Category Archives: books

a distant mirror

I, too, could not believe that they would railroad Nixon through until I read a [Walter] Lippmann column a few days before they did, who explained to my satisfaction how it had all been planned for weeks and months ahead; … Continue reading

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first Bookcrossing meetup since March

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partial explanations

Red alert, day 74. Lockdown, day 64. More of Warren Weaver, this time on scientific explanation. Many of us have thought the following, for example when reading bad wall texts in science museums, but Weaver, with the confidence of the … Continue reading

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polarity problems

Red alert, day 73. Lockdown, day 63. Here’s a more durable excerpt from the autobiography of Warren Weaver, the science administrator discussed yesterday. Relevant to studies of qualia and evaluation/Appraisal: [I have had a lifelong curiosity] about the magnitude of … Continue reading

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scene of change

Red alert, day 72. Lockdown, day 62. I continue to note the counts for each day in a notebook, and they are still alarming. Marscon (January, Virginia) now takes the prize for farthest-off cancellation. The house cleanout in 2018 unearthed … Continue reading

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Ladeco flight 115 from Asunción, Paragruay, was about to land an hour late at Santiagoäs Pudahuel airport. To our left, Aconcagua, at 23,000 feet, appeared as a steel promontory in the moonlight. The plane dipped its left wing with terrifying … Continue reading

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before the fall

Signs of the apocalypse, stateside trip edition: The success of the For Dummies series, which now have entire sections of their own in bookstores. Do readers really think are dummies? Do they really want to own these ugly, condescending books? … Continue reading

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“The last time I saw them they were sitting on a terrace having a drink. I should have said something to them and I didn’t.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, more or less

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“My father, a man without any means, a student, before 1914, travelled the whole of Europe with a University of Vienna student canteen card, and there was only one bizarre country called the Russian Empire which had something called a … Continue reading

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I’m not making it up: Someone wrote a detective novel set on the mean streets of Koskela, “Helsinki’s Bronx” (Alueuutiset). Check out the description of Sjöman & Co. here. PS 2015: The Nordic mystery boom finally happened but Hannu Vuorio’s … Continue reading

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