Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I am a good way through the book I mentioned before for Byzantine military history. The Romans and their derivative continuity through the Byzantines just plain fascinate me. It is a radical and remarkable evolution of a nation state (and yes, they seem to be damned close to the modern concept IMNSHO) from a village on a hilltop in Italy to the greatest Empire that Europe has known[1] to the final fall of a sole, very depopulated city on the Bosporus Straits. It's a thousand year evolution of a 'single' nation-state and culture. Just fascinating stuff. Yeah, I've still got a thing for the military aspect of it too. And the architecture just as much.

That said though, I am still have my mild fascination with Deep Time. And Politics. And Rockets. And biotech. And History. And...oh heck, lotsa frakkin stuff. I've been chewing my way through my previous order of books. It's going to run out in the not too far future. I got a Amazon gift certificate, so, I thought, why not hunt down some books? Didn't I just earn it after getting my rumpus maximus pounded into the floor for the week of rotation? At least the last 48 hours! Holy frak!

Continuing my Deep Time obsession I picked up a few books there. The first one I picked up was The Emergence of Animals. It's not normally the end of the evolutionary scale that I am that fascinated by - that would be with the emergence of terrestrial ecosystems - but I would best be at least a little educated on the matter. I also picked up The Nemesis Affair to see what else Raup has to say. He did a lot of ground breaking work and this book is recommended by numerous people, hence the purchase. For some damned reason I keep coming back to pick up the next Peter Ward book time and again even though they annoy me with some aspects. *sighs* This time I picked up a copy of Under the Green Sky. It includes more about the Permian Extinction, so how could I say no? I hope - ha! more fool I! - more than just a travelogue. We shall see. I hope Dr Ward appreciates the lining of his pocket that I keep doing.

I also decided that it was time to start indulging my political whackiness. That would be in regards to Mexico and my atypical views of what we ought to be working on wrt our relations. Since I have no real feel for whether or not I really want to contribute to oddball's pockets - after all, they may be as bad as Steverino-button-pressing-wanker of SHWI - I chose to buy the books as used. A bit more risk, but I get them cheaper and don't contribute to the author's pocket. I might invoke some nastiness there for that reasoning, but until I have a feel for someone's politics when I am buying political books, I am going to play it safe. No point in supporting Teh Evil if I can help it. That said, I decided to pick up a copy of Open the Borders for a more left view of the immigration problem and Annexing Mexico for what appears to be the other end of the political spectrum's POV. The latter is probably more main stream than the former though. (*snerk*) However, longer term readers of my blog and those that have encountered me online know which of the two options in the abstract I prefer.

That said, it looks quite likely that I will be in Atlanta with the family from the 5th of August until the 11th. I have a couple classes that I need to take for work (SAN related stuff). Are there any readers in that region or any restaurants that might be recommended?

1. Spain may actually have been larger, but let me obsess for a little while longer, okay?

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