Battlepanda: A book recommendation for y'all


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

A book recommendation for y'all

One good thing about not having internet access all the time (I'm updating on the office computer as we speak) is that I've actually been reading! Books! Fancy that.

Anyhow, it's kind of off the news-ey beat this blog generally covers, but I can't recommend Carl Zimmer's Soul Made Flesh enough for those of you who like your pop science. You see, back in the days of Aristotle, they thought that the soul resided in the heart, and that the brain is some kind of pump (for spirits, apparently), thus getting things completely backwards for thousands of years. It wasn't until a dude named Thomas Willis came along in the seventeenth century that things got cleared up. Well, relatively cleared up. He still believed in leeches and purges and things, but at least he got the whole neurology thing kick started. Fascinating, fascinating stuff. And the whole thing was a great read too.

I am also (finally!) reading Hayek's The Road to Serfdom. I'm reserving my judgement because I am only about half way through, but my first impression of it seems to confirm my view of Hayek as a very reasonable man who wrote a book condemning socialism in fairly hysterical terms because, perhaps, the direction socialism seemed to be taking at the time merited it. He is certainly no knee-jerk lover of laissez-faire.