Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Brown version

Their collection had grown into an eclectic fusion of new and old . . . of cutting-edge and historical. Most of Katherine’s books bore titles like Quantum Consciousness, The New Physics, and Principles of Neural Science. Her brother’s bore older, more esoteric titles like the Kybalion, the Zohar, The Dancing Wu Li Masters, and a translation of the Sumerian tablets from the British Museum.

One of these things is not like the others.

Mmmm... The Kybalion, 1908 (but claiming to be the essence of the teachings of Hermes Trismegistus,a contemporary of Moses); the Zohar, 13th CE claiming to be 2nd CE; Sumerian tablets, before the 2nd millenium BCE; The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics (1979), New York: William Morrow and Company, hardcover: ISBN 0-688-03402-0, paperback: ISBN 0-688-08402-8, 352 pp. You know you're getting old when the books around in your youth are referred to as 'historical'.

And the first edition of Principals of Neural Science was published in 1981.

Oh, but the thrill's not there any more. Picking errors in Brown is becoming uncomfortably like pedantically missing the point. The Lost Symbol isn't epically bad, like DVC, it's just not very good. The question that arises is not "Why are millions of people wasting their time on this book?" but "Why am I wasting my time on this book?"

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