Funny little book all about cat "psychology". Mostly in Q&A format, I thought I'd take a look at it since I spied it on the library display shelf....moreFunny little book all about cat "psychology". Mostly in Q&A format, I thought I'd take a look at it since I spied it on the library display shelf. Things I learned from this book: the wonders of double-sided tape for keeping the kitties off the counter, cats mark their territory with oils from their whiskers (that's why they rub up again you), and you can test your cat's IQ by seeing if it has object permanence (just like you would with a small child). Oh, and cats knead because it is calming and reminds them of how they used to stimulate milk production from their mothers ...(less)
Today's automobile fleet, for example, is about 6% efficient overall. Out of every $100.00 spent on fuel, about...more**spoiler alert** My notes and quotes:
Today's automobile fleet, for example, is about 6% efficient overall. Out of every $100.00 spent on fuel, about $94.00 is wasted in various ways. Some of the waste is inherent in entropic physical processes, but there is enormous room for improvement. That pathetic 6% efficiency is not the result of greedy plotting by auto and oil companies, it is the result of widespread ignorance. Few people think about their car's radiator, for example, a component engineered to throw away heat that their money just bought. Producing that heat also produced pollution. Both are waste. Waste is always a sign of poor design; pollution is a measure of inefficiency. The toll on consumer finances and the environment is enormous. Approximately 1% of humanity is scientists or engineers, and most of them are too specialized to understand the global effects of their work. The rest of humanity is technologically (and ecologically) illiterate. (p. 64).(less)
Okay, now let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about women. Freud said he didn’t know what wome...more**spoiler alert** MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
Okay, now let’s have some fun. Let’s talk about sex. Let’s talk about women. Freud said he didn’t know what women wanted. I know what women want: a whole lot of people to talk to. What do they want to talk about? They want to talk about everything. What do men want? They want a lot of pals, and they wish people wouldn’t get so mad at them. Why are so many people getting divorced today? It’s because most of us don’t have extended families anymore. It used to be that when a man and a woman got married, the bride got a lot more people to talk to about everything. The groom got a lot more pals to tell dumb jokes to. A few Americans, but very few, still have extended families. The Navahos. The Kennedys. But most of us, if we get married nowadays, are just one more person for the other person. The groom gets one more pal, but it’s a woman. The woman gets one more person to talk to about everything, but it’s a man. When a couple has an argument nowadays, they may think it’s about money or power or sex or how to raise the kids or whatever. What they’re really saying to teach other, though without realizing it, is the: “you are not enough people!” A husband, a wife and some kids is not a family. It’s a terribly vulnerable survival unit. (p. 48-49).
The imagination circuit is taught to respond to the most minimal of cues. A book is an arrangement of twenty-six phonetic symbols, ten numerals, and about eight punctuation marks, and people can cast their eyes over these and envision the eruption of Mount Vesuvius or the Battle of Waterloo. But it’s no longer necessary for teachers and parents to build these circuits. Now there are professionally produced shows with great actors, very convincing sets, sound, music. Now there’s the information highway. We don’t need the circuits any more than we need to know how to ride horses. Those of us who had imagination circuits built can look in someone’s face and see stories there; to everyone else, a face will just be a face. (p. 133-134).(less)
The Easter Islanders' isolation probably also explains why I have found that their collapse, more than the colla...more**spoiler alert** My notes and quotes:
The Easter Islanders' isolation probably also explains why I have found that their collapse, more than the collapse of any other pre-industrial society, haunts my readers and students. The parallels between Easter Island and the whole modern world are chillingly obvious. Thanks to globalization, international trade, jet planes, and the Internet, all countries on Earth today share resources and affect each other, just as did Easter's dozen clans. Polynesian Easter Island was as isolated in the Pacific Ocean as the Earth is today in space. When the Easter Islanders got into difficulties, there was nowhere to which they could flee, nor to which they could turn for help; nor shall we modern Earthlings, have recourse elsewhere if our troubles increase. Those are the reasons why people see the collapse of Easter Island society as a metaphor, a worst-case scenario, for what may lie ahead of us in our own future. (p. 119).(less)
**spoiler alert** MY SUMMARY AND NOTES: What You Can Do To Keep From Being Influenced by Propaganda
· Know the ways of persuasion and realize that you...more**spoiler alert** MY SUMMARY AND NOTES: What You Can Do To Keep From Being Influenced by Propaganda
· Know the ways of persuasion and realize that you personally may be the victim of propaganda. Most people believe that only other people are susceptible to being persuaded and that is when propaganda is best able to get past our defenses.
· Monitor your emotions. If you notice you are having an emotional response to a communication, ask “Why?” Look for things that might induce emotions, such as a false commitment, a “free” gift that makes you feel obligated, a scarce item that induces feelings of inferiority, a we-they distinction that elicits the granfalloon (arbitrary group), or speeches that make you feel fearful or guilty. If you feel that your emotions are being played on, get out of the situation and then analyze what is going on.
· Explore the motivation and credibility of the source of the communication. Ask such things as: “Why is this person telling me this information?” “What does the source have to gain?”
· Think rationally about any proposal or issue. Ask such things as: “What is the issue?” “What labels and terms are used to describe it?” “Are these labels used fairly?”
· Attempt to understand the full range of options before making a decision. Ask such questions as: “why are these choices being presented to me in this manner?”
· Base your evaluation of a leader not on what they say, but on what their actions in the past have shown.
· Stop to consider the possibility that any information you receive may be a factoid. Always ask: “What is the evidence for this?” “Where did you hear it?”
· If the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Before making a purchase, look for these common warning signs of a bad deal: 1) the deal is only good for “today”; 2) the seller offers “free gifts” in return for “minimum” effort; 3) a sale item is suddenly unavailable but a “much better” item happens to be available for “slightly more money” (throwing a lowball); 4) the seller emphasizes the amount of each payment rather than the total amount of the sale; 5) a “repair person” discovers a “dangerous” defect in something you own that must be repaired immediately; 6) you are given little or not time to read a contract; 7) the seller makes you feel guilty for asking questions or asks, “Don’t you trust me?”
· Teach your children about propaganda. What TV with your children and help them develop counterarguments against propaganda.
· Support efforts to protect vulnerable groups such as children from exploitative persuasion.
· Avoid being dependent on a single source of information. One of the hallmarks of intense propaganda is centralized communications from a single perspective.
· Think of the news as the news and try to separate it in your own mind from entertainment. · Support campaign spending reform. Instead of letting candidates spend taxpayer allotted dollars on 30-second ads, why not require recipients of federal matching funds to use the money to pay for debates, open forums with the public, press conferences, and infomercials that give the viewer a chance to hear the candidate’s position in detail.
· Demand consumer affairs shows, or talk shows that bring together advertisers, media critics, and consumers to discuss advertising.
· Write companies asking for proof of advertised claims.
· Support and extend efforts to squelch deceptive advertisements. Also support efforts to eliminate misleading labels and other deceptive practices.
· Promote the institutions of democracy. We often take for granted the nature of democracy, thinking that is it just “majority rule” or “the freedom to do our own thing.” A democracy is a pattern of social relations that encourages deliberative persuasion (not propaganda) and respects the rights and responsibilities of all citizens. The hallmarks of a democracy (as opposed to an autocracy) include the following: 1) Communication is decentralized, with multiple sources of information; 2) authority and power are constrained by a system of checks and balances; 3) agendas and goals are established through discussion, not be leader fiat; 4) there is a reciprocity of influence between leaders and citizens, as opposed to unidirectional influence from elites; 5) group boundaries and roles are flexible, as opposed to there being a rigid social structure; and 6) minority opinion is encouraged as a means of obtaining a better decision, and the rights of those in the minority are protected.
Pratkanis, A.R., & Aronson, E. (2001). Age of Propaganda: The Everyday Use and Abuse of Persuasion, 2nd ed.(less)
But Democrats couldn’t make too much of that fact, especially in 1948, because their own candidate, Harry Truman...more**spoiler alert** My notes and quotes:
But Democrats couldn’t make too much of that fact, especially in 1948, because their own candidate, Harry Truman, also grew up in a sundown town, Lamar, Missouri. Report Morris Milgram pointed out that Lamar “was a Jim Crow town of 3,000, without a single Negro family. When I had spoken about this with leading citizens of Lamar . . . they told me, all using the word ‘n----r,’ that colored people weren’t wanted in Lamar.” (p. 13).
A fine history by Jean Swaim of Cedar County, Missouri, provides a detailed example of the process that took place in many of the counties summarized in Table 1 of the previous chapter. Cedar County is located between Kansas City and Springfield, Missouri. African Americans had lived in the county since before the Civil War, originally as slaves. In the 1870s, a black community grew up within Stockton, the county seat, including a school, candy store, and “a park with a popular croquet court, where white Stockton men often spent their Sunday afternoons competing in tournaments.” Some African Americans worked as domestic help, others at a local brickyard. By 1875, whites and blacks had organized the Stockton Colored School, which eventually had as many as 43 students. A newspaper account from August 1899 shows interracial cooperation: “About 1,500 attended colored people’s picnic here. Order was good except for a few drunken whites. Stockton won the ball game from Greenfield, 20-1. Greenfield’s colored band was a big attraction.” African Americans also lived elsewhere in the county, including “Little Africa” near Humansville in the northeastern corner. Forty families lived there, with a church, school, and store. They held an annual picnic on the Fourth of July to which whites were invited and had a baseball team with a white coach. Then something bad happened, something that the local histories don’t identify and that has been lost even to oral history. As another local historian born in the county in the 1920s, put it, “It’s just a dark history that nobody talks about,” speaking of the event or chain of events that ended Cedar County’s racial harmony. Around 1900, the county’s black population declined precipitously, from 127 (in 1890) to 45. Whatever prompted the initial decline, we do know why it continued: Cedar County was becoming a sundown county. By 1910, only thirteen African Americans lived in the county, and by 1930, just one. Swaim refers to “many shameful incidents” in which “visiting ball teams, travelers, and even laborers were . . . told to be out of town by night. Blacks could find haven in Greenfield,” the seat of the next county to the south. She tells of a black bricklayer whose work attracted admiring crowds: “Not only was he paving El Dorado Springs’s Main Street in perfect herringbone pattern as fast as an assistant could toss him bricks, but he sang as he worked and moved in rhythm to his song.” Nevertheless, he “had to find a place out of town at night.” “In Stockton, prejudice was still rampant in the late 1960s,” Swaim continues, “as black workmen constructing the Stockton Dam were provided segregated and inferior housing west of town. Their visiting wives cooked for them.” Is Cedar County still sundown today? Swaim writes, “In the 1990s few blacks are seen in Cedar County.” But the 2000 census counted 44 African Americans. One black couple lives in El Dorado Springs and seems to get along all right. Nevertheless, Cedar County in 2005 has yet to reach the level of black population and interracial cooperation that it showed in the 1890s. (p. 91).
A series of at least six race riots in the Ozarks, along with smaller undocumented expulsions, led to the almost total whiteness of most Ozark counties, which continues to this day. In 1894, Monett, Missouri, started the chain of racial violence. As happened so often, it began with a lynching. Ulysses Hayden, an African American, was taken from police custody and hanged from a telephone pole, although Murray Bishoff, an authority on Monett, believes him innocent of the murder of the young white man for which he was hanged. After the lynching, whites forced all African Americans to leave Monett. Pierce City, just six miles west, followed suit in 1901. Again, a crime of violence had been perpetrated upon a white person, and again, after lynching the alleged perpetrator, the mob then turned on the black community, about 10% of the town’s population, and drove them out. In the process, members of the mob set fire to several homes, incinerating at least two African Americans inside. Portfolio 3 shows one of the destroyed residences. Some African Americans fled to Joplin, the nearest city, but in 1903 whites rioted there. Three years later, whites in Harrison, Arkansas, expelled most of their African Americans, and in 1909, they finished the job. In 1906, whites in Springfield, Missouri, staged a triple lynching they called an “Easter Offering.” No one was ever convicted in any of these riots, which sent a message that violence against African Americans would not be punished in the Ozarks. On the contrary, it was celebrated. In Springfield, for example, souvenir hunters sifted through the smoldering ashes looking for bits of bone, charred flesh, and buttons to carry away with them in order to commemorate the event. Local drugstores and soda parlors sold postcards containing photographs of the lynching, and one enterprising businessman . . . [had] medals struck commemorating the lynching. One side of the medal read “Easter Offering,” and the other side, “Souvenir of the hanging of 3 niggers, Springfield, Missouri, April 15, 1906.” (p. 95-96).
Besides Pana and Virden, many other communities trace their origins as sundown towns to a successful strike. Something darker may have happened in Mindenmines, Missouri, where mine operators brought African American strikebreakers to their coal mine in about 1900. Marvin Van Gilder, author of a 1972 history of Barton County, recounts blandly, “Many of them died during their relatively brief residence at the mining camps . . . and a cemetery for the Negro community was established northwest of Mindenmines near the state line.” Van gilder does not explain why or how “many of them died,” but Mindenmines became a sundown town upon their demise and probably remains so to this day. According to a staff member at Missouri Southern State College who grew up in the town, a black family moved in for a week in about 1987 and left under pressure; another lived there for about six weeks in about 1990 and left after someone fired a gun at their home. In 2000, Mindenmines was still all-white. (p. 161).
Some towns went sundown simply because a neighboring town did so. The neighboring event served as a catalyst of sorts, but actually it shows the absence of a catalyst. The only cause required to set off an expulsion seemed to be envy of a neighboring town that had already driven out its African Americans. In southwestern Missouri, for instance, newspaper editor Murray Bishoff believes that Monett’s prosperity after it threw out all its African Americans in 1894 likely contributed to Pierce City’s copycat riot seven years later. Bishoff thinks Pierce City in turn became a model for other nearby towns in Missouri and Arkansas. (p. 181).
The same thing happened in Tulsa. During that city’s now-notorious 1921 race riot, whites attacked Tulsa’s African American community on the ground and from the air: six airplanes dropped dynamite bombs to flatten homes and businesses. As Portfolio 10 shows, rioters made a concerted attempt to drive all African Americans out of Tulsa. Although they failed, they did pull off the largest race riot in American history. Later, the newspapers for the period mysteriously (and now famously) disappeared. The riot became, said one resident, “something everybody knew about but nobody wanted to discuss.” (p. 203).
“Keep moving” was the refrain, no matter why African Americans stopped. Local historian Jean Swaim tells of a shameful incident in Cedar County, Missouri: “Even a busload of black choir members who saved the lives of four El Dorado Springs teenagers by pulling them from a burning car were then turned away.” (p. 233).
Even when audiences loved their performances, musicians and athletes faced the problem of where to spend the night. This difficulty repeatedly beset barnstorming black baseball teams and the two famous black basketball teams, the Harlem Globetrotters and the Harlem Magicians, whenever they played in sundown towns. The town baseball team of El Dorado Springs, a sundown town in western Missouri, invited a black Kansas City team to play them, but the guests were then denied food and lodging. One man made an accommodation: Dr. L.T. Dunaway locked the team in his second-floor office “and some citizens took food to them,” according to local historian Jean Swaim. African American workers paving the U.S. 54 through El Dorado Springs in the 1940s “also had to spend their nights locked in that office.” Swaim does not say whether they were locked in to prevent them from being at large in the town after sundown or to preclude violence against them by local white residents for that offense. (p. 246-247).
In an all-night riot in August, 1901, white residents of Pierce City, Missouri, hanged a young black man alleged to have murdered a white woman, killed his grandfather, looted the armory, and used its Springfield rifles to attack the black community. African Americans fired back but were outgunned. The mob then burned several homes including this one (pictured above), Emma Carter’s, incinerating at least two African Americans inside. At 2 A.M., Pierce City’s 200 black residents ran for their lives. They found no refuge in the nearest town, Monett, because in 1894 it had expelled its blacks in a similar frenzy and hung a sign, “Nigger, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down.” (p. 276).
Abraham Lincoln understood the threat to our democracy posed by anti-black prejudice and likelihood that this sentiment would metastasize to attack other groups. In 1855 he wrote a letter to his lifelong friend Josh Speed, a clause of which has become famous: As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except Negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty – to Russian, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy. (p. 332).
An elderly African American woman living in central Missouri avoids the entire southwestern corner of the state. She is very aware that after whites in Springfield, the prime city of the Ozark Mountains, lynched three African Americans on Easter Sunday, 1906, “all the blacks left out of that area,” as she put it. Neosho, Stockton, Warsaw, Bolivar, and other Ozark towns are almost devoid of African Americans, who fled the entire region, she said; even today, those are “not places where I would feel comfortable going.” (p. 344).
Independent sundown towns also hurt their own futures by being closed to new ideas. . . . There are exceptions, some sundown towns do better than others. Murray Bishoff, who lives in Pierce City, Missouri, and works in nearby Monett, thinks Pierce City, which drove out its African Americans in 1901 and has been sundown ever since, has been hurt by its sundown policy. Meanwhile, Monett, which drove out its blacks in 1894 and has been equally white since, is doing better. In 1999, Monett’s per capita income was nearly 40% higher than Pierce City’s, although still below average for the state. (p. 361).
Surely the white-flight prize goes to those who flee Joplin, Missouri. A librarian in the Joplin Public Library told of her neighbor who moved from Joplin to Webb City around 1985, because “his daughter was about to enter the seventh grade and he didn’t want her to go to school with blacks at that age.” The librarian stayed in touch during the relocation process and reported: “At one point [the mother] told me she had found the perfect house for their family, only it was on the wrong side of the street. The line between Joplin and Webb City was that street, and the house she liked was on the Joplin side, so she couldn’t consider it. Eventually they found a house in Webb City.” Webb City adjoins Joplin, as the story implies, but the move amazes because Joplin itself was just 2% black. Webb City, on the other hand, has just 1 African American among its 7,500 residents, and that person was not of school age. (p. 389).(less)
Book about designating one's frame of reference when thinking in order to achieve specific goals. Especially rec...more**spoiler alert** My notes and quotes:
Book about designating one's frame of reference when thinking in order to achieve specific goals. Especially recommended for meetings where solutions/ideas are needed.
The six frames of reference, or "hats" are: white = just the facts of the situation; red = emotion or intuition concerning the situation; black = critical thinking; yellow = positive thinking and constructive methods of achieving goal; green = creativity and idea generation; blue = master hat for directing overarching goals/purpose of meeting.
Further summaries of hats: White hat - neutral and objective facts without interpretation. Red hat - Feelings about the matter. Can ask a person to switch in or out of red hat thinking so they only give their emotional or intuition concerning the issue. Should never attempt to justify or logically explain feeling, just report it. Black hat - Concerned with caution. Used to consider risks, dangers, and potential problems with solution. Should be used when assessing suggestions, but should not be used to fuel arguments or overused. Yellow hat - Positive and constructive thinking. Covers all positive thoughts and suggestions from logical and practical advantages to hipes and visions. Concrete proposals and suggestions that seek to take advantage of opportunities. Green hat - Creative thinking that generates new ideas. Both thinker and listener need to wear green hat. Used to search for all available alternatives to a problem. Provocation is how to think of green, try to provoke new domains/thoughts to escape typical patterns of thinking. Blue hat - control hat. Organizes the thinking that goes into an issue. Outlines goals and purpose of all discussion. Think of a conductor in an orchestra. Responsible for summaries, conclusions, and overviews. Also responsible for stopping arguments and keeping everyone on track concerning overall goals. Shouldn't assign each person a particular hat, but rather should get everyone to take turns thinking with the mindset of each hat during that portion of the meeting.(less)
There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding. One of the reas...more**spoiler alert** My notes and quotes:
There is a sense in which we moderns are inundated with facts to the detriment of understanding. One of the reasons for this situation is that the very media we have mentioned are so designed as to make thinking seem unnecessary (though this is only an appearance). The packaging of intellectual positions and views is one of the most active enterprises of some of the best minds of our day. The viewer of television, the listener to radio, the reader of magazines, is presented with a whole complex of elements – all the way from ingenious rhetoric to carefully selected data and statistics – to make it easy for him to “make up his own mind” with the minimum of difficulty and effort. But the packaging is often done so effectively that the viewer, listener, or reader does not make up his own mind at all. Instead, he inserts a packaged opinion into his mind, somewhat like inserting a cassette into a cassette player. He then pushes a button and “plays back” the opinion whenever it seems appropriate to do so. He has performed acceptably without having had to think. (p. 4).
The first is the ignorance of those who, not knowing their ABC’s, cannot read at all. The second is the ignorance of those who have misread many books. They are, as Alexander Pope rightly calls them, bookful blockheads, ignorantly read. There have always been literate ignoramuses who have read too widely and not well. The Greeks had a name for such a mixture of learning and folly which might be applied to the bookish but poorly read of all ages. They are all sophomores. (p. 12).
Thinking is only one part of the activity of learning. One must also use one’s senses and imagination. One must observe, and remember, and construct imaginatively what cannot be observed. There is, again, a tendency to stress the role of these activities in the process of unaided discovery and to forget or minimize their place in the process of being taught through reading or listening. For example, many people assume that though a poet must use his imagination in writing a poem, they do not have to use their imagination in reading it. (p. 14).
If you ask a living teacher a question, he will probably answer you. If you are puzzled by what he says, you can save yourself the trouble of thinking by asking him what he means. If, however, you ask a book a question, you must answer it yourself. In this respect a book is like nature or the world. When you question it, it answers you only to the extent that you do the work of thinking and analysis yourself. . . . Students in a school often read difficult books with the help and guidance of teachers. But for those of us who are not in school, and indeed also for those of us who are when we try to read books that are not required or assigned, our continuing education depends mainly on books alone, read without a teacher’s help. Therefore if we are disposed to go on learning and discovering, we must know how to make books teach us well. That, indeed, is the primary goal of this book. (p. 15).
The essence of active reading: The four basic questions a reader asks 1. What is the book about as a whole? You must try to discover the leading theme of the book, and how the author develops this theme in an orderly way by subdividing it into its essential subordinate themes or topics. 2. What is being said in detail, and how? You must try to discover the main ideas, assertions, and arguments that constitute the author’s particular message. 3. Is the book true, in whole or part? You cannot answer this question until you have answered the first two. You have to know what is being said before you can decide whether it is true or not. When you understand a book, however, you are obligated, if you are reading seriously, to make up your own mind. Knowing the author’s mind is not enough. 4. What of it? If the book has given you information, you must ask about its significance. Why does the author think it is important to know these things? Is it important to you to know them? And if the book has not only informed you, but also enlightened you, it is necessary to seek further enlightenment by asking what else follows, what is further implied or suggested. (p. 46-47).
People go to sleep over good books not because they are unwilling to make the effort, but because they do not know how to make it. Good books are over your head; they would not be good for you if there were not. And books that are over your head weary you unless you can reach up to them and pull yourself up to their level. It is not the stretching that tires you, but the frustration of stretching unsuccessfully because you lack the skill to stretch effectively. To keep on reading actively, you must have not only the will to do so, but also the skill – the art that enables you to elevate yourself by mastering what at first sight seems to be beyond you. (p. 48).
Perhaps you are beginning to see how essential a part of reading it is to be perplexed and know it. Wonder is the beginning of wisdom in learning from books as well as from nature. If you never ask yourself any questions about the meaning of a passage, you cannot expect the book to give you any insight you do not already possess. (p. 123).
Every author has had the experience of suffering book reviews by critics who did not feel obliged to do the work of the first two stages first. The critic too often thinks he does not have to be a reader as well as a judge. Every lecturer has also had the experience of having critical questions asked that were not based on any understanding of what he had said. You yourself may remember an occasion where someone said to a speaker, in one breath or at most two, “I don’t know what you mean, but I think you’re wrong.” There is actually no point in answering critics of this sort. The only polite thing to do is to ask them to state your position for you, the position they claim to be challenging. If they cannot do it satisfactorily, if they cannot repeat what you have said in their own words, you know that they do not understand, and you are entirely justified in ignoring their criticisms. They are irrelevant, as all criticism must be that is not based on understanding. When you find the rare person who shows that he understands what you are saying as well as you do, then you can delight in his agreement or be seriously disturbed by his dissent. (p. 144).
Rules for finding what a book is about 1. Classify the book according to kind and subject matter. 2. Sate what the whole book is about with the utmost brevity. 3. Enumerate its major parts in their order and relation, and outline these parts as you have outlined the whole. 4. Define the problem or problems the author has tried to solve. Rules for interpreting a book’s contents 5. Come to terms with the author by interpreting his key words. 6. Grasp the author’s leading propositions by dealing with his most important sentences. 7. Know the author’s arguments, by finding them in, or constructing them out of, sequences of sentences. 8. Determine which of his problems the author has solved, and which he has not; and of the latter, decide which the author knew he had failed to solve. (p. 163).
Special criteria for points of criticism Show where the author is uninformed, misinformed, illogical, or show where the author’s analysis or account is incomplete. (p. 164).
The great writers have always been great readers, but that does not mean that they read all the books that, in their day, were listed as the indispensable ones. In many cases, they read fewer books than are now required in most of our colleges, but what they did read, they read well. Because they had mastered these books, they became peers with their authors. They were entitled to become authorities in their own right. In the natural course of events, a good student frequently becomes a teacher, and so, too, a good reader becomes an author. (p. 167).
The child is a natural questioner. It is not the number of questions he asks but their character that distinguishes him from the adult. Adults do not lose the curiosity that seems to be a native human trait, but their curiosity deteriorates in quality. They want to know whether something is so, not why. But children’s questions are not limited to the sort that can be answered by an encyclopedia. (p. 270).
But their efforts are enormously wasteful because they do not understand how to read some books faster than others. They spend the same amount of time and effort on every book or article they read. As a result, they do not read those books that deserve a really good reading as well as they deserve, and they waste time on works that deserve less attention. (p. 315).
Summary of Syntopical Reading 1. Surveying the field – create a tentative bibliography of your subject by recourse to library catalogues, advisors, and bibliographies in books. 2. Inspect all books on the tentative bibliography to ascertain which are germane to your subject, and also to acquire a clearer idea of the subject. Syntopical Reading of the Bibliography Amassed in Stage 1 1. Inspect the books already identified as relevant to your subject in Stage I in order to find the most relevant passages. 2. Bring the authors to terms by constructing a neutral terminology of the subject that all, or the great majority, of the authors can be interpreted as employing, whether they actually employ the words or not. 3. Establish a set of neutral propositions for all of the authors by framing a set of questions to which all or most of the authors can be interpreted as giving answers, whether they actually treat the questions explicitly or not. 4. Define the issues, both major and minor ones, by ranging the opposing answers of authors to the various questions on one side of an issue or another. 5. Analyze the discussion by ordering the questions and issues in such a way as to throw maximum light on the subject. More general issues should precede less general ones, and relations among issues should be clearly indicated. (p. 335-336).
Reading for information does not stretch your mind any more than reading for amusement. It may seem as though it does, but that is merely because your mind is fuller of facts than it was before you read the book. However, you mind is essentially in the same condition that it was before. There has been a quantitative change, but no improvement in your skill. (p. 339).(less)
Book that answers readers' questions concerning a whole host of interesting scientific questions. 1. Bruises cha...more**spoiler alert** My notes and quotes:
Book that answers readers' questions concerning a whole host of interesting scientific questions. 1. Bruises change color because of the breakdown of red blood cells by white blood cells and the chemicals bilirubin (yellow) and biliverdin (green). The yellow color is the same that causes jaundice in children. 2. The darker your liquor the more likely you will have a hangover because of congeners (which give alcohol the intoxicating effect). So clear/light colored drinks like vodka lead to less severe hangovers than whiskey, brandy, etc. 3. Your appendix is most useful when you are a developing embryo (immunological function), but continues to work even into adulthood. 4. Beheading (via a guillotine, etc.) may in fact be painful because it is likely that brain functioning still occurs possibly up to 25 to 30 seconds after disconnection with the body (although consciousness is probably lost after a few seconds). Many decapitated heads continue blinking after the separation and even respond to their name. 5. Cats that have fallen from between 2 and 32 stories have about a 90 percent survival rate. Their terminal velocity is about half as much as a human and their increased flexibility allows them to absorb more force from impact. They are also more likley to survive a fall once it is above 7 stories high (compared to between 2-5 stories). This is thought to be because after such a distance they start to relax, thereby increasing their flexibility and absorption ability when they land.(less)