than consulting the interest of the state, ready to damage the public good rather than his own reputation. Such a man ought to have seen to it right from the first that he spoke with more deliberation than haste."

To win an InformationWeek goody, E-mail [email protected] by noon EST Thursday with the title, author, and answer to this question: Who is the book's principal character?

Additional clue: This book originally was written in Latin in 1516 for scholars, and translated into Engish in 1551. The author, who coined the name of the book from Greek words meaning "no place," is most certainly a "sir."

Two winners will be chosen randomly from the correct responses and awarded a prize.

Nov. 26 answer: The Stand by Stephen King. Answer to the third question: The superflu's nickname is Captain Trips. The winners are William Graham and Mark Kimball.

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