Friday, June 08, 2007

A Literary Exercise

I lifted this interesting little exercise from Mob

01. Grab the nearest book
02. Open it to page 161
03. Find the fifth full sentence
04. Post the text along with these instructions


From Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail Or Succeed. Since 161 had a picture, showing a map of Mayan sites in Mexico and Central America on it, I had to use page 162.

Making matters worse, most of the Yucatan Peninusla consists of karst, a porous sponge-like limestone terrain where rain runs straight into the ground and where little or no surface water remains available.

Rivetting, isn't it?

6 comments:

Big Orange (a.k.a. "Uncle Moonpie") said...

how much is that book? I want 12 copies. I'm going to send them all to my closest friends and force them to read it the way people pass out books like "Who Moved My Cheese?"

It'll catch on like wildfre, you just watch!!

The Elk said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Elk said...

The only book readily available was one I picked up at a garage sale this morning.....
I had to use page 61 as the book only had 105 pages...
"In the state of Washington, the solar composting toilet offers opportunity for corporate advertising, tax write offs for the financially flush, or even dubious means to immortality."

from " How to S*** in the Woods" by Kathleen Meyer

Mob said...

I may in turn steal your modification of adding a pic of the book cover, as everyone's text is interesting, but kinda lost in the contextual sense.

Phil said...

I'll probably steal this.

I've never tried to read Collapse, but I did try to read Guns, Germs and Steal. I put it down because of it's dry, clinical style, plus my children may have permently destroyed my ability to understand it.

But, Jared Diamond was on Colbert last week and was very charming and funny. He sighted an interesting fact, that most zoo emplyees are killed by Zebras.

I might give it a try again knowing better who he is.

Or I might just keep reading comics. Marvel's Civil War kicks ass.

Johnny Yen said...

Big Orange-
It was 17 bucks. It's marvelous. I feel the same way-- I want everyone to read it.

As a society, we are like young people-- we feel like we're invincible and will last forever. So did many failed civilizations in the past.

Elk-
Yeah, but does the Pope know how to shit in the woods?

Mob-
Yeah, it makes it a little more interesting looking at least.

Phil-
He actually mentioned the fact about zebras and zookeepers in Guns, Germs...

I'd wanted to read Collapse, but realized that I'd wanted to read Guns, Germs... even longer-- I've read about it many times since it came out.

I think my tolerance for statistic-laden social science was raised by studying Political Science and History, particularly getting my Master's in Poli Sci-- lots of statistics there.

I hope you get a chance to read those-- I'd be interested in your takes on them. One of the underlying themes is that societies will sometimes self-destruct rather than change their culture. I've always thought that was an implication in your blog.