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Anyone else finished reading the book?
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Author:  xilog [ Sun Dec 15, 2002 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else finished reading the book?

Can you give a reference to the criticism you mention of Bloom's terminology (preferably an online reference)?

It seems to me that both Howard's books are intended for a general readership and are not scientific treatises.
Same for "The Selfish Gene", which I would be happy to criticise as a piece of science (I think the central conclusions false and the methods without scientific merit).

I'm working on a description of what I think I got out of Howard's books, but it may take a little while yet.

Roger Jones


Author:  Chris OConnor [ Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else finished reading the book?

Roger

I look forward to hearing your summation!

Chris

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 10/30/05 3:53 pm

Author:  Chris OConnor [ Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else finished reading the book?

Everyone

I woke up early and spent a few hours and finished reading the book. Wow! The last few chapters are incredible. I'll start some threads now on what I got out of this book.

Chris

Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 10/30/05 3:53 pm

Author:  Ani Osiris [ Tue Dec 17, 2002 11:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else finished reading the book?

Quote:
Can you give a reference to the criticism you mention of Bloom's terminology (preferably an online reference)?

I haven't read any peer reviews of Bloom's book... did a quick search, and didn't find anything that looked especially promising in that vein. I'll try a more thorough search, though - if it is a scientific expedition, certainly would expect peer reviews.

The specific "disservice" criticism referred is in the Open Letter thread that Jeremy started. The criticisms I have personally with Bloom are scattered through the various threads here. They include things like his characterization of a superorganism - one of my first reactions was surprise (and dismay) at the absence of references to any organismicist literature in the bibliography, and later by the disparity between Bloom's use of that concept and its use by scientist. Another would be Bloom's use of memes. Etc.
Quote:
It seems to me that both Howard's books are intended for a general readership and are not scientific treatises.

Yes, but that makes it all the more important for care to be taken in how concepts are presented, no?
Quote:
Same for "The Selfish Gene", which I would be happy to criticise as a piece of science (I think the central conclusions false and the methods without scientific merit).

*Ani flashes a thumbs up at ya*

I had a similar reaction to The Selfish Gene.


Author:  xilog [ Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else finished reading the book?

I'm afraid the critique is not really specific enough for me to appreciate it.

Take the question of concepts.
Even in mathematics the usage of concepts varies from one respectable tome to another, so I don't expect Howard's usage to fit precisely some academic precedent.
If you want to say something new then you have to adapt language to your purposes.

I'd be more interested to hear what you consider the most important claim which Howard makes which you think false.


Author:  Ani Osiris [ Tue Dec 17, 2002 6:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Anyone else finished reading the book?

Quote:
If you want to say something new then you have to adapt language to your purposes.

No, you have to define the terms you're using, which Bloom never does.
Quote:
I'd be more interested to hear what you consider the most important claim which Howard makes which you think false.

Pick a pair, any pair... not sure which would be the most important, though the most basic notion for Bloom is probably the superorganism. Getting into that was my idea in starting the What is an organism thread. Or there are memes, again there's a thread for that started.


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