Thursday, June 27, 2013

Summer reading

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"It’s time for summer reading, so … today’s question? What’s the worst thing you ever did to your reading material? Sand in the bindings from the beach? Dropped into the pool? Covers smeared with sunscreen? 

And, if you’ve never done actual summer-time damage … have you EVER damaged your book/magazine/paper? Dropped it in the bathtub? Used it to kill a bug? Spilled with coffee?"

I left Dan Brown's Deception Point in my mother's living room long enough for a niece (who was also visiting) to be tempted to 'steal' it and make it her own summer read.

I normally take enough care of my books that none of them are ever damaged but there was a time when some of them were eaten up by termites.  The house help never informed me until the darn pests have burrowed into them.  I was brokenhearted. 

Thursday 13: things the world's smartest people are afraid of.  A hundred and fifty of them are listed on several internet sources. Worry was mentioned several times by, you guessed it - psychologists. What do you think of these fears?

1) Armageddon  ~ Timothy Taylor, archeologist
2) The demise of the scholar ~ David L. Everett, liguistic researcher
3) The post-human geography that will result when robots have taken all our jobs. ~ David Dalrymple, MIT researcher
4) That aliens pose a danger to human civilization. ~ Seth Shostak, SETI researcher
5) That genomics may fail us when it comes to mental disorders. ~ Terrence J. Sejnowski, computational neuroscientist
6) That we'll begin to treat technology like magic. ~ Neil Gershenfield, MIT physicist
7) The proliferation of Chinese eugenics. ~ Geoffrey Miller, evolutionary psychologist
8) The homogenization of the human experience. ~ Scott Atran, anthropologist
9) I worry that free imagination is overvalued, and I think this carries risks. ~ Carlo Rovelli, theoretical physicist
10) The end of hardship inoculation. ~ Adam Alter, psychologist
11) The pseudoscience will gain ground - Helena Cronin, author, philosopher
12) That we will continue to uphold taboos on bad words. ~ Benjamin Bergen, Associate Professor of Cognitive Science, UCS
13) I worry about the prospect of collective amnesia ~ Nogra Arikha, historian of ideas

Here are the rest of them:  150 things the world's smartest people are afraid of


  1. I haven't done too bad in taking care of my books. Here's my post

  2. Those are definitely things to worry about, I suppose. I wonder how many are inevitable?

  3. Termites? Ouch. The worst I have seen in my country (Iceland) is damage by moths, silverfish and mould, but I imagine termites would make much quicker work of a book than those pests.
    Here is my BTT post:

  4. Termites are the worst things that can happen to books!

    Here is my BTT post

  5. Oh, I was afraid I might find pests inside my unread books...some of them I'd had for more than five years when I moved to my current home. But the worst thing that had happened to them was...dust.

    Nowadays, I'm almost caught up on those TBRs.

    Here's MY BTT POST

  6. Some interesting fears, although I think No 2 has already happened. As for No 11, quite a few people think my extensive non-fiction fits this category :-)

  7. I like the story about your relative "borrowing" your Dan Brown. My mother used to do that to me; she would conveniently forget to tell me she had picked up one of my books and then I would have to wait until she finished before I got it back.



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