just got back from a discussion between the writer steven johnson and a head of epidemiology at ucla. they were discussing stevens book, 'the ghost map', which is about 19th century london and its struggle with cholera and which i am currently in the middle of reading. really interesting night. made me envious of those who live in nyc. that city is always full of interesting evenings like this one. alternatives to the usual club/bar/movie/tv menu that i have found generally uninteresting since i was 20. stevens book, like many of his books, is really interesting in its approach. he is a multi-disciplinary thinker. on the surface, it is a narrative story about an outbreak of cholera and the eventual discovery of its cause and cure. just the story aspect of it and the setting (london 1845) have a dickens sort of feel. this alone i would enjoy, being a bit of an anglophile (married a half-british girl after all). but the book is full of insights and sub- topics that are fascinating and disparate involving urban theory, self-organizing systems, microbiology, post traumatic stress in post- 9/11 nyc to artificial selection pressures producing our ability to drink liquor with relatively little alcoholism.
wow im rambling again. big time. will stop here. if any of this sounds in any way familiar or interesting, read stevens book. its a great read and easy read.
inspire yourself though. you cant rely on anyone else to find it for you.