Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quote: John McPhee On The Left Handed Geologist

I was flipping through John McPhee 's Assembling California and came across this passage:

Gradually, though - outcrop to outcrop, roadcut to roadcut - Moores revived enough related scenes in the distinct origins of the random rock to frame a cohesive chronological story. That is what geologists do. " You spend a lot of time working over rocks and you have a lot of time to do nothing but think," he said. "These mountains , for example are Tertiary normal faulted, confusing topography with regard to structure. They show different levels of structure in different places. To see through the topography and see how the rocks lie in three dimensions beneath the topography is the hardest thing to get across to a student". After a mile of silence he added cryptically, "Left -handed people do it better". 
I said nothing for a while, and then asked him, " Are you left-handed?"
He said. "I am ambidextrous".
As it happens, I am left-handed, but I kept it to myself. 

I am also left handed... True or not, that lefties are disproportionately represented in the geology profession has been the subject of discussion before.. I am so glad that one of the great writers about geology is left handed too..

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