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A very long time ago – yes, even before the internet, if you were to allow yourself to believe that such a time existed – a certain author was asked what one book he would take with him if he were stranded on a desert island.
Normally a question like that is designed to see how sophisticated the askee’s tastes are. Will he say the Bible? The Complete Works of Shakespeare? Great Expectations? What profundity awaits us today?
In this case, the answer was a little more prosaic than that: “Thomas’ Guide to Practical Shipbuiding.”