Future-proofing: Thoughts on Scatter Adapt and Remeber

Scatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass ExtinctionScatter, Adapt and Remember: How Humans Will Survive a Mass Extinction by Annalee Newitz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this more than I did. it’s a conceptually interesting look at mass extinctions and possible human response to the next one, but I found that the book was too unfocused- flitting from topic to topic helped cover a lot of ground, but it didn’t really give some topics the weight they needed. I would have liked each chapter to be a few pages longer to really give all of the concepts more room to breathe, and I would have liked especially for the three title concepts – scattering, adapting and remembering – to have a more complete exploration. Still, it’s an interesting primer on many of the topics covered, just a little too brief to really capture the topic.

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Stuff your eyes with wonder: thoughts on Fahrenheit-451

Hadn’t put up a post for a while, so dug one out of my goodreads archive


Fahrenheit 451Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first read Fahrenheit 451 in high school, and if you’d asked me at the time what it was about, I would tell you it was a parable about censorship. it is, to a point, but re-reading it now I pick up different things.

Bradbury wrote the first version of the book in nine days, and it shows- the book is very focused, and at times the characters lecture one another for pages upon pages. what emerges, however, is the author railing against the idea of a simplified society- Bradbury wants there to be complexity, and diversity, and ideas that make you sit up and listen. in the current age of soporific reality television and big dumb movies, it’s as noble a goal as any.

is it a perfect book? no. but it stays with you and occupies your thoughts after it is read; it calls for discussion, and debate, and disagreement. in doing so, it enriches those that read it, and that’s precisely the kind of thinking that Bradbury is calling for.

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Red Dragon (Hannibal Lecter, #1)Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been on a bit of a Hannibal Lecter kick of late- the TV series sucked me in good, and I recently rewatched The Silence of The Lambs. One story I’d never really approached was Red Dragon, even though it’s been filmed twice. What I really wanted to know was: is Hannibal Lecter so powerful just because he’s performed well, or is it a combination of acting and material?

I reckon it’s the latter. Red Dragon (pre Clarice Starling, but starring the TV show’s Will Graham) only features Lecter briefly, but he’s certainly memorable. Possibly more compelling is the deranged but in some ways sympathetic Francis Dolarhyde, a deformed and broken man who is haunted by apocalyptic visions and a vicious alternate personality.

As a procedural, it’s very good- Harris’ attention to detail during the FBI investigation is excellent. It’s also made me appreciate the TV series more- the characters presented here are perfectly in line with the series (well, except Dr. Bloom, who’s had a gender switch). all up, Red Dragon is a well done procedural that certainly set the stage for where Lecter was going next.

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