Thursday, 27 September 2007

A Library at Last

Starting a new job entails complete immersion into the local ways of doing things. To convince myself I'm coming up for a gasp of air, let me jot something down. With a new academic post comes the thrill of exploring a new library and the chance of serendipitous discoveries of books from their different arrangement.

Yesterday I found myself by Ruskin's works, so took home for the evening the first volume of Fors Clavigera, his letters to the workmen of Britain. There I met up again with a passage I'd written down elsewhere.

I also took out Dr. Golem, the third book in the series by sociologists of science Harry Collins and Trevor Pinch. This continues their quest to get the reading public to realise what science is really like. Their history of resuscitation techniques is eye-opening. The changes in recommended practice from one decade to the next are frequent and dramatic, and there's little evidence that applied to heart attack victims that very much is achieved. Where ER, Chicago Hope and Rescue 911 show a long term survival rate of 67 percent after cardiopulmonary resuscitation, 1 to 2 percent might be more accurate in the real world.

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