**spoiler alert** Okay, look. I am clearly working from a certain bias, because I work in eye surgery. But if you also work in eyes? Don't read this.**spoiler alert** Okay, look. I am clearly working from a certain bias, because I work in eye surgery. But if you also work in eyes? Don't read this.
I'm 25% of the way in, and I just can't any more. I managed to swallow the "unwrapping the layers of gauze from the eyes" bit (after a DSEK you get plastic patches taped on over gauze pads, there's no movie-drama moment there). I ignored that she was sitting up in bed the next morning, waiting for said gauze to be removed (...no. With DSEK, there's an air bubble injected to physically push the Descemet's layer against your own corneal tissue, and you have to lay flat as possible for a few DAYS to keep the air bubble pushing in the right place).
But chapter 5, I'm done. It starts with "I'd been seeing twenty-twenty for a solid six weeks." Like, pretty much right after the surgery. And she has a car, because she drives now. After being blind since age 12. No. No, no, no. Corneal transplants are not magic. You don't get one and soon get to 20/20. You don't just get a driver's license right away (if you ever do) after being blind since you were a preteen.
(And finally, it is so rare for an organ/tissue recipient to meet the donor family, because of all the HIPAA hurdles. But here it's presented like it's no big deal at all.)...more
I quite enjoyed this book. Particularly for Stephenson, this was a fast-paced book full of action. After Anathem, I think we deserve that. I note theI quite enjoyed this book. Particularly for Stephenson, this was a fast-paced book full of action. After Anathem, I think we deserve that. I note the paucity of research dumps - which I enjoyed a lot in Snow Crash, but made me feel like I should have gone higher than trigonometry to really get in Cryptonomicon - and I do miss quintessentially Stephensonian touches like the Qwghlmian Galvanick Lucifer. This book was more about nods of recognition to modern Internet culture, and less about Neal telling us about the latest thing he recently got totally engrossed in reading up on. A good read for all that. ...more
My 11-yo who has Asperger's liked this book very much. I found it enjoyable as well, but a bit hard to read in places, coming from the perspective ofMy 11-yo who has Asperger's liked this book very much. I found it enjoyable as well, but a bit hard to read in places, coming from the perspective of parenting an autistic spectrum disorder child by myself for years. ...more
Not bad for what is clearly an early work of the author.
There was a bit about the protagonist's leg not being completely healed. That seemed like itNot bad for what is clearly an early work of the author.
There was a bit about the protagonist's leg not being completely healed. That seemed like it was never wrapped up, and also, do all Mormon sci-fi authors have to revisit that story?
Another thing about Mormon sci-fi writers (I mean, I only have a pool of two, but still) - why do they write male/female relationships so oddly? The relationships tend to start out so antagonistic, then all of a sudden they decide they actually love each other, without any particular depiction of how the change occurred. I mean, I don't expect sci-fi authors to be great at writing about the lovey feels, but why does everyone have to snipe at each other first?...more
I was enjoying it up until he started discussing human lactation which immediately revealed that he knows just about nothing about the subject. "HumanI was enjoying it up until he started discussing human lactation which immediately revealed that he knows just about nothing about the subject. "Human lactation is energetically very expensive," and nursing mothers eat like men?
This is hardly the same as eating like an active man: "Studies have shown that most healthy breastfeeding women maintain an abundant milk supply while taking in 1800-2200 (or more) calories per day." "Breastfeeding your baby, on average, burns 200-500 calories per day" - kellymom.com
He claims lactational amenorrhea lasts for up to several years, so mothers in hunter/gatherer societies would only have children once every few years. What? Moms practicing ecological breastfeeding - breastfeeding on demand, cosleeping and nursing throughout the night, using no artificial nipples (bottles/pacis), i.e. similar to what the hunter/gatherer society model would be - average about 14.4 months of amenorrhea. In my >10 years experience of working with nursing dyads, 18-24 is about the longest I have heard claimed with any regularity, and even those moms are outliers.
He says that hunter/gatherer mothers were able to enjoy such long periods of amenorrhea because they nursed "many times each hour," whereas modern mothers nurse "only every few hours" for convenience. I am honestly not sure if Diamond's own children were only nursed for the first few months of life, or if they followed the Ezzo plan, or what. Even today, newborns nurse all the time, and breastfeeding is not about what's convenient for the mother, but about when the baby needs to eat. Mothers who refuse to nurse more often than every 3-4 hours are likely to find that their nursing relationships don't last much beyond the switch to autocrine control, between 3-5 months. Yes, there are women who, by biological happenstance, do have higher storage capacities and can get away with less frequent emptying of the breast, but babies are babies; they have growth spurts, they teethe, they don't know how to read clocks.
So anyway, all of that was from the same page, and it annoyed me enough to actually write all this, and it leaves me disinterested in the remainder of the book on the grounds that if Diamond is this poorly informed on his own species, how can I trust what he says about others?...more