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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love,…

Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life (edição: 2020)

de Lulu Miller (Autor)

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3451759,004 (4.06)8
Título:Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life
Autores:Lulu Miller (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2020), Edition: 01, 225 pages

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Why Fish Don't Exist: A Story of Loss, Love, and the Hidden Order of Life de Lulu Miller

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, jenniferw88, Owlpower, AsteriaoftheStars, phinze, EmilyWros, drneutron, KallieGrace

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Mostrando 1-5 de 17 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This short book is so many different things – a memoir, a biography, a science/taxonomy lesson, and maybe even a murder mystery – I hardly know where to begin. At first glance the title seems nonsensical because of course fish exist! But if you stick with it you’ll see why fish as a biological group don’t exist. (If they do, then we’re all fish.) And that's just one take away I got from this insightful and well-written book. It also delves into more serious matters, such as idealization and toxic personality traits, without losing its overall sense of possibility and hope. Truly a unique reading experience. ( )
  wandaly | Nov 11, 2021 |
Lulu Miller has a weird fascination with David Starr Jordan, a scientist and naturalist known, among other things, for collecting and cataloging an extraordinary amount of fish, and for being the first president of Stanford University. In particular, she found herself obsessing over a particular incident in Jordan's life, in which thirty years of his fish-collecting career ended up in disarray on the floor after the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, each specimen suddenly separated from its label. It's not too difficult to see a broadly applicable metaphor in this instance of a human trying to impose order on a world that, in an instant, can tumble all those efforts into chaos. How, Miller wondered, did Jordan keep going through things like that? What kind of mindset leads to picking your fish up off the floor and sewing the labels back onto the ones you can still identify, instead of just giving up in the face of nature's obvious indifference to your life's work?

The book that results from this obsession is partly a biography of Jordan, whose life, it turns out, takes some surprising and disturbing turns and ultimately offers up one set of answers to Miller's questions that should very much not be emulated. But it's much more a personal set of musings on chaos and order and how we perceive and categorize the world, and on how we can possibly find meaning in a fundamentally meaningless universe.

I'll be honest, I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about any of this at first. It was interesting, for sure, but the thought of Miller perhaps projecting her own issues onto some long-dead scientist felt mildly uncomfortable in a hard-to-pin-down kind of way. I also found her mindset and the exact nature of her philosophical journey a little difficult to connect with at times, as she perceives certain things significantly differently than I do, even if we're kind of starting out in the same place. But the place she arrives at the end of her journey is one I do feel comfortable joining her in, and along the way she weaves together a really interesting and sometimes deeply insightful tapestry of rich and important themes. So I think it's safe to say she won me over. ( )
  bragan | Oct 7, 2021 |
This enchanting book is a brief biography of David Starr Jordan, icthyologist, first president of Stanford University, and eugenicist, intertwined with a personal memoir and some philosophical musings on entropy, social justice, and what matters in life. I normally wouldn’t have given two hoots about Mr. Jordan, but Lulu Miller framed his concerns with her concerns and made me care very much. I was surprised and delighted to learn that fish don’t exist, but you’ll have to read this little gem for yourself to find out why this is such a life-affirming lesson. ( )
  Charon07 | Aug 31, 2021 |
Los peces no existen. Esto es literal y científicamente cierto.
Un gran libro ( )
  Pindarix | Jul 15, 2021 |
Lulu Miller struggles with finding meaning in life as she tells this story that primarily focuses on her infatuation and obsession with naturalist David Starr Jordan. Jordan was a taxonomist but also a swashbuckler, eugenicist, and possibly a murderer. However, he also played a seminal role in the development of Stanford University, having been its first president after coming into favor, then disfavor with Jane and Leland Stanford.

Miller conducted much research related to the influences on Jordan’s life and possibly her own. Sections of the book focus on Louis Agassiz, a Harvard professor who believed that species were fixed and unchangeable. Of course, Darwin’s work influenced Jordan when he realized that change was an essential focus of species development. However, Jordan held onto the concepts of hierarchies in species, including the human species. His views, especially those having to do with eugenics, have led to Stanford features, named for him being renamed. A Stanford statue of Agassiz has also been removed from Stanford.

It seems that despite disagreeing with many of his beliefs and theories, Lulu Miller is impressed with Jordan’s ability to bring order to chaos. Additionally, he had an uncanny ability to persevere after suffering significant setbacks in his career and personal life. Miller seems to admire his confidence and resolve. Through extensive interviews about and study of Jordan, Miller gained an appreciation for the fact that although Jordan spent so much of his time naming and classifying them, fish don’t really exist in the eyes of modern taxonomists. Accepting this realization assisted Miller in sorting out her own life. ( )
  LindaLoretz | Jul 15, 2021 |
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