Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bibliophile: Revenge of Royal Roads University

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― Jorge Luis Borges

It has not been an easy set of days.  I had a six and a half hour delay on my flight back to Ontario on Friday, which threw the rest of my travel plans into merry havoc.  And yesterday, I struggled with the resurgence of my cold, which somehow  regained a foothold after I got up at 5:00 am for a 1:45 pm flight.  Today looks to be better.  No, it will be better.  You know why?  Because of the business at hand.  Welcome to Royal Roads University Library after the break.

This is Bibliophile.

Royal Roads University has a good old proper New Books tab, which is a welcome addition, after a few weeks of universities with no such provisions at all.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to actually work, which rather sours that affection.  And you can't do a general search for all books released 2013. Or a search for both call number and date.  So... I guess I'll search randomly among topic names that correspond to the call numbers.  This is getting complicated.

Royal Roads University is a vocation-based school, so there's a lot of technical stuff, even in areas more often reserved for abstract thinking.  Case in point: Under the philosophy section, for example, we have:

Here's a related book. Fröding is taking a more specific approach to the topic of human enhancement, by examining what it means in terms of some of the ideas Aristotle presents in Nicomachean Ethics.  He argues that, to date, the bioethics and neuroethics have been too focused on consequentialist and deontological terms, rather than virtue ethics.  While all of those are terms that I have heard of, I really lack the deeper understanding needed to weigh in here.  I can say that, of the two books, Lilley's seems more oriented towards a starting understanding of the issues, and Fröding's demonstrates how different, nuanced approaches are possible, and desirable.

Crossroads in Literature and Culture/ edited by Jacek Fabiszak, Ewa Urbaniak-Rybicka, Bartosz Wolski.
It's an anthology about literary texts that talk about crossing boundaries. Now, not to get all literary pedantic (the best kind of pedantic!) on everyone, but crossing boundaries is not the same thing as crossroads.  Crossroads are about choices, boundaries are about transgressions.  Get it straight, people. The book has eight parts and over five hundred pages, which is an impressive heft for an anthology.  It's a rather diverse set of essays too.  In Countries and Cultures at Crosswords, we have Gradziel's "Early Modern Travel Writing and Thomas More's Utopia" alongside Ligor's essay on cinematic works, and Rozycki and conspiracy theories in the Da Vinci Code.  That's quite a stretch.  In fact, section six is exactly on that stretch: "Across Literary Epochs, Bringing Together Writers," which combines Yeats and Blake, Macbeth and modern times, Samuel Beckett and Thomas MacGreevy.  That sort of thing.  Artur Skweres has an essay on Philip K. Dick in Part V, Private Territories, Social Spaces.  Part III, Cross-Language Ventures, consists of a single essay on Alice Walker's The Color Purple (I mean to read that, at some point).  There's a lot here.

Oh--with 2 books left, I figured out how to search for all books published in 2013.  Well, better late than never.  

Classic Telescopes: A Guide to Collecting, Restoring, and Using Telescopes of Yesteryear / by Neil English. 
I have no interest in this, but I'm kind of happier knowing that there are people who do.

Defining Street Gangs in the 21st Century : Fluid, Mobile, and Transnational Networks / by C.E. Prowse.
Prowse's premise is that the long-standing model of street gangs is wrong; the accurate model is flowing, and more interchangeable.  There's a geographic mobility, yet still a high level of personal bonds. It's part of a larger shift towards human migration and globalization.  Basically, he says, we have to think of a new commodity-based turf rather than a territory-based turf for criminal gangs.  That makes sense--although "turf" is perhaps not the best word for it, since it's based so fundamentally in territory. In terms of policing, this fluidity means two things. First, that the old model based on finding suspects based on those who are doing things other gang members in that area have done is out. (And if you think my phrasing is convoluted, you should see the original.)   Second, it challenges police officers to change the way they share information; the police are still location-based, so to be effective with non-location-based gangs, they have to become more fluid themselves.  It sounds like a good reflection on how an aspect of law enforcement is affected by larger societal shifts towards decentralized location. Or something.

That's it for this week.  Later Days.

No comments: