The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

When it's time to buy books again

Razib Khan a week or so ago, or a blog or on twitter or in a comment somewhere, mentioned that there were a lot of genomics books in the 2000s but not so many now - when it matters. But Khan said that there will be books. We just have to reach that point of diminishing-returns in new research, and to settle down to sorting out and contextualising the raw data. Like what happened with Near Eastern studies after cuneiform was deciphered. We might actually have reached that point, at least for the Near East: this article on Egypt is fully in line with what we know of the pre-Semitic populations of the eastern Mediterranean.

On topic of the Planets Beyond Our Solar System field, one of the first websites I ever visited was John Whatmough's Extrasolar Visions. It did a wonderful job depicting how the early planets might work, mostly Hot Jupiters admittedly. I really wanted a book on the topic but guess what - there wasn't one! and then Whatmough died in an accident.

For well over a decade, if you wanted to learn about exoplanets, you had to be a total aspie nerd trolling the arxiv and tweaking Wikipedia. Now, at last, you can watch youtubes and even read some books.

So I suspect we're approaching that horizon for genomics.

UPDATE 6/2: From Sweden 2015 - Karin Bojs, My European Family. I have so far leafed through the table of contents; it didn't look too badly out of date. Kirkus gushed over it but Kirkus is #fakereviews; I take more seriously Altenberg's review in the Wall Street Journal. So I've bought the book and will be cross-referencing it with this year's Bell Beaker data, annotating the text in the margins.

UPDATE 10/24: How, o Lord, Kirkus shall fuck off.

posted by Zimri on 20:15 | link | 0 comments

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