Monday, April 30, 2007

is reading still worth it?

guns, germs, and steel
-jared diamond

this could be one of the "most readable works on the human past," as the back cover states, but that doesn't mean i want to pick up any of the others. it's tough to say there's a lot wrong with it, but its fascinating thesis wasn't always enough to get me excited about reading it. the book's four hundred-plus pages were quite daunting even once i'd gotten a good way into it. reading guns germs and steel is relatively enjoyable, but it can be repetitive as diamond constructs detailed foundations for his ideas. he has to lay out an overarching theory explaining the course of human history, so there's a lot of ground to cover. diamond writes as one who has an answer, not as one who is wrestling with a problem. his breezy optimism and genial tone aren't always enough to bring the book to the level of the most exhilaratingly enlightening nonfiction works. still, at its worst, guns germs and steel remains a book that teaches you more than enough to make it worth the effort.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

mid april happenings

there's a somewhat impressive rainstorm going on, has been all day. one of the best things about where i live right now is that whenever there is precipitation of any kind, the sound of dripping water from outside my window is strong enough that i always have some warning of the state of the weather. sometimes there's a bit of rain but it's nearly impossible to hear or see. well, i can always hear it from where i am. i know, i could listen to the radio or something to get the weather in the morning, but i simply have never done that. my computer now has made weather information super easy to find, but the computer is not something i trot out each morning before work. before i leave the house each morning, i do little other than shower. breakfast is exclusively something i eat at work. i've gone further lately, eliminating the morning search for keys and work id by throwing them all in my bag before i go to bed. so turning on a computer and checking the weather just wouldn't fit in. so now, i go off to bed, wishing i had better smelling laundry soap.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

in lieu of news, views

if you wanna catch up you'd better run
there's no hiding from days in the sun

when the trees disappear the snow flakes
there's nothing like living when everything breaks