**spoiler alert** "Science and Survival" was originally published in 1963, however it is still very present and relevant to today. The main point: the**spoiler alert** "Science and Survival" was originally published in 1963, however it is still very present and relevant to today. The main point: the biological world is a victim to uncensored technologies, that an uninformed and closed-minded society ignore because of ignorance, un awareness, and lack of discernible communication. This book should be REQUIRED to be read in all classes in the world. It doesn't matter what class, because it's pertinent to everyone and everything, not just science. Barry Commoner, the author, illustrates nicely, the problems with the disconnect between science and the natural world and of course society with its politics and conventions. Nothing has been done it seems to improve on the relay of scientific information and the effects on biological life by new technologies, to the lay person - the general public. Makes me think...what if the general public were mostly scientists and could assess information more thoroughly and discriminately before a new technology was released? Advancements are taking over before they are firstly approved and assessed their damage. Everything is moving so fast that it's impossible it seems to stop this vicious cycle of technological improvements - which yield money - without conscientious and deliberate action.
What a great book and so properly written. Writers just don't write like this anymore. To sum it up nicely, here's the conclusive paragraph from the book, "Science can reveal the depth of this crisis, but only social action can resolve it. Science can now serve society by exposing the crisis of modern technology to the judgement of all mankind. Only this judgement can determine whether the knowledge that science has given us shall destroy humanity or advance the welfare of man." (pg. 132)
Note: This book was a recommendation from the book "iGods: How Technology Shapes our Spiritual and Social Lives."...more
A fun book full of adventure. After reading it you gain a whole new perspective on human impact, control, politics, and disregard for the respect of eA fun book full of adventure. After reading it you gain a whole new perspective on human impact, control, politics, and disregard for the respect of ecosystems. This is a must read for Everglades awareness and education....more
What an amazing way to live vicariously through a person who is truly living both worlds. Abbey's first world is the city (Hoboken, NJ thus NYC). ThenWhat an amazing way to live vicariously through a person who is truly living both worlds. Abbey's first world is the city (Hoboken, NJ thus NYC). Then his other world is the desert. In explaining his reasoning for being a ranger in the Arches National Monument for a summer, its noteworthy that he is an anomaly of sorts. Many people would rather ranger in the trees and mountains, not the desert. You know, those more popular destination places for sight seers.
Anyway, Abbey is a true desert rat. I've only known one other in my life. They are few and far between. Reading this book is rewarding because it reminds us how small we are compared to the great landscapes of this taken for granted country, which is so ancient. Living vicariously through his adventures seems like enough satisfaction to not visit the desert, but in some strange way, he inspires his reader to join in his fun and get to work to create their own.
Unfortunately, since he's written this book the Arches have been paved and developed sort of speak, something I would have also voted against. He warns of this and also warns of the National Park Service's agenda. Both awe-inspiring and truth be told, his critiques, observations, and opinions are well worth the read....more
I read most of this book during my Literature and the Environment class taught by William Stott. It is an amazing read even if just excerpts are selecI read most of this book during my Literature and the Environment class taught by William Stott. It is an amazing read even if just excerpts are selected. The authors and collaboration that went into its publication are impressive. The topics are inspiring and though-provoking....more
**spoiler alert** I remember reading "A Walk in the Woods" in 2000, a few years after the book was first published. The sad part is that I don't remem**spoiler alert** I remember reading "A Walk in the Woods" in 2000, a few years after the book was first published. The sad part is that I don't remember any "moments" from it. Evidently it didn't make a big impression on me. Now is 2010 and I'm picking it up to read it again.
First off, not to sound critical but Bryson uses way too many adverbs. For instance: grudgingly exposed (33), stepped portentously (34), kabooming alarmingly (35), delicately calls (47), preternaturally quiet (49), dumbly captivated (55), awesomely unlovely (80), and the list could go on. These are just some of my favorite.
After reading the first hundred pages I don't know if I want to continue. I know if I do I may come across some more cool names of shelters along the AT or discover a fact that I wouldn't have researched on my own, but so far, these are the only qualities I am getting out of this read. The writing is not compelling.
Bryson tends to be super-judgmental rather than telling the story and almost with a derogatory attitude that doesn't settle right with me. He writes, "...most stupid people on Earth" (51) while mentioning again the dumb Appalachian hillbillies. That just isn't necessary. It gets old and irksome.
Another odd instance is when he mentions about strapping his jacket on his pack because he doesn't have any room, and doesn't know where to put it. Well, in my opinion this is wasted text; unless the jacket falls off and when he goes to look for it in a blizzard, its not there. That would seem exciting, but there are a lot of inapplicable moments like this. Who cares where the jacket is put unless it means something to the narrative?
The beginning hype about bears is drawn out, unbelievable, and annoying. His anxiety in writing and worrywart personae is indulgent. There are some funny moments and good ones at that, but they always seem to involve Katz (the litterbug that he is). I can't help thinking how idiotic these people are, like when they pack blocks of cheese and cans of Spam, etc. What were they thinking? I guess they weren't and that's part of the annoyance, because its not like they've taken the adventure seriously. Like Mary-Ellen says, "you should of got in shape before you embarked on an adventure like this" (not in her exact words).
Anyway, I'll finish the book within the week and get back to this review in hopes that I have something more interesting to say in the end of it all. So far, Chapter 10 has been the best, most informative, and least poorly written.
There are no dogs written about in the book. I know of several dogs that have triumphantly (not to overuse adverbs here) finished the AT. An addition of dog facts would have been compelling and more interesting than his complaints. First of all, bears do not like dogs. They don’t like their smell, their barking, etc. If Bryson had brought a friendly, naturally protective companion on the trail then he wouldn’t have had to be so focused on the presence of a bear every ten chapters. Those moments never stirred me or kept me in suspense. In fact, the story would have been more worth writing if he had been harassed or brought face to face with a black bear. He should try camping in the Last Frontier where there are grizzlies? Then he would have had something to really write about.
It just seems that the whole adventure would have been more worth the waste of a paper and a book if it were taken more seriously. Instead of reading about his cravings for food (which is obvious and on a layman’s level), I would have rather read about more compelling information that would be helpful to me and inspiring should I want to hike the AT. He doesn’t even hike it! He drives it at most points and then still complains!
I expected more from an adventure book, like some of the ones that I have read – “Bloodties” for instance. At least I know that any other book that I pick up related to hiking the AT, will be more valuable than this one. It's non-fiction, but seems like fiction at times where parts are contrived and unworthy.
In my opinion, and from the mouth of Katz, "Just peachy. I don't know why they couldn't have put some crocodiles in here and made a read adventure of it" (244-5).
The best "moment" for me was when Katz and Bryson were separated in Maine. This was interesting and the suspense was real. The rest of the story and moments all had a contrived feeling to them. This is one of the moments that was real and worth the read. Yes this book is for that type of person who dreams of hiking and just can't or won't, and its good for inspiring the lazy. This book is definitely NOT for the die hards and the more experienced trail enthusiasts. All in all, Bryson and Katz tried and they walked away from the journey(s) more experienced, which I think every one should attempt. Good for them and good for me for reading the entire book. ...more