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Now is the time on Sprockets when we book
This poll is closed.
Thinking, Fast and Slow 8 17.78%
1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus 9 20.00%
Packing for Mars 7 15.56%
West with the Night 7 15.56%
The Ancient Engineers 9 20.00%
Prairie Fires 5 11.11%
Total: 29 votes
[Edit Poll (moderators only)]

 
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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

This month we're doing nonfiction.

You may vote for more than one entry. As always, please only vote if you are willing to actually read and post about your choice if it is selected.

1) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

quote:

Thinking, Fast and Slow is a best-selling[1] book published in 2011 by Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate Daniel Kahneman. It was the 2012 winner of the National Academies Communication Award for best creative work that helps the public understanding of topics in behavioral science, engineering and medicine.[2]

The book summarizes research that Kahneman conducted over decades, often in collaboration with Amos Tversky.[3][4] It covers all three phases of his career: his early days working on cognitive biases, his work on prospect theory, and his later work on happiness.

The central thesis is a dichotomy between two modes of thought: "System 1" is fast, instinctive and emotional; "System 2" is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The book delineates cognitive biases associated with each type of thinking, starting with Kahneman's own research on loss aversion. From framing choices to people's tendency to replace a difficult question with one which is easy to answer, the book highlights several decades of academic research to suggest that people place too much confidence in human judgment.


2) 1491: New Revelations of the Americas before Columbus by Charles C. Mann

quote:

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus is a 2005 non-fiction book by American author and science writer Charles C. Mann about the pre-Columbian Americas. It was the 2006 winner of the National Academies Communication Award for best creative work that helps the public understanding of topics in science, engineering or medicine.

The book presents recent research findings in different fields that suggest human populations in the Western Hemisphere—that is, the indigenous peoples of the Americas—were more numerous, had arrived earlier, were more sophisticated culturally, and controlled and shaped the natural landscape to a greater extent than scholars had previously thought.

The author notes that, according to these findings, two of the first six independent centers of civilization arose in the Americas: the first, Norte Chico or Caral-Supe, in present-day northern Peru; and that of Formative-era Mesoamerica in what is now southern Mexico.


3) Packing for Mars by Mary Roach

quote:

Published in August 2010, Packing for Mars was recognized in "Amazon's Best Books" of that month, it quickly became a #6 New York Times bestseller,[1] and it was chosen as the book of the year for the 7th annual One City One Book: San Francisco Reads literary event program.[2]

In Packing for Mars, Mary Roach searches for answers to questions about the gross, the bizarre, and the uncomfortable aspects of space travel. The book's 16 chapters cover the entire comedic spectrum of all things space-related, and also include some study of the scientific side of space travel.[3] The chapters discussing the various bodily functions of astronauts in space (going to the bathroom, having sex, vomiting[4]) and obscure testing procedures (animals in space, lying in beds for months, parabolic zero-g[5]) are balanced by the informative sections on topics such as the psychological effects of being in space, astronaut training, and the increasing use of human cadavers over crash test dummies in research.


4) West with the Night by Beryl Markham

quote:

West With the Night is a 1942 memoir by Beryl Markham, chronicling her experiences growing up in Kenya (then British East Africa), in the early 1900s, leading to a career as a bush pilot there. It is considered a classic of outdoor literature, and in 2004, National Geographic Adventure ranked it number 8 in a list of 100 best adventure books.[1]

quote:

When Markham decided to take on the Atlantic crossing, no pilot had yet flown non-stop from Europe to New York, and no woman had made the westward flight solo, though several had died trying. Markham hoped to claim both records. On 4 September 1936, she took off from Abingdon, England. After a 20-hour flight, her Vega Gull, The Messenger, suffered fuel starvation due to icing of the fuel tank vents, and she crash-landed at Baleine Cove on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada (her flight was, in all likelihood, almost identical in length to Mollison's). In spite of falling short of her goal, Markham had become the first woman to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo, and the first person to make it from England to North America non-stop from east to west. She was celebrated as an aviation pioneer.[2]

Ernest Hemingway posted:

"she has written so well, and marvelously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But [she] can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers ... it really is a bloody wonderful book."

5) The Ancient Engineers by L. Sprague De Camp

quote:

The work is an examination of engineering through the ages from 3000 BC to 1519 AD, from the monumental works of the Egyptians through the speculative inventions of Leonardo da Vinci. The technological legacies of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, the medieval Arabs and Europeans, and Renaissance Europe, are all covered in separate sections, focusing particularly on architectural, military and civil engineering.

quote:

"Mr. de Camp has the trick of being able to show technology engaging in feats as full of derring-do as those of Hannibal's army. History as it should be told." —Isaac Asimov, The New York Times Book Review, 1963

6) Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser

quote:

Caroline Fraser’s absorbing new biography of the author of “Little House on the Prairie” and other books about her childhood, “Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder,” deserves recognition as an essential text for getting a grip on the dynamics and consequences of this vast literary enterprise. Charged by what Fraser calls a “unique ability to transform the raw material of the past into a work of art,” Wilder won for herself the status of a pre-eminent figure in the shaping of the myth of the West — that seductive collection of icons, images and articles of faith installed in millions of minds and souls worldwide.

Added because I saw this twitter thread (which may be complete enough that we don't need to actually read it):

https://twitter.com/AnaMardoll/stat...583893709197312

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 14:30 on Apr 25, 2019

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Chuck Buried Treasure
Dec 27, 2010



I've been meaning to pick up 1491 for a long time, this seems like as good an excuse as any. I know practically nothing about native American history so I've always wanted to fill that knowledge gap.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Chuck Buried Treasure posted:

I've been meaning to pick up 1491 for a long time, this seems like as good an excuse as any. I know practically nothing about native American history so I've always wanted to fill that knowledge gap.

Yeah, I've read all of these except Packing for Mars and Prairie Fires, and they all come strongly recommended. I try to make these polls as general "here are some good books" lists, all of these are hopefully worth reading.

Lacey
Jul 10, 2001

Guess where this lollipop's going?

Can you screenshot the Ana Mardoll thread? The tweets are protected.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Lacey posted:

Can you screenshot the Ana Mardoll thread? The tweets are protected.

Yeah that happened like seconds after I linked it here, so presumably she is afraid of us, which I can't fault her for, we're pretty horrible around here

Blog entries are here:

http://www.anamardoll.com/2018/12/p...troduction.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2018/12/p...-chapter-1.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2018/12/p...-chapter-2.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2018/12/p...-chapter-3.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2018/12/p...-chapter-4.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2018/12/p...-chapter-5.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2019/01/p...-chapter-6.html
http://www.anamardoll.com/2019/01/p...r-7-part-1.html

just a brilliant takedown if the whole Little House mythology but i'm not sure how much is Prairie Fires and how much is Mardoll

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

crazy how "territory" can be "conquered" but "indigenous land" can only be "stolen"

ovenboy
Nov 16, 2014



They all sound good, particularly West with the night (I'll likely read this one anyway and give a copy to my aviator father later), and The ancient engineers.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

ovenboy posted:

They all sound good, particularly West with the night (I'll likely read this one anyway and give a copy to my aviator father later), and The ancient engineers.

One of the neat things about West with the Night is that there's an authorship controversy; she had all sorts of affairs with other aviators, including the Prince of Wales and Antoine de Saint-Exupery, and there were rumors that various of her husbands or lovers ghost-wrote it for her. I've read her other writing though and the style is similar -- sparse, spare, emotional but crystal-cold -- and it turns out she mailed copies of the manuscript before she even met the husband, so, that's settled. My personal belief is that she wrote it herself but probably had editing help from Exupery and others. If you're interested, there's also a biography of Markham, Straight on till Morning, that covers the stuff she left out of her autobiography (scandals, affairs, her career as a professional horse racer).

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 07:37 on Apr 26, 2019

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


One vote down for "West With The Night"

Discendo Vox
Mar 21, 2013

Nothing scarier than an artillery barrage -- Am I right?


I should note, folks, that if Thinking, Fast and Slow wins, please bear in mind there is a revised edition of the book out. This time around the revisions are substantial: an entire chapter and other sections of the book were removed or rewritten because the underlying work turned out to fail to replicate. My understanding is the revised edition is rock solid (Thinking is basically "the only good lay science book", by some accounts), but we have an opportunity to plumb those depths if it wins.

Discendo Vox fucked around with this message at 02:23 on Apr 27, 2019

KVeezy3
Aug 18, 2005



Discendo Vox posted:

I should note, folks, that if Thinking, Fast and Slow wins, please bear in mind there is a revised edition of the book out. This time around the revisions are substantial: an entire chapter and other sections of the book were removed or rewritten because the underlying work turned out to fail to replicate. My understanding is the revised edition is rock solid (Thinking is basically "the only good lay science book", by some accounts), but we have an opportunity to plumb those depths if it wins.

I believe I have the original edition, considering it has "The Marvels of Priming" as listed in that article. I'm having trouble finding any info regarding the revised edition. Is the entire chapter "The Associative Machine" the one that was removed?

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Arg, I hate it when the voting comes out even

Apparently two thirds of you hate every option!

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

Arg, I hate it when the voting comes out even

Apparently two thirds of you hate every option!

I'd like to say I helped with that, but all I really did was evened out Packing for Mars.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

Since this was both a close and also an inconclusive vote with no clear favorites, I'm probably going to go with Thinking Fast and Slow because I think it's an important book to read . I might still change my mind though if people have very strong opinions. Floor's open for further comment of course. Thread for next month should go up tomorrow.

OscarDiggs
Jun 1, 2011

Those sure are words on pages which are given in a sequential order!


We just need to make sure it's the revised edition right?

Will it mention on the cover that it's the revised version, or is there some other way to tell?

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

OscarDiggs posted:

We just need to make sure it's the revised edition right?

Will it mention on the cover that it's the revised version, or is there some other way to tell?

Lemme figure that out -- i can't seem to find a link to the revised version, but it might just be the basic version is now the revised version.

Either way the critique seems mostly focused on chapter 4 -- the studies on priming have hit a replication crisis problem. Rest of the book is fine.

Hieronymous Alloy fucked around with this message at 19:18 on Apr 30, 2019

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

that sounds boring and im not going to read it god bless

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



quote:

2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize (Current Interest)[14]
National Academy of Sciences Best Book Award in 2012[2]
The New York Times Book Review, one of the best books of 2011[15]
Globe and Mail Best Books of the Year 2011[16]
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year[17]
One of The Wall Street Journal's Best Nonfiction Books of the Year 2011
lol

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

chernobyl kinsman posted:

that sounds boring and im not going to read it god bless

It's like a user manual for your brain so I can see why you don't need to read it

Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


lol i had to read a bunch of stuff (from k&t and others) on cognitive biases for my thesis work so this is like the third month in a row where i will be a tbb nuisance

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

It's like a user manual for your brain so I can see why you don't need to read it



because he already knows how to use his brain? not a very good burn

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

chernobyl kinsman posted:

that sounds boring and im not going to read it god bless


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

It's like a user manual for your brain so I can see why you don't need to read it





A human heart posted:

because he already knows how to use his brain? not a very good burn

gently caress

chernobyl kinsman
Mar 18, 2007

a friend of the friendly atom



Soiled Meat

lmao

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Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

https://twitter.com/alloy_dr/status/1123617177016442880

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