Keith Douglas' Web Page

About me Find out who I am and what I do.
My resumé A copy of my resumé and other documentation about my education and work experience for employers and the curious.
Reviews, theses, articles, presentations A collection of papers from my work, categorized and annotated.
Current research projects What I am currently working on, including some non-research material.
Interesting people People professionally "connected" to me in some way.
Interesting organizations Organizations I am "connected" to. (Some rather loosely.)
Intellectual/professional influences Influences on my work, including an organization chart. Here you can also buy many good books on philosophy and other subjects via amazon.com. I have included brief reviews of hundreds of books.
Professional resources Research sources, amazon.com associates programs, etc.
What is the philosophy of computing? A brief introduction to my primary professional interest.
My intellectual heroes A partial list of important people. Limited to the dead.
My educational philosophy As a sometime teacher I've developed one. Includes book resources.

Book Influences - Geography

Title
Author
Purchase / Enjoy Cover
Comment
After the Ice: Life, Death, and Geopolitics in the New Arctic Anderson It is sad but instructive to reflect on what amounts to a scary geography book. The takehome message from this accessible introduction to the themes suggested in the book's title is: the arctic is changing its physical geography due to climate change and hence its biogeography, human geography, etc. also change as a consequence. It is now (apparently) too late to mitigate change period; all that can be done is to hopefully minimize certain effects and make sure things aren't ruined for humans, other animals, etc. Alas, no clear policy recommendations (other than the world's countries will have to work together more) come out of the book, but that's another story.
Developing the Underdeveloped Countries Mountjoy (ed.) This book is about 40 years old at the time of writing this note. Nevertheless it is valuable to see what people thought then, to see what really happened from certain policies, etc. in retrospect. However, it is sad to see that some of the lessons already learned by that point are still not being taken seriously.
Do Not Alight Here: Walking London's Lost Underground and Railway Stations Pedroche I received this as a gift after I had just returned from some brief times in London. As such a lot of the stops mentioned, areas discussed, etc. sound vaguely familiar but not enough to vet any of the routes. Instructions do seem clear enough, and the purely historical remarks are interesting (though I have no idea whatever how accurate).
Greater Vancouver Book Davis An encyclopedia of Vancouver. I was given this as a gift when I lived there for a while.
The Human Use of the Earth Wagner This is the very systemic (in Bunge's sense) discussion of human geography interpreted largely as a branch of ecology. An approach which works for the most part, my only complaint is that the book is a bit repetitive and superficial. Certainly the approach via systemism is welcome.
The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography Goodall As fits a mixed science, geography draws upon many fields for influence and ideas. This dictionary (really part one of two; there is also one for physical geography) clearly shows particularly an economics influence, though there are many political, planning technology, management, etc. notions discussed as well. Surprisingly, however, are a few entries on more narrowly philosophical concepts such as "idealism", "phenomenology" and "logical positivism". Generally clear, however, the book has a few typos, at least one very dubious equation (it doesn't look dimensionally homogeneous to me) and is a bit uncritical of the more out there philosophical concepts. (That said, it IS a dictionary, so perhaps analysis is asking a bit much in short entries.) Most strange, though, is how "normative" is used herein: it appears to be almost used as a synonym for "deductive".
The Penguin Dictionary of Physical Geography Whittow The companion volume to the above dictionary. Longer, but unfortunately more error prone than it, this volume deals with the physics, chemistry, geology, biology, etc. terms (plus, of course, uniquely geographical ones) useful for physical geography. The errors mostly lie in typesetting of formulae and a few errors in physics and chemistry. Apart from these, the book is pretty clear and straightforward. (Warning: I have linked to a later edition on amazon.com as the one I have is apparently not available.)
This is New York, Honey! Landsberg I think I was given this because I have a friend who lives in New York. I have only been twice, so only some of the stories in here are really comprehensible to me.
Urban Prospects Wolforth and Leigh An approximately 40 year old high school textbook of urban geography for Canadian students. While some of the examples and details are out of date, the general problems and scientific approach to understanding cities and towns is more or less still relevant. It is also amusing (as a former Vancouverite) to see old photos of that great city, and also to see long discussions of places like Hamilton, which have almost been totally eclipsed by Calgary, Edmonton and even sleepy Ottawa. A strength is the many exercises.

 

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