A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Friday, June 25, 2010

Notes from the Untergang

The Government and its Scientists Will Save You

from the horrors of having a best friend in childhood
No word yet on whether adults will be permitted to have best friends.

When Chimps Go Bad

It seems that Our Simian Cousins aren't always Nice. 
The Question now is: are humans more like chimps or more like bonobos.  Evolution has shaped one to be warlike and the other to be peaceful.  (Wonderful thing, evolution: no matter what the outcome, even two opposite outcomes, it can be explained as a "selective advantage.")  A third possibility is that humans are most like humans.  But that does not seem to be on the table for those who wish to seek justifications for behaviors in the behaviors of chimps or bonobos or geese or, perhaps, paramecia. 

Why Does the Media Call It the Worst Oil Spill in US History

instead of the second worst in the history of the Gulf?  Perhaps because then people would wonder what happened during and after that earlier spill: Ixtoc 1, drilled by Pemex, and gain a bit of sanity and a sense of perspective.  But we live in a world ruled by lawyers, not by engineers.  (And no, I am not saying that the opposite would not have its own blind spots and sillinesses.  Engineers, for example, are inclined to think that all problems are solvable.)   

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