Guns, Germs, and Steel and Poached Eggs and Toast

gunsgermssteelSome blogger or columnist asked a perceptive question about what Nitflix (Netflik in the singular?) has sat longest unwatched on the coffee table. (Lots of votes for Hotel Rwanda) There may be an equivalent Kindle phenomenon, i.e. a worthy book one has long meant to read and now with the Kindle one by god will. But doesn’t. The NemoKindle has no such orphaned works at present, but one is slightly embarrassed that the electronically weightiest work currently on the home page is Jared Diamond’s 1997 Guns Germs and Steel. One is actually about two thirds of the way through and liking it very well (it turns out cultural hegemony has everything to do with fortunate continental drift) but one does not blitz through the way one does, say, a Lee Child. And then there has been the pleasant-but-distracting-from-non-fiction discovery that the Kindle editions of the listed newspapers are not only ink-free, leaving no grubby fingers, but (except for photos) complete in a way that the on-line editions are not. And they don’t hog near as much space on the Nemotic placemat as the lumpen Dell laptop.

-Nemo Wolfe

Published in: on December 19, 2008 at 12:43 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. For me, the book that has sat the longest on my shelf without being touched would have to be Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare. I doubt it’ll really be dormant much longer as I’ve recently taken a turn for the verse (ouch!) as I’ve just discovered the lovable character of Falstaff. My fault for letting that linger so long.

  2. Is Falstaff as funny as he is lovable? Or just Shakespeare funny? I’ve always wanted to know.

  3. Well, Shakespeare funny and modern funny are sometimes very different things. Just as there is very funny and Dane Cook.

  4. Diamond’s book is a little out of date on genetics. Recent studies have shown that there was an increase in genetic change with the development of agriculture and population expansion in eurasia. Some of these changes appear to relate to neurological function (see papers by Benjamin Voight, Bruce Lahn or Scott Williams).

    New York Times science writer Nicholas Wade’s book ‘Before the Dawn’ covers some of this, as does the more recent ‘The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution’.

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