August 3rd, 2011

earthsea

August Books 1) Full House, by Stephen Jay Gould

In this book, Gould appeals to us to consider the full range of complexity in systems, rather than concentrating on the outliers. His overall point is that while human beings may be particularly complex life forms, that doesn't in itself make us the destined end-point of evolution, which will quite naturally increase the number of more complex organisms because all in all they are not as likely to become less complex.

He bolsters this argument with a rather moving personal testimony about being a cancer survivor, and an excessively lengthy section ( a quarter of the book!) about why baseball will never again see anyone achieve a batting average of 0.400 or better, in which the term "batting average" is nowhere explained, which makes it pretty uninteresting for those of us who know little of baseball. But the other three quarters of the book are good.