The Brain is Wider Than the Sky
By Bryan Appleyard
A brand-new book from the award-winning SUNDAY TIMES journalist Brian Appleyard.Simplicity has become a brand and a cult. People want simple lives and simple solutions. And now our technology wants us to be simpler, to be 'machine readable'. From telephone call trees that simplify us into a series of 'options' to social networks that reduce us to our purchases and preferences, we are deluged with propaganda urging us to abandon our irreducibly complex selves. At the same time, scientists tell us we are 'simply' the products of evolution, nothing more than our genes. Brain scanners have inspired neuroscientists to claim they are close to cracking the problem of the human mind. 'Human equivalent' computers are being designed that, we are told, will do our thinking for us. Humans are being simplified out of existence. It is time, says Bryan Appleyard, to resist, and to reclaim the full depth of human experience. We are, he argues, naturally complex creatures, we are only ever at home in complexity. Through art and literature we see ourselves in ways that machines never can. He makes an impassioned plea for the voices of art to be heard before those of the technocrats. Part memoir, part reportage, part cultural analysis, THE BRAIN IS WIDER THAN THE SKY is a dire warning about what we may become and a lyrical evocation of what humans can be. For the brain is indeed wider than the sky.
Buttering Parsnips, Twocking Chavs
By Martin H. Manser, David Pickering
A more-ishly browsable collection of words and phrases, linguistic quirks, lexical oddities and syntactic surprises.Our langauge is one of delight and curiosity. BUTTERING PARSNIPS, TWOCKING CHAVS is a guided tour of English, exploring the origins of words, their changing meaning, lexical peculiarities, word games and lost words, presented in lists, small passages of narrative text, amusing quotations and nuggets of amazing facts.This must-have compendium shows that words have a matchless power to entertain. Here you will find enough new words and phrases to last a lifetime. Idioms frolic beside cliches, catchphrases, proverbs, eponyms, acronyms, spoonerisms and split infinitives. Text messages cavort alongside business jargon and rap slang to produce a language that is both witty and bizarre, and sometimes frankly outstanding.So whether you're a yuppie or a woopie, a sinbad or dinky, a spod or even a wazzock, these pages will provide endless hours of delight and fascination.