Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jay Ingram. The Science of Everyday Life (1989)

     Jay Ingram. The Science of Everyday Life (1989) Don’t let the date put you off. Like Jay says, good science is timeless. It’s still true that if you have a certain pair of gene variations, you will not only metabolise asparagus to make your urine smelly, you will also be among the few who can smell it. Or that we still don’t a good handle on why we yawn (the latest research suggests that it’s connected with sex, which may explain why yawning is considered rude almost everywhere).
     Or that walking, which we master in a few weeks around the age of 14 months, is an extremely complex behaviour. Much more complicated than accounting. Which reminds me that the easy stuff has long been mechanised, robotised, digitised, and computerised. It’s the hard stuff that we still need people for, but because most people can do it quite easily, we don’t realise how hard it is.
     This was a re-read, and just as much fun as the first time round. It’s been reissued, so you should be able to find a copy. ***

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