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Derek Caelin

DerekCaelin@bookwyrm.social

Joined 2 years, 4 months ago

Seeking a Solarpunk Future

Climate Feminist | Biodiversity | Open Source Software | Civic Tech | Games | Justice | Regenerative Ag | Green Energy | He/Him/His.

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Derek Caelin's books

Currently Reading

2024 Reading Goal

7% complete! Derek Caelin has read 4 of 52 books.

Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch: The historian's craft (1964, Vintage Books.) 4 stars

In this classic work, distinguished French economic historian, Marc Bloch, discusses the techniques of historical …

Let us guard against stripping our science of its share of poetry. Let us also beware of the inclination, which I have detected in some, to be ashamed of this poetic quality. It would be sheer folly to suppose that history, because it appeals strongly to the emotions, is less capable of satisfying the intellect.

The historian's craft by  (Page 8)

Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch: The historian's craft (1964, Vintage Books.) 4 stars

In this classic work, distinguished French economic historian, Marc Bloch, discusses the techniques of historical …

This book is wild. The author, a French historian, muses about the craft of history - its purpose and functions. The year is 1941. A year before, the Germans had marched into Paris. Three years later, Bloch will be dead - an executed member of the Resistance. It gives the books real poignancy.

Deb Chachra: How Infrastructure Works (2023, Penguin Publishing Group) 5 stars

A new way of seeing the essential systems hidden inside our walls, under our streets, …

It's easy to take artificial light for granted and never think about what an enabling technology it is to be able to see equally well whether it's day or night or, for that matter, in any closed interior space. It's not a survival need, but seeing in the dark is effectively a superpower. While light has been scarce and expensive for almost all of human history, the past two centuries or so saw the cost of light (the price per lumen-hour) drop by a factor of ten thousand.

How Infrastructure Works by  (Page 25)

I never really thought of the cost of light

Nick Groom: Tolkien in the Twenty-First Century (2023, Pegasus Books) 4 stars

What is it about Middle-Earth and its inhabitants that has captured the imagination of millions …

Often Insightful, Occasionally Absurd

4 stars

Groom's book looks at the background of Tolkien's legendarium, the way the text evolved over the years and decades, depiction of Tolkien's work in media, and the applicability of various themes as they apply today. I most enjoyed the history of the changing text. Aragorn was at one point a Hobbit named Trotter! Frodo was Bingo, Bilbo's son! It gave me insight into Tolkien's process of writing, which is to say, he wrote something, and then edited, then edited again. In this book he comes accross, not as a "grand architect", with everything planned in advance, but a tinkerer constantly changing, reworking, and rediscovering his text. Groom reveals how the process took decades, during which finances, overcommittment in work, and general life challenges made it nearly impossible to make progress on the text. I came away with a profound appreciation and wonder that Tolkien actually managed to finish "Lord of …