Monday, December 18, 2006

Book Passage Meme

I'm indulging toomanytribbles this fun little meme thing.

The idea is this. You pick up the nearest book, blog the title and author, turn to page 123, skip to the fifth sentence and transcribe the next three.

You're also supposed to tap 3 other people to do the same.

The book is What Ifs? Of American History, edited by Robert Cowley. I received it as a Christmas present last year and, I have to admit, I haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Page 123 is an essay written by Thomas Fleming called The Northwest Conspiracy.

The sentences:

5th:
But Johnson declined to cooperate.

Next 3:
On May 9, the War Department ordered the executions without further delay. By this time, with Morton's help, an appeal had been submitted to the federal district court in Indianapolis.
Arrangements were made to forward it swiftly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

OK, that's pretty lousy as I can't offer any illumination on to what it means. So let me pick the next closest book.

It is The Third Culture, edited by John Brockman.

5th:
I think they're so wrapped up in their gene-centered world that they have an incomplete ontology of biological nature.

Next 3:
George Williams was the one who bean taking evolution out of the passive mode and making it active. The translation of this is that organisms are out there competing, and although it looks like they're competing for food, they're competing for the opportunity to leave genes behind. At the reproductive-biology level, it's a good description of nature.

This is Niles Eldredge making a rather benign statement about George Williams and one of his contributions to evolutionary biology. It is sandwiched in between other sentences which criticize Williams, Dawkins and the other "ultra-Darwinists" who predominate the field today, for their heavily emphasis on genes, and their insistence that everything in evolution can be explained and understood on the genetic level. Eldredge claims that their extreme "reductionist" point of view the excludes a lot of consideration of higher levels of biological nature (individual organisms, species, etc.) as well as lower levels (like protein chemistry), which may play an equally important role in evolution.

I really don't have anybody to tap to participate in the meme who I think would be very interested, unfortunately. Except maybe Zithy, maybe mystyang.

1 comment:

Zithy said...

The idea is this. You pick up the nearest book, blog the title and author, turn to page 123, skip to the fifth sentence and transcribe the next three.



Intimate Relationships by Miller, Perlman, and Brehm.



5th: Once I experience "true love," I could never experience it again, to the same degree, with another person.

Keep in mind this is a college textbook about, well, Intimate Relationships. Page 123 happens to contain The Romantic Beliefs Scale in which you must rate how much you agree with a statement.

6-8th: I believe that to be truly in love is to be in love forever. If I love someone, I know I can make the relationship work, despite any obstacles. When I find my "true love," I will probably know it soon after we meet.