Source: Edelweiss

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Can the Word Slut Be Reclaimed? My Takeaway From I Am Not a Slut

May 6, 2015 History, non-fiction 12 ★★★

Can the Word Slut Be Reclaimed? My Takeaway From I Am Not a SlutTitle: I Am Not a Slut
Author: Leora Tanenbaum
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was an eye-opening book and I think it contains an important message, but it taught me less about different feminist perspectives than I’d hoped it would.

Blogging on any topic provides a platform for people to speak about topics they’re passionate about and the bloggers I read have inspired my interest in diverse reading, feminism, and a number of other important causes. I was also motivated to learn more about feminism by books I’ve read about women gaining and losing rights in other countries. Since I’m still relatively new to the many divided opinions about feminist issues, Leora Tanenbaum’s discussion of the word slut and the sexual double standard was a must read for me. Read more »

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Galileo’s Middle Finger

March 30, 2015 Uncategorized 10 ★★★

Galileo’s Middle FingerTitle: Galileo's Middle Finger
Author: Alice Dreger
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was an interesting and worthwhile story, but it was more memoir and less general commentary on the interaction of science and activism than I had hoped.

Alice Derger never expected her research into the historical treatment of intersex children to lead her to become an activist protesting present treatment of intersex children. From risky “normalizing” surgeries without scientifically proven benefit to unethical lies told to parents of intersex children, there was plenty to protest. After seeing some scientists unjustly, personally attacked by the activist community she valued, she decided to look further into the relation between science and activism. Her most challenging question was what happens when scientific truth seems to conflict with the easiest, politically correct story. Read more »

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

March 12, 2015 History, non-fiction 10 ★★★★

Sapiens: A Brief History of HumankindTitle: Sapiens
Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: A surprisingly philosophical, funny, and thought-provoking trip through human history.

I think I picked this up because of a comparison to Jared Diamond and that could be why I expected a focus on the early years of humanity’s existence. In actuality, the author spends approximately equal time on the years before and after each of three major revolutions in human thought: the agricultural, cognitive, and scientific revolutions. I was also surprised by how philosophical this book was. Instead of simply relating a factual history of humanity, the author asks tough questions, discussing the foundations of current belief systems and wondering whether or not each of the major revolutions he discusses really made people happier. Read more »

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Dataclysm

October 28, 2014 Memoir, non-fiction, Psychology, Science 19 ★★★★

DataclysmTitle: Dataclysm
Author: Christian Rudder
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This was a very light, accessible look at data analysis which answers some interesting, but often obvious, questions about how we date and how we describe ourselves online.

As one of the creators of the dating site OkCupid, author Christian Rudder has a fascinating dataset to play with. In combination with data acquired from other data-collecting websites (Facebook, Google, etc), he’s able to ask and answer some very interesting questions. For instance, who do people want to date? And, more interestingly, how does this compare to who they say they want to date? Does the way people describe themselves and the way that people respond to them vary by ethnicity? By age? Even questions that people might not answer accurately can begin to be answered here.

Read more »

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Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age

October 8, 2014 History, non-fiction, Psychology, Review 17 ★★

Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital AgeTitle: Wikipedia U
Author: Thomas Leitch
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:two-stars

Summary: This book wasn’t a success as either an entertaining read or as a well thought out scholarly work.

Despite discouragement from many teachers, I feel like student use of Wikipedia is on the rise, so I was excited to read about the phenomenon from an educator’s perspective. However, as I perhaps should have gathered from the description and subtitle, the main focus of this book is on the nature of authority. Wikipedia is primarily used as an example of a situation where authorities are in conflict and the source of authority is up for debate. Read more »

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Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine

October 7, 2014 Humor, non-fiction, Review, Science 12 ★★★

Generic: The Unbranding of Modern MedicineTitle: Generic
Author: Jeremy A. Greene
Source: Edelweiss
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: Generic was written in a fairly dry way, but the material was interesting enough to make it an enjoyable read.

Generic drugs are a generally accepted part of medicine, but this wasn’t always the case. Throughout the history of generics, both scientists and politicians have struggled to decide what makes two drugs substitutable, while both generic and name-brand drug companies have tried to influence their decisions. This book describes the rise of the generic and all of the fascinating political, social, and scientific debates that led to their general acceptance. Read more »

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