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A discussion about the format for this reading 
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Post A discussion about the format for this reading
This was the Chapter 1 thread, but I have renamed the thread into a discussion of the format for this reading period. I will create a new thread for Chapter 1.



Last edited by Chris OConnor on Fri May 09, 2008 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:00 pm
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Yikes! How to begin a discussion on Your Inner Fish?? This is going to be a hard book to discuss. So far and I am at chapter 7, it has been a straight forward description of fossil hunting expeditions and the scientific explanations for what was found. One idea I had is to also read Our Inner Ape by Frans De Waal and use the ideas in each book to stimulated a discussion. Both books are relatively short and we have 2 months. I have already begun to read Our Inner Ape and I do think it would make for a much better discussion to read them both. Note to Chris: if we read both I would volunteer to be discussion leader.

Saffron



Fri May 09, 2008 7:43 am
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I support Saffron's idea. It's true, both books are brief, and at least from what I've read in Fish, there aren't many points of possible contention, as the subject matter is technical (though very accessible). So it would help to broaden the discussion with the Inner Ape book.

DWill



Fri May 09, 2008 8:45 am
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DWill wrote:
I support Saffron's idea. It's true, both books are brief, and at least from what I've read in Fish, there aren't many points of possible contention, as the subject matter is technical (though very accessible). So it would help to broaden the discussion with the Inner Ape book.

DWill


I have long been suggesting using a topical approach to our discussions, where we use multiple books (and each participant can choose to read both or any one). It has not been met with enthusiasm in the past.

I do not know that I will read "Inner Ape" yet (although it is on my list) because I am too busy and I have some 'pleasure' books in which I would rather delve.

But I say go for it.

Mr. P.



Fri May 09, 2008 8:59 am
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From a management perspective this idea is difficult to implement. We have an existing format to our BOOKS page, forum setup, discussion periods, etc... And now that we're on the 9th day of May how many people would actually order, receive and read a 2nd non-fiction book for this discussion period? We're quickly approaching being 25% of the way through this discussion period.

Do we have to find points of contention in order to find value in discussion? While I'm only on chapter one I am already seeing things to discuss. And how would our author, Neil Shubin, feel about seeing his books message diluted by piggy-backing it with another book? We are, afterall, asking a professor to do a live chat session with us. What message are we sending the author if we, for the first time in BookTalk history, decide to read a 2nd book concurrently because the first book doesn't have enough substance to make for exciting discussion?

I feel it is a little too late to change our course, at least for this discussion period. We can always read Our Inner Ape as our next non-fiction book. How many votes did that book receive? I'd have to go back and check the poll thread.

Is there a different way to add substance and meat to this discussion? Could we make this more of a topical discussion without adding an entire new book to the discussion period/forum?

Please keep discussing this issue. I'd like to get more opinions.


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Fri May 09, 2008 10:02 am
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Chris OConnor wrote:

Please keep discussing this issue. I'd like to get more opinions.


But perhaps we should move this tangent OUT of the Chapter One thread!

Mr. P.



Fri May 09, 2008 10:12 am
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Chris,
I definitely don't think the only way to discuss a topic is by disagreeing with it or picking it apart to expose its flaws and weaknesses. I am finding this book fascinating, with lots of interesting ideas. Shubin's subject matter is so specific and contained. I am finding it hard to think of ways to discuss the book without looking to other material to compare, contrast and metaphorically apply the concepts to other situations. I guess this can work if we explain our outside source or idea, maybe rather nicely.

Saff



Fri May 09, 2008 10:19 am
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I'll rename this thread and create a new Chapter 1 thread.


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I'd like to cruise the internet and find some paleontology professors who have read the book already and ask them to become BT members.

If they don't provide input that we can 'discuss' at least they can add some depth to the book, which will make for better conversation with the author during the live chat.

I also think we can wrap this one up at the end of May. The book is incredibly informative and written in a friendly, informal, and conversational voice. It reads soooo fast. I can easily put away a chapter a day and there are only 11 chapters.



Fri May 09, 2008 10:20 am
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Dear Anonymous BT member,
What a resourceful guy you are! I was thinking that it would be good to be able to have insight into how other paleontologists view this book. Most of us do not have the sophisticated knowledge of paleontology to be able to see some of the subtleties of the case Shubin is presenting.


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If they don't provide input that we can 'discuss' at least they can add some depth to the book, which will make for better conversation with the author during the live chat.



Saffron



Fri May 09, 2008 10:26 am
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:laugh:

I'm not the Anonymous BT member, I swear. Mr.Anonymous is probably the last person you'll expect.

Kansas has a pretty big paleontology department that has paleo-entomology experts, evolution professors, and even ichthyology professors - which is right up our alley!

I'm not going to contact anyone myself. I think a mass generic invite should be sent out to everyone in the Kansas paleontology department, soliciting professors and also students who want to help us out.

I'm going to do a search on myspace for paleontology students.



Fri May 09, 2008 10:45 am
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There was a major flaw with the myspace search for paleontology students.

When I did the search, male and female students were displayed. I found myself only clicking on the females; not just females but attractive females. Needless to say, I didn't do a lot of clicking and nothing was accomplished.

Another plan may need to be thought up.



Fri May 09, 2008 11:05 am
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I think I know who the anonymous BT member is. :shock: LOL

It seems most of you think this is a fast-reading book. Maybe we can handle Our Inner Ape concurrently. I'm wondering how to set it up. I guess we could create a new forum that sits on top of below Your Inner Fish. Mixing the two forums together is an idea too, but then that completely screws up our format. Just look at our BOOKS page and the overall design of this entire site. It works better to have a separate forum for each book.

I have to go to some appointments. Hopefully, when I get back there will be some more comments. Right now I am thinking about creating a new forum for Our Inner Ape and sending an email to the entire community. We would want to encourage members to order/buy both books right away since the clock is ticking. But both books could be covered throughout May and June, so that does leave us with quite a bit of time. We would encourage members to read one or the other or even both books.

What are your thoughts?


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President Camacho wrote:
:laugh:

I'm not the Anonymous BT member, I swear. Mr.Anonymous is probably the last person you'll expect.
.


You'll have to give me more of a clue than "Mr." or direct me to the post from which you took the quote. The last person I'd suspect is the one I actually know, but then that's not really true. I suppose it could be him. I really think you've made that one up!



Fri May 09, 2008 11:06 am
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Saffron, look two posts up for a good clue :D



Fri May 09, 2008 11:09 am
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