Steven Johnson's "The Invention of Air" -- how an eclectic minister/scientist/politician shows that history is a web

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10 Responses to “Steven Johnson's "The Invention of Air" -- how an eclectic minister/scientist/politician shows that history is a web”

  1. hawkins says:

    Small correction: It’s the Book of Revelation. Not Revelations.

    Common mistake among y’all Pagans.

  2. Jonathan Badger says:

    I guess I never really see why people find the fact that great scientists like Priestly or Newton were into mystic prophecies to be surprising. Look at the 20th century — great British scientists like J.D. Bernal and J.B.S. Haldane were fanatical Marxists and supporters of the Soviet Union long after the facts of Stalin’s reign had made it unpalatable even among the bulk of the Left. People (including scientists) are quite capable of holding weird beliefs outside their area of expertise.

  3. Anonymous says:

    He certainly would have fit in around here.

    –mdh

  4. elsmiley says:

    Isn’t it “miscellanarian”?

  5. Dan says:

    this post is longer than god’s schlong.

  6. Tim says:

    Watch Connections (1978) episode 6: “Thunder in the Skies”
    http://home.comcast.net/~billotto/Connections.html#Episode_6

    It talks about how Priestly’s work fits in to a chain of inventions leading to internal combustion engines.

    The whole series is still interesting and relevant.

    Tim

  7. Moriarty says:

    That guy was totally steampunk.

  8. anotheronetimer says:

    Ah Unitarianism. The religion for people who should know better.

  9. the Other michael says:

    if one takes the pneuma-spewing tube that descends from the sun as an scale depiction of g-d’s johnson than relatively speaking i don’t think so

    —-

    I enjoyed Johnson’s “The Ghost Map,” if “enjoyed” is the right word for a book on a disease caused by fecal matter in the drinking water supply. I don’t think I’ll ever forget his description of the “rice water” stage of Cholera.

  10. Takuan says:

    been so long since I read it, did Kuhn use Priestley as an example? (“phlogiston”)

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