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Matters Arising (The History of Britain Revealed)
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In: finity and beyond
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Mick Harper wrote:
Aubrey Burl has died. He was the only archaeologists who ever had a kind word for me -- he got sent a review copy of THOBR and quite liked it. If you read this you will see exactly what made him one of us rather than one of them.

Looks like the kind of publishers and reviewers he mixed with reinforces that. Yale University Press, New York Review of Books, Christian Science Monitor. But being reviewed in Nature seems a bit unnatural. Posh professional archaeos probably turned their nose up at his origins as well.

In the early 1980s, what was by then Hull College of Higher Education (and is now part of the University of Lincoln) closed Burl’s department and made him a redundancy payment.

Ah, Hull College in Queen's Gardens, I remember it well. But mostly for the local courtesans who used to rest there, sunbathing topless, between appointments.

Mick Harper wrote:
Also, getting a full page obit in the Guardian, without even being a telly-archaeologist, shows all hope should not be lost.

Now we know what to get you for Christmas.
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I'd like to make a shelf of books that would feel at home in a mad scientist's laboratory. Books concerned with what most would consider fringe science, but that take themselves quite seriously. Any suggestions? Since I only have one shelf to allocate, I'm looking for the best of the best. I other words, books that a relatively intelligent mind might read and almost be convinced that it could be possible...

I'd quite like a list like that myself, and somebody came up with one

Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, Richard J. Herrnstein (A very contentious discussion of IQ.)
Centuries of Darkness: A Challenge to the Chronology of Old World Archaeology, Peter James (An argument over Dating Methodology.)
Catastrophism: Asteroids, Comets, and Other Dynamic Events in Earth History, Richard Huggett (When I was young, scientific gradualism / uniformitarianism were both the 'common sense' and the academic positions. Now this is no longer the case. This book explains why.)
Fingerprints Of The Gods: The Evidence of Earth's Lost Civilization, Graham Hancock (Most definitely Fringe! But in the light of the points made by the above book, perhaps a little less so...)
The Anthropic Cosmological Principle, John D. Barrow (Anthropomorphized Physics.)
The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind, Julian Jaynes (Interesting, but disputed, discussion of the ancient mind and how our subjective sense of self first arose.)
Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered, E. F. Schumacher (Economic heresy.)
The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future, Riane Eisler (Feminist Anthropology.)
The Meme Machine, Susan Blackmore (Are cultural Memes really analogous to biological Genes?)
The Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud (When I was young, everyone genuflected before Saint Sigmund. Now that is all changed.)
Hamlet's Mill: An Essay Investigating the Origins of Human Knowledge And Its Transmission Through Myth, Giorgio De Santillana (Highly speculative discussion of ancient myth cum astronomy. What did the ancients know - and when/where/how did they know it?)
The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology, Jose Arguelles (New Age speculation.)
The Deep Hot Biosphere, Thomas Gold (Hydrocarbons do not originate from decayed life. Rather, according to our author, they are natural and may be where life itself originated.) where life itself originated.)
Race And Human Evolution: A Fatal Attraction, Milford Wolpoff (A defense of multi-regionalist evolution that argues against any racial interpretations of same.)
Atlantis: The Antediluvian World, Ignatius Donnelly (One of the most famous fringe books.)
SAHARASIA: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World, James DeMeo (Very fringe anthropological speculation on the origin of violence. A ton of data made it especially interesting.)
Presence of the Past, Rupert Sheldrake (Modern neo-'Lamarckian' attempt to defend the notion that culturally learned behaviors can somehow be biologically transmitted. He names the mechanism that does so a 'morphic' field. I suspect it will turn out that the new discipline of epigenetics will eventually explain all, or most of, the anomalies that our author builds his case on.)

I was furious

The Mass Psychology of Fascism I have not read it yet, and I might not disagree with the premise which, as I understand it, is that if everybody had more sex there would be fewer wars.

Still furious

The secret history of the English language by M.J. Harper The author is serious as only a true believer can be -- he argues that English (more or less as it is now) is the ur-language, that Old English and Middle English never existed and are the inventions of professors, and that Latin, French, German and I don't remember what-all other languages derive from English. Needless to say the author is an Englishman...

Slightly mollified

I know that my description was lacking... I guess I'm not sure how to describe what I'm looking for. That said (and hopefully this will help), a few of those mentioned above hit the nail right on the head. Namely:
The secret history of the English Language
Fingerprints of the gods
Atlantis: The Antediluvian World

In somebody's Big Three. That will have to do.
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