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07 March 2012 @ 11:03 pm
Notes on Visiting Waterstones in the West End  
  1. I want all the books.
  2. I want time to read all the books.
  3. I am pleased to see that God Bless You, Dr Kevorkian has been released with a foreword by Neil Gaiman and is in the Staff Choices bit, but dismayed that people think it's okay to charge eight pounds for a book that is less than a hundred pages long, even with foreword, list of personages and so on.
  4. Kurt Vonnegut presents classification problems, as he tends to. I found the rest of his books under general Fiction, even Armageddon in Retrospect which is another of his non-fiction works, but no copies of God Bless You, Dr Kevorkian or The Sirens of Titan in Science Fiction (in two different editions)
  5. The staff, who didn't seem too busy, listened with apparent mild interest when I mentioned this, but gave no indication of whether they felt like it was a problem that someone should really fix some time. Apparently the system says Sirens of Titan is sci-fi.
  6. There is a Smart Thinking section, which struck me at first as a stupid name for a section, but I can see why they have it, looking over the collection of hard-to-categorise non-fiction books about assorted interesting ideas.
  7. The Philosophy section is tiny and incredibly hard to find, but full to bursting. Each shelf was packed to its physical limit, making it hard to put things back, while a whole separate collection of Penguin editions of philosophical classics is invisible from there.
  8. I bought exactly one book, which I count as a win.
  9. The book is Delusions of Gender, by a neurologist who is also a feminist. I had the feeling that I should really read it some time, and the strong suspicion that if I didn't buy it then, it would never come up again. Having read the introduction now, I still think I should read it, so that's good.
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Current Location: London
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
Current Music: Music for monkeys on stilts
 
 
 
Will Fluff for beer...fluffworld on March 7th, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Delusions of Gender (Cordelia Fine?) is really, really good. And funny when she starts very obviously losing her temper at some of the idiocy out there that people trot out about male and female brains being OMG TOTES DIFFERENT LIKE.
0olong: spiral0olong on March 8th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)
Good, I will definitely be reading it then. She is already being quite entertainingly furious at times.

I started reading The Essential Difference a few months ago, and stopped after a few pages because I was finding it incredibly irritating. Baron-Cohen's technique of argument seems to be along the lines of 'Look, here is some science! Everything I am saying now is definitely true. Because SCIENCE. See?'

So I guess I've been looking for scientifically-minded rebuttal to this sort of thing for a while now. I'm wary of scientists (and science communicators) getting caught up in their own prejudices, but also wary of assuming that must be what's happening whenever scientists reach unpalatable conclusions...

Edited at 2012-03-08 12:07 am (UTC)