Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: science Page 1 of 2

God’s Hotel: New Read

I’m reading God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet for one of those clubs I told you about yesterday and I’m already halfway through it. I started it now, even though the meeting isn’t for nearly three weeks, thinking it was going to be boring and I wanted enough time to slog through.

And now I can’t put it down. Wow. It’s like a memoir mixed with history and current events. So far, her story is filled with some of the most beautiful AND tear-jerking scenes that I’ve ever read; real scenes, too, which makes them all the more painful.

I also feel like the author is pretty fair. The book doesn’t seem politically motivated or too one-sided. It describes problems she’s experienced as the healthcare system in the US has evolved over her career without making it sound like it’s all easily fixable. “If we only did X, then everyone would live forever in a happy state of bliss!”

I’m enjoying the read immensely.

I posted these two quotes to my Instagram this morning, not that anyone has seen them. Can you feel the sad? Sometimes that place makes me feel more like a misfit than I ever did in high school, which is saying A LOT.

god's hotel

“…I learned that medicine had once had a name for this, this something present in the living body bout was missing from the corpse.
Spiritus was the breath, the regular, rhythmic breathing of the love body that is so shockingly absent from the dead.
Anima is the invisible force that animates the body, that moves it, not only willfully but also unconsciously- all those little movements that the living body makes all the time.”

This caught my breath because I was there the day my grandmother died. (I’m not using a euphemism. She died, end of line.) And I was there the day after, just in time to sit with her body and say goodbye. It was an amazing experience; one I wish everyone could have.

There is nothing like it in this world.

The last time I saw her, she was in a hospice bed in her living room, unconscious but alive, filled with “spiritus” and “anima.” Even though she could not respond to our attentions, she was there, probably listening and wondering why she could not move her body or give us the “look” for our playful rudeness to each other. She had pancreatic cancer and was in so much pain. I squeezed her warm hand and told her I loved her very much, that we would be ok if she wanted to go, and that we’d take care of grandpa and each other.

Early the next morning, my mom called to tell me she had died, and I headed over to be with her and grandpa. Grandma was still in her bed, just as I had left her. On the way over I was afraid to see her, wondering how I would feel. We were so close all my life. But when I sat on the bed next to her, everything was different. My grandma’s spirit had left her body behind and there was nothing to do but get rid of it.

So strange to feel nothing holding the hand of a body that no longer held the woman I loved so much. Wherever she is, I know she heard me the day before and there was nothing else I needed to say to this…corpse. The ancients knew this. Why have we lost the knowledge?

And then there was this:

god's hotel

“Palimpsest seemed to be a perfect way of describing what I was beginning to learn at Laguna Honda: That underneath our scientific modern medicine was an earlier way of understanding the body – erased, to be sure, just a faint shadow of our consciousness, but active in our thoughts and desires, nonetheless.”

Palimpsestwriting material (such as a parchment or tablet) used one or more times after earlier writing has been erased

Humanity lived on this planet for thousands of years before modern science. We had ways of staying alive as best we could, things that did work and things that didn’t. Some of those things simply made us feel better about living and dying. Why do we believe we can just throw all that information out and rely on only the modern science of numbers, tests, and forms? Do we really believe that humanity lived in utter darkness, fumbling around, a miracle of survival, until a mere hundred or so years ago?

Like I said, I’m very much enjoying God’s Hotel by Victoria Sweet, and I never would have heard of it if it weren’t for this new book club that I am GOING to GO to, whether my anxiety wants to or not. Have you heard of it? Read it? Have any thoughts you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Environmental Humanism: Hope

The final chapter of Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger gave me more hope of humanity and inspiration to help than all the environmental anger, hate, bawling, and disruption I have seen in my life combined. I’m convinced that showing the world how we have advanced, focusing on the positives, and providing ideas and inspiration is how we move forward on this planet together.

Humans are amazing creatures. We know we will die and use our intense imaginative abilities to forestall that event as long as possible. We create elaborate story systems to keep the fear of annihilation at bay. We physically and naturally need social groups and systems to survive and create nuanced political and religious reasons for it.

What if instead we faced reality? Not likely, I know. There’s no power structure to that. Simply wearing a “memento mori” symbol, taking a step back, allowing others to find their own way, living your life and loving the people around you…nah…too easy.

What does this book have to do with all that existential stuff? I had come to understand by observation that enlightenment was the reason we have become so ready to throw ourselves into the religion of environmentalism and politics. And this book showed me how and why in the last chapters.

The best part is that it isn’t a book of “Look what the bad guys are doing!” or “These other people are so stupid!” It’s a book filled with reason and compassion for others. Of course, some people are doing this or that, they are trying to survive and thrive just like we are. How can we do this together and better?

environmental humanism
“Science Finds, Industry Applies, Man Adapts”

It’s hopeful and encouraging. And I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The closing of the book suggests a look at “environmental humanism” instead of “apocalyptic environmentalism,” and I whole heartily agree. Statistically, things are getting better. We are affecting change because we are becoming more and more wealthy, productive, and efficient. Humanity is evolving.

“The stories we tell matter. The picture promoted by apocalyptic environmentalists is inaccurate and dehumanizing. Humans are not unthinkingly destroying nature. Climate change, deforestation, plastic waste, and species extinction are not, fundamentally, consequences of greed and hubris but rather side effects of economic development motivated by a humanistic desire to improve people’s lives.”

Apocalypse never by michael shellenberger

Which do you think would make someone want to change the way they do things, take risks to create new systems, and grow: “humans suck and should be eliminated,”” or humans do great things and have the potential to do so much more?”

This book was so much, and I enjoyed every page, even the ones that make me look at my husband and say, “You will not believe this.” It’s enlightening, positive, and joyful at the end. If you are tired of the doom and gloom, the “we’re all going to die, the sky is falling” rhetoric of the environmentalists, but you still believe we could be doing something better, read this book. You won’t regret it.

Looking for a place to start, I found this site to be very helpful, Neutron Bytes – List of Pro-Nuclear Groups

Apocalypse Never: New Read

I’m finally getting to read Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All by Michael Shellenberger.

The first time I heard from Michael Shellenberger was on Conversations with Coleman back in August of last year. I talked about it in my post, Buddhism, Economics, Racism, and More: A Podcast Roundup.

Confession: I have been accused of being what people call a “climate change denier” most of my adult life for all the reasons that Michael Shellenberger is writing about in this book. The statements I hear from activists don’t make sense. There doesn’t seem to be any real research backing up the radical claims that I hear spread all over the media. The fearmongering “sky is falling” rhetoric makes me tune anything you say out. If we’re all going to die, right now, and there’s nothing we can do but go back in time and start over…well…yeah. What do you expect?

That interview last year is what piqued my curiosity and enticed me start listening. His assessments made sense. He seemed logical. And I wanted to know more. I read some of his articles after the interview and put his book on my wish list for future reading. And here we are.

This book is based on the idea that we can do more for the environment by increasing tech, helping developing nations stabilize their governments, and moving forward, not backward. How we got here, history, is important. Technology has made things better, not worse.

From the introduction:

“I wrote Apocalypse Never because the conversation about climate change and the environment has, in the last few years, spiraled out of control…”

Like every other conversation, true. Everything has turned into a religious war.

“I also care about getting the facts and science right. I believe environmental scientists, journalists, and activists have an obligation to describe environmental problems honestly and accurately, even if they fear doing so will reduce their news value or salience with the public.”

Because lying and exaggerating get you nowhere. You only lose credibility.

“Finally, Apocalypse Never offers a defense of what one might call mainstream ethics. It makes the moral case for humanism, of both secular and religious variants, against the anti-humanism of apocalyptic environmentalism.”

I’m looking forward to reading this. It’s far more inspiring than, “Humans are bad!” and “Let’s all live in dirt huts and eat ants!” Or making feel-good recycling and banning laws.

Want to read more? Check out: Nuclear Power & Vacations and Environmental Humanism: Hope

Plant Science: Some Final Thoughts

Who knew plant science could be so fascinating, or hold so many medical possibilities? Certainly not me!

“Conservation can’t happen in a vacuum. As long as humans are considered separate from – instead of part of – nature, such initiatives will likely be met with little success.” The Plant Hunter by Cassandra Leah Quave

plant science

Humans are not an invasive species. In fact, I’m not completely sure what would be an invasive species. Every species on this planet evolved right here along side of us in the grand scheme of things. We are all doing what comes naturally, improving on it, and continuing on our way.

For our species to continue, we need to start accepting the fact that we are part of things here, not a foreign invader. Yes, like every other species, at first it was survival of the fittest. We’ve gotten to this point in time and space by scrambling to the top. Now that we’re here, and we’ve evolved these big creative brains, let’s find ways to stabilize and make things easier.

She believes that, like other drugs that were first derived from plants, there are more out there. She wants to find and catalog the ones used by shamans and healers, investigate how they work, what they are made of, and find out if any of them can help us heal in new and innovative ways. She made ME excited about the possibilities and most science, especially medical, is beyond my understanding.

I really enjoyed reading The Plant Hunter. The author seems like a wonderfully talented and well-rounded person, and she shared her story in such a beautiful way, weaving the passion she has for her science all within the story of her life.

This is the way things should be presented. I have an adjusted viewpoint about science, university labs, medical care, plants, etc. because of the way she told it. This will be a book I pull off my shelf in the future and hand to a friend, maybe even a child. “Read this. It’ll show you another world of possibilities.”

I’m not just talking about the science she is so driven to search out and understand. I’m talking about the research and university life, grant writing, travel, parenting and relationship, all from a very intelligent woman with a prosthetic leg and foot. We all could learn a lot from her.

Don’t Give Me The Evil Eye

The Plant Hunter by Cassandra Leah Quave is every bit as good as I had hoped it would be, even better. It’s more of an autobiography of a scientist than anything else. It’s showing me a whole world I didn’t even know existed, its processes and struggles. The science is one thing, but the story behind it is just so interesting.

I keep think that this is how we should teach each other to appreciate what’s going on around us. Through personal stories we start to see how we are all connected. We see how our lives are the same and different. And we learn to appreciate and support other each other’s worldviews.

That’s not coming out how I want it to, but I’ll keep working on it. I’m trying to explain how I feel and I’m feeling a bit rushed. This book is another one showing me how little I know about the world.

Here’s something that caught my attention though and I wanted to share it with you.

“Evil eye is a complex, popular illness that refers to the ability of the human eye to cause or project harm when it’s directed at certain individuals or their belongings – a psychosocial disease linked to jealousy.” From The Plant Hunter by Cassandra Leah Quave

The word “popular” sticks out to me. I always think of popular as the best, or at least what everyone wants: the popular girl at school, pop culture, pop music, etc. But it also means, “representing, or carried on by the people at large.” Interesting.

A big part of why I love reading her work is because she doesn’t dismiss these kinds of things; she investigates them and incorporates them into her research. It’s a skill we all could use.

Most of us would dismiss the idea of the “evil eye” as being superstitious and silly, along with the “cures” for it. I smiled when I read this line because I’ve been the giver and the recipient of the evil eye many times in my life and every time it’s ruined everything I have. I’d do anything to avoid it now and I’ve been actively learning new ways (non-superstitious ones) to cure myself.

The evil eye is nothing but jealousy, envy, and greed. Everyone feels these feelings and they are not “bad” in and of themselves. It’s what we do with those feelings that causes the trouble. We don’t need to push them aside as evil or shove them down, pretending they don’t exist, either. We should be sitting with them, pulling them close, and asking ourselves where the hurt is coming from.

Instead of casting our eyes outward, giving someone the “evil eye,” we could cast them inward and look at ourselves, find the imbalance and solve it.

In the book, she says that in Italy where she was staying, every time she gave someone a compliment, they quickly insisted that she take the item. They were helping her and avoiding the evil eye. It makes me think of sacrifice. I’d rather give you what I have than cause you to go down that terrible road to ruin that is jealousy and envy.

I’ve struggled with these feelings a lot in my life. Most of it stems from a feeling of inadequacy on my part, and a lack of self-love. The past several years I’ve gotten a lot of practice learning to deal with these feelings in new ways. Loads of reflection time has helped me grow, but I still have a long way to go.

The Plant Hunter: New Read

My new book came in the mail yesterday, The Plant Hunter: A Scientist’s Quest for Nature’s Next Medicine by Cassandra Leah Quave.

the plant hunter

Remember when I said that I was going to read the books I already have on TBR shelf before I buy more? I lied. Ok, I didn’t “lie,” I changed my mind. Certain things have come to my attention that hadn’t occurred to me at the time I made that previous statement. Several times this past month I’ve sat there looking at those books, most of which came to me free when my friend moved out of state, and I thought, “I don’t want to.”

Choosing which book to read next is a complicated and sometimes emotional process. I find my books through podcasts, articles, and other books. Instagram and Facebook posts are another great source. But always, always, I feel like my next book calls to me from the now. So, I’ve decided to run with that. Those books on my TBR shelf are for when they come up in other ways or when I’m between leads. I’ll always have something to read on hand.

I started reading The Plant Hunter this morning and I’m every bit as entranced with author as I was when I heard her interview last week on People I (Mostly) Admire. I wrote about it in Legacy, Science, and Coincidence: A Podcast Roundup.

I love history and science wrapped up in personal stories, and this book fits that bill perfectly. It’s about her journey, where she came from, what she’s been through, AND the science of medicine that she loves so much. With every page, so far, her passion for medicine and people comes shining through. This is a person I can trust.

I’ve already learned so much about antibiotics that I had to interrupt my husband’s reading this morning to tell him. He’s not going to read it, so I MUST inform him! And I’ll try to show you some highlights as I read as well, in the hopes of enticing you to read it yourself.

I’ve heard about “superbugs” and the growing resistance to antibiotics, but I always thought I was safe. I’ve rarely been prescribed any anti-biotics and I can’t remember the last time my sons had any. Any bugs in our bodies can’t be resistant. Ignorance, yep.

The over-prescribing and misuse only speeds up the process of bacteria evolving to be immune to the antibiotics we have. Bacteria are just like us in that way, they learn to stay alive by trial and error. Those superbugs are out there, and they can get in me and then any antibiotics won’t work on them. The only way to solve that problem is to create new ones.

And that’s what this book is about. She’s on the hunt to find them based on plant medicine. You know, the way we found penicillin in the first place?

“…since the 1980s no new chemical classes of antibiotics have been discovered and successfully brought to market.”

I know antibiotics are a new thing in the world, but I didn’t realize HOW new. Only since the early 1940s has penicillin been commercially available. Another example of thinking how we live now is fundamentally how we have always lived. Like she said in the book, the invention of antibiotics was a game changer in much the same way harnessing fire was.

One more quote from The Plant Hunter before I run off to enjoy my warm Sunday in the desert. Sorry to all you cold climate people, I’m so excited to see spring that I can’t stand it!

“At the heart of science is the unalloyed thrill of discovery.”

It’s lines like this, scattered throughout the chapters, that spur me on to read through the more complicated science of it. It’s much the same reason I loved reading The Secret Life of Dust! Anything explained by someone who is in love with the topic is far more interesting than any other story, fact or fiction. This is stuff we should all know and understand, not just “experts” and “professionals.” This is how we make intelligent decisions for ourselves, not blindly follow the leader.

Legacy, Science, and Coincidence: A Podcast Roundup

FYI I hear “Woody’s Roundup” play in my head each time I write “podcast roundup,” so there…now you do too. Cue the music!

Yesterday’s podcast time, as usual, was far more productive and enlightening on the drive out than on the drive home. There are two reasons for that. The drive out is early in the morning when I’m at my most refreshed and alert. On the way home, I’m getting tired. I’ve talked, walked, ate, and shopped all day long and now I’m ready to be quiet and reflective. THIS is why I do an all-day adventure like this every week. It’s a sweet process that does my heart good.

I’m excited to share the roundup with you this week. I found a new podcast I enjoy, but I’m still looking for new ones, so shoot them my way if you know of any. And I discovered a couple new books to read, too!

Let It Be 001: Legacy

I took copious notes on this one, so many ideas popped into my head as these two women chatted. My favorite idea was “Don’t leave behind a mess.” Just like any time in your life, at the store, in the restaurant, or at home with your loved ones, when you leave this planet, do your best not to leave behind a mess.

The big takeaway here was the idea of that we build two lives: a resume life and a eulogy life. Here’s a TED talk (only five minutes) of David Brooks explaining it.

Quillette Podcast: Christopher J. Ferguson on Racist Orcs, Ableist Adventures, and Non-Binary Monsters

This one wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, and I’m glad of it. I’m not a DnD person, never have been. I’m not that kind of geek, but I know people who are. I had a lot of thoughts while I listened to this one too, like:

It’s strange lately how much we’ve changed our stories over the last thirty years. We’ve moved away from good guys and bad guys and focused more on how people change and relate. All those “bad guy” origin stories.

Do you play games online or in person? Do you have an avatar? Did you create it to look like you, or do you have an alternate personality? Do you play to escape everyday reality, or to connect and explore?

Here’s a link to Christopher J. Ferguson’s paper, Are orcs racist? Dungeons and Dragons, ethnocentrism, anxiety, and the depiction of “evil” monsters, if you’d like to check it out.

No Stupid Questions 84: Why Do We Find So Much Meaning in Meaningless Coincidences?

Humans…we love to connect things. It’s how we learn and change our environment. At the beginning of the show, they started talking about watch the new season of Succession (great show, by the way) and WE’RE watching the new season too! Coincidence? Here’s the weirder part. Yesterday morning, my husband moved aside a magazine I had open on the table. It was open to an ad for a cruise line and he mentioned the strange coincidence between us watching the show and the current plot crisis. (Insert Twilight Zone music)

People I (Mostly) Admire: 60: Cassandra Quave Thinks the Way Antibiotics Are Developed Might Kill Us

THIS was a good one. Cassandra Quave is a fascinating person with a lot of interesting ideas. She talks about her life and how she got where she is. I’m going to get her book “The Plant Hunter” to hear more of it. She has this crazy idea about balancing the body, remembering that medicines were first derived from plants, and that maybe all these sciences should be communicating with each other instead of competing.

BBC Bookclub Abir Mukherjee

I heard “crime novel” and almost moved on, but then I heard a Scottish accent from a name like Abir and wondered what the story was. I was not disappointed. His book “A Rising Man” is also now on my TBR list. It’s a crime/historical novel, based in India in 1919. I love listening to author’s talk about their books and the BBC Bookclub is always wonderful.

Let It Be 002: Entitlement

This one…hmm…I’m not a fan of these words “entitlement” and “deserve.” When people start throwing them around, I tend to tune out. It was my last podcast of the drive. I was tired, so I had a hard time getting past my distaste.

Here’s my take on things like this.

My perception of karma is like a giant tapestry, the warp and weave of which we all create with our lives. Everything happens because of something else that has happened, some of which we can control, most of which we cannot.

Make people’s lives around you a little easier by not being rude and obnoxious. It complements the colors of the thread around you, creates sparkles and highlights in the bigger picture.

That’s it for this week. I hope you found something you liked in all those links. Let me know if you have a favorite podcast, no matter the subject or genre. I’m always searching for more listening material.

Oh! And more thing…

I finished a journal today, so tomorrow is new journal day. Don’t you just LOVE new journal day?!

Want more podcasts? Check out my previous posts, Thought Wrangling: A Podcast Roundup or Rivers, Narrative, and Racism: A Podcast Roundup

Isaac Asimov: Robots and Space Travel

I finished reading “The Roving Mind” by Isaac Asimov over the weekend. 348 pages in 13.92 hours. But who’s counting?!

isaac asimov

The man invented the word “robots,” but he’d never used a computer. He knows that the word is only attributed to him, but he knows he heard it somewhere before. He used a typewriter and when told a newfangled word processor would at least speed up his writing, he scoffed. He wrote a book a month and so many essays. “Prolific” doesn’t begin to describe him.

I enjoyed reading some of these essays more than others. My favorites being the last few that he wrote about himself. I was encouraged to hear that he often wrote “off the cuff” and only went back to clean up some mistakes and maybe rearrange a bit. That’s typically my style as well. I’m not saying I’m a genius, but what I write is usually what I’m thinking as I think it. It may not be brilliant but it’s honest, real.

There was one bit about space exploration that I found inspiring. Imagine space colonies, people living in space, children growing up on a space station. They’d be the people that went on the long journeys into space, the ones that got on that light speed vehicle and headed into the vast unknown. They would be used to that life and not as likely to be unnerved by the confinement.

Also, reading Isaac Asimov describe how big the universe really is, not to mention our own dang solar system. Amazing.

I’m not big sci-fi fan. Hell, I’m not even a big science fan. I’d rather delve into relational human issues, spirituality and imagination, than ponder the secrets only meticulous science can unravel. But space travel is fascinating to me. The prospect of it. What’s out there? Who’s out there? I’m not concerned with how we get there or if there will be metals to mine or an atmosphere on that distant planet. What I want to know is, how we will talk to them. Will we even be able recognize a sentient lifeform from an entirely different galaxy?

It’s probably why I love Star Trek so much. The exploration of space. “This is a science vessel!” How would we even begin to communicate and interact with a species that developed completely outside our own system? How will they be different? How will they be similar? It boggles my mind.

The only drawback to this book for me was that, because it was written in 1983, it felt a little dated. Many of the things we thought were going to destroy the world in the next decade never came to fruition. Don’t get me wrong, some of them still could, eventually. But, like a lot of predictions and panics, we’re assuming that technology will remain the same when we look forward to a grim future. These days, with the rapid development of technology, anything can happen.

When I look to the future, I wonder what crazy new thing will have been invented and embraced that will change how my grandchildren live. I’m curious and optimistic, unless I’ve just been to the grocery store, and they’ve put my spaghetti sauce on top of my loaf of bread…again. Then I’m afraid that I am convinced there is no hope for us a species.

Are you a sci-fi fan? Do you read Isaac Asimov fiction? What’s your favorite?

Go back and read my first post, “The Roving Mind: New Read” to see where I came from.

Media B.S. and Scientific…ahh, who am I kidding?!

Two quotes about media b.s. and scientific challenges from the essay “The Role of the Heretic” in the chapter “Other Aberrations” in The Roving Mind by Isaac Asimov.

“Supply the public with something amusing, that sounds scholarly, and that supports something it wants to believe, and surely you need nothing more.”

Sounds familiar. This is what we get from today’s “news,” social media, and politicians. When you ask anyone where they are getting their data, or what study or finding they are paraphrasing, you are accused of either not having an “open mind” or being “anti-science.”

“I hope scientific orthodoxies never remain unchallenged. Science is in far greater danger from an absence of challenge than from the coming of any number of even absurd challenges. Science, unchallenged, can become arthritic and senile, whereas the most absurd challenge may help to stir the blood and tone the muscles of the body of science.”

Unchallenged scientific orthodoxies are the same as religions. They both only wish to keep their power and control the masses so that things continue the way they want them to.

And…that’s all I’ve got today. Not very inspiring, I know.

The trouble this morning is that I promised myself I’d write SOMETHING every day and then post SOMETHING, even if it’s not worth posting. Do you think that’s too much? I’m talking about an hours’ worth of work each day. I really don’t think that is too much to ask of myself. But here we are…struggling to keep up.

And what about tomorrow? One day a week I leave the house at 7am to drive down the hill and visit friends. I don’t have time to write before I go. No big deal, right? I mean, it’s only one day and I have a legitimate reason. But I’ll have another this weekend when we leave on our mini vacation for our anniversary. That’s two days, maybe three.

My initial solution was to write two posts today and schedule one to come out tomorrow morning, but then I woke up angry and tired from a bad dream and just couldn’t get into writing anything at all. I decided what I really needed to get my brain off the dream and into work mode was some breakfast and coffee. Then I started texting a friend about that stupid dream. My mother-in-law called and asked me to pick something up at the store for her later. Then I thought, “Screw this. I’ll read some more and then write while my son needs the livingroom silent for his class.”

I showered, started the laundry, chatted with a friend, ate more tasty things (still thinking about a tasty lunch), sat down to my computer, and decided I needed to clean up some photo files first…

Yeah. You see where this is going.

But here I am now. FINALLY. At the laptop. Sitting in my bed instead of my office because it’s not comfy at all. My husband is working at his desk on the other side of the room. Luckily, he’s not on the phone right now.

My head hurts. I need more coffee. How long is that kid going to be in class?! The laundry will be done soon. It’s hot again today. I’m starting to think summer won’t end this year. First Covid bullshit and now infinite summer.

All of this angst is because I had a bad dream, a few of them in a row actually. I woke up tired and cranky. What I need is a nap and there is no room to hide in today.

But that’s ok because I DID write SOMETHING, and I am going to post it. For posterity, of course. And I believe I’m hilarious, especially when I’m being pissy. Win!

Go back to my first post, “The Roving Mind: New Read” to read more about this book.

The Roving Mind: A New Read

I started reading “The Roving Mind” by Isaac Asimov this morning, my first tentative step into read more of his non-fiction work.

The Roving Mind

After much tweaking of my mourning routine, I have finally caught the reins and started a more consistent writing schedule…again. And now I get to post about my latest book right as I start to read it, instead of after I finish like I have had to do the past month.

I enjoy writing these New Read posts because my initial impressions about a book are usually pretty different than my thoughts at the end. There was a reason that I picked up the book in the first place, (and, yes, I’ve promised to get better at remembering that reason). There is also a reason I’m picking the book off the TBR shelf today, which may be different than my reason for buying it.

What are my initial impressions of Isaac Asimov’s “The Roving Mind?” I started reading the Foreword, the Introduction, and the tributes from other science and sci-fi writers and teared up. I didn’t realize how much loved he was as a writer and a friend; it sounds like he was fascinating person. Then again, how could he not be? He’s written so much about science, non-fiction and fiction. I know him for his fiction. I’ve read Foundation, The Gods Themselves, and The Fantastic Voyage. I plan on reading more! So far, The Fantastic Voyage has been my favorite, but I think it’s mostly because the movie from the 60’s was so fun (and scary) for me when I was a kid. My husband has read more of his non-fiction. I have some of them on my bookshelf behind me right now.

I don’t consider myself much of a scientific thinker. I lean more on emotion and feeling, more concerned with getting along and making connections with people than thinking along the lines of repeatable experiments and data tables. When a scientist says something is true, I tend to lean more on “Can I trust that person?” than “Is his data provable?” But Asimov…he makes science approachable for people like me and I’m excited to start reading more of his work.

My edition of “The Roving Mind” is a collection of essays originally published in 1983 but republished in 1997 after his death in 1992. I bought it from Amazon, probably because I had the thought to read some of his non-fiction after finishing Foundation. It’s been sitting on my TBR shelf since 2013. I don’t think anything has sat there that long, but it’s science, it’s hard, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Three essays in and I’m wishing I had read it years ago. This is going to be fun!

Want to follow me through this book? Read more at the following links.

Chaos & Peace: The Roving Mind #1
Media B.S. and Scientific…ahh, who am I kidding?!
Isaac Asimov: Robots and Space Travel

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