Swimming Lessons : Keeping Afloat in the Age of Technology / Edition 1

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Overview

Never in history has life been so complicated and full of sudden changes. Technology, the environment, and the way we work and relate to one another are all in upheaval. With wit, humor, a calm voice, and great authority, Swimming Lessons gives a clear view of what our world has become - not just our successes, but also the destruction set loose by our own genius and inventions. In addition, it offers practical, non-utopian suggestions for keeping afloat in the dangerous waters of the 21st century's globalized civilization.
Whether it is describing a comical brainstorming session in a Washington boardroom or a close encounter with an Alaskan grizzly and her cubs, Swimming Lessons is a delight to read. Trained in history, medicine, and zoology, David Ehrenfeld brings a grand perspective to his challenging task. He writes not just as a scientist, but as one who values and understands the social sciences and humanities as well. In the first half of Swimming Lessons, we learn to recognize the lies we live: about education, new military weapons systems, biotechnology, electronic pseudocommunities, and accelerated obsolescence. We also learn about the deadly corporate economics that affect every aspect of our lives, even environmental conservation. The second half reveals the pitfalls and opportunities in the main tasks we face: relating to nature in a manmade world and restoring our damaged communities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With wit, humor, a calm voice, and great authority, Swimming lessons gives a clear view of what our world has become ... a delight to read. ... David Ehrenfeld fills the chapters of Swimming lessons with remarkable and often moving stories from his own life and the lives of his wife and children, colleagues, and students."—Ethology, Ecology and Evolution

"Ehrenfeld, who eschews corporate funding, is independent-minded. He writes about big ideas - vanishing species, globalization, genetic engineering and a diminishing "sense of place" are among his favorite topics. He is not afraid of complexity. ... Throughout, Ehrenfeld conveys a sense of calm and authority. The text is stunning in its use of visual imagery, pace and varying sentence structure."—The Newark Star-Ledger

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195148527
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Lexile: 1260L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Rutgers University
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Table of Contents

Part 1: The Lies We Live
Brainstorming
Pretending
The Magic of the Internet
Nothing Simple
Sherlock, Nero, and Us
Part 2: Wrecking Our Civilization: A Manual
Rejecting Gifts
Adaptation
Forecast: Chilly, Overcast, Light Drizzle, No People Left
Pseudocommunities
Obsolescence
Social Evolution versus Sudden Change
Writing
Part 3: Deadly Economics
Affluence and Austerity
Durable Goods
Spending Our Capital
Saving by Selling
Hot Spots and the Globalization of Conservation
The Gingko and the Stump
The Death Penalty
Part 4: Relating to Nature in a Manmade World
The Vine Cleaners
A Connoisseur of Nature
Death of a Plastic Palm
Scientific Discoveries and Nature's Mysteries
I Reinvent Agriculture
Thinking about Breeds and Species
Teaching Field Ecology
More Field Ecology: Rightofway Island
A Walk in the Woods
Degrees of Intimacy
Part 5. Restoring the Community
The Utopia Fallacy
Traditions
Jane Austen and the World of the Community
Universities and Their Communities
An Invalid's Guide
Swimming Lessons
Bibliography and Suggested Readings
Index

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