Books (was FW: I am so totally controlled by my environment...)

Dan Kohn (
Fri, 22 Aug 1997 18:56:06 -0700

Rohit, your quote brings to mind one of the most unique books I know, An
Intimate History of Humanity by Theodore Zeldin. The book is a tour de
force of human aspirations and feelings, roaming across every culture
and several thousand years. One of the best chapter titles is "6. Why
there has been more progress in cooking than in sex," which includes the
following sentence:

>How to obtain in sexual relations something of the warmth and security,
>the sense of knowing where one belongs, that mother's cooking gives,
>was what the pagan religions taught.

The book argues that "professors of happiness" should consider the
subject as a whole, rather than breaking out sub-disciplines of sexology
and gastronomy.

BTW, this book has just about the best table of contents I've ever seen,

2. How men and women have slowly learned to have interesting
4. How some people have acquired an immunity to loneliness
9. How those who want neither to give orders nor to receive them can
become intermediaries
16. Why even the privileged are often somewhat gloomy about life, even
when they have everything the consumer society offers, and even after
sexual liberation
17. How travelers are becoming the largest nation in the world, and how
they have learned not to see only what they are looking for
25. What becomes possible when soul-mates meet

It's at <>. No, I
don't get a commission.

- dan

P.S. Who recommended A History of Knowledge this month? Adam? I read
the whole 400 pages last weekend and it was fantastic. Even though I
knew a lot of the specific contents, you still get so much out of seeing
it in context, with the evolution of ideas shown.
<>. Which reminds me.
We really haven't had enough religious discussions on FoRK. I need to
post how my deepening understanding of the scientific method over the
last 2 years has turned me from an agnostic to an atheist.

Daniel Kohn <>
Teledesic Corporation     PGP KeyID: 0x6129DD6D
+1-425-602-6222 (voice)   602-0002 (fax)

> -----Original Message----- > From: Dan Kohn > Sent: Friday, August 22, 1997 6:32 PM > To: '' > Subject: RE: I am so totally controlled by my environment... > > In the larger scheme of things, this isn't worrisome; it's not even a > binge. The lesson continues to be that I don't treat food as something > for > myself, determined by myself, it's something absorbed from the > environment. > I didn't decide if I wanted 2oz or 4 oz or 8 oz of bread today; I just > started eating and didn't stop. I clean my plate, not out of greed OR > obligation, but by habit. > > I wonder if sex ever gets boring like this? :-) >