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Reading Notes

Spring English

Table of contents
  1. “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” by Donna Haraway
    1. An Ironic Dream of a Common Language for Women in the Integrated Circuit
    2. Fractured Identities
    3. The Informations of Domination
    4. The Homework Economy Outside the Home
    5. Women in the Integrated Circuit
    6. Cyborgs: A Myth of Political Identity
  2. “Climate Theories” by Lauren LaFauci
    1. Introduction
    2. Early Modern Climates: Latitudes, Golden Means, and Humors
    3. American Climates: Remaking Epistemologies and Confronting Creolian Degeneracies
    4. Modern Climate and Its Aftermaths: The Nineteenth Century to Today
  3. “Climate and the Environmental Humanities” by Michael Ziser
  4. Introduction to Pandemic Education and Viral Politics by Michael Peters and Tina Besley
  5. Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter
    1. Book Information
    2. Section 1
    3. Section 2
    4. Section 3
    5. Section 4
    6. Section 5
    7. Section 6
    8. Section 7
    9. Section 8
    10. Section 9
  6. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
    1. Logistical Information
    2. Forward
    3. Chapter 1: A Fable for Tomorrow
    4. Chapter 2: The Obligation to Endure
    5. Chapter 3: Elixirs of Death
    6. Chapter 4: Surface Waters and Underground Seas
    7. Chapter 5: Realms of the Soil
    8. Chapter 6: Earth’s Green Mantle
    9. Chapter 7: Needless Havoc
    10. Chapter 8: And No Birds Sing
    11. Chapter 9: Rivers of Death
    12. Chapter 10: Indiscriminately from the Skies
    13. Chapter 11: Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias
    14. Chapter 12: The Human Price
    15. Chapter 13: Through a Narrow Window
    16. Chapter 14: One in Every Four
    17. Chapter 15: Nature Fights Back
    18. Chapter 16: The Rumblings of an Avalanche
    19. Chapter 17: The Other Road
  7. Machinehood by S.B. Divya
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
    17. Chapter 17
    18. Chapter 18
    19. Chapter 19
    20. Chapter 20
    21. Chapter 21
    22. Chapter 22
    23. Chapter 23
    24. Chapter 24
    25. Chapter 25
    26. Chapter 26
    27. Chapter 27
    28. Chapter 29
  8. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    1. Chapter 1
    2. Chapter 2
    3. Chapter 3
    4. Chapter 4
    5. Chapter 5
    6. Chapter 6
    7. Chapter 7
    8. Chapter 8
    9. Chapter 9
    10. Chapter 10
    11. Chapter 11
    12. Chapter 12
    13. Chapter 13
    14. Chapter 14
    15. Chapter 15
    16. Chapter 16
    17. Chapter 17
    18. Chapter 18
    19. Chapter 19
    20. Chapter 20
    21. Chapter 21
    22. Chapter 22
    23. Chapter 23
    24. Chapter 24
    25. Chapter 25
    26. Chapter 26
    27. Chapter 27
    28. Chapter 28
    29. Chapter 29
    30. Chapter 30
    31. Chapter 31
    32. Chapter 32
    33. Chapter 33
    34. Chapter 34
    35. Chapter 35
    36. Chapter 36
    37. Chapter 37
    38. Chapter 38
    39. Chapter 39
    40. Chapter 40
    41. Chapter 41
    42. Chapter 42
    43. Chapter 43
    44. Chapter 44
    45. Chapter 45
    46. Chapter 46
    47. Chapter 47
    48. Chapter 48
    49. Chapter 49
    50. Chapter 50
    51. Chapter 51
    52. Chapter 52
    53. Chapter 53
    54. Chapter 54
    55. Chapter 55

“A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century” by Donna Haraway

Access here (Requires UW login). Pages 3-91.

As with all my notes, these are my takeaways from Haraway’s writings, not necessarily indicative of my beliefs.

An Ironic Dream of a Common Language for Women in the Integrated Circuit

Page 3

  • This essay: an effort to build an “ironic” political myth drawing upon feminism, socialism, and materialism.
    • Faithful as blasphemy, rather than worship.
  • Blasphemy is not apostasy.
  • Irony is about humor and serious play; it is also a rhetorical strategy and a political method.
  • At the center of Haraway’s ironic faith is the cyborg.
  • Cyborg: cybernetic organism, hybrid of machine and organism.
    • Hybrid of fiction and lived experience - how does this change women’s experience?
    • The boundary between fiction and social reality is illusory.
  • Cyborg replication is distinct from organic reproduction.
    • “And modern war is a cyborg orgy.”
    • A cyborg is a fiction mapping our social and bodily reality, and an imaginative resource.
  • We were cyborgs by the late twentieth century - condensed images of imagination and material reality.
  • Relation between organism and machine has been a war.
    • The confusion of boundaries between the territories of production, reproduction, and imagination is good.
  • Cyborgs exist in a postgender world.
    • Cyborgs have no origin story in a Western sense, which depends on original unity, fullness.
    • The cyborg has no original unity.
  • The cyborg is committed to partiality, irony, intimacy, perversity, opposition, utopia.
    • Relationships for forming wholes from parts.
    • Cyborgs are “illegitimate” offspring of militarism, patriarchal capitalism, and state socialism, unfaithful to their origins.
  • Three boundary transgressions
    • Boundary between human and animal was breached.
      • Biological-determinist ideology: what are the meanings of human animality?
      • The cyborg appears where the boundary between human and animal is crossed.
    • Distinction between organism and machine.
      • Modern machines have made ambiguous the difference between natural and artificial.
      • “Textualization” has been damned by Marxists and socialist-feminists.
      • The certainty of what can be classified as nature is undermined.
    • The boundary between physical and nonphysical is imprecise.
      • Indeterminacy principle and quantum theory.
      • Modern machinery is an “irreverent upstart god, mocking the Father’s ubiquity and spirituality.”
      • Ubiquity and invisibility of cyborgs; hard to see politically as materially.
      • The science of the pure number and spirit
  • A need for unity in resisting intensification of domination.
  • A cyborg world is about the final imposition of control, and perhaps of lived social and bodily realities where people are unafraid of partial identities and contradictions.
    • The political struggle is to accept and see from both at once, revealing dominations and unimaginable possibilities.

Fractured Identities

Page 16

  • One’s feminism cannot be named by a single adjective.
  • Gender, race, and class cannot provide the basis for belief in essential unity.
  • Nothing about being “female” naturally binds women.
  • There is no state of “being” female.
  • Group consciousness is forced upon “us” by experiences of patriarchy, colonialism, and capitalism.
  • Fragmentation among feminists and women has made the notion of a “woman” elusive.
  • Response through coalition - affinity, not identity.
  • Chela Sandoval: oppositional consciousness. Those that refuse stable membership into categorical lines of race, sex, or class.
    • Lack of essential criterion for identifying “woman of color”.
    • “Woman” negates all non-white women, “black” negates all non-black people.
    • Basis of conscious coalition becomes affinity rather than identity.
  • Katie King: limits of identification and political/poetic mechanics of identification.
    • “Moments” or “conversations” in feminist practice create the appearance of feminist history as an ideological struggle.
  • Crafting political unity without lying upon a logic of appropriation, incorporation, and taxonomic identification.
  • Cyborg feminists must argue against innocence, a “natural matrix of unity”.
  • Socialist-feminism advances by allying itself with analytic strategies of Marxism.
    • Expanding “labor” to accommodate what some women did.
    • No naturalization of unity; instead of based on a standpoint rooted in social relations.
  • An epistemology and ontology erase or police difference.
  • Sexual objectification is the consequence of sex/gender structures.
  • Radical feminism in Haraway’s caricature taxonomy can accommodate all activities of women as forms of labor if the activity can be sexualized.
  • The “end of man”; “woman disintegrates into women”.
  • Unreflective participation in the logic of white humanism and the ground of domination to secure the revolutionary voice has led socialist feminists to produce essentialist theories suppressing women’s contradictions and particularities.
  • Epistemology: differentiating between “playful” differences and historical systems of domination.

The Informations of Domination

Page 28

  • Sketch a picture of possible unity.
  • Worldwide social relations tied to science and technology
  • Politics is rooted in claims about fundamental changes like class, race, and gender.
  • Living through movement from an organic, industrial society into a polymorphous system of information.
  • Transition from old hierarchal dominations (“organics of domination”) to scary new networks (“informatics of domination”).
  • We must not think of essential properties, but design, logic, constraints.
  • Sex is no longer organic.
  • Ideologies of human diversity must be formulated in frequencies of parameters.
  • Translations of racism and colonialism.
  • Human beings must be localized in a system architecture with statistical modes of operation.
  • No single space, object, or body is sacred in and of itself.
  • The cyborg simulates politics.
  • Dichotomies are all in question ideologically.
  • The body can be dispersed. The cyborg is disassembled and reassembled.
  • Technologies and scientific discourse enforce meanings.
    • Myth and tool mutually constitute each other.
  • Translation of the world into a problem of coding - search for a common language in which resistance to instrumental control disappears.
    • Applying cybernetic (feedback-controlled) systems.
  • Information is a quantifiable element that allows for universal translation.
  • Interruption of communication causes constitutes a threat to power.
  • Organisms cease to become objects of knowledge as they are amalgams of biotic components.
  • Microelectronics is the technical basis of simulacra (copies within originals).
    • Mediates translations.

The Homework Economy Outside the Home

  • “New Industrial Revolution” produces a new worldwide working class.
  • Extreme mobilities of capital, weakening of familiar groups, the emergence of new collectives.
  • White men are becoming more vulnerable to job loss, women are preferred for labor.
  • Richard Gordon: “the homework economy”.
    • Restructuring of work that has characteristics ascribed to women.
    • Work is being redefined as female and feminized.
    • To be feminized: to be disassembled, reassembled, exploited, subjected to.
    • Factory, home, and market are integrated.
  • Homework economy is made possible by new technologies.
    • Loss of the male family wage and in the character of female capital-intensive jobs.
  • Collapsing welfare state and intensification of demands on women to sustain daily life for themselves.
    • Feminization of poverty.
    • Integration of female daily life with capitalist economies.
  • Forms of families relate to forms of capital.
    • patriarchal nuclear family; white bourgeois ideology, 19th-century Anglo-American bourgeois feminism
    • modern family mediated by the welfare state
    • family of the homework economy - women-headed households, erosion of gender
  • Projections for worldwide structural unemployment.
  • Sexuality, reproduction, family are interwoven into economic structures.
  • Certain technologies are fundamental to eradicating “public life”.
  • Reformulation of expectations, culture, work, and reproduction.
  • Formation of a bimodal social structure - masses of women and men of all ethnic groups confined to a homework economy, redundancy, and impotence, controlled by repressive apparatuses.
  • What can tie women together across scientific-technical hierarchies?
  • Welding personal preferences and cultural tendencies into progressive politics.

Women in the Integrated Circuit

Page 45

  • It is not possible to ideologically characterize women’s lives by the distinction of public and private domains.
  • Network ideological image.
  • Informatics of domination: massive intensification of insecurity and culture impoverishment.
  • Structural rearrangements related to social relations of science and technology.
  • We lack connections for building effective theories of experience.
  • The feminist dream of a common language is a totalizing and imperialist one.

Cyborgs: A Myth of Political Identity

  • Myth about identity and boundaries informs late 20th-century imagination.
  • Many insist on the organic as opposed to the technological.
  • Symbolic systems and positions of ecofeminism and feminist paganism can only be understood as oppositional ideologies.
  • Embrace the possibilities inherent in breaking distinctions between organism and machine.
    • Cracks the matrices of domination.
  • ‘Woman of color’ as a cyborg identity.
    • Literacy is a special mark; writing has significance for colonized groups.
    • Cyborg writing is about the power to survive, not based on original innocence but on seizing tools to mark the world that marked them as others.
  • Cyborg authors subvert central myths of origin by retelling origin stories.
    • Ability to live on the boundaries and to write without an original wholeness.
  • Writing is the technology of cyborgs. Struggle for language and against perfect communication.
    • Cyborgs insist on noise and advocate pollution.
  • Subverting structure and modes of reproduction of the “Western” identity.
  • Freed from the need to ground politics in a “privileged posiiton of oppression”.
    • Frees us of a need to root politics in identification, purity, mothering.
  • Dualisms have always persisted in Western traditions.
    • The self is the ONe who is not dominated, autonomous, powerful, but the One is an illusion.
    • One is too few, but two is too many.
  • High-technology culture challenges dualisms.
  • Machines can be animated, organisms are mechanized.
  • Pleasure in reading fiction is not based on identification.
  • Monsters define the limits of community.
  • The cyborg body is not innocent and it does not seek unitary identity, does not generate antagonist dualisms.
  • Organisms and organismic, holistic politics depend on metaphors of rebirth, calling on resources of the reproductive sex.
  • We have all been profoundly injured.
  • Cyborg imagery allows us to realize that
    • Production of a universal theory is a mistake.
    • Taking responsibility for social relations means refusing anti-science metaphysics and reconstructing partiality and boundaries.
  • Building and destroying machines, identities, categories.

“Though both are bound in the spiral dance, I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess.” -Haraway

“Climate Theories” by Lauren LaFauci


  • Summer of 2019: Europe is experiencing another heatwave.
  • Weather is not merely daily or weekly happenings, but climate as weather data over some time.
  • However, the weather has become climate. Daily aberrant weather reports have fused with the climate.
  • A single weather event and long-time scales of “climate”; contemporarily, they have meshed together.
  • Daily aberrations have become expected. Weather instabilities remind us of larger climactic instabilities.
  • Evolution of our thinking about climate theories.
    • Catalyzed by European colonization of the Americas.
    • Initiated and sustained a period of reconstitution and revision.
    • Become crucial to modern development.

Early Modern Climates: Latitudes, Golden Means, and Humors

  • Early Europeans relied on Greek texts for their theories of climates.
  • Climate comes from “Klima” - “region or zone”
  • “Latitudes”: torrid, frozen, temperate.
  • Theory of latitudinal bands; regions in the same band would share conditions like temperature, growing season, etc.
  • Aristotelian cosmology: the Earth exhales wet and dry vapors, which are heated by the Sun and taken up by celestial bodies.
  • Distinctive climates of the earth not only correspond but cause each other.
  • Extremes of the system - frozen and torrid zones - were unhabitable and barren.
  • “Golden Mean” of human flourishing - clima where the Garden of Eden was located.
  • Southern North American colonies did not match latitudinal expectations.
  • Embodiment as connected with climates: the body was susceptible to “absorbing” environmental elements and qualities.
  • Determining factors on bodies:
    • Four universal elements of earth (cold), air (dry), water (wet), and fire (hot).
    • Earth climates could be melancholic (cold + dry), choleric (hot + dry), phlegmatic (cold + wet), or sanguine (hot + wet).
  • Colonization presented dangers to colonizers’ bodies. One’s body was best suited to the climate of their birthplace; moving their body could impact their character.
  • Synthesis of climate theorizations during American colonization left out contrary voices.
  • Some rejected the truism that latitude = climate.
  • The Spanish tested their experiences against the hypothesis of ancient theories; prior knowledge would need to be altered to account for the Americas.
  • European colonizers decoupled climate from latitude; thus, the notion of “climate” began to change, resembling today’s definition.

American Climates: Remaking Epistemologies and Confronting Creolian Degeneracies

  • European colonizers expected a climate much warmer in North America than it was.
  • Latitudinal projections failed them; European colonials began to unlearn and remake climate theories.
  • However, the colonizers paradoxically held onto conflicting frameworks. America was promised to be fruitful land.
  • Through epistemological transformations, the latitudinal theory was transformed in accordance with North America’s new climates.
  • William Wood - one of the first in the American colonies to do away with altitude-based climate theory.
    • Continental air masses in America created its extreme cold.
    • European and American creoles were approaching our understanding of climate.
  • However, European colonists and descendants did not let go of theories regarding the impact of the climate on bodies.
    • Anxiety about bodily change was frequent in the 18t h century.
    • Apparently, the American climate stunted the development of higher life forms.
  • Theory of American Degeneracy spread among influential figures in Europe.
    • Thomas Jefferson refuted Busson’s theory of American degeneracy.
  • Medical geography/topography: a location-based theory of health. Bodies correspond to topographical elements of the places they reside in.
  • Differences between the North and the South also tightened as slavery took hold.
  • Montesquieu, Spirit of the Laws; hot climates produce sloth, sexuality, and despotism.
  • “Seasoning” - bodies acclimatize to prevailing conditions.
  • Newcomers to the Southern United States were told to survive the “sickly season”.
  • The American content was intended for colonization and independence.
  • Human presence and improvement would change the climate.

Modern Climate and Its Aftermaths: The Nineteenth Century to Today

  • Our modern understanding of climate started to emerge in the 19th century to explain the latitudinal explanation.
  • Concepts of seasoning or acclimatization survived until the later 19th century.
  • Climate was utilized for anti-slavery and pro-slavery discourse.
  • German scientist Alexander von Humboldt: created the first cartographic representation of climate not based on latitude. Found that North American climates were temperate, as was Europe.
    • Unknown territories could be hospitable to white bodies.
    • Manifest Destiny was underpinned by theories of American climates.
  • Scientific advancements like Darwin’s evolutionary theory and germ theory meant that climate no longer was needed to explain sickness.
  • A new discipline of climatology could emerge; new scientists collected data and analyzed it.
  • By the late 20th century, the problem of the climate crisis became evident; most people understand that human factors negatively impact planetary weather systems.
  • Naturecultural way of understanding climate somewhat resembles the pre-20th-century understandings of climate.
    • Climate can impact human bodies and vice versa.
    • Nature has never been separated from human culture, and vice versa.
  • We are continually re-learning our relationship with climate.

“Climate and the Environmental Humanities” by Michael Ziser

  • Widespread adoption of the “Anthropocene” as climatic rubric for work has profoundly impacted how humanities asks questions bout the natural world.
  • 2009: usage of “the Anthropocene” as a term begins to increase in its frequency of usage.
  • Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: a key inflection point in Anthropocene discourse in the humanities.
  • Bill McKibben
    • “Nature” is seen as a separate and wild province. Deep down, we have thought that we never could truly wreck nature.
    • Consolations of religion amidst ecological devastation.
    • “Climate despair” and eco-nihilism have emerged; reflections on the
  • Reflections of the “death” of nature in contemporary poetry.
    • Margaret REonda: Western elegiac tradition functions at a space of imaginative retreat.
  • McKibben’s dramatic framing dissemenated his message among like-minded environmentalists but prevented it from spreading to broader audiences.
  • Skepticism towards the “natural” resulting from a decade of focus on Foucault.
  • Emergent historiographic shift: how do material environmental distinctions interact with cultural beliefs and social structures?
  • McKibben’s nature-mourning did not fit in with prevailing attitudes of humanities scholarship in teh 1990s and early 200s.
  • Anthropogenic climate changeeventually realigned environmental studies.
  • Climate stood as a given that scholars would reflect on as a determining factor. However, mankind was an agent in the climate system allows for a reconciliation between skepticism of natural determinism.
  • The boundary between natural and cultural is unstable.
  • Timothy Morton: climate chnage as an instance of entities too complex to comprehend buit too important to ignore.
  • Once nature-culture dualism was reconciled, attentino turned to hman interventions in climate.
    • Marxist ecological critique: the Anthropocene as a consequence of exploitation of human labor.
  • Alternaitve hypotheses about recirpocated relationships between human populations and climate.
  • Finding phases of human existence: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond and Sapiens by Yuval Harari
  • The humanities do not necessarily challenge colonial and imperial world orders. Deepens intellectual assumptions.
    • Global discourse: tends towards unification towards a single epistemological and political standard of planetarity.
    • A small subset of human actors are responsible fo rth eclimate emergency.
  • Connection of ecological decline to extraction of value from colonized populations.
  • Environmental humans and environmental justice are unlikely to converge to one discourse.

Introduction to Pandemic Education and Viral Politics by Michael Peters and Tina Besley

  • Nations have responded very differently to COVID-19.
    • Some have followed several-staged lockdowns, facemasks, PPE, social distancing, etc.
    • Others have been alarmed at economic consequences and concerned about individual rights and liberties.
  • COVID-19 has brought epidemiology and politicization to the fore.
  • “Logic” of disease - epidemic and endemic differentiations of diseases.
  • Epidemiology: defined by the CDC as the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related states and events in specified populations.
  • Historians of medicine have made scant attention to the historical study of epidemiology; physicians and public health specialists hence do not usually draw lessons from the historical record of disease control.
  • New epidemiological models reveal that the COVID-19 pandemic will not disappear in mid-2020.
  • The strong possibility of a second wave may eclipse the first wave.
  • Three scenarios:
    1. Smaller waves diminish in 2021.
    2. Larger waves, then diminishing in 2021.
    3. Continues “slow burn” of transmission and case occurrence.
  • We should plan for another 18 months to 2 years.
  • Environment politicians must refrain from fake news, fake remedies, misinformation.
  • Public information requires scrutiny.
  • Education plays a paramount role in developing criticality.
  • Existential fears and anxiety are present with economic, climate, and biodiversity crises.
    • Fear arises from being threatened by something concrete; anxiety takes a more abstract object - nothingness itself.
  • COVID-9 is an exemplary object of anxiety.
  • Existential psychotherapy evolved after WWII: how to find meaning amid extreme suffering.
    • Man cannot avoid suffering but can choose how to cope with it.
    • Logotherapy - a way of creating meaning.
    • Four “givens” of the human condition: death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness.
    • Facing death leads to freedom.
  • Plethora of advice is posted in all forms of media; humor and memes are common in coping with anxiety or fear.
  • The philosophy of education can provide important ways for an anxious population to deal with the multiplicity of psychology and physical virus impacts.
  • Viral modernity - associated viral biology and information science to understand viral technologies, conspiracy theory, and the nature of post-truth.
  • Extending the notion of viral modernity:
    1. Viral modernity is a concept based on the nature of viruses, and the basic application to understanding the role of information in the social world.
    2. Development of post-truth theories; a notion of semi-chaotic systems.
  • Prime intellectual tasks: to understand the epistemology of conspiracy.
  • Public intellectuals should embrace the truth that is critical and non foundational.
  • Decentralizes liberal theory of the public intellectual, where truth is the end of a systematic chain of inquiry.
  • Viral forms of information do not meet the criteria of “justified true belief”.
  • Networks must be developed that aim at generating true and verifiable knowledge.
  • Does humanity have the intellectual honesty to collectively address pressing problems?

Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter

Book Information

Can be accessed here. The short story these notes are the subject of begins on page 185 in the PDF, or page 179 on the printed page numbers.

The ending of the story is on page 271 of the PDF; it follows that halfway lies at \(\frac{271-185}{2} = 43\) pages. The middle of the story is thus at \(185 + 43 = 228\).

Section 1

Begins page 179 (PDF: 187)

  • Awakening with the female narrator; she is not in the bed she has lain down in. She is in concerning health.
  • Transition from “she” to “I” from the first paragraph to the second.
  • The narrator’s possessions “have a will of their own”.
  • Much has happened in this house; births, deaths, laughs, anger.

“Nothing is mine, I have only nothing but it is enough, it is beautiful and it is all mine.” Page 180 (PDF: 188)

  • Narrator is embarking on some sort of journey; she is pondering which horse she should take.
  • The narrator rides Graylie - the selected horse - as a stranger rides beside her.
  • The scene “backs out” to reveal Miranda has been dreaming this; Miranda awakens with the word “War” in her mind.
  • Miranda begins to think about Liberty Bonds.

    A Liberty bond (or liberty loan) was a war bond that was sold in the United States to support the Allied cause in World War I. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time. Wikipedia

Section 2

Begins page 183 (PDF: 191)

  • The day before, there had been two people at Miranda’s typewriter.
  • Miranda nods at two men sitting at her typewriter; the older man inquires why Miranda has not bought a Liberty Bond.
  • Nervous and fearful, Miranda is faced with the hostility of these two men over the war and Liberty Bonds.
  • Miranda attempts to explain that she has no money, but the two men make a patriotic justification that even the poor can contribute some money.
    • Internally, Miranda describes the war as a “filthy” one.
  • Miranda begins to arrange her letters and notes clumsily as she is lectured by the two men, who finally leave.

Section 3

Begins page 188 (PDF: 196)

  • Miranda has a burning headache as she takes a bath.
  • She supposes that the headache had begun with the war.
  • Mary Townsend (Towney) - the Society Editor who runs the Ye Towne Gossyp column.
    • Townsend and Miranda have much in common and like each other.
    • Townsend is hysterical about something.
  • Prior, Towney and Miranda were real reporters; after they suppressed a story requested by the covered subjects and a rival newspaper published it, both were degraded to routine female jobs.
  • Towney is desperate about not being able to pay for Liberty Bonds; Miranda sympathizes with her.
  • Miranda goes to join a group of young women that raise money for men in cantonment hospitals.
    • This group was going to cheer up injured soldiers.
  • The narrator mentions that they should do everything to make them contented, but that the narrator will not talk to them, even if there is war.
  • Miranda moved among the young women; there was a grimness even amidst the girlish laughter.
    • Miranda is embarrassed at “the idiocy of her errand”; she walks along aisles in the hospital bed.
  • Finally, Miranda spots an injured man that looked back at Miranda with an unchanged, “hostile” face. Miranda places down flowers, sweets, and cigarettes and hurries outside.
  • She looks through a window and spies on that injured soldier; she could not identify what walks of life he had come from.
    • Miranda quietly notes that it was lucky for her to find him, rather than a talkative man.
  • Although Miranda and another girl dislike this, they cautiously mention that it is “alright”.

  • Adam was in Miranda’s mind often; his image was always pleasantly present.
  • Miranda would need to raise $50, lest she endures the results of her failure or refusal to buy a Bond.
  • Uncomfortable with her messy and unpleasant appearance, she vows not to let Adam see her like this. She puts on perfume and a jacket.
  • Adam and Miranda go to walk outside on this fine fall day.
  • Adam is tall, heavily muscled in the shoulders, narrow in the hanks and waist; he is 24 years old, a Second Lieutenant in an Engineers Corps.
  • Miranda recalls that Adam did look like a “fine healthy apple” that morning.
  • While Adam boasts he has never had pain, Miranda quietly knows that she has had too many pains to mention.
  • Miranda has worked for three years in a morning newspaper.
  • Adam received an extension of leave because of this “funny new disease”; Miranda comments it is like a plague as a funeral procession passes.
  • Miranda is eating very little; she tells Adam that “there’s something wrong”.
  • Adam’s leave is almost over; Miranda vows to meet with him again that night and leaves.
  • Miranda ran upstairs and looked back from the top at Adam, who was looking back.

Section 4

Begins page 205 (PDF: 214)

  • At her desk, Miranda pretends to read letters.
  • Towney and CHuck Rouncivale (sports reporter) are talking. Towney finds it ridiculous that many believe the disease was caused by diseases brought from a German ship to Boston.
  • Miranda wished to stop hearing or talking, and only to think about Adam, but there was no time.
  • Miranda had first seen Adam ten days ago; they had been to many places together.
  • Towney offers in a patriotic voice to volunteer; Miranda rebukes that she would just “stay at home”; Chuck argues “women should keep out of it”.
  • Chuck would often pay for hooch (alcohol); Bill is “raging about… like a stag”.
  • Miranda is told about a hoofer looking to get in a physical altercation with the writer of a critical piece on a production (Miranda), who expresses hope that they have gone.
  • Miranda meets a “little drab man in a derby hat” (Danny Dickerson) that gives Miranda newspaper clippings for her to reconsider her critical article.
    • Danny is concerned that shows in the far East will equate the word of a “tanktown” (unimportant/small town) critic with that of a metropolis.

      “They don’t know that the more high class an act is the more the hick critics pan it.” Page 213 (PDF: 222)

  • Miranda internalizes this sharp altercation but is comforted by Chuck.

Section 5

Begins page 215 (PDF: 223)

  • Miranda has invited Chuck to a show for a newspaper entry; internally, she begins thinking about the end of something.
  • Miranda laments that she wishes the war were over.
  • Chuck begins writing the review; meanwhile, he responds that he does not care how the war starts or when it ends, as he will not be there.
  • Miranda begins to think about women and men in the war; bread will win the war. Housewives make themselves busy and feel useful by believing silence and quiet will win the war.
  • After the show is over, Miranda looks at Chuck’s writing, agreeing to sign it under her name, but insists that Bill knows Chuck wrote it.
  • Does anybody here believe the things we say to each other?

Section 6

Begins page 219 (PDF: 227)

  • Miranda waits for time to pass.
  • Time proceeded with a certain eccentricity; hard flashes of light, twilights.
  • Miranda felt a wish to see him again and a threat of not seeing him gain.
  • Miranda rushes to Adam who is standing on the sidewalk; her head was like a feather.
  • The play the two watched was long and dreary; after the third act was a Liberty Bond salesman making a pitch for Liberty Bonds, to the chagrin of Miranda.
  • In the street, Miranda and Adam lit cigarettes and walked slowly.
  • Miranda claims that the salesman was another “nasty old man who would like to see the young ones killed”; “potbellied baldheads” that know they are safe but are sending off Adam.
  • Adam responds that they cannot do anything but talk and that it is not their fault.
  • Miranda discusses “what war does to the mind and the heart”; such impact is worse than scars on the body.
  • As Adam tells Miranda that he must go to war, Miranda reflects that Adam, the “sacrificial lamb”, was flawless, pure, and complete.
  • Adam waited for her in The Greasy Spoon, a restaurant next to the pressroom. She knew that Adam would not live to grow older.

Section 7

Begins page 225 (PDF: 234)

  • Adam pulled chairs together around the restaurant; they listened to the orchestra.
  • Miranda wanted to break Adam from his dream and to “save each other”.
  • Yet, she remained silent and danced with Adam.
  • Miranda notices a nearby couple that is both, to an extent, miserable; they “looked into the hell they shared”. Miranda envies the girl.

Section 8

Begins page 228 (PDF: 236)

  • Miranda knew she had been asleep for a long time; suddenly, Adam walked into her room.
  • Adam was called back to camp for inoculations.
  • Miranda was visited by the doctor and given medications.
  • Miss Hobbe is horrified at Miranda’s suggestion that she may have influenza.
  • Miranda begins hallucinating; she hears voices clamoring of “Danger” and “War”.
  • Adam has Miranda’s medicine; he comments that the shops and restaurants are closed and that the streets are full of funerals and ambulances.
  • Adam attempts to call St. Luke’s Hospital with no luck.
  • Miranda continues to vomit.
  • Adam builds an ablaze in the fireplace; afterward, he and Miranda recite prayers to keep Miranda from falling asleep.
  • Miranda and Adam begin singing “Pale Horse Pale Rider,” sung by blacks in the oil fields in Texas and the cotton fields.
  • Adam and Miranda tell each other they love them; Miranda sleeps.
  • In her sleep, Miranda has another dream in which Adam is shot by arrows but rises each time, unwounded and alive. When Miranda threw himself before him, though, the arrow cut through Miranda and Adam, killing Adam.
  • Miranda suddenly awakens as Adam runs into the room.
  • As Adam leaves to get coffee and ice cream, two alert interns at the County hospital had arrived to take her away.
  • Miranda is carried out of bed by Dr. Hildesheim.

Section 9

Begins page 219 (PDF: 227)

  • At the hospital, Dr. Hildesheim informs Miranda at her request that Adam has left a note and gone again; Miranda bitterly responds that she does not believe him.
  • Miss Tanner reads the note that Adam has left.
  • The busy hospital scene blurs in Miranda’s eyes into towering white walls and dark figures.
  • In another vision, two executioners move towards her, pushing an old man; Dr. Hildesheim is a skull wearing a German helmet carrying a bayoneted naked infant.
  • Miranda awakened suddenly, cursing at Dr. Hildesheim; she immediately repents for them.
  • There it is; death, there is nothing to fear; it is only eternity.
  • Resubmerged in a vision, Miranda sees the beauty in nature and faces of pure identities. Yet, in this serene setting, Miranda feels a sense of apprehension, distrust in their joy; pain returned as she confronts death.
  • The cloth was drawn away; she sees Miss Tanner filling a hypodermic needle.
  • Miss Tanner suddenly alerts Miranda that it is Armistice; the war is over.
  • Miranda, “ungrateful” and still hostile, was greeted every morning by Miss Tanner.
  • Yet, Miranda could not see the light; she remains depressed and in a state of sickliness.
  • Chuck and Towney come to see Miranda; they bring flowers and letters.
  • As Miranda reads the letters, she reads that Adam has died of influenza in the camp hospital.
    • This had happened one month ago.
  • Miranda begins writing down things she needs; she seems significantly more active.
  • She was “not quite dead” now; she would return and be at home again.
  • Adam was there, invisible but present in the room; Miranda leaves.
  • No more war, no more plague; “there would be time for everything.”

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Logistical Information

Access the book here.

Reading sections have been divvied into quarters:

  1. Foreward to Chapter 4 by April 27th.
  2. Chapter 5 to Chapter 8 by April 29th.
  3. Chapter 9 to Chapter 13 by May 4th.
  4. Chapter 14 to Chapter 17 by May 6.


Page 8 in PDF.

  • Rachel Carson write Silent Spring in 1958 at the age of 50.
  • Carson was a marine biologist and a famous author.
  • Carson became alarmed by the usage of DDT in agricultural control programs.
  • Book publishers were free of advertising pressure, so Carson wrote a book.
  • The chemical industry spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to malign Carson, which gave it more publicity.
  • Kennedy set up a panel to investigate pesticides, which results in a vindication of Carson’s thesis.
  • Silent Spring bridges “two cultures”; science and poetry.
  • A book about death becomes a celebration of life.
  • Change can be brought about by changing thought.

Chapter 1: A Fable for Tomorrow

Page 10 in PDF.

  • The scene opens on a town with prosperous farms and a beautiful landscape.
  • An “evil spell” settles upon the community; there is death everywhere, vegetation is burnt, life is lifeless.
  • This town does not exist, but it is formed of thousands of towns in America and elsewhere.

“What has already silenced the voices of spring in countless towns in America? This book is an attempt to explain.”

Chapter 2: The Obligation to Endure

Page 12 in PDF.

  • In a very small amount of time, one species has acquired the power to alter nature.
  • Power has changed in character; much is irreversible.
  • Chemicals are little-recognized partners of radiation in changing nature.
  • Strontium 90 enters grass and corn and drills into human bones, remaining until death.
  • Chemicals sprayed on land enter living organisms and pass in a chain of poisoning and death.
  • It took hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that inhabits Earth. With time, a balance has been reached. But in the modern era, there is no time.
  • Many chemicals are used in man’s war against nature.
  • Basic chemicals are used in killing insects, weeds, and other organisms.
  • Not insecticides but biocides; the release of DDT has spurred a process of escalation. Insects evolve and a deadlier insecticide must be developed.
  • The chemical war is never won.
  • The problem is not the need to maintain farm production but overproduction.
  • Massive chemical control is sometimes needed in certain circumstances but has limited success.
  • The intensification of agriculture provokes insect problems.
  • Man attempts to simplify the variety nature puts into the landscape.
  • Man is importing plants, the primary agent of the modern spread of species.
  • We have allowed chemicals to be used with little or no advance investigation into their effect on the environment.
  • The public can only decide to continue down the road if they have the facts.

“The obligation to endure gives us the right to know.” Jean Rostand

Chapter 3: Elixirs of Death

Page 17 in PDF.

  • Every human is subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals.
  • Synthetic pesticides have entered many natural bodies.
  • The chemical industry was born out of the Second World War, and synthetic insecticides began to be mass-produced.
  • New synthetic insecticides have enormous power to poison and enter vital processes of the body.
  • Arsenic - a highly toxic mineral.
    • Epidemics of chronic arsenical poisoning.
  • Modern insecticides are more deadly.
  • DDT, chlorinated hydrocarbons.
    • Are built upon carbon atoms, and are classified as organic.
    • Carbon has an infinite capacity for uniting in chains and rings.
    • With slight changes, the character of the substance is changed.
    • DDT was used in wartime to combat lice, and thus its toxicity is often undermined.
      • DDT in powder form cannot be absorbed, but if dissolved, it can be absorbed and is toxic.
    • People cumulatively store harmful chemicals.
    • DDT is passed through all the links of the food chains, and from mother to offspring.
    • Chlordane - one of the most toxic insecticides - is commonly used in lawn treatments.
    • Aldrin, dieldrin, endrin.
  • Alkyl, organic phosphates
    • One of the most poisonous chemicals in the world; people accidentally come into contact with the spray.
  • Parathion and other chemicals decompose rather quickly but last long enough to produce fatal consequences.
  • Many pairs of organic phosphate insecticides are highly dangerous.
  • Chemicals convert plants and animals into a Medea’s robe.
  • Selenium - a naturally occurring element found in rocks and soils - became the first systemic insecticide.
    • Systemic - ability to permeate all tissues of a plant or animal and make them toxic.
  • Everything is a trade-off.
  • The war against weeds.
    • Herbicides act upon animal tissue and vegetation.

Chapter 4: Surface Waters and Underground Seas

Page 29 in PDF.

  • Water is the most precious of our natural resources.
  • Most of Earth’s water is unusable because of the heavy load of sea salts.
  • Water pollution by pesticides can be understood via pollution of the entire environment of mankind.
  • Production of synthetic chemicals began in the 1940s and chemical pollution is daily poured into our waterways.
  • Many chemicals are deliberately applied to water to destroy plants, insect larvae, and undesired fish.
  • A sample of drinking water from an orchard in Pennsylvania contained enough insecticide to kill all tested fish in only four hours.
  • The pollution is unseen and invisible.
  • The United States Fish and Wildlife Service issued a small report and found that all the fish contained DDT in an area where DDT was used to control spruce budworm.
  • If pesticides are added to water, they can spread everywhere.
  • In a river, chemicals mingle in a way no chemist can predict.
    • Reactions between multiple chemicals can be very dangerous
  • Insecticides that kill the target of the population may also kill other life.
  • Insecticides do not leave the lake, even if they cannot be found in the water; they are absorbed into life and passed from generation to generation.
  • Is it wise to use substances that strongly affect physiological processes to control insects in water?
    • Even when applied in low concentrations, its progress explodes.
  • Polluted waterways may carry a cancer hazard.
  • In nature, nothing exists alone.

Chapter 5: Realms of the Soil

Page 36 in PDF.

  • Soil controls our existence; without soil, land plants could not grow. Without plants, no animals could survive.
  • Soil equally depends on life.
  • Life formed the soil, and many living things exist within the soil.
  • Chemical changes are consistently in progress.
    • Fungi and bacteria are essential organisms to the soil; in addition to algae, the three make up the principal agents of decay.
    • Springtails break down residues of plants.
    • Earthworms are fundamental geologic agents in transporting soil.
  • What happens when these vitally necessary inhabitants of soil are destroyed by chemicals?
  • The ecology of the soil is often neglected.
  • The soil cannot sustain any amount of chemical injection.
  • Insecticides last for years in the soil; moderate applications of insecticides can accumulate to large quantities in the soil.
  • To what extent are insecticides absorbed into soils and introduced into plant tissues?
  • We are heading for trouble; the ecology of soil is essential.

Chapter 6: Earth’s Green Mantle

Page 41 in PDF.

  • The green mantle of plants makes up the world that supports animal life.
  • Man cannot exist without plants to harness the sun’s energy.
  • We seek to destroy many plants with a categorization of good and bad too narrow.
  • We should disturb relationships as thoughtfully as is possible.
  • Sages can grow in the mountain slopes and on the plains, whereas no other plant could grow. An act of experimentation by nature. Animals feed on it. Yet there is an effort to fight against it.
  • Chemical campaigns always eliminate many plants that are not the intended target.
  • Animal life evolves in harmony with the requirements of the land.
  • Chemical weed killers are a “bright new toy”.
  • Vacationing tourists, which bring money, no longer visit shriveled and chemically affected regions.
  • Aesthetic appeal to plants we may consider to be weeds.
  • Herbicides perpetuate the problem it seeks to correct (blanket application of herbicides to not permanently control roadside “brush”).
  • Selective spraying: eliminate tall woody plants by direct treatment; preserve all other vegetation.
    • Often requires no respraying for 20 years.
    • Chemicals are applied only at the base of trees.
  • Poisonous weeds can be attractive after spraying, leading to animal deaths.
    • Wilting makes the plant attractive.
    • Chemicals change the plant’s metabolism, and it produces more sugar.
  • Animals feeding on vegetation with a high level of nitrates can die from anoxia.
  • What is the relationship between the weed and the soil? A weed takes something from the soil, but it also contributes to it.
  • Weeds also serve as an indicator of the condition of the soil.
  • Chemical manufacturers manipulate suburbanites into using astonishing amounts of lawn herbicide killers.
  • Successful and economic weed control can be carried out by insects.
  • Effective control of unwanted vegetation should focus more on plant-eating insects.

Chapter 7: Needless Havoc

  • Man has a history of destroying Earth; nothing must get in the way of a man with a spray gun.
  • State and federal governments, as well as chemical manufacturers, deny the facts reported by the biologists and claim little harm has been done to the wildlife.
  • There is a “right” to have pleasure from wildlife.
  • Spraying is a repeated process that acts as a poisonous snare.
  • Fall 1959; southeastern Michigan was heavily dusted from the air with pellets of aldrin to exterminate the Japanese beetle.
    • While aldrin is one of the most toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons, it is used because it is cheap.
    • The public was assured that the dust was harmless to humans and would not hurt plants or pets.
    • Pellets of insecticide fell on beetles and humans.
    • Many of the birds lost their ability to fly, became paralyzed.
    • Cats and dogs were affected.
  • Along with wild animals and domestic companions, farm animals, including sheep and cattle, are threatened by poisoning and death.
  • There are natural ways to reduce the numbers of the Japanese Beetle.
    • Predatory parasitic wasps, milky disease.
    • These programs are not too expensive when considering the cost of spraying with chemicals.
  • Can a civilization wage war on life and still be called civilized?
    • These poisons are not selective.

Chapter 8: And No Birds Sing

  • Birds are dying out; what has been killing the birds?
  • The story of the robin, the bird is known to everyone.
    • The robin area had been sprayed and became a lethal trap.
    • Robins were being poisoned by eating earthworms. The trees were sprayed with 2-5lb DDT per 50-foot tree.
      • These had been fed to crayfish, and the crayfish died.
      • In feeding on leaves, the worms accumulate insecticide inside their bodies. Some die and the living become magnifiers of the poison.
    • Living robins have difficulty hatching offspring. High concentrations of DDT are appearing in testes and ovaries.
  • Many other species suffer from eating earthworms and other insects, like ants and grubs.
  • The loss of food also starves swallows and other birds that cannot find insects to fulfill their diets.
  • Spraying destroys insects and birds; when insect populations return, birds cannot keep them in check.
  • There are other solutions to infections, like rigorous sanitation. Buffalo and other animals can serve this purpose. Alternatively, developing genetic resistance.
  • The eagle is also on the verge of extinction. Exposure to DDT or related chemicals seriously affects reproduction. Dieldrin is stored in the yolk of the eggs. Poison is also accumulated in the testes, egg follicles, and ovaries.
    • Fish, which make up a tremendous proportion of an eagle’s diet, are largely responsible for passing off accumulated insecticides.
  • The threat to wildlife is alarming.
  • Manufacturers’ tests on common laboratory animals include no wild species and are conducted under controlled conditions, but the application to wildlife is not precise.
  • A world without insects is also one without birds.
  • An authoritarian has made the judgment.

Chapter 9: Rivers of Death

  • From the Atlantic, there are many paths back to the coast that fish follow.
  • Miramichi, on the coast of New Brunswick. Many salmon pass through streams.
    • In the spring of 1954, the Canadian government had designed a program to save forests from the spruce budworm by spraying DDT.
    • Within two days, many young salmon and brook trout died.
    • Repeated sprayings altered the environment; aquatic insects that the fish feed upon have been killed.
    • Larger aquatic insects do not rebound quickly, and hence salmon cannot find anything but a small stonefly.
    • Transplanted insects are wiped out by repeated spraying.
    • Meanwhile, the budworm population has increased.
  • Maine’s salmon runs have been burdened with pollution and spraying.
  • DDT can also cause blindness in fish; vision is impaired or destroyed.
  • 1955 Yellowstone National Park: “safe” concentrations of DDT caused the deaths of 600 dead fish within one 300-yard stretch.
  • Fish do not necessarily die immediately; many deaths occur in autumn spawning fish. Physiological stress exacerbates the impact of DDT stored in the tissues.
  • Can cooperation succeed in saving the fish? Experience in British Columbia suggests not.
  • There are possibilities of using less toxic sprays.
  • Chemical spraying of forest insects is not the only nor best way.
  • Pesticide threat to fish:
    • Fish of running streams in forests.
    • Fish that inhabit waters flowing throughout the country.
    • Fishes in salt marshes, bays, estuaries.
  • Fish are very sensitive to accumulated chlorinated hydrocarbons.
  • The infiltration of pesticides into bodies of water threatens recreational and commercial fishing.
    • California, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oklahoma.
  • Conditions are no better than when insecticides were first used.
  • Farming in South-Asian countries is also impeded by spraying.
  • Austin fish disaster the result of spraying DDT.
  • The growing impact of pesticides on life in salt marshes and quiet inlets. Saltmarsh treated with dieldrin killed several million fish.
    • Marsh fiddler crabs were killed, but they play an essential role in the marsh ecosystem
    • Shrimp, lobsters, and others are harmed and killed by the toxic chemicals.
    • Shrimp are especially sensitive to toxic chemicals.
    • Oysters and clams, which are eaten raw, concentrate the poisons in their digestive organs.
  • Fisheries are important, but they are being seriously threatened by chemicals.
  • Finding less toxic methods are possible, given the investment.

Chapter 10: Indiscriminately from the Skies

  • Aerial spraying has widened; it is a “rain of death”.
  • After the development of organic insecticides and planes after World War II, we have relinquished our caution about poisons.
  • The gypsy moth and the fire ant are both not native insects but have resided in the country without being desperate threats.
  • Department of Agriculture adopts an “end justifies the means” philosophy.
  • Parasites and predators have been imported and successfully confine the gypsy moth.
  • The Department sprayed millions of acres with chemicals.
  • Control agencies have the power and inclination to violate property rights.
  • Growers either sustain losses or sell produce with illegal pesticide residues.
  • There was no effort to be conservative; there was no one to sue.
  • Fire ants have attracted little attention; yet the Department of Agriculture launched a publicity campaign portraying fire ants as killers of birds, livestock, and humans.
    • Yet, scientists from states afflicted by fire ants show otherwise.
    • Dieldrin and heptachlor were used; wildlife everywhere began to die.
  • Extensive use of logos, ethos, and “righteous indignation”. Appeals to property rights.
  • Consumers do not know if their milk has been contaminated with pesticides or not.
    • Heptachlor becomes significantly more toxic after a brief period in the tissues of animals or plants.
  • The Department of Agriculture embarked upon its program without investigation into what was already known of the chemical.
  • More sane and conservative methods have begun - and it is cheaper.

Chapter 11: Beyond the Dreams of the Borgias

  • The contamination in our world is not just a problem of mass spraying. Humans have many small-scale exposures.
  • Many poisons are used in household products, with little warning.
    • Gardens, kitchens, floors.
  • Many are not aware of the small warnings on containers.
  • Much of the DDT stored in fat deposits enters the body through food, particularly animal fats, as well as residues on fruits, vegetables, milk & other dairy products.
  • Even the chemical industry has found it important to educate farmers on the impacts and proper use of chemicals.
  • Does the government protect us from this? Only to a limited extent.
    • It only has jurisdiction over foods shipped in interstate commerce.
    • The FDA has less than 600 people - a small number of inspectors.
  • Many states have inadequate laws.
  • FDA tests on animals are inaccurate.
  • Consumers pay their taxes but get the poison nonetheless.
  • The solution:
    • Eliminate tolerance for chlorinated hydrocarbons, organic phosphates, and other toxic chemicals.
      • Chemicals can be used to leave a much smaller residue.
    • The FDA must be more vigilant, aggressive, and large.
  • We need to explore nonchemical possibilities. Agriculture use of insect diseases, for instance, has been tested.

“We are in little better position than the guests of the Borgias.”

  • Information about the Borgia family in Renaissance Italy, in which poisoning was used as a political weapon, can be found here.

Chapter 12: The Human Price

  • A drastic change must come about in how we deal with health problems.
  • Before, mankind feared diseases; now we fear a hazard we have created.
  • It is impossible to predict the effects of a lifespan of exposure to chemical agents.
  • We are concerned about the delayed effects of absorbing small amounts of pesticides.
  • Biological effects of chemicals are cumulative.

“It is human nature to shrug off what may seem to us a vague threat of future disaster.”

  • There is a world of ecology in our bodies. A change in one point can reverberate throughout the entire human system.
  • One who handles chemicals is storing up toxic materials in their body.
    • They become lodged in fatty tissues; when the fat reserves are drawn upon, the poison strikes quickly.
  • The liver operates many activities; any damage to the liver causes severe consequences.
    • A liver damaged by pesticides cannot protect us from other poisons and other diseases.
  • Insecticides affect the nervous system directly.
  • Why doesn’t everyone handling insecticides develop the same symptoms? Different people are more susceptible, but the threat is still very real.
  • The effect of a chemical can be made drastically worse by another chemical.
  • Echoes of these problems are often found in the medical literature.
  • Confusion, delusion, loss of memory - “a heavy price to pay for the temporary destruction of a few insects.”

Chapter 13: Through a Narrow Window

  • A very narrow window through which one can only see a crack of light.
  • Only when we begin by focusing on the cells of the body can we comprehend the serious effects of introducing chemicals into the environment.
  • Cellular oxidation is critical; the cell burns fuel to produce energy.
  • Oxidation is performed in the mitochondria; they are tiny packets of enzymes in which oxidation is completed.
  • ATP is the currency of energy.
  • Many chemicals can separate oxidation from energy production, including insecticides and weed killers.
  • Uncoupling extinguishes the little fires in our billions of cells.
  • When one of the enzymes is destroyed or weakened, oxidation halts;
  • Various dinitro compounds can block cells from oxygen.
  • Normal cells can turn into cancer cells merely by withholding oxygen.
  • Many chemicals are partners of radiation.
  • Tomorrow’s children will suffer defects and malformations from these chemicals.
  • The egg needs lots of ATP; if the ATP content is reduced then the egg stops dividing and dies.
  • DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons stop the energy-producing cycle.
  • Chemicals lodge into sex organs of birds and mammals; testes accumulate the highest concentration.
  • Our genetic heritage is very valuable; yet, radiation assaults the genes.
  • Many chemicals belong to a group of substances that can damage the chromosomes and interfere with normal cell division.
  • Mustard gas is known to alter the genetic material.
  • Anything that disturbs mitosis is a grave threat to the welfare of an organism.
  • Genetic damage - the role of chemicals in general use has not been assessed but is needed.
  • Radiomimetic chemicals may represent a greater danger than radiation.
  • Chemical mutagens were first used for scientific interests, which likely explains its neglect; but insecticides and weed killers are used generally.
  • Pesticides disturb a cell’s vital processes. Mosquitoes exposed to DDT turn into gynandromorphs when exposed to DDT.
  • Plants treated with phenols suffer the destruction of chromosomes.
  • There has been no study aimed at testing the mutagenic effects of pesticides.
  • The duplication of part of a chromosome can lead to serious impacts.
  • We are filling the environment with chemicals that can strike directly at the chromosomes. Chemical manufacturers do not need to test the genetic effects of their chemicals.

Chapter 14: One in Every Four

  • The battle of living things against cancer.
  • Some elements in our natural environment create hazards to life: ultraviolet radiation, rocks, arsenic.
  • Life nevertheless arose.
  • Man now creates cancer-producing substances - carcinogens.
    • Soot, for instance.
  • Man has no protection against these carcinogens.
  • Sir Percivall Pott declared in 1775 that scrotal cancer was the result of soot accumulated within their bodies.
  • Recognition of malignancies come during the last quarter of the 19th century.
  • Pasteur was demonstrating the microbial origin of many infectious diseases.
  • Now, many sources of industrial carcinogens are known; the population is brought very close to these carcinogens.
  • Malignant growths accounted for 15% of deaths; 45m Americans will develop cancer.
  • More children will die of cancer than any other disease.
  • Do these chemicals act as direct or indirect causes of cancer?
  • Arsenic leads to cancer in humans and animals.
  • The public was to act as guinea pigs: the miticide was found to be a carcinogen.
    • Legal procedures delayed zero tolerance for carcinogens.
  • DDT produces suspicious liver tumors; it is likely a chemical carcinogen.
  • Weed-killer aminotriazole, IPC & CIPC carbamates: experiments suggest they cause cancers to form.
  • Diseases of blood-forming organs emerge from exposure to DDT, chlordane, benzene, lindane, etc.
  • Every day people are caught in the “fallout” of their spraying.
  • Professor Otto Warburg’s explanation of malignancy: radiation or a chemical carcinogen destroys the respiration of normal cells, depriving them of energy. The struggle to survive by fermentation continues, forming cancer cells.
    • Repeated small doses of a carcinogen are more dangerous in many circumstances than just one large dose.
    • There is no safe dose of a carcinogen.
  • Path to cancer by chromosomes: any agent that causes mutation is a potential cause of cancer.
  • Exposure to urethane can allow tumors to develop in infants via prenatal exposure.
  • The road to cancer can also be indirect; a non-carcinogen substance can still disturb the normal functioning of some part of the body.
  • A “safe” dose can tip the scale of many accumulating “safe doses”.
  • We tolerate cancer-causing agents.
  • Why have we been slow to adopt the approach to the cancer problem of stimying the causes?
    • Curing the victims of cancer is more exciting and tangible than prevention.
    • Preventing cancer from being formed in the first place is more humane and more effective.
    • There is no magic pill we can take each morning.
  • There is a golden opportunity to prevent cancer.
  • Not all chemical carcinogens can be eliminated, but many are not necessities. They can be eliminated. Prevention is needed for those not invaded by cancer and not born for generations.

Chapter 15: Nature Fights Back

  • We have attempted to mold nature into our satisfaction, but fail to achieve our goal.
  • Insects are developing resistance to chemicals; our chemical attack weakens defenses from these insects in our environment itself.
  • Chemical controls are self-defeating.
  • Man is part of the balance of nature.
  • Effective control of insects is applied by nature, not by man.
    • Chemicals kill friends and enemies alike.
  • Checks exist in nature.
  • Killing predatory insects sets the population of prey insects off.
  • We have not quite noticed the activities of insect predators and parasites.

“… nature controls her own.”

  • Increasingly, species are becoming involved in violent imbalances of nature.
  • A Pandora’s box of destructive pests.
  • Spider mites are relatively insensitive to insecticides and are kept in check by bugs extremely sensitive to insecticides.
  • This not only applies to insects that attack crops but also carriers of disease.
  • Only 2 percent of economic entomologists in the country are working on biological controls.
    • Chemical companies pour money into universities.
    • Research programs are supported by the chemical industry.
  • Special care and knowledge of parasites and predators need to be considered when selecting chemicals.
    • This method gets as good production for a lower cost.

Chapter 16: The Rumblings of an Avalanche

  • Weaker members of the insect populations are being weeded out.
  • Insects don’t need to die under sprayings; insects possess a counter weapon to aggressive chemical attacks.
  • Insects may transmit disease and destroy agriculture and forestry.
  • Insect-borne disease should not be ignored; we have destroyed our means of fighting.
  • Resistance to insecticides has surged: lice, ticks, mosquitos, cockroaches
  • Spraying kills off weaklings.
  • Means of chemical resistance are not thoroughly understood.
    • Some insects are aided by structural advantage.
    • DDT-resistance flies possess enzymes that allow them to detoxify insecticides.
    • Behavioral habits may place insects outside the reach of chemicals
  • Resistance does not develop in the individual, but over generations.
  • Spray as little as you can: life is a miracle, and we should hold it to the highest order of humility and respect.

“Humbleness is in order; there is no excuse for scientific conceit here.”

Chapter 17: The Other Road

  • We stand at a point where two roads diverge, but they are not made equal.
  • The road less traveled by is the one we must take to preserve Earth.
  • A wide variety of chemical alternatives are available.
  • We must have a right to know.
  • Any science is a river; it has quiet stretches and rapids, it gathers momentum, it evolves.
  • New methods turn the strength of species against itself.
    • Sterilized male methods, and succeeded in experiments on Curacao.
    • Sterilization by chemicals and radiation is successful; some act on the life processes of the cell and others act upon the chromosomes.
    • Sex attractants.
    • Ultrasonic sound.
    • Microbial control.
    • Predatory insects / biological control.
  • These methods suffer from a lack of government support.
  • Encouragement of a European view of “forest hygiene”.
  • Chemical pest control brings no real condition; the chemical barrage has hurled itself against life.
  • “Control of nature” is arrogance; it is Neanderthal-like, where nature exists for the convenience of man.

Machinehood by S.B. Divya

Chapter 1

Page 6

  • Contemplations in what it means to be “smart”.
  • Weak Artificial Intelligence
  • Lack of privacy, micro-cameras, and drones
  • Welga is an interesting mix of Russian and Mexican.
  • What does it mean to have a “real brain”.
  • Personalized WAI agents.
  • Steady employment is rare; the gig economy is rampant.
  • Argument for machine rights: WAIs and bots are equal to people.
  • Reliability ratings and truth in a digital age
  • The sparsity of time
  • Losing faith in religion, government - structures of society.

Chapter 2

Begins page 14

  • Attention and impression-powered economy
  • Probabilistic thinking
  • Performance and tips
  • Pills and artificial performance enhancement
  • Lack of privacy
  • Self-wounding in a gig economy
  • Lack of human agency - whatever that means.
  • Government intervention amidst innovation and technology

Chapter 3

Begins page 26

  • Intelligence and humanity, mortality beyond the human species.
  • Probabilistic thinking.
  • Bioengineering, “primal nature” amidst technology
    • Technology allows for a “reversion” to nature?
  • Cyborgs and surgical alteration
  • Jobs and the workforce
    • People become “bot-nannies”.
    • Competing with machinery.
  • Cynicism and optimism for the future, technology, and innovation.
  • Hacking and modifications of innocuous objects for harm - weak intelligence machines as agents.
  • Money, capitalism, and financial interests.
  • Communication: subvocalization, efficiency

Chapter 4

Begins page 36

  • Unique title namings center on the character, rather than the subject.
  • Information and the need for an automated process to sort through it
  • Data annotation
  • Social networking
  • Communication: silent vs encrypted text
  • “ought to live” rather than “will live” or “can live”.
  • Personhood and machine hood; sentience. What is true sentience?
  • Credibility in a post-truth culture, contradiction, information, reliability ratings.
  • Hacking, “rotaviruses”, biology and software.
  • Pills: how humans compete with artificial intelligence.
  • Practicality and the future, the distribution of stress, care, concern, and responsibility.
  • Performance and livelihood
  • Abortion, human life.
  • Repair, rejuvenation, zipping.

Chapter 5

Begins page 51

  • Consolidation of wealth, political correction
  • Deterioration of the corporation as a socioeconomic entity; the individual is paramount.
  • Death and life.
  • Human, humanoid, android.
  • An irony of acronyms.
  • Fooling humans in human vs machine.
  • Decisions and moral ease: human cloning vs thinking machines.
  • Shields vs soldiers
  • Neo-Buddhism - not about god or religion, but embracing a peaceful existence.
  • Stability and the gig economy.
  • Healing and injury, pain, internal vs superficial.
  • Consolidating humanity in the face of storms and the environment.
    • Surburban living: a rleic.
  • Home genetic engineering; individual enhancement and legislation.
  • Stabilization of economies.
  • Purity and funding, minimally invasive enhancements.
  • Absence of religion.
  • Human control: muscle spasms, agency over one’s body.
  • Entertainment economy.
  • Digital and physical fingerprints, clearance, documentation - cameras.
  • Authorization and permission amidst agency and control.
  • Corruption and leadership

Chapter 6

Begins page 65

  • Slavery and work
  • Sentience
  • Digital connection
  • Payment for verification, expertise, the monetary value of partial knowledge.
  • Practical gods, permission, changing minds.

Chapter 7

Begins page 71

  • Evidence and fingerprints
  • The illusion of authorization and permission, trust.
  • Pills and addiction, the cycle of dependency.
  • Fear in the mind and corruption of the body.
  • Attack via the means of production - the infrastructure, rather than the people.
  • Authenticity and the weight of the natural world

Chapter 8

  • Static vs dynamic
  • Time
  • The privacy and intimacy of human sexual intercourse
  • Neo-Buddhism
  • Communication and signaling, parsing
  • A world of design and creation, of multiplicity and continuity
  • Powerful search capability, managing information

Chapter 9

  • Knowledge and knowingness
  • Data publicity

Chapter 10

  • Clothing and image, presentation
  • Expected vs unexpected
  • Visibility
  • Evasion, capture, captivity

Chapter 11

  • Generalization vs specificity
  • Speed of transaction and transportation
  • Childish joy and happiness
  • Knowledge and knowing transpiration
  • God amidst a technological world
  • Smoke and the feeling of being, technology, and artificiality.
  • Triumph and achievement in humanity’s collective advances.
  • Explicit vs indirect violence
  • Human reasoning, WAI speed, and data recall.
  • Help and aid
  • God and faith in something further

Chapter 12

  • Neo-Buddhism: action and apathy.
  • Selection on genetics
  • Extraction of information
  • Genetic determinism, “bad genes”

Chapter 13

  • Peace, compassion, sacrifice, death, war.
  • Eko-Yi station.
  • Data and life
  • Exclusivity of machine rights and nonviolence

Chapter 14

  • Protests
  • Protection of human labor
  • Violent protest - changing the means of violence in a life-abundant world.
  • Rushing science.

Chapter 15

  • Distractible humans and focus-necessary tasks
  • Ethics and authorization

Chapter 16

  • Skimming and comprehending
  • Analysis
  • Institutional shut-down

Chapter 17

  • Eko-Yi: One.
  • Exploitation and consciousness.
  • Animal consciousness and machine intelligence
  • Necessity of pills

Chapter 18

  • Consent and exploitation
  • Conceptions of harmony
  • Addiction

Chapter 19

  • Information
  • Augmented mystery
  • Bread and circuses, food vs entertainment.

Chapter 20

  • Truth and interests
  • Victimhood and infection as power

Chapter 21

  • The Panopticon; surveillance as a discipline.
  • Globalized culture; warring nations and nationality.

Chapter 22

  • Drugs vs pills, enhancement vs addiction - where does the line get drawn?

Chapter 23

  • Scarcity
  • WAI/intelligence as friend

Chapter 24

  • Truth as an advantage
  • Erasing boundaries between different bits of intelligence; spectrums rather than categories
  • Physical vs organic
  • Mind vs body

Chapter 25

  • Forum
  • Communication
  • Pill dependency
  • Blurred lines between morality

Chapter 26

  • Company and loneliness of the human mind
  • Some animals are more equal than others.
  • Annihilation and destruction.
  • Goodness and the path towards perfection
  • Ultimate control of the mind and body

Chapter 27

  • Deities and the divine
  • Nuances of violence and evil
  • Freeing from dependency
  • Fear as a rule
  • Teaching and compassion vs paternalism
  • Zealot and visionary
  • Spiritualism amidst technological advancement

Chapter 29

  • The permeability of nationality.
  • Augmentation
  • Terrorism
  • Ghosts and death

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Chapter 1

  • Begins with act 4 of King Lear in the Elgin Theatre, Toronto.
    • Something has gone wrong with the actor.
    • Jeevan, who has been training to be a paramedic, begins to run onstage.
    • Jeevan caught Arthur (the actor) as he lost consciousness.
  • Arthur’s heart wasn’t beating; Jeevan began CPR.
  • Jeevan had a brief career as an entertainment journalist.
    • Laura: his girlfriend.
  • Kirsten Raymonde - a young actress, 7 or 8 years old, shocked by the death of the actor.
    • Her mother will pick her up at eleven.
  • Jeevan takes Kirstin to find Tanya, who takes care of the children on set.
  • Jeevan doesn’t like crowds very much.
  • Kirsten notes she loves to act; she is picked up by a woman and led away.
  • Jeevan was waiting for Laura, but her coat was gone.
  • Snow was falling outside.
  • Jeevan had been a paparazzi himself prior.
  • Jeevan attempts to call Laura; her phone was still off.
  • Jeevan lives in Cabbagetown; he could have called a cab but he liked being outside, away from people.
  • Now, Jeevan was even more sure he wanted to be a paramedic.
  • Suddenly, Jeevan receives a text message from Laura; while the theater tickets had been intended as something romantic, Laura had abandoned him and wanted him now to buy milk.
    • Prior, Laura and Jeevan had been fighting a lot.
    • Jeevan was cold; his toes were numb.
  • He stepped into the park silently.

Chapter 2

  • There were not many left at the Elgin Theatre.
  • Gloucester: makeup artist; Goneril.
  • Goneril and the bartender are talking as Jeevan is wandering in Allan Gardens.
  • Goneril asks the bartender about Arthur’s children; he has one, 7 or 8, living in Israel.
  • Arthur had been carrying an affair with Tanya; everyone knew except for the producer.
  • Arthur had gone through three divorces.
  • In the children’s dressing room, Tanya gave Kirsten a paperweight - a lump of glass with a storm cloud trapped inside, which Kirsten thought was beautiful.
  • Of all them there that night, the bartender was the one who survived the longest - dying three weeks later.

Chapter 3

  • Jeevan wandered alone in Allan Gardens.
  • Jeevan had been many things before - bartender, paparazzi, entertainment journalist, etc.
  • Jeevan planned to go see Frank, his brother and tell him about Arthur’s death and his future as a paramedic.
  • As he was riding the streetcar, Hua - his closest friend - called.
    • Hua worked long hours at Toronto General (hospital).
  • Hua informs Jeevan that Georgia Flu had broken out.
    • An alarming new flu emerged in the Republic of Georgia.
    • Hua had just had several patients with symptoms on the same plane with flu symptoms.
    • Over 200 flu patients have been admitted; 15 have died.
  • Jeevan becomes anxious and deeply unsettled.
  • Hua calls Jeevan again to get out of the city; the flu spreads very quickly.
  • Hua’s call had especially strong veracity to Jeevan; he was struck by the notion that there would not be much time.
  • Who would he call? His parents were dead, he didn’t want to talk to Laura.
  • He begins to load supplies and plans to leave soon.
  • When Jeevan calls Laura, she is indifferent to the Georgia Flu.
  • Interestingly, Jeevan grabs a bouquet of daffodils on the way out.
  • The clerk at the grocery comments that the flu will be just like SARS.

Chapter 4

  • The Elgin Theatre was empty.
  • The executive producer called Arthur’s lawyer.
  • The lawyer called Arthur’s closest friend, who began calling Arthur’s ex-wives.

Chapter 5

  • Miranda - south coast of Malaysia. An executive at a shipping company sent to observe conditions on the ground.
  • Leon had worked with Miranda for a long time.
  • 12% of the world’s shipping fleet lay at anchor off the coast of Malaysia.
  • The men were serious and afraid of privates.
  • Miranda was seized by loneliness she could not explain.
  • Clark Thompson, Arthur’s friend, calls Miranda Carroll.
  • Miranda is informed that Arthur has died of a heart attack.
  • Soon after, it would not be possible to press buttons on a telephone and call someone else.

Chapter 6

  • No more diving into pools; no more cities.
  • No more pharmaceuticals; no more flight.
  • No more fire departments, no more police.
  • No more countries, no more borders.
  • No more Internet, no more social media.

Chapter 7

  • Twenty years after air travel ended, the caravans of the Traveling Symphony moved under a hot sky.
  • A heatwave had persisted.
  • Most were on foot to reduce the load on the horses.
  • Kirsten is practicing her lines in a production of King Lear.
  • The caravans were once pickup trucks but now were pulled by teams of horses.
  • The flu had exploded like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth.
  • The Symphony performed music and Shakespeare; audiences preferred Shakespeare.
  • Traverse City - a town the Symphony had recently left, in which a stationary bicycle was rigged to power a laptop.
  • Once, Kirsten found a celebrity gossip magazine in an abandoned house mentioning Arthur Leander.

Chapter 8

  • Arthur Leander had given Kirsten several comics.

    “I stood looking over my damaged home and tried to forget the sweetness of life on Earth.”

  • Dr. Eleven stands on dark rocks looking at the sea at night.

Chapter 9

  • The Symphony arrived in St. Deborah by the Water in midafternoon.
  • In St. Deborah by the Water, the music drew no onlookers.
  • The town seemed too empty.
  • Kirsten is dating Sayid.

Chapter 10

  • There was some animosity among the Symphony instrument players.
  • People sometimes left the Symphony, but the ones who stayed understood something rarely spoken aloud: civilization in the year 20 was an archipelago of small towns.
  • Kirsten goes to look for Charlie, who was part of the Symphony prior but stayed in St. Deborah by the Water.
  • Charlie and Jeremy left town; they rejected the prophet’s advances and had to leave town.
  • Dieter shows Kirsten graves marked with Charlie and Jeremy’s names, but there are no bodies buried there.
  • Everyone was told not to ask; there had been some sort of the change in management.
  • Charlie and Jeremy may have gone south do the lakeshore.
  • Very few citizens of St. Deborah have gathered for the Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Chapter 11

  • The audience was silent during the play.
  • Shakespeare was the first to survive infancy.
  • Plague closed the theatres repeatedly.

    “Because survival is insufficient.”

Chapter 12

  • The audience rose for a standing ovation; many were emotionally moved.
  • A tall man stood up and thanked the Travelling Symphony; he was the prophet.
  • Kirsten wanted to run.
  • The prophet claims that the virus is perfect: a perfect agent of death can only be divine; it is a cleansing of the earth.
    • The virus has eliminated 99.99%.
  • The flu was the flood, and light will be carried like Noah and the arc.
  • When asked about the graveyard markets, the prophet responds: “there’s more than one way to die.” There is the death of the body and death of the soul.
  • The prophet looked at Alexandra and spoke into the conductor’s ear, who responded “absolutely not.”
  • The audience quickly dispersed.
  • The Symphony is moving; it is a “doomsday cult”.
  • The prophet asked the conductor to consider leaving Alexandra; he was looking for another bride.
  • Kirsten still kept the paperweight that Jeevan had given to her.

Chapter 13

  • The photo from the tabloid.
  • Well before the Georgia Flu, Arthur Leander and a girl are waiting in a restaurant in Toronto.
  • Earlier in the day Arthur was wearing a crown, but now he was wearing a cap.
  • Miranda says that she is going to leave “him”; she has a bruise on her face.
  • Arthur offers Miranda to stay at the hotel.
  • Delano Island - between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia.
    • A temperate rain forest.
    • Arthur is from there.
  • At 17, Arthur had been accepted into the University of Toronto; he thought he wanted to study economics but became indifferent in college. He was going to be an actor.
  • Arthur auditions sucessfully for theater school in New York City. He then travels to Los Angeles and finds success. He then finds another acting position in Toronto.
  • Arthur’s mother calls to ask Arthur to have lunch with Miranda in Toronto.
  • Miranda was very pretty at seventeen; she was subtly beauty.
  • Arthur dates other women; he becomes unpleasantly famous.
  • He calls Miranda at the hotel room in Hotel Le Germain in Toronto.

Chapter 14

  • Miranda is at work when Arthur calls.
  • Miranda is an administrative assistant at Neptune Logistics, a shipping company.
  • Despite that she doesn’t want to tell Pablo, Miranda likes being at Neptune Logistics more than she likes being at home.
  • Miranda is drawing a comic book.
    • In the Station Eleven project, Dr. Eleven is a person from the future who never whines; he and his colleagues slipped through a wormhole into a thousand years in the future.
    • Station Eleven is the size of the Earth’s moon.
    • Earth has been conquered by aliens; some go to beg amnesty and attempt to live under alien rule.
  • Pablo hates corporate work; he incessantly calls Miranda about her work. Pablo, her boyfriend, is being somewhat passive-aggressive and hostile to her.
  • Pablo has no interest in Miranda’s comics.
  • Miranda goes to dinner with Arthur without telling Pablo.
  • Miranda wants to break up with Pablo; she kisses Arthur and sleeps with him at the hotel.

Chapter 15

  • Later, Arthur and Miranda have a house in the Hollywood Hills.
  • Arthur and Miranda are at a three-year wedding anniversary with ten guests; Miranda is uncomfortable. Arthur is talking to everyone except for her.
  • Clark is Arthur’s oldest friend; he is an organizational pyschologist.
  • Miranda feels that arthur may be delibrately trying not to look at her.
  • Miranda leaves the dinner party to take Luli, the dog, out.
  • Arthur is asked to tell the story of how Miranda and Arthur met; he does not mention that Pablo had assaulted Miranda.
  • Miranda sat across from the table and say Arthur with a Toronto Blue Jays cap, thinking, “I prefer you with a crown.”
  • Elizabeth and Arthur seem to have an odd relationship.
  • Dr. Eleven has a Pomeranian, his own Luli.
  • Miranda goes outside and sees papparazi; she asks Jeevan, the papparazi, for a cigarette.
  • Later, Arthur and Miranda divorce; Arthur marries Elizabeth.
  • Miranda works for Neptune Logistics and rises throughout the company until she travels constantl; she refuses to date anyone.

Chapter 16

  • Francois Diallo, librarian of New Petoskey, interviews Kirsten Raymonde fifteen years after the Georgia Flu
  • The world has become local.
  • Arthur Leander has given Kirsten Raymonde the comic books that Miranda drew.

Chapter 17

  • A year before the Georgia Flu, Arthur adn Clark met for dinner in London.
  • Arthur wanted to be seen now; both are old.
  • Clark wishes Arthur a happy birthday.
  • Arthur’s third wife had divorced with him.
  • Arthur was telling an animated story about a meeting with watch executives.
  • Clark realized Arthur was having a dinner with an audience; he felt disgusted.

Chapter 18

  • The interview between Diallo and Kirsten continues.
  • Kirsten Raymonde began acting when she was three.
  • Kirsten has been with the Symphony since she was fourteen; she was found in Ohio.
  • Kirsten’s brother died.
  • Now, it is much less dangerous for the Symphony to travel around.
  • Kirsten talks about the variety of towns that the Symphony has encountered.
  • Some towns talk about the past; others discourage talking about the past.
  • The towns are unpredictable; everyone lives by a different logic.

Chapter 19

  • The Traveling Symphony thought sometimes that they were doing something noble; art was important.
  • At other times, it was a dangerous and difficult way to live.
  • Now, the heat was unrelenting.
  • Twelve hours out of St. Deborah by the Water.
  • Kirsten had tattooed “survival is insufficient”; she was arguing with Dieter, who had anti-tattoo sentiments.
  • The Symphony had walked through most of the night.
  • The Symphony stopped to rest in the early afternoon.
  • The conductor sent scouts back down the road.
  • Kirsten closes her eyes and rests - she is thinking about Charlie.
  • The Symphony had been walking for 5/18 hours since they’d left St. Deborah by the Water, trying to put as much distance as possible.
  • The Symphony finds a stowaway that has escaped from St. Deborah on the water; it is a girl that is promised to be the prophet’s next wife.
  • The girl’s name is Eleanor; she is twelve years old.
  • Eleanor says that Charlie and Jeremy have left for the “Museum of Civilization”.
  • It is a museum that someone has set up in an airport; the Symphony is headed there anyway.
    • It could be a trap.
  • What to do with Eleanor? The Symphony risked accusations of kidnapping and did not want to intervene in the politics of towns they had passed.
  • The prophet had come to St. Deborah b the Water not long after the Symphony left Charlie and Jeremy. The sect moved into Walmart; initially, they helped with chores and seemed harmless.
  • Soon, the town became the prophets.

Chapter 20

  • Two days out of St. Deborah by the Water, the Symphony came upon a burnt resort town.
  • Olivia and Eleanor saw no signs of human life.
  • Scouts reported a school; the conductor tells scouts to check for instruments.
  • The school was small; it had six classrooms. The sheet music was gone, and there were no instruments.
  • Jackson finds a skeleton in the men’s room.
  • Looking for traces of a former world before they are all gone.

Chapter 21

  • An interview in year 15, between Francois Diallo and Kirsten Raymonde.
  • Kirsten was eight when the Georgia Flu came.
  • Kirsten is very sensitive about her privacy and does not answer Diallo’s question about how the world has changed and her tattoos.

Chapter 22

  • When Kirsten thought of how the world had changed, she always thought about Alexandra.
  • Clouds were gathering and the air pressed down from above. The Symphony waited out the rainstorm.
  • Dieter had been 20 years old when the world ended.
  • The first watch was going to sleep; the second watch was going out.
  • Dieter and Sayid would scout the road a half-mile behind them, Kirsten and August would keep watch at the camp, another pair would scout a half-mile ahead.
  • Kirsten was left alone with August.
  • Kirsten and August watch the sky; Kirsten thinks about airplanes and civilization.
  • August feels something odd; there was a sound just then. Perhaps someone had called out.
  • They couldn’t see anything, but Dieter and Sayid were gone - it was as if they had been plucked off Earth.

Chapter 23

  • No one responded; there was no trace of Sayid and Dieter.
  • There have been four times in which Symphony members have been separated; by following the separation protocol, they have been reunited.
  • Alexandra reads the separation protocol: we never travel without a destination; if you are separated, make your way to the destination and wait.
  • Kirsten has a feeling that they were taken; four teams set out in search of dinner, but only three and a half returned.
  • Sidney, the clarinet, had just gone while Jackson knelt in the stream.
  • Perhaps they were being hunted.
  • In this era, exact dates were seldom relevant.
  • Kirsten thought of Dieter as an older brother.
  • The land became wilder; the Symphony had to stop multiple times to clear fallen trees.
  • They arrive at a gold course and find a clubhouse.
  • The golf course pond was full of fish.
  • The Symphony had departed by the time August and Kirsten came back.

Chapter 24

  • Kirsten and August came upon a line of cars; they reach a gas station.
  • They meet an old man named Finn.
  • Finn is wary of the museum; the people at the airport may be the prophet’s people.
  • Kirsten thought the flickering out of humanity was more peaceful than sad.
  • Finn’s scar is especially odd.
  • Kirsten and August come upon a house that has not been touched for years; the boy’s corpse was in the bed.
  • Kirsten changes her clothes.

Chapter 25

  • From Dear V., a book Kirsten had misplaced and wanted to find a replacement for.
    • V. = Victoria.
  • Arthur is writing to V.; they have stayed to watch comets, Arthur talks about his failures in acting class and the island.
  • V. has not answered in four months.
  • In the next letter, V. has not answered in decades; but Arthur has met Miranda.
  • Arthur has now fallen in love with Elizabeth.
  • Arthur now finds Clark less interesting.

    “Love is like the lion’s tooth.”

Chapter 26

  • Elizabeth was furious, but she wasn’t sure who to sue.
  • Elizabeth could not sue Arthur, but perhaps V. or the publisher.
  • Clark is also concerned about Dear V.
  • Everyone is enraptured by their screens; Clark judges them.
  • Clark is questioned by an interviewee, Dahlia; do the people Clark coaches actually change in a lasting, notable way?
  • People who have ended up in one life instead of another, and are incredibly disappointed.
  • Had Arthur seen that Clark was sleepwalking, as Dahlia had talked about?
  • It’s an awful thing to be the target.

Chapter 27

  • It was once possible to make a living only by interviewing famous people.
  • Jeevan Chaudhary had booked an interview with Arthur Leander.
  • Jeevan had 15 minutes to interview Arthur.
  • However, Arthur is more interested in Jeevan being an entertainment journalist.
  • Arthur is interested in Jeevan.
  • Arthur is tired of talking about himself.
  • Arthur wants to tell Jeevan something.
    • He is leaving his wife for Lydia Marks, his costar in a film.
  • Arthur wants the publishing to be sensitive; mutual and amicable.

Chapter 28

  • Arthur thanked him; then, 8 days after Arthur died, Jeevan tried to remember how it played out.
  • Jeevan lay on the sofa and thought of things.

Chapter 29

  • Jeevan told no one about Arthur and Elizabeth’s split for twenty-four hours after the interview.

Chapter 30

  • Jeevan and Frank were watching the news from Frank’s apartment.
  • Jeevan has taken measures to prevent the virus from coming in.
  • Countries began to go dark; local news became more and more local.
  • The Internet blinked out.
  • Toronto was falling silent; everyone was running out of gas.
  • Jeevan thought about how human the city and everything was.
  • The lights go out.
  • Day 30: running water ended.
    • Jeevan had filled every receptacle with water.
  • Jeevan imagined people congratulating him for stocking up on food. He is optimistic, in a sense.

Chapter 31

  • Francois Diallo and Kirsten Raymonde interview.
  • Diallo apologies about the tattoos.
  • Diallo asks about the collapse.
  • Kirsten was in a production of King Lear and the lead actor died. He had a heart attack on stage.
  • Jeevan, who gave CPR, died; was in the New York Times obituary.

Chapter 32

  • Jeevan saw smoke rising in the distance on Day 47.
  • Jeevan sometimes heard gunshots; there were stenches in the hospitals.
  • Frank’s wheelchair impeded his ability to travel; the roads were jammed by crushed cars.
  • Jeevan began to venture out of the apartment.
  • Jeevan wants to go outside, but Frank argues that they cannot survive outside.
  • Frank was shot in Libya covering for Reuters.
  • Frank discusses suicide, in a sense.

Chapter 33

  • Francois Diallo and Kirsten Raymonde interview.
  • Kirsten discusses that a man came to save Arthur; Kirsten remembers that Jeevan was very calm.
  • The minder gave Kirsten a paperweight.
  • Raymonde was left with her brother, Peter; she never found her parents again.

Chapter 34

  • Jeevan asks Frank to read something; Frank reads about the philanthropist he is writing about.
  • Frank reads: “we want to be remembered”; immortality.

Chapter 35

  • Francois Diallo and Kirsten Raymonde interview.
  • Peter was out at night stealing food; one day, he told Kirsten that they had to go; eventually, they had to walk.
  • They walked into the United States; the border was open.

Chapter 36

  • Jeevan followed the lake; Frank is dead (overdosing on sleeping pills).
  • Jeevan avoids the roads; he walks by the lake.
  • After some hours, he heard gunshots.
  • Jeevan was very cold; he didn’t know where he was.
  • The Georgia Flu was so efficient that almost no one was left.
  • Jeevan saw three people ahead on the fifth day; two young men of 19 and an old woman.
  • Ben and Abdul talk about crime; Jenny mentions that there are just not that many people.
  • Ben’s girlfriend and family died in the first week; he wasn’t dead either. Immune, perhaps?
  • Jeevan travels with the other three; they occasionally came upon travelers. Everyone was moving south.
  • People were killed for the contents of their backpacks; he slipped inside and outside of country houses.

Chapter 37

  • Francois Diallo and Kirsten Raymonde interview.
  • At nine years, Kirsten stopped walking; the people who struggle most with the Georgia Flu are those that remember the old world clearly.

Chapter 38

  • Kirsten and August left the house in the woods; they still ponder over their discovery of a non-ransacked house.
  • August believed in the theory of multiple universes; it was not a crackpot theory.
    • Deterioration of science.
  • August liked the idea of an infinite number of parallel universes.
  • August and Kristen look at an old tabloid picture.
  • Kirsten did not believe in the parallel universe theory.
  • Space travel was invented in a parallel universe; a parallel universe where Kirsten and August boarded Station Eleven and escaped before the world ended.
  • August and Kirsten were very close to Severn City.
  • August and Kirsten chose a house to rest in; they realize that Finn’s scar was an airplane marked by the prophet.

Chapter 39

  • Miranda flew to Toronto from New York; she liked the descent into the city.
  • Miranda went to Neptune Logistics in Toronto and saw ghosts of herself everywhere.
  • Arthur calls Miranda; Arthur’s father has died.
  • Arthur was starring in King Lear; they had arranged to meet there.
  • It has been eleven years since Miranda and Arthur divorced.
  • Victoria had published the letters he’d sent her in Dear V.
  • Miranda is in Dear V.
  • Suing would be more publicity; Arthur’s agent thinks he should just let the book run its course.
  • Arthur treated Victoria like a diary.
  • Blurring of borders between performance and life.
  • Kirsten comes into the room. Miranda meets Kirsten.
  • Kirsten is still drawing Dr. Eleven comics.
  • Miranda had never liked child actors.
  • Kirsten does not get along with the other girls.
  • Miranda put the paperweight by the Elgin Theatre, which Kirsten would later have.

Chapter 40

  • Miranda looked on a beach on the coast of Malaysia, looking out at the sea.
  • The nearest airports had closed, but Miranda did not know this yet.
  • No one mentioned the pandemic.
  • Miranda was told that local fishermen were afraid of ships; fishermen suspected that there were supernatural beings in the hulls.
  • Perhaps there was not something otherworldly, though.
  • Clark Thompson calls Miranda; Arthur has died of a heart attack.
  • Clark Thompson is decided to tell Arthur’s family and notified the ex-wives.
  • Clark is dealing with Arthur’s lawyer, who is working out the death.
  • Clark did not know of the flu’s arrival on social media; he boarded a plane out of the airport and did not realize that he was on the same plane as Elizabeth Colton.
  • The pilot announced that they were being diverted to Michigan at the Severn City Airport.

Chapter 41

  • Miranda remained on the beach for some time, watching the boats and the sea.
  • The lobby was empty.
  • There was no way to leave; every airport was closed.
  • Miranda wakes up with a fever; she feels the fever pressing against a thin film of aspirin.
  • Miranda considers how poorly the room is dressed.
  • The corridors were silent; the lobby was empty.
  • Miranda opened her eyes to see the sunrise; the lights of the fleet fading into the morning, the ocean burning into the sky.

Chapter 42

  • First, the people at the Severn City Airport counted time as though they were only temporarily stranded.
  • Time had been reset by catastrophe.
  • Clark thought of how lucky he had been in the airport.
  • Clark was a curator; he put iPhones, radios, etc. into a museum.
  • Taken-for-granted miracles.
  • By the end of the second decade, most of the airport’s population were either born there or had walked in.
  • Clark’s flight landed without incident and taxied to Concourse B.
  • When Clark emerged from the jet bridge, there was a very uneven distribution of people.
  • Clark did not watch the news very closely.
  • Clark should call someone; everyone is concerned.
  • If you are exposed, you are sick very quickly and dead in a day or two.
  • The airport was now closed; the passengers swore at airport management and were furious.
  • No one came to chase away the remaining passengers.
  • The passengers who remained in the airport were mostly foreign.
  • Clark walked the length of the airport and was tuned to see the lack of security.
  • Clark was thinking about Robert, his boyfriend of three months.
  • Civilization would not come back.

Chapter 43

  • The first winter in the Severn City Airport.
  • No one picked up the phones.
  • Food from the Mexican restaurant ran out on Day 4.
  • The networks began to flicker off the air.
  • The lights went out; the toilets would flush.
  • One pilot offers to fly to Los Angeles; many passengers boarded the plane.
  • Fifty-four remained; everyone chewed silently.
  • A pilot set out on reconnaissance but didn’t return.
  • Civilization was always a little bit fragile.
  • Clark shaved every three days.
  • Elizabeth’s quarantine theory. She believes people will come to the rescue.
  • Day 65, a helicopter crossed.
  • Dolores - a fellow sane person. Friends with Clark.
  • A rape happened on the night of Day 85; the man was tied up until sunrise and then driven to a forest at gunpoint.
  • Mortality rate at 99%.
  • Was a scouting party a good idea?
  • Day 100 - waiting for the scouting party to return with supplies.
  • Clark took artifacts and laid them under the glass.
  • The snowglobe has come so far.
  • No one had come to the airport because a sign said that flu was here.
  • Feelings of home.
  • A new man comes in; he thought he was the only one.

Chapter 44

  • By end of Year 15, there were 300 people in the airport.
  • Clark worked all day on the details of survival.
  • Elizabeth and Tyler left in Year 2.
  • Tyler was a little bit off; everyone was reeling.
  • The sealed plane’s windows were dark.
  • Tyler proposes that some people were saved and some people were not saved.
  • Elizabeth and Tyler were living in the First Class cabin of the Air France jet.
  • Elizabeth possesses interesting ideas: the pandemic happened for a reason; everything happened for a reason.
  • Later that summer, a band of religious wanderers arrived. A new world requires new gods.
  • Elizabeth and Tyler left with the band of religious wanderers.
  • Insanity is contagious.
  • People came to look at the museum after long days of work.
  • Emmanuelle, the first child born in the airport, came in to look at a phone.
  • There was a school in Concourse C.
  • A trader came through with a newspaper; it was published out of New Petoskey.
    • In the newspaper, there was a part about the Traveling Symphony.
    • Francois Diallo interview with Kirsten Raymonde.
  • Clark read of Arthur’s death. No more newspapers came.

Chapter 45

  • The interview, continued.
  • Kirsten answers more questions under the condition that she is not recorded.
  • Kirsten thinks of killing; they have been “surprised”.
  • August fell in a cult for three years; Viola met half-feral teenagers.
  • Kirsten does not know how she got the scar on her face.
  • Kirsten’s brother was sad; he remembered everything.
  • The Symphony was no performing a Beethoven symphony.

Chapter 46

  • In the summer of year fifteen, Jeevan Chaudhary was drinking wine by the river.
  • Jeevan had wandered into a settlement called McKinley; there were twenty-seven families.
  • Jeevan married a former sales assistant called Daria.
  • Daria and Michael discuss what the children should learn.
  • Jeevan liked being the man people turned to in bad moments.
  • A man’s wife has been shot; they are brought to Jeevan.
  • The prophet had to do with the wife’s shooting.
  • The prophet came through - twenty followers. They are armed and take what they want. The group has gotten his son and his wife.
  • The prophet wanted the woman to be a wife, so the prophet shot her to cause pain.

Chapter 47

  • Clark is seventy in year 19; he is more tired than he had been.
  • Clark shaved his entire head and wore four rings.
  • Annette had died of an unknown illness in Year Seventeen.
  • Graves marked by airplane tray tables.
  • Garrett and Clark had become close friends; they talk about a report.
  • Garrett had a wife and four-year-old twins in Halifax. The last call he made was to his boss, filled with corporate cliches.
  • Clark awoke to quiet voices. Garrett was gone.
  • Sullivan - head o security.
  • Charlie, Jeremy, and Annabel.
  • Small dark arrows represent how many people they have killed.
  • There was a prophet; what happened to Elizabeth?
  • The prophet is Elizabeth’s son.

Chapter 48

  • Kirsten woke up abruptly with tears in her eyes; she has a dream that August has died.
  • A man appears; they see Sayid. There was blood on his face and his clothes were torn.
  • Two men and a boy followed Sayid.
  • August throws a stone and Kirsten throws her knives; they confront Sayid.
  • Archer: the virus was the angel.
  • Sayid heard a whimpering in the forest; Dieter and Sayid investigated and are taken.
  • After Dieter died, the prophet’s men returned with the clarinet.

Chapter 49

  • The clarinet hated Shakespeare.
  • She was sitting by herself in Mackinaw City; she had been thinking of writing her play.
  • The clarinet let her play in the backpack; the Symphony wondered if they were looking at a suicide note.
  • The men are planning a route to the Severn City Airport.
  • The men want to trade the two for the bride.
  • A boy was talking to Sayid; he is forced
  • The clarinet was one of the Symphony’s best hunters; she turned into the trees and fell back to the Symphony.

Chapter 50

  • Two knife tattoos on Kirsten’s wrist.
    • A man came at her in her first year with the Symphony.
    • Mackinaw City; met brigands.
  • They walked with Sayid, listening for the dog.
  • They walk in the forest and hear the prophet and his dog.
  • They discover Kirsten; Kirsten says that the archer killed Sayid and August.
  • The prophet says that the world is an ocean of darkness.
  • The boy had shot the prophet in the head; August’s arrows shot the other two; the boy committed suicide.
  • Inside the prophet was a copy of the New Testament and a page torn from Dr. Eleven.

Chapter 51

  • Kirsten, August, and Sayid move towards the airport. Luli, the dog, runs with them.
  • The terminal emerges; someone is roasting dear.
  • 320 people were living in the Severn City Airport; they meet Charlie.
  • The prophet was the only other person Kirsten had met that had Station Eleven.
  • Shakespeare’s life was defined by plague.
  • They meet Clark.
  • Through a telescope, they see a town whose streets were lit up with electricity.

Chapter 52

  • Jeevan is baking bread in an outdoor oven he has a son.
  • The caravans of the Traveling Symphony are arriving at the Severn City Airport.

Chapter 53

  • Arthur was tired on his last day on earth.
  • Arthur finished dinner and took a cab to the theater; he looked over the script.
  • Tanya lets go of things easily; Arthur has missed breakfast with her.
  • Miranda had sent the glass paperweight to Arthur.
  • Arthur gives the comics to his son.
  • Arthur offers to pay off Tanya’s college debt.
  • Arthur calls Tyler; Dr. Eleven lives on a planet of water. Seahorses cath you send you to the Undersea.
  • All his life, Arthur has chased money or fame or immortality.
  • Arthur dies; the snow was falling all around him.

Chapter 54

  • Dr. Eleven is visited by the ghost of his mentor, Captain Lonagan.

Chapter 55

  • The Traveling Symphony left the airport in September.
  • Clark was given a copy of the Dr. Eleven comics.
  • Clark recognizes himself in the Dr. Eleven comics.
  • Another world out of sight.