REVIEW ☆ The Ghost Map


REVIEW ☆ The Ghost Map ð [PDF / Epub] ✅ The Ghost Map By Steven Johnson – From the bestselling author of Everything Bad is Good For You Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map vividly recreates Victorian London to show how huge populations live together how cities can kill and how t From the bestselling author of Everything Bad isFrom the bestselling author of Everything Bad is Good For You Steven Johnson's The Ghost Map vividly recreates Victorian London to show how huge populations live together how cities can kill and how they can save usSteven Johnson is one of today's most exciting writers about popular culture urban living and new technology In The Ghost Map he tells the story of the terrifying cholera epidemic that engulfed London in and the two unlikely heroes anesthetist Doctor John Snow and The Ghost PDF or affable clergyman Reverend Henry Whitehead who defeated t. WARNING Do not read this review if you are sueamish Or eatingThis book is about cholera and as a result the author uses an impressive number of words for shit including excrement ordure human waste and the Victorian euphemism night soil And shit of course Johnson explains that a key uestion in the development of civilization has always been What are we going to do with all this shit This book dramatically improved my vocabulary regarding topics related to 1850s London For instancemiasmatist someone who believes that bad smelling air rather than germs or bacteria cause disease Florence Nightingale was a miasmatistpure finder someone who finds dogshit and sells it to tanners to use in the leathermaking processstoshers trash pickersmudlarks children who scavenge junk that toshers don't wantscavenger classes pure finders toshers mudlarks and others in the recycling businessrice water stool don't askJohnson's previous books have been about how the mind works so Ghost Map is really about how people map information and adapt to innovations than it is a straightforward history of a particular epidemic He writes that cholera is a supremely dark chapter in the book of death and points out how wrong it is that people are still dying of this preventable treatable diseaseI learned that this is not a good audiobook to listen to when cooking dinner However it is a great audiobook to listen to when cleaning My kitchen and bathrooms have never been thoroughly disinfected

Steven Johnson  8 REVIEW

He disease through a combination of local knowledge scientific research and map makingIn telling their extraordinary story Steven Johnson also explores a whole world of ideas and connections from urban terror to microbes ecosystems to the Great Stink cultural phenomena to street life'A wonderful book'   Mail on Sunday'A thumping page turner'   Daily Telegraph'Enthralling vivid and gripping'   New Statesman'Exhilarating'   Spectator'It is a rattling scientific mystery but in the hands of Steven Johnson it becomes something much richer a vast. Cholera is a nasty little bug Once ingested it forms colonies on the intestinal wall begins to reproduce with ferocious speed and proceeds to trick the cells into excreting water rather than absorb it It doesn't really matter of the host dies soon because millions of new little cholera bacteria rush out of the host with the excreta waiting for the next person to ingest some excrement That is the key The only was to get cholera is by ingesting the excrement of another person so infected Now you might say whoa that's than I really wanted to know and I have no intention of so doing anyway Well you're right all homo sapiens have a predisposition NOT to do just that but given the rise of cities the closeness with which we live the relative ease of transportation and the total misunderstanding of basic sanitation that existed until the 20th century it was inevitable that the little buggers would escape their original habitat along the Ganges RiverJohnson discusses the interrelationship of the rise of cities alcohol tolerance as a genetic adaptation to increased agriculturalization Drinking water could be uite hazardous but drinking beer and other alcoholic drinks had survival value from a natural selection standpoint because the fermentation process and alcohol killed off many harmful bacteria Since alcohol is a poison and ill tolerated by many the speculation is that as agriculture and cities began to predominate those who could tolerate alcohol better than others survived to reproduction ageIn another of those little actions that are intended to benefit but which have unintended conseuences the change in use of sewers in London inadvertently laid the groundwork pun intended for the cholera epidemic Sewers had been designed to channel away rain water to and help prevent flooding in the city In fact it was prohibited to dump anything in the sewers and the Thames had been teeming with fish and uite clean As the population increased waste accumulated and the aroma of piles of excrement in basements and elsewhere gave the miasmatists those who believed disease was transmitted in the air food for thought the puns just keep rolling along So they had the brilliant idea of using the sewer system to wash the excrement out of the city and into the river which soon became foul As it had also been the source of drinking water the transmission of the cholera bacteria was efficient and inevitableSnow's rational approach to discovering the cause of the disease is remarkable in other ways It had been common a mythos that still is often heard today to blame disease on lack of moral fiber Since most of the victims were poor and we all know that the poor are morally unfit the victims themselves were somehow responsible for the illness Snow rejected that possibility rationally looking at evidence and building his case for the water bourne nature of the disease Johnson turns a nice metaphor in describing Snow's discovery how great breakthroughs usually happen in practice It is rarely the isolated genius having a eureka moment alone in the lab Nor is it merely a uestion of building on precedent of standing on the shoulders of giants in Newton's famous phraseGreat breakthroughs are closer to what happens in a flood plain a dozen separate tributaries converge and the rising waters lift the genius high enough that he or she can see around the conceptual constructions of the ageHow the source of cholera epidemics in London in 1854 was identified and explained is the subject of this engrossing work A very good companion book to read with this one is Yellow Fever Black Goddess The Coevolution of People and Plagues which has an excellent section on modern cholera treatments

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The Ghost MapInterconnected picture about urban and bacterial life it is difficult to do justice to the exuberance of Johnson's ideas'   Scotland on SundaySteven Johnson is the author of the acclaimed books Everything Bad is Good for You Mind Wide Open Where Good Ideas Come From Emergence and Interface Culture His writing appeared in the Guardian the New Yorker Nation and Harper's as well as the op ed pages of The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal He is a Distinguished Writer In Residence at NYU's School Of Journalism and a Contributing Editor to Wire. I enjoyed most of the book but I hated the concluding chapter I would have preferred it if he had stuck to his subject rather than stringing together a series of personal opinions The discussion of the relative risks of a nuclear holocaust versus bio terrorism via a genetically engineered virus seemed forced Does it really matter The author somehow managed to work in references to both the Iranian nuclear policy and intelligent design in a book about cholera in the nineteenth century Was there an editor