Barry Loewer · Books · Non Fiction · Philosophy · Stephen Law

30~Second Philosophies~The 50 most thought~provoking philosophies each explained in half a minute

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

” The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Richard P Feynman

30 second philosophies is a whistle stop tour of the major questions posted by philosophers through the centuries, from Aristotle to Ludwig Wittgenstein to Naom Chomsky.

What’s it about?

I’ve no doubt that a little exposure to philosophy can be valuable. The kind of skill philosophy fosters~ such as the ability to spot a logical fallacy, or to make a point succinctly and with precision~they are the kind of transferrable skills that employers value. Whether you realise or not, we all hold philosophical beliefs. That God exists is a philosophical belief, as is the belief that he doesn’t. Many of us go through life without even registering that we hold philosophical beliefs, let alone question them. As Socrates is suppose to have said,

” The unexamined life is not worth living.”

So what is it all about?

  • Does God Exist or Not?
  • How should I Behave?
  • What is Real?
  • How do we know what we know?

Philosophers have been thinking about these questions for at least 2500 years. It starts with the great Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and has continued to the present day. This book is a crash course in understanding the foundation of philosophy and keeps your thought process totally engaged.

Who’s it for?

  • The Philo~curious
  • Those looking for a bird’s eye view of philosophy
  • Students of broad~scope History

But I am sure that you are skeptical that this is too good to be true~30 seconds to become a philosopher! Then let me tell you my friends, that you have taken the first small step towards becoming one. The attitude of skepticism and inclination to question are the central to philosophy. By questioning your (and others’) beliefs with an open mind, you will better understand what it is you believe, what your concepts are, and thus come to know your self better.

Final Summery

In conclusion, philosophy addresses what are sometimes called the “big questions.” These include questions about morality (“What makes things morally right or wrong?”); about what we can know, if anything (“Can you know that the world around you is real, and not a computer-generated virtual reality?”); about the nature of human existence (“Are you your brain? Do we possess souls?”); and about the nature of reality (“Why is there anything at all?”).Religion addresses many of the same questions, but while philosophy and religion overlap in the questions they address, they can differ in the approach they take to answering them. While faith and revelation are typically the cornerstones of religious belief, philosophy places great emphasis on reason—on applying our intelligence in order to figure out, as best we can, what the answers are.”

“The God that philosophers of religion like to argue about isn’t one that most of us would recognise. He tends to be more on the abstract side, like “The Force” in Star Wars, and less like a Heavenly Father who stays up at night worrying about you.

DIMITRI: I was talking to Zeus the other day, and he thinks you’re a bad influence on me.

TASSO: That’s interesting, because I think he’s a bad influence on you.

DIMITRI: In what way?

TASSO: He makes you think the voices in your head are real.”

Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar. Cathcart, Thomas

If that doesn’t convince you that a little philosophy is a good idea—well, there remains the fact that, good for you or not, philosophy is fun.In here you’ll find some of the most intriguing, clever, astonishing, and sometimes downright disturbing ideas ever entertained by mankind. Dip in and find out.”

Books · Cyprus · Lawrence Durrell

Bitter Lemons of Cyprus ~ Lawrence Durrell

This Island, floating in water like a diamond iceberg. Call it Kipros (Cyprus) from the king that married his daughter, Ennis and Achaeus Tefkros, who founded Salamina when he was exiled from the Trojan War.

Another version relates the island to the Greek word for Mediterranean Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens, Cypress or evergreen) or even the Greek name for the plant henna (Lawsonia alba), Cyprus. The Cyprus plant is what is today called the Henna. The plant cyprus is a deciduous shrub, native to North Africa and Asia. From the leaves of the plant a dye is produced, while its flowers are delicious and from them probably was produced the Cypriot myrrh of the ancient.

The most widely used version of the Cyprus name refers to the overseas trade of copper, whereby the island gave its name to the Latin word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, meaning “Cyprus metal”, the phrase was later shortened to Cuprum.

The name hardly matters because entering from the greater reality of elsewhere, one is only in search of a city, a place to hide, to lose or discover oneself, to make your dreams come true. With these thoughts in my mind, seeing from the window of the plane which is to carry me down to the island, a strange looking mass of land, wobbling in the blue of the Mediterranean, cool as jelly.

 satellite-map-of-cyprus4

That was the year 2016, when my journey began in Cyprus. Back to 1953, Lawrence Durrell, an expatriate British novelist, poet and travel writer set foot in Cyprus. It was a different era ~ Durrell, who lived abroad for much of his life, brilliantly captures the romance, beauty, excitement and sadness of the island, and the lives of the people of Bellapaix where he bought a house. In a compelling and atmospheric account beautifully suited to the Spoken Word medium, Durrell charts affectionately the romances and relationships of the many characters he befriended there.

Clouds and water mixed into each other, dripping with colour, merging, overlapping, liquefying, with steeples and balconies and roofs floating in space, like the fragments of some stained~glass window seen through a dozen veils of rice paper. Fragments of history touched with colour of wine, tar, ocher, blood, fire~opal and ripening grains.

Lawrence Durrell

Cape Greco~Ayia Napa, Cyprus as seen from my lens

Yes, I was in Cyprus. Who knew, I was going to make this Mediterranean island my temporary abode, indeed the whole adventure had began to smell of improbability~I was glad that I was touching wood ! An ancient land, fertile, full of goodness and mineral springs, ancient castles and monasteries, fruits and grain and verdant grasslands, priests and gypsies and brigands.

Bitter lemons of Cyprus is a beautiful and atmospheric travelogue based in 1950s Cyprus. It paints a memorable picture of village life and a social and historical document of a lost community as seen by the author. Written during the gradual uprising of the Greek Cypriots who wanted union with Greece, Durrell observes the people’s struggles on an intimate and personal level.

” Journey, like artists are born and not made.”

Bitter Lemons Of Cyprus

Books · Brain · Dominic O'Brien · Greek · Memory · Non Fiction

How to develop a Brilliant Memory~Dominic O’Brien

Penguin Random House

There were no survivors .

When family members arrived at the scene of the fifth century B.C. banquet hall, nearly everything was destroyed, with no sign of their loved ones.Miraculously, the Greek poet Simonides of Ceos had escaped the catastrophe as he had just stepped out of the hall, summoned by two men on horseback waiting outside, anxious to tell him something. At the very moment as he crossed the threshold, the roof of the banquet hall collapsed.

Nothing was left, of what was once a magnificent hall of marble, now crumpled into a mass of rubble and entombed bodies which once were alive. Team of rescuers set to work, digging through the collapsed building. The corpses they pulled out of the wreckage were mangled beyond recognition. No one could even be sure who had been inside.

Then something remarkable happened that would change forever how people think about memories. Simonides as if by magic, conjured up the whole scene just before the catastrophe, in his mind. He caught the glimpse of each of the guest at his seat. He saw them, his fellow poets just as they had been, laughing and chatting, minutes before the tragedy ensued.He took the grieving relatives and carefully guided them, one by one, to the spot in the rubble where their loved ones had been sitting.

They say, at that moment the art of memory was born.

Training ones memory has untold benefits.

What’s it About

The Book by Dominic O’ Brien explores the potential that most of us have to become “memory champions”. He is optimistic that by using the basic principles outlined in the book, one can transform their memory power instantly. The book is an attempt to unleash the power of your memory by simply using techniques in easy, bit~sized chapters.

Who is it for

What’s great is that you don’t have to be a certain age bracket to make the cut. You are never too young or too old to acquire these skills.

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

Dr. Seuss: Oh, the places you will go.

How does it work

It only requires you to perform tests and exercises, which have to be taken on a daily basis as laid down in the book. So get your notebook for writing down your answers and keeping a note of your score and see your mental power increase exponentially .

The 14 Key Memory Tools

  1. Test Your Memory
  2. Visualisation and Observation
  3. Acronyms
  4. Turning Numbers into Sentences
  5. The Body System
  6. Association ~ The First Key
  7. The Link Method
  8. Location~The Second Key
  9. Imagination ~ The Third Key
  10. The Journey Method
  11. Concentration
  12. The Language of numbers
  13. The Number~Rhyme Systwm
  14. The Alphabet System

My Take on the Book

Training ones memory has untold benefits. Apart from the practical advantages, I noticed that my memory in general is now more efficient and I have gained confidence in this ability. When I took up the book, my motive was not to be sitting in some Memory Championship grand slam event , which of course requires a lot of perseverance and dedication to achieve, and it is possible if you put your heart and soul into it. My sole reason for reading the book was that I could never remember names, miss on a couple of items in my shopping list, or birthdays, or telephone numbers. I was just getting a bit forgetful in general. I have to say that I have enjoyed this journey tremendously .

As the author points out that you don’t have to be born with special gift of recall or a photographic memory. Nothing could be further from the truth. It all about training your memory with the right tools. I have been trying to pass these tools to my daughter so that she can study more effectively. It is an investment in the future well~being of your mind.

One doesn’t require fancy tools to do this. When you are out and about, get into the habit of employing your skills to recall names, house numbers, street numbers, even car registration numbers. I find myself automatically translating numbers into images. You don’t need a pen when someone tells you his phone number. And you never get embarrassed when you forget someones name you have just met.

Book Review · Books · Non Fiction

Think Like a Freak by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner, book review

So what does it mean to think like a freak?

There are all sorts of questions in the world, for instance~ Is college degree still “worth it”? Short answer: yes; long answer: also yes. Is it a good idea to pass along a family business to the next generation? Sure, if your goal is to kill off the business~ for the data shows it’s generally better to bring in outside management.

Some questions are existential says our authors ~ What makes people truly happy? Is income equality as dangerous as it seems?

People want to know the pros and cons off: autonomous vehicles, breast~feeding, chemotherapy, estate taxes, fracking, lotteries, online dating, patent reform, rhino poaching, and virtual currencies. These are the kind of questions are authors are frequently bombarded with as though they have some magic frekonomics forceps !!!

The thing is that solving problems is hard and most people would rather not try doing it as it moves them away from the herd mentality and requires them to start thinking rationally and independently. “Cogito, ergo sum” translated to English~ “I think, therefore I am.” Rene` Descartes.

This third book in the Freak series is different from the previous two bestsellers~ Freakonomics and Super~Freakonomics because this book teaches us how to think. Why is that you may ask ? In a lot of cases it’s the biases~political, intellectual, or otherwise. It’s tempting to run with the herd. Even on the most important issues of the day, we tend to adopt the view of our friends, families and colleagues. But that is like embracing the status quo, we are resistant to change, more than happy to delegate our thinking.

They quote George Bernard Shaw – “Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation by thinking once or twice a week.”

There is an inherent problem in how people think. Too much is emotion and lack of data to make a proper call. They site the example of NHS (National Health Service)~ which provides cradle~to~grave healthcare for every Briton, most of it free at the point of use. This comes at an enormous cost and has been rising ever since. This does not make practical sense~ while the goal of free, unlimited, lifetime of healthcare is laudable, the economics are tricky, because there is so much emotion attached to healthcare that people can’t take a rational call. The problem is that when people don’t pay the true cost, they tend to consume it inefficiently.

So most people make decisions based on incomplete data, prejudices, their environment or peer and family pressure. Moreover, because they often have little idea of the impact, of their choices, they leave others to make decisions for them. The authors describe how, in a controlled experiment, and with the agreement of those involved, dilemmas were resolved with the toss of a coin to such questions as: “Shall I leave my girlfriend?” . A considerable percentage accepted a random outcome and professed themselves to be happy with the choice that was made for them!

Think Like a Freak is well-populated with case studies for freaky thinking in business, which should prove of value to futurists and foresight professionals working with business trends and clients. Much of this relates to developing persuasiveness, clearly a key trait to success in any endeavor.

“Thinking like a freak may sometimes sound like an exercise in using clever means to get exactly what you want, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” the authors write. But “the best way to get what you want is to treat other people with decency. Decency can push almost any interaction into the cooperative frame.”

Finally, the bravest act of freaky thinking may very well be admitting failure. We certainly value fortitude and determination, but not obsessiveness in the face of futility. Quitting isn’t failure, the authors remind us; failing is failure. The upside to quitting—to recognizing a brick wall before you hit it—is reserving resources and resilience for finding a way around, over, or even under that brick wall.

Fixing huge problems like runaway health~care is hard~ so the advise is to focus on small problems when possible. So let us begin by retraining our brain to think differently about problems, one problem at a time. Are you willing to try it? Excellent ! Then go and read the book and don’t get embarrassed by how much you don’t yet know….

Photos via Amazon.com authors’ pages.

Book Review · Books · History · Homo sapiens · Non Fiction · Yuval Noah Harari

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari ~ Book Review

Caesar:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry “Caesar!” Speak, Caesar is turn’d to hear.
Soothsayer:
Beware the ides of March.
Caesar:
What man is that?
Brutus:
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar Act 1, Scene 2

Do not be alarmed my readers , it’s the 16th of March today, the ides of March was yesterday, but I compare the author Mr. Yuval Noah Harari to the soothsayer who rings the alarm bells to wake us up ~ us, Homo sapiens from our slumber and take stock of things going around us on a global scale.

The previous two books by Mr Harari~ Sapiens, which showed us where we came from. Homo Deus, which lookes at the future, but 21 Lessons for the 21st century explores the present. The questions is: “Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?”

Introduction

The book is a revelation of sorts. With the world of 7 billion people with 7 billion agendas~ thinking about the big picture is a rare luxury. We all have pressing issues, our day to day problems, but we cannot ignor global issues~such as climate change or crisis of liberal democracy and carry on thinking it will not effect our lives~ cause eventually global warming will make the Mumbai slums uninhabitable, send enormous waves of refugees across Mediterranean, and lead to a world wide crisis in healthcare~ which we are already witnessing first hand with the spread of the Covid pandemic which has raised its ugly head and refuses to bow down.

The book covers different aspects of global predicaments~

What is happening in the world today and what is the deep meaning of the events?

What does rise and fall of Donald Trump signifies?

Why is the liberal democracy in crisis?

Is God back?

Is a new World War coming?

Which civilisation dominates the world~the West, China, Islam?

Should Europe keep its door open to Immigrants?

Can Nationalism solve the problem of inequality and climate change?

The above mentioned issues have a connection to the internal lives of individuals. Our daily routine influences the lives of people and animals half way across the world, and seemingly isolated personal gestures can unexpectedly set the entire world ablaze ~ the so called butterfly effect ~ for instance self immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi in Tunisia, ignited the Arab Spring and with the women who shared their stories of sexual harassment sparked the #MeToo movement.

Key message

The book starts with the current political and technological predicaments. With the end of the twentieth century the ideological shift took place from fascism and communism to liberalism, which resulted in democratic politics, human rights and free~market capitalism. However nothing lasts for ever and now liberalism is in a jam . So where are we heading? This puts the whole human race in a jeopardy as information technologies and biotechnologies confronts us with even bigger challenges our species has ever encountered. It threatens the very fibre of our social structure where billions of humans could find themselves out of the job market.

Big Data Algorithms might create digital dictatorship in which all the power will be concentrated in the hands of few elite and most people will have a fate worse than being exploited ~ irrelevance and redundancy.

The book is divided into five parts ~ each covers an area which highlights the threats and dangers. The first part deals with the impact of new technologies.

In the second part, the book examines a wide range of setups like communities, civilisation, nationalism, religion, and immigration.

The third part talks about the menace of terrorism, and the dangers of global war, about the biases and hatred that sparks such conflicts.

The fourth part engages with notion of post truth. Are we still capable of distinguishing between wrong doing from justice.

The fifth and the final part the author gets all the threads together and takes a more general look at life in an age of bewilderment. Questions life ~ what should we do in life? What kind of skills do we need ? What is the meaning of life today?

Conclusion

We have to wake up to what is happening around us. We cannot ignore anymore the global dimension of our personal lives and it is more important than ever to uncover religion and political biases, our racial and gender privileges and our unwitting complicity in institutional oppression. Homo sapiens can’t wait . Philosophy, religion, and science is running out of time . The looming ecological crisis, the growing threat of weapons of mass destruction, the use of new disruptive technologies will not allow it. Perhaps the most important, artificial Intelligence and biotechnologies are giving humanity the power to reshape and re~engineer human life.

Book Review · Books · Matthew Dicks · Non Fiction · Storytelling · Storyworthy · Tools

Book Review ~Storyworthy by Matthew Dicks

My Story

Let’s start with me telling you a story about me~ as the author says, people would rather hear what happened to you than someone else , as there is an “immediate and inherent vulnerability in hearing a story of someone standing in front of you.”

I was returning from school in my car after picking up my daughter, on my regular way which I take every day ~ going neither too fast nor too slow, preoccupied in my head with the humdrum of daily life , trying to get through life one day at a time, one road at a time. When from no where, a dead cat shows up, very out of place, lying quite dead in the middle of the road~ a place she is not suppose to be! We slow down, cars ahead of me change their course to avoid the obvious flesh and blood. I, no better, follow the crowd and do the same inhuman stuff we humans are so good at ~disregard any life form which is not as precious or valuable as ours. After all a dead cat should not come in the way of so many more important things we have scheduled in our daily lives. However as I swerved from my path, my eyes caught the car behind me, which instead of doing what the rest of us have been avoiding~ stoppes in the middle of the road. She got down, the women in black, with her dark glasses and her hair pulled back. I watched from my rear view mirror as she steppes out with a plastic bag, liftes the dead cat~ which folks like us had left to die~ places her gently on the side of the road. As the traffic moves on I see my perversity reflect back at me in the harsh afternoon sun. I saluted to the lady in black in my mind and went on driving.

The author points that when telling a story to an audience, you cannot tell it the same way you would be telling your friends at a dinner, but slightly more crafted version~however he stresses that we refrain from getting too melodramatic or poetic. To an audience you may sound unprepared or unrehearsed, but this is not true. One has to be prepared to tell them. So it’s more a skill which has to be worked on and made perfect, which Matthew Dicks has mastered as a storyteller ~ check out his YouTube channel “Storyworthy the Book”.

The Art Of Telling Stories

The art of storytelling is a skill which has to be mastered keeping your audience in mind . To keep your story compelling, there are certain rules which the author has come up with, which has served him well over the years at events such as Moth Story~Slam for a very good reason. The five different strategies to infuse a story to make it effective.

  1. The Elephant ~ Every story must have an elephant. It is basically a clear statement of the need, the want, the problem, the peril, or the mystery. It makes it clear to an audience that it’s a story and not a simple musing on a subject. Just like movies have trailers and summaries that you can read on websites like Rotten Tomatoes to inform you of the gist of the story. Storytellers don’t have a trailer, they need to give some preview to get the audience attention.
  2. Backpacks ~ This is a strategy that increases the stakes of the story by increasing the audience’s anticipation about a coming event . Its when a storyteller makes the audience wonder what would happen next.
  3. Breadcrumbs~They are little hints that the storyteller drops of some future event, but only revels enough to keep the audience guessing. The trick is to choose the breadcrumbs which creates the most wondering the mind of the audience .
  4. Hourglasses ~ This is like a climax in a movie scene; the crescendo in a musical piece. Its the time when the story reaches the moment the audience has been waiting for. The sentence the audience has been waiting to hear. The author advise is to slow things down. Grind it to a halt; drag out and wait as long as possible.
  5. Crystal Ball ~ It is a false prediction made by a storyteller to cause an audience to wonder if the prediction is true. We as humans are always trying to anticipate the future, so when telling stories, recounting those on~the~moment predictions is critical.

A story needs to have stakes. Using the above mentioned techniques will only work if your story has stakes. If your story is boring, the strategies will only get you so far.

Lessons for Life

I like the book at many levels. The thing about stories are that they are moments in time which we have all experienced which are unique and beautiful and crafted in a way that blossoms into a story worth sharing. These moments are all around us; every day we go through life missing them entirely. However Matthew Dicks points out that it does not have to be so. He calls it the “Homework for Life”.

He says that at the end of every day, “I’d reflect upon my day and ask myself one simple question: If I had to tell a story from today ~ a five minute story onstage about something that happened in the course of this day , what would it be?” So he writes down a sentence or two that captures his day on an excel sheet . This gives him a constant supply of all storyworthy topics he can present , but more than that I feel this technique helps you record all the meaningful memories that come in our mind, moments from the past that one has forgotten.

I don’t know if I will ever muster the courage to stand in front of an audience and pour out my heart but I do capture my day in my journal. Sometimes I see patterns in my life, some storyworthy stories which I share with my family . It is kind of therapeutic in a way, it stops us from rushing through life and take stock of things around us.

Quoting the author “We are the sum of our experience, the culmination of everything that has come before. “

4 Hour Body · Book Review · Books · Non Fiction · Productivity · Self~Help · Slow Carb Diet · Tim Ferris · Tools

Moonwalking with Tim Ferris

SLOW CARB DIET

Introduction

“Self~discipline is overrated and undependable.”

If I had to boil down the gist of the book and the mantras which helped me to loose weight, this would be it. I had been down the rabbit hole too many times ~diets, fads~been their done that!

The book divulges into myriad topic from

1. secret of loosing the elusive body fat

2. improving sex

3. perfecting sleep

4.reversing injuries

5.running faster and farther

6. getting stronger

7.learning to swim effortlessly in ten days

8.on longer and better life

Yes , its not humanly possible for me, a humble mortal to tackle all but will start with setting straight my elusive body fat percentage , what Timothy Ferris calls eyeballing it ~ for women~ if obese, aim for 25%, if you have just a bit of extra padding, aim for 18% (good luck with that , so I said to my past self~I stand corrected.)

The Slow Carb Diet

I love fool’s experiments,I’m always making them~Charles Darwin

As the story goes in the book , Mr Ferris has just consumed a whooping 4400 calories in the form of two full~size barbecue chicken pizzas and three handful of mixed nuts (some folks have all the luck in the world )~ hold on it gets better ~ it was his forth meal of the day.

After 72 hours he tested his body fat percentage with an ultra sound analyzer~dropped from 11.9% to 10.2%~ he had lost 14% body fat in 14 days ~ ‘ welcome to utopia ~ aka Slow Carb Diet.

The five Tenets of Slow Carb Diet ~Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days without exercise.

a. Avoid”White” Carbohydrates.

b. Eat the same few meals over and over again.

c. Don’t Drink Calories.

d. Don’t Eat Fruits.

e. Take One Day Off Per Week.

That’s all, Folks!

Conclusion

I have been on the Slow Carb Diet for two weeks, and I know it may be too early to gloat and swear by it, but I am no rookie when it comes to dieting and trying to loose weight~ the mere convenience of eating the same meal and not having to count calories and macros is a winner in my opinion.And the fact that you get a day to live your deepest, darkest desires (Dieters Gone Wild ~as the author appropriately terms it ) is the cherry on the cake.

Book Review · Books · corona Virus, Plague, Albert Camus, Spillover, David Quammen, pest, 2021 · Fiction

Plague 2020

"And indeed , as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperilled. He knew that the jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books:that plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good: that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen closet, that it bides its time in bedroom , cellars, trunks and bookshelves , and perhaps the day would come when for the bane and enlightening men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city". 

As I read these last lines of the book "Plague by Albert Camus", it left me wondering ....
Is it really all there is , is this how things will go down or that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.
Now that a year has gone since the outbreak and we are still struggling to curtail the virus, how would life change or will we forget and move on with our lives, assuming that the blight seem to have retreated , slinking back to the obscure lair from which it had stealthily emerged.

To get an insight into how virus works and spreads ~ "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic"is a great read.
 "When a pathogen leaps from some nonhuman animal into a person, and succeeds there in establishing itself as an infectious presence, sometimes causing illness or death, the result is a zoonosis," Mr. Quammen writes, and he tells us that the term is "a word of the future, destined for heavy use in the twenty-first century."

The fatal leap from animal to human~ Life-threatening infectious diseases such as AIDS, Ebola, virus flu, SARS and currently Covid-19 can spread quickly over large areas thanks to globalization and trigger epidemics or even pandemics. They have one thing in common: the pathogens jumped from animals to humans - the so-called spillover. In a book that is as excitingly narrated as it is disturbing, the award-winning science author David Quammen describes how and where viruses, bacteria and other pathogens are preferentially transmitted to humans. He accompanies researchers in their search for the origin of the epidemics, including gorillas in the Congo, observes them working with bats in China and monkeys in Bangladesh and explains why the risk of spillover has increased. A science thriller about the increasing risk of pandemics in the globalised world.

The two novels talk of the same issue but at different levels.
In Camus work you read how a small town is shut off from the rest of the world, its citizens confined to their homes, as a contagion spreads, infecting thousands, and subjecting thousands more to quarantine?
 How would you cope if an epidemic disrupted daily life, closing schools, packing hospitals, and putting social gatherings, sporting events and concerts, conferences, festivals and travel plans on indefinite hold?
Sadly we are very much aware of this situation today.Given the relevance of this book today~the book demands reading. 

Spillover on the other hand covers a wider perspective. It divulges into the science of an epidemic. It take instances from different diseases and the cause of its spread. 
Certainly humans can be destructive and shortsighted, they can also be forward thinking and altruistic. Time and time again people have demonstrated that they care about the problem of sharing the earth with other creatures.

The one feature these events have in common is change and, to more specific, rate of change. When world changes faster than species can adapt, many fall out.