Rossdavidh's Reviews > Infested Mind: Why Humans Fear, Loathe, and Love Insects

Infested Mind by Jeffrey  Lockwood
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What do you do if you're an entomologist, whose profession is the study of insects, and an encounter with a seething horde of locusts leaves you with a bit of a case of entomophobia? Well, one thing you can do is get a book out of it.

The result is a nice mix of psychology and entomology. How does disgust work? How does it interact with fear? How much of this is a result of evolutionary drives? We also hear a fair amount about the life cycles of a variety of different insects, from locusts to bedbugs to flies to mosquitoes to many others.

There are also a few cases like bees, that seem to balance on a knife-edge between fear and respect. We may not want to get cuddly with bees (mostly, there are a few weird exceptions), but we don't react to them in the same way as, say, cockroaches. Butterflies are another case. I recalled my visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, with it's wonderful, enchanting Butterfly center. Walking into it was like entering another world, full of grace and beauty and delight, as butterflies of all shapes and sizes flew and fluttered and danced and landed everywhere.

Well, that's how I saw it anyway. My wife, on the other hand, was kind of creeped out, because to her these were mostly bugs, and they were everywhere and they might land on you, and she didn't like it. No accounting for taste.

Lockwood was able to overcome his own acquired entomophobia (oddly, Goodreads' spell-checker has not heard of this word, but then Goodreads' spell checker hasn't heard of "Goodreads"), probably due to a combination of education and incentives (it was his paycheck, after all). Probably also, seething mass of locusts or not, he wouldn't have gotten into the business if he had been especially prone to it. His book is pleasant enough, when it's not being disgusting, and in either case it's informative. But, if you're the type to get squeamish at the mention of insects, maybe start with some other book on your phobia first.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
October 27, 2018 – Shelved
October 27, 2018 – Shelved as: white

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