In my pile and out the door

1. Emma Rothschild, The Inner Life of Empires, An Eighteenth Century History.  The story of the Johnstones, in Scotland and around the globe.  It appears to have lots of useful information, but it is too far from my current interests for me to read it now.

2. Robin Fox, The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind.  Great themes, namely Hayek plus Levi-Strauss.  But it’s too diffuse for me to get a handle on.

3. John Gray, The Immortalization Commission: Science and the Strange Quest to Cheat Death.  A bunch of weird guys, in the early 20th century, thought they could cheat death but they couldn’t!  And it all has something to do with H.G. Wells and a Russian spy.  When is the cutting polemic against rationalism going to fall?  It doesn’t, and when the book ends it feels as if it is only one-third over.  The mood is wistful.  I recall once predicting to Jim Buchanan that Gray would someday end up converting to Roman Catholicism.  This one is now in the hands of Robin Hanson.


The trouble with cheating death is such experiments aren't easily repeatable (and good luck finding willing subjects!).

The best hope is for some sort of natural experiment where we take those who have cheated death and connect the circumstances and subjects with their outcome.

Anyone have Jesus' number?

What do you do with finished or unwanted books?

"the Strange Quest to Cheat Death."

Why is this strange? I guess I'd have to read the book. If by some twist of evolutionary fate we lived as long as desert tortoises would we be looking to get back down to a sensible lifespan of 80 years or so?

I've never seen anyone refute exposition like this:

that didn't sound to me like irrationalization. He even describes the fallacy of feasibility=desirability thinking.

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