New books of note, which I’ve been reading parts of

Jia Lynn Yang, One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle over American Immigration, 1924-1965.

Kate Murphy, You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why it Matters.  How to be a better listener — get the audiobook!

Kevin Peter Hand, Alien Oceans: The Search for Life in the Depths of Space.  A remarkably under-written and under-booked topic, I am delighted to see this book in particular.

Kate Elizabeth Russell, My Dark Vanessa: a novel, about a high school teacher abusing one of his students, effective if you are wishing to read a story with this plot line.

Alev Scott and Andronike Makres, Power & the People: Five Lessons from the Birthplace of Democracy.  Due out in September, a useful look at how politics worked in ancient Athens.

Peniel E. Joseph, The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

John Guy, Gresham’s Law: The Life and World of Queen Elizabeth I’s Banker.

Jennifer A. Delton, The Industrialists: How the National Association of Manufacturers Shaped American Capitalism.  Manufacturing is one of the topics du jour, and this book gives good background on one particular angle of that story.

As for older books, I very much liked Paul A. Offitt, Vaccinated: One Man’s Quest to Defeat the World’s Deadliest Diseases, a biography of Maurice Hilleman.  How soon we forget that in the early 1960s — when I was born — the measles virus was killing about eight million children a year.  Even in 2018 it was 140,000 deaths a year.  Also excellent is Kendall Hoyt, Long Shot: Vaccines for National Defense, a paradigmatic example of Progress Studies.


Excellent books on obscure topics (listening? why would that matter unless you are in a negotiation? Who cares what other people think when you're in the 1% like me?).

Bonus trivia: bring back ancient Athens-style exile of unpopular people for a year! I can think of several candidates.

Only a year?

"the slowness of my on-line reading"

Even Superman has his kryptonite.

One hopes not, considering the tax rates for the rich and the power of unions. But this blurb certainly seems to suggest that big government is exactly what state capacity libertarianism wedded with progress studies is supposed to deliver (Thiel will be delighted). "Probing the history of vaccine development for factors that foster timely innovation, Kendall Hoyt discovered that vaccine innovation has been falling, not rising, since World War II. This finding is at odds with prevailing theories of market-based innovation and suggests that a collection of nonmarket factors drove mid-century innovation. Ironically, many late-twentieth-century developments that have been celebrated as a boon for innovation—the birth of a biotechnology industry and the rise of specialization and outsourcing—undercut the collaborative networks and research practices that drove successful vaccine projects in the past."

I'm watching Tiger King on Netflix. Self-recommending.

Those of us born in the immediate post WW-II period well remember polio and the relief upon the approval of the Salk Vaccine.

> Even in 2018 it was 140,000 deaths a year.

Wow. And no one even bothered to shut down the world economy.


Number of people effectively vaccinated against Covd19 - 0
Number of people effectively vaccinated against measles - billions and billions

Someone should shutdown IPA’s internet access.

Dammit, he got his CD-ROM that said 500 free hours of AOL and he's making them give him every minute of it!

Kinda seems like finding some little stuff, europavirus and whatnot, in the frozen-over oceans of the moons of Jupiter would be the final disappointment for exobiology.

Talk about damning with faint praise.

I guess a list of books *not to read* is useful too.

Why ": a novel"? Reaching for an extra ounce of gravitas?

If you must festoon your non-non-fiction with a subtitle, make it grandiloquent like in the old days. As in:

The LIFE and Strange Surprizing ADVENTURES of ROBINSON CRUSOE, Of YORK, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Iſland on the Coaſt of AMERICA, near the Mouth of the Great River of OROONOQUE; Having been caſt on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men periſhed but himſelf. WITH An Account how he was at laſt as ſtrangely deliver’d by PYRATES.

--Alien Oceans. It makes sense to look for life on celestial bodies like Enceladus. Extrapolating genomic complexity of phylogenetic lineages to earlier times would suggest that life appeared > 9 billion years ago before the formation of the earth and therefore originated from panspermia.
Candidate vectors might be remnants of planets from an exploded red giant parental star contaminating the early solar system with bacterial spores. Other bodies in our solar system with an environment possibly favorable to life ( Enceladus, Europa, Mars) may also have been the recipients of this bacterial contamination.
Multi instances of life in the solar system would not have then evolved independently but would have a common origin. The probability of life occurring independently from earth on another body in the solar system being too close to zero.

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