What's the Difference?

What's the Difference?

3.7 4
by Marc Tyler Nobleman
     
 
Who hasn�t wondered what distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile, partly cloudy from partly sunny, or Daniel Boone from Davy Crockett? For the first time, the answers to all such nagging mysteries are in one place. Among the 75 other whimsical but factual entries:

  • geek vs. nerd
  • justice vs. revenge
  • sunscreen vs. sunblock
  • dwarf vs.

Overview

Who hasn�t wondered what distinguishes an alligator from a crocodile, partly cloudy from partly sunny, or Daniel Boone from Davy Crockett? For the first time, the answers to all such nagging mysteries are in one place. Among the 75 other whimsical but factual entries:

  • geek vs. nerd
  • justice vs. revenge
  • sunscreen vs. sunblock
  • dwarf vs. midget
  • democracy vs. republic
  • vanilla vs. French vanilla
  • robot vs. android
  • monkey vs. ape vs. chimpanzee
  • shiny vs. dull side of aluminum foil
  • debit card as a debit card vs. debit card as a credit card

The book also features 30 less-than-serious sidebars, such as the differences between nakedness and nudity, stop signs and stop ahead signs, and your you-know-what and your elbow.

Though we live in an era where a buzzword is unity, What�s the Difference? is a droll guide to what divides us and everything else.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760774939
Publisher:
Sterling Publishing
Publication date:
09/25/2005
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

What's the Difference? 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My problem with this book is that it contains thinly veiled reactionary nonsense in at least one chapter. Otherwise, 'What's the Dif' is a good book for random trivia. Perhaps this book deserves three stars. (It might have earned four if the rest of the book was top quality and more than semi-interesting trivia, losing the star for the single chapter in question.) But, these good reviews need balance and they're lucky I did not assign one star! Specifically, I refer to the chapter concerining 'democracy and republic'. I question whether the author wrote that particular chapter or had it ghost written, but the answer provided was skewed far to the right! The REAL difference between a democracy and a republic is that a republic is a state form and democracy is a style or mode of governance. Asking that question is like asking, 'What is the difference between a European and a Christian?' Republic is one of two major state forms (kingdom/monarchy or republic), where in a monarchy (kingdom, princedom, duchy, fiefdom, dynasty, etc.) power, and law-making authority rests in the hands of a hereditary ruler (king/queen, prince/princess, feudal lord, warlord, tyrant, despot, emperor/empress, czar/czarina, etc.) or a priviledged caste (e.g. oligarchy, priestly theocracy). Such systems are usually hereditary (dynasties) but may be non-hereditary ruled by a tyrant or oligarchy who seizes political power through military or economic means. A republic by contrast, is a state form in which political power is held in the hands of either the general populace or a party/elite/dictator. A republic could be democratic or totalitarian. The US is a democratic (and Canada, EU nations, Japan, etc.) republic. Fascist and Communist regimes are totalitarian republics. The Third Reich (Nazi Germany) was a 1-party republic. USSR = Union of Soviet Socialist REPUBLICS. Of course, using the author's definition it would be impossible to distinguish a depotism from a dictatorship. The only difference is that a despotism is a monarchic autocratic state ruled by a despot or tyrant and a dictatorship is an autocratic republic. Similarly, democracy is consistent with a republic, hypothetically a stateless mode of governance (demarchy), and arguably a monarchy or oligarchy (if constitutional monarchies like the UK count as democratic kingdoms, and if one considers Athenian democracy a proto-feudal aristocracy rather than a republic). Of course the author equates democracy with some bizarre majoritarian demarchy (presumably Marxism without dictatorship) and 'republic' with the only possibility. For instance, most republics use representative democracies, whereas many Greek city-states had republics (or alternately quasi-feudal aristocratic oligarchies) run as direct democracy. (Where citizens, ruled the government without electing leaders, albeit with participation limited to a minority.) While demarchy must be direct democracy, direct democracy need not be demarchic. But considering the skewering of definitons (including confusing and intentionally conflating state form with mode of governance), the author holds the following conclusions: (1) democracy = tyranny of the majority or inevitable oppression of the minority (even though it is a constitution, not state structure which distributes rights a demarchy could theoretically uphold a constitution and a constitutional republic (read: state structure) could employ direct democracy), (2) only republics can guarantee individual rights (or protection of people in a position contrary to majority consensus) and liberty (laughable considering that a Nazi Germany, though not a democracy was a republic, or that the American republic did not protect individual rights and freedoms of certain people until at least 1865), (3) a republic requires 'representative' democracy (a class of elected officials to provide over the wild masses and a professional beaurocracy), (4) the common people are inherently wild and oppressive, and s
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is great!. Witty and informative. I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and interesting read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book. Now I know the difference between a croc and a gator,a gerbil and a hamster and other things I never really thought about.