Harry R. Schwartz

Code writer, sometime Internet enthusiast, attractive nuisance.

The author at the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris, November 2022. hacker news gitlab sourcehut pinboard librarything 1B41 8F2C 23DE DD9C 807E A74F 841B 3DAE 25AE 721B


British Columbia



A Streetcar to Subduction


Published .
Tags: science, geology, nerd-tourism.

A Streetcar to Subduction

I just finished reading John McPhee’s Annals of the Former World. It’s a lovely geological romp across the country (and across about twenty years—McPhee is a dedicated researcher), detailing the history of the continent along I-80.

Near the tail end, in the section on assembling California1, McPhee offhandedly mentions another book:

Not just any city is the topic of a serious tourist guidebook called A Streetcar to Subduction, a copy of which Moores and I have with us. Written by the geomorphologist Clyde Wahrhaftig, of Berkeley, it is a shining little book of geological field trips on public transportation.

This sounds amazing. I wanna go on a geological tour of SF! That sounds way more fun than all that tech startup nonsense.

And apparently I’m not the only one—Amazon lists A Streetcar to Subduction as the “#1 Best Seller in Plate Tectonics.” I wasn’t aware that that category existed, but I was delighted to find it.

  1. On pg. 574, for the dedicated. 

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