Weekly Web Links:
- A video of the keynote address, ‘Museums and the future history of the information age‘, which was given at the Museums and the Web conference which was in Italy.
- Spain’s Lady of Elche.
- Closely following my interest in history is a love of chemistry which is why I found this NYTimes article so interesting: ‘My Great-Great-Aunt Discovered Francium. And it Killed Her.‘
- Who doesn’t like a good infographic? Here we have on from HubSpot showing the history of hashtags.
- Having been living in the U.K. when the skeleton believed to belong to Richard the Third was discovered and excavated I have been keenly following the progress in identification which was released to the public. It has now been confirmed ‘beyond all reasonable doubt‘ that the skeleton is that of King Richard III.
- I think this title speaks for itself. The Hazards of Travelling by Chaise. Not a danger I can see myself being in but I certainly can’t speak for anyone else out there.
Historical Book Review for the Week:
Immortality: The Quest to Live Forever and How it Drives Civilization by Stephen Cave
I, as returning visitors to this blog may have noticed, read a lot of historical non-fiction. This means that, with the exception of some truly outlandish theories, most of what I read has at least parts which overlap with ideas and information that I have accumulated over the years. This is in no way a bad thing, it just means that when I find a completely new take or concept of something I tend to get really excited. This is my excuse for doing nothing other than read this book for 8 hours yesterday. Seriously, I had a different book in mind to cover for today’s post and I was going to read this one over the upcoming week and talk about it next Sunday. And yet here we are.
The author suggests that there are four central concepts of immortality which are universal ideas and have been interwoven into every culture throughout every period of history. The four immortality concepts are the following:
- Staying alive
Through numerous historical examples this book shows how these four ideas have been interconnected and progressed through by various cultures and key individuals throughout the progress of human history. Obviously, on the surface, the idea of immortality seems to be an ideal which we should all aspire to. but the author is very careful to demonstrate the holes in logic and the negative results of what could happen if we ever did manage to live forever. Finally, once he has finished destroying the likelihood of humans ever living forever, Stephen Cave asks what i believe is the most important question of all: can people learn to live without the comfort of these ideas and accept death as inevitable?