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عنوان: Virtual America: Sleepwalking through Paradise
مؤلف: John Opie
مترجم: -
ناشر: University of Nebraska Press
سال انتشار: 2008
امتیاز آمازون:
تعداد صفحات: 280
شابک: 803235712
شابک(13): 9780803235717
مشخصات: xviii, 260 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
رده بندی کنگره: E169.1
دیویی: -
دیویی نرمال: -
نوع فایل: PDF
حجم فایل: 4.79 مگابایت
قیمت پشت جلد: $39.33
قیمت خرید:

3300 تومان

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چکیده
Virtual America traces the complex relationship between Americans, technology, and their environment as it has unfolded over the past several centuries. Throughout history Americans have constructed mental pictures of unique places, such as the American West, that have taken on more authority than the actual gritty landscapes. This disconnect from reality is magnified by the new world of virtual realities on the computer screen, where personal immersion in interactive simulations becomes the “default” environment. Virtual America identifies the connections (or lack thereof) between our individual selves, an American identity, and the geography “out there.” John Opie examines what he calls First Nature (the natural world), Second Nature (metropolitan infrastructure/built environment), and Third Nature (virtual reality in cyberspace). He also explores how Americans have historically dreamed about a better life in daily, ordinary existence and then fulfilled it through the Engineered America of our built environment, the Consumer America of material well-being, and the Triumphal America of our conviction that we are the world’s exceptional model. But these dream worlds have also encouraged placelessness and thus indifference to our dwelling in home ground. Finally, Opie explores Last Nature (a sense of place) and argues that when we identify an authentic place, we can locate authenticity of self—a reification of place and self—by their connectedness.
 
نظرات
 
This book would be a reason to


This book comes highly recommended - unfortunately who can afford $88 for a single book. I have not read this book yet, but I am opposed on principle to negatively rating anything that I have not actually read - hence the maximum number of stars. Surely this is the perfect way to market Kindle or any ebook equivalent. I would certainly consider investing in a Kindle to read this type of work.

Let's go Bezos, the market awaits.
 
2008/06/27

Kill the kid that said the kin


Amazon wants $110 for this, so it probably will never be a best seller.
That is a shame, because it should be. Kellow starts by praising Jim
Flynn, his professor, and discoverer of the Flynn effect in IQ testing.
Flynn thought Arthur Jensen was wrong, but discovered all the attacks on
Flynn were personal or about how the results could be used for racist
reasons, rather than rebuttals of the data, methods, or arguments.
So, Flynn went off to analyze Jensen's methods and attack the flaws he
found. Kellow follows the same path. He seems sympathetic to most of the
environmentalist goals, but finds much of their science to be decidedly
unscientific.

The target here is not environmentalists, but rather virtual science and
unscientific attacks on scientists and critics. By virtual science he
means modeling and politics or popular opinion. Models can be useful.
They can help us decide what experiments to perform and what data to
collect. But, the map is not the terrain, and the model is not the system.
Kellow claims that much of the bad science arises because of virtuous
corruption. The classic example of virtuous corruption is police framing
someone because they "know" he did it. If the cause is right, anything
to advance the cause is right.

Thousands of species are going extinct claim some, based on models.
The number of species is a function of the area available for them,
according to the model, so any development means disaster.
Actual surveys are rare and cover only very small areas. For known
species the extinction rate is on the order of one per year, and
most of them were on isolated islands following the first visit by
European sailors and the rats on their ships.

Climate models are similar. Start with the assumption that temperature is
an increasing function of carbon dioxide concentration and then increase
the concentration and the temperature goes up, in the model. There are
many reasons to doubt the science of man-made global warming, and Kellow
covers a few. There are many reasons to doubt the veracity of the
global warming alarmists, but Kellow concentrates on only two.

His analysis concentrates on Lomborg, the skeptical environmentalist, but
includes others. First, the science. Many of the skeptics make specific
claims, showing where a model does not fit the facts. The alarmists
just say the skeptic is wrong, but do not show how. The second area is
the manner of the counter-attack. The two main forms are appeals to
authority, and attacks against the skeptical person, rather than against
the ideas. Kellow provides a long, long list of examples.

Based on these two areas, species extinction and global warming driven
by carbon dioxide, Kellow concludes that extensive use of models, rather
that experiments and data, his virtual science, makes virtuous corruption
both easier and more likely. A sample of two does not prove the conclusion,
but his two examples show there is a serious problem in some scientific areas.

I highly recommend this book for most people, those who are aware of the
species and climate controversies and would like to know which claims to
accept and which to reject, and how to decide those questions rationally.

 
2008/02/24

 
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