Comments: 18
Tannat 1 month ago

Excellent review.
Sigh. Thank you.

Now that I've got that out of my system, what's our November book again ... or haven't we picked one yet?
Tannat 1 month ago
I don't think it's chosen?
Ah, OK -- I think I'm just losing track. Wasn't sure. Thanks!
Kaethe 1 month ago
Outstanding. I admire your friends almost as much as your review.
Well, gee ...

He is an admirable person, though.
Elentarri's Book Blog 1 month ago
Any chance you can drop your friend's name so I can look up his books? I don't have Wright's book anymore so can't check the references.

Excellent review BTW. Love it. Though I don't think harping on cleanliness deserves an extra star - that sort of thing is pretty obvious these days.
Tannat 1 month ago
I'm debating whether to give her half a star for her anti-vaxxer stance.
Elentarri's Book Blog 1 month ago
If you only knew what they put in vaccines these days you would be an anti-vaxxer too.
Kaethe 1 month ago
Different millennia, same fear of contamination
@Kaethe: Exactly.

@Elentarri: I'm pretty sure you've read them ("Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse" -- Wright uses the "Pizarro's conquest of the Inca empire" chapter of "Guns, Germs and Steel" as one of the bases of her chapter on smallpox).

And, thank you -- high praise indeed!

@Elentarri and Tannat: It *is* an extra half star (approximately) for Wright's anti-vaxxer stance. The books isn't the most terrible one I've ever read, neither in popular science nor generally speaking, so I wouldn't have gone as low as one or only a half star as a basis anyway. But since she's very obviously writing primarily for an American audience to begin with, and it's primarily in the U.S. that vaccination conspiracy theories (and anti-science propaganda generally ... intelligent design, anybody?) seem to find a neverending supply of fertile ground, I'm glad for everyone who loudly speaks up against that sort of nonsense -- perhaps even more so in a book like this one, which doesn't bother its readers with too many scientific details (but contains plenty of juicy stuff instead), and thus might actually stand a marginally better chance of falling into the hands of someone who, not knowing any better, might be more prone to fall for scaremongering than a reader with a genuine interest in science, who has long relegated the "vaccination kills" slogan to the 1960s / 1970s dustbin where it belongs.

Speaking of which ... what *do* they put into vaccines these days that us trusty souls may want to know about, pray? :D
Elentarri's Book Blog 1 month ago
Re vaccines: Go find a package insert and look all the ingredients up. Use an MSDS. Don't take my word for it - do your own research. I worked with a lot of those chemicals and 90% had a skull and cross bones on the bottle and I had to gear up in a semi-hazmat suit and use a fume hood.

I've read Collapse. And his Third Chimpanzee.
Ah, OK -- I thougth you meant some particularly weird and unexpected ingredients ... I know that medicine (not just vaccines) may contain minuscule doses of stuff that would be absolutely lethal if taken in larger doses. Which, incidentally, is why I try to avoid having to take the stuff if at all possible -- especially prescription drugs.
Kaethe 1 month ago
So many people are unfamiliar with the idea that it is the dose that makes the poison : a long list of chemicals is frightening , regardless of whether they know what those things are. Natural is good, artificial is bad, medicine is good, drugs are bad, etc.
Tannat 1 month ago
Very true.
Yep. And even stuff that *is* prohibited as poisonous today was comparatively easily available until way into the 20th century because it was considered to have beneficial aspects if taken in small doses or used for the right purpose (think arsenic) ...
Kaethe 1 month ago
I prefer to think laudanum, it's so soothing :)
Teheh ... :)