Saturday, April 26, 2014

Funny Stuff For Saturday: How To Review A Book You Haven't Yet Read, Philosophical Advice About Life And Being A Multi-Lingual

1.  I love Megan McArdle's beginning sentence in her book review of Thomas Piketty's book about wealth inequality*:
I apologize in advance, because I am going to talk about a book that I have not yet read.
It's very charmingly meta-meta criticism, and makes me feel much less guilty about the few times I've discussed a study based on nothing but its abstract and summaries by others.

2.  You know those little deeply philosophical sentences which are intended to make you feel clearer and better about your life?  Many of them are helpful, but sometimes my nastier side enjoys them for wrong reasons.  For example, I recently read this one:

Don't let other people bring you down. Be your own advocate.
Then there's the one of "having to face your worst fears by just doing whatever you fear the most."  Depending on what you fear the most this could result in some very final recommendations.  I think tugging the blanket over your head and squeezing your eyes shut is a healthier reaction to a lot of fears.  Check under the bed for monsters first, of course.

3.  Us multi-linguals may have multiple personalities! This sounds a bit like a cousin of the weak form of the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.  But I keep thinking of all the shadow-Echidnes which might slip out when the moon is round and the night dark or how very practical it is to take out my wallet and slip another personality card into the slot in my head.

*A spoof take of McArdle's review can be found here.