Ex Bibliotheca

The life and times of Zack Weinberg.

Saturday, 17 August 2002

# 8 PM

I got a new toaster. (The old one had had a spring fail, I think, so that it would jam every time it popped up.) It's nice - four big slots, removable crumb tray. However, the instructions clearly state that one should keep it unplugged whenever it's not in use. Where does this come from? I've never seen any such restriction on a toaster before.

# 2:50 AM

Sumana links to several versions of a list of reasons books are better than drugs. The list is amusing, but I take exception to one of the entries:

21. Books don't have negative interactions. You never have to worry about what's going to happen if you mix two or more books.

Simply not true — negative interactions are common. Read, for instance, Ayn Rand and John Stuart Mill in quick succession. If you are not damn confused at the end of this exercise, you missed at least one author's point. Worse, consider what happens when inappropriate connections are drawn between unrelated authors — social Darwinism, for instance.