January 31st, 2023
January concludes. It's been a blue month. The weather hasn't helped much. It hasn't been too cold, but there has been light and persistent rain every day. I was sick for several weeks: cold and a bit of cough. These circumstances discouraged me from going to the library. I stayed at home, which was not good for my mental health. I have felt alone.
Today I am better, so I have decided to write here about the books I have read during the month. I will try to do it at the end of each one.
I read an unpublished book, whose name I cannot reveal, to make an evaluation. I suggested that it not be published since it is a book with little research and no original approaches. I also read several articles, which I will not refer to here since they are academic studies related to my professional interests.
For a few nights, I was reading Calling Bullshit: The Art of Skepticism in a Data-Driven World by Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin D. West. I read it intending to be able to argue with the increasing number of people who say bullshit (especially in politics), but I am convinced that this is impossible. On the other hand, I found an excellent book to avoid falling into bullshit myself, into those unsubstantiated claims or fallacies that are so frequent that we commit them without realizing it.
I became convinced you can't argue with fanatics because I read Ece Temelkuran's overwhelming testimony, How to Lose a Country. Although she constantly compares Erdoğan to Trump and European populist leaders, it was inevitable for me to think of AMLO, Bolsonaro, Bukele, and many others in Latin America.
As Carlos Monsiváis said, "to document my optimism," I also read The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. I won't write anything about that marvelous novel, except that --along with the other readings I did this month-- it left me thinking about the fragility of our certainties. Temelkuran says we cannot sit idly by, assuming everything will be fine. It is critical to act!