Read e-book online Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony PDF

By Lewis Thomas

This wonderful selection of essays via scientist and nationwide e-book Award-winning author Lewis Thomas is still startlingly suitable for state-of-the-art global. Luminous, witty, and provocative, the essays handle such issues as "The Attic of the mind, " "Falsity and Failure, " "Altruism, " and the results of the federal government's digital abandonment of aid for easy medical examine may have on medication and technological know-how. Profoundly and powerfully, Thomas questions the folly of nuclear weaponry, displaying that t brainpower and funds spent in this activity are wanted even more urgently for the fundamental technological know-how we have now abandoned--and that even medicine's so much complex approaches will be dead or inadequate within the face of the smallest nuclear detonation. And within the identify essay, he addresses himself with terrifying poignancy to the query of what it's wish to be younger within the nuclear age.

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Extra resources for Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler’s Ninth Symphony

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Meanwhile, our com­ petitors in Europe and Japan have long since found effective 26 Lewis Thomas ways to link industrial research to government and aca­ demic science, and they may be outclassing this country before long. In some fields, most conspicuously the devising and production of new scientific instruments, they have al­ ready moved to the front. There are obvious difficulties in the behavior of the tradi­ tional worlds of research in the United States. Corporate research is obliged by its nature to concentrate on profitable products and to maintain a high degree of secrecy during the process; academic science, by its nature, must be car­ ried out in the open and depends for its progress on the free exchange of new information almost at the moment of find­ ing.

They can be killed only by chilling them down in boiling water. And yet they look just like ordinary bacteria. Under the electron microscope they have the same essential struc­ ture— cell walls, ribosomes, and all. If they were, as is now being suggested, the original archebacteria, ancestors of us all, how did they or their progeny ever learn to cool down? I cannot think of a more wonderful trick. My Number Three Wonder is oncideres, a species of beetle encountered by a pathologist friend of mine who lives in Houston and has a lot of mimosa trees in his back­ yard.

To be sure, the horse couldn’t really do arithme­ tic, but the record shows that he was considerably better at observing human beings and interpreting their behavior than humans are at comprehending horses or, for that mat­ ter, other humans. Cats are a standing rebuke to behavioral scientists want­ ing to know how the minds of animals work. The mind of a cat is an inscrutable mystery, beyond human reach, the least human of all creatures and at the same time, as any cat owner will attest, the most intelligent.

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