Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1987
Genre Scifi
Origin US
Publisher Harvest
ISBN-10 0156002426
ISBN-13 978-0156002424
My Copy cheap paperback
First Read May 17, 2019

Peace on Earth

Oh man, scifi books. This was painful to read - I picked it up when I was out of reading material on a vacation, and kind of pushed through out of morbid curiosity. I'm pretty sure I've read Solaris and a few other Lem books, but this was translated into a weird kind of mid-century American lingo that just rubs me the wrong way. Also the overall conceit of the story was... dumb.

Noted on June 24, 2019

The paleobotanist warmed even more to the subject. Was Stephenson risking his life when he put Watt's steam engine on wheels? Did inventing the phono-graph place Edison in mortal danger? They risked at most their families' anger or bankruptcy, How unfair, that inventors of old-fashioned technology are all famous while no one even thinks about the great gastronomical inventors, or about raising a monument to the Unknown Chef as we do for the Unknown Soldier. And yet so many anonymous he-roes fell in terrible agony after they made their brave experiments, with mushrooms, for example, where the only way of distinguishing poisonous from nonpoisonous is to eat and wait for the results.

Why are the schoolbooks full of kings who became king for no other reason than that daddy was king? Why do children learn about Columbus, the discoverer of America who discovered it only by accident, on his way to India, while there's not one word about the discoverer of the pickle? We could have managed without America, sooner or later America would have discovered itself, but not the pickle, and then there would have been nothing to sit on our plate beside a roast beef sandwich.

Quoted on June 24, 2019

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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