Friday, November 2, 2012

Actually, It Was Eratosthenes...

So just for the heck of it I decided to see if I had any more reviews of my book on and came across this one from August (the fact that it took me nearly three months to realize I had a review pretty much reveals how often I check); the review is italicized below,

3.0 out of 5 stars Too many errors please re-edit! Galileo did not prove the earth is round., August 7, 2012
This review is from: Genocide: How Your Doctor's Dietary Ignorance Will Kill You!!!! (Paperback)
I know that what the author says about diet is correct. I've been on a low-carb diet (the GAPS diet, to be exact) for 1 year today and have cured my hypertension, constipation, lowgrade UTI and more. I'm 58, weigh 112 lbs and I'm full of energy.

What I'm looking for is a book TO HELP ME CONVINCE FAMILY AND FRIENDS that they should also change their diet to low-carb. I don't want my siblings to die young. I want my mother to live many more healthy years.

Unfortunately, I KNOW my family will be turned off by the myriad errors in spelling and style (there are a lot of teachers in my family).

I'm pretty sure everyone in my family will read the paragraph about Galileo and say: something like: "What?! Galileo didn't prove the earth was round! He proved the sun didn't revolve around the earth. Magellan, who circumnavigated the globe, proving it is round, died before Galileo was even born. If the author makes such a basic mistake why should I keep reading?"

That is where I stopped reading, anyway.

Please re-edit this book. I'll be happy to proofread it for you!

Do your homework about Galileo and other items not in your field.

Also, please use another word than Genocide. Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group."

Please use a less politically and emotionally charged title so that thoughtful, educated people can read your book.

I like the rest of what I read.

I'm still looking for the right book.

My first response was "Ouch, that wasn't very nice," but I also felt privileged that not only did Odile take the time out to purchase my book, but went the extra step to write a review of it; so to this I say 'Thank You.'
I congratulate this critic on understanding the correct way to eat, thank goodness for that. I also understand the fervor you have to want to make the rest of your family and friends understand the right way to eat.

As far as convincing family and friends as to the correct way to eat all I have to say is 'Good Luck with that." Despite my nearly twenty years of clinical experience and deep understanding of the correct way to eat, I often face a challenge every time I attempt to explain the correct way to eat to colleagues of mine. Very, very frustrating indeed.

 I must admit I'm a little confused about a few things you wrote. You stated that you stopped reading after my unforgivable mistake of saying that Galileo proved the earth was round, when you stated he simply revealed that we live in a heliocentric not a geocentric universe. But despite the fact you say you stopped reading my book after my most egregious error, your second to last line reads "I like the rest of what I read" So my question is 'did you really stop reading?' Hmmmm...

As far as the 'myriad errors' in spelling and style, I'm not sure what you mean. The only word I consistently and purposely misspelled was oopps! There I go again. If there are any other spelling errors please point them out to me. As far as style is concerned I did have a few 'expert' editors attempt to edit my book , but when they were done I didn't like my book at all. It just wasn't me. You see, I write in what I like to refer to as 'a conversational tone.' Anyone who has met me and has had a conversation with me will immediately understand that how I wrote my book is how I speak. One common criticism is that I used too many commas, well, too bad, they were necessary, to depict, the way, I actually speak. As an interesting side note, all the critics of my style of writing have never written a book themselves; just thought I'd throw that out there...

Let's see, as far as mistakes in books go; having obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree, a Medical Degree, a Masters of Business Degree and a Law Degree and having read a few hundred books to obtain those degrees (I'm being modest here as I have no idea how many books I had to read, was it a thousand or so?); let's not forget all the other hundreds upon hundreds of non-fiction books I've read over the years; I have never read a book that did not contain at least a few errors in it.
While we're pointing out errors in my book one you failed to mention although it was obvious to me after my book was published; I incorrectly defined lacto-ovo vegetarians as 'not' drinking milk or eating eggs, when in fact I know they do; it was just something that despite the fact I read my manuscript dozens of times I just missed it. And even more interestingly enough, I had a good friend who is a vegetarian proofread for subject matter errors 'And he missed it too!' OOpps...

 Ok, let's get back to my alleged Galileo faux pas. You're correct that Galileo is widely known to have correctly depicted that the sun is the center of our planets's (heliocentric) revolvement, not the earth (geocentric) as was thought by the Catholic Church at the time. This is why he was placed under house arrest. By the way he has since been exonerated by the Pope and has achieved the status of the "patron of the dialogue between faith and reason".

Since Galileo was completely aware of Copernicus's work and why he suggested his heliocentric theory, and since I was already completely aware not only of Copernicus's 'assumptions' but that Galileo was also very much educated in Copernicus's work; and since Copernicus's assumptions underlying the heliocentric view are replete with the words 'celestial circle or sphere,' 'lunar sphere,' celestial sphere,' mention of the 'earth's radius,'our sphere,' etc..., it is easy to see why I mistakenly made the comment that I did. Oopps....

As far as Magellan is concerned let me ever so politely educate you that Magellan himself did not complete the entire voyage around the world, having been killed during a battle which occurred in the Philippine's. So, ummm, no, Magellan was not the first person to realize the earth was not flat. As a side note, our planet is considered a flattened sphere last time I checked, so it isn't really round per se.

Ok, so who really was the first person to prove that our planet is round? It was a Greek mathematician and astronomer by the name of Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BCE. This genius calculated, correctly, the circumference of the earth; something he wouldn't have even wasted his time on if he thought the world was anything but round. So it appears we're both wrong, doesn't it...

It was interesting my critic suggested that I 'Do your homework about Galileo and other items not in your field'.  Again....ouch! Well, I do have a strong interest in Astrophysics and Quantum Mechanics which is why I went as high as differential equations in undergrad to help me understand the theory more; but I must admit I am certainly not a Galileo historian, so,yes, my apologies are in order.

Let's see, what else; Oh, my critic wanted me to change the title of my book as it evokes negative emotion. Let me just say I am totally aware of the definition of Genocide. It is a terrible, horrific word created by Raphael Lemkin in 1943. When one looks at the etymology of the word it is easily apparent as to why the use of the word Genocide is appropriate. In fact, it really is a Global Iatrogenocide meaning that it is the doctors all over the world holding on tenaciously to an ignorant view of how we should eat, that may ultimately be our downfall.

And the comment "Please use a less politically and emotionally charged title so that thoughtful, educated people can read your book"  is an interesting one. While I am certainly not a best-selling author.......yet....; more than a few very erudite people have indeed read my book and not only did they learn a lot from it, they thoroughly enjoyed it. Among these people are teachers at every level including college professors, doctors, nurses, lawyers, mechanics, iron workers, truck drivers, retail workers, fellow authors, nuclear and particle physicists and the list goes on and on. In fact, to make the comment "so that thoughtful, educated people can read your book' is a direct affront to all those wonderful individuals who have read my book. I believe you are denying your friends and relatives access to the very book which will convince your family and friends as to the correct way to eat. That's too bad...

As a side note, when I went to see reviews of other books you may have reviewed there was only one other, which you gave 1 star to; I guess I should be flattered that you gave me 3. It was apparent by looking at your other reviews that I needed to be a fork, a knife or a juice press to receive 5 stars; hey, wait a minute, doesn't juice contain a lot of carbs? Just saying...

Oh yeah, and the "Please re-edit this book. I'll be happy to proofread it for you!" just sounds like a dig to me. If you're going to proofread, shouldn't you be editing?

I have to admit that the first time I read this review it didn't occur to me, but as I read it again there was, at least to me, a bullying undertone. Also a strong sense that I was some kind of moron because how could I not have known it wasn't Galileo who revealed the world was round and also that I was an idiot for not realizing something everybody knows........except for me....

Look, I said it before and I'll say it again, I will be the first to tell ya I don't know everything; but about the correct way to eat...well, that I do understand.

Have a great weekend everyone!

dr jim :-)


Watch my critique of the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines down in D.C.