Favorite NON-fiction

Gomi no Sensei gomi at speakeasy.net
Sat Jan 25 17:13:32 PST 2003

1/25/03 3:14:00 PM, rone at ennui.org (circadian rhyme) wrote:

>Gomi no Sensei writes:
>  1/25/03 2:53:11 PM, rone at ennui.org (circadian rhyme) wrote:
>  >Gaertk at aol.com writes:
>  >  Chris Olson - SunPS <Chrisf.Olson at Sun.COM> writes:
>  >  >_____ - _Lies My Teacher Told Me_
>  >  This sort of thing exists?  When I read _Science of 
>  >  Discworld_ (by Pratchett, Stewart, and Cohen), they discussed
>  >  how school texts are full of "lies-to-students" and why, but
>  >  didn't have many examples or the true explanations.
>  >The classic one is the Columbus discovery of America.  
>[dude, 80 columns]
>  An oversimplification (Northmen, etc.) but surely true enough --
>  Columbus' trip is what opened up the era of colonization, not Erik
>  the Red, so it seems fair to mark Columbus as the 'discoverer,'
>  since his trip is what actually led to the large-scale
>  effects. Calling it a 'lie' always seemed gratuitously tendentious
>  to me. I mean, the Maya had developed the wheel, but only used it in
>  small toys, not for wagons -- it would seem equally incongruous to
>  say they 'invented the wheel'.
>  But I digress.
>That's not what i meant; i meant the lies told specifically about
>Columbus's trip (he believed the world was round when everyone else
>thought it was flat, the Queen of Spain sold her jewels to finance the
>trip, there were three caravels, plus many other myths which i don't
>remember now and can't look up because that book was donated to
>charity by someone else).

oh, like the 'Galileo was a martyr for science in the face of wikkid
Church oppression' line. I guess that's less annoying, then.

paul e.