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  1. T

    Medical Books?

    This is excellent: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Blue-Death-Disease-Disaster/dp/1851685758/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1381699022&sr=8-3&keywords=blue+death+water
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    Is this the end for books?

    Ebooks will go the same way as music and video: every time the format changes you'll have to chuck out your whole collection and buy new. There's already a format war: one reader for Amazon, and another incompatible one for the local library.
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    What the most proverb do you believe in?

    George Bushes version was much more entertaining. :lol: I don't have a proverb as such, but I think the words of wisdom that have struck me as most profound in the 35 years since I heard them as a student are the truth is worth nothing if nobody believes it. (What the lecturer actually...
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    Non Fiction? Non Empathetic.

    This weeks New Scientist has an interesting article by Keith Oatley of Toronto Uni. He and his colleagues have found that "reading fiction really does have psychological benefits". First, they tested ability to read emotions and social situations using tests like those used to assess autism...
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    Pickover: Archimedes to Hawking: Laws of Science and the Great Minds Behind Them

    Reminds me of a program on TV recently which told the stories of Georg Cantor who first realised that there are different sizes of infinity, and ended up in a lunatic asylum as a result of a lifetime of trying to prove he was right against his critics, and also Ludwig Boltzmann who comitted...
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    Jared Diamond: Collapse

    Yes, that was my point. The quality of argument tends to be better from an academic too. I'm about a third of the way through it, and it's a bit of a curates egg so far. It was refreshing to see that he realises that the current quest for carbon free energy is not really the point but the...
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    Current Non-Fiction reads

    What's more, Chimps are more closely related to us than they are to Gorillas!
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    Jared Diamond: Collapse

    Doogster, do you know anything about an Oz politician called Colin Mason? I've just ordered his book The 2030 Spike from the library thinking it was about population growth, but it looks more general than that. I was rather disappointed to see that the author's a politician/journalist rather...
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    Jared Diamond: Collapse

    Apologies for the double post, I put this on another thread before I realised this one is more appropriate! (Why won't this forum allow retrospective editing, like most do?) Anyhow, Doogster quoted this from Diamond/Collapse: Of course, though, people with long-term stakes don't always act...
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    Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel

    For anyone who's interested in reading why this is, you could do worse than read Luxury Fever by Robert Frank. Frank is Professor of Economics at Cornell, but more importantly, he's an economist who's taken the trouble to do his psychology homework, and understands why the orthodox economics of...
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    Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel

    You really should. It's tragic to read how we're making all the same mistakes they've made in the past, and learning nothing from it. I think even Diamond is in danger positive spinning in places. He sees grounds for optimism in the way the Chinese and the Tokugawa Shoguns implemented...
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    What's the most tedious book you've read?

    My father's copy is on the shelf unread, and that's the way it's likely to stay. I spent the whole time staring out of the window when we did Shakespeare at school, (and failed my English Lit.). I'm really turned off by archaic language, being a Dawkins Disciple I've had a couple of attempts at...
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    What's the most tedious book you've read?

    Alas Poor Darwin: Steven/Hilary Rose (Eds) It's a collection of essays by various anti evolutionary psychology protagonists, and it is excruciatingly tedious. It took me five weeks to read 250 pages. Basically it's a load of politically motivated (by their own admission) whats-bad-is-false...
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    Jared Diamond: Guns, Germs, and Steel

    I've just finished reading Collapse, it's excellent. Diamond is the first commentator on the environment I've discovered who hasn't lost the plot.
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    Books you have bought but haven't read yet

    I don't buy unless I've already read a copy from the library, so I have several books that have been bought or given as presents but only referred to. I also have hundreds of my late fathers books wich I've neither bought nor read.
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    Current Non-Fiction reads

    Me too, but the other problem is that most of what I read is from the library, so I'm dependent on notes. Debating what you've read helps alot with memory, but the difficulty is finding someone else who has read (or is willing to read) the book, especially if you're an eccentric like me who...
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    Academic books and texts that you're reading

    I've requested (but not yet received) a copy of a paper that was presented at last years International Conference on Pattern Recognition by Professor Alex Pentland of the Human Dynamics Lab at MIT. It's innocuous sounding title is A Computational Model of Social Signalling. Apparently, what...
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    Current Non-Fiction reads

    I couldn't put it down! I don't like that guy, he just looks for eccentrics and tries to turn them into a freak show. The show he did (or tried to do) with Jimmy Savile was telling. Savile saw him coming a mile off, and wiped the floor with him. :D Me too. I find it helps to make notes as I...
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    Richard Dawkins: The God Delusion

    On the subject of life being pointless without God, people may be interested to read The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker. As the title suggests, it deals with the mistaken belief that the mind is a blank slate at birth, devoid of any innate traits, but in particular, many of his arguments as to why...
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    Julian Havil: Nonplussed: Mathematical Proof of Implausible Ideas

    Has anyone read it? I've just been reading the review in New Scientist. The title says it all really, Havil takes a collection of counterintuitive ideas, and provides the mathematical proof that they're true. Apparently, one of the things he demonstrates is a wine glass with a finite surface...