in a perfect world of yancies: Reading Materials

20 September 2012

Reading Materials

Well, Merrica was wondering how the Workshop went, and that's inspired me to post a few bits of text for your reading pleasure today.

First, I've posted my handout from last week, containing a few juicy quotes that I think together suggest that Aristotle might view large systems and patterns (my particular concern in this project is with climate) as operating not at random or even as byproducts of individual things pursuing certain purposes, but for a purpose of their own:

I got some tough questions, but that's for the best in the long run. Fun, friendly group... and the prof. who hosted things invited us all to his house to try his homemade wine: very Oregon :)

My interest in this project stemmed from my fascination with Aristotle's brief but mind-blowing discussion of natural selection (note: Aristotle died thousands of years before Darwin was born). Just so happened that that brief discussion was mentioned in the issue of the New Yorker that I was reading on the train to Oregon.

Great article/book review (by Anthony Gottlieb, former editor of the Economist, speaking of Merrica) about new research (or should that be "research"?) in evolutionary psychology, and I highly recommend it.

Which makes me feel funny about quoting the ending, but it's just too clever to leave unquoted:
Barash muses, at the end of his book, on the fact that our minds have a stubborn fondness for simple-sounding explanations that may be false. That’s true enough, and not only at bedtime. It complements a fondness for thinking that one has found the key to everything. Perhaps there’s an evolutionary explanation for such proclivities.
Full article here.

My other train reading was, of course, the Times, where I read a fascinating review of the new FDR Four Freedoms Park in New York City:
Space sounds super cool, and it's a fascinating story, since the park was built so long after the designer's death. And that Four Freedoms speech isn't too shabby either!

Huzzah for people named Franklin!

Speaking of, in our unexpected but seemingly unstoppable drive to fill his shelves with 80-year-old books, we recently picked up a copy of one of my very favorite books from my younger years:

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Okay, well, you've been very patient, so how about a quick look at some of the fun had back home in Seattle while I was away at the Workshop:

1 comment:

  1. Well, I am so far out of your league intellectually that I'm not even going to comment on your research. However, I do have fond memories of going to the Lewis & Clark Library and Mike Mulligan.

    Rock on, Franklin!

    Love, Gma C.