He's making a huge assumption: that the reader understands that this is an Isaac
Asimov-level primer to a science, not a deep, technical textbook.

"John W. Redelfs" wrote:

> At 12:40 PM, Saturday, 11/2/02, Marc A. Schindler wrote:
> >That would be appropriate for a technical text, but Diamond's book was
> >meant as
> >an introduction for a lay audience. The scope of what he discusses is too
> >broad
> >for this kind of approach -- there would simply be too many footnotes.
> >That's why
> >authors who find themselves in this situation give recommended reading
> >lists so
> >people can zero in on areas of interest and do further research. Our RS/PH
> >manuals use footnotes because they are explicitly teaching from the
> >teachings of
> >an individual. Diamond isn't doing that -- he's painting with a much broader
> >brush. If you are uncomfortable with his conclusions, check out the
> >recommended
> >reading and do further reading to see if he's talking through his hat or not.
> I am actually enjoying the book quite a lot.  Most of it makes assumptions
> that I think are false, but for some reason that doesn't really detract
> from my enjoyment.  I do think that
> Diamond is making an awful lot of assumptions, so many that the whole book
> seems like one big assumption.  At least half the book is stuff that
> Diamond couldn't possibly know.  Where is the line between fiction and
> nonfiction?  I think he really comes close to that line.
> John W. Redelfs                       [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> ===========================================
> "It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to
> laugh at that man." --Jack Handy
> ===========================================
> All my opinions are tentative pending further data. --JWR
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

“The first duty of a university is to teach wisdom, not a trade; character, not
technicalities. We want a lot of engineers in the modern world, but we don’t want
a world of engineers.” – Sir Winston Churchill (1950)

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the author’s employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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